Opinion: Battlefield 1: World War 1 May Be a Step Too Far

Battlefield 1's setting is certainly unique, but that's not necssarily a good thing. 

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There was a definite buzz in the audience at Electronic Arts’ Battlefield reveal event last week. Rumors and possible leaked details had circulated the internet mere hours before, theories had already been suggested, and people were debating whether or not the leaked image of a man wearing a cape while brandishing a gun was legitimate.

After a twenty-minute retrospective on the history of the Battlefield franchise, the lights in the auditorium dimmed, and a series of logos appeared on the screen in the center of the room.

The trailer’s very first shot was a man savagely striking down another with a spiked club, the impacts accentuated by loud claps of sound. Then, a wide establishing shot in the desert, followed by a close-up of a man on a horse. Next, a gunner seated above the cockpit of an airplane, then another shot of a soldier delivering a deadly blow in the trenches using a shovel.

The entire trailer was a series of glimpses, each offering clues to the viewer about what the new Battlefield – called Battlefield 1 officially – would be upon its release. After the trailer had wrapped with an impressively-scaled shot of a lone soldier staring up at a massive zeppelin, the presenters onstage discussed how Battlefield 1 was a first for EA. It was the first time a major triple-A game had ventured back into the era of World War I. It was the first time DICE had created a shooter utilizing horses and tanks in the same game. The war itself saw – as they so excitedly put it – “the dawn of modern war.”

And it was the first time I have honestly felt uneasy about a first-person shooter.

Allow me to qualify this statement: I do not support censorship. It is my firm belief that no subject matter should be barred from exploration in fiction and media, no matter how heinous or grim it may be. And I love a great first-person shooter. I’ve shot or stabbed virtual zombies, Nazis, soldiers, demons, and any other generic, stock “enemy” with the best of them. I’m not squeamish toward video game violence, and I’m rarely bothered by the setting or themes contained within.

But hearing people cheer at the sight of a man wearing a gas mask, effectively stripped of his humanity, staring down ominously at his foe and brutally striking him with a spiked club was unsettling at the very least. Then, to see tanks tearing apart trenches, mustard gas being ejected, bayonets buried in men’s chests, and heavy artillery colliding with mounted infantry all while a loud dubstep remix of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” blared above the sounds of the battlefield gradually revealed Battlefield’s – and other major shooters outside of the EA pen – transparent, opportunistic glorification of the horrors of war.

Shooters have shamelessly glorified war and played up the unrealistic heroism and grandeur of it for as long as they've existed. World War II and fighting Nazis (sometimes even Nazi zombies) has long been a go-to backdrop for video games. The war in Iraq and our obsession with eradicating terrorism has been a highly acceptable setting for video games, thanks largely in part to post-9/11 nationalism and the supposed heroism of pragmatic characters in popular culture like Jack Bauer. First-person games have covered nearly every era of history and culture, spanning from the dawn of man to imagined future military operations.

But World War I is different from these, because there is no perceptive delineation between good and evil. World War I was essentially a war of old alliances, in which bigger and bigger players successively entered as their smaller allies were placed in harm’s way. It was a war in which the squabbles of the rich and powerful led to the brutal destruction of nearly an entire generation of young adults in Europe. It was not the fascist Nazis of World War II vs. the world. It was not troops versus radical fundamentalists. It was a war painted in many shades of grey, whose ultimate purpose was different for all those involved.

That’s not to say there was no heroism in World War I; it was just on a different scale than many of the other wars in history. The enemy was different based on one’s perception, and soldiers were depowered pawns readily disposed of via brutal tactics.

It’s also an age of nightmarish discovery and advancement in warfare technology, in which soldiers faced enemies with unprecedented abilities. Machine guns, poison gas, tanks, airplane attacks, and heavy artillery emerged from World War I. It was a series of knives and guns being brought to fights and continuously being outmatched, and the result was typically a brutal, bloody barrage of death.

Combat was only half of the horror. Trenches were nightmarish, unsanitary places filled with human waste, dead bodies, and blood. Soldiers who survived the barrage of artillery and machine gun fire through no man’s land between the trenches were likely to die of any number of horrible infectious diseases spread through the trenches and camps. Psychologically, so many were scarred from seeing rampant deaths, terrifying new machines, and facing their own injuries and stress. It was a truly needless and blood-soaked war fueled by convoluted and petty politics.

I can’t help but think of all of this as I watch the trailer, feeling progressively uneasy about its presentation. Visually, it looked stunning. I loved the varied environments, and the onscreen action was exciting to watch.

But I was uncomfortable, struggling to muster the same enthusiasm for it as the rest of the people in the room. Like a sharp rock in a shoe, the feeling of how tonally wrong this was would not leave the pit of my stomach.

Imagine the kill streak you’ll have to get to call in a mustard gas drop. Imagine how excited that one kid in the match will be when they smash up a trench filled with 18-year-old men using a massive, imposing tank. Think of how you’ll be able to walk around with a flamethrower, setting fire to people choking on poisonous gasses and even cooking people alive within vehicles. And worst of all, picture sorting out strategies with your friends while running through trenches that at one point would likely have been filled with a mix of blood, dirt, shrapnel, and intestines.

It’s a glorification of war in its worst form, a gross reduction of one of humanity’s darkest moments into an oh-so-fun video game. And, it’s a great case for how important it is that creators be mindful of the tone and attitude of their works. Can a World War I game be made? Of course. Both Verdun and Valiant Hearts used World War I as their main setting. But their approach to the subject was not presented as a bombastic, exciting action experience. It was somber, more logical, and even commented on the experiences of brutality for the average person involved in the war.

Like any game, there’s a chance Battlefield 1 will be great. Its maps might allow for some awesome multiplayer action, the campaign may be engaging, YouTube will no doubt be flooded with impressive clips and highlight reels from massive online matches, and the Frostbite engine is known for making crisp-looking games with strong visuals.

I’m just not confident gamifying one of the worst wars in history is the best approach for a new Battlefield to take. 

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    May 11, 2016 3:05 PM

    Cassidee Moser posted a new article, Opinion: Battlefield 1: World War 1 May Be a Step Too Far

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 3:08 PM

      Battlefield always felt like Micro Machines to me - I never solidified the link to real theaters of war, it's all pew-pew to me. The only difference are the kits you get to play with. :/

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 3:29 PM

      Has Gaming Gone Too Far?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 3:39 PM

      Judging from this article you actually haven't looked at numbers of deaths for World War 1 vs World War 2.

      WW2's 85million vs WW1's 20million.


      This article is so hypocritical. You're ok with shooting up Nazis but mention WW1 mustard gas? You do realize millions of Jews, Polish and other groups were gassed and murdered right?

      yeesh.

      It's a video game.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 4:35 PM

        On those WW2 games are you a Nazi soldier who is rounding up Jews into a gas chamber and pressing the button?

        I think your comparison doesn't really work.

        Not that I agree with the article

        • reply
          May 11, 2016 5:24 PM

          It's just an example bro. Still was part of the war.

          • reply
            May 11, 2016 5:32 PM

            It is a war in which one of the major strategies applied by both sides was carpet and firebombing cities. Been plenty of air combat games built around defending said bombers or even flying those bombers on missions.

        • reply
          May 11, 2016 8:01 PM

          How about some dude in an office deciding too wipe off TWO cities from the face of the earth.

        • reply
          May 12, 2016 3:18 AM

          No, but you play as a Russian thrown into the meat grinder. The death toll from the holocaust was nothing compared to the eastern front. WW2 was much more brutal in a lot of ways, don't kid yourself.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:04 PM

      This is just a load of crap. It’s war. It’s all or nothing. You can’t have acceptable wars for video games and wars not acceptable for video games. Why is WW2 more acceptable? Because … Nazis? Hitler? That's pretty sad.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:07 PM

      Sorry, not with you here.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 6:08 PM

        Is this an unpaid intern? Seriously, I get its an editorial but its inane.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:13 PM

      Was this ghost written by traptnsuit? Be honest.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 4:24 PM

        Really dude? We had a thread on this and I came down against this interpretation already, albeit in a limited fashion.

        http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=34928285

        Don't conflate all criticisms of a game, my qualms are completely different.

        I know that WW1 has been treated very differently in the media. WW2 is taught to almost everyone today as "the good war." But, are the flamethrowers of Flanders really that different than Okinawa? Somehow we are even better with gamification of Vietnam which had the ability in BF Vietnam to drop napalm on people.

        Our perceptions of World War 1 are the issue here. It isn't like WW2 was some gentleman's war.


        In fact, I think the central issue with Cassidee's piece is that she is working under the assumption that it is worse for it to be an FPS. This is something the FPS community has fought for a long time. That somehow shooter games are clearly affecting the perceptions of warfare worse than the Total War games. Look at this disgusting gamification of one of the campaigns resulting in one of the worst proportional casuality battles in world history (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cannae), never mind criticism of light treatment of the Roman era with Ryse.

        So there is an issue of FPS versus other depiction and the issue of not appreciating the historiography of WW1 perceptions taught by the west.

        Is that sufficiently in depth for you?

        • reply
          May 11, 2016 7:59 PM

          dkrulz, you got bitchslapped with knowledge.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:15 PM

      I hope this isn't a bandwagon piece. All wars are violent, gruesome, and uncivilized. Technology tends to make war more lethal and/or more abstract. Whether it's a cannonball or a drone missile strike, the human on the receiving end meets a violent death. I totally disagree that World War 1 is more inappropriate than any other war.
      - Pre-World War 1, battlefield medicine and disease management was horrendous. In the Civil War, for example, more people died of disease than battlefield action, and those who were injured in combat had an incredibly high chance of succumbing to their wounds after suffering from gangrene, amputations, infections, etc. People also died of exposure and starvation.
      - World War 2 had the Holocaust, the atomic bombs, kamikaze fighters, suicide charges, etc.
      - Vietnam had civilians with guns, gruesome booby traps, agent orange, napalm, etc.

      The point is that you could come up with the atrocities of all armed conflict because armed conflict is atrocious. If anything, there are stories in World War 1 that should be told. I had never heard of the Harlem Hellfighters. Turns out that they were a whole regiment of BAMFs who served their country and came home to RACISM and SEGREGATION. That's one example.

      One more thing that I'll mention is that Valiant Hearts is an excellent game, and that game had a cartoonish art style, but was able to deal with these heavy themes in a compelling way. I don't think anyone criticized that game the same way people now deride BF1.




    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:18 PM

      You're right that Battlefield is an exploitative glorification of war, but your view of World War II is fairly naive too. Most of the fighting and casualties in the European theater was between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Not exactly a struggle of good versus evil.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 4:30 PM

        Seldom taught with much depth in the West either (USSR suppression of the history didn't help, but still...)

        Reactions to these things are largely a bias of history education. Look at the Russian reaction to COH2.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:30 PM

      While I understand where a lot of people are coming from with this opinion I think it is ultimately, uninformed. All war is horrifying, it doesn't matter how many people who die or what war caused the most casualties. All you have to do is read a few accounts of various wars to get an idea of the terror and savagery that it is. I think that a lot of us that have grown up with violent video games like this never really made the connection and now that games are getting more and more realistic it's finally happening. Let me quote a very graphic passage from E. B. Sledge’s fantastic memoir With the Old Breed,

      “The Japanese’s mouth glowed with huge gold-crowned teeth, and his [US Marine] captor wanted them. He put the point of his kabar on the base of a tooth and hit the handle with the palm of his hand. Because the Japanese was kicking his feet and thrashing about, the knife point glanced off the tooth and sank deeply into the victim’s mouth. The Marine cursed him and with a slash cut his cheeks open to each ear. . . Another Marine ran up, put a bullet in the enemy soldier’s brain, and ended his agony.”

      There are plenty of “Humanity's darkest moments” to go around even in a “Good War” like WWII, the firebombing campaigns of Berlin and Tokyo, the lack of discipline in Vietnam leading to multitudes of war crimes, and that’s just a small slice of American military history. Any war can be made into a game, but I think if people are going to have this discussion the real question is: how much games should really simulate war?

      tldr, war is bad

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:37 PM

      holocaust = ok
      mustard gas = bad

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 4:38 PM

      I think many agree with the trailer being a glorification of war, but to specify it being wrong because of how bad WWI was as justification makes a lot of people want to shackpile on you. Things like this sell, and that's all that matters to them. They could've done a more realistic portrayal of the horrors of war, but they didn't and we can't do anything to change that.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 5:00 PM

        If you want the horrors of war try playing sim ant and being consumed alive by an ant lion. That's some brutal shit

    • kch
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      May 11, 2016 5:18 PM

      I could have sworn I read this exact article on another website just a day or two ago. Am I crazy?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 5:24 PM

      Lets be honest the Germans were giant dicks even in World War 1. They invaded a neutral country in order to attack France in a plan that had been pre-planned well before the war started after making crazy demands. Once they got there that had zero problem with killing civilians as punishment.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_Belgium

      Worth a listen because it's covered toward the end of part one at around 2 hours and 50 minutes. The first portion really goes into how they massively escalated the crisis.

      http://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-50-blueprint-for-armageddon-i/

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 7:44 PM

        Man, I loved his Blueprint for Armageddon series. One of my favorite's of his.

        • reply
          May 11, 2016 7:44 PM

          In fact, I just started re-listening to it again yesterday.

          • reply
            May 12, 2016 2:31 AM

            Yeah, it's been about a year since I listened to it as well, and probably missed a lot of the details. Gonna download and give it another listen.

        • reply
          May 11, 2016 7:52 PM

          It's great definitely worth a listen.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 5:24 PM

      im not sure how to comment on this article, i want to just say its really fucking stupid, but that seems too harsh. it feels like some sort of weird TRIGGER.GIF article, from someone really reaching deep to find a reason to be offended.

      so like, games about WW2 are ok? the war that saw the birth of the most singularly horrific creation of human artifice, and instantly ended the lives of around a quarter million souls and caused horrific radiation injuries and genetic deformities for decades in the populace, the same war that saw the industrialization of racial genocide? the war the brought about something like 4x the deaths of WW1? FUCK YEAH I WANNA PLAY THAT GAME

      how about games about vietnam? arguably the most pointless war in american history, where nearly a hundred thousand american lives were just tossed away for basically nothing, and something like 1.5 million vietnamese lives were lost, purely for idealism? games about that war are fine!!!!! FUCK MAN, GIVE ME THAT GAME NOW!!!

      but OH NO the "politics" of ww1 make it just too much, its just a step too far?

      i dont get it. the article was well written, but your impetus for writing it seems to be utterly .... i dont know? bizarre? sure, that word works. your viewpoint is bizarre and doesnt really make any sense at all, in any context.

      war is dumb but what makes ww1 so sacred to you, and every other armed conflict, many with equally pointless motivations (including the very recent wars that are based on (arguably) some of the most politically motivated and horseshit justifications in history) ok for videogames?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 5:25 PM

      I get everyone at some point is going to say this, but I find it odd how many people are saying it about BF1.

      Did you guys not knife people in BF3? that shit was brutal, you watched the life slip from their eyes, and they looked in yours in the last moment. It was one of the most connected moments I've ever felt in an FPS game and it was a connection with death itself.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 5:36 PM

        Which is also a war crime (removing the tags).

        Article 17 of the Third Geneva Convention requires that each party to a conflict issue an identity card to persons who are liable to become prisoners of war. The card must include the person’s name, rank, identifying number, and date of birth. The card can also include other information as well as the person’s signature, fingerprints, and a photograph. The card must be shown by the prisoner on demand, but it cannot be taken away from him. The drafters of the convention required only information that would have no real intelligence value so the captor would have no reason to take the card from the prisoner. If the prisoner has lost the card, Article 18 requires that the detaining (i.e., the capturing) power provide him with another similar card. - See more at: http://www.crimesofwar.org/a-z-guide/511/#sthash.vgVYFfYZ.dpuf

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 5:57 PM

      Maybe you shouldn't play violent games or read history books. BTW that was a Bedouin woman on the horse.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 6:05 PM

      War is brutal. No matter what the conflict. If we're going to represent one, all should be fair game. I feel like people are trying to hard to make this an issue. We've been committing digital genocide since before Mario bopped on the head of a goomba.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 6:15 PM

      it just makes sense. WWI was a monstrous exercise in futility and resulted in the loss of an entire generation of western youth. same with video games.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 6:51 PM

        We shall fight in the living rooms, the game rooms, and in the basement. We shall never surrender.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 6:16 PM

      Honestly, I agree with most of your points. The problem is, this is a pretty silly place to draw the line. There have been Vietnamese war games, remember. Wars where good vs evil don't really apply have already been reduced to button presses on a controller.

      This might more be an article about war games being too realistic these days than about WW1 being a particularly bad/immoral setting for a video game.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 6:31 PM

      This seems like a very strange issue to stand your ground on when there are countless numbers of infinitely more violent games where you kill people in the most gruesome manner possible.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 6:57 PM

      The state of the front page is dire.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 7:57 PM

        New low for Shacknews.

          • reply
            May 11, 2016 11:45 PM

            First one made me think of the value of getting a dog since I'm not into the new consoles.

          • reply
            May 12, 2016 3:03 AM

            It must be such a pleasure to work for Shacknews. Write a criticized piece, and 18 months later my employer dredges it up to use as an example of a bad article.

            You're truly a shining star of professionalism.

            • reply
              May 12, 2016 3:11 AM

              QQ

            • reply
              May 12, 2016 4:03 AM

              Sounds like a nice office where its casual enough that even your boss can make a joke about a divisive article :)

              • reply
                May 12, 2016 4:09 AM

                It reads less like a joke, and more like someone throwing their employees under the bus.

                • reply
                  May 12, 2016 7:20 AM

                  It doesn't read like that to most, hence the reactions you're getting. People know he's fairly chill.

                  As a sidenote, you do seem to go into a lot of threads with an axe to grind. I've only noticed this recently – nothing against your approach, just that it seems pretty agitated and generally receives more counterarguments than more civil approaches.

                • reply
                  May 12, 2016 8:47 AM

                  As the author of one of the most publically hated articles ever written on Shacknews (as well as one of the worst-written), I don't feel at all like Asif is throwing me under the bus. It is a genuinely great example of a TERRIBLE ARTICLE. That is something that should never have made it past editorial and into the eye of the public. But it did, so now it's a running joke.

                  I don't feel at all like Asif is attacking me. I have worked hard to get to where I am today, and that article has been a huge motivation for me to keep going, and become an even stronger writer in the days, months, and years to come. Does that mean I won't make mistakes? Nope, not at all. But I think those articles are an excellent example of how "low" we can go. We were in fire need of something, and the entire site was in disarray due to the massive staff changes we had found ourselves worry with at that point in time.

                  Yes, those articles are bad. I'll admit mine was terrible. I mean, who the fuck writes a comparison before he has even touched either of the devices in question? ESPECIALLY WHEN ONE OF THOSE DEVICES ISN'T EVEN OUT? But I don't feel Asif was trying to throw me under the bus. He was simply pointing out how far we have come as a site, and jokingly brought up a couple of articles that just happened to be pretty fucking bad.

                  • reply
                    May 12, 2016 3:38 PM

                    Fair enough. I take your point, and thank you for speaking up. You shouldn't have had to, but you did.

            • reply
              May 12, 2016 5:45 AM

              I doubt briefcase man meant to imply those articles were bad. More likely he wanted to know if this one really represented a "new low" (as Lightzout put it) for Shacknews compared to other semi-recent articles that incurred backlash from the community.

              • reply
                May 12, 2016 6:11 AM

                Perhaps I made an uncharitable interpretation of his post, but his meaning is rather vague. I also don't see how he stands to benefit from engaging the criticism here in that manner. It's one thing to defend the substance of the article, but he's not doing that. It's just like some half-hearted joke about other unpopular Shacknews articles. Utterly bizzare.

            • reply
              May 12, 2016 7:38 AM

              you're drawing the wrong conclusion about briefcase man's post.

            • reply
              May 12, 2016 9:04 AM

              Oh man, form letter time?

            • reply
              May 12, 2016 9:19 AM

              Jesus christ dude.

          • reply
            May 12, 2016 3:12 AM

            I loved the Workman article because it made so many dudes mad. I mean the guy isn't trying to tell you why you shouldn't buy a watch because of the horrific history of watch-making.

      • reply
        May 12, 2016 9:04 AM

        lol, c'mon. dire? She's entitled to that opinion. Its mixing it up. I like it. I disagree ultimately with her opinion on it, but I get where she's coming from.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 7:11 PM

      Is this the Engadget article rewritten?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 7:47 PM

      Wait. Battlefield Vietnam was AOK, but this is beyond the pale? Alrighty.

      • reply
        May 12, 2016 5:30 AM

        I remember when that one came out there were some people who were not ok with a game about Vietnam, and thought every creative endeavor related to that conflict had to be created by Oliver Stone.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 7:49 PM

      LOL

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 7:55 PM

      Didn't Engadget have this same editorial a few days back?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 8:04 PM

      I'm playing the fuck out of this and look forward to wallowing in the trench viscera.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 8:04 PM

      Since video games are ART. We are allowed to enjoy games based off of anything art can be drawn about.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 9:48 PM

        Games are certainly not art. Art does not contain measured quantities of representations or consider the political barometer before making decisions. It lives in a space that enables people to have a conversation or interpret it through a lens unique to us.

        Games serve an audience. They represent corporations, not individuals. They are for the most part based on widely accepted ideals of the current society. They exist as a product for consumption and as devices that elicit a very specific response. Audiences and consumers of games decide what is acceptable for them to experience. They want their games to reflect reality. If something is unacceptable in society- ie the glorification of war, games are no place for this. A novel perhaps. A movie. A painting.

        But games? They couldn't possibly allow the player to question what they are experiencing.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 8:09 PM

      This seems pretty poorly researched and informed even for an op-ed piece. :(

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 8:14 PM

      Did you seriously just poorly rewrite an Engadget article without even the decency to mention it or expand on it?

      • reply
        May 12, 2016 2:21 AM

        Oddly this was the first thing that sprung to mind, where have I read this before.. The general opinion piece seems to be taken up by some of the broadsheets too.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 8:58 PM

      I just hope developers don't take these opinion pieces to heart.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 9:33 PM

        I'm sure they don't give a fuck. If anything they love the publicity. Some games would kill to have anything written about them. Even if it was with mustard gas.

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 9:23 PM

      Opinion: im offended by your opinion. Triggered. Please try to be more accomodating of my culture. Thank you

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 9:57 PM

      The only war cinema that made me un-easy was the GRAW (or one of those games) where they followed bullets ripping through a person. It didn't bother me in the sense that it was someone dying, it just bothered me because do we really need slow motion cinematic brain splitting etc?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 9:59 PM

      these anti-BF1 hit pieces by Bay Area journos are tearing the community apart. first engadget, then shack.

      • reply
        May 12, 2016 7:30 AM

        Can we have a safespace section of the chatty?

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 10:01 PM

      Any chance we'll see some participation by the author in the discussion this piece has spawned? Craddock was pretty good about getting his hands dirty when a lot of people disagreed with his Rust articles.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 11:45 PM

        I think nearly every author but Cassidee has delved into the comments on their own articles and other posts. I thought she was hired on at the same time as Craddock and wasn't just a freelancer.

    • ArB
      reply
      May 11, 2016 10:01 PM

      The real Shacknews starts here. Welcome aboard, Cassidee!

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 10:03 PM

        arb u monkey

        • ArB
          reply
          May 11, 2016 10:12 PM

          I don't know why you're being so racist against me.

      • reply
        May 11, 2016 10:13 PM

        Haha this guy. Still so young and naïve to think that Cassidee would come into the chatty for her own article.

        Ah, the optimism of youth!

        • ArB
          reply
          May 11, 2016 10:20 PM

          Thanks

        • reply
          May 11, 2016 10:35 PM

          some of the freelance writers prob. think we're like one step away from being a pro-gamergate website

    • reply
      May 11, 2016 11:21 PM

      I take it you never played soldier of fortune

    • reply
      May 12, 2016 2:01 AM

      I do have a problem with this article, far more so than any criticism of the conveniently similar Engadget article I reposted the other day.

      That author stated that HE felt unsettled by the violence of this game in particular (strangely ignoring the many other games that should have made him equally unsettled). However, in his piece, he didn't make any judgments about other people's enjoyment of the game.

      You take it a huge step beyond the Engadget article by expressing your reaction to people's enjoyment of the trailer. You said their cheering is unsettling. To me, that demonstrates that you believe that people who enjoy games like these are somehow flawed. You move from a critique of how the trailer makes you feel subjectively to how you feel about those that enjoy this kind of game.




      • reply
        May 12, 2016 5:45 AM

        It's an opinion piece. It the author feels there is something inherently wrong with a bunch of people cheering brutal violence based on one of the biggest tragedies of history, I can understand that.

        There is nothing inherently wrong with criticizing the behavior and choices of others. It only becomes wrong when you try to force them to do adhere to your set of rules.

        I wouldn't have cheered had I been there, and I would have looked around wondering how are my values so different from those around me, and how they don't feel awkward about cheering what they're seeing.

        All that said, I'm most probably going to buy and enjoy the game. But the way I see it, that's different from cheering short, out of context bits of violence out of that game.

        • reply
          May 12, 2016 8:06 AM

          It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

          Aristotle, setting it straight since 335 B.C.

          • reply
            May 12, 2016 8:08 AM

            "Who let these faggy San Francisco journos in here to talk about my explode-y game?"
            - Average Shacknews poster, 2016

    • reply
      May 12, 2016 2:14 AM

      I need to ask, have you played Wolfenstein : TNO (a game modelled on an alternate version of an even more brutal war).? If you did, how did you feel about :

      > The piles of dead bodies waiting to be incinerated.
      > Mentally handicapped people being executed.
      > The torture chambers.
      > A man being held down on a table, the back of his head being drilled open, and his brain pulled out.

      Genuinely interested to know how you feel about games in the FPS set in other time periods. Surely this must have crossed your mind at some point.?

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      May 12, 2016 4:29 AM

      polygon.shacknews.com ?

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      May 12, 2016 5:26 AM

      Why draw the line there? I stopped playing wargames in general. But I think its worse the closer to modern times that it gets. It's more ridiculous to brainwash kids into accepting the Chinese/Americans/Arabs slaughtering each other than older times. The former has implications for our near future if people accept it as a plausible reality. Before rebuttals- it is conditioning, pure and simple.
      There's a reason the DoD funds these types of games. This coming from someone whose great grandfather was in the trenches in France for real. And grandfather was shooting at and shot by Nazis as he flew over Germany 20 years later. These men did not glorify war like the children troops of today do.
      By the way Cassidee, WW2 was nothing more than a continuation of the same war.

      I prefer my violent games to take place in the more distant past. Then the violence attached is clearly an artifact of a less enlightened time. Or into the future where hopefully the presentation is of a united mankind against a common foe. At my age having started on mostly non-violent Sierra games, I won't support anything else with my time or money.

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        May 12, 2016 5:39 AM

        Dude, people back when was WAY more conditioned towards violence than we'll ever be today, in the west at least. Just look at old crime and murder stats for example. There were a lot of wars too, more than now. The difference was that the coping mechanisms where difference, you just didn't talk about it.

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          May 12, 2016 6:49 AM

          You just backed up my point-
          "I prefer my violent games to take place in the more distant past. Then the violence attached is clearly an artifact of a less enlightened time."

          Way back when, people were more conditioned for it. Less enlightened. If you play Chivalry Medieval War you get the suggestion that war was something for the past. It should be, it's ridiculous how we still accept it. We have more important things to do than enrich others, like going to the stars, mastering our genome etc.

          General Smedley Butler said it best in "War is a Racket"-
          "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

          Of course games are better than real war. But I still choose to not support wargames set in a modern era that don't represent a united mankind. Many of these kids (I started PC gaming in the 80s) aren't putting a lot of thought into things. I'll take humanity vs aliens perhaps, killing zombies, or Civil War or prior era.

          That goes without touching on the topic that FPS genre in general is overexposed and played out at this point anyway. Wake me up when L4D3 or QuakeWars2 arrives.

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            May 13, 2016 1:54 AM

            War will be a constant as long as humans are what they are, unfortunately. We just tend to forget that fact in our privileged part of the world, but it is there, waiting.

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        May 12, 2016 6:04 AM

        Yeah right, they wouldn't say glorify a Quaker who fought in WW1 and was famous for saying things like

        "In order to sight me or to swing their machine guns on me, the Germans had to show their heads above the trench, and every time I saw a head I just touched it off. All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn't want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.
        Suddenly a German officer and five men jumped out of the trench and charged me with fixed bayonets. I changed to the old automatic and just touched them off too. I touched off the sixth man first, then the fifth, then the fourth, then the third and so on. I wanted them to keep coming."

        ...

        "
        That’s the way we shoot wild turkeys at home. You see we don’t want the front ones to know that we’re getting the back ones, and then they keep on coming until we get them all. Of course, I hadn’t time to think of that. I guess I jes naturally did it. I knowed, too, that if the front ones wavered, or if I stopped them the rear ones would drop down and pump a volley into me and get me."

        "I had killed over twenty before the German major said he would make them give up. I covered him with my automatic and told him if he didn't make them stop firing I would take off his head next. And he knew I meant it. He told me if I didn't kill him, and if I stopped shooting the others in the trench, he would make them surrender.
        He blew a little whistle and they came down and began to gather around and throw down their guns and belts. All but one of them came off the hill with their hands up, and just before that one got to me he threw a little hand grenade which burst in the air in front of me.
        I had to touch him off. The rest surrendered without any more trouble. There were nearly 100 of them."


        So he blew his whistle and they all surrendered — all except one. I made the major order him to surrender twice. But he wouldn't. And I had to touch him off. I hated to do it. But I couldn't afford to take any chances and so I had to let him have it.

        http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/01/in-wwi-alvin-york-captured-132-german-soldiers-in-pretty-much-a-1-against-132-gunfight/

        and

        https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alvin_C._York

        Except they did. On the eve of WW2, this movie was released.

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034167/

        It drove men to sign up even though York himself was on set for the filming and reportedly threw up in discomfort at recollections of the event.



        Come on. This isn't new.

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        May 12, 2016 8:59 AM

        That's why I only play C&C.

        Kane, the bald white villain we can all get behind destroying TOGETHER.

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      May 12, 2016 5:29 AM

      So what about all the cities you rape and pillage in Total War games huh? Or innocent AIs dying imprisoned in the Sims?

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      May 12, 2016 5:43 AM

      I liked the article, and assume that it was just written similar time to Endgadets. Also people are assholes here, I am sure Shacknews staff come out with cold sweats when they're publishing an article on the front page.

      Also I believe it is valid to state that WW1 was different from other wars that have been portrayed in games, was very much a futile war and arguable was the most brutal front line war/conditions than any other conflict.

      I'm not saying either that I won't play the game or even enjoy it but it is interesting to reflect on how this game is using such a terrible brutal conflict and strangely glorifying it.

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      May 12, 2016 7:01 AM

      Lol funny.

      I'll check my privilege in that I'm thankful I don't have to know the real horrors of world war 1 or 2 or even before that the brutality of regular historical life.
      But that doesn't mean never using historical backdrops for entertainment.
      If you can't separate the two you might have problems.

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      May 12, 2016 7:25 AM

      Go to bed Grandpa.

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      May 12, 2016 7:26 AM

      Lol here we go again. Cultural analysis? In MY videogames?

      Gamers are dumb.

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        May 12, 2016 7:32 AM

        Statements like this are really piss poor.

        I see it in a bunch of threads. Discussion and disagreement about an article is dismissed by a few as somehow invalid because 'gamers are dumb'

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          May 12, 2016 7:35 AM

          Yeah well in a whole thread of 'new low for the frontpage' type of drivel I don't really think I'm the standout shitposter.

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            May 12, 2016 7:52 AM

            You aren't shitting hard enough, obviously

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            May 12, 2016 8:06 AM

            yeah it's weird. i don't mind the disagreements but the level of froth seems disproportionate

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            May 12, 2016 8:09 AM

            I don't really think I'm the standout shitposter.

            Give it time, you only just got here.

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        May 12, 2016 9:01 AM

        You sure think a lot of people are dumb, gamers, the electorate, etc.. If only we could all be as enlightened as you eh?

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          May 12, 2016 9:07 AM

          Donald Trump is a viable candidate for president of this country. I got some breaking news for you: lots (most?) people are complete idiots.

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            May 12, 2016 9:09 AM

            haha ok that's fair. the Donald "Trump" card works here.

            Still, this asshole I know better than you shtick from you gets old. *shrugs*

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              May 12, 2016 9:17 AM

              Yeah I get that, but it probably gets just as old as the same "wtf it's just a game/go back to San Francisco" type of responses get to me. The difference is you only get a couple of me's in a thread like this whereas the vast majority of it is the kind of crap that I mentioned.

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                May 12, 2016 9:20 AM

                So, fighting that good fight? I mean there is no reason to be an ass to the author either, though I admittedly didnt call them out. I just saw your name and 2 pithy comments about how people werent as smart as you. #triggered.

                Still though, you look no better to me than them. Not sure what the point of it is. Whatever though.

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                May 12, 2016 11:39 AM

                the same "wtf it's just a game/go back to San Francisco" type of responses get to me

                Are you from San Francisco?

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      May 12, 2016 7:33 AM

      I think this should become a running gag for Shacknews. Every time a new blockbuster violent game comes out Cassidee should post a piece about how this time it really has gone too far.

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        May 12, 2016 7:42 AM

        The game doesn't even have to be violent. I want to see pieces on Mario being culturally insensitive because he has a mock Italian accent, giant mustache and the only job he can get is being a plumber.

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        May 12, 2016 7:48 AM

        You should co-author it, would be amazing

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          May 12, 2016 8:08 AM

          My consultation fee is very reasonable. Just remember you really have to drive home how sadistic and unbalanced anyone who enjoys these games are. I mean really they should probably just kill themselves.

    • reply
      May 12, 2016 7:46 AM

      It's a video game

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      May 12, 2016 7:59 AM

      do you live in San Francisco?

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      May 12, 2016 8:33 AM

      :-/

      All games glorifying war are fucked up. You're just used to WWII as a setting since it's been depicted in a million films and video games, so you're desensitized to it. Part of the reason for this is because there's actually a ton of film footage of WWII so it became easier to depict it visually.

      Anyways, aside from the historical issues already mentioned, I've been waiting for a AAA WWI game since playing the original Medal of Honor. This looks awesome. Bayonets and swords and rifles and horses and cannons and janky tanks and bi-planes. WWI has always seemed like the "craziest" war to me.

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        May 12, 2016 8:53 AM

        Yeah, my main problem with this op/ed is the last line - about "one of the worst wars". I mean, I guess when an FPS comes out about the cola wars, we'll be ok, but I'm thinking that every war was the worst war for the people involved.

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      May 12, 2016 9:00 AM

      Battlefield 1 is the most liked youtube trailer of all time in the category of movies, tv or video games. Top 200 of most liked videos ever.

      http://www.chownk.com/call-of-duty-iw-vs-battlefield-1-trailer-war/

      Looks like this opinion is in the deep minority.

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      May 12, 2016 9:08 AM

      I never really take cheering to be like yay world war I and the violence was great, just more like "cool game" I mean you see cheering for Doom which is ridiculous violent and no one is getting upset. I think people are more into the GAME then, oh finally I get to reenact World War I atrocities.

      I dunno. I can see your point though.

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      May 12, 2016 9:20 AM

      This is a well written OPINION. They are supposed to create discussion and sometimes differ from yours. If you want to reciprocate and offer a counter argument? Cool. Lets do that. Plenty of people have in this thread. People feel and interpret stuff way differently.

      On the other hand, personal attacks won't fly around here, for anyone on staff. I am all for the lack of censorship, but slandering my co workers ain't gonna happen.

      Weirdly enough, I felt the same way about the trailer and the way it was presented. I am excited for a company to tackle one of the most brutal conflicts modern humanity has ever seen, but the way they PRESENTED it, is what got me, and I think that is what Cassidee is getting at as well. EA gotta make money and make a splash, but that trailer was cut like it was for a summer blockbuster.

      as far as the actual game goes, I am certain the campaign will be gruesome and way more respectful of the subject matter, and the inclusion of the Harlem Hellfighters plotline is something I am reaaaaaaly looking forward to. I guess I am just bummed EA presented this thing the way they did.

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        May 12, 2016 11:37 AM

        Maybe now is the time for adults to pay attention to the ESRB ratings for their own video game consumption and not only for their children. I don't think this would be so upsetting to anyone if they saw this or something like it (a film trailer in a similar vein) on late night television, or if it were a trailer before a movie they were about to watch. I do not think that it should be any more disturbing as a video game trailer, when simply not playing the game is concomitant with changing the channel. I mean, my wife asks me to change the channel all the time when something scary pops on the TV unexpectedly. That's kinda how this article reads to me.

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      May 12, 2016 11:15 AM

      Honestly, all war is horrible. Politics aside, war is human suffering at its most extreme. I'm sure you could ask a veteran from any war how they'd feel about the trivializing of their experiences for past-time recreation and their response would probably be shock and revulsion.

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        May 12, 2016 12:36 PM

        From what I understand, many Afgan/Iraq vets enjoy playing modern warfare and battlefield games.

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          May 12, 2016 7:57 PM

          how do Taliban vets feel about it?

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        May 12, 2016 2:52 PM

        If that was the case, movies with shooting in them should be pretty unpopular in the states no?

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      May 13, 2016 10:07 AM

      But the battle for Dinosaur Land is different from these, because there is no perceptive delineation between good and evil. In fact there was no delineation between anything during the confused time of this game's release, exhibited by such heineous acts as the release of Crystal Pepsi. The battle for Dinosaur Land was essentially a war that didn't need to happen, in which bigger and bigger koopalings successively were forced into battle by their father, as their smaller brothers and sisters were placed in harm’s way, having their heads brutal bashed in 3 times each so that "victory" could be claimed. The glorification of jumping on others heads made me uncomfortable and slightly nauseated at times. It was a war in which the squabbles of the rich and powerful led to the brutal destruction of nearly an entire generation of young dinosaurs. It was not the fascist King Bowser vs. Mario and Luigi. It was not Mario versus a radical anthropomorphic frog king named Wart. It was a war painted in many shades of dinosaur eggs, whose ultimate purpose was to mount dinosaurs that had never been asked how they felt about being ridden by a smelly plumber.

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      May 24, 2016 7:36 PM

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTwJtHEYsuY VERY IMPORTANT!!! WATCH ALL THE WAY THROUGH.