The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has announced that it wants to work with developers of games that “simulate real-war situations” to provide a virtual version of what could happen if players perform certain atrocities as listed in the Geneva Convention, such as torture and attacking civilians. While not giving specifics on the types of consequences, the organization adds that players who “[respect] the law of armed conflict” should receive some kind of reward.
What’s the Big Idea?
The ICRC claims it doesn’t want to get into the debate over violent video games and whether they should be cleaned up or banned. Rather, they hope to call attention to possible “trivialization” of war crimes. Representative François Sénéchaud explains: “[I]t’s very difficult to make the distinction between real footage and the footage you can get from video games.” For what it’s worth, one developer has already signed on: Bohemia Interactive’s third iteration in its highly-realistic Arma series includes the likelihood of getting attacked upon opening fire on civilians or friendly troops.