Complex: What kind of jobs have you worked for Blackwater?
Frank Rincon: Program manager, Iraq and Afghanistan, interface between gov’t and guys. Detail leader for ambassador in Iraq. In Iraq ’03.
How much input did Blackwater have with the game?
Call from time to time. Erik Prince oversees what went into the game, not really a paramilitary organization, escort personnel and assets, confrontation from point a to point b. Safe, secure without incident.
Was the game already in development when it took on the Blackwater title, or was this designed around the blackwater brand? Are you a gamer yourself?
Getting into it, though it would take away from training, maybe one day get a training simulator. For somebody who doesn’t already have skills, it’s a good entry-level game. You do get fatigued. You can sit there on the couch all day, but at least with this game you do get fatigued.
How realistic is the gameplay?
When we talk about “Blackwater Tactics,” are we talking about convoy security, room clearing, react to contact, that kind of thing? It’s in development, get better as we go, there will be times you’re looking into a door and you don’t know what’s there analyze what you’re looking at before you go in. Do as little damage as possible. Eliminate leadership, get more points. Save personnel, save assets.
The setting is a fictional North African country; as Blackwater is a real-life PMC, do you think there’s any element of ethical conflict in portraying what is potentially a realistic scenario? I’m thinking of the recent blowback against essentially non-fiction games like "Six Days In Fallujah."
Blackwater is made up of former US military, still getting orders from same people. Still fall under rules of country you’re operating in. Most of my guys have been military, come from a spec-ops background. What you see in the game is the guys who were military longest, have the most experience. For kids getting into it, they may not understand the concept of what the individual operator is, the concept hasn’t been around that long. Mission is basically search and rescue. Just escort duty wouldn’t
Lack of blood, other games are more realistic. User-friendly.
Step towards changing perception?
I hope so, not about killing a bunch of different guys, it’s about asset protection, personnel protection. Different levels of blackwater.
You can actually do dynamic movements and edge around corners. Good for adolescents and kids without military background.
Good introduction for kids out of high school, get them off the couch. Hopefully game will develop down the road.