- Oct 27, 2017
I saw this on my Twitter feed and I think they're pretty good insights on the insistence of the game industry on making 'realistic' war games. You can read the entire thread by clicking on the tweet.
So, I want to talk about the #ModernWarfare panel at E3 and some of what was said. Because it's a perfect example of every problem I have with videogames that attempt to depict "realism" in combat.
I will be vivid.
I will be graphic.
Because I need to be.
The following quote is in regards to accidentally shooting a baby being held by a woman civilian: "“If you comport yourself in a way not befitting a soldier, the game will fail you”. What does that even mean? Can you actually shoot a fucking baby? Will the game end?
”The game will try to figure out if you shot that baby on purpose or accidentally." And then what? Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher committed murder and war crimes IRL. Will your character be apprehended and put on trial? I fucking doubt it. Why is this even an option?
10 years ago, I was one of the leading advocates against a similar bad idea, from another studio purporting to make a "realistic" depiction of war. Then too a developer wanted to appeal to prurient depictions of war's horrors while making a "compelling entertainment experience."
That game was the ill-fated "Six Days in Fallujah" from Konami, which has been "definitely not canceled" since 2009. Peter Tamte is still trying to fall on his sword to defend that abomination. Looking back at my criticisms of Six Days, it's overwhelming clear we learned nothing
The story that game developers like Konami and Infinity Ward want to tell is their romanticized, idealized version of war. They want to sell you a lie: that war is a game, a story that can be packaged, monetized, and sold for the consumption of an audience enjoying safely at home