The Red Cross has stated it wants video games to enforce more realistic consequences and punishments for committing war crimes.
As reported by Mirror News, Bernard Barrett, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said they “want to make it clear to gamers that there are rules in battle and that certain acts are illegal.”
Among cries of censorship, the Red Cross has emphasized it doesn’t want to impede gameplay or story. “We’re not trying to make games boring or preachy. We just want games to respect the basic rules of armed conflict and include penalties for gamers who commit war crimes,” Barrett said.
The Red Cross really wants to address the apparent lack of consequence for torturing and killing civilians. Focusing on war crimes, the committee hopes to direct its message to servicemen and others enlisted or looking to enlist in the armed forces, to establish the rules of conflict in games that “simulate real warfare.”
Game producers and creators of course offer a different side of the story. Notably Steven Ogg. A voice actor in the new Grand Theft Auto V, Ogg defended his portrayal of a violent character in a recent Buzzfeed interview. When asked about his concerns, Ogg stated, “No, I was never concerned because it is acting — it’s the same thing as when I was 12 years old pretending I was a British soldier with a gun and bayonet in the theater — it’s play.”
Ogg’s character Trevor has recently caused outrage over a torture scene in which Trevor pulls out someone’s teeth with pliers.
While the Red Cross’ stance is understandable, is it entirely necessary? No one assumes video games are real representations of life, and the actions in the game have no actual consequence. Ogg summed up the sentiments of the industry: “People play these games to escape, to be free of the repression they may or may not feel in their ordinary lives.”
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