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How Will Contemporary War Games Affect Veterans?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the serious-business dept.

The Military 288

An anonymous reader writes "Recently, video game developers have begun to make games about current conflicts the world over. Many veterans and current military personnel now take an active role in the video game community. Are game companies running the risk of walking into a public relations disaster when making games about current wars? More importantly, how will veterans react to playing games about a conflict in which they have participated? From the article: 'To portray conflict in a way that not only accurately depicts the acts of war, but does so in a manner that takes into account the sacrifices of soldiers within some sort of moral framing is a complicated matter. Now add to this the idea that such depictions are essentially created as entertainment and to make money. It is certainly mind numbing when looked at from a social perspective. ... Now try and apply this dynamic to a more recent conflict such as the Vietnam War or the current conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Considering that the latter wars are still in progress, the ability for a game developer to accurately gauge the morality of such a conflict is limited at best. To make a game that takes these factors into account while trying to create something that is both entertaining and capable of mass appeal among the gaming community is near impossible.'" We caught a glimpse of this last year with the reactions to Six Days In Fallujah.

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Bad guys (4, Interesting)

odies (1869886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134368)

What about the other side which is always portrayed as "bad guys" and are who the player tries to kill and ultimately to win the game you need to beat them? I think the games affect those more.

Re:Bad guys (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134390)

So if I'm a guy who builds explosive devices to detonate in crowded markets or on school buses, I should get mad that kids get to play soldiers who kill me and men like me? Poor me!!

Re:Bad guys (2, Insightful)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134450)

Of course, you could also play a guy who just drives a car around town and get shot at by overreacting (or just bored) soldiers. Or what about a run and jump game in which you try to avoid being collateral during more or less random "surgical strikes" falling on your neighbourhood ... Plenty of game opportunities without falling into one-sided clichees.

Or you could worry about making a fun game (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134512)

And not trying to push your anti-war message. Seriously, it is a GAME, it is meant to be fun, not realistic, not educational. If you don't like that, don't buy them.

If you want to try to make a game like you are talking about, where you have a message you want to ram down people's throats, well be my guest. However don't be surprised if, like most "message" games it completely and totally bombs (the Christians have tried this for years).

Re:Or you could worry about making a fun game (2, Insightful)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134842)

I guess you missed my point. I was replying to the AC stating that a game seen from "the other side" would be about suicide bombers and ended with "oh poor me". Stupid stereotype, s someone else said (but I think the "avoid the missile J&R" might actually be fun :P

Anyway I don't see how game would be less fun if you were playing afghani guerrillas shooting at "invading" UN troops. It might actually make the game stand out of the crowd in terms of gameplay.

Re:Or you could worry about making a fun game (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135446)

Anyway I don't see how game would be less fun if you were playing afghani guerrillas shooting at "invading" UN troops. It might actually make the game stand out of the crowd in terms of gameplay.

You have to take social programming into account to better understand what's considered 'fun'. My ex-army/afghan vet friend couldn't enjoy a game as the guy who killed his squad ('allegedly' - he apparently has a few versions).

And most people believe verbatim what the big news networks tell them to believe, so how could they play a game with a conflicting premise? (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN - all share certain sacred beliefs about the forever war, and differ only in unimportant details)

But I do understand your point... I found an old book called Enemies are Human [google.com] (1955) at the thrift store once.

Re:Or you could worry about making a fun game (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134900)

Seriously, it is a GAME, it is meant to be fun,

If you want to make it fun then don't put it into a current day war, better yet, don't put it into any war that ever happened, as you will just end up twisting and mutilating history. If you need war then do some fancy fantasy or sci-fi or whatever that is far removed from reality. If you portrait current day war you have a responsibility to do it at least somewhat accurately.

No, you don't (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135556)

Sorry but I get tired of this "You have to make things realistic," crowd. I don't care if you think that's what's needed to prevent war (here's a hint: it's not) that's not how things work. Games are for fun, and they can use a wide variety of topics for that, including those which themselves aren't fun. They don't have any "responsibility" to make it real, no matter how much you claim.

Re:Bad guys (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134728)

I thought that was GTA.

Re:Bad guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134768)

"overreacting (or just bored) soldiers" That says a lot about your mindset.

So, people who intentionally target civilians are morally equal to those that do all they can to minimize civilian deaths while terminating targets? Is that what you are saying? It's all the same in your game book. People who intentionally target cafes are equal to people prosecuting a war and trying to avoid hurting innocents when possible. That's the same? Really? Oh, they were just bored.

Re:Bad guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135000)

We actively do this in a Battlefield 2 mod [realitymod.com] - you die a martyr for the cause and the coalition soldiers get a huge point penalty. It happens to be my favourite FPS. People get into character, especially on the IDF vs. Hamas maps, naming squads like 'Jihad', 'MelGibson', 'Ninjews'. It's probably the only FPS that people seem to actually work as a team in a pick-up game, and actively use mics.

An example [youtube.com] of playing as a collaborator.

Re:Bad guys (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135250)

Shame that Project Reality is not remotely realistic and falls into the trap of portraying player characters as though soldiers were all 90 year old alzheimers patients with parkinsons and horrible arthritis that left their glasses at home...

Project reality insurgents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135450)

@Shadow of Eternity

Well, its a mod coming of a 2005 game. Fancy skeletal animations was not the focus, the gameplay of capturing points was. Now if you want "realisitic" Black Sand Studios is bringing Project reality to ARMA II. I bought ARMA II on sale on steam simply because they are bringing PR to it.

For you guys out there. Buy BF2 and add PR and you get to play Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. It's hype whores like MW2 get attention but yet there are games that let you play the "other side"

I like like the Iraqi insurgent maps because you can get a mental inkling of what it's like to drive through a crappy town knowing you can be blown up by IED's anytime. Or how it feels to "bring it" to a more technologically superior enemy(U.S.)

Re:Bad guys (5, Insightful)

looney82 (1131897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135010)

until you've walked the walk on the streets of a foreign country where people want to kill you, don't believe everything you hear in the media. i'm sitting in abu ghraib, iraq right now, and just because i haven't been hit by an IED in the last 6 months doesn't mean it's not going to happen. we (as soldiers) do not overreact in the situation. we're also never "bored" while outside the wire. i understand that posting a reply on slashdot will not change your opinion, but i feel a need to defend my profession and my brothers in arms. i've lost a lot of friends here, and whether or not you agree with the wars or the actions of my comrades doesn't matter. you should still respect them for volunteering. what's reported is (mostly) never true.

Re:Bad guys (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135184)

Actually, I understand and respect your position (even if I obviously don't agree with the reasons which placed you in Iraq). I was just applying the same sort of stereotype as the GP used to the other side of the coin.

Still, in the context of a game set in a contemporary war, there is no reason NOT to set the player as the "bad guy". Apart from the game play aspect (you are fighting against a technologically much stronger force), it might also be interesting to use the Single Player storyline to explore the motives and situation of your current enemy.

Anyway : good luck to you, stay as safe as possible, given the circumstances

Re:Bad guys (3, Insightful)

TheJokeExplainer (1760894) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135198)

What I found hilarious was the Crysis series: developers were running out of bad guys to portray so they picked the North Koreans because those are the only guys they can't sell games to. :P

It's why you have this huge slew of World War II FPSes because the bad guys were very clear in these cases.

It's interesting how other nations are now being portrayed less and less as bad guys because they're potential paying customers. More and more, you're seeing games which allow you to play other nationalities as your team like in the Battlefield series.

Re:Bad guys (5, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134456)

Nice stereotyping there. Terrorists are a completely different aspect than national defense forces. Did Iraq do so? No, nor did Vietnam or any other country that USA has attacked. North Korea and Iran haven't done anything like that either, but still US demands them to stop developing their defenses. Doesn't it kind of make sense for a country to develop same kind of defense mechanisms than what other countries have? Would you feel good if North Korea had nuclear weapons and USA didn't and they said they'll attack USA if they don't stop developing them?

Then there's games like Modern Warfare 2 where Russians are portrayed as bad guys. The entertainment industry alone is a big propaganda machine. It's quite boring how one-sided it always is.

Re:Bad guys (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134468)

"Then there's games like Modern Warfare 2 where Russians are portrayed as bad guys."

One thing I liked about 'Operation Flashpoint' was that you could play as Americans, Russians or resistance fighters, so you could see all sides of the war.

Re:Bad guys (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134612)

I think you are trying to make the point that every side sees themselves as the good guys, and that's generally true. However your examples seem to be implying something more, which I wanted to address:

It is probably unfair for the US to demand that North Korea or Iran disarm themselves. But as an American, I don't care. North Korea has threatened to attack the US, and Iran has a day of hate directed towards the US. The call the US the great satan, and have threatened to try to destroy our allies if possible.

I admit I am utterly selfish, and you can call me that, it's ok; but if it is between N Korea or Iran surviving and the US surviving, I am choosing the US. And I don't want those two countries, ruled by a dictatorship, to have weapons that will enable them to carry out their threats.

Finally, I think it's more accurate to view the entertainment industry as an industry that mainly gives people what they want, although it has a propaganda component to some degree as well. It certainly isn't controlled by the government.

Re:Bad guys (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134674)

"And I don't want those two countries, ruled by a dictatorship, to have weapons that will enable them to carry out their threats."

Presumably you missed the part where Iran was a democracy before America and Britain staged a coup to oust its democratic government in the 50s?

Re:Bad guys (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134734)

Yeah, actually, I did. I wasn't even born yet. But what difference does it make? Even if we had committed unspeakable horrors in their country, I still wouldn't want them to have weapons if they are threatening to use them against me. This is fairly basic common sense.

Re:Bad guys (2, Insightful)

Inconexo (1401585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135076)

Yeah, actually, I did. I wasn't even born yet.

Oh my god. Aren't we supposed to know things that happened before we were born? So much time lost in History classes.

Re:Bad guys (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135132)

We called Iran part of the Axis of Evil, and put them on a to-be-destroyed list. I don't think we realize how often people in other parts of the world reference that really, really stupid speech.

Re:Bad guys (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135254)

Actually, some people [huffingtonpost.com] in the USA are actively working to lessen the Day-Of-Hate gape. Thankfully, most media coverage about that is less than positive :)

Re:Bad guys (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135466)

It is probably unfair for the US to demand that North Korea or Iran disarm themselves. But as an American, I don't care.

And because you don't care about fairness towards others, those others have no choice but to arm themselves so they can defend themselves against you.

North Korea has threatened to attack the US, and Iran has a day of hate directed towards the US.

Being unfair towards others generally tends to lead to that.

The call the US the great satan, and have threatened to try to destroy our allies if possible.

Well, of course: you are threatening them, know that this is unfair, but don't care. Just what did you expect they'd do, kiss their asses goodbye?

I admit I am utterly selfish, and you can call me that, it's ok; but if it is between N Korea or Iran surviving and the US surviving, I am choosing the US.

More importantly, you are stupid. Your chosen tactic - make demands you know to be unfair - makes you stated goal - ensuring the survival of the USA - less likely, and is therefore irrational.

And I don't want those two countries, ruled by a dictatorship, to have weapons that will enable them to carry out their threats.

Well, it's a good thing that you haven't given those dictators any help staying in power, for example by giving them an obvious external enemy they can blame all their troubles for, not to mention justify tightening their fist, now isn't it?

Love makes fools, marriage cuckolds, and patriotism malevolent imbeciles.

Re:Bad guys (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134922)

Then there's games like Modern Warfare 2 where Russians are portrayed as bad guys.

Did you even play the game? My impression was that the overzealous American Military Industrial Complex was the "bad guys" for starting WWIII.

Re:Bad guys (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135280)

I don't think he did considering that the bad guys weren't "Russians" but a group of "ultra-nationalists" that you fought with the aid of the rest of the Russians.

Re:Bad guys (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135506)

That was the first one. Second one is all-out war with all of Russia.

Re:Bad guys (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135500)

Then there's games like Modern Warfare 2 where Russians are portrayed as bad guys. The entertainment industry alone is a big propaganda machine. It's quite boring how one-sided it always is.

Not just that, but there are two types of russians; loyalists and ultranationalists. And both are bad in some respect but the ultras are "baddest". They even get their politics completely confused between the two MW games. Some are loyalists (this is supposed to be either actual Russian government forces, or so-called loyalists to the government, who fight along side them.) and ultranationalists, who are either supposed to be some kind of neo-nazi group, OR depending on where you read on the internet, they are the ones who wish to return to being the Soviet USSR. And still as far as I can tell they are both wearing hammer-and-sickle hats, despite neither of them should rightfully be wearing them (loyalists because that is not the current regime, and ultras because if you are such a right-wing extremist how could you embrace communism?). That and the guy who helps you in the first one has a hammer-and-sickle insignia, and he is referred to as loyalist. Confusing.

It's recurring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134382)

They faced the same problem in the 90s, regarding astronauts and Harvest Moon.

Moral framing (1, Troll)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134386)

takes into account the sacrifices of soldiers within some sort of moral framing

I see no mention of the moral framework within which civilian casualties are taken into account.

But then, that is realistic.

Re:Moral framing (2, Interesting)

TheJokeExplainer (1760894) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135140)

This is why most FPS games have no civilians, something I miss given the richness of detail gamedevs put into creating maps and environments.

It's like you have entire cities composed of ghost towns occupied by nothing but soldiers, something that detracts from the experience and atmosphere.

On a similar note, there are also no children or killable children in most "violent" video games. They were not put in Oblivion and made unkillable in Fallout 3 because of moral objections. You don't see 'em in the GTA series too for the same reasons.

Re:Moral framing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135208)

There is nothing moral about killing someone. Period. It might be a necessary (though a lot of modern war involves killing people who would mostly rather spend their lives in peace, and would have been very unlikely to have hurt me if I stayed at home and didn't go there with loaded weapons), but it is at best a necessary tragedy. There is no victory in war. Honoring our soldiers is the biggest hoax I've seen - there is no pride in butchering others, even if it is cloaked in "duty for your nation".

I don't mean to say that I don't respect people who defend their country, but most of the soldiers are not fighting for me or my freedom. They strike where some suit tells them to. I have given up more freedom and dignity in the name of "protection" - and I see very little benefit.. I have taken to wearing tight jeans rather than wear a belt and pass a detector holding my pants up at the airport. This country is going bankrupt, while we fight about poor people coming in across the border. Rather than raise the standard of living for everyone - a country of 300 million people should have enough surplus to support a few thousands of people crossing the border - the government wants to artificially create a labor scarcity?

Movies (1)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134388)

Just look at the movie industry to see how it has worked out.

Why target games specifically? (4, Insightful)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134400)

For decades we've had films which are "essentially created as entertainment and to make money" and which depict major conflicts, often with input from people who fought in them. They'll often attack more recent subject matter than games will, too.

Re:Why target games specifically? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134484)

This question has been asked of films. When Saving Private Ryan came out, there was quite a bit of news coverage on WWII vets having flashbacks. And I doubt that wasn't the first or last occurrence either.

Re:Why target games specifically? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134524)

Because one is passive and the other is active. Duh.

Not realistic at all (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135020)

I'm sorry but anyone who thinks that a first person shooter, no matter how "realistic" the blood and guts is anything like actually going out and fighting has needs a reality check. They've either never played the game, or they've been playing for too long or they are just plain idiots.

Same goes for the movies. They might be used as recruiting tools (chiefly for cannon fodder as anyone dumb enough to think they're going to be Maverick from Top Gun clearly is too stupid and naive to be useful as much else).

I think the differences here are that

1) The games have become more mainstream. Every man and his dog has a phone or a netbook or a tablet or something else that can run some sort of shooter

2) The conflicts are current. In the 80s conflicts were short, few and far between, at least for the western world. Games about Vietnam, Korea and the World wars or some future WWIII scenario were all you could write games about because there wasn't much that was current and in the mainstream public eye (at least till the Gulf War)

What amazes me is that all these people whining about video games probably grew up playing WWII games, Cops and Robbers, racially insensitive "Cowboys and Indians" etc. without a thought. Yet I'd argue they're more realistic in many ways than clicking a mouse cursor on a screen. The only way you're going to get a bloody nose doing the latter is if you're stupid and trip over your own shoelaces.

Re:Why target games specifically? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135418)

I think MUCH worse than anything to do with current wars (propaganda will always be around), which we still have the ability to challenge, not participate in, or stop entirely, is rewriting history.

Watch U-571. That teaches American kids that America captured the Enigma machine. Alan Turing would be turning in his grave watching that and it does an horrendous dis-service to the other countries involved in that war. Trouble is that it's hard to challenge something that seeps into the social subconscious as "fact" even if it comes from a movie. Rewriting history dumbs down the contributions people made, makes the evil seem less evil and focuses on entirely the wrong things about war.

This is much of what irks me about France/ Germany's "no trading swastikas or other Nazi memorabilia" rules. It's pretending things didn't happen when they obviously did, pretending that a symbol has power rather than evil people who gather behind it (the swastika was previously used for other, slightly more wholesome, purposes). Or China's attitude to Tiananmen square.

War films, games, 3d-holographic simulations, whatever will always be around. But people should realise they are not real. Games don't claim to be "just like being there" - most of them include save/load and don't remove the game and not allow you to ever play it again once you've been killed. Movies do claim this, in some cases, to a certain extent and are much more dangerous in the social mind because they are often unchallenged, much more mass-market, and don't require the viewer to think. Everyone *knows* that when the Titanic sank the band kept on playing. But next generation will *know* that someone clung to a door, some old lady lost her pearls, etc.

Even The Dambusters has inaccuracies but they don't affect the history of the film as much as more modern "re-tellings". More dangerous than a game that upsets a veteran, is a movie that eventually rewrites history to be more "glorious", Chinese-whispers-style.

Re:Why target games specifically? (1)

SakuraDreams (1427009) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135504)

Guess what - the movie ENIGMA was an affront to Poland. It did not elaborate on the work of the Polish mathematicians in cracking the original ENIGMA meanwhile the bad guy turns out to be a Pole who collaborates with Germans because of the Soviet massacres of Polish officers and civilians at Katyn. Sick.

Re:Why target games specifically? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135534)

Even The Dambusters has inaccuracies

It's true, the dog's name was really "black bastard".

Been there, done that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134408)

The stupid thing is, games have already been doing it for years. How many FPS's do we know that are featured in the middle east? We all know what the game developers are referring to and implying, they just avoid it or sugar coat it by renaming countries or featuring a country that the US/The West hasn't attacked yet. Same thing happened in the 90s when it was popular to have games set in or based around South American conflict.

Grow a pair maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134418)

Look I understand a veteran feeling certain ways about a game that depicts a war he was in, but this isn't even about him. This is about the portrayal of certain ethnic groups and them getting over emotional about a video game. These games are developed in countries that view these areas as containing enemy insurgents. If you don't like the portrayal then don't buy the game or develop you own game and stop giving the bad people of your area a free pass for more then stupid reasons.

Really, it should read "over emotional public is overreacting once again for stupid reasons"

Easy Answer (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134422)

The short answer is: if playing a video game upsets you, you shouldn't play that video game. I mean, it's a given that you can't make a game that appeals to everyone. Someone might even be deeply offended by your "murder simulator." But the people who aren't going to play your game anywaren't and shouldn't be the main concern of the game designers.

Re:Easy Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134658)

Yeah I think those guys got their argumentation messed up. They argue that games can't have universal appeal. Fine. But then they end with

To make a game that takes these factors into account while trying to create something that is both entertaining and capable of mass appeal among the gaming community is near impossible

Sorry but mass appeal is still possible.

What about movies? (4, Interesting)

Apotekaren (904220) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134428)

So why are movies entitled to depict ongoing wars for profit and entertainment without this risk for backlash?
How many movies haven't already been made about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, and often getting critical praise for their guts to comment on something so fresh and close to heart?

Re:What about movies? (3, Informative)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134634)

The difference is that movies can show that war is hell. Games, by definition, have to make war fun.

Re:What about movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134738)

I don't buy it. Don't you watch movies to have fun too? If not, name another reason people watch movies and I'll argue that it can apply to video games too.

Re:What about movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134840)

Only if you watch comedies. Movies are also designed to make you think and to also feel an emotional connection with the character. I personally did not have fun watching 'Schindler's List', this didn't make the movie shitty because it didn't have a fart joke.

Re:What about movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134988)

Comedies? Fart jokes? I think you confusing laughing and pleasure. It's fun to think and it's fun to feel an emotional connection with the character, which is why you watched Schindler's List.

Re:What about movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135090)

i think the use of the word 'fun' is the problem some are having. games and movies are both made to be entertaining, not necassarily fun. its the entertainment value. if a person isnt entertained at all with a game or movie then there is no likable quality in it for them. they will be bored and probably stop playing or watching.
          schindlers list wasnt a fun movie but it was entertaining (not in a making light of the situation sort of way, obviously). if it werent entertaining then it wouldnt have been as successful as it was and no one would even remember it. those emotional connections that you feel with the characters are your entertainment value.
          anyways, the entire point of the article itself is a bit ridiculous. i would say over half of all military members have played CoD or MoH, etc... at some point or another for entertainment. i know alot of guys that are or have been in the heat of actual situations and they still love to play these games. that fact of the matter is the more real, current, and accurate the games are the more military members will enjoy them.

Re:What about movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134758)

So the equivalent of a game showing war is hell would be to have it BSOD every 5-7 minutes. amirite?

Re:What about movies? (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134786)

You could depict it as a grisly survival-horror/twitch fps hybrid? But how do you get something like the slippery-brain incident from "generation kill" in a video game?

Re:What about movies? (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134808)

I think it would have to be visceral, poignant and depressing, but not fun per se; escaping from the firebombing of Dresden for instance.

Re:What about movies? (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135074)

Too awesome and larger-than-life. I think you'd have to have a pretty normal setting, but one that focuses on the many miseries and endless torments of war, without in any way glorifying suffering. A sort of digital http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_realism [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What about movies? (4, Informative)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135032)

Games, by definition, have to make war fun.

Do they?
By most accounts, Pathologic is a bleak, depressing game--yet some people find it quite compelling anyway, if they can look past its flaws (most notably an incomprehensible translation from Russian to English). From page 2 of the review "Butchering Pathologic" [rockpapershotgun.com] :

A couple of years ago I had an argument with a friend, one of those differences of opinion that leaves you fuming and coming up with witty ripostes for days afterwards. I was saying that a good game doesn't have to be fun. She was saying that was ridiculous.

My argument, though I botched my explanation at the time, is that games have incredible untapped potential in the field of negative emotions. Just as the lowest common denominator of any art form appeals to 'positive' emotions, whether it's humour, arousal or excitement, so it is that our young games industry is obsessed with the idea of 'fun'.

I think this is one of the core reasons that the games industry hasn't had its Casablanca or Citizen Kane- we're still in the era of musicals and slapstick comedy. No games developer's going to try and make its audience feel sad, or lonely, or pathetic, at least not for long stretches. You might get games that dip their toes into that water from time to time, but by and large developers are keen to keep you smiling.

But that debate is just a big, ugly thorn bush that I've run through too many times already with nothing to show for it. The point is that Pathologic fearlessly wields desperation, brutality, hopelessness, exhaustion, cruelty, even ignorance and pain, and, if you can stomach it, the result is phenomenal.

Pathologic could not ever be described as fun. Tramping back and forth across town, trying to stem the torrent of deaths while aching to know what's going on /is not fun./ This is not a game. There isn't a word for it really, which is probably why the developers, Ice-pick Lodge, call Pathologic "an exercise in decision making" on their translated English website.

And this is coming from a rave review that opens with:

I'm going to explain, right now, why a Russian FPS/RPG called Pathologic is the single best and most important game that you've never played.

Okay, so it contradicts itself on whether Pathologic is a "game" or "not a game". But that's because there's a largely unexplored gray area in between, where something can play like a game--and be as rewarding as a game--without being "fun".

(If you want to read the full review of Pathologic, since there doesn't seem to be a good way to navigate between the pages: part 1 [rockpapershotgun.com] , part 2 [rockpapershotgun.com] , part 3 [rockpapershotgun.com] )

Re:What about movies? (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135186)

Really? I've yet to see large crowds walking out of a war movie before it ends, so if they're *capable* of showing that war is hell they certainly aren't doing it.

Re:What about movies? (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135246)

The thing is that depressing isn't a bad thing for a movie to be. However, not fun is (generally) a bad thing for a game to be.

Re:What about movies? (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135264)

I've yet to see large crowds walking out of a war movie before it ends, so if they're *capable* of showing that war is hell they certainly aren't doing it.

      A live 120mm mortar round in going off in the middle of the movie theater should do it. Then the (surviving) people will have a fairly good idea about what war really is.

Re:What about movies? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135564)

A live 120mm mortar round in going off in the middle of the movie theater should do it.

Tardiggetydarnation! Someone's leaked our latest anti-piracy plan!

Yours in the MPAA,
  Kilgore Trout

Re:What about movies? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135228)

Games, by definition, have to make war fun.

No. Games have to make war a compelling experience.

Silent Hill is not fun. Silent Hill is a frightening, hellish experience.
Heavy Rain is not fun. Heavy Rain is a gripping action drama.
Diablo isn't fun. Diablo is a Pavlovian masterpiece of reward pacing.
Most MMO's cease being fun in the middle, and become compelling reward treadmills with social aspects.
Flower isn't fun. Flower is peaceful, relaxing, and gorgeous.
EA Sports Active isn't fun. It has a compelling real-world reward (getting fit).

The idea that games have to be fun is a silly generalization. Many games are compelling for reasons other than traditional "fun." You have the drive for exploration, the drive for mastery. You have tension about plot elements. You have reward pacing. The player can care about characters or events. The player can be afraid. The player can be in love. You can twist the player's anger at an enemy, or play up the player's need to understand their character. You can even just play the tension-and-release-and-tension rollercoaster carefully to make an otherwise boring experience into a compelling one. In similar ways to how Se7en was compelling, so too was Heavy Rain.

"Fun" is nowhere near as nuanced an understanding of videogames as the medium is capable of.

For one, you can make the player experience deeper loss in videogames. Say the player chooses to risk his own life to save another character during a firefight, only later to have that character die by a roadside IED. Or maybe the player builds up each of a group of characters, only to make a decision that costs one of the characters their life. When you're watching a movie, you can sympathize with characters dealing with regret. But only video games can make that regret belong to the player. Myth by Bungie explored this a little bit, with NPC warriors that you tried to herd and keep alive through multiple levels, but inevitably your little loved ones would die off one at a time because of your mistakes.

It's a recurring dilemma (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134440)

The same thing happened in the 90s, with astronauts and Harvest Moon.

Moral Framework (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134446)

I'm looking forward to 'Grand Theft Auto: Baghdad' myself.

Forget that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134660)

I want to see Lara Croft infiltrate the Kaba'a!

father-in-law Vietnam vet (4, Interesting)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134452)

My father-in-law is a Vietnam vet. Anyway, he's surprisingly into video games for a guy his age, and he likes the Call of Duty style games. As far as I can tell he doesn't find it uncomfortable at all to play war games.

I did find one aspect of war games that upset him. He watched me playing Call of Duty or some game like that, and I was playing the offline campaign. A bunch of allied AI troops were in my way and I shot them down while laughing. He said that I, or maybe just my actions, were "sick" and said something else about how you shouldn't fire on your own guys, then got up and left the room.

Re:father-in-law Vietnam vet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134516)

I...have to agree with your father-in-law here. That's incredibly fucked up to do, *especially* in front of a veteran.

It's like playing GTA and mowing down cops while your cop buddies who've seen friends die in firefights are watching.

Or playing a flight sim and crashing it into buildings with people who had family die in 9/11.

It may be amusing and in the game for you to do, but it doesn't detract from the highly insensitive action you took while he was there. If he hadn't been there it would've been a little off, but not terrible.

Re:father-in-law Vietnam vet (5, Interesting)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134688)

I agree that clearly my father-in-law interpreted those pixels as "men", but to me they are just game pieces. I feel no more sympathy for their virtual fate than I feel for that of a chess piece.

So while I could have or should have considered his perspective on the game, there's nothing "a little off" about my outlook.

Re:father-in-law Vietnam vet (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135428)

Do chess pieces scream and spout blood when you shoot them with a realistic-sounding machine gun? You lack empathy, man. That's a little off.

Re:father-in-law Vietnam vet (2, Insightful)

nem75 (952737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135566)

Once more, with feeling: it's not blood, it's pixels. It's not a real scream from the pixels you just interacted with. It's make believe. Deal with it.

Re:father-in-law Vietnam vet (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134546)

I did find one aspect of war games that upset him. He watched me playing Call of Duty or some game like that, and I was playing the offline campaign. A bunch of allied AI troops were in my way and I shot them down while laughing. He said that I, or maybe just my actions, were "sick" and said something else about how you shouldn't fire on your own guys, then got up and left the room.

But shooting civilian "gooks" was A-OK?

Anyhow, the game designers don't really need to create new war games. Brush up the graphics on the existing ones, change jungle and water textures to rock and desert textures, tweak the skin colour and clothing of the natives, and off you go. Escape from Saigon can become Escape from Kabul.

Re:father-in-law Vietnam vet (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135518)

Buy him CoD: Black Ops for christmas. That might hit a little closer to home.

TFA is sorta right. Key: USE GOOD JUDGEMENT (4, Interesting)

gravos (912628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134474)

I guess the point that TFA is trying to make is that WW2, Vietnam games are tolerated because those are OLD, long-gone wars that don't have much resonance with most people these days. It doesn't get portrayed in the media every day, etc, etc... But games set in unresolved warzones are more tricky because fight hasn't finished and people still have skin in the game.

That's true and all, but I don't think it means you can't make modern conflicts into games. It just means good judgement is much more important. You can't apply some formula, you have to actually think about how you portray each side and how people are going to react. You have to be careful, but there is still a lot of room for creativity.

Ummm, like anything else probably (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134560)

There will be some people who whine and bitch that it should be allowed since whatever their chosen cause/event is cannot be the subject of anything fun. There will be others who will say how great it is that something is shining light on their experience and so on. Ultimately the commercial success or failure will largely be determined by how much fun the game is, the specifics of the setting won't matter so much.

Part of the reason you don't see games based on more modern conflicts is that they aren't going to provide the setting for a good game. Most war games are shooties, meaning that the primary gameplay factor is running around and shooting lots of things. Well, in case you haven't noticed, that isn't how war has been done. When you talk something like the Iraq conflict it is extremely asymmetric. Not a lot of grunt warfare. Troops will come under fire from a building, they'll call for an AH-64D to come and blow it up and so on. Doesn't make for a very entertaining shooty.

Hence why the war games that wish to be in a modern setting tend to invent a new world. Call of Duty 4, Bad Company 2, they both invented what if scenarios that involve two more equal powers. In that way they are similar to WWII games.

Always, always remember: Games are meant to be FUN first and everything else second. This means that there is real limits to the realism, the complexity, the kind of game play and so on and so forth if the game is to be a success. Some things just aren't fun, even if they are interesting, and games are made to be fun. That is what draws people to them.

Re:Ummm, like anything else probably (1)

crispytwo (1144275) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134682)

Always, always remember: Games are meant to be FUN first and everything else second. This means that there is real limits to the realism, the complexity, the kind of game play and so on and so forth if the game is to be a success. Some things just aren't fun, even if they are interesting, and games are made to be fun. That is what draws people to them.

Games are meant to be simply challenging and you have FUN mastering them. There are tons of opinions on what is fun. For example, some people like to have realistic portrayal of life, and that becomes fun. Some people like to have abstract ideas with rules, and that becomes fun. And then there are some people who like tons of rules and that becomes fun.

Every time I hear someone say games are supposed to be fun first, I roll my eyes.

In my opinion, games that are simple (few rules) and are abstract gain the most traction. That means games like chess, poker, and tag will be what are generally the most fun. When you start to think about games with these 3 in mind, you will start to notice that they are pretty much all derivatives of these. For example, all FPS are tag.

When a war is boiled down to tag, you lose quite a bit. When you boil a war down to chess, you lose quite a bit. When you boil a war down to poker, you lose quite a bit.

Re:Ummm, like anything else probably (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134998)

If you roll your eyes when people emphasize fun in games then you are probably one of the gamers who cries for overly realistic games that they wouldn't actually play if they came out. I see all sorts of people online scream and rant about how things have to be perfectly real or they hate it. However both their buying patters and the sales of overly realistic games says that in fact like everyone else what they really want is to have fun.

If you want, feel free to make a mod for a game, or your own game with the powerful tools these days (like UDK) that is a realistic as you can make it. Just don't be surprised if nobody is interested.

Real war isn't fun. Real a whole lot of stuff isn't fun. Games offer the option to have a story around something that itself may not be much fun, but make it entertaining all the same.

When it comes to realistic war games, The Onion nailed it, as they usually do (http://www.theonion.com/video/ultrarealistic-modern-warfare-game-features-awaiti,14382/). THAT would be a realistic modern war game... And nobody would like it.

Re:Ummm, like anything else probably (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135296)

"Fun" gets overused as a blanket statement about games. Even basic things like "that game is using exploration for fun" or "that game confuses the player in a fun puzzle to solve." Neither of those sound terribly uncommon when people talk about "fun" in videogames, but I was actually just referring to the movie Inception. Would you primarily say that Inception was "fun", or that nearly all movies are "fun"? Then why are games like Metal Gear referred to as "fun"?

The problem is that once you take the complex sauce that is required to make a game interesting... a little exploration here, some rewards there, perception of danger, unique game rules...and just call it "fun", then all discussions about video games degrade into bouncing balls and slobbering puppies. Anything not suitable to be put in the context of an ice-cream truck is no longer a suitable subject for a video game. Is murder, divorce, and being the victim of psychological torture fun? No, but Heavy Rain was still an incredible game. Is God Of War 3 fun? It can be, but labeling it that doesn't actually advance the discussion or give a sense for why the game is compelling.

Re:Ummm, like anything else probably (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135592)

I do not understand why this is such a hard concept for people here to grasp. None of this is saying games cannot or should not have a good story, or good graphics, or high level mechanics or realism or any of those things. All I am saying is that fun has to take precedence. So any of the things is does have need to be because the make the game fun. That can be things like a compelling story that you want to follow, or detail graphics that immerse you in the experience or interesting game mechanics that keep you thinking. However the final determination between if something gets to stay or not needs to be if it makes the game fun or not.

Hence the complaint about need for "realism" in war games. As The Onion accurately noted, a realistic modern war game would mostly involve sitting around, doing menial tasks and so on. Also, if you got killed that's it, game over forever. Realistic, but not fun. However realism in terms of having an environment that blows up or better graphics? That's fun, that can stay.

Perhaps fun is a word the pedantic geek mind defines too narrowly so let's try entertainment instead. Things that stay in a game need to be entertaining. If you are putting something in, it needs to be asked how does this entertain the player. The answer cannot be "Well this is how it really is." Realism doesn't matter, it is not a goal in game design by itself. If the realism makes the game better, then good. If it makes it worse, then it needs to go.

harpoon and gulf war 1 (1)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134616)

BTDT, it wasn't particularly realistic, or in fact triggering. I'd say that video games have a long way to go before they come close to being a problem in this area. I'd more worry about the minor issue that the agendas are transparent to even a 13-year old, much less someone that was actually there. For SOME reason, vets don't like to be told that their time and efforts were for nothing.

I AM a Marine. (2, Informative)

Israfels (730298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134618)

As a Marine I can tell you that almost all games fail at making real combat games realistic. Just look at the currently popular FPS; Modern Warefare 2. There's camping in absurd places, quick scoping, commando teleporting, spawn killing, bunny hopping, pistol sniping, modded controllers, laggers with laser bullets.

Here's what you can quote me on; "No developer that can get close to a realistic warfare game without making it as unfun as war actually is."

Re:I AM a Marine. (2, Informative)

NouberNou (1105915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134704)

Ever played ArmA2? I have heard from a number of vets that it is as close as you will get with out signing papers. Probably why the USMC and NATO use it (well VBS2) as a simulator. :P

Poor ole grampa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134654)

That one time we showed him Wolfenstein 3D, he had flashbacks about the Nazis! He was afraid they were returning.

Then they made Doom, and he thought he was in Hell...those were some tough days.

Fortunately, he had no problems with Shub-Niggurath when Quake came out. Told us it was no worse than the first time he did it with Gramma.

Yeah, that was a problem for US!

what the fuck? (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134696)

We want art to be relevant, so has to talk about actual events or something. So, of course, we want games to talk about actual events. Movies can do it, so.. why not games?

The danger lies in the opposite, stupid games about killing zombified nazis... thas has not danger, but also not reward.

"license" the content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134716)

If I'm playing Dawn of War THQ will pay money to Games Workshop for the license. If I'm playing their brand new free WW2 [companyofheroes.com] game do they pay any money to veterans associations? I'm just saying it is much more likely a WW2 game would try to license Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers and pay money to Hollywood than pay even a single cent to the people or families of those that suffered through the war. War games are popular with publishers because it is a free license.

Maybe if this is a concern instead of waiting for movies to lead the way by contributing to a veterans association games should be showing how do things right.

War as entertainment (1)

phx_zs (1772496) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134858)

"...such depictions are essentially created as entertainment and to make money..." Isn't that pretty much all war is anyway? Especially the current one... If the military-industrial complex and the ruling classes can get money and entertainment out of it, why can't the little guys?

The core issue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33134860)

The real problem is a society that transforms such things as WAR into ENTERTAINMENT in any form. That is just plain sick and wrong.

CoD Reality? (1)

uncholowapo (1666661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33134920)

Being the big video game fan that I am, I can't help the fact that most of the stories of bravery and single handedly owning opposing forces is just non sense. Makes me think that the veterans that were searched for still turn everything into a hyperbole so that they can get the maximum fictional action possible while making it seem plausible. Either way, it makes the games better none the less. The depiction of the mass murder of the crowd of people when Modern Warfare 2 came out was one example. It's hard to believe that a group of 4 guys armed with machine guns can actually do it without out any sort of retaliation from either the crowd or the mall cops that coincidentally have such horrible aim? Exageration is nice, but not in hot situations.

Realism will never be allowed (5, Insightful)

Leo Sasquatch (977162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135042)

Simply because of the massive outpouring of shock, rage, and incessant bloody whining from people who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality and so assume no-one else can either.

A triple-A game costs $lots, and every developer wants to maximise returns. They want words like 'fun', and 'exciting' to be used by reviewers and players describing their games. Phrases like 'screams of the wounded', and 'dragging intestines' are right out. It doesn't matter how good physics engines get, or how much memory is in a PC; when bodies are shot, they will fall to the floor inert, and no amount of further shooting will do anything other than maybe nudge them about a bit. Enemies will have hit points, and once they're gone, they're dead, but until then, they're fully functional. Nobody's ever going to crawl away with a shattered kneecap, or frantically flail for their medkit trying to staunch a spurting artery.

There will never be children in a warzone, either as refugees or inhabitants. There will never be veiled and burqa'd women with suicide vests approaching soldiers at checkpoints. There will never be entire rows of houses filled with the dead, some still frozen in place with food in their hands, killed by cyanide gas bombs. What will be presented in-game will be the illusion of war, as seen from the safety and comfort of an armchair; sanitised by the news corporations who don't show you footage of anything that might actually upset you. Oddly enough, this doesn't extend to natural disasters, where they're often ghoulishly happy to show piles of fly-blown corpses, or 'dozers shoving piles of limed and flopping meat into vast unmarked graves.

It would be perfectly possible for a developer, hell, probably even some members of the modding community, to release a game that came a good deal closer to replicating the horrors of war than anything we've seen so far. Instead, I think they'll continue releasing things that are essentially toy soldiers, because nobody wants to be pilloried in the media for what amounts to trying to tell the truth.

Re:Realism will never be allowed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135278)

I'd buy that game you described.

You also run in to external restrictions (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135334)

For example if you play Fallout 3, you'll discover you can't kill children. You can shoot them, but they just pass out and pop back up (critical NPCs do this too so you can't permanently screw over your game). Now why is that? It doesn't have to be that way by engine limitations, there are mods to change it. It also wasn't that was in the original Fallout. There not only could you kill children, you got a special evil perk for it which lead to more people wanting to kill you.

Well the reason is that in some countries, it is illegal to have a game where you can kill kids. In the case of the original Fallout, they had to modify it to make all the children go away (they replaced them with invisible sprites). In the case of Fallout 3, they opted for the path of least resistance and just made them unkillable, since some of the kids play a role in the plot and can't be removed.

Oh and games do sometimes go for some nasty scenes, even big ones. In Call of Duty 4 you play as a solider when a nuclear weapon detonates. You then are crawling around, trying to get out of your downed chopper, as you die.

However the real reason has nothing to do with "telling the truth" or any of the rest of the things you scream about. It is because people want to play games to have fun. It is the same reason many non-controversial choices are made in games. You'll notice that having food and water in a game at all is somewhat rare, and being forced to eat to survive is near non existent. Why? It's boring to worry about. So they dispense with that. Less realistic, but more fun.

Re:Realism will never be allowed (3, Interesting)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135546)

You make excellent points. Sadly I didnt spend my mod points last time round and so they werent renewed today :(

I would like to reference the Soldier of Fortune series of games. If you remember, they caused much controversy because they tried to depict actual gun wounds and realistic death sequences. (The first one was a bit too early to get decent graphics so it was all pixels anyway, but the second one was pretty good). A shotgun slug to the stomach meant guts would spill out. 7.62mm to the face...well it took a good chunk of face right off. Explosives meant severed limbs.

People were up in arms about it (no pun intended) because it was too realistic, and all kinds of restrictions were imposed on it. Personally, I thought surely this realism is a good thing. Why sugar-coat what combat is like? It didnt make the game any less fun, but more poignant. I took the time to realise that "thank god this is just a game", and that I dont have to do this in real life.

To make money. (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135070)

Now add to this the idea that such depictions are essentially created as entertainment and to make money.

You do realise that the wars themselves are there to make money?
And if you don't think there's a certain segment of the public deriving entertainment from it, you have never been to the youtube channel where you can read the comments on videos showing Iraqi insurgents being killed by Apache gunfire.

At least the video games are honest about it.

Is Harry Patch still going? (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135122)

Pretty sure one of our last World War One (Wikipedia it, kids) vets would have had something to say on the issue. Probably "Get a grip you self-obsessed loons."

blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135156)

Once morality has been eroded to the point that it has been, does it really matter anymore? I swear, day by day, I am in awe of how accurate biblical prophecy is....and THAT is coming from someone who was raised orthodox christian, and despite that, thinks that's it's all bullshit....or maybe it's not.

You want a clue as to the state of our current reality? Just watch the history channel....they cannot churn out the patriotic b.s. fast enough these days it seems.

Ugh...there is just too much to say on this topic, I don't know where to begin, but for this particular topic....Moneyhats > all. Duh.

If it's the same as WW2 veterans + Majority ruling (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135276)

If it's the same as WW2 veterans complaining about CoD games, the letter of complaint will be titled "Get off my lawn!" Truth of it is, people are straying away from traditional morals and begin to understand how it's all opinionated. However, that doesn't mean it's a good think for humankind as a whole, but it's not the minority of complainers that matter to companies like EA, it's what the majority wants. Your typical corporate cut-throat corporation prefer numbers over good PR but if they can do both they are doing something really well. If the majority wants a game that depicts something so grotesque and the government doesn't disallow it and it gives the company an enormous amount of money, they might actually do it (sadly). Who knows, but then again our children and their children will all have their own different views about what's ethical and what's not. Bugs Bunny used to have a lot of racism in their episodes because it was acceptable, now racism isn't acceptable. Feminism, stereotypes, homosexuals, the list goes on... The world is opening their eyes and hopefully for the better and in my opinion I would like to see more simulated war games like modern warfare. But that's my opinion and it's nothing more than just one of millions. Which ever opinion is highest regarded will likely be the next trendy game scenario.

In short, badly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135348)

OP asks:
> How Will Contemporary War Games Affect Veterans?

Answer:
Badly.

Often it is the less overt more sensory things which will trigger off the PTSD though, and no one in the room except perhaps your loved ones will have any clue of why you've just had the wind knocked out of you.

Enjoy killing (1)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135392)

Well, seeing how the US Army seems to (partially) enjoy killing and their wonderful power over civil, er, sorry, terrorists, I'm sure the veterans will like more video games like that.

(Yes, I read WikiLeaks)

Moral? (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135420)

As a nation we have many secrets. Our public has no way to evaluate the morality of a war in which we were involved. And we can never judge the consequences of a war either. For example Adolph Hitler was subjected to the type of percussive shelling that is now known to cause serious brain injuries in the first World War. He was also gassed and the effects of that gassing may also include brain damage. He was hospitalized by the British to treat his gassing injuries after WWI ended. It may very well be that the awful carnage of WWII was due in great part to the brain injuries sustained by Hitler. Think about it a bit. He displayed idiotic tendencies yet was also an intense genius in some ways. He may well have been the most spell binding orator in all of history. So we may have seen the horrors of WWII due to Hitler's brain injuries. He was rather like an evil version of an idiot savant.
                  So how do morals come into play? If we bombed and gassed a wacko like Hitler into existence and that directly fed the world into WWII just how moral could w

One vet's opinion. (1)

DiltonDoily (1809620) | more than 3 years ago | (#33135434)

I'm a Vietnam vet, and for what it's worth, I think some people are way too uptight. I think a company that lets a few complainers talk 'em out of making a game is just too uptight too. If I'd been to Iraqistan, and had experiences like I had in Vietnam, and then played a game, like some of the recent war games, I'd just remember that it's a friggin' GAME, and if I don't like it, I don't have to play it. These games ARE supposed to be for adults, and if adults don't like it, they too can turn it off. Myself, I'd like to play it, and I think that if it made people THINK a little, if it made war a little more appalling, scary, well, that'd be GOOD. We need more games and less war, but that's just one man's opinion. I earned the right to one. Peace. D.

Fuck them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33135536)

Hopefully more vets will get so upset that they will tell others how bad war is.
I propose a new MMO called "Active War" or similar. Every time the USA decides to invade another country the MMO will get an invasion patch so players can enjoy the latest campaign of their country.
Maybe a future patch could provide a battle cam which connects the player to the helmet camera of a soldier for some real blood-spattering action.

Don't hide information, get it out there!

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