Authentic war sim Arma III developer Bohemia Interactive is working with the Red Cross to make sure that video game war-video-games are not teaching poor lessons. Well, sort of.
The video you can see below features Ivan Buchta, one of the developers at Bohemia, and it's been produced by the Red Cross as part of its 'Video Games and the Laws of War' initiative to make games really authentic by showing what actually occurs. It also aims to educate people to the fact that ideally warfare has some underlying international legal underpinning. Ivan talks a good game here but he's also pointed out something that makes more sense from a money making point of view. First up, the Red Cross states
that, "War packaged for recreational consumption enthrals children and adults worldwide. For the military, these "electronic first-person shooter games" offer a great resource to adapt for training. The ICRC has started working with video game developers, so that video game players face the same dilemmas as real soldiers."
Ivan is all over this sort of thing in the good PR worthy video. However, he's also told PCR
"The necessity to keep the rules simple and avoid adding extra features may arise from design decisions as well as from production needs: adding extra rules means a lot more work for the dev team and QA.
"Obviously, there are several reasons for that: the player should ‘have fun’ without rigorous military training, the engine has technological limits and we don't have an unlimited amount of time and manpower to fully simulate all aspects of reality."
So, a different view of 'authenticity'.
He then gets right down to the point, "I suppose in real terms if you’re looking to provide a play experience that's as realistic as possible, then possibly [you would look to introduce what the ICRC is suggesting], but then you could do a lot of other things to make the experience more realistic, none of which are particularly nice."
Exactly. They wouldn't be. Much like the authentic experience isn't.