Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clarification from the Red Cross: "The purpose was to raise awareness, not regulate anyone"

Remember the news that came out recently about the Red Cross discussing the depiction of war crimes in videogames during their 31st International Meeting?

Yeah, we all fucked up. We were caught in hyperbole, largely due to the way the news had been reported by the big gaming news outlets. Hey, I get my news from the same places you do and I could easily refer you back to that piece about the validity of the term "games journalism".

Regardless, it would be cowardly of me not to admit to partaking in the hyperbole, both as a receiver and -especially- as commentator to the news.

I fucked up. I apologize.

The Red Cross came out and clarified that their discussion was not about regulating video-game content (or creating context-- har har, obscure reference), but rather raising awareness toward the depiction of war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions in video games on regular basis, which passes unnoticed.

I personally still believe that there is little practical reason, in that for all their popularity and impact on the market, they are still not enough to shape anyone's views on warfare and international law either way (assuming, of course, their audience has access to multiple sources of information), but since regulating the content is out of the question, information on important issues never hurt anyone.

There is one creative problem in that, war games tend to take up a big piece of the pie in games (largely due to pop-culture having been affected from the post-9/11 wars in the Middle East, a phenomenon that may now subside) and the more aware of the lot rely on portraying the dehumanizing and immoral side of War, which inevitably means showing to or urging the player to partake on actions that violate the Conventions.

But I'm rambling. All I'm getting to is that, as a medium, games tend to impact differently on their audience and need to employ different tactics to achieve that. Still, there are many games and even more gamers that could use some of that awareness.

So, again, to the Red Cross; I apologize for stupidly parroting a position you never took and for skewing your intentions, with the mentality of a closet-paranoid self-important asshole.

Source: TheEscapist.com

No comments:

Post a Comment