Oh No, There Are Women In Battlefield V

There are women in Battlefield V, a game set during the Second World War. They're in the game, they're in the trailer, they're even on the posters! And a lot of people are very upset. Is this what their forefathers fought for?

Here's Our First Look At Battlefield V, Which Goes Back To WWII

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To recap, in case your job is blessed and does not require you to monitor the worst of websites like Reddit and Twitter, some folks are angry that their favourite violent multiplayer shooter, which has never been based on anything approaching historical accuracy, now has historically inaccurate portrayals of women and a black man fighting - with guns! - in the Second World War.

It's tiring to have to face this year after year, so it's almost not even worth pointing out - like the guy at the bottom there tries - that women served in armed forces across the world during the conflict. Mostly as support personnel, yes, but there were also examples - in the Soviet Union especially - where they served on the frontlines, both on the ground and in the air.

But like, that doesn't even matter here. Any idea that this, of all things, is what shatters the credibility and historical credentials of a series that has long reduced the war to endless skirmishes between jeep-flipping, plane-crashing brave soldiers named 69XX_cvmlauder_xx69 is insane.

Watch this trailer and tell me that, above everything else, it's the gender and race of the combatants that seems unrealistic:

Yet that's where we are today, because we're talking about the words "historical accuracy" among gamers on the internet.

Those two words rarely mean what they look like they mean. At face value they appear to suggest a game has, or is striving to attain, some semblance of accuracy in its portrayal of the events of the past.

The nature of video games means that rarely happens. To capture history in a digital experience would require a developer to adapt the language, architecture, beliefs, society, and culture of the place and time being represented, and to do so knowing that the records of the past (and subsequent writings) were shaped by the prevailing politics.

To truly present something "accurate" to the time period would probably result in a game you wouldn't really enjoy playing. What we often see in a "historical" FPS action game is just the visual trappings. And that's OK - it's a mass-market action game, not a history lesson.

What angry dorks mean when they say "historical accuracy" is not a game that's accurate to the time being presented, then, but accurate to the aspects of that time (or the popular historical re-telling of it) that are sympathetic to their current political and cultural beliefs.

It doesn't bother them that a randomly-created soldier with no training can jump behind the controls of a complex fighter aircraft, or expertly handle a cross-section of enemy weapons. They don't care that the streets of European cities aren't recreated 1:1, or that uniform details aren't strictly adhered to, or that Battlefield's war is fought to time limits and kill counts.

Those things are acceptable compromises. It's a video game, and those are video game things that the Second World War just needs to accommodate with its representation in order to work. Yet introduce something as relatively harmless (it has zero impact on gameplay!) as women or black soldiers where historically there were none, and suddenly the sky is falling.

It's almost as though opposition to a British woman holding a gun, or a black man serving in a combat role has little to do with "historical accuracy," and everything about someone finding their current views on gender, race and society challenged in a space - the good old days - they thought was safe.

Battlefield isn't, and never has been, about recreating the past. There are far more serious and studious Second World War games for that kind of business. Instead, it's always been about letting people in the present use war as a playground. And if DICE wants to broaden the scope of those represented in those games, then that's awesome for everyone involved.

Well, almost everyone.


Comments

    The best part is all of you are willingly partaking in what can only be described as a cynical move on EA’s part to maximise copies sold. It doesn’t matter whether you obstinately believe in historically realistic depictions or an all-out (and slightly anachronistic) drive for inclusiveness - EA laughs all the way to the bank whichever stance you take.

    I'm amused by people complaining about accuracy when BF4 had an Aircraft Carrier sized fucking shark that could eat helicopters in one map. Just saying.

    I’m more concerned that the author is claiming he has to search the bad parts of Twitter or Reddit for a story. That isn’t journalism, that is finding low effort click bait outrage. Better yet why not reach out to some of these people to hear why they are outraged by his trailer as opposed to just taking a few tweets and patting yourself on the back.

    I think DICE could have avoided all of this by saying it was an alternative history instead of wording it like it was historical. I don’t care either way I have adult things to worry about like work, bills and family.

      and does not require you to monitor the worst of websites like Reddit and Twitter

        You missed the beginning which is context. In case YOUR job, not his.

          I’m more concerned that the author is claiming he has to search the bad parts of Twitter or Reddit for a story.
          monitor the worst of websites like Reddit and TwitterNot the worst parts, the worst websites.

        I'm inclined to agree, Twitter and reddit are the worst of websites. Twitter especially. Mainly.

    They want historical accuracy do they? So being shot 26 times before droping is historical accuracy? Man, the war would have been very different if that was the case.

    It's that prosthetic arm that ruins it for me. Most of the gimmicks in BF 1 did have some basis in reality even if stretched to their absolute limits for the sake of variety and fun. I know that the gameplay mechanics aren't realistic but their was nothing visually out of place for the time period like this.

      It's a basic claw, pretty sure they had those by the 40s.

      Last edited 25/05/18 8:45 pm

    Approximately 30k women and 50 million men were on the frontlines. As far as I know, none were British and no one, man or woman, got that kind of surgery and returned to the frontline.

    It's not historically accurate, but I don't think it needs to be. As long as it stays away from the real battlefield drama (lootboxes, ugh) and plays well I think it will be another fine addition to the franchise.

    the hilarious part about people complaining about woman in CoD WW2 was the fact there are so many silly gun skins, emblems all kinds of ridiculous gaming things but it is girls they say break their immersion. Roll eyes.

      "There shouldnt be women in this game! Its unrealistic"

      Proceeds to run around in game with a fully loaded MG42 and secondary weapon on their back. Along with several grenades and can miracously call in airstrikes with just a smoke grenade

    I wonder if all the characters that were shown in the trailer were purely just multiplayer characters you can select and customise. While the single player campaign will be more grounded in somewhat "historical accuracy". So they can show the heroes and events of war while having the craziness that is multiplayer?

      My guess is that these are multiplayer characters considering the way they die and respawn. I am on board for a more lighthearted campaign starring make believe SOE heroes as well though.

        That's what I was thinking, especially since they kept respawning and saying "ello again". Isaw they're talking about the more unknown stories like resistance group fighting and "secret war" types of events which i'm down for. We've seen alot of historic battles, but i'd love to see those real intimate skirmishes that occurred in-between.

    See I don't mind the inclusion of females (though it does seem like a bit of an easy 2018 move to try and be appropriate), my issue is that the trailer makes the game seem arcadey and cod-like. Let's just hope they remember what made BF1942 so good in the first place...

      Shooting your teammates across the map into battle using a howitzer?

    Nothing about that trailer seemed historically accurate, Hogan's Hero's was more accurate than that Michael Bay piece of.......... Why the Braveheart war paint? Historically accurate wait until the multiplayer gameplay, with everyone hopping and shooting and shooting and jumping in front of each others lines of sight.
    So what if there are women in it. I just realised she's a cyborg terminator as well.
    Will there be someone who's genderfluid? Now, an attack helicopter would be handy.

    Last edited 24/05/18 4:32 pm

    Heh, this reminds me of Ubisoft saying girls used to go to school while also saying they didn't in Assassins Creed.

    Look, we all know why she's there. We all know why she is missing an arm and doing more work than all the men. This is just an inclusive checkmark that they think will help sell the game. They're advertising her to people who aren't interested in the game, who will at least write articles on why EA are suddenly not evil for doing so, which in turn helps advertise the game for them. They used to do the soldier standing and staring at you box cover before everybody started complaining about it, now they're just doing the same but replacing the soldier with a woman or a black person.

    We also know that in the story she'll be safe. She can't die because the people who they're advertising for will write articles about how offensive it is, and she'll never get injured because it's in poor taste to injure a disabled person. Add on top that the BF series has, at best, only made average campaigns and it's pretty obvious that the single player just won't be interesting to play.

    With the drama over 'mai representation' in the last few years people are getting sick of it. So of course they're going to complain. Then get annoyed when people take their criticisms and act all smug and sarcastic with it.

      I honestly don't think she'll be in the story. I think she's just a character model for the multiplayer in how you can customise your character. They showed one female character from the campaign in the event and they said she was a Norwegian resistance fighter fighting the German occupation.

      The response from the community just shows how cancerous the gaming community can be, which sucks because there's so many responsible gamers.

      Then get annoyed when people take their criticisms and act all smug and sarcastic with it.

      Isn't this how you're acting? What you call "criticism" is a series of assumptions --the worst possible-- and then taking your assumptions as reality to prove yourself right. And then, when someone calls you out on this, you'll dismiss their actual criticism to your position as "smug sarcasm" or something, all while feeling very pleased with yourself.

    I've seen more collective bitching about the people who complained in my feed over today than I've seen actual bitching about the cover art. I doubt this is a problem worth paying attention to.

    That being said I'd put good money on this article being pre-written in anticipation of any acute grumbling in order to blow it up for eye balls.

    There were female combatants in WW2, it was just overly dominated by males you'd just not hear about it. Think Russian for example had quite a few as snipers. No doubt this BF5 doesn't really portrait a realistic image of their roles during WW2, who cares, its a game.

    ...which has never been based on anything approaching historical accuracy,

    Wow! Glad World War 1 never happened. That would've inconvenienced a whole lot of people. This whole article/comment section stinks of SJW bullshit. The defence that "It's a game" is ludicrous. Battlefield 1's story mode was quite historicial accurate, which I really dug. It would be a shame to change it so drastically for the sake of being socially acceptable.

    Honestly, I have no issue with putting females in multiplayer. Go for it. Apparently, nobody plays single-player mode anymore, not with the "battle-royales" and such. So leave that section clear for me, m'kay?

    But why stop there? Let's put all 71 genders in. Have an issue with this? It's a game.

      BF1's story mode had you sit for day after day in a trench hoping you didn't get dysentery and then you got shot when you finally got the order to charge? Glad i skipped it

        Well, if you had played it, you'd probably know that only the intro is set on the front lines, where you're expected to die, making a point about the futility of war. The stories are laden with so much attention to detail that one could consider it "realistic".

        But no, let's make it all unrealistic for the sake of pleasing a vocal minority. Whatever works, hey?

      That's... not what the author is saying. WWI is but a frame of reference in this and other games which they use precisely because it happened. But when you add all the "gamey" mechanics to it (you know, in order to make it a fun experience as opposed to the hell that reality was), the end result is several steps removed from reality.

      At that point, as others have mentioned, a woman as a playable character is nowhere near the most unbelievable thing in the game. Yet somehow, lots of people take umbrage. Why do you think it's the case? Why some other frankly ridiculous stretches of disbelief in these games are happily embraced, but this one little thing gets some folks incensed?

    ”Watch this trailer and tell me that, above everything else, it's the gender and race of the combatants that seems unrealistic:”

    Faaark wow. I totally see what you mean. Everything is off the charts stupid. I've seen dumb games before but nothing comes close to that.

    Personally the more surprising thing is not the disabled female soldier in the WWII game.

    It's the amount of people that are apparently totally on board with deliberately misrepresenting history.

    If people were arguing for there being a historical basis, based on a real person(s), telling stories not normally told. That'd be one thing. I however have seen so much written here and elsewhere online where people are outright excusing and saying it's a good thing on the rewriting history argument.

    That's actually really worrying.

    Saying it's just a video game doesn't excuse it. It's a major release in a major entertainment format.

    It's just fascinating and really worrying how many people have the attitude anyone questioning a potential deliberately inaccurate portrayal of history, which they think may have been done for political and social reasons. That that person is automatically in the wrong. Due to said political and social reasons. Which mean it doesn't matter whether or not the question of historical accuracy is address.

    Spooky stuff.

    The takehome message for me? this journalist is easy to bait, and dont listen to small minorities of toxic people like this on the internet,
    in public they wouldnt ever have a platform to behave like this so lets just let them be toxic and pay no attention to them? lets not give them the spotlight and hope their stupid ideals die out.

      That's exactly the attitude that the academics of the Weimar republic had about those dismissible ruffians from that upstart political party, "National Socialism". Didn't end well for them.

      (NB: I'm not drawing a direct parallel with Nazism, merely stating that there's historical warnings regarding what happens when discriminating or violent ideals are allowed to fester and spread because they seem toothless).

    The issue is not just that a woman is in the game. The issue is how literally everything around her, about her, and about the setting is being handled.

    If you had women in the game who were like Lyudmila Pavlichenko, ie hard as nails no nonsense soldiers who just happened to be women, I don't think people would care nearly as much. However thats not what we're getting here. We're getting a Furiosa copy paste complete with robot arm and dumb make up. Not to mention stupid melee weapon and trench coat.

    The issue is not "Oh no, a lady" the issue is "Oh no, a completely blatant Mary Sue"

    And I am aware there are a fair number of Gary Stu male counterpoints to this, but they tend to just be inhumanly skilled while looking like normal soldiers, as opposed to being inhumanly skilled and looking like they came from an entirely different game and different Genre.

    Also, as far as I remember, they never had a trailer specifically showing a side character being better than you from the start. It undermines the entire idea that you, the player character, are the hero of the game. Because clearly this lady in glam rocker makeup should be, since she's better than you in every way.

      I think you are missing the context. In the context of that trailer everyone is looking a bit ridic, not just the femme. So they are shaking up the multiplayer with more character customisation, the end.

    The clip's not realistic at all, every knows the real battle was with EA's net code.

    I'd hate to see how anybody complaining about a woman in a video game reacts when they have a real problem like an overdue mortgage or a child with leukemia.

    People are mad at this trailer not for there being a women.But that she is prominent even though women were not that prominent in the war.Also she has a prosthetic arm while being a sniper.Not a single military would give a handicapped person a sniper,otherwise you would have the worst military in the world.

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