Feature by Matt S.
Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It’s that time of year again when a whole bunch of blockbusters are about to be unleashed on us, and they’ll all share a common theme. These games all tend to celebrate the visceral thrills of military combat. Sure, characters might die, and we’ll be told to “press F to pay respect,” at that dead digital person’s funeral, but for the most part these are stories of heroism and patriotism, if not outright nationalism.
Gaming as a whole needs to move past this downright glorification of war. However, it’s not so much the presence of games like Battlefield and Call of Duty that’s the issue; it’s more the lack of games that dare to be critical of war that lends gaming a pseudo-propaganda theme in the way the media addresses the topic.
There are a few that do a good job in taking an anti-war stance, however, and in ‘celebration’ of the impending release of so many military shooty-bangs, we thought that it would be interesting to balance things out by looking at games that give war the reverence it is due. War’s not fun, nor is it a game. War ruins millions of lives, and over the next two days we’ll look at two different approaches that a rare few game developers take in giving war the representation it deserves. Today we’re looking at games that protest war by dehumanising participants. Later, we’ll be looking at games that reflect the impact that war has on individuals.
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