Real life in virtual worlds

Each generation of media has its taboo. First it was sexually explicit literature. Then it was violent movies. Now it’s video games, an interactive media that encompasses sex, violence and anything in between.

Condemnation of video games is nothing new. Whether it was the violence of “Mortal Kombat” or the sexually explicit material in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” video games have always provided a target for angry politicians and concerened parents.

The most recent video game scandal hits a little closer to home, however.

According to the Associated Press, a new war game in develpment by Konami has been blacklisted due to its sensitive nature. “Six Days in Fallujah” was a first person shooter deatiling the battles of American soldiers in Iraq during 2004.

After outcries from veterans and their families, the plug was pulled on the game. While this may seem like just another example of video games pushing the wrong buttons, this is the first time such ire has been directed at a standard war game. If you look up the 10 most controversial games, a real-life war simulator is nowhere to be found.

In fact, games based on real life wars have been enormously popular while rarely drawing criticism. Perhaps this game is different because it no longer puts players into a long ago battle, but into a recent war Americans are still reeling from.

Video games are a medium unlike books and movies. They allow players to literally step into any number of roles. Criminals or cops. Cowboys or aliens. You name it, there’s a game out there that lets you experience it first hand.

What makes this recent controversy so different is that the game is not under attack for promoting sex and violence. It’s under attack for giving people the chance to experience a war that is still going on.

And for people watching young men and women return home in flag-draped coffins, that just might be too much.

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Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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