informa
4 min read
Blogs

Battlefield 3 and other games glamorizing U.S. military exploits

A look at how Military FPSs impact the American psycho-socio-cultural state.

There's this new E3 footage of Battlefield 3 gameplay: It looks technically amazing! I mean, they've really got the lighting down, and the attention to detail is high and above anything I've seen before. I especially like the dust particulate clinging to the outsides of the view, and later on, when those freakin' Warthogs are all flying over that base and blasting their Avenger Cannons, there's a realistic delay in sound! And the cannons sound awesome.
Anyway, as good as this game looks, and as technically amazing it is, there's zero imagination behind it. You know what would be cool? If, maybe towards the end of this video: --like, those tremors were actually caused by some big-ass alien space craft touching down and invading the Earth. Yes, it's nothing new or imaginative, but the set-up would be perfect! Think about it: you're all expecting some realistic military fps and then, WHAP, you and your squade've gotta fight against a hoard of evil alien invaders. And hell, who knows, maybe you and the guys your fighting against put differences aside and you end up having to work together! It could be a game about humanity struggling against an unnatural and alien threat together; putting each-others' cultural and ideological differences to the wayside in light of a far greater and far less trivial matter!
Shit man, preaching about the frivolity of war is as futile as ranting about death! But should we really be making games like this? I mean, what's the end goal? Is it to paint a, frankly, unrealistic picture of how cool it is to be a government soldier in the young-kids-who-play-this-games' heads? Or are the developers simply making this game to be fun and to push the envelope of gaming technology (and to make money), without regard to the gravity of the content? If the latter's the case, I've got an idea for a game -- a game that would be, above all else, fun!
Now, mind you, I'm in no way an anti-Semite, nor do I condone the actions of the Third Reich. However, you can't deny that a game in which you play as a SS General overseeing a concentration camp and vying for the favor of Hitler himself would be fun if the game mechanics were solid and engaging. Imagine overseeing the day-to-day functions of a concentration camp, managing the inflow of prisoners and general supplies and munition not unlike games similar to Farmville or The Sims. At any time, you could switch from an isometric view mode to a first-person mode, assuming control over the general himself and interacting with the environment first-hand. You could berate those under you to your hearts content, and, naturally, you could shoot anyone you'd like with little to no consequence. C'mon, that'd be a fun game! I mean, you liked all those other FPSs, right? And the Sims?
But what's this? The subject is too grave? Too horrible? Too real? When it comes to killing innocent non-combatants, especially when dealing with real-world situations, does some kind of line get crossed? What about games like Grand Theft Auto? You can kill whoever you like in that game, and you get away with it scot-free! In reality, these past few years, on average, around 15,000 Americans have been murdered per year! More specifically, according to the FBI, in 2008 14,180 people were murdered in America. That's pretty grave; pretty horrible; pretty real. And, back to Battlefield 3, this is a game based on a real-world event that's affecting hundreds of thousands of American families today. I'm sure it'll be fun, but will it be fun to those who've actually lived through similar experiences? The answer is maybe, I dunno. But c'mon, what has a bigger impact on the current America psycho-socio-cultural state? A game about being a Nazi, or a game about being a US combatant in the Middle-East?

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more