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Swiss Condemn Video Games For Fictional War Crimes

by Matt Bertz on Nov 24, 2009 at 10:23 AM

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Switzerland must not have a lot going on these days. According to the BBC, two Swiss human rights organizations, Trial and Pro Juventute, commissioned a study looking into whether or not video games permit players to commit war crimes. The searing analysis targeted games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Rainbow Six Vegas and concluded that, indeed, these works of fiction allow players to play fast and loose with the Geneva Conventions.

"The practically complete absence of rules or sanctions is... astonishing," said the study.

Among the list of atrocities, the study found players could desecrate houses of worship, kill innocent civilians, torture prisoners of war, and in some cases commit summary executions. The study focused on interactive entertainment over other forms of media because the researchers went into the study believing "the line between the virtual and real experience becomes blurred and the game becomes a simulation of real-life situations on the battlefield." Ah, the classic Jack Thompson doctrine! How we've missed you!

Though the human rights groups published the report to scold game developers, they're not necessarily looking for studios to curb their portrayal of violent acts. Instead, they simply want these creative bodies to abide by real world rules: "[We] call upon game producers to consequently and creatively incorporate rules of international humanitarian law and human rights into their games."

What do you think, should the UN try Activision, EA, and Ubisoft for war crimes?