A Muslim advocacy organisation has called for Microsoft, Sony, and Valve to refrain from selling ‘Six Days in Fallujah’, which it describes as an “Arab murder simulator”.
CAIR [The Council on American-Islamic Relations] are the largest Muslim civil rights nonprofit in the US. They say that, “at its core, the game is an “Arab murder simulator” that glorifies violence that took the lives of over 800 Iraqi civilians, justifies the illegal invasion of Iraq and reinforces Islamophobic narratives.”
Research and Advocacy Co-ordinator at CAIR, Huzaifa Shahbaz, gave the statement:
“We call on Microsoft, Sony and Valve to ban their platforms from hosting ‘Six Days in Fallujah,’ an Arab murder simulator that will only normalize violence against Muslims in America and around the world.
“The gaming industry must stop dehumanizing Muslims. Video games like Six Days in Fallujah only serve to glorify violence that took the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, justify the Iraq war, and reinforce anti-Muslim sentiment at a time when anti-Muslim bigotry continues to threaten human life.”
Six Days in Fallujah is a first-person shooter that was originally announced in 2009. It was cancelled by Konami after widespread criticism for trying to depict sensitive real-world events. It was reportedly in development by Sony’s Santa Monica studio at one point in time [via VGC]. Fast forward to 2021, and the game has been picked up again by developer Highwire Games.
The Second Battle of Fallujah left over 800 civilians dead
The game is based upon real events that occurred during the US-coalition invasion of Iraq. CAIR describes the events that took place in December 2004: “The Second Battle of Fallujah was a violent and bloody battle during the Iraq War that left more than 800 civilians dead.”
The US is heavily criticised for using white phosphorus in their tactics against not just Iraqi forces, but also Iraqi civilians. Many babies born in Iraq since the use of white phosphorus have had birth defects. Six Days of Fallujah will not feature white phosphorus as part of its gameplay, but the use of it will be discussed during documentary cutscenes. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was criticised in 2019 for including a white phosphorus kill streak.
Developers at Highrise Games previously insisted that their work on Six Days at Fallujah “isn’t trying to make a political commentary about whether or not the war itself was a good or a bad idea.” [via Polygon]. Though more recently, they have admitted that the events recreated in their game are “inseparable from politics”.
Publisher Victura argues in their statement that their game will highlight diverse experiences and opinions about the Iraq War. Apparently, the development team has spoken to 26 Iraqi civilians and dozens of service members while working on the game.
Sony and Microsoft are yet to respond as to whether they will list Six Days in Fallujah in their store. The game is already listed on Steam but is not yet available to purchase.
[Featured Image Credit: Konami]