View Full Version : When does a combat video game become "offensive"

08-18-2010, 09:14 PM
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-...ixm.html?from=smh_sb (http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/military-groups-outraged-over-taliban-war-game-20100819-12ixm.html?from=smh_sb)

Ok so where do you draw the line? You can argue that any game, Il2 included which represents warfare is, to use the mealy mouthed phrase of the joker at the bottom of the article, "Inapropriate" or are these games at worst just harmless fun and at best an educational tool?
I personally think its a bit rich to condem software companies for using a modern conflict as a subject for a game, when Hollywood and arms manufacturers and various suppliers to the millitary have made a tidy amount of money from conflicts in Irag, Afghanistan or whereever.

08-18-2010, 09:27 PM
Depends 100% on the individual. If they're OK with the degree of violence or any combat-specific material in a game, then fine. If they're offended by it, then leave it alone.

I have a problem when others feel "obligated" to dictate to me what is and isn't acceptable in a game.

Leave individuals to make their own choices and deal with the consequences of such, good or bad. It's the only way we better ourselves.

08-18-2010, 09:47 PM
Agree with Treetop64 100%.

"It's also morally dangerous because it is desensitising people to the moral and strategic issues underlying the war,”

Okay, let me get this straight. By allowing players to play as the other side, and thus showing that they, too, are human, this is "desensitising"? Really? By showing that your own side can get hurt just as badly as the other guys, this is "desensitising"?

On the other hand:

"We know from observations of the video market that children access material rated way out of what is appropriate for them,”

I've seen this personally. Some people simply do not censor what their kids have access to. If it's out there, these kids will get ahold of it, and then it's up to them to decide what to do with it.

Is it an educational tool? Abo****ely. The military loves these games because it teaches kids exactly the skills they'll need in the 11 Bravo military.

Or maybe not.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is good for learning instrument procidures... but only if you treat it as such. If you treat it as a game, you will get little out of it. It has also been said that IL2's Me 109 flys more like a Cessna 172 than MFS's Cessna 172. I don't know about that, but I do know that MFS's flight model for the 172 is horrible.

If you treat it as a game, it'll be just that; a game. It takes treating it seriously to get much out of it, though some are simply not geared for learning much.

I recently played Call Of Duty at a friends house and couldn't stand it. It's way too gamey for me, and I went right back to ArmA.

The argument in the article that:

"“The vast majority of homes have videogame machines ... so it stands to reason they will bring emotive content to this medium. There is an argument that this entertainment medium allows you to explore wider story and more closely engage with a particular issue,” said Ron Curry, chief executive of the Interactive Game and Entertainment Association of Australia."

Is seems to be a pretty fair statement. Given all the other mediums that are throwing violence at us as the way to solve problems, why is it that the gaming sector gets the brunt of the handwringing, outrage, etc?

08-18-2010, 10:08 PM
You want an offensive game??? Look up Postal 2. Mind you, that game ROCKED!

08-18-2010, 10:12 PM
While I think it would be safe to assume that certain types of content would be safely labeled offensive to a wide audience and should be censored: most games... certainly anything mainstream is not offensive to overall sensibilities. Sure, some people will be offended. Some people will ALWAYS be offended. Some people are likely offended by cars painted purple.

I'm sure someone would find IL-2 offensive. I think I know at least one person who might even feel that way. But for me I consider it to be a valuable educational tool. It provides the background for additional learning on the history of the conflict from the aerial perspective (which interacts with many of the other perspectives). IL-2 itself has had a profound effect on how I've viewed the war historically - until IL-2, I didn't really know much about the eastern front or truly appreciate the scope or the scale of the conflict.

Not all games have that same educational perspective. But not everything has to be educational from the outset... we play games for entertainment. Checkers is a game of strategy. Call of Duty is a game of light amounts of strategy mixed in with extreme reflex skills - which require learning a fairly sophisticated spatial sense in order to achieve. Even better than watching a Michael Bay movie http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

08-18-2010, 10:22 PM
The Russian Airport level in Call of Duty 6 upset a lot of people, including those who otherwise liked the game - myself included. I actually got a bit sick to my stomach the first time I played the level. But was I offended or outraged? No.

Many were shocked and outraged by it, though, and an awful lot of hot air was blown in the press because of it. Most of it was a complete overreaction. It was another excuse for many to point their fingers and throw up a smokescreen to point out how inappropriate something else is...

08-18-2010, 10:26 PM
Its not uncommon for video games to come under attack because they are more interactive than a movie or show.
I find seeing photos of actual people dying or dead more "desensitizing" than pixels on a screen.
Long before graphic video games, i would play with action figures and blow stuff up in my head as a kid.
The truth is that war is so far removed from what most people actually experience. It isn't until their son, daughter, or mother or father is seen in a funeral home that they realize the reality.
I think its an issue because its too close to home. If there was a 9/11 video game......
I can't help think that there is an executive somewhere who hasn't come across that idea.


08-18-2010, 10:34 PM
If there was a 9/11 video game......
That reminds of a small media frenzy post 9-11 when there was speculation that MSFS could have been used as a terrorist training tool. The media basically just looks around, searching for the next whipping boy.

08-19-2010, 06:37 AM
check out the video game the children play in this video clip about burning each other alive with a can of gas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...ekQkAdc&feature=av2e (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc&feature=av2e)

if this is not offensive i dont know what it is

08-21-2010, 05:40 PM
Is it just me, or is it weird that the title of the game in question is "Medal of Honor" when there's another controversy surrounding the MoH?

Court says it's OK to lie about being awarded the Medal of Honor (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/17/BA541EVG92.DTL)

As for the idea as to whether or not it's offensive to play as the Taliban (or any other enemy), I don't see a problem. I don't remember hearing any objections to Battlefront's Combat Mission:Shock Force (http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=31&Itemid=252) or any of it's expansions. (Yea, sure the enemies were Syrian...)