Gold Star Families Speak Out Expresses Outrage
at Video Game Based on Deadly Battle in Iraq
Nationwide -- Members of Gold Star Families Speaks Out (GSFSO), family members of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, are expressing outrage at two companies that plan to release a video game that graphically recreates one of the Iraq war's bloodiest battles.
Atomic Games and Konami plan to release "Six Days in Fallujah" next year. The game is based on videos, photographs, and diary entries from veterans of a battle that claimed the lives of 38 U.S. troops and an estimated 1,500 Iraqis between November 7 and December 23, 2004. Discussing the game, Atomic Games President, Peter Tamte recently told a reporter that “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”
In a statement released Wednesday, Gold Star Families Speak Out said:
"Gold Star families continue to live with the horrors of war every day as we mourn the loss of our loved ones. We question how anyone can trivialize a war that continues to kill and maim members of the military and Iraqi civilians to this day.
"The war is not a game and neither was the Battle of Fallujah. For Konami and Atomic Games to minimize the reality of an ongoing war and at the same time profit off the deaths of people close to us by making it 'entertaining' is despicable."
"Just as Sony abandoned plans to launch a video game called Shock & Awe in 2003, Konami Atomic games should cancel their plans to release 'Six Days in Fallujah' before they instill more thoughtless pain on anyone"
GSFSO member Joanna Polisena, sister of Army Staff Sergeant Edward Carman, Killed in Action in Iraq on April 17, 2004 added “When our loved one's 'health meter' dropped to '0', they didn't get to 'retry' the mission. When they took a bullet, they didn't just get to pick up a health pack and keep 'playing'...they suffered, they cried, they died. We - their parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends - absolutely find it disgusting and repulsive that those so far detached (and clinging to denial of reality) find it so easy to poke fun at such a thing.”
Joan Maymi, whose nephew, Captain Ernesto Manuel Blanco-Caldas, was Killed in Action in Iraq on December 28, 2003 said, “Unless you have suffered the death of loved one like we have, or are caring for the ones who have returned wounded, either physically or psychologically, our country has removed the immediacy of this war from their daily lives. To trivialize it in a video game and continue to desensitize our society from the scope of violence war entails goes beyond words."
Members of Gold Star Families Speak Out are available for interview.
Gold Star Families Speak Out, a national chapter of Military Families Speak Out, includes families whose loved ones have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military Families Speak Out is an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones who are currently in the military or who have served in the military since the buildup to the Iraq war in the fall of 2002. Formed by two families in November of 2002, MFSO now has over 4,000 member families.