GDC Panel Discussion Explores Moral and Ethical Dilemmas in Games About War

February 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

An interesting Game Developers Conference panel discussion will explore the moral and ethical dilemmas real soldiers face during combat and if these elements can (or should be) properly simulated in video games. The discussion is titled, "Gaming the Laws of War: Can Real Consequences Mean Real Fun?"

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U.S. Navy Details 'Strike Group Defender: The Missile Matrix'

January 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The United States Navy on Thursday revealed a training simulation game sponsored by the Office of Naval Research called Strike Group Defender: The Missile Matrix. Strike Group Defender is a virtual "demo space" developed as part of the Office of Naval Research Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) portfolio managed by PMR-51.

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The Atlantic Council's 'The Future of Unknown Conflict' Presentation Featuring 'COD' Writer Dave Anthony Now Available

October 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center held a special event called "The Future of Unknown Conflict" featuring Dave Anthony, the writer and director of the popular military-themed computer game series Call of Duty on Oct. 1. The 1 hour, 26 minute presentation is now available in its entirety here or to your left.

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Father Takes Sons to the Middle East to Show Them the Difference Between Real War and Video Game War

August 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

This Local.se report details the story of a Swedish father who is taking a little bit of heat from other parents for taking his two young sons on a trip to occupied Israel and Palestine in order to teach them about the realities of war. Yes, video games -- specifically Call of Duty -- is part of this story. Carl-Magnus Helgegren is a journalist, university teacher, and a father of two boys (ages 10 and 11).

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Ubisoft's 'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' Will Include World War I Footage

June 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Ubisoft announced that its upcoming World War I adventure game, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, will feature documentary footage. The game's developer Ubisoft Montpellier reportedly worked closely with the creators of the documentary series Apocalypse, World War I in making the adventure game.

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Vlambeer Addresses Concerns About Nazi Imagery in 'Luftrausers'

April 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Vlambeer studio co-founder Rami Ismail issued a statement today to address concerns that its hit 2D fighting game Luftrausers "implies" that players are controlling Nazi pilots and aircraft during World War II. The concerns likely stem from the name, which is similar to the "Luftwaffe," the air force of the German Wehrmacht during World War II; and the uniforms worn by commanders in the game that look similar to uniforms worn by German officers during the war.

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International Committee of the Red Cross Wants International Law Rolled into War Games

October 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a lengthy statement today noting that it is time that games involving war start including the actual laws of war. The IRCC says that this could be done without interfering with the fun that millions of players have playing first-person shooters.

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Russian Distributor Halts Sales of Company of Heroes 2 After Consumer Complaints

August 5, 2013 -

Russian distributor 1C-SoftClub was forced to halt sales of the WWII real-time strategy game Company of Heroes 2 after consumers complained about the portrayal of Russian forces in the game. After numerous player complaints about Russian forces being portrayed as having a ruthless leadership and taking liberties with history, the distributor decided to stop shipping the game to retailers, and reached out to publisher Sega. Sega said that it was looking into these concerns.

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Apple Removes Sweatshop from App Store, Rejects Endgame: Syria for Third Time

March 21, 2013 -

Apple has refused to include Auroch Digital's Endgame: Syria on the Apple App Store and has removed Sweatshop HD - a collaboration between U.K. studio Littleloud and Channel 4, according to this Polygon report. Both games, it seems are a little too controversial for Apple.

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Islamic Mali Takes Virtual Fight to French Forces

March 13, 2013 -

A new game created by people that could best be described as pro al-Qaeda and wholeheartedly against the West have developed a game riddled with propaganda called Islamic Mali. The game lets players engage in aerial dogfights in the name of al-Qaeda against French forces. The game is fairly straightforward, simple and is played in top-down perspective.

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Developer Defends Game Based on Ongoing Syrian Civil War

January 18, 2013 -

The designer of an iOS game that focuses on Syria's ongoing civil war is defending his game and explaining why he created it in the first place: to inform those people around the world who might be ignorant about the conflict. The game, Endgame Syria, is decidedly pro rebel forces and gives players choices like negotiating peace with President Bashar Assad's regime or sending jihadist fighters to kill the pro-government military forces.

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Indie Strategy Game Developers Form Super Group

December 5, 2012 -

Three independent game companies have decided to work together to develop and publish independently developed strategy and war games. The Slitherine Group, Ageod, and Matrix Games have merged. The new super group will continue to develop and publish niche war and strategy games online and through other channels. The Slitherine Group released 30 titles in 2012 for a variety of platforms including PC, Mac, PS3, X360 and tablet platforms. Its games include Battle Academy on iPad, Commander- The Great War, Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog for PC, and many others.

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Israel Defence Forces Accused of Gamifying Gaza Conflict With Web Game

November 21, 2012 -

Apparently Israel Defence Forces have decided to "gamify" their website to encourage viewers to promote the content, using a virtual game that awards visitors with badges and points for sharing pages through other social media sites. The gamification of the site actually happened way back in July but had a spotlight shined upon it today in this GameSpot Australia report.

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Wargaming to Finance Burma Spitfires Expedition

October 29, 2012 -

World of Tanks, World of Airplanes, and World of Warships creators Wargaming announced this morning that they are "fully underwriting" aircraft enthusiast David Cundall's efforts to recover British Spitfires reportedly buried in Burma at the end of World War II. The company's investment in Mr. Cundall's will allow him and the Burmese authorities to pursue the long-standing mystery of the Pacific theater.

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Truman National Security Project Offers Web Game Exploring the Ramifications of a U.S. War with Iran

October 18, 2012 -

The Truman National Security Project plans to launch a browser-based game this week that explores the United States' political and military involvement with Iran, according to a report in Defense News. The group describes itself as an institute that recruits and trains progressives to lead on national security issues.

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Poll: Are Any Video Game Topics Taboo?

August 22, 2012 -

Are there any themes or topics that should never be explored in a video game?

Azerbaijan Developers Revisit the Nagorno-Karabakh War

August 21, 2012 -

A new video game developed by a 19-year-old student and promoted by the Azerbaijani government lets players change the results of the Spring 1992 capture of the Nagorno Karabakhi town of Shusha by Armenian and Nagorno Karabakhi forces. The battle marked the turning point in the conflict for control of the territory.

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Required Reading: War-torn Developers Creating Games from the Front Lines

July 25, 2012 -

Gamasutra has a fascinating article on how developers in war-torn regions cope with developing games in the midst of chaos and bloodshed created by violence. Some, like Radwan Kasmiya from Syria, have fled to other countries but still find the wars they ran away from having a long arm and a strong influence on the ability to practice their craft.

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Wargaming America Brings USS IOWA to Life with Simulations

June 19, 2012 -

Game developer Wargaming America is working hard to bring some game-based virtual simulation to the USS IOWA. The battleship recently took its final voyage to dock at the port of Los Angeles, where it will serve as a museum beginning next month. Wargaming's simulation promises to bring the battleship's "history to life by creating a bridge experience and an aerial combat game that will live on the ship and showcase its firepower and aerial defenders in action."

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PETA Upset Over Battlefield 3 Rat Backstab

November 7, 2011 -

You might want to sit down for this.

There’s a popular war video game out there that not only allows players to shoot hundreds upon hundreds of human characters but it also features the horrific and brutal snuffing out of a small and innocent life.

Yes, in Electronic Arts’ recently released Battlefield 3, players can kill a virtual rat.

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U.S. Army Developing Training Sim Using CryEngine 3

May 27, 2011 -

The United States Army is using Crytek’s CryEngine 3 game engine technology to create a new simulation to help train soldiers. The Army plans to spend $57 million on the project. The technology that will go into the simulation and the technology to use it is being developed by Orlando-based Intelligent Decisions. The Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) enables soldiers and units to train inside a video game environment that features real weather conditions, realistic graphics, squad-based interactions, and advanced motion sensor technology that provides full 360-degree movement within the game.

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“Teenager’s Dream” Used in Army Training

November 16, 2010 -

Wired’s Danger Room columnist recently took a trip to the Association of the U.S. Army conference held in Washington D.C. to get a look at the latest and greatest gadgets that contractors are developing for America’s armed forces.

Among the items was a videogame, dubbed Call of Duty: Afghanistan by Wired, which allows trainees to work on a variety of skills, including maneuvering and leadership tactics.

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Cuba Condemns Black Ops, Joins Anti-Violent Game Brigade

November 11, 2010 -

A mission in the newly released Call of Duty: Black Ops that has players attempting to assassinate a young Fidel Castro has caused the Cuban government, or at least its mouthpiece, to denounce the game.

Professor on War Games: Studios Stuck in “Netherworld”

October 28, 2010 -

A ForeignPolicy.com piece on the state of war videogames asks if such titles are bringing the reality of current conflicts into the living rooms of gamers, or simply exploiting them for commercial gain.

A good chunk of the piece centers on the recently released Medal of Honor, in light of the controversy it generated. That controversy, the author writes, “wouldn't have occurred even five or six years ago,” as “video game studios seemed to be reticent about tackling contemporary conflicts, preferring instead to crank out games based in abstracted worlds and full of abstracted enemies.”

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Columnist Weary of How Arabs and Muslims are Portrayed in Western Games

October 21, 2010 -

A columnist for the United Arab Emirates-based Khaleej Times has penned an opinion piece examining the subject of how Western made games impact (and depict) Middle Easterners.

Aijaz Zaka Syed begins by noting that his son’s favorite games are of a violent nature, and typically originate “in the land of the free." Such games are shaped by “the simplistic, With-Us or-Against-Us doctrine propounded by, you know who.”

The author tries to remind his son that the action happening on the screen is “just a game,” and that “things are not what they seem to be in the movies and videogames,” but he worries about the impression the games might be having on his off spring.

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Why Videogames are not Real War

October 11, 2010 -

While critics of videogames would have you believe that they are efficient little murder simulations, an NPR editorial from Benjamin Busch begs to differ. Who is Benjamin Busch and why does his opinion carry more weight than most? Because he is an United States Marine Corps infantry officer who has served in Iraq on two combat tours.

Busch talks about the war games of youth - playing war in Brooklyn where kids played Allied forces and Germans and controlling the flow of war in a sandbox filled with army men. While the medium has changed since those days, the way war is played has not.

Busch points out that the reason that video games can never be like real-life war is that they do not usually contain elements that are unfair like real-life "invisible snipers" that pick off your friends. Here is a portion of what he says about that:

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Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES Stores

October 8, 2010 -

While Electronic Arts made the adjustment to rename the Taliban to “Opposing Force” in the multiplayer part of Medal of Honor, a ban on the game appearing in GameStop stores located in Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) locations is still in place.

The decision by AAFES officials puzzled a Stars & Striped columnist, who inventoried other violent games available in AAFES locations, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

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Student Op-ed Labels MOH “Disrespectful”

October 7, 2010 -

A piece appearing on the website of The Heights, Boston College’s student newspaper, says it’s “too soon” for Electronic Arts to base a game in Afghanistan and calls the setting of Medal of Honor “disrespectful.”

The article’s author pulls no punches, labeling game developers “desperate and unoriginal” and “moving in all the wrong directions to please their audiences.”

The ability to play as the Taliban in MOH’s multiplayer component, a component since renamed, was termed, “neither educational nor acceptable and goes against every ounce of American patriotism pumping through the veins of our country's citizens.”

The columnist continues:

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Before EA Caved, ex-Congressman and General Gave MOH Grief

October 5, 2010 -

While there’s no doubt Electronic Arts totally succumbed to pressure when it removed the Taliban (in name only) from the upcoming Medal of Honor videogame, a letter written to the Colorado Retail Council (CRC) by a former Congressman and ex-Air Force General shows the type of opponents EA was assembling as media hysteria about the game spread.

In a letter dated September 30, just a day before EA announced its change to Medal of Honor, former Colorado Republican Congressman Scott McInnis and Bentley Rayburn (pictured left and right respectively), a retired U.S. Air Force General, affixed their names to a letter urging the CRC to denounce the Medal of Honor game.

As seen on the Colorado Springs Independent website, the pair argued their case to CRC President Christopher Howes, calling the ability to play as the Taliban a “complete disgrace” and adding that “out of respect to our troops no retailer in Colorado should sell it.”

The duo continued:

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EA Caves, Renames Taliban in MOH

October 1, 2010 -

Did not see this one coming, but via Kotaku (thanks Cheater87!), Electronic Arts has folded like a cheap suit and announced that it is renaming the Taliban forces in its upcoming Medal of Honor game to the more benign “Opposing Force.”

To be fair, Medal of Honor Greg Goodrich, in a statement on the game’s website, indicated that the renaming was done in response to “reverence for American and Allied soldiers.”

More from Goodrich:

 
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Matthew WilsonI know most of my friends first saw robotech when it was on Toonami in the mid 90s, but it is possible that a fan who watched it in the 80s are in a position to do it.03/27/2015 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenRobotech was mid 80s. Fans of the show (who were kids when it aired) are my age and older.03/27/2015 - 1:01pm
Matthew Wilsontiming. anime only really became widely known in the US in the mid 90s. if we assume it was mostly kids watching it, they still wouldnt be high enough in managment to be given full creative control yet. it would still be another 5 to 10 years for that.03/27/2015 - 12:59pm
Andrew EisenI agree. Now what makes you think that there is no one in power who cares about (or has the ability to) make a good adaptation?03/27/2015 - 12:47pm
Matthew Wilsonits not about pratice, it is about people who understand it getting in to positions of power.03/27/2015 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonallot of the comic book characters that have been turned in to good movies started in the 70s or earlier.03/27/2015 - 12:32pm
Andrew EisenWell, if it really does take two generations of practice to get it right, we'll never get good live action adaptations of anime if no one starts making them.03/27/2015 - 12:31pm
Andrew EisenWhat have you seen that would make you say that?03/27/2015 - 12:30pm
Matthew WilsonIt took 2 genarations of comic book reader before we got good comic book movies. I imagine that will be the case for anime as well.03/27/2015 - 12:28pm
Matthew Wilson@AE yes if they have people that understand the content give it a shot, but as far as I can tell that does not look like it is happening in this case.03/27/2015 - 12:26pm
Andrew EisenI understand the skepticism but I don't think "this will never work" and "no one should even bother" are very healthy attitudes.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Andrew EisenWhy would you doubt that? A lot of writers are my age and older, the perfect age to be fans of the content. All I'm saying is it's not impossible to get a good Robotech movie. In fact, it's more likely today than any other time.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - It's true, there are a lot of examples of crap adaptations. But there are increasing numbers of great adaptations such as the Marvel movies. That said, it's certainly going to be an uphill battle at Sony, especially with Tom Rothman around.03/27/2015 - 10:45am
ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
ZippyDSMleeYes Macross is good..... robotech....not so much..... Now Pizza Cats that's the definitive TV dub, if not best dub ever I'd put it up there with COwboy Bebop just becuse the Pizza Cats dub is fun as heck and crazy,Medabots and Fighting Foodons are decent.03/27/2015 - 9:20am
InfophileAged well plot-wise, I mean. The animation is showing its age, but if you don't mind that, the plot holds up quite well03/27/2015 - 6:52am
InfophileRobotech may be 30 years old, but it's actually aged pretty well. Plus, one of the three Japanese franchises that went into making it, Macross, is coming out with a new series soon. So it's far from forgotten or out-of-date03/27/2015 - 6:50am
 

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