Plans to launch a video game where players take the role of a mercenary for controversial U.S. security firm Blackwater have provoked outrage. The company, accused of some of the worst human rights violations of the Iraq war, has teamed up with games company 505 studios to publish the game.
Speaking to The Independent, Democratic congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a prominent critic of Blackwater, described the game's premise as 'appalling'.
She said: 'Blackwater is a company of mercenaries who have operated in a way that compromises the safety, reputation and lives of Americans and Iraqis, and whose employees have been guilty of killings. The notion of playing a game in which they are the hero is wrong on almost every level.'
Dr Benjamin Isakhan, an Iraq specialist from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, told Australia's ABC news the game was in 'bad taste'.
'Blackwater has been a highly controversial entity,' he said. 'It's been involved in all kinds of things that really shouldn't be encouraged and shouldn't be the kind of content of video games.
'It's insensitive to the families of the Iraqis who've lost their lives, not just those involved in Blackwater incidents but those who have lost their lives throughout the entire effort since 2003.'