Thursday, April 09, 2009

War Games

I had two loves in high school: military history and videogames. Both subjects kept girls and a social life at bay, but I was satisfied with sitting at home on a Friday night playing Medal of Honor or watching Black Hawk Down for the 100th time. So imagine my excitement over the announcement of a videogame based on actual events in the Battle of Fallujah. Six Days of Fallujah, a third person tactical shooter (more Full Spectrum Warrior than Call of Duty) is set to release next year, with the narrative lifted from the experiences, pictures and diaries from the Marines in the battle.

Battle of Fallujah will be the first major game released while the war in Iraq still rages. But it got me thinking - what other games could have been released so far?

Legend of VBIED: The Opel of Time

Sorry Link, but your VBIED is in another AO!

Gamers are transported to an ancient land forgotten by modern technology with one of few exceptions: the legendary Opel sedan. They crisscross Iraq in the thousands, their cheap and reliable models a favorite in the hands of insurgents. Players will set out in a 3-D world with one mission: to find an Opel, loaded with hundreds of pounds of explosives, with only the color of the car as their guide. The player earns points by pulling over suspicious Opels and searching the car, only to find jerry-rigged water bottle radiators and twenty year old cassette tapes. The game ends when the player finds an Opel that is actually driven by insurgents, making the replay value nearly endless.

Euphrates City Ransom

Is he carrying a stick or a hot dog?

In this game, you play as Ahmed, an up and coming Son of Iraq that witnesses his donkey being kidnapped by al-Qaeda terrorists. Fuming with anger, Ahmed embarks on a cross-country war of retribution against the merciless organization. The game is a classic style side scrolling beat 'em up featuring weapons ranging from pool cues to rocket propelled grenades. Gamers will be required to finish complex puzzles like IED construction and severing the heads of nonbelievers. The final level of the game is set in a three dimensional puzzle where the player must navigate the 99 Levels of Iraqi Government to claim the Goblet of Legitimate Security, but beware of Prime Minister Maliki and his dual Gatling guns!

Duke Chuck 'Em 3D

Have you ever wanted to recreate the act of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, but don't want to rot in a Baghdad prison for a year? In this thrilling first person shooter, you play as Zeidi, a calm and cool undercover agent sent on a top secret mission to chuck a shoe at President Bush. Through twenty-four levels spanning from Camp Victory to the Green Zone, the player will encounter enemies, like pogue chow hall guards and feral dogs covered in shit, and throw wingtips at them. The final boss is George W. Bush, an agile an elusive enemy. Show that brush clearing imperialist who's boss!

Super Hussein Bros.

You'll be fighting over the controller with your 72 virgins when you play this fun platformer! You play as Captain X, a special forces operator hunting for two of the most wanted men in Iraq, Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. Levels include underwater lairs, torture dungeons and unpredictable spider holes. Track down the elusive brothers alone or with a team. You'll be packing heat with fireflowers, super mushrooms and daisy cutting MOABs.


This isn't a rip off of Tetris, it's Rush to fit all the pieces of the Iraq war together before the SOFA time limit expires! The most important rule: do not let the Paul Bremer piece touch the Iraq piece. The results are catastrophic to the game and could extend the level for seven plus years.

(This post is dedicated to SSG Jesse Williams, my former team leader and fellow gamer. He always made fun of me for my penchant for videogames but always found time to play. He died from wounds suffered in Baqubah two years ago yesterday.)


Joe said...

Boy, red opel is very descriptive. I don't think we ever got a color. "Be on the look out for a suspicious four door sedan in our AO."

MezzoCO said...

I'm a recovering Tetris addict...bring on the Petraeus!

Unknown said...

Hilarious!!! Two thumbs up, or down on the controller pad, as the case may be.


Crimson Beard said...

Looking forward to some Opal searching.... No, no I'm not, not even on a video game.....

membrain said...

A very clever post and a great way to remind us of the loss of SSG Jesse Williams.

Having read 'House to House' by SSG David Bellavia about the Army's role in the Battle of Fallujah, I find the very idea of a video game based on those events revolting and an insult to those who were there.

Happy Easter to all.

Starbuck said...


Although you missed a golden opportunity to use "Leeroy Jenkins" in the context of rushing in to war with Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Ditto Joe's comment.

We once got a call from BN: "be on the lookout for a white truck with a red stripe."

Our response: "Uh, we just saw about 15 of those in the past 30 seconds."

BN's priceless reply: "Be vigilant."

What the hell does that mean?

bigD said...

Hi Alex,
Workin' the sense of humor! Is that an opel sedan on your side bar? The games you made up were pretty damn funny.

Just spent some time reading about your friend and battle buddy, SSG Jesse Williams. He seemed like a wonderful man, son, husband, father and friend. Such a great loss for his family and his friends, and for those of us who never will never get the chance to know him. God bless you Alex.

Anonymous said...

Military history buff?
Shouldn't you be a lifer?
What happened?
You sound like you can't make up your mind between facism and civil disobedience.
Do you have a stance other than winning a blog contest?

Alex Horton said...


I don't see any correlation between my interest in military history and the need to do twenty years. I accomplished all I wanted during my enlistment, and it was time to move on. What I like to read has nothing to do with extending my career beyond that. In fact, I knew plenty of lifers who didn't care about history at all. Soldiers who do have that interest are usually career officers that study the past to understand the present. Obviously, I'm far from an officer's proclivity.

As for my stances, they are pretty easy to find on this blog, but they might be difficult to spot for someone that would equate military service with fascism. With blinders that big on, you probably miss a lot.

Tintin said...

"Legend of VBIED: The Opel of time." That's just about the funniest thing I've read all year.

The Minstrel Boy said...

brilliant stuff dude. unfortunately those games are far too realistic for the market.

keep up the good work yo.

Antiquated Tory said...

Very funny post, and very sad about your friend.
And I'd like to add that very few military men I have met have been facists. Many were buttists or titists, but most had a sophisticated worldview combining elements of all three.

Alex Horton said...


Even though I'm a fundamental Buttist, I still can accept and love my brothers of other world views.

Anonymous said...

I think you're tippy toe-ing around any stances other than being against stop loss. Your blog reads like journalism. Nothing wrong with that. But it is more interesting to read someone with an outspoken opinion. Maybe it's the fact that you publish under your own name that makes you afraid of some kind of negative consequence. You should try anonimity. ;) Some of history's greatest minds have avoided being burned at the stake that way. But don't get me wrong, I like you, or I wouldn't keep coming back. All my best,

Alex Horton said...


I don't know how long you've been a reader, but I've stood for (or against) some things beyond stop loss and IRR recalls. I think we should have been out of Iraq yesterday, I think Afghanistan deserved the focus Iraq had the whole time, and I'm very much against broad integration of former American-killers into the ISF, especially when they threaten to go back to their old ways. I'm anti-torture and pro-intelligence gathering. You can find many examples of these stances throughout my blog, and I assure you none of my positions are ambiguous. I strive to say what I think, when I think it, and a lot of it was done when I had my battalion command looking over my shoulder. A flimsy position couldn't have stood under that scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Well said.
I stand corrected.

ExplodeGame said...

Very funny post! =)