The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for Six Days in Fallujah to be deplatformed, and for Valve, Sony, and Microsoft to not sell it on their platforms.
As previously reported, Six Days in Fallujah was originally announced in 2009 by Atomic Games and Konami. While set to release in 2010, the game was cancelled by Konami shortly after its announcement due to backlash over its subject matter.
The original and new incarnation follows a fireteam during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004; and in collaboration with over 100 Marines, Soldiers, and Iraqi civilians who contributed their stories and eyewitness accounts from the battle.
The game seeks to be a documentary as much as a video game, and promises to provide gamers with a realistic and authentic portrayal of the events of the Second Battle of Fallujah from people who experienced it firsthand.
The battle itself took place in 2004; where Iraqi insurgents including Al Qaeda controlled city of Fallujah. While documentaries claimed the US had used white phosphorous as a chemical weapon against civilians (rather than illumination or a smokescreen), the US military has denied this, using it against combatants [1, 2].
A petition was recently released demanding the game be cancelled or banned; as it “promotes the mass murder of Iraqis by American invaders” and “will also inevitably breed a new generation of mass shooters in America and brainwash gamers into thinking RACISM IS OK.”
In March 2019, Oxford University released a “definitive” study, declaring “no link” between violent video games, and violent tendencies in teenagers. The report aligns with the findings of several other studies already conducted before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
In spite of this, several game developers from the Middle-Eastern and of Middle-Eastern decent have objected to the game’s development; along with some video game critics such as Anita Sarkeesian.
Now, the Muslim advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have stated they call on Valve, Sony, and Microsoft to not sell the game on Steam, PlayStation, or Xbox consoles. They also include the image with the hashtag #DeplatformSixDays in their statement, and on Twitter.
CAIR claim 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.”
Along with the US military’s alleged use of white phosphorous as a weapon, CAIR also mentions the claims and a study suggesting that numerous children born in Fallujah since have had birth defects. CAIR also cites reports from IGN and and TRTWorld; focused on criticism and concern from the aforementioned Middle-Eastern and Middle-Eastern descended developers.
“The gaming industry must stop dehumanizing Muslims,” said CAIR Research and Advocacy Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz. “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 launches late 2021 for Windows PC (via Steam), and unannounced consoles.