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Red Cross Wants Consequences For Video-Game Mayhem

timothy posted 1 year,21 days | from the design-by-committee dept.

The Military 288

Nerval's Lobster writes "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wants developers to consider building "virtual consequences" for mayhem into their video games. 'Gamers should be rewarded for respecting the law of armed conflict and there should be virtual penalties for serious violations of the law of armed conflict, in other words war crimes,' read the ICRC's new statement on the matter. 'Game scenarios should not reward players for actions that in real life would be considered war crimes.' Like many a concerned parent or Congressional committee before it, the ICRC believes that violent video games trivialize armed conflict to the point where players could see various brands of mayhem as acceptable behavior. At the same time, the ICRC's statement makes it clear that the organization doesn't want to be actively involved in a debate over video-game violence, although it is talking to developers about ways to accurately build the laws of armed conflict into games. But let's be clear: the ICRC doesn't want to spoil players' enjoyment of the aforementioned digital splatter. 'We would like to see the law of armed conflict integrated into the games so that players have a realistic experience and deal first hand with the dilemmas facing real combatants on real battlefields,' the statement continued. 'The strong sales of new releases that have done this prove that integrating the law of armed conflict does not undermine the commercial success of the games.'"

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Man i hate this game (5, Funny)

Flipstylee (1932884) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070105)

It's like every two missions i'm spending a month in the clink.

Re:Man i hate this game (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070245)

You've been a bad boy and your character is still in the penitentiary; please try again in 19 hours and counting...

Re:Man i hate this game (3, Interesting)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070447)

in assassin's creed if you kill 3 civilians then the level ends. i think this is a fair approach. of course in GTA if you kill a civilian then you get his money and his car, although that's not a war crime so much as a regular crime. I don't play the CoD type games so I don't know how they address the issue.

Re:Man i hate this game (2)

drakaan (688386) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070557)

Well, in CoD games, if you're playing multiplayer (as most players are), then there isn't a way to kill frendlies unless you play "hardcore" mode. In hardcore mode, you get kicked from a match if you kill teammates 3 times.

Re:Man i hate this game (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070651)

I thought that depended on server settings. Or at least I think it should. I'm sure that I would like with FF on during serious matches and NOT get kicked for FF.

Re:Man i hate this game (3, Interesting)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070631)

of course in GTA if you kill a civilian then you get his money and his car, although that's not a war crime so much as a regular crime.

And a wanted level. In GTA V, I believe murder gives you a two star wanted level which means the police come after you with force and will open fire to stop you. You could argue that evading the cops and getting them to forget about you is difficult, but having a crime witnessed in the GTA games does come with a consequence.

Re:Man i hate this game (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070639)

in assassin's creed if you kill 3 civilians then the level ends.

Remember Time Crisis? I think it only took 2 civilian deaths before you had to pump in another handful of quarters.

Re:Man i hate this game (5, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070381)

If they wanted to make it realistic, they should just have the UN pass an unenforceable resolution against you and have the International Court of Justice send you a very nasty letter once a year.

Re:Man i hate this game (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070633)

If they wanted to make it realistic, they should just have the UN pass an unenforceable resolution against you and have the International Court of Justice send you a very nasty letter once a year.

The cool thing about this is that if you play on the US team and they actually *do* try something, a new scenario called Invade the Hague [wikipedia.org] is unlocked, in which righteous US commandos get to kill everything they see to bring our boys home. ;)

Real life the game (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070115)

Boooooooooring.....that's the purpose of the game... to let go of reality. What they want? Mario REALLY dies after one death and its gameover forever?

Re:Real life the game (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070137)

Not forever. You can revive him for a $5 micropayment.

You've just reinvented the arcade game (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070347)

Congratulations. You've just reinvented the arcade game. But if you don't give at least some free credits, then you can't list it as free to play on the app stores.

Re:Real life the game (5, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070367)

From the website linked in the summary

Does this also apply to more fantasy oriented war games? No, the ICRC is talking about video games that simulate real-war situations. It is not suggesting that this apply to games that portray more fictional scenarios such as medieval fantasy or futuristic wars in outer space.

So... no. They're making a more specific recommendation that would not apply to Mario, or even most games.

Also, they're not making a general critique about more realism. Again, reading their website, their suggestion is much more specific:

The ICRC is concerned about scenarios that, for instance, depict the use of torture, particularly in interrogation, deliberate attacks on civilians, the killing of prisoners or the wounded, attacks on medical personnel, facilities, and transport such as ambulances, or that anyone on the battlefield can be killed.

So again, they're not talking about most aspects of most games. They're basically suggesting that media not sanitize human rights violations. Which is an issue. The news doesn't show war carnage. And after terrorist attacks, the public becomes much more okay with torture in theory. Perhaps its because they have little idea what actually happens. Torture scenes are ugly, so they're rarely included in most media. Videogames too, there's killing galore, but not much torture. I mean, there was that one level in Super Mario Bros 2 where Mario sodomized and waterboarded... wait, sorry, that's in my as of yet unreleased mod. Forget I said anything. Anyway, I think they're right that showing torture, attacking civilians, and other human rights violations, and the negative consequences could be something that videogames could actually inform the public on.

Call of Duty doesn't get much respect, I think it's a hipster like response, but that scene in Modern Warfare 2, where you went in and shot civilians in an airport, and then a war broke out... say what you will about the gameplay, but that was a ballsy inclusion and didn't shy away too much from how ugly it was.

Re:Real life the game (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070491)

Torture scenes are ugly, so they're rarely included in most media. Videogames too, there's killing galore, but not much torture

There's a mission in GTA V where you have to torture someone with pliers, a wrench, electrodes and waterboarding. It's not pretty.

Re:Real life the game (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070661)

So again, they're not talking about most aspects of most games. They're basically suggesting that media not sanitize human rights violations. Which is an issue.

This ties in a lot to my research groups area!

And the ICRC doesn't get it.

If you give players consequences for choices then those choices have to be interesting - or they shouldn't be choices. The reason you don't put prisoners of war in a game is because the consequences for improper POW treatment come well after the actual events - and only if you lose. What are the choices with POW's? Follow the geneva conventions and essentially nothing interesting happens. You may have to feed them or not - but not feeding POW's is more food for you, less food for them - win win if you win the war. That's a bad choice because it's essentially reinforcing the idea that starving a million POW's to death is actually a useful idea - and that's problematic because well, that's exactly why people do it. Do you want to reward people for starving POW's to death?

If you give players a choice to torture - and then they do - they have to have some gain out of it, or they'll just reload and not do it. That's a problem, because you've had to deliberately reward torture. When you don't give players a choice - or when you don't put on a consequence (e.g. blowing up an ambulance in a game) then you're neither rewarding nor punishing - it's just.. a game.

Things are banned in the real world because they either don't work and cause all sorts of problems for no benefit, or they are incredibly effective to the point of being too dangerous. Torture on one end of the spectrum, chemical weapons on the other.

What? (1)

grumpyman (849537) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070119)

That's the only place I can drive at 230km/h, slaughter monsters 10x my size, and that I can be 190 cm instead of 165 in real-life....etc. BTW, XBox PS3 and other consoles aren't that popular in Sierra Leon, Libya and such....

oddly, I support this (3, Interesting)

ClassicASP (1791116) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070121)

It would ruin Grand Theft Auto, but for games that we're using to train soldiers, I'd definitely support this.

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

twocows (1216842) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070153)

Then how about just implementing it in the latter?

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

Megane (129182) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070163)

What are you talking about? GTA sends the cops after you after you do shit. Or at least it tries to. When it notices it.

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070197)

That's humor isn't it?

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070229)

What are you talking about? GTA sends the cops after you after you do shit. Or at least it tries to. When it notices it.

Ever since Vice City, I've thought they should add in the feature that if a cop sees you commit a traffic violation (running a red light, speeding, etc.) it should automatically generate one star.

'Twould make things more interesting... add a kind of a 'stealth element,' you know?

Re:oddly, I support this (4, Funny)

tompaulco (629533) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070331)

Ever since Vice City, I've thought they should add in the feature that if a cop sees you commit a traffic violation (running a red light, speeding, etc.) it should automatically generate one star. 'Twould make things more interesting... add a kind of a 'stealth element,' you know?

That would definitely increase game lengths. It would take hours to complete one mission.
What I hate is when I am sitting there minding my own business, and a cop takes off after somebody and runs into my car. Then all of a sudden I have one star, even though I didn't do anything wrong (at least it is modeled after real life). Then if you run away, you have two stars. And apparently running away is enough to get the cops shooting at you. Also like real life, at least in DC.

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070421)

I'm sure they've probably thought of that, and maybe even tested it out. I think it would just make everything really annoying though. Even worse than "Hey cousing, do you want to go bowling?".

If you like that kind of stuff, try the Driver series. They were a lot more stealth based and difficult than GTA. Driver San Francisco didn't really hold my attention like the earlier games though.

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

ClassicASP (1791116) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070263)

Well, what I meant was DON'T do this in GTA, but definitely in Call of Duty and other games used to train soldiers. No reason to give them a means by which they'd get to practice committing war crimes. In fact, now that I think of it, since its an online game, why not track how many real soldiers playing the game are committing more war crimes while playing the game? That might serve as an indicator for being more predisposed to going berserk.

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070561)

bullshit.

fantasy is fantasy.

many of us liked watching the sopranos on HBO. does that mean we also have problems knowing the diff between fantasy and reality?

sheesh.

Re:oddly, I support this (5, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070231)

FTA - "Does this also apply to more fantasy oriented war games?

No, the ICRC is talking about video games that simulate real-war situations. It is not suggesting that this apply to games that portray more fictional scenarios such as medieval fantasy or futuristic wars in outer space. "

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

AvitarX (172628) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070503)

Are there games that don't include this?

You usually used to lose life in the arcade shooters for hitting civilians for example.

Re:oddly, I support this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070239)

I wish GTA would make it a choice between choosing good path, i.e. become a cop. It would be nice to be able to align yourself to more than what they offer.

Re:oddly, I support this (2)

tompaulco (629533) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070361)

I wish GTA would make it a choice between choosing good path, i.e. become a cop. It would be nice to be able to align yourself to more than what they offer.

I do this anyway. I try to do as little harm as I can do while still completing the missions. I don't run over pedestrians, kill hookers, etc. i don't even jack cars that have people in them. I just take the parked cars (Hey, you gotta get around).

Re:oddly, I support this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070541)

I wish GTA would make it a choice between choosing good path, i.e. become a cop. It would be nice to be able to align yourself to more than what they offer.

This would be cool. You can be a common criminal or just a criminal with a badge. Super realistic.

Re:oddly, I support this (1)

h2oboi89 (2881783) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070321)

There is a whole spectrum of "reality" in games. On one end you have GTA where pretty much anything goes, then you pass COD and BF where depending on settings you get punished for friendly fire and such, to games like Americas Army and the actual training simulators we use. No one is going to make GTA their first serious choice for a training simulator. The software we actually use is not only much more rigid in terms of rules and physics, but also much better suited for training as they have the ability to create and load specific scenarios whereas the others are strictly games with a limited set of "missions" setup by the developers, mainly aimed at amusement and hardly qualifying as training material.

Then it should be applied across board... (1)

BravoZuluM (232200) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070135)

Films should at all times should add scenes which show the consequences of those serious violations. Songs should at all times have a chorus that show the consequences of those serious violations. Books same thing. Of course, the media will get quickly boring when they are forced to follow a recipe.
 
I think that system has been tried...in socialist and communist countries. It seems that people are voting with their money. Games like GTA are fulfilling a need, or it would not sell.

Re:Then it should be applied across board... (3, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070253)

FTA - "Why does the ICRC show interest in video games but not, for example, in books, comics, TV series or films?

The ICRC is occasionally approached by filmmakers or authors who want to portray its activities in past or present armed conflicts. It has thus had contacts with various segments of the entertainment world beyond the developers of video games. But video games represent an unprecedented novelty. Unlike traditional media such as movies, they require players to make active decisions, for example to use or refrain from using force.

Again, the ICRC is not interested in all video games – only in those simulating real-life armed conflict. Some of these games are being designed and produced by the same companies developing simulated battlefields for the training of armed forces where the law of armed conflict are a necessary ingredient."

Re:Then it should be applied across board... (2)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070267)

I think that system has been tried...in socialist and communist countries.

What? I don't recall any part of socialist or communist doctrine headed "Consequences in fiction". Are you maybe thinking of totalitarian countries, where the emphasis is more about adherence to the glorious leader's wishes?

Games like GTA are fulfilling a need

You're also confusing "need" with "demand".

Re:Then it should be applied across board... (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070343)

Films should at all times should add scenes which show the consequences of those serious violations.

They already tried that in the U.S. It was called the Hays Code [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Then it should be applied across board... (2)

Давид Чапел (3032005) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070497)

Films should at all times should add scenes which show the consequences of those serious violations. Songs should at all times have a chorus that show the consequences of those serious violations. Books same thing. Of course, the media will get quickly boring when they are forced to follow a recipe.

It would get boring if the consequences were tacked on in predictable way like the disclaimers and warnings at the end of a prescriptional drug commercial on TV. But the idea of writing realistic consequences into the plot of a video game is interesting. And I don't mean simplistic stuff like "if you shoot civilians without justification, you may bet caught and thrown into the brig". How about a "reputation meter" which would indicate how others view your actions. As it got lower, your enemies would be able to justify the use of more agressive measures against you and parties which had been trying to stay out of it might join in and start fighting you.

This is a pattern which has played out in numerous real wars. Rushing in with advanced weaponry and shooting the place up is fun, but the neigbors really, really resent it. Break too much stuff, shoot to many of the 'wrong' people, disrupt their lives too much, utter too many threats, strut around too much, and they will get angry and try to put you in your place. Before you know it, you will be caught in a quagmire.

Re:Then it should be applied across board... (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070653)

More than movies and games, I'm concerned about reality. Currently, it seems some wars are pretty rewarding or consequence-free for the warmongers. Look at the latest Iraq war. The UN has not sanctioned the US or the UK even though they lauched an unilateral, illegal war based on wrong, unproven excus^H^H^H^H^Hassumptions.

Also, the Red Cros received funding from Humble Bundle initiatives that included games like Saints Row 3. Where's the line of disapproval? Tropico? Evil Genius? Rainbow Six?

Rites of Passage (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070141)

They actually raise a good point - video games can and probably will be used to gauge people's sense of morality. Especially as immersion becomes more total, we'll be able to give people "adulthood tests".

Or at least introduce large numbers of people to these kinds of issues. Imagine moral lessons taught via first person shooter. Strange future we have.

made up rules (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070143)

law of armed conflict, laws of land warfare, and all the other bullshit.

they are completely made-up agreements, not "laws". most of the time, few countries actually signed these agreements. other countries only sign them when they have no consequences to them or they never had any intention of following them anyway... because hey, it looks good to "ban" "landmines".

when war was terrible, we had it ever 20-50 years. now war is palatable, we have it 24/7.

The North Korean army, the Chinese Army, the Russian Army will put a bayonett thru your kids head and whipe his blade with your bullshit "international laws". These "laws" only hamper the good guys.

Re:made up rules (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070283)

Were you asleep during history class?

Most of human history has been a low-intensity meatgrinder, moderated primarily by the fact that we lacked the technology and competence to field armies much above 'band of thugs' size for more than a few months without disease or starvation killing them off.

We never really stopped tolerating(and often aiding, abetting, and stirring up) ghastly little wars in ghastly little countries nobody cares much about; but post WWII is a crazy peaceful period by historical standards (especially when you factor in the number of countries and non-state actors who could field an army without it starving or dying of cholera and just don't bother).

But, yeah, I'm totally so scared of commies that I'll stoop to their imagined level.

Re:made up rules (1)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070391)

These "laws" only hamper the good guys.

See, this is what happens when your only view on international politics is through Hollywood action movies and FPS video games. Simple to understand good guys (Americans, naturally) and bad guys (communist foreigners). The former; all that is right and god fearing in the world. The latter; inhuman, unthinking, immoral evil who eat babies.

Re:made up rules (1)

Applekid (993327) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070559)

These "laws" only hamper the good guys.

See, this is what happens when your only view on international politics is through Hollywood action movies and FPS video games. Simple to understand good guys (Americans, naturally) and bad guys (communist foreigners). The former; all that is right and god fearing in the world. The latter; inhuman, unthinking, immoral evil who eat babies.

Fine fine, it's the bad guys versus the guys that won the war and wrote the history books after the fact.

Re:made up rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070623)

trollolol nice one good sir

Depends on the context of the game (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070147)

Don't want this in Mario or Borderlands but I'm sure it's already in America's Army.

Re:Depends on the context of the game (2)

Ardyvee (2447206) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070451)

More importantly, I don't recall a single time I've seen during normal gameplay any serious war crime committed by the player. We do see torture (BLOPS2) in a context I'm actually okay with seeing (no-mans land + outside the law agents). Civilians aren't featured that much on CoDs series (no, No Russian does not count as you are an undercover agent that should, in fact, shoot the civilians to keep your cover. Well, "cover") and of all those times I can only remember them in places they can easily be caught in the crossfire so.. it's kinda pointless to try to shoot them -- need them bullets for the enemies. IIRC CoD also resets you to the checkpoint when you shoot civilians or friendlies (unless obvious he popped into my line of sight and I couldn't do much about it), though I'm not so sure about this.

On the other spectrum, Arma 1/2 ends the game if you shoot blues too much (some blue on blue is okay as long as it's an accident) or civilians (at least in the campaign/official scenarios). And while it is a costume for Dslyecxi and his group to shoot enemy wounded combatants, we must also remember the fact that when they become conscious again they *can* and *will* shoot you on the back. Disarming them is often if ever not a possibility (under fire/need to move fast), so shooting them is... well... logical.

They also mention medical personnel, facilities and transports which I can't recall seeing beyond Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, in which the medic gets killed (presumably by a stray bullet). Oh, and combat medics -- which is to say soldiers that know how to apply first-aid (and magically heal soldiers).

Honestly? I don't know what they want with this. If they had provided some examples I'd be more than happy to look at it... but...

Unless, of course, they are talking about using your enemy's uniform which I kind of understand but disagree with and I think I have seen it done in some games but it isn't a really good dynamic to be using.

Again (0)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070151)

Ethics are taught by parents, not games.

Re:Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070383)

Ethics are taught by parents, not games.

What planet do you come from?

Ultra reaslitic games (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070161)


If I wanted a game that I had to do a 9-5 and be scolded by my boss when I was mouthy to a customer I'd just go to work.

Part of the reason we play games is because we can do unrealistic things. Sure, run around town, shoot up the place and drive off in a car you;d never be able to steal, let alone afford.

Perhaps what they should concentrate on is educating children and young adults about real life consequences and how video games differ from real life.

Re:Ultra reaslitic games (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070199)

Perhaps what they should concentrate on is educating children and young adults about real life consequences and how video games differ from real life.

nah, we have too many people already in this world. let darwin take its course. those who are too stupid to understand might be better off being darwined, so to speak.

Next DLC: (1)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070165)

Grand Theft Auto: Warcrimes Tribunal

Experience the thrilling recreations of standing in front of a judge.

Re:Next DLC: (2)

freeze128 (544774) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070415)

Experience the thrilling recreations of standing in front of a judge.

Press X to flip him the bird.

I think they are missing the point of games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070171)

The whole point of playing the game is to escape from the constraints of reality. Adding a whole bunch of reality? Why play?

Do as you please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070179)

Make whatever game you want to make with these silly rewards for doing good things.

I'll continue playing GTA 5.

Accounting simulator pro (2, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070185)

Earn a bunch of money in a completely ethical way, as you make sure to not cook the books when your boss asks you do. Do trivial sums, and make sure the black outweighs the red, in the most action-unpacked simulator of the year.

Escapism is bad, and we should get as much boring reality into our games as possible. No more unrealistic lack of consequences from violence.

Play the new military shooter, where you patrol the same ground for 3 weeks straight, and nothing happens until several of your friends are injured in an IED attack, and you heroically call for backup and occasionally provide cover fire, setting the stage for the next 8 weeks of recovering in the hospital.

Re:Accounting simulator pro (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070411)

Hmm play the all new "Sage accounting III"

Re:Accounting simulator pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070433)

Earn a bunch of money in a completely ethical way, as you make sure to not cook the books when your boss asks you do. Do trivial sums, and make sure the black outweighs the red, in the most action-unpacked simulator of the year.

quote>

EVE?

Rule #2 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070189)

Also, all games should respect all laws of physics, including gravity. Even if a game is focused on, say, Superman, we can't trust people to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, so no flying or bending steel bars w/ bare hands anymore. K?

Sorry, folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070191)

Breaking out of reality and destroying as much as you can without any consequences is one of the key attractions of video games. RPGs may implement rules and consequences for breaking them, but don't expect anything like that in fast action games.

Hogwash (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070193)

I would like red cross to keep its mind on important things, like say, actual violence.

Future of Counter Strike (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070195)

"Terrorists Win!"

"You are now required to spend 10 minutes in the waiting lounge, with other terrorists, because terrorism is bad and you did it. Please be ashamed of yourself. In real life, terrorists spend average of 10 years in prison."

Re:Future of Counter Strike (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070517)

It's more like: "Go to the bathroom. Take a bucket of water. Lie down face up. Cover your face with a wet towel. Slowly pour the water over your mouth and nostrils until you're convinced you're dying. Keep pouring for about half a minute after that. Stop, refill your glass and repeat ten to twenty times."

How about they just mind their own business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070207)

Who said we want games to be like reality?

We go there to escape reality.... not imitate it.

Why do you think you can tell people how to build games? They don't tell you how to run your medical operations...... Yet you can tell them what kind of entertainment they can enjoy.

Go fuck yourself. Truly.

Before people get critical, RTFA (5, Interesting)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070211)

"the ICRC is not interested in all video games – only in those simulating real-life armed conflict. Some of these games are being designed and produced by the same companies developing simulated battlefields for the training of armed forces where the law of armed conflict are a necessary ingredient."

They actually make some valid points and they aren't too preachy. They want realistic war games to be more realistic.

Re:Before people get critical, RTFA (2)

Aerokii (1001189) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070305)

For once I actually heard/read this story before it showed up on Slashdot, and some of the reactions in the comments... well, they're fairly well expected. I doubt anyone would try Mario in a criminal court of stomping on Goombas, and they don't want you to receive a dishonorable discharge in halo for tea-bagging. They're more focused on games about modern warfare (including but not limited to Modern Warfare.)

Re:Before people get critical, RTFA (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070333)

You can play "Americas army" if you want that. Of course that's a choice.

Re:Before people get critical, RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070441)

The cynical side of me says that soldiers not being punished for war crimes they commit IS realistic.

Re:Before people get critical, RTFA (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070533)

The irony is that they make these complaints while others complain that video games are getting too realistic. You can't please everyone, and if you can't please everyone, choose to please those who actually buy and play the video games.

Re:Before people get critical, RTFA (1)

brit74 (831798) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070637)

They want realistic war games to be more realistic.

No, they want to teach "rules of war" and they think that violent videogames promote real-world violence. It isn't about "being realistic". Game developers leave out a *ton* of stuff from wargames - your character doesn't need to pee, eat regular meals, clean his gun or restock rounds, clean toilets, put up with the bureaucracy of a military establishment, or boredom of nothing happening for days on end. Having consequences for bad behavior is another one of those (many) "not fun" things that gets left out of games because it's not fun.

Re:Before people get critical, RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070719)

Sure. Now can you tell me why the hell ICRC has any business talking about video games at all? Simulating real-life armed conflict or not? The FAA doesn't do flight simulators, I don't expect the FDA to do Farmville.

Red Cross (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070219)

All you have to do is put your money on the line and make the game. Then come back and tell us what people will and wont buy.
Stick to your business least it roll over and I dont donate to you anymore. it is a simple box I can uncheck at work.

Hippocrates... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070223)

Red cross just accepted a lot of money as donations from the humble bundles, why would they suddenly turn around and attack the very same games that gave them charitable money?

Re:Hippocrates... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070327)

Is a "hippocrate" a large crate to store a hippopotamus?

Can we donate one to the Red Cross to store morally-wrong games?

Finally they got it... (1)

vague regret (1834800) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070225)

Looks like video games are the last bastion of evil on the whole Earth. Are ICRC members just boring? Or they have too much money to spend?

Not sure how this will work (2)

axlash (960838) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070227)

This is very well intentioned to be sure, but I don't see how it would work. In the real world, most people are literally and metaphorically able to get away with murder on the battlefield; the only time they aren't is when they are captured by an opposing force. Is the Red Cross suggesting that if the game AI senses that you have committed gross acts of violence that it should cause the enemy force to overwhelm you as "punishment"? Or that an international tribunal should materialize on the spot to try you?

It depends on setting, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070247)

If you're playing a uniformed soldier in a real modern army that's great. The setting dictates what's acceptable in the setting, though. There's no human-vs-(non-infected, free willed)human contact in the original Doom. It's you vs. the monsters. It's kill or be killed. Converting settlements of natives is true to history in Colonization. Some simple games like Combat! or Scorched Earth or even AssaultCube or Unreal Tournament have little to do with story or procedure. The campaign in Battlefield 3 has some grey areas in it.

In principle, I agree that more games should have this sort of restriction at least on the "good guys" if only to make the game more interesting. However, what's acceptable in one game may not be in an entirely different time and place in another game.

Well... sort of. (1)

twocows (1216842) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070269)

"'We would like to see the law of armed conflict integrated into the games so that players have a realistic experience and deal first hand with the dilemmas facing real combatants on real battlefields"
This could actually be interesting for a certain class of games. Spec Ops: The Line is a prime example of this in play, and it works perfectly. That said, their rationale for this is all wrong. They seem to be implying that rewarding gamers for "evil" behavior, if you will, is inherently wrong. It's not. Games are games. Yes, there will always be the off person who goes nuts and then pins the blame on whatever the popular target is at the time, but that's irrelevant. If we start outlawing everything that might potentially hurt someone, we'd all be living in nice little padded cells our entire lives. The vast majority of people are perfectly capable of understanding the difference between fantasy and reality.

Coming this Christmas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070279)

It's Super-Boring-But-Realistic-War-Game!

- Thrill at the constant anticipation of maybe seeing battle, but probably just running from the barracks to a helicopter and back again!
- Stand at attention for long stretches of time!
- Participate in long negotiation talks!
- Struggle in vain at your inability to help innocent victims until orders are passed down allowing you to take action!
- Fill out reams of paper-work explaining any infraction, accidental or otherwise!

Pre-order at GameStop and Amazon now!

Actually not a bad idea (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070285)

Working in a bit of real-world reality to these video games is a good idea I think. One of the complaints that often arises about violent video games is that there is a huge disconnect between the fantasy of the game and the reality of the world.

Incorporating geopolitical reality might just make the games more fun and challenging too, and give the nannies a little less to complain about.

I thought realism was bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070313)

First it's too much realism, now it's not enough realism!

Could be fun...but (2)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070317)

I like game mechanics and games that try to do things and model consequences. Fallout, fable, these games have presented consequences. Kill a named character and they are gone. Kill and rampage, or even steal, and it has consequences for how people interact with you and what is available to you.

However, so far, these mechanics all are a bit simplistic and buggy. If I am careful to steal only when nobody else is around, I am still known as a thief, if I kill when there are no witnesses, I am still known as the murderer. Hell.... in New Vegas, I can dress up as a faction, use that to slip past people or get into situations but... anything I do is still on me, even though I am in disguise.

In terms of real possibility, with cameras and "soldier of the future" programs, the idea of every soldier having video that can be reviewed later almost makes the mechanics of something like this less of a diversion from reality than many of the other attempts at it.... except... anyone who thinks the reality is ever going to be "the film is reviewed and people are charged with crimes", that is totally far fetched and is never going to happen, video will be reviewed for effectiveness and intel only, ever in a real military....and even blatant crimes will be buried in mountains of data.

So I don't see why they want a game to give people unrealistic expectations.

Re:Could be fun...but (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070709)

The mechanics are simplistic because narrative choices cause exponential changes in narrative paths. It is a bit like the choose your adventure books. It is fun at first, but if you want to get through the story you get frustrated because batman almost always dies.

Spoof game? RC making itself a fool? (1)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070339)

I see a video game in the theme of "Team America" where the subject is that you get to be the red cross and go punish violators. This sort of PR could end badly.

an idea that might work (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070355)

a few features that could be fun

1 have a number of noncombatants that you get "points" for keeping alive

2 lose "points" for excessive property damage

3 have a meter with "good will" that can get you allies/help

4 have your supply officer gripe about your ammo use (and or be happy about how much ammo you captured)

Make it ultra-realistic. (3, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070363)

"The ICRC believes there is a place for international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) in video games". Because it's just too hard to apply these rules in reality. Unless you're the disarmed loser of a conflict.
When is the last time any member-state of the permanent security council was tried for war-crimes? So in the game Russian, Chinese, American, British and French players should get a free pass, but all others will get their asses kicked in a court of law.
That is if they manage to survive the kidnapping, torture and assassination.

Re:Make it ultra-realistic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070689)

That sounds like a great new idea for a game! I feel like I'm playing already!

Missing the point (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070369)

I think some of you are missing the point: what the Red Cross is worried about is that if you've spent all day shooting villagers in Black Ops 2, and this is your only view of what warfare is like, then when you see things like the Collateral Murder video you are much more likely to shrug and go "What's the big deal? The president says it's ok to do this, so it must be ok.".

If you consider yourself to be too informed for that to work on you, think of how informed the average person you know is, and then reflect on the fact that half of them are less informed than that. And that half is absolutely convinced that they are right about all things. Since a (large) portion of the other half is apathetic or cynical, at least 75% of the population is just fine with the status quo no matter how many war crimes the US commits (provided the war crimes are committed against someone else).

Thus, certain video games end up unintentionally acting as a very good propaganda tool in support of war crimes.

I think that is an actual problem, and is something that the Red Cross is absolutely right to worry about. I don't think that there's a good general way around this (and censoring games is the opposite of a good way to do anything), but I absolutely think that a better implementation of RoE belongs in America's Army. This is a discussion we should be having.

there is something we would like to ask the red cr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070371)

And we would like the Red Cross (inc.) to refund the surplus funds they raised for the past 30 years of calamities that never made it to benefit the afflicted. For example: Remember 911 when millions of dollars in funds where raised explicitly for helping those affected by 911 and the Red Cross decided to not pass on most of what the raised to those families in need but keep it claiming too much money was raised and it would not be proper to give so much money to people. Really? What about the first responders coming down with various cancers the past 10 years, too much money for them as well??

Also please do not charge hundreds of dollars for donated blood or pay your donors what their blood is worth, a "free" turkey sandwich is not enough btw.

Next up, MMO's (1)

argStyopa (232550) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070379)

...in which a raid is only complete when the Guild Leader sends an apology note to the instance's main boss for their unannounced intrusion of his secret lair, their slaughter of his guards, and a compensatory money-order for the treasure they looted.. /facepalm.

Minority (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070439)

Maybe I'm in the minority but building consequences based on the different actions you take into some current games sounds fun. In fact consequences have been lacking since the NES days IMO. It's mostly just morality choices that don't affect anything except the look of your characters face.
Obviously the fun factor would have to take priority but I can see where they're going with it. Here's a quick example that comes to mind.

Mission 1 - nullify insurgents
There are multiple routes to your objective:
A) You can execute a surgical strike, avoiding civilian casualties. It takes longer and will make your soldiers more fatigued for the next mission but you get a monetary bonus from the international community and people are less likely to take up arms against you in subsequent missions
B) You can gas the entire area. It's quick and effective but draws international condemnation, maybe a fine against your mission rewards, civilians becoming rebels in subsequent missions or one of your squad members goes to jail and has to be replaced with a new recruit.

It has potential to be fun, if implemented properly(always the hardest part)

Who cares? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070449)

First they're blaming crime on video games. Now they're blaming war crimes? They can't be serious. I'm glad that my experience with real world war and war crimes is zero. I'm not relying on a video game to be realistic, hell they won't even show civilians in the war zones.

Teaching the law of armed conflict? (1)

harvestsun (2948641) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070453)

"Remember kids, it's fine to massacre people, but you gotta use the right weapons! If you don't, Obama might threaten 'narrow, punitive action.'"

If the people want it, they'll make it (1)

cogeek (2425448) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070477)

This is something that should be addressed by market demands. If people want to see it in games, they'll demand it of the developers and it should happen. If they don't want it and it gets put in anyway, the game will fail, no one will buy it and no one will ever see it.

So then ... (1)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070555)

... no more taking off and nuking the site from orbit? Too many civilian casualties.

They should pissed off at EA's 20% of simcity DLC (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070597)

Re:They should pissed off at EA's 20% of simcity D (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,21 days | (#45070669)

Yeah. That's pretty insulting.

Wrong approach, Red Cross ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070665)

Why are we trying to make video games have boring consequences?

Instead, let's make real life more fun,exciting and consequence-free! I know for a fact the Red Cross have a big store of those floating medpaks that take your health back up to 100%. Why are you holding out on us, Red Cross?

Virtual Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070695)

And you should have to go to driving school and earn a license in GTA.
And pay income tax for selling items in RPGs.
How about a hunting lincense for playing Pacman?

Hitman (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070697)

The HITMAN - Agent 47 franchise incorporates this concept. And although it is not exactly the kind of war scenario that the Red Cross guys are thinking about, it is kinda-sorta, more-or-less, somewhat-akin-to, grounded in reality (except regarding the "super soldier yadda yadda" qualities of the main character).

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45070701)

These games are not advertised as educational tools or life simulators ... they are entertainment. We are rewarded by not being locked up and incarcerated daily for doing as we are told, why would anyone want to play a game that offers us the same thing we do every day all day in real life?

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