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Realistic (Gaming)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, February 15, 2021, 13:33 (124 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I’m a little concerned about it, to be honest. I seem to recall the original iteration of the game wanting to address the atrocities during that battle in some way or another, but the trailer for this new version reads like the typical imperialist war propaganda found in a lot of media, especially video games. That snippet of the interview with the veteran saying something along the lines of “You don’t understand because you weren’t there” reeks of trying to justify the awful things that took place.


I think it was Pauline Kael who said it was impossible to make an anti war movie. If that’s true, boy is it ever impossible to make an anti war game. Even if we accept that statement as true (and it probably is), that doesn’t mean it’s inherently propaganda or justification for atrocities. There are loads of excellent war films that serve a great cultural value. You never know until you see the final product.

The irony of “You can’t understand it if you weren’t there” is that if that’s true, then telling the story will lead to no further understanding now will it? But if you CAN, then the question should be why this person’s story?

As a culture, we have a strange relationship to veterans, especially depending on the time. We honored those in WW2. We chastised those in Vietnam. How do we feel about them now? How much media portrays them as fucked up? How much as heroes? How much as criminals?

Do you think perhaps their desire to tell their own story is a means to give themselves an identity distinct from what the media would say? What identity is that, and why that identity? What does it mean when someone really needs to tell you who they are? What does it mean that we can’t just tell by looking?

What does it mean when anyone wants to make a war movie or war game? What do they want you to think? Why?

Regardless of how it turns out, as a cultural artifact I think this will be quite interesting.

It's going to be controversial no matter what. What isn't these days? You can't exclude war from subject matter because it's an integral part of the human experience. Our experience, where many if not most of us are untouched by it, is unique in human history.

Did you ever play Valiant Hearts? I'm guessing that you might not have liked it as a game, but I thought it was very good.


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