Every now and then a soldier will write about the obvious differences between war, and the portrayal of war in video games. This article is almost like that, but the brutal honesty, the matter of fact way in which war is depicted, is unnerving. According to ex-soldier ‘W’ “[h]eroes in a frontline combat context do not exist”.
This section is particularly eye-opening.
Here is a real scenario that should be put into a game:
A friend of mine came under fire inside a compound. He followed up the shooter, who disappeared into an escape tunnel. My friend followed standard procedure and threw a grenade into the tunnel entrance before following up. When entering the tunnel, he found only the bodies of a woman and a small child, whom the terrorist had used to cover his escape.
When I spoke about it to my friend years later, he recalled how pissed he was at losing the insurgent, and how bad he felt afterwards about it. He’d had his professional pride tarnished. I asked him if he ever thought about the woman and her kid and he just looked at me blankly.
He didn’t even remember they were there.
This article is an absolute must read.
Call of Apathy: Violent Young Men and Our Place in War [Medium Difficulty]