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War and Peace Games

Mark Devenport | 11:38 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010

Listening to the discussion on this morning's Nolan show about the latest controversy regarding the Medal of Honor game on the Afghan war, I wondered whether it's inevitable that games which reward players who kill as many people as possible will always have a wider appeal than games which encourage a more humanitarian attitude.

Last year there was some minor controversy over the Far Cry 2 game, described as a "first person shooter" which featured an ex IRA prisoner as one of its cast of characters.

I'm pretty naive when it comes to computer games, but back in the days when I used to play board games like Diplomacy, the attraction was just as much in the business of negotiating alliances as in achieving world domination.

So could our local political process spawn a computer equivalent which, instead of encouraging players to wipe out their opponents, stresses the value of finding go betweens, or avoiding confrontation? Maybe it's too much to ask, but I did find the website for the Peacemaker game which tries to do something similar in a Middle Eastern context. Sadly I imagine it will remain the exception which proves the "first person shooter" rule.


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