Every time I visit my brother, I utter something along the lines of: “Guess what gamers are pissed off about now.” Because there’s always something. This hobby seems to be rife with controversy in the modern day.
For the most part the controversies is justified. Mostly its EA screwing up in some form or fashion. But sometimes, something happens that makes it hard for me to understand why it is such a big deal. The last time I wrote about something like this, it concerned people’s deep appreciation for the swastika and how their worlds were shattered by the lack of any nazi flags in the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty: WW2. The new issue evoking outrage is the optional female soldier avatar that a player can use in the multiplayer of the upcoming Battlefield V.
When I was watching the reveal, the moment I saw the poster with the female soldier I said: “Uh oh.” I think that in recent years, there’s been a movement that’s bringing about a cultural and social upheaval, especially in the USA. For the most part I would say their goals are worthy. But just like everything with noble intentions, it is inevitable that some people are going to take things too far.
Even to me it has appeared as if certain individuals live out their lives by searching for outrage. The response by certain individuals who oppose them was to do exactly the same. If the former is outraged by something, the opposition responds with anger. Anger at the fact that people are outraged. This has either grown or it’s emboldened unsavory individuals to come out of the bushes and attempt to justify almost anything that people find unacceptable.
Historical accuracy is often brought up when liberties are taken with portrayals of historical events within video games. This is unique to video games, as books and films can seemingly make alterations at will. (See Inglorious Bastards.) I am of the mind that if historical accuracy is important, then it’s important to the singleplayer, as a story is being told. Reasonable artistic liberties can be taken. Unless the story being told is purposely taking things to an alternate reality. (Resistance: Fall of Man, Wolfenstein)
If the game features multiplayer, then much more liberties open up to the creators. DICE has said that they are committed to supplying an immersive experience with the multiplayer. Some have argued that seeing a female soldier within a world war 2 setting is more than enough to break their immersion. They will stand out so much, player concentration will immediately shatter and it will render them unable to enjoy this gaming experience.
This same sentiment was brought up when Call of Duty: WW2 was being featured ahead of its launch and there were no swastikas in the multiplayer. Curiously, after the game was released, the radio waves went cold and there was silence. The lack of swastikas (in the multiplayer) was never mentioned again.
At the moment the only thing we have to judge the singleplayer of Battlefield V on, is that it will feature multiple stories, and one is the story of a girl fighting as part of the Norwegian resistance. I’ll trust that most have already deduced that resistance movements can’t be picky about who signs up. It only takes one google search to find that women did see their share of combat.
As for the multiplayer, all we have to judge it is that one trailer. To me it seemed very obvious that the trailer was not meant to portray the historical accuracy of the ‘gameplay’ in the multiplayer. It was more intended to showcase new features that will be coming to this new Battlefield title, and (at least within the trailer) embracing the ludicrous things that can sometimes occur in the game.
Female Soldier = You now have the option to have a female avatar
Prosthetic hand = You can now customize your avatar more
Tanks driving through buildings = More destructibility. But don’t worry, because…
Soldiers setting up sandbags = You can build structures now.
V2 Rocket = Commander mode?
“Hello old friend” = Respawning. Making it abundantly clear that this is the multiplayer.
But I will admit that this has its limitations. Unless you’re going completely in the direction of alternate timeline, don’t take it too far. In my conversations about this with people online, they would often exaggerate. Saying things like: “Well if you’re going to be as unrealistic as adding women in WW2 combat than you might as well add aliens or dinosaurs.” Such an exaggeration would obviously lead to it being distracting when surrounded by everything else WW2 related. But we’re not talking about aliens and dinosaurs, we’re talking about female human beings.
It wasn’t the male avatars that were making the past Battlefield games immersive, it was the gameplay. If what you’re paying attention to the most is the female characters, while bombs are going off, and bullets are flying everywhere, you’re the guy who’s gonna end up with the lowest kill/death ratio. But more likely, you’ll never notice. If you’re playing as a female, you only see your own character in-game when you die. If a player is using a female avatar (reminder: it is optional) and they kill you, you may notice. But are you going to focus on that or are you going to focus on respawning and getting back in there?
If you’re reading this and you’re one of the individuals who are against this game, because of this one none-issue, the main question I have for you is this: What are you going to do, if you play the game and it’s fun?
Papito Qinn is into the whole YouTube thing, is the winner of the 2016 SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest, and a twitter incompetent. “Cognitive dissonance? Fling feces against strange women on the street? Move into the woods, never to be seen again?”