Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Swiss Study Into War Crimes In Video Games

Swiss human rights groups – Trial and Pro Juventute have put 20 games on trial by having staff members play through them in the presence of lawyers disciplined in humanitarian law. The study reported:
"The practically complete absence of rules or sanctions is... astonishing."
Among the games studied were Army of Two, Call of Duty 5 (World at War), Far Cry 2 and Conflict Desert Storm.

Chosen for their interactive participation rather than passive enjoyment (books, films etc.) the games were scrutinized for scenes which would break international law, if they were real. Scenes which would hit these criteria are when civilians are killed, damage to infrastructure is disproportionate and when torture occurs.

The study noted that some games reward proficient and abiding behaviour and punished to a degree deviance from rules of war. However it did find a high prevalence of scenes which infringed heavily upon Geneva conventions. It also conceded that the games were generally quite complex in that there are multiple scenarios and ways of playing and the context of events varied.

Full, rather lengthy report is at the source.

Source: BBC

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