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Video Game Based on Real-Life Mercenaries

Learn guitar chords for FREE through our new game Chord Master: Blackwater, a new video game named after the shadowy US security company accused of some of the worst rights violations of the Iraq war, is being released by Xbox360. A software developer called 505 Games will shortly launch the "first-person shoot-em-up" in which players adopt the persona of mercenaries protecting UN officials in what reviewers have called "a hostile north-African territory". It was produced under licence from Erik Prince, the Blackwater founder and former Navy Seal who stepped down from day-to-day management of the firm two years ago, having gained more than $1 bn in contracts from the Bush administration. Set for release later this year, the game has already been condemned by critics of the company, now renamed Xe Services after a string of controversies and alleged human rights abuses. Mr Prince, a former Navy SEAL, founded Blackwater in 1997. The company protected U.S. diplomats in Iraq until it was banned by the Iraqi government for using excessive force. In 2007 four of its employees were charged with manslaughter after 17 Iraqi civilians were massacred in Baghdad. 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. So what do you think? Is a game based on Blackwater harmless entertainment, or making light of serious war crimes? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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