Fascinating article from an actual soldier about how soldiers are presented in video games.  Soldiers in games are heroes… men of few words, maybe, but noble.

Imagine a war game where you could only move at a slow walking pace. Imagine Skyrim when your inventory is too full, except you can’t drop any of it. This war game has a prone button like Call of Duty, but your character takes 2-3 seconds to change position. Every time you press it, the animation gets slower because your character becomes more and more tired.

Every mission is set in the same level. They each take 12 hours to complete. Sometimes, absolutely nothing happens. Other times, your lead guy gets blown up and you spend the next hour or so casevac’ing [ed note: casualty evacuating] him while under fire.

Other missions involve you being under fire for the entire patrol. You never see the enemy, just fire at the long grass in front of you as you crawl slowly to some cover. If you get up, you will be cut down within seconds, so this process takes hours. When you reach the enemy compound, if the enemy haven’t run away, dropped their weapons, and are pretending to be farmers, or if you haven’t called in enough ordnance to flatten Mexico, you will kill them in the most horrible way imaginable. That is your incentive.

Only a violent sociopath would play this game.

Though I have to admit that when I first read this, my first reaction was that it’d be pretty cool to have a mechanic where you get slower as your character tires out.

Second thought: if you actually want amorality in a war game, there’s Far Cry 2.  You basically do pointless, violent missions for one or both morally dead factions in a civil war.  (Even so, I might have finished it, except for the damn malaria pill missions.   You have to stop what you’re doing every half hour or so and spend substantial time on another mission, to pick up a pill.)

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