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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 7, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Most tasteless game of the year, funded by CIA

I thought the return of “Leisure Suit Larry” (in “Box Office Bust“) would win the most tasteless game of the year award, but it may be bumped aside by “Six Days in Fallujah,” an action shooter based on a horrific 2004 battle in Iraq.

Britain’s Telegraph reports that a noted Iraq veteran and parent of a soldier killed there are calling for a ban on the Xbox 360 and PS3 game, which goes on sale next year.

“It’s much too soon to start making video games about a war that’s still going on, and an extremely flippant response to one of the most important events in modern history,” Tim Collins, a decorated colonel and Iraq veteran, told the paper.

The game, announced last month, is being published by Konami and developed by Atomic Games in Raleigh, N.C. The studio made its name in the 1990s with its “Close Combat” series of PC games based on historic battles in earlier wars and returned to the business in 2006.

Atomic is now led by Peter Tamte, a former executive vice president at Kirkland’s Bungie Software. His response, in the Telegraph:

“For us, the challenge was how to present the horrors of war in a game that is entertaining, but also gives people insight into a historical situation in a way that only a video game can provide.

“Our goal is to give people that insight, of what it’s like to be a Marine during that event, what it’s like to be a civilian in the city, and what it’s like to be an insurgent.”

Fortunately for Atomic, its investors are familiar with controversy. Backers include In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm funded by the CIA.

UPDATE ON 4/27: Sounds like the outcry worked and Konami is spiking the game.

Comments | More in | Topics: atomic games, battle in fallujah, bungie

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