Video games such as Call of Duty and Bohemia Interactive’s Arma series of war games have a sense of realism not just in its graphics, but in terms of how an actual fight would go down. Granted it isn’t a 100% replica of real-life, but apparently some aspects are close enough to reality that the International Committee of the Red Cross is looking to virtually penalize gamers who partake in virtual war crimes. This includes the use of torture to illicit information (or for the “fun” of it), attack civilians, or attack medical units. Given that these actions are done in game without anyone actually getting hurt, they worry that gamers will not be able recognize war crimes despite committing them in-game.
According to François Sénéchaud, head of the ICRC’s Division for the Integration and Promotion of the Law, “It is very difficult to make the difference between real footage and the footage you can get from video games, so we are arguing that we have to get even closer to reality, and we also have to include the rules of the law on conflict.” It should be noted that the ICRC’s focus is on games that simulate real-world war, as opposed to fantasy games, so not all games will be affected. While other developers have yet to hop aboard the ICRC’s plan, developer Bohemia Interactive has and are collaborating with the ICRC to introduce consequences for war crimes in their games. It would definitely be an interesting feature to add to games, but what do you guys think? Do you feel that such a feature would be useful at educating gamers, or do you think that gamers would just view it as just another aspect of the game?