Insurgency is a 3D shooter game set in contemporary Iraq. You play either a US Marine or an Iraqi insurgent and fight it out.
Now, the interesting thing about this is that the whole project was started by a soldier who’d come back from Iraq and thought that there was nothing out there that accurately reflected what he’d just been through. So he got some people together and made this game.
You could see Insurgency as a documentary about soldiers in Iraq. Everything is designed to be as close to reality as possible.
Pablo Dopico, the press guy for Insurgency, told me:
‘This is an adult game – it requires a lot of skill, and knowledge of military tactics – it attempts to depict modern military combat accurately. We have many players from the military. They contribute from their experiences, and they consult with us informally on accuracy. People come straight back from Iraq, play the game, and they like the feeling of realism they get. Some of the team members are actually doing military training at the moment. […] America’s Army is the game most played by military people, and we are the second most played – the military users provide an invaluable feedback, like mailing us and saying “the AK47 sounds good, but it should actually reload like this . . .”‘
Hmm . . . is this self-published journalism? If a soldier who has lived through the real thing plays the game and tells you “Yes, that is actually what it’s like out there” then could this game be considered an accurate representation of reality?
I’d say so. But does that make it Journalism?