Nerval's Lobster writes: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wants developers to consider building “virtual consequences” for mayhem into their video games. “Gamers should be rewarded for respecting the law of armed conflict and there should be virtual penalties for serious violations of the law of armed conflict, in other words war crimes,” read the ICRC’s new statement on the matter. “Game scenarios should not reward players for actions that in real life would be considered war crimes.” Like many a concerned parent or Congressional committee before it, the ICRC believes that violent video games trivialize armed conflict to the point where players could see various brands of mayhem as acceptable behavior. At the same time, the ICRC’s statement makes it clear that the organization doesn’t want to be actively involved in a debate over video-game violence, although it is talking to developers about ways to accurately build the laws of armed conflict into games. But let’s be clear: the ICRC doesn’t want to spoil players’ enjoyment of the aforementioned digital splatter. “We would like to see the law of armed conflict integrated into the games so that players have a realistic experience and deal first hand with the dilemmas facing real combatants on real battlefields,” the statement continued. “The strong sales of new releases that have done this prove that integrating the law of armed conflict does not undermine the commercial success of the games.” In other words, no preachy in-game dialogue boxes explaining how most people would probably frown on your character’s decision to torture an antagonist with a pair of pliers and a Miley Cyrus song on repeat.
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