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News Games criticised for portrayal of war crimes

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 24 Nov 2009.

  1. Molajoku

    Molajoku What's a Dremel?

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    Surely if these games are in trouble for depicting war crimes against humanity then most books on....well practically any war you can think of really, should be in trouble for exactly the same thing?
     
  2. StevieC

    StevieC Rising Fusion

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    For what it's worth,

    A while ago I had a similar discussion with my mother, about the Grand Theft Auto series, and whether it was any more or less excusable for depicting criminal activity than movies of similar explicitness like Scarface, Goodfellas, or The Godfather series. Now I don't play, let alone enjoy those games, but I understand why some might enjoy them. My mother argues that unlike movies or books, the games put the player in the position of directly participating or even initiating the actions in question with regard to what happens on screen, and my mom argues that by actively involving action on the part of the player, that makes such things more objectionable in video games than it would be in movies or books. While I did admit she had a point, I also argued that the existence of such games provided a place that those violent instincts could be vented without doing real-world damage to the lives and livelihoods of one's fellow human beings. Now I have a weak stomach and even seeing a small amount of blood-and-guts violence makes me queasy, but I still enjoy some games that are rather violent, like combat flight-simulators, and rail-shooters like Ikaruga and Radiant SilverGun, and even a few games that involve swordfighting. In any case, I think there are cogent arguments on both sides. I have nothing against the portrayal of war crimes by a game unless said game is written as trying to glorify war crimes.
     
  3. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    In some ways they have a point. In some games conquences can be good. For example fallout 3 with the karma based system. You have a choice in how you act. I actually take the moral high ground, but thats because im powerful and if someone doesnt like it tough luck on them. I just wish some missions might have more repurcussions. Blowing up megaton, you gotta shoot them in the head and tenpenny tower missions all linked together with your actions effecting the outcome of each other. Even the paradise falls missions of catching slaves is linked into 2 of these missions.

    Although not perfect.......its getting there and games like mass effect, dragon age, and to a lesser extent oblivion all had some some sort of karma or different mission paths based on actions.
     
  4. SMIFFYDUDE

    SMIFFYDUDE Supermodders on my D

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    All games should include the Lady of Pain from Planescape Torment. If you do any casual war criming you get a visit from her, and that'll learn yer.
     
  5. dave_c

    dave_c Minimodder

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    + rep
     
  6. moshpit

    moshpit What's a Dremel?

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    Actually, while I expected to be pissed and offended about this, I think I actually like it! Commiting war crimes in game gets you in trouble in game! Freaking GREAT idea! It adds a bit of realism and grit that is one of the hardest parts of modern warfare for our soldiers today, Rules of Engagement. RoE's make real life warfare incredibly complicated for the grunt to interpret, and that's part of real combat. Any game attempting to simulate warfare should consider this angle as part of the gameplay.

    So, while I was going to throw a fit about this, I think instead I'll give the Swiss the thumbs up for making a whiny fuss that could actually benefit gaming as a whole. More realism is what many combat sim fanatics are exactly looking for. RoE's add a level of stress to a mission that run and gun will never be able to match.
     
  7. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger What's a Dremel?

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    Maybe the Swiss should investigate the Church molesting young people. This is a REAL crime perpetrated by REAL people.
    In addition, they could give back all the funds to the Holocaust survivors, which is now hundreds of billions of Euros.
    Just making sure we put things in perspective and prioritize things. That said, any reason to attack MW2 is a good one, since it is a pile of steaming crap without enduring multiplayer and a 15 minute campaign.
    Real FPS players are playing Shattered Horizon!

    Yours in Priority and Perspective Plasma,
    Star¤Dagger

    P.S. Here is a shoutout to the guy in SH who knew me from here in the forums.
     
  8. DazzMan71

    DazzMan71 What's a Dremel?

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    I don't need a Human rights groups in Switzerland to tell me about the horrors of War, and how it destroys lives, I read about the consequences of it everyday whilst the British Army and its allies fight in Afghanistan.

    I've been playing computer games for more than 20 years, and in all that time, I've never invaded another country, committed genocide, or participated in a War crime :) Maybe these sanctimonious and morally superior people should climb down from their ivory towers and fly to China and try to convince them to change their Human right laws, but I guess that would mean they would have to put their own Human rights at risk, better to stay in Switzerland where it's safe, and keep laundering money, and let someone else do all the risky stuff and stay "neutral" like they did in the Second World War.
     
  9. steleet

    steleet Did he death?

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    Killing in a video game is fun. Dieing in a video game is frustrating.
    Killing in reality pretty much sucks. Dieing in reality your pretty much ****ed
     
  10. sub routine

    sub routine Archie Gemel

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    blah blah, its ok in books and films ??
     
  11. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    Is it me or doesn't the guy die at the end of the mission? :eyebrow:

    I'd say that's at least some punisment.

    And there are war crimes in FC2?
     
  12. null_x86

    null_x86 Thread Closer

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    anyone who gets influenced by a game, tv show or film and makes a violent act, is at fault for their actions. No one made them do it, they chose to do so.
     
  13. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Fixed that for you. :thumb:
     
  14. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound What's a Dremel?

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    And the award for gross over-simplification goes to...

    @Ending Credits: Yes, there are numerous war crimes in FC2. Here are some examples:

    Mercenaries (illegal)
    Illegal arms trading
    Political assassination
    Lack of recognisable uniforms
    Displacement of non-combatants
     
  15. TeeJayUK

    TeeJayUK when

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    In the report the two CoD games they reviewed are referred to as:

    "Call of Duty 4 (Modern Warfare)"
    "Call of Duty 5 (World at War)"

    CoD4:MW2 was not reviewed.
     
  16. TeeJayUK

    TeeJayUK when

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    Have you actually read the report itself?

    After gamers like you and I don't like it when people criticise games they have never even played.

    Here's the link: http://www.trial-ch.org/games/report.html (click on the picture of the front cover for the .pdf)

    I have skimmed through it and it is well written and intelligent. I disagree with some of their arguments but they do have some decent points and interesting analysis on a game by game basis.

    Just as I am interested in a game journalist or fan writing an essay about "sex in games", "women in games" or "racism in games", or just like I am interested in hearing from a professional soldier about how realistic a war game's tactics or weapons are ...

    ...in the same way I am interested, as a gamer in hearing what IHRL lawyers have to say about how it is treated in various games. This has never been done methodically before although (of course there have been endless amateur posts on gaming forums about brutality, war crimes right and wrong in games etc.) It is interesting to see what professional specialists say.

    The report doesn't call for anything to be banned. The comment about videogames being different is not a central part of their argument - they could easily have done similar reports for movies, TV or even news reporting. They don't claim that playing games makes people violent. They are not calling for games to not be violent or criminal.

    The main point they raise which I think is useful is that games which *seem* realistic in other respects are actually misleading in how they depict IHRL or the concept is actually abscent.

    While in GTA games you play as a criminal it is made clear that you are committing crimes (eg the police chase you). However in some war games it is not made clear that some of your actions are war games.

    When do people actually learn about what is and isn't a war crime? Is it in GCSE history between the age of 11 and 16, and from BBC documentaries? I'd argue that many (if not most) people are exposed to far more hours of 'conflict scenarios' via videogames - and also via movies etc. Movies tend to be passive and don't require decision making, nor are they typically structured as mission>action>reward/punishment etc. It's true however that a lot of action movies do actually embody various values and 'norms', painting a picture of how combat is fought, and what is right/wrong, legal/illegal, justified/unjustified. They don't always get it right - sometimes they paint a very unrealistic picture.

    I want there to be at least some games that are crazy, stupid, evil, nasty, unlimited - but if a game is pretending to be realistic, and if it does decide to depict war crimes, then I think it is fair to suggest that (like in GTA) people are made aware that it is a war crime. Developers are still free to make their games how they want, and we are all free to critique games and suggest how they would be better. That's what this report does.
     
  17. TeeJayUK

    TeeJayUK when

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    None of these things is specifically mentioned in the report (see pages 28 & 29 http://trial-ch.org/fileadmin/user_...nts_et_manifestations/Playing_by_the_Rule.pdf )

    Also, discussion of mercenaries: page 17
     
  18. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound What's a Dremel?

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    I had a good read through a few of the chapters. Their analysis is mostly okay (barring a few instances where they clearly got mixed up about what was happening in a game), but they do draw a few extreme conclusions.

    For example, citing the execution of civilians in COD4 and RS: Vegas 2, they recommend that such scenes should not be depicted in video games. They are effectively recommending censorship here, presumably on the grounds that players are not mature enough to understand that what they are seeing is wrong.
     
  19. Orothe

    Orothe What's a Dremel?

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    “[We] call upon game producers to consequently and creatively incorporate rules of international humanitarian law and human rights into their games,”

    Isn't that pretty much saying "Make games more realistically, and take out the fun! But, add the realistic rules in a creative way." >.> Woooooow.. Demanding. >.>

    Yeah, I agree, double standards. I laugh at these kind of reports. Just shows how shallow minded they are. XD
     
  20. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    that made my day
     
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