There are great anti war films which leave you with the feeling „never again“. But how about games? In all ego shooters I know disabling enemies (by killing them) is the core element and therefore has to be fun. Otherwise the game would not be played and bought. So can anti war games (even ego shooter ones) work?
Yesterday I wrote about a leaked U.S. military video closely resembling the level „Death From Above“ from Call of Duty 4.
There is another game the leaked video reminded me of: It is the free flash game September 12th by newsgaming. In this game you can also bring death from above, in this case to „insurgent looking“ as well as unarmed inhabitants of a middle eastern town. But every time you kill a civilian, others gather to moan him and turn into insurgent themselves. The indirect controls are designed so you can’t only kill the gunners – so the longer you play the higher rises the rate of insurgents.
Coming back to the question „can anti war games work“? September 12th is anti war, but is it a game? You can’t win or loose. It is more an interactive caricature than a game.
September 12th is not fun to play – similar to an anti war movie which is usually not fun to watch. Big budged anti war movies can be commercially sucessfull in a free market, but I don’t see that happening for big budged anti war games.
I have heard a project to make an anti war (or a least war critic) ego shooter. I am thrilled to find out how it will achieve being anti war while being fun to play.