back to article Combat games disrespect war laws, report claims

Videogames should respect the real-world rules governing wars, a report has concluded, following research into how many videogames break them. A study of 20 titles, including many from the Call of Duty and Tom Clancy series, carried out by Pro Juvenile – an organisation which aims to protect kids from unlimited videogame …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    pointless self serving shelfware. Next...

  2. Anonymous Coward


    That's because they are.... GAMES.

    What next? Pacman slated for eating more than the RDA? Super Mario slated for 'disrespecting road-safety law'? Lemmings slated for cruelty to animals?

    FFS. Do these people have nothing better to do?

  3. Gordon Pryra


    People claiming there are any sorts of "war laws" in the first place just make themselves look stupid.

    I understand what they are saying, but to try to demonize war games with the arguements that they disrespect war laws seems ironic.

    Are these people therefore argueing that there is such a thing as a just war?

    Or are they so hung up on their own children not being able to tell right from wrong that they will jump at any excuse to shift the blame for not bringing them up well onto someone/something else.

    A computer game has so many rules compaired with real combat, where the best equiped and most numerious force rapes the women of the other side.

  4. Reading Your E-mail


    just have a war tribunal level at the end of the game?

  5. georgeclooneylookalike

    Can I be the first to say...

    ...what utter bollocks. Can't wait for Call of Duty:Geneva Convention to come out!

    I'm off to toast some Japs with my flamethrower shoot some Nazi POWs in the back of the head.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    so... yo' momma disrepects war laws

    tell 'em to fuck off, it's not real.

    What next, virtual fines for dropping virtual litter because the virtual character was virtually hungry and needed to virtually eat a virtual Mars bar, wow that sounds like a fun game dynamic.

    Computer games are good for one thing, letting you blow shit up, in a pretend way.

  7. Florcz

    Get a grip...

    ...seriously! What the hell? Cruelty to pixels now?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    And Street racing games..

    ..disrespect traffic laws. That is why they are Games, not simulations.

  9. Neil 6

    What the hell

    I agree.

    I mean, what was I thinking last night when I used blasting strike to send a tank over a cliff in Battlefield Heros before doing a tarzan impression?

    Get a grip. Video games are an ESCAPE from reality, just like books and films.

  10. rossb2

    do the war laws apply to evil characters?

    do the war laws apply to evil characters? Evil characters wouldnt be much fun if you had to obey international law. I think some people have too much time on their hands, to think of things like this. What kind of person thinks about the legal aspects of "Call of duty" for example.

  11. Goatan


    I think that we need to get Father Ted to sit them down and draw the picture detailing reality and fiction.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Time for tea

    Is teabagging not considered vital in real-world combat?

    oi scamps, get on msn. I need to talk to you about stu [-]

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    About time...

    It is about time that someone realised this. For a long time I have been horrified by the complete disregard of the rights of virtual computer game characters. Ever since I was a young lad and I formed GHRT (Ghosts Have Rights Too) to defend the ghosts about the yellow pill taking monstrosity called Pac Man. And look what he did to his wife and children, he encouraged them down the same corrupt path: take pills, murder ghosts and then grab a quick munchy! Where are the ghosts rights? GHRT had a thriving membership, we had cards and everything, although the membership did halve recently when my dog passed away.

    We need more studies like this, the number of computer games out there that break laws is outrageous, we should get these people to investigate, here is a list that springs to mind:

    Space simulators – they generally break the laws of physics

    World of Warcraft – how come I can resurrect and why is it the Gnomes always look gay? Is this bias against gnomish rights?

    World Simulators like SimCity – surely pretending I’m god upsets someone!

    C’mon, give us more of these reports, we need them…

  14. John Ozimek
    Paris Hilton


    And in further news today....

    The Financial Services Authority were considering referring the owners of Hotels on Mayfair and Park Lane to the Monopolies Commission....

    The Association of Chief Police Officers condemned as "utterly irresponsible" the amateur sleuthing of Professor Plum, Reverend Green and various others present at a country house last weekend following the murder of Dr Black. A spokesman said: "they have ignored all rules of evidence gathering and the crime scene is now thoroughly compromised".

    And at the London International Chess Tournament, two bishops and a white knight were complaining bitterly about the conduct of a certain Black Queen, who proceeded to cut them down in a violent and vindictive fashion even as they attempted to surrender.

    Paris, cause she knows lots about playing games - and can definitely tell the difference between games and real life.

  15. g e


    Team Killing on by default then when you're playing as the USA?

    Obviously these nobjockeys can't tell game from reality either...

  16. Elliot 1

    And that's not all

    As I understand it, driving games allow you to break the speed limit, platform games often allow you to beat the rules of physics (have you seen Mario jump? Tchoh!) and role playing games allow you to pretend you're someone you're not.

    In other news: bears apparently defecate in wooded areas.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Real life

    And surely if Modern Warfare 2 was to be completely realistic it should start with a message saying:

    Your gun and body armor will be here shortly once Gordon has decided if you should have it, have this big stick for now and run really fast...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    And Grand Theft Auto ought not to allow characters to break the law either. Far too exciting.

  19. rpjs

    Better ban Civilization then

    You can commit genocide in that.

  20. bolccg


    The failure of understanding demonstrated by these authors is astonishing. Good grief, even in Blast Thru/Arkanoid I don't think you asked permission of whoever's blocks they were to trash them.

    Must've been fun, as a legal expert, to sit in on some of these games and put your mighty brain up against the "challenge" of finding violations of internal law, though:

    Report moron: So, the player, working for NOD, just nuked a city. Does that count?

    Lawyer: Uh, yeah, I'd say so.

  21. Ed Blackshaw

    They make a fair point.

    However, the study was "carried out by Pro Juvenile – an organisation which aims to protect kids from unlimited videogame violence - and Trial, which fights to prevent people who commit war crimes getting away with it".

    I can't help but think that these arganisations may be biased in some way towards finding the answers they may be looking for. The first group at least would seem to have a pretty clear ulterior motive to find 'evidence' that violent games are 'bad' for children.

    I wonder how many controlled trials have been carried out to study whether players of violent computer games go on to commit acts of violence themselves. I can pretty much guarantee that there have been no such studies conducted to show any possible link between computer games which simulate breaches of such things as the Geneva Convention and people who actually commit such acts.

    What I suspect this study ACTUALLY shows is that these two organisations are attempting to drum up some publicity for their causes by conducting a 'study' which supports their agenda.

  22. It wasnt me

    Too right.

    It's disgusting the way these video games work. Just last night I was appalled at the violence in Worms. I mean who would call in an airstrike to kill a bloody worm for gods sake?

    And what had that poor sheep done to deserve its gruesome and frankly unnecessary death?

    This sort of violence needs removing from our houses immediately, if only to protect the children.

  23. ben 29

    One last time people....

    repeat after me: video game != real life

    Anyone who can't tell the difference (yes even children know when something is 'just a game') probably shouldn't be playing.

  24. Pete 2 Silver badge

    It's merely a game - they're not real soldiers

    The people who play such games (disclaimer: not me) have had no training. Not in weapons, strategy, tactics rules of war, how to take orders or pretty much anything. At best they're like untrained mercenaries[1] who don't have any real clue what they're doing, just out for a duck-shoot and a bit of an adrenalin rush.

    What I would suggest is, to instill a bit of reality, would be that the players fill their bathtubs up with mud, cold water, leeches and a few thousand mozzies. Then sit in that for a couple of days with the showe4r attachment running - waiting. Occasionally smack themselves in the face with the branch from a tree - to simulate whiplash from patrolling through a jungle, and once a day get to open a tin of (cold) baked beans. Maybe after a week of that, have someone come round to their house, saw off a leg and tell them they just died after stepping on a landmine that they never saw coming. Without ever firing a shot - except by accident and hitting their best mate. Then let's see where the glamour goes, where their enthusiasm ends up and how willing they are to sign up (or buy) the next edition. The nice thing about virtual reality games is that they're all virtual and have absolutely no reality, being as they are: simply games.

    [1] although in real war, with real guns I doubt if an untrained mercenary would get as far as the field of play^H^H^H^Hbattle before accidentally shooting themselves or asking "what does this do?" as they trigger a Claymore and wipe out their entire band of compadres. Basically a menace to everyone around them.

  25. Andrew Ducker

    Oh for goodness sake

    Next up: James Bond acting outside of international law. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't follow proscribed "First Contact" protocols.

    It's a _game_. Just because I enjoy shooting my friends repeatedly in the face in a game that does not mean I'm about to wander the streets of Kosovo with an assault rifle picking off innocent locals.

  26. Alpha Tony


    “It would mean a wasted opportunity if the virtual space transmitted the illusion of impunity for unlimited violence in armed conflicts,”

    Aha. OK then.

    ...And lets not waste the opportunity to teach kids about dangerous fungus by ensuring that whenever Mario eats a brightly coloured mushroom he throws up everywhere and spends 14 hours screaming that the snake people are trying to eat his shoes.

    Surely the whole point of computer games is that they don't have to follow real world rules?

    What's next? Every time you finish a round of guitar hero some virtual record label executive takes 97% of your points?

  27. Amazon Wageslave


    If you look at the list of games, it includes 24 and Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Neither of which are war games. Presumably they were included to tick the "interrogation" box. Methinks the bods behind this "research" were interested in getting a good PR piece rather than anything constructive.

    And that's ignoring the fact that *it's just a game.* Oy vey.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    real-world rules

    I remember watching television reports of British and US operations during the first Gulf War together with an ex-military person. A couple of times he commented: "That's actually against the Geneva Convention. I'm surprised they talk about it so openly. And it's funny none of the journalists realise it's illegal."

    In practice, things like the Geneva Convention are used to provide public justification for illegal wars, where it is claimed that the other side has violated them and therefore must be murdered and raped, etc, and that's about all they're good for.

  29. Fred 1


    We could not stop the British/Americans/Israelis/Somalis/Serbians/etc. from doing these things in the field.

    Therefore you can not do them in a game.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This just in....

    ...real soldiers can't just hide in the corner to regain all their health, or re-spawn ad infinitum. Nor do their mags carry a bazillion rounds.

    Someone should of told the games developers earlier, we don't want people to actually have fun playing this stuff now do we?

  31. David 146

    Ah yes...

    but does teabagging count as a war-crime?

  32. alistair millington

    Horse poo

    Nothing is more satisfying than calling in a 1000 pound bomb to kill that one sniper. Afterall that sniper is in a ghillie suit and blooming hard to find otherwise.

    Nor is in unreasonable to shoot the Alsatian BEFORE it rips your throat out. (Oh wait PETA will argue about that)

    But expecting those Militia from Brazil to adhere to war convetions is a little pointless. As is the rebels in Afghanistan.

    OR is it worth expecting the Russians when the third world war does start to adhere to the same rules. (Especially if there is a terrorist attack perpetrated to start said war as in COD4 MW2 - though granted school kids who are willingly shooting and stabbing each other should learn that it is bad to walk round an airport with heavy machine guns)

    NEXT you will be telling me getting a 25 kill streak in MW2 and using a nuclear bomb is unreasonable.

    What next, how dare we farm pixelated deer and buffalo in Age of empires 3? How dare we mine for trees in an unsustainable forest in Warcraft 3.

    How dare we mine a toxic green crystal in C&C 1,2,3 & 4

    Some people need to get a proper job.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    There's a clue in the name you muppets, it's a 'game', i.e. it's not real. Yet more grandstanding moralising pontificating idiotic wannabe popes.

  34. lukewarmdog

    Au Contraire

    We should be doing the opposite and making Real Life more like video games.

    How cool would it be to web like Spidey, fly like Supey, heal like a cleric and actually sting like a bee?

    Next up.. pointless organisation tries to ban books containing "imagination fuel"

  35. Mark McNeill

    They covered that 13 years ago

    From the Quake manual:

    Q: Don't you worry that Quake teaches people that all problems can be solved by the misuse of deadly force?

    A: No.

    ["And may it please the court, I would like 218500 other offences to be taken into consideration..."]

  36. NB

    oh dear

    I, for one, am getting rather sick of this fucktarded assumption that hysteria-mongering dickbags like this always make. That gamers are incapable of differentiating between games and reality. It's moronic and insulting to our intelligence. That they also have the gall to trot out the 'think of the children' line shows just how little they know about gaming and the laws surrounding the distribution of games. Even if there were no laws regarding this there should be more of an onus on parents to.. oh I don't know... actually take a motherfucking interest in raising their own goddamn children perhaps?! Call me naive if you must but last time I checked raising children was the job of parents. Not hysterical moralising jobsworth fuckwits.

    I'll get my coat, I need some fresh air whilst my indignant rage subsides.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This kind of shit makes me puke. It's so retarded I can't even be bothered to express myself. These kinds of tits just want to get rid of games all together, or have them as real life simulators "hey Jimmy what are you doing in virtualreallife?"

    "I'm working as an accountant in a mid range firm, my boss makes my every working hour a misery and my wife is neurotic. My eldest child is an vegan environmentalist radical and my youngest is a stonner! I'm having so much fun, later I'm going to the tittie bar to see some hussies shake their stuff!"

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh FFS.

    "encourage the gamer to respect human rights" they are characters in a GAME, they don't have human rights. Its a fucking GAME...

  39. AC 4


    Pro Juvenile and Trial can piss off.

    I know the difference between a church in C&C and real life. One of them I will destroy wantonly, t'other I won't go anywhere near.

    Perhaps these twats should concentrate on getting parents to understand how to raise children and those that fail can expect their children to be removed.


  40. Urza


    Does this mean thay will be applying the same laws to any movies featuring military action??

  41. LucanUK

    They are...

    ....... just bloody games!!!

    What next? A add-on to send in the Red Cross?? No more re-spawning??

  42. Jo 5
    Thumb Down

    I have never heard...

    ...such an utter load of b*ll*cks. Bring on the thought police.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about...

    Games where at the end of the level/mission, the Red Caps come for you if you have shot up civilians or wantonly targeted power stations.

    It could be part of the marekting as another level of realism.

  44. Dale 3

    What war is really like

    Heh heh, I saw this reported on BBC News online this morning. My favourite quote: "...even though most players would never become real world combatants, the games could influence what people believe war is like..." Yes, because in a real war the environment magically prevents you from committing war crimes. No need to develop a conscience then.

    Fair enough to call for designers not to create scenarios that require torture and wanton destruction of civilians to complete a goal, but making the game engine prevent it seems counterproductive.

    And I don't even play these games.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    And in return...

    The gaming community should require lawmakers to draft real world laws covering virtual topics. Should Elves and Dwarves be allowed to interbreed? Should Priests be allowed spend talent points in Shadow? Is it right to encourage the slaughter of Dragons? Should Zombies be protected under law?

    And while we are on the subject, why are games companies allowed to flagrantly depict inaccurate representations of the physical world? Shouldn't all game settings be subject to the same natural laws as our own universe? Its about time we acted on this...

  46. leakyPC

    Get a real job

    How do these people get paid to do these studies?

    I think some one should tell them they are just games and therefore have no need to recreate real life at all. What's next saying that we don't know if Aliens will be good or bad so we shouldn't make games where we can shoot them.

    Honesty, I can understand what goes through the minds of people who think that video games should be compared to the real world.

  47. 20legend


    These are games that they are talking about, not real life situations - can somebody please point this out to Pro Juvenile as they seem to be getting their knickers in a twist over what may or may not happen in a virtual environment.

    The findings of this mickey mouse report are akin to saying that a game of Monopoly allows people to commit acts of fraud and financial irregularity.

    Who gives a flying fuck?


  48. Anonymous Coward

    Unless they are specifically a simulation...

    they are games, it's fantasy, and can do what they like!

  49. Anonymous Coward


    "Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and/or torture cropped up frequently too."

    Yeah, like that game where the "good guys" illegally incur into their allies' territory, pick up some civilians who look a bit Moslem, and take them away for 2 years of torture.

    Oh wait, that wasn't a game, was it?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What next?

    Watch out, they'll be trying to ban God Mode next!

  51. Chris Harrison

    Don't let them get hold of Grand Theft Auto...

    Don't these people have anything better to do?

    So I guess if instead of nazis or whoever we have zombies, they wouldn't care? Is it only 'realistic' games that must be within the 'virtual' law?

    Or perhaps next they'll be saying how pacman is cruel because eating ghosts is against their non-human rights.


  52. The Original Ash

    Dear Pro Juvenile and Trial...



    A STORY.




    If these games were at all meant to imitate reality to any reasonable standard, there would be only one play-through, and if you died the game would delete itself and prevent re-installation, to accurately represent real life death in that situation.

  53. Greg D

    who gives a shit?

    i buy a war/shoot em up game to do exactly that... wage unconditional war and shoot shit up!

    fuck off beurocracy and let me play my games in peace.

  54. Anonymous Coward


    I thought the whole point of video games was that you have the freedom to explore and do things that you can't in the real world?

    Where do we draw the line? GTA4? One man taking on an entire armed police dept. Not moral, banned. Jedi Knight series? Lightsabers? Hacking people up with a freakin' laser beam? Banned. CSS? Killing cops is not legal, terrorist team disbanded. "Counter terrorists win"

    I'll get my coat, and go buy CoD MW2 just to take out my frustration about this on innocents.

  55. Adam West

    *long pause*

    Failure of common sense, on an epic scale.

    How is it that the millions gamers the world over can understand the distinction between video games and reality, but those that seek to "protect" us from video game violence cant manage it?

  56. Guy Herbert

    Of course games give "the illusion of impunity"...

    If you want the reality of impunity you need a real war.

  57. kingwahwah

    Reverse the report...

    Politicians should follow the Juvenile's rules. Total war.

  58. Brian 12

    remove civilians

    You could just remove all civilians... then they can't be accidentally hurt.

    What next, the RSPCA getting involved because we're killing mutants in STALKER?

    Churches getting involved due to Assassin's Creed?

    All FPSs being banned because 'respawning' is not-realistic?

    How about introducing the guantanamo bay addon, when you get captured by the americans, you go there for waterboarding, instead of respawning?

  59. serviceWithASmile

    here we go AGAIN

    having failed in the usual "oh no this game has blood" approach, now we have "this game violates paragraph 3 subsection (b) of the geneva convention".

    I'd like to point out how amazingly boring all games would be with all characters (playable or npc) being 100% legal and honorable.

    not that story writing for games is particularly amazing, but it would ruin alot of games I have played if the main character was not allowed to "go badass" when his wife and child are killed, for instance.

    to answer the point about military training, the military make their own games for that! America's Army, Operation Flashpoint, Project IGI - all games spawned from military efforts to produce training platforms for their troops.

    you can't break any rules in america's army or they send you to the stockade. I ended many a game there, wishing the twat with the harmonica in the next cell along was actually infront of me so i could kill him.

    i think i just made another point why you should be allowed to kill civies in war games. sometimes - they get in your way so you are stuck, or they do something annoying and persist in it, and to make the game bearable / playable you shoot them.

    anyone who has played oblivion / elder scrolls will know what i'm talking about.

  60. sychosis



  61. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    There is nothing better.......

    After a hard days graft trying to get dumb people to use a system is to go online and shoot some spotty american teenager playing americas army.

    Nothing like an RPG backblast BBQ and a spot of teabagging along with some insulting chat to relieve the daily grind.

    Does it make me want to go out and kill real people, hell no, thats dangerous!

    Paris - brighter than the researchers and more interesting as well.

  62. adam payne

    Virtual terrorists unite!

    It's only a game. I know full well that it's only a game and wouldn't dream of doing things that I do in games such as Modern Warfare 2 or GTA in real life.

  63. kissingthecarpet

    @AC 24/11 09:11 - Lemmings?

    Why, what do Lemmings REALLY do that justifies your inclusion in your comment?

    Do you mean the time Disney chucked a load of a cliff, because they wouldn't conform to a silly myth?

  64. Alex 32


    Adult games are bad for kids...

    So don't allow the kids to buy them. Let Adults buy them instead..

    This report is shocking!!

    Piss orf..!

    "Suck on this!"

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pro Juvenile?

    Somebody should tell them that these are 18 rated games and are not meant for children, in fact are illegal for children to buy, or to be bought for, in civilised countries.

    They'd be better off spending their time educating parents that modern computer games aren't actually designed for children.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    war laws


    War laws


    Get a grip.

    You can try to sanitise a war as much as you like, you can try to put in rules of engagement and trials and all that mock bullshit afterwards to make it seem all nice and legal but in the end it's about one group of people trying to gut the other group as quickly as possible, normally because there is something they want.

    Sure you can dress it up as a police action. Sure you can complain that the other side tortured your people, sure you can tell your troops to only fire if fired upon but that's all bullshit. If you're at war then you have to torture and you have to kill and you have to maim because that's what it takes to get that war won. Do you really think that in WW2 (the last war that actually needed to happen) they were concerned about international law? Sure there were off the record gentlemanly agreements (you don't bomb Cambridge and we'll not flatten Heidelberg yet) and sure there were conventions for POW which the Allies and the Crouts subscribed to but when the Japs decided to torture the hell out of the allied POWs there was nothing the allies could do apart from up the stakes and win that thing.

    Proportionate response in war is something uniquely western. Having bombed the crap out of large portions of the middle east do you really think that johnny terrorist is looking for a proportionate response? Fuck no, he's looking to do as much damage as possible. Do you really think that any US soldier caught in a sandy shithole is going to get medical care like the guys in gitmo get? Fuck no. I say ditch the idea of proportionate response and say "you touch one of our guys and we'll flatten half your country, you touch two of our guys and we raze it to the ground and turn it into glass". That would put a pretty quick end to people fucking with anyone who has military might (and what point is there to having military might if you are too pussy to use it).

    No but seriously, war laws, you crack me up.

  67. Jerome 0
    Thumb Up


    If the purpose of games was to depict an ideal world, would it not be better to produce games where there was no warfare at all, lawful or otherwise? Something like Bunch of Flowers 4: Modern Floral Arrangements?

  68. Mark McC

    Simple solution

    From hereon, let it be known that all persons opposing the player in any armed videogame conflict are to be classified as 'enemy combatants' As such, they are not fighting under the flag of any national entity recognised by the UN and therefore not protected under the Geneva Conventions or any other articles of war.

    It's a cop-out that works for the Brits and Americans in real life, why can't it work in games too?

  69. Will Shaw

    Missed the point as usual.

    And of course the laws are always followed in real life aren't they? Just because a law exists, doesn't mean it gets followed. Abu Graib? Guantanamo? That's why cretins like this irritate me. Typical hand-wringing liberal attitude. It's the individuals involved that choose whether to follow the law or not, and govern their actions accordingly.

    However, it might actually be interesting to build a war game where these laws do have an effect. Plenty of RPGs have a moral mechanism built in which affects gameplay. I think it's actually got potential. Fight clean and be lauded as a hero, or go rogue, get the job done and then escape into the jungles of Cambodia to run as soldier-for-hire? Games with a moral choice and ambiguity I find very interesting.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    Ah crap

    Damn it!

    When survival is assured and the natural order denied, those that would, should, have been food suddenly find they have no purpose.

  71. Long John Brass

    @Alpha Tony

    "...And lets not waste the opportunity to teach kids about dangerous fungus by ensuring that whenever Mario eats a brightly coloured mushroom he throws up everywhere and spends 14 hours screaming that the snake people are trying to eat his shoes."

    Actually, thats sounds like a pretty good game to me :)

  72. CD001




    carried out by Pro Juvenile – an organisation which aims to protect kids from unlimited videogame violence


    ... and how many wargames (CoD4:MW2 for instance) are 18 certificates? Or indeed games that aren't wargames such as Grand Theft Auto.

    Kids are already protected from violence in videogames by the BBFC/PEGI rating certificate - so what they're essentially saying is that "children playing unsuitable games may be exposed to things that are unsuitable for children" - no shit, really?

  73. Anonymous Coward

    It's quite simple...

    but then again so are most of the comments here.

    As a society, we function not only based on the laws that exist, but the laws that we choose to enable. These tend to be as a direct response to some sort of moral or ethical standpoint.

    Those, in turn, are entirely based on the lawmakers views and experiences themselves. The same is entirely true of foreign policy, or military orders.

    So, you let people play war games which are becoming almost photorealistic, and the line between "game" and "real life" falters. Seems harmless.

    Why does this matter? Because, as the article is trying to point out, games are a perfect way of modifying social behaviour.

    In the same way an entire generation of young people do not consider spelling or punctuation to be important, thanks to the wonders of SMS and facebook, a generation are going to lose any ability to show compassion when they encounter a real life event which is similar to a computer game.

    You and I may be able to tell the difference; but we are not one of the disenfranchised youth who are being molded by the violent games they play.

    Still don't see the relevance of how your experiences as a child might cause problems as an adult?

    When Dubya was a young man, his father was head of the CIA. Now, consider for a moment what an interesting view of the world and American foreign policy junior was exposed to. Roll it forward a couple of decades, and he is president.

    Now do you see how your childhood experiences, not matter how harmless at the time might be somewhat detrimental to society?

  74. Anonymous Coward


    OK, I'll assume you're stupid and not just trolling.

    Lemmings was a hugely popular game that first appeared on the Amiga and spawned many imitations and sequels.

    It involved the little critters getting killed in many interesting ways. Hence the reference.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:And in return...

    "Should Priests be allowed spend talent points in Shadow?" No! I mean, you roll a healing class and then spec non healing. Shadow is for offspec and leveling.

    Anyway, you do kind of have a point. This is something that has been discussed in the RP (pen and paper, not PC) community for a long time. Is it moraly right to assume that all Orcs are bad? Should heros attack first, just because they see something as "evil". Fortunatly most of the RP comunity are well educated adults so able to discuss this without making sweeping statments and slinging mud.

  76. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Yet another report missing the obvious...

    How many times do we have to see these stupid reports about violent games causes people to become violent? Especially seeing as its been proven to be a false claim so many times...

    OK so now there looking at War crimes... It's just ridiculous reasoning behind the whole premise that being able to commit a war crime in a game is likely to make a person go out and commit a war crime. Well here's an idea why dont we go ask some people currently serving time for War crimes if they ever played computer games? And whether they thought that was the reason for it... I bet they'd say yes - anything to pass the buck on to someone else... But how many congolese, sudanese, serb, *insert conflict zone here* soldiers had/have access to computer games? Do they really think thats the resaon why these things continue to happen today is that they possibly had access to these games? And what about the war crimes that happened before computer games were ever invented? Mankind has been coming up with ways to be despicable to each other for millenia - computer games will not add or take away from that one bit...

    The only people stupid enough to play a game where you get to commit a war crime and who actually believe you could do that in real life (or would even want to!) are the sorts of people who 30 years ago would have been in a mental institute. And i would strongly hope that our military (and military's world wide) have ways of idenitfying these people and preventing them from joining up...

    ...although perhaps i am being too optimistic.

  77. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Stark Simple Head Choice with One All Win Win Option and One All Losers Lose Everything Guarantee.

    It is naive of the masses and most helpful to those able to Play their Virtual Games for Real, that you do not Realise that Particular and Peculiar Ability, and the Facility that actually renders to them the Powers to do as they Will, for they so easily Can.

    And what do you think they would target to Non Lethally Destroy a Corrupt Present World Order whilst also Indicating that which is Needed to be Changed in Order to Guarantee their Future Survival? And that is the Flip Sunny Side of the Coin.

    The Flop Dark Side is, for such Enabled Power Players, Equally as Easily Virtually Played for Real and in it, are there No Corrupt Present World Order Survivors to Blight IT and the Future.

    Such seemingly Polar Opposite choices would normally be automatically well decided correctly, but one can never overmisunderestimate the Idiotic Evil that Possesses the Manic Fool who thought themselves Failsafe and FoolProof rather than Destined for Hells Fires dangling on the End of a Long Swift Journey on a Shortened Sharp Rope .......

  78. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    So this end game of this presumably means...

    That I would no longer be able fly into Buckingham palace at 500Kts while piloting a Lancaster bomber in MS Flight Simulator.

    Pointless, self interested numpties these groups.

  79. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    @Ed Blackshaw


    If that's supposed to mean "groups of trolls that exist purely to provoke daft arguments" then 70-some odd comments, mostly of a warmish nature, would indicate they're on the money here.

    If it's just a typo, then I'm very disappointed. Hell, I'm going to start using it anyway.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Intentionally directing attacks against civilians"

    There's no such thing as a civilian, just conscripts who ain't been called up yet.

    They're all as guitly as sin. Nuke 'em.

  81. Peter Mc Aulay
    Thumb Down

    Geneva does not apply

    As far as I can tell the rules or war apply only to warfare among humans...

  82. Anonymous Coward

    Have games screwed me up?

    Nope. Having started on "adventure", "rogue" and "hack" in the 70s , I can safely say that I am still a normal adult. Ok, so I might be a bit old to be still playing games, but boy! are they fun!

    And that's the point; games need to evolve to key the early adopters engaged. I'm looking forward to total immersion games in which every bullet, every sword, every plasma ray hits home with a vengeance.

    I suggest the next game should have the working title:

    "COD: War on Censors"

  83. 1of10

    what a bunch of delusional lawmakers

    It just shows how that people in power are such dysfunctional, delusional, living on fantasy land where games not being seen as fantasy they must be seen as reality...

    Who in UK cares about MPs stealing money from the tax man only 4 handed to police? what about all others?

    Who in UK cares about the real game wars on Iraq and Afghanistan? And our soldiers dying just to serve political agendas.

    Who in UK still care about an invasion of Iraq which was unlawful in the eyes of international law? Weapons of mass "distraction" which the tune conveniently changed to "oust the evil Sadam".

    Who in UK cares about the unemployment figures going up?

    Who in UK still cares about how much the fantasy governing members offered to banks and when it will be returned?

    But yeah lets create a law to defend the game character rights to live.

    After all, parents are unable to coupe with responsibilities to raise children in this the government has to step it replace them with idiotic laws

    But firstly lets call the NHS mental department, to pay visit all those patient's that have a seat at the commons - because they all seem unable to distinguish fantasy from reality...

  84. Anonymous Coward


    "Whaddya mean, "Teabagging is outlawed by the Geneva Convention"?"

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just remember

    everyone talking about torture and bombing civillians, lets not forget shooting enemy soldiers with hollowpoint bullets is also classed as a warcrime.

    we obviously couldn't have anyone exposed to such horrors like that, it's not like it happens on a daily basis on American streets.

  86. LaeMi Qian

    Nuke them from orbit.

    It's the only way to be sure.

  87. CBD

    Thats why it is called - GAME!!

    Are they not have proper functioning brains?

  88. Emery Martin

    Cheezeburger Plays C&C


  89. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    @Tom Oliver:

    Which part of the number 18 do you not understand?

    ALL the games mentioned in the report are RATED 18, for f*ck's sake. They're NOT intended for children and are therefore designed as such.

    "You and I may be able to tell the difference; but we are not one of the disenfranchised youth who are being molded by the violent games they play."

    Have you been living on Mars for the last thirty years? Commercially-produced computer games have been around since the early '70s. Granted, the graphics have improved in leaps and bounds, but the input devices haven't changed all that much. Most games still rely on a minor evolution of the control systems of *cranes* as their primary user interface.

    As long as we retain that 2D display (no matter how "enhanced" it is with coloured films and faux-3D effects) and that physical, abstracted interface, we aren't going to be in any real danger of confusing the game's simulated models with reality itself.

    "In the same way an entire generation of young people do not consider spelling or punctuation to be important, thanks to the wonders of SMS and facebook, a generation are going to lose any ability to show compassion when they encounter a real life event which is similar to a computer game."

    Oh do shut up you sad, deluded person. Any kid who can use abbreviations like "4nic8" must have a pretty decent vocabulary. Most kids use SMS abbreviations because they're *used* to them, not because they don't know how to spell. And no, they're NOT all roaming our streets trying to kill us. Most of them are no better or worse than we were at their age.

    If spelling were the only metric for intelligence, half the Ph.Ds of this country would fail your test. The lax spelling skills of many adults today can be traced back to the rise of word processors and spell-checkers. Failing grammar skills can be similarly traced to people relying increasingly on their computers to do it for them.

    It's the quality and range of your vocabulary which defines the clarity, depth and subtlety of your thought processes, not how good you are at spelling.

  90. Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't stop there!

    Also, if you get shot all you need to do is crouch behind something for 30 seconds and you heal... oh, and if you shoot your teammate in the head don't worry too much because they'll come back to life and you can apologise (or they'll just shoot you right back).

    You know, it's almost like computer games aren't reality...

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Implementation problem

    I can understand wanting to not encourage certain activities. However, it's not easy to do that in a reasonable way. For example, Fallout 3 keeps players from killing children by making them immortal, so you can hit them with knives, shotguns, grenades, and whatever else as many times as you like; is that really an improvement? (The European versions of Fallout 1 & 2 removed the child sprites, preventing them from being targeted in the first place.) Should players be unable to fire a weapon when they might hit a civilian or other 'unapproved target'? Avoiding simulated war crimes is a nice idea, but there's no easy way to do that without putting blatantly artificial restraints on gameplay.

  92. John PM Chappell


    I'm with another poster on here; Total War. Anyone who opposes me in any way, indeed anyone who doesn't unconditionally support me, is clearly my enemy and thus an ‘enemy combatant’ who's not covered by the Geneva Convention; ergo I can do what I like to them.

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