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Iraq Game Sparks Outrage, Soldiers Have Mixed Reactions

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the konami-could-be-in-for-some-hurtin dept.

The Military 196

We recently discussed news that Konami will be releasing a video game based on a 2004 battle in Fallujah. Many people have now had a chance to react to the game, and there has been a great deal of criticism voiced over the game's choice of setting. A group of families of soldiers who lost their lives in the war questioned "how anyone can trivialize a war that continues to kill and maim members of the military and Iraqi civilians to this day." Others criticized the game's glorification of the "massacre." Conversely, some soldiers and veterans have responded with optimism, hoping the game can raise awareness of the realities of war. Dan Rosenthal, Iraq veteran and long-time gamer, worries whether Konami will be able to do justice to the experience. Eurogamer posted a related story about the controversy over increasingly realistic war games.

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and fucking badguys !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547569)

military and Iraqi civilians ... and fucking bad guys !!! Yay !!!

Re:and fucking badguys !! (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549501)

Uh, who are the bad guys?

Who do you root for when watching Red Dawn?

Go Wolverines!

This is clearly different... (3, Insightful)

Smoke2Joints (915787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547573)

..to all those other FPS war games where simulated humans get shot and killed. Clearly. Seriously tho, this is a case of someone feeling like the game is somehow directly targetting them and having a moan about it. Should we be mindful of veterens families? Sure. But just because a game is set in a warzone that someone you know happened to be near or involved in, doesnt mean said game is intended to slap their faces.

Re:This is clearly different... (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547849)

Fuck the veterans families!

I am a veteran. I am very anti-war. If realism and expression of battle simulations upset people, maybe they should re-think their position on ACTUAL war. This isn't about "support your troops" it is about whether or not it is a good idea to put on a uniform and kill strangers in a foreign land.

I don't think it is and the more people that finally get that into their heads, the better.

All these kids are seeing recruiting ads and such about "being strong" and all this crap? They never know what they are getting into. If it takes a game to get the message through to people that wars kill and permanently damage people, their lives and their families lives, then let that game out for people to get that message. If my sons ever join the military service, I can't say how I would feel about it, but I can promise you I won't be proud or happy.

People with money hire people with leadership skills who hire people who can carry and use weapons. The people with money tell their leaders what they want done, the leaders tell their fighters to go threaten, kill and destroy and they do it. It is really as simple as all that. And when people see it all for what it is, they will be a lot less "patriotic."

People fighting and dying for independence? Great. All for it. People invading other countries and killing strangers "because they told me to?" I'll have none of it.

Re:This is clearly different... (5, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548409)

Yeah, but the same ones that will play this game were the same ones that played the Vietnam War && WWII games. If those don't convince them that war is a bad idea, this one won't either. Worse, it will desensitize them to the real loss that occurred.

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548531)

If those don't convince them that war is a bad idea

Past war game are all about glorification, they show you all the fun parts of war and none of the bad ones.

Re:This is clearly different... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27549463)

Vietnam was a bad idea. WWII? Seriously? If WWII games convince people that war is an inherently bad idea, then maybe they should start including levels where the player liberates death camps.

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548457)

Well...FPS games based on the Revolutionary War or the Civil War are hard to come by...because they would be lame. Unfortunately, every other US military involvement fails your criteria. By your standard, the US involvement in WWII was an unjust, illegal war. Or when Clinton sent troops to Somalia.

Sometimes, you have to take the trash out, even if it IS in someone elses house. But if you can't be bothered to fight for OTHER people's future...well by all means, have none of it.

Re:This is clearly different... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548629)

The fact that anyone could possibly consider the Iraq war as fighting for somebody's future - in a positive sense - is staggering. Unless of course you mean Haliburton, which is a person too right?

The fact that your name is "gandhi" adds a whole 'nother level of interest to the mix too!

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548735)

Who said I was talking about Iraq? I said "sometimes" which is somewhere between Iraq and the Revolutionary War. Being content to sit on the sidelines, never intervening even when you can, is worse than intervening a little too often.

By the same logic, your neighbor can beat his wife...but you don't say anything, cause "hey, it's not MY problem".

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549131)

Have you served in the military? Have you ever killed a person? If not, I don't think you're more qualified on this subject than I am. And I'm not qualified. Some countries have required military service. Let's do that, then chicken hawks go away.

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548775)

No, his name is "gandhi 2," completely different [google.com] .

Re:This is clearly different... (0, Troll)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549663)

I think that the ultimate consequences of the war in Iraq may be overwhelmingly positive; the probability seems to be increasing almost every day. The people of Iraq will be well rewarded in freedom and human dignity, at the cost of going through years of danger and tempestuous struggles.

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548669)

'They never know what they are getting into. '

If they don't know what they're getting into, then "FUCK the veteran's families" seems to be assigning the blame in the wrong place, no?

I agree that war and militarism are bad when they are in the service of empire. But defense does serve an important role in principle. Let's not defame our troops because we disagree with the reason they are deployed - as we both, clearly, do.

Well said. (0, Redundant)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548671)

Damn. I can't add anything meaningful to that. You said it all and said it very well.

Re:This is clearly different... (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549575)

I do agree in principle with your post. Particularly where it is might show the young recruits with no experience what they are getting themselves into. It is a problem though where there is a lot of stuff being left out. I've more than a few friends that left the service. They are true soldiers and didn't mind the combat. They do suffer from a lot of the psychological problems that people can think they can just bury and no one notices after being in combat. I haven't served but whatever they saw that's scarred them that badly has to be tremendously fucked up. In that sense I'm just grateful I haven't seen combat.

I would like to see though that if a game makes a sizeable profit, that these game companies could give back some money to Veterans groups. EA has made a killing with the COD series - on the backs of all the brave men and women who served in WWI and WWII. I have to wonder if they've ever given them even a penny - they are not obligated but it would be nice. I Googled for EA donations - all I could find is that they donated SimCity to OLPC - big whoopdie do.

Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (4, Interesting)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547577)

Yeah, those WW2 games are offensive too. That's why there are so many of them that hardly anyone complains about. Let's all stop playing FPSs set in a warzone, and make it all happen in a magic land with evil ponies that shoot lasers from their mouth.

If they think this is offensive, wait until someone makes a game where you get to eat babies.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547609)

If they think this is offensive, wait until someone makes a game where you get to eat babies.

Where you get to eat babies? It sounds as if you're looking forward to it.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547643)

Where you get to eat babies? It sounds as if you're looking forward to it.

To quote a bad movie: "Babies, the other white meat"

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547635)

Yeah, those WW2 games are offensive too.

Anything that enshrines violence is offensive. Wait, was that a subjective statement?

If they think this is offensive, wait until someone makes a game where you get to eat babies.

Sounds like an obvious feature for a Zombie-protagonist game. It also reminds me of my favorite joke. It is my favorite because it makes people go away. I'm not telling you the punchline, though, because it won't have the desired effect here. Surely someone out there knows it, anyway. The question is What do you get when you stick a knife in a dead baby?

Re:What do you get when you stick a knife in a dea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547655)

What do you get when you stick a knife in a dead baby?

An erection?

Re:What do you get when you stick a knife in a dea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27549075)

He may be a troll, but I laughed my dick off at that...

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547669)

It's called "too soon". Although it probably also has to do with getting to historically accurate.

Although the family in question does have a point, "When our loved one's 'health meter' dropped to '0', they didn't get to 'retry' the mission."

Instead of getting to retry you should switch bodies with another member of your unit, that would detrivialise things a bit and give a better sense of what death does. Actually I can't believe no war game ever used that idea before..

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547691)

Instead of getting to retry you should switch bodies with another member of your unit, that would detrivialise things a bit and give a better sense of what death does. Actually I can't believe no war game ever used that idea before..

I seem to recall at least one game (Rainbow Six maybe?) that did this. You started each mission with a squad, and if you died then you got to switch to another body to continue. You failed the mission if all of your squad died. Between missions, you could get members of your squad replaced, although I don't think there were any negative consequences for getting most of your squad killed every mission. Probably doing this should result in the AI for your squadmates dropping, since you're going to find it hard to recruit the best into a unit with such a low survival rate.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (2, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547727)

If all your squad died you'd rather be placed into another squad than have a whole new squad based around you.

That's the sad thing about most video games with NPCs, they're heavily unrealistically biased towards you. It's like in GTA games, any gangster can shoot you right before the eyes of a bunch of cops and not get in trouble, but if you so much as shoot back you'll have every cop in town on your tail.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547783)

The way GTA works makes good sense, because it's all about you. Besides, you can shoot a guy in the head with a shotgun right behind a cop as long as he's a couple carlengths away and you do it in one shot, in GTA:SA.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548001)

I know it makes sense, but I still get annoyed to see NPCs getting a different treatment than my player does, I mean, what's the fun in being magically and permanently different from all others? That's what's good about multiplayer games, everyone's equal and alike.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548119)

Well, I submit that in a multiplayer game that's what you want, but in a single player game it would get out of hand quickly because the AI is not capable of operating everyone lawfully all the time. What an amazing parallel to real life :)

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549661)

I'd say what's good about multiplayer games is that you're playing against human opponents. A bot doesn't get angry when it loses, or gloat when it wins. There's a certain amount of creativity lacking in a bot -- and humans tend to have entirely different and unpredictable flaws and strengths.

I've played multiplayer games in which particular humans had a severe handicap, and it was still fun.

No, the main thing I don't like about special treatment for the player is that it's unrealistic, and it's a cop-out -- plenty of games manage to make it work without that. Of course, that's not always a constant -- if the enemies are in a ten-story-tall tank (like the Scarab in Halo), it absolutely should be hard to kill. Even Max Payne had a decent explanation -- the enemies didn't stop with one shot because they were all ridiculously high. But in a GTA game, it really makes no sense.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (4, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547759)

Put simply (very simply) - WW2 games are tolerated without outrage because it's an OLD war, a long-gone war that doesn't have any resonance with most people these days. It doesn't get portrayed in the media every day because, unlike the Iraq war, it's over and done with. There's very little for people to associate with in WW2 because we're not continually reminded of it in our daily lives, or when we read/watch the news.

Games set in unresolved warzones are a tricky subject simply because the fight hasn't finished. They're still way too raw among people's minds, whereas WW2 is condemned to the history books and a decreasing pool of veterans. Once the war in Iraq is finished, and enough time has passed for reflection and consideration about how it went, a game released about the war probably wouldn't result in as much outrage. "Time heals all wounds" might not hold up so well with people, but it works well enough for video games.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547779)

You sound like a war vet yourself.

Captain Obvious, to be precise.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547827)

You sound like a war vet yourself.

Captain Obvious, to be precise.

Nothing escapes the notice of Major Asshole.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (-1, Flamebait)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547967)

And yet, if it were an obvious conclusion, the statement preceding it wouldn't have obtained (as of this post) a "Score:4, Interesting" moderating would it now?

Q.E.D. via logic bitch.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548147)

Call of Duty 4 is set in the current times. No one complained about that, so you're old war theory is wrong. Try again.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548595)

Call of Duty 4 is not as specific, it is a more generalized view of the current time. Six days in Fallujah is very specific, and for those that lost loved ones there it is a reminder to that fact. Also Call of Duty 4 was and is not without it's own controversy.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548171)

To be fair it shouldn't matter when it happened and maybe if people would create games, movies, etc that bring these things up straight away (rather than 50 years later) then people will think about war a bit more and maybe not be so happy to jump into the next one.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (-1, Troll)

anonymousmeatbag (1412737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547801)

Yeah, those WW2 games are offensive too.

Somehow, killing an German or Iraqi soldiers is not offensive. On the other hand killing an soldier of US or GB army, even in a video game, seems to be... well, another story.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (3, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547885)

On the other hand killing an soldier of US or GB army, even in a video game, seems to be... well, another story.

Is that because gamers are a jingoistic bunch who wouldn't want to shoot their own side? Or is it just that the British and Americans mostly won their wars, and games tend to cast the player as part of the winning side?

I'm actually surprised there aren't more games where you play a guerrilla or terrorist, especially with the current topical interest in the whole subject. There was a rather good strategy game I picked up long ago called 'Central Intelligence' in which your job is to organise a revolution on behalf of the CIA in some banana republic. Set up safe houses, establish contacts with sympathisers in the media and among the student radicals, organise a leaflet campaign, put up propaganda posters, raid the quarry and steal explosives, send a letter bomb to the chief of police... Wonderful idea, but crippled by a terribly clumsy interface.

There's got to be a market for this. 'Freedom Fighter' - play as Lenin, Collins, Mao, de Gaulle, Guevara, Khomeini! Overthrow the corrupt puppet government of the oppressors! Establish liberty and justice for the common people! Intimidate and beat up collaborators! Execute informers! Blow up police stations!

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548047)

On the other hand killing an soldier of US or GB army, even in a video game, seems to be... well, another story.

Is that because gamers are a jingoistic bunch who wouldn't want to shoot their own side? Or is it just that the British and Americans mostly won their wars, and games tend to cast the player as part of the winning side?

Well for this gamer I fight for my side when playing video games. "My side" being whichever team I end up on, typically using "join random" if the game has such a function. When I play a game, it is just that, a game.

I do my best to destroy the other side be it Germans or Americans, counterterrorists or terrorists, Strogg or GDF, Imperials or Rebels, Reliable Excavation & Demolition or Builders League United, Survivors or Infected.

No matter what side I'm on I'm going to kick the other side's butt or die trying.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

anonymousmeatbag (1412737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548279)

Is that because gamers are a jingoistic bunch who wouldn't want to shoot their own side? Or is it just that the British and Americans mostly won their wars, and games tend to cast the player as part of the winning side?

Maybe, but Counter Strike is the type of game that have two sides, and was very popular. Well, that depends on definition of winning, and on the mindset of the game creators. The gaming today is dead experience, mostly because of poorly scripted scenarios that offer rigid events with book-like pass trough.

There was a rather good strategy game I picked up long ago called 'Central Intelligence' in which your job is to organise a revolution on behalf of the CIA in some banana republic. Set up safe houses, establish contacts with sympathisers in the media and among the student radicals, organise a leaflet campaign, put up propaganda posters, raid the quarry and steal explosives, send a letter bomb to the chief of police...

Sounds like standard CIA type of plot ( Iraq, Bulgaria, Serbia? ). It form your brief description sounds like a good game, I hope that it has open ended scenarios, unlike most of other games.

There's got to be a market for this. 'Freedom Fighter' - play as Lenin, Collins, Mao, de Gaulle, Guevara, Khomeini!

There might be, but in real life there is another variable, that tends to become constant, and that is foreign/international corporate business...

Overthrow the corrupt puppet government of the oppressors! Establish liberty and justice for the common people!

... and the replacement government becomes even more corrupted, according to my experience, and part with justice and common people, looks just like a bad joke.

Intimidate and beat up collaborators! Execute informers! Blow up police stations!

It just cant be done without THAT in real life, and why not in the game.

Yes that is most intriguing and absolutely heretical idea and could make an interested game. Anyway, such game should have two sides, the hero side and the antihero side ( look for Dungeon Keeper ) where evil is good.

If they really want to cause offence.. (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547891)

Freedom Fight: Fallujah. Defend your city from the Ferenghi (foreigners). All methods acceptable.

Re:If they really want to cause offence.. (3, Funny)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548265)

I really don't think the Ferengi would get involved in a stand-up fight! They'd just buy the opposition, surely!

Re:If they really want to cause offence.. (2, Insightful)

anonymousmeatbag (1412737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548349)

Well, "all methods acceptable" is the true definition of war.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549671)

Depends on the game. In Day of Defeat, for instance, the Nazis win as often as the Allies.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547901)

If they think this is offensive, wait until someone makes a game where you get to eat babies.

Any yet, somehow, nobody has posted a link to such a thing.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548163)

Ponies and babies? How about this: Close Range [closerangegame.com] .

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (5, Insightful)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548287)

Tell me then, which WWII games lets you play a German soldier assaulting the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw?

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548507)

...someone makes a game where you get to eat babies.

Maybe something with a Battlestar Galactica theme. Since Cylon fetus tissue has such miraculous properties, that could become the main 'power up' as you go around fighting. You could call it 'Toaster Strudel'. "Scored me some strudel, fresh from the oven!"

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548555)

Just because the leaders of the country eat babies doesn't mean it's moral or ok to put in a video game.

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548797)

Eat babies!

That is an awesome idea! YUM!

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27549105)

"If they think this is offensive, wait until someone makes a game where you get to eat babies"

Mike Tyson is making a game?

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549141)

OMG PONIES! Can we play a rainbow pony who needs to stop the dark army of evil ponies? This game sounds fucking awesome!

Re:Yeah all those WW2 games are offensive too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27549583)

If they think this is offensive, wait until someone makes a game where you get to eat babies.

Eat Your Young [cornell.edu]

Wars and Ethics (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547597)

The problem here is that there is always some relation about wars and heroes in common imaginary. People playing battle games feel like powerful beings. Is that acceptable? If in most cultures killing is not ethically accepted, should not everything celebrating wars be truly immoral?

Simply not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547617)

"If in most cultures killing is not ethically accepted, should not everything celebrating wars be truly immoral?"

There exists no such culture. Every culture has stories of heroes winning battles. I have yet to go to a country where soldiers are not immortalized for great deeds. There is no magic land where people say "Oh dear, yes there was that war, but it was unfortunate, and we certainly don't revel in our victory". Do you think society doesn't realize the cost of war? On the contrary, that's why soldiers are an important part of a society's folklore.

Re:Wars and Ethics (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547949)

If in most cultures killing is not ethically accepted, should not everything celebrating wars be truly immoral?

Countries that don't celebrate the sacrifices of their soldiers tend to have problems recruiting soldiers in following generations. They tend to get conquered by countries that can actually fight and win wars.

If they are lucky, they are conquered by nice countries [wikipedia.org] and get their independence back eventually. If not, they are conquered by somebody who keeps them [wikipedia.org] .

Winning a war sucks. It's just that losing a war sucks a lot worse.

The problem is not realistic war games (4, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547615)

If a war game is realistic, they will push people to avoid war if possible. However pain, disability, and choices that are bad either way (someone's firing from within a crowd, do we return fire ?) and their consequences (getting sued for saving 99% of the protestors (this means a few innocents dead by your bullets, for the idiots) for the terrorists' guns), they might actually get a realistic view of a bad situation.

But what are the chances of that ?

A bigger problem is unrealistic war games. If people start believing, even a tiny little bit, that you do actually respawn, that will be a sad day for world peace. Of course the same goes for people believing "god" rewards killing women or "unbelievers" after death. And the same goes for systems that encourage doing nothing at all very strongly, not showing the consequences of refusing to go to war when confronted with certain situations.

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547793)

"If a war game is realistic, they will push people to avoid war if possible."

For a lot of young people it wil ascociate feelings of fun and laughter with graphic imagery of death and decay
(not a good way to raise a child)

I am not against (war)games and played them a lot but ever since I got back from war myself I never played them much, it gives me mixed feelings

I do believe in the future these 'games' will play a part in 'education' or 'historic' preservation.....but for now I think it is mostly propaganda

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548201)

For a lot of young people it wil ascociate feelings of fun and laughter with graphic imagery of death and decay

Depends, the trouble with most games is that they don't give you any breathing room, they drive you from mission to mission without ever giving you time to think or even understand what you have done. They are also extremely low on background story and consequences, while being insanely high on the kill count. Those things however are not things that all games must do, most can be easily avoided. We have to see how it ends up in the end, but according to first reports this game is placed in the survival horror genre, which is a good first step.

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547917)

And the same goes for systems that encourage doing nothing at all very strongly, not showing the consequences of refusing to go to war when confronted with certain situations.

Are you implying that bombing and invading Iraq was justified?

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548017)

And the same goes for systems that encourage doing nothing at all very strongly, not showing the consequences of refusing to go to war when confronted with certain situations.

Are you implying that bombing and invading Iraq was justified?

No, we're implying that "peace at all cost" is an unrealistic, damaging, and childish proposition.

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549485)

Yes -- in 1990.

And that's the point -- both absolute pacifists and absolute militarists are wrong most of the time.

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (2, Insightful)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547979)

War games are no different from any previous work of art depicting war.

Stories that gloss over the ugly parts and glorify heroes will inspire people to try to become them.

Stories that talk of the horrors of war will make young men feel that they need this horror to have real feeling.

Before every major war there were poems about the glory of battle. After every one there were songs of how terrible it was. Neither of them has ever stopped a war. Only the memories of those who lived it have done that, and only as long as they were young enough to fear going back again.

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549225)

Stories that talk of the horrors of war will make young men feel that they need this horror to have real feeling.

Stupid young men that is, and you can never reason with people like that.
I read All Quiet on the Western Front in 7th grade and I quickly figured out that I did not want any part of that shit.

"Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to do and die"
--Tennyson

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548129)

If a war game is realistic, they will push people to avoid war if possible.

What?!??

That's not how things work in this reality. I don't know what fantasy land you're living in, but here the people in power push for war with every conceivable excuse they can come up with, and the population is driven to a "freedom fries" frenzy of hatred over those who don't buy the excuses.

It's all about playing a game of Risk with flesh and blood peons. They want to grab territories to get the resources they produce, and they try not to lose too many units per turn because they want to move those units to the next conflict in their planned itinerary.

Re:The problem is not realistic war games (1)

adz21c (984237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548753)

I disagree, I think both realistic and unrealistic are as good and bad as each other. No matter how realistic or unrealistic a game is there's lots of ways games could be taken.

Realistic war games could be an accurate representation that will hopefully provoke thought in a player about war and the effects it has on life, is it really worth it, what situations are acceptable and others not? If any? On the other hand the fact that this ultra realistic game is a game (fun and trivial entertainment in the same way you'd go out and play football) makes war and its effects seem like something to not worry about, after all why would people get entertainment out of misery?

Unrealistic games could be considered to trivialise what war is like or give people the wrong impression about what really happens (so the decision to go to or not to go to war seems silly). On the other hand it's an unrealistic representation and just a game, so no one in their right mind would consider it as a good source of information to form an opinion with.

Games and movies about war live in a grey area of entertainment where you are very dependant on the viewer/gamer to take it as just entertainment (enjoying how technically stunning something is, as in its impressive how realistic it looks) and not necessarily an opinion on how war should be considered. Movies and books can be created in a tasteful way so the entertainment isn't the fact that your watching people dieing but its the point its getting across ("needless death is silly", "one man's general is another man's terrorist", "fight for freedom is a fight worth fighting" etc...) and the discussion it provokes afterwards. Games however live in the darker shade of grey, since even if they do the same things as a movie or book they still make you actively take part in the killing as part of the entertainment (and so potentially making killing seem like its not such a bad thing). This means you are further dependant on your target audience not being nut jobs that might think the army have a magic re-spawning machine.

That being said games can provoke thought, for me I always remember the first mission in the Russian campaign of Call Of Duty where they are all running up the side of a hill getting cut down by Germans and thinking "... wow this is mental, I can't believe this kind of thing really happened." One mission out of a fair few and out of many games isn't a good average though is it? :-)

Lot's assumptions (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547623)

People are making a whole lot of assumptions about a game that hasn't even been released yet. Assuming for a moment that the game does not in fact glorify the war, but instead brings to the front the realities of it, why is this a bad thing? If anything, I'd say the American public needs to see what war really does, people need to know that there is a reason that "War is Hell", maybe if we saw what really happens we would be less likely to so carelessly throw people that volunteer their lives for their country into such a horrible situation. War should be the very last recourse in a diplomatic situation after all other alternatives are exhausted, war should be questioned hard and fought hard before it is declared. There should be no question at all whether it is a good or bad idea, such questions should be fully resolved before people are sent to kill and die. I know this position is probably ridiculously idealistic(ironically my CAPTCHA was "Delirium"), but I think that if this happened, the world would hopefully be a better place.

Re:Lot's assumptions (4, Insightful)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548021)

Well, there are always people like a friend of mine:
Who volunteered for deployment AGAIN, and is now disappointed that he isn't shooting people.
Who was part of the initial invasion force.

Who was probably changed by his experiences and now feels civilian life is boring and dull.

Oh well, I wonder if he'll still not regret it if he loses a limb or something ..

Re:Lot's assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548193)

Don't be surprised when he becomes unhinged after he gets back (notice I said 'when', not 'if'). Chances are he wasn't a very stable person to begin with. And these are the ones we're supposed to look up to. Fuck that!

Re:Lot's assumptions (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549567)

No offense but your friend sounds like a sicko and an idiot. If the fight was about saving the Iraqis then he would want to be wherever he was needed. But no, he wants to be where he gets to kill people. This is NOT an admirable trait. It is disgusting.

Re:Lot's assumptions (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549777)

More and more of the people who aren't like that want no part of any bullshit war, so they're not signing up. Consequently the military has had to tap groups they wouldn't normally recruit from, and accept people who normally wouldn't pass a psych eval. Contrary to popular belief the military does not want crazy inductees. They want to take sane men and make them very specifically crazy, e.g. willing to follow orders even when they are insane.

this is premature (2, Insightful)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547673)

Just because it's a video game doesn't mean anyone should assume it can't be a serious, respectful work of art.

The only thing that's been announced is the game's setting.

...families of dead soldiers... (5, Insightful)

haggus71 (1051238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547815)

I always noticed how they seem to know what the soldier would feel if he were alive. Families of soldiers still with us, who have lived through this experience, don't say anything, because the soldiers would tell them to shut the hell up.

I just remember how people used to treat Vietnam Vets before First Blood came out. My uncle credited that with a change in viewpoint that allowed him to feel human again. Considering it is the largest money maker in entertainment, maybe this game will allow people to get an idea what happens in combat, and what decisions you have to go through, split-second, every day.

For those "offended" by this, the game play is based on first-hand accounts by VETERANS. I think they have more of a right than any civilian to speak for themselves. If you are offended, fine. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. It's in the constitution I swore an oath to protect and defend. Don't go dragging out the names of the dead, however, to support your own sensibilities.

I just hope they don't allow you to "save game". You don't get that option in war.

Re:...families of dead soldiers... (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547907)

I think a lot of this will come down to execution. This game will have larger hurdles than a war movie because because it's a game about war. A game. Something made to have fun with. I'm sure there are probably people worrying that a game will trivialize the war because it is a game. Not even edutainment (gasp).o

the fish was THAT BIG, I swear (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548189)

For those "offended" by this, the game play is based on first-hand accounts by VETERANS.

And no one ever paints themselves in a better light than what really transpired?

I'm not offended by a videogame, but those guys obviously have a biased view of the events, so I'm a tad offended by your inappropriate use of quotation marks and by your flawed belief that a first-hand account is equivalent to an objective view of events.

There's no such thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548813)

as an objective view of events. Anywhere. Ever.

Re:...families of dead soldiers... (2, Insightful)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548325)

How about the civilians of Falluja? After all, it was their homes that were blown up, their families that were murdered.

Re:...families of dead soldiers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548329)

I think they have more of a right than any civilian to speak for themselves.

You mean, civilians in the U.S.? Not Fallujah.
I'm sure it was not in your mind.

Re:...families of dead soldiers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548461)

I just hope they don't allow you to "save game". You don't get that option in war.

I eagerly await the day when someone puts out a realistic FPS with a lifelike damage system (a shot to the leg cripples you and you have to hope someone can help you out of the line of fire in time; a shot to the head kills you instantly; etc.) and, above all, a roguelike death system.

Re:...families of dead soldiers... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549699)

Wasn't Operation Flashpoint quite similar to what you suggest? At least I recall crawling to the medic several times, shaking of hands and bad aim after being injured and the like. Oh, and you have only one savepoint per mission. Quite funny when you have to sneak through half of the map undetected to reach you destination. This was when I realized how terribly vulnerable a single soldier is in a war.

Re:...families of dead soldiers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27549115)

If you are offended, fine. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. It's in the constitution I swore an oath to protect and defend.

Thanks I'm allowed to have an opinion that I would prefer having no right constitution to my kids being killed.

it only matters when it hits home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547825)

Like most things in life, people only take offense when the subject matter hits home. They don't try to view the world objectively - it's always subjective with them. Most of these families would cry foul if this were a WW2 game that people were objecting to. They'd make comments about "growing up" and about how "it's just a game". But, of course, as soon as it's something that they themselves are familiar with, it's suddenly "offensive" and "trivializes war". Where is their outrage over something like America's Army? Or is that OK because it's promoted by the very same organization that they revere? Isn't the stance that the right (aka, most military families) always takes that the market should decide whether a product should be sold? How about seeing how well the games sells. If it's a hit and "trivializes" their kid's deaths, then so be it. The market will have spoken.

NO different than Black Hawk Down (4, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547911)

and as I recall Black Hawk Down was an entertaining movie first, and then a video game. How exactly is this different? I think the excuse "because we're still in Iraq" is exactly why this game needs to push on to release date.

Re:NO different than Black Hawk Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547931)

Films, unlike games, have a history of being able to tell stories about people in a sympathetic and insightful way.

The BHD game was not based on the real events depicted in the film, it was a separate story. It was still a little tasteless.

Re:NO different than Black Hawk Down (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549549)

And a total lie. Much of the original plot involving questioning US ethics were removed. The story about their true mission was cut out. And much of the brutalization of somalis was cut out. Even the actors spoke out against it (not that they quit). Also the movie made the Americans look like gods and the somalis ignorant evil monsters. And in the end, a part left out by the movie. The main hero irl became a sicko and is currently rotting in jail for raping his 6year old daughter. Talk about failing to show the realities of war.

Fuck Islam (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547961)

I wipe my ass with the fucking Quran. Mohammed was a junkie and a pedophile. Fuck Islam!

Where are my mod points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27548881)

+1 informative, from where I'm standing...

Allah was gay, and Mohammed was his playtoy.

There should be a game where you stay dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27547981)

When you get wounded, your team mates have to transport you to a hospital or you die. When you have been mortally wounded, you die anyway. When you're dead, all your $49.95 software shows from then on is a cross on a military graveyard. You have to buy another copy to join the game again. If you don't fight, you can go to concerts and strip shows and hang out with your friends. I wonder how much fighting would be going on in that game.

Re:There should be a game where you stay dead (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27547999)

When you get wounded, your team mates have to transport you to a hospital or you die. When you have been mortally wounded, you die anyway. When you're dead, all your $49.95 software shows from then on is a cross on a military graveyard. You have to buy another copy to join the game again. If you don't fight, you can go to concerts and strip shows and hang out with your friends. I wonder how much fighting would be going on in that game.

Funnily enough, quite a lot. Dulce et decorum est and all that. People just will keep buying the Old Lie every single time it gets told.

Re:There should be a game where you stay dead (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549841)

When you're dead, all your $49.95 software shows from then on is a cross on a military graveyard. You have to buy another copy to join the game again.

A few MMORPG games do have permanent death. [wikipedia.org] There's something to be said for that. Few of them are A titles, though.

Outrage leads to bloody revolt. (2, Insightful)

osir (1402743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548089)

People who 'outrage' at the realism and graphic nature of art, in a hope that such a reaction does anything but reenforce the purpose of its exhibition, obviously have no idea what the point of art is. So... maybe someone should tell them. The point of art, is to evoke emotion. The more you 'outrage' at art, the more effective said art is. You cannot really argue with art by outraging at its exposition. All you do is affirm its effectiveness and the reason we have a need for such art to exist.

If gore and realism are repulsive... then how is depicting it 'glorification' of some situation in which it takes place? People play the games because it gets them close to something they normally would never get the chance to experience. I am more offended by the war movies of the 50's and 60's that took most of the gore and realism out of war. If you want to talk about glorification, THAT is a more fitting example.

If you want people to understand the ramifications of violent behavior, then censorship is very counter-productive. You protect noone by throwing a rug over the bloodstain. You simply doom people to repeat the same mistakes by taking from them the wisdom of experience, however detached such experience may be.

I think what offends the majority more than anything, is the fact that other people revel in violence. Unfortunately for them, humans have, and always will, find entertainment value in the suffering of others, most of all those that 'outrage' at things they do not have the depth to comprehend. Concepts like justice, which very few people have ever had much of any issue with at all, hinge on the administration of human suffering. Be thankful that we live in an era when there are more avenues available to satisfy our inate bloodlust than ACTUAL acts of cruelty.

Oblig Penny Arcade ref. (5, Interesting)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548553)

Not the usual funny stuff, and I don't necessarily agree, but it is an opinion of a WWII veteran, and pertinent to this discussion...so...
Interview with 'Grandpa' on 12/6/07 about WWII and Gaming [penny-arcade.com] :

Q. What do you think about gamers playing video games based on World War II?
A. I haven't really paid enough attention to the games themselves to be able to tell you truthfully, but I would think, if it's just people shooting one another, I don't think it's a proper thing for young people to do. I think it sets a bad example for them, because they get into the mood of doing that, and that begins their lifestyle. And that's not the lifestyle you want.


Q. When groups of gamers are playing these games together it is common for some of them to play as the enemy. They might play as Germans defending the beach at Normandy for example. What's your opinion of that?
A. Well, it ties back in to what I already said. I don't think it's an appropriate game. I think they can make games that will interest kids, that don't have to include war. We don't need to be killing each other in games. There's other ways of strategizing and using the kind of skills that make those games popular.

My Personal Opinion... (0, Flamebait)

cagrin (146191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27548703)

The purpose of this (and other) video games is to desensitize people to violence and make them believe war is necessary and ok. Why do you think mainstream media loves to report on violence and other more trivial things, rather than keeping us up to date on what the Congress and/or Senate has been doing(such as the Patriot Act)...it is to keep us as dumbed down sheep while those at the top continue their agenda for greater power and control over the people and the world itself. How many people have actually read the US Constitution? According to the recently leaked MIAC report, the Feds are trying to convince local police that having a pocket Constitution and/or a Ron Paul bumper sticker is a sign of domestic terrorism, and that the original founders of the US were actually the very first terrorists! I suggest those who play these types of games spend more time in reality, look around, and make our leaders responsible for what they have done. I'd suggest starting with the illegality of the PRIVATE Federal Reserve and the IRS. Those at the top think of the general populace as nothing more than a somewhat useful commodity and nothing more, see: Interview [youtube.com] with George Green, and open your eyes!

Re:My Personal Opinion... (2, Insightful)

cagrin (146191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549673)

Ignorance and apathy are the two most dangerous diseases of our time, and very difficult to cure. Take the Red Pill.

It's the Daily Mail. (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549077)

What do you expect?

Damn you Blizzard (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549397)

They already created a game with all the heartbreak and sense of permanent loss of a hellish war - Diablo II hardcore mode.

"Many people have now had a chance to react" (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549497)

So, of the people who are currently going frothy at the lips with outrage at this game, exactly how many of them have actually seen it, let alone played it?

Something tells me this is the usual rent-a-rage that the conservative press wheels out whenever they get tired of being outraged at immigration and welfare.

KONAMI TAKING BLOOD MONEY (0, Troll)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549531)

Konami's corporate philosophy mentions something about ethics:
http://www.konami.co.jp/en/corporate/philosophy/index.html [konami.co.jp]

How about the ethics of the US military taking the whole male population between 14-60 of an entire city of over 400,000 people, not permitting them to leave prior to battle, then destroying 3/4 of the city?

Oh yeah, it was in "response" to the murder of 4 contractors. Let's be "fair and balanced" here in respect to Mr. Murdoch's fans.

It was a mass-murder, not a war fight. It was a genocidal act of criminal cowardice by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and their ilk. And we are supposed to go be rah-rah patriots and buy Konami's philosophy and story, let alone their game?

It's blood money. It's the most shameful act of despicable racism by the US military in this entire sham war. And any so-called patriot who defends this is defending a war crime.

Konami: there are no words to describe the level of shame to which your company has gone to make money from a massive crime in what is already a crooked criminal war of racism against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al-Qaeda.

Parallel to 1940's war films? (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27549627)

I always wondered if there were any such ethical qualms within Hollywood when they made films about WWII while the war was actually going on. "Does this strike to close to home?" "Should we be 100% accurate?" "Should we humanize the enemy?" "Is it OK to make a profit doing this?"

If they did have such qualms it didn't prevent them from making dozens upon dozens of such films. Is this just a case of "new era, new medium" or are games fundamentally different from film?
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