Combat games disrespect war laws, report claims
Virtual troops should play by the same rules real ones do
Videogames should respect the real-world rules governing wars, a report has concluded, following research into how many videogames break them.
A study of 20 titles, including many from the Call of Duty and Tom Clancy series, carried out by Pro Juvenile – an organisation which aims to protect kids from unlimited videogame violence - and Trial, which fights to prevent people who commit war crimes getting away with it, found that most of the games contained “elements that violate... international standards”.
The two bodies used specialists in international humanitarian law to identify videogame violations, the most frequent being a disregard for “the legal principles of distinction and proportionality” – dropping 1000 bombs on crowded town just to kill one sniper, for example.
Intentionally directing attacks against civilians and religious buildings are two other war law no-nos that often appeared in the 20 videogames, the organisations claimed. Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and/or torture cropped up frequently too.
Some of the 20 titles examined did, however, “incorporate rules that encourage the gamer to respect human rights and international humanitarian law”.
Pro Juvenile and Trial are particularly worried about the alleged violations within videogames because war games – unlike books or films - require the player to take an active role. Many are increasingly used by the military as training tools, the report added.
Both bodies called for videogame developers to avoid creating in-game situations that lead to violations of recognised laws regulating armed conflicts.
“It would mean a wasted opportunity if the virtual space transmitted the illusion of impunity for unlimited violence in armed conflicts,” the report concluded.
The full report Playing by the Rules: Applying International Humanitarian Law to Video and Computer Games is available to view online (PDF) now. ®
carried out by Pro Juvenile – an organisation which aims to protect kids from unlimited videogame violence
... and how many wargames (CoD4:MW2 for instance) are 18 certificates? Or indeed games that aren't wargames such as Grand Theft Auto.
Kids are already protected from violence in videogames by the BBFC/PEGI rating certificate - so what they're essentially saying is that "children playing unsuitable games may be exposed to things that are unsuitable for children" - no shit, really?
Virtual terrorists unite!
It's only a game. I know full well that it's only a game and wouldn't dream of doing things that I do in games such as Modern Warfare 2 or GTA in real life.
Somebody should tell them that these are 18 rated games and are not meant for children, in fact are illegal for children to buy, or to be bought for, in civilised countries.
They'd be better off spending their time educating parents that modern computer games aren't actually designed for children.
I'm with another poster on here; Total War. Anyone who opposes me in any way, indeed anyone who doesn't unconditionally support me, is clearly my enemy and thus an ‘enemy combatant’ who's not covered by the Geneva Convention; ergo I can do what I like to them.
We don't need the violence.
You're being exploited by video game publishing houses who sell grotesque violence, like that seen in Modern Warfare 2 and then take gains from the publicity it must solicit.
We don't need that sort of violence, understandably some creature or enemy must be defeated in games but that enemy should not be a child or a plane packed with civillians. It hasn't always been in games, the best game 'FUED' was about turning villagers into zombies to take out an family member with whom you were sharing a fued.
Now imaging that when I say taking him out I mean on a date, fun, fun, fun.