The Red Cross is on a mission to have game developers add war crimes punishments to their games. This initiative is directed at games with realism such as the Arma and Operation Flashpoint series of video games. Apparently, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) feels these kinds of games are so real that they should also portray penalties for war crimes.
We understand the ICRC aims to work with game developers on integrating virtual consequences for war crimes. The Red Cross wants players to be punished if they should ever feel the need to attack civilians or medical personnel’s on the battlefield. The ICRC doesn’t plan to force its ideals on game developers, but it hopes they will accept its proposal.
It should be clear that the Red Cross is not looking to literally prosecute people who partake in war crimes in video games but rather to have penalties and punishments built into video games for those that commit war crimes in games.
“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,” says François Sénéchaud, head of the ICRC’s Division for the Integration and Promotion of the Law.
Arma 3 developers have already teamed up with the ICRC to have these laws placed in the game. If you own Arma 3, you should think twice before doing something brutal. It isn’t clear if other developers will follow.
Personally speaking, I feel this move by the Red Cross to add war crimes to video games is uncalled for. Video games are designed for fun purposes, so if gamers such as myself choose to put a bullet in the head of a civilian who looked at me funny; I should be able to do so without being penalized. After all, that is what video games are for — being able to do something you couldn’t do otherwise in real life.
Then again, I’m sure some people will argue against me. But it doesn’t matter, because I’m always right and everyone else is always wrong. t is understandable for such laws to be added in realistic shooters.