Author Topic: Red Cross: Build war crime consequences into games  (Read 2355 times)

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Red Cross: Build war crime consequences into games
« on: October 10, 2013, 10:46:32 »
This from the International Committee of the Red Cross:
.... The ICRC believes there is a place for international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) in video games. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has publicly stated its interest in  the implications of video games that simulate real-war situations and the opportunities such games present for spreading knowledge of the law of armed conflict.   The rules on the use of force in armed conflict should be applied to video games that portray realistic battlefield scenes, in the same way that the laws of physics are applied.

What exactly does the ICRC want to see in these video games?
The ICRC is suggesting that as in real life, these games should include virtual consequences for people's actions and decisions.  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.  This already exists in several conflict simulation games. Game scenarios should not reward players for actions that in real life would be considered war crimes.

The ICRC is concerned that certain game scenarios could lead to a trivialization of serious violations of the law of armed conflict. The fear is that eventually such illegal acts will be perceived as acceptable behaviour. However the ICRC is not involved in the debate about the level of violence in video games.

What are some of the violations of the law of armed conflict that are of particular concern?
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.

Should video games be prohibited from depicting such acts?
Sanitizing video games of such acts is not realistic.  Violations occur on real battlefields and can therefore be included in video games. The ICRC believes it is useful for players to learn from rewards and punishments incorporated into the game, about what is acceptable and what is prohibited in war.

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 ....
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Offline Shrek1985

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Re: Red Cross: Build war crime consequences into games
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 11:34:37 »
Well that's fascinating!

Will it include levels dealing with siege law; awarding points for turning back starving civilians with gunfire?

Can we have a little flashing icon when one of the many instances in which the Geneva convention does not apply to an enemy comes up? "There are way too many people here to take prisoner in your current situation; attempt parole, or execute?"

Can there be a level dealing with piracy?

OH! Difficulty levels could be managed with the degree to which a player's nation of choice adheres to laws such as these. Canada can be on expert/legendary difficulty (LOAC is preeminent at all times, in all circumstances), followed by any Protocol IV Nation, the US (protocol III only) and then easy difficult can be to play as an unlawful combatant; receive and adhere to no treaty obligations; do whatever you want! Baffle your enemies by shouting about rights you do not legally have!

Hmmmm, no the last one is silly; better throw in a mechanic to gain protection from Media Clowns; Special Item: Left-Wing Camera Crew.