The Hurt Locker’s Xbox 360 Goof


The 2008/2009 war film The Hurt Locker, which won Best Picture, Best Director and four other Oscars during last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, has come under fire from some Iraq War veterans for its roguish portrayal of EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) techs and over-sensationalized depiction of the war altogether. Other veterans and movie critics don’t necessarily agree, though, with many conversely saying it is by far the best movie about the Iraq War and does in fact depict an authentic sense of tension and atmosphere.

As a regular-Joe moviegoer, I thought it was an absolutely riveting war film and deserving of every single award it has received. Yes, it is obviously exaggerated in spots, but it clearly wasn’t meant to be a documentary so I didn’t expect strict realism.

But hey, I’m not a veteran or a movie critic so I’ll leave the debate over the film’s authenticity to the experts. However, there is one absurdly inaccurate part of the film that deserves lighthearted scrutiny from the gaming community, as Xbox Live’s Major Nelson tweeted last night.


Early on in the movie, there is a scene in which Specialist Owen Eldridge, played by actor Brian Geraghty, is playing Gears of War. But here’s the thing: The Hurt Locker takes place in 2004, a year before the Xbox 360’s launch and two years prior to Gears of Wars‘ retail release.

So Eldridge either found an Iraqi market vendor with amazing pirating skills or was gifted with some sort of crazy time-warping power. Of course, a more reasonable explanation is that the film crew didn’t bother researching such an inconsequential fact and that this is just another gaffe in a long line of laughable videogame product placement in movies.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!