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25 Mar, 2021 21:49

'It’ll breed a new generation of mass shooters' - Game industry unites to cancel Six Days in Fallujah with outdated logic

'It’ll breed a new generation of mass shooters' - Game industry unites to cancel Six Days in Fallujah with outdated logic

In a tale as old as modernity, adults are coming together to cancel entertainment they disapprove of, but where it was once the Evangelical Right or uptight politicians, artists and writers are now the ones on a Puritan crusade.

Slated for release later this year, Six Days in Fallujah is a video game that has always been steeped in controversy. First announced way back in 2009, the title was originally canceled not long after due to an email and phone campaign resulting from negative PR that pressured then-publisher Konami to end the project. 

Based on the 2004 Second Battle of Fallujah, which quickly became one of the deadliest modern moments in American war, the game was always going to have a rough road ahead of it, something only cemented by its original cancellation. Which made it all the more surprising when it was revived nearly a decade later. But a lot has changed within that time, and where it was once artists, entertainment critics, and game journalists who defended the right for all types of experiences to exist, a new breed has infested various mediums, and now they are calling for it to be canceled a second time. 

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In a petition published over on change.org titled ‘STOP HIGHWIRE GAMES AND VICTURA FROM NORMALIZING THE MASS MURDER OF IRAQIS’, a bold claim has been made that the game need not exist lest it create ‘a new generation of mass shooters.’ Now normally this would be easy to write off and mock, as anyone and everyone can create a petition and often they’re signed by negligible nobodies, but in this particular instance it is being shared throughout all levels of the gaming industry.

It’d waste too much space to list off all the notable signees, but to give an example of how dire and widespread it is, of the names now publicly attached to the petition lies prominent voice actress Jennifer Hale, Extra Credits show runner Matthew Krol, Rainbow Six Siege technical designer Dmitry Pozdniakov, game developer Jennifer Scheurle, Associate level designer for Gunfire games Kolbe Payne, Minecraft UI designer Vivian Otenzi, Respawn Entertainment designer Chad Armstrong, another Respawn Entertainment designer by the name of David Bocek, IGN video editor Alan Torres, Gotham Knights lead game designer Osama Dorias, Avengers narrative designer Keano Raubun, Ubisoft narrative designer Inari Bourguenolle, Insomniac games animator Lindsay Thompson, Diablo 4 VFX artist Marcus Bruzzese, and The Gamer website writer Seth Parmer

A conglomerate of names that only barely scratches the surface of the many industry insiders who are now calling upon the government to censor art. 

I think it’s here that fellow hobbyists and enthusiasts should be worried. Not because I believe the government will actually step in to cease sales on Six Days in Fallujah  it won’t  but because this assault on free expression is only growing more widespread with each passing day. At a corporate level, this nonstop cycle of outrage will inevitably affect the titles that do get green-lit as fewer and fewer companies will want to put up with the bad PR that occurs not only from the outside, but from within. This is a truly disheartening state of affairs, as one of the best things about entertainment, be it games, books, or film, is that it lets you experience a myriad of differing perspectives.

Yet in today’s current climate, any perspective that doesn’t cater to far-far left sensibilities is something to be taken out to pasture. We saw this just a month ago during the Harry Potter debacle, and a couple months before that with the Cyberpunk 2077 fiasco. And with each subsequent incident there is a notable growth of escalation. 

Leading up to Cyberpunk 2077’s release was a stream of hit-pieces lambasting imaginary incidents of transphobia, something which took a more extreme turn after it finally released when gaming websites boldly claimed it would lead to real-world transgender murder. Something, by the way, which has yet to happen. Then throughout the development process of the upcoming Harry Potter game we saw a similar trajectory, only for it to become more extreme when the media spontaneously set out to destroy a man’s life for literally no reason. And now there are calls for the government to step in and destroy yet another game the woke brigade dislikes, all under the false pretense that it’ll lead to real-world harm.

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Having grown up in the 90’s, I’m quite familiar with the tired rhetoric that violent entertainment creates negative real-world consequences. From the infamous Senate hearings surrounding video games in 1993 which argued that sex and violence in titles such as Night Trap and Mortal Kombat was harmful to children’s health, to the hilariously misjudged comments from right-wing (and now disbarred) lawyer Jack Thompson, who claimed that Grand Theft Auto would push kids and teens to act out the game in real life, it would be an understatement to say that I have read and seen it all. But while the attacks never fully ceased to exist, they did dwindle down as the years passed. More than enough studies have been done on the matter, and the through-line is clear: Entertainment, by and large, does not push people to act out horrible deeds.

It’s this well-studied fact which makes current attacks on Six Days in Fallujah all the more intellectually dishonest. Although perhaps it shouldn’t surprise anyone, as the message here has been loud and clear for a good while: The cult of woke won’t rest until the entertainment medium caters only to them, and there are no tactics they won’t resort to, so as I said just a month ago, it’s time to push back, and push back hard. Art belongs to everybody, not just the snivelling babies who cry-bully their way to the top. 

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.