Feeds

Virtual war is worrying

Hu, yeah, what is it good for?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Somewhere in the world right now, someone is getting killed in a war. Probably in Iraq, I suspect. As the casualty list grows higher every day, the death of many soldiers - and many Iraqi fighters - is reduced to an ever-diminishing footnote by Western administrations and news conduits.

As I sit comfortably in my living room, people are dying around me, too. Nazis, mostly. My team of not-quite-battle-hardened soldiers is rallying around me and we're surging through the streets of France, taking out The Hun and his gun emplacements as I go. As the music swells to a triumphant brass climax, I can tell that victory is within my grasp.

Call of Duty 1 screenshot

My cries of victory are vaguely derisory and even as I celebrate, I wonder exactly how my grandfather would view all this. As a man who fought through the horror of World War Two, memories of the chilling stories he told me of the era cause me to contemplate for a moment - is this game really in good taste?

War films have always come under fire, if you will, for glorifying man's fight against fellow man, with the exception of Saving Private Ryan, which romped to critical acclaim with its no-holds barred portrayal of the great conflict. That film encouraged us to contemplate, to reflect and to sympathise with the plight of the characters, evoking strong emotional responses. So far, I find the Xbox 360 rendition rather less mature and certainly less subtle.

Call of Duty 2 screenshot

There is certainly an argument that all this is in bad taste. To make light of death and war can be insensitive to those who feel its effects. Yet war and violence is inextricably embedded within man's consciousness and there isn't a man alive who hasn't wondered what it would be like to be a soldier, to be on the front line, to be fighting for your life. How would you react? Could you kill a man? How would it affect you? Would you be an instinctive soldier, a brilliant commander, or a grunt?

This series of 'What-ifs' led a girlfriend of mine to compare war games to female rape fantasies. The contemplation of how she would react to such a horrific and life-changing situation, she suggested, was as equally embedded in her psyche as innate violence was in mine. The difference was, she morbidly concluded, that she didn't play out her thoughts on a 28in HD TV. I wondered if her admission made my war games any more ethically satisfying.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Related stories

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.