One of the great things about living in Massachusetts is Patriot's Day, a statewide holiday on the third Monday of April. That's the day they run the Boston Marathon, and most people have the day off to grill meat and watch the race. It's like a dress rehearsal for Memorial Day.
-Six Days in Fallujah is the kind of thing that's usually right in my wheelhouse, but I'm having a difficult time getting my head around it. Nick Breckon's take, posted at Shacknews, does a good job of laying out the concerns. On a gut level, this game strikes me as a bad idea. It seems tasteless at best, and offensive at worst -- maybe not to the Marines, but to the people of Iraq. This game essentially says to them that we see the destruction of their country as entertainment.
Still, I can't answer one simple question: why is it okay to play games that glorify World War II, but not the Iraq War? The sanitized WWII that we see in movies and games is a fiction -- I know that, and it doesn't bother me. If one war is okay and the other is unacceptable only because one happened 70 years ago, that's not, to my mind, a convincing reason. Either it's okay to portray real-life wars in video games, or it isn't. Obviously a game's treatment of its subject will go a long way toward determing that, but Six Days seems, by all accounts, like just another military shooter.
The more I think about this, the more I think that it would be easier to talk myself into rejecting other games based on real-life wars than accepting Six Days in Fallujah.
-Insult Swordfighting went international recently, when it was namechecked on the Australian TV show Good Game. In a segment titled "Digital Essay: Casual vs. Hardcore," host Junglist pondered the divide between certain types of players, and referenced the New Taxonomy of Gamers. You can read the text of the segment, or watch the video (scroll to the "Digital Essay" link in the righthand box). Very cool stuff.
-Matthew Wasteland wrote a very funny bit of satire for Game Developer magazine, which was reprinted on GameSetWatch. It's a collection of Onion-style news briefs (or maybe I should say Hardcasual.net-style news briefs), which begins with the hilarious piece titled "Game Journalist Totally Hung Out with Yuji Naka." You need to read this.
-BJ Stewart wrote to share his website Flakwolf, which is a local game-swapping service. Sounds like a very neat idea, and anything that can replace trading in games at Gamestop is all right by me (he said, with a backpack full of games to trade in for The Chronicles of Riddick). If anyone has tried this service, I'd love to know what your experience was like.
-Finally, don't miss part 2 of Doug Perry's article, "Nintendo's Fall."