War is hell, and it never changes. Even when game developers promise to depict the more human side of military conflict, it all boils down to shooting other people as close to the face as possible.
I want a game that shows the human side of not fighting a war. Something like Call of Duty: Unheeded.
Call of Duty: Unheeded is an imaginary game Luke Plunkett and I came up with around the time EA announced Medal of Honor: Warfighter, another game aiming to depict the more human side of battle. Me, I wanted a game that shows the inhuman side of fighting a war, possibly with giant robots. The not fighting a war bit was all Luke, which makes sense considering the last time Australia was directly involved in a war it wasn't.
So I came up with Call of Duty: Unheeded, also known as Medal of Honor: Spectator, Civilian of Honor: Jobfighter, and my second favourite, Conscientious Objector of Honor: Notfighter.
This dream game would incorporate all of the challenges involved with not fighting in a major military conflict. Stuff like:
- Baking vaguely patriotic cakes
- Eating freedom fries
- Selling sidewalk souvenirs
- Buying ribbons
- Voting republican
- Watching it on the news
That last one would be incredibly important, as it would fuel the game's Paragon / Renegade system, lifted directly from Mass Effect because this is not a real game and we can do that.
It all comes down to a simple question: Which news channel do you watch every night, Fox or CNN? (C-Span has DLC potential).
Watching the war unfold on Fox news gives players +7 rhetoric every evening, while watching CNN on a nightly basis adds +7 to information.
It might seem like CNN is the better choice, but information is a negative currency in Call of Duty: Unheeded. The more information your character receives the more depressed he or she gets. Too much depression and the game transforms into Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain and your child gets hit by a car.
Multiplayer maps would include office cubicles, bus stops, and aeroplanes in mid-flight. One player takes on the role of someone with a strong opinion about the war, while the other attempts to play Bejeweled on his or her iPad.
Plenty of details about Call of Duty: Unheeded's gameplay still need to be ironed out. Do we go with a Cooking Mama-esque cake-baking mini-game? Can Kinect recognise when a player puts their head in their hands and just weeps quietly? Is there any way to end the game without making everyone angry?
That's the wonderful thing about Call of Duty: Unheeded: there's no way we could ever make it, so we've got all the time in the world to develop it, once we're done with our naps.
UPDATE: Hello, this is Mark Serrels, Australian Editor of Kotaku. I'd like to personally apologise for the content of this post. I don't agree with it, and I apologise for letting it slip through the net.
The reaction in the comments is completely understandable. We've taken this as a lesson learnt — we'll be far more careful in the future.
Please accept my sincerest apologies.