If it hurts the Marines relatives, what about the Iraqi families who suffered at the that hand of Marines?The Battle Over the Battle of Fallujah
A videogame so real it hurts.
By Dan Ephron | NEWSWEEK
Published Jun 6, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Jun 15, 2009
Peter Tamte was months away from completing his dream project—turning the largest urban battle of the Iraq War into a videogame—when it all seemed to fall apart. The 75 employees of one of his companies, Atomic Games, had worked on the endeavor for nearly four years. They'd toiled to make Six Days in Fallujah as realistic as possible, weaving in real war footage and interviews with Marines who had fought there. But now relatives of dead Marines were angry, and the game's distributor and partial underwriter had pulled out of Tamte's project. On May 26, he got on the phone to Tracy Miller, whose son was killed by a sniper in Fallujah, and tried to win her over by arguing that the game honors the Marines. Miller listened politely, but remained skeptical. "By making it something people play for fun, they are trivializing the battle," she told NEWSWEEK.
Tamte is not above triviality. A second company he runs, Destineer, makes games with titles like Indy 500 and Fantasy Aquarium. But the 41-year-old executive says he's now attempting something more serious: a documentary-style reconstruction that will be so true to the original battle, gamers will almost feel what it was like to fight in Fallujah in November 2004. At his studio in Raleigh, N.C., Tamte has been helped by dozens of Fallujah vets who have advised him on the smallest details, from the look of the town to the operation of the weapons. And he's staked the fate of his company on the success of the $20 million project. "If for some reason it doesn't work, we'll have to think about making some very significant changes to the studio," he says.
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