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Should games consider the rules of war?

As games become more aesthetically realistic and motion capture and improved animation techniques give us the ability to do more things in-game, should obeying the rules of war be something that game developers take into consideration when building these titles we so enjoy? The Red Cross seems to think so, with one spokesperson suggesting that many of the ‘good guys’ in games, would be considered war criminals.

Of course, that all plays into the narrative sometimes, with players taking on the role of a hero that operates outside of the system. That appeals to the roguish, counter-culture feel gaming used to – and sometimes still does – have, but what about those looking to act out more mainstream characters: should they be subject to the rules of war?

itv
Maybe they have a point. ITV did mistake this ARMA 2 footage for an IRA training film.

Speaking for the Red Cross on this matter, was Francois Senechaud, who said in an interview with the BBC (thanks Eurogamer), that even something as simple – or as commonly used in some games – as stealing dog tags from a fallen enemy, would leave a character open to prosecution from the international community.

Developers have conflicting view points on this idea though. Bohemia Interactive, the company behind military simulator ARMA (and II and III), decided to punish players that just spray and pray, by making allied soldiers attack them if they start shooting anything that moves. Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward on the other hand, has been suggesting that while CoD is true to life in many ways, the game series is more movie like than simulation and could be a little more lapse with its tackling of war crimes.

KitGuru Says: Anyone else think someone needs to give the BBC news reporter a coffee? Poor old Imogen sounds like she’s about to fall asleep. 

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