You’re a War Criminal

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sth128:
Oh fine... When those Forsworns surrender in Skyrim I'll not cut them down. Unless they pick up an axe and come back at me.

But no mercy for mud crabs!!!

That's always bugged me in Skyrim. When the enemies start yelling "Mercy! Mercy! You win!" I want to be able to say "Okay, I accept your surrender, I'll be on my way now." Then they get back up and start attacking me again.

All things within context.

The fighting in the church in Resistance: Fall of man.

Your enemy is not human, and thus have no qualms about attacking you in a church.

The fighting in said church was a defensive stand against an enemy assault.

If I were really placed in that situation, I assure you, I wouldn't just put my gun down and die, because it's against international law to fight in a church. (I'd probably be one of the first to get killed because I don't look up)

I understand what they are saying, but you have to consider other factors. If nations do not exist, can international law be broken? And desperation is going to get the better nature of people striving to fight. When backed in a corner, I would not be surprised if people really started fighting dirty in order to survive.

I see what they were trying to do in the study, but I think they failed to take some things into account.

First and foremost, these laws are often tossed aside in truly dire cases. Don't fight in churches. Fair enough, if the human race wasn't at the brink of FUCKING EXTINCTION.

The execution in Killzone? Happens in every war when emotions are greater than desire to uphold a law.

My point is, I find war crime laws to be rather silly. They seem nice and happy in theory, but when nations go to war and millions of humans kill each other, rules like this seem incredibly petty.

In Resistance, Manchester Cathedral was an abandoned field hospital. During the game, the Chimera ambush the squad of soldiers seeking refuge there. Did the Red Cross really consider this a war crime?

Besides the fact that the famous Geneva Convention never happened in this universe, most of these laws apply to international and national conflicts. I doubt interplanetary wars apply, and again, in this case it would be the aliens breaking the laws anyway.

/fact nerd

You know playing the AC 130 mission in any of the call of duty games (there were similar missions in at least two that I know of) was kind of disturbing to me. I know it is just a game but I was killing so many virtual people in the same way that so many real people have been gunned down, like the Reuters photographer in Iraq. I quit playing actually and haven't really played any Call of Duty games since.

The article and the report itself broach something I had never really considered. However, I think there are far more serious things happening in the real world regarding warfare that deserve attention.

On another, more interesting note for me, I think the shooters that have come out since around 2002/3 (i.e., after 9/11) are interesting in that they show a certain hyperbolic victimisation of the U.S. I wonder if this is a sort of justification in the collective consciousness for the invasion of Iraq. E.g., "Gears Of War", "Resistance", "Homefront", "Call of Duty: MW2" for starters.

I just want to note that any protected structure, churches, hospitals, civilian housing loses that protected status once it has been used for a military purpose. For example in the first modern warfare, you shoot an ultranationalist sentry in the belfry of a church, that is a legitimate action as the ultranationalists had already militirised the structure.

Also, being wounded does not immediatly make one a protected person, you need to be either totally unable to defend yourself (unconcious, no arms, french etc) or attempting to surrender and conducting actions in accordance with surrender, in a lot of games, the wounded enemy keeps a hold of their weapon, attempts to fight or conducts a false surrender deeming them unprotected persons. The issue of wether or not someone who is no longer firing, but still holding a weapon is a legitimate target is a matter for the belligerants roe, not the geneva convention.

That "shooting injured combatants" "rule" is "broken" all the time.

Just because your enemy is bleeding doesn't mean they can't pull the pin on a grenade, the process of surrender depends on the enemy combatant proving beyond all reasonable doubt (reasonable depending on the circumstance) that they truly have given up fighting and don't have any explosives on them they are about to detonate or draw a concealable weapon. Makarov PM is one of the most common handguns in the world is very small and easy to conceal.

This issue has also done quite a good job of perverting the purpose of various international laws. Like the prohibition of landmines was in place because they lasted AFTER the conflict where they could kill children and other innocent people. But in Modern Warfare games that is impossible, the multiplayer mode is made up entirely of combatants and the mines will disappear once their round is over. The Red Cross video that preluded this conference showed in sensationalist terms a land-mine killing a soldier... land mines killing soldiers in not why they were banned.

Explosive mines have somehow been made into something somehow worse than using a gun... huh?

In the United States' bombing campaign on Japan in WWII (that culminated in atomic bombing) the mining of ports and harbours along with submarine warfare was far more effective at strangling war production with minimal loss of life. When food goes short people leave the weapons factories and go back to tilling the fields. The conventions blanket ban of land-mines, even those that auto-deactivate or can intelligently target enemy combatants will haunt us in the decades to come as technology advances and our enemies become more an more desperate.

I firmly believe that many of these international laws over the decades and even a century and longer, have lost their relevance.

For example, it is illegal to drop bombs from a lighter-than-air balloon but not from a supersonic jet. You can shoot someone with an explosive bullet, but not a soft-tipped bullet. And how much these laws have been perverted, they were EXPLICITLY stated as to only apply between signatory nations and not universally, it was not that they didn't think any enemy combatant should be shot by expanding bullets, just not fellow "civilised nations".

Knowledge of terminal ballistics has changed since 1899.

The necessitation of expanding bullets has mandated their almost universal use amongst law enforcement, hunters and anyone who has to use firearms and is not subject to this anachronistic military convention. It is in fact illegal in to hunt most animals WITHOUT using expanding bullets as FMJ (military style), the REASON being they are more likely to wound. Hunted Animals are given more consideration than human beings in war!

For one these are DEMOCRATIC laws! These are issues that are debated in a democratic society with the most current and relevant knowledge of the issue.

All exotic non-FMJ bullets are banned supposedly for causing "superfluous injury" which is utter nonsense as that injuries enhanced by expanding bullets are the opposite of superfluous, they are practical and necessary for rapid incapacitation. What is the point in shooting your enemy if their death is slow an delayed, long enough for them to perform their lethal function, then both die for nothing.

Also supposedly to prevent "unnecessary suffering". Soft-points or hollow-points do not cause unnecessary suffering. The suffering is necessitated by the inherent wounding function of a bullet fired at the enemy in war. Are soldiers not permitted to do that? Are they not allowed to even fire at their enemy?!?!?

It betrays such ignorance to call any expanding function of a bullet "superfluous" that they should either not involve themselves in the subject or educate themselves.

It is an interesting question, and one that has bugged me before. In particular, there's a sequence near the end of CoD:WaW where when fighting in Berlin you come across a group of surrendering Germans. There is no option to take them prisoner, your character can't even mention it. You either gun them down or let someone molotov cocktail them (I did nothing, hoping that there was a capture sequence).

Of course, ham fistedly cramming in the Hague Conventions into a game would be detrimental to a game. It would come off as being too preachy. Adding such considerations into a game would take some careful crafting, but I would like to see a historical or near future game done like this.

When it comes to sci-fi games, though, it probably wouldn't work so well. Against an intelligent alien foe, some elasticity would probably be required. Trying to adhere to the rules could be advantageous, you could have a scenario where a wounded alien is saved by human medics, and begins to see humans aren't so bad after all.

Blablahb:

Jumwa:
(which, FYI, the British were the first to engage in, not the Germans)

If you count only the later parts where WW II was already well underway.
In the meantime however, the staunch defense of the Netherlands and the outlook of high casualties and no succes in the north while Belgium and France were rapidly falling, made the German high command order this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz

After that came the immediate threat to also do the same to Utrecht and other large cities, which prompted surrender.

not to mention the allied bombing campaign came after promising not to use indiscriminate bombing of cities.

world war 2 was one in which the rules of war in a lot of cases were thrown out the door, from flamethrowers and carpet bombing of cities through to executing of prisoners and butality on a massive scale. one of the biggest suprises however is that chemical weapons werent used enmass. ive read a german report translated after the war and frankly they were stunned the allies and russians especially didnt use them. sadly they were used in china where 200,000 people were estimated to of died because of them.

its a great idea to give certain games an extra level of realism, it would give the player an appreciation of things and issues that they would normally ignore

Xan Krieger:
War crimes? LOL alls fair in love and war, besides when you're in a war you tend to be too busy to care about silly laws. I think the best example of me not caring about these war "crimes" was in an RTS whose name I forget that had wounded soldiers and medivac helicoptors. I wounded a guy and waited for the helicoptor to come so I could blow them both up instead of just killing the one guy. It was advantageous because the enemy had to spend resources making the helicoptor so I did reduce his capacity to wage war.

If anyone wants to quote me remember I don't believe in war crimes.

No kidding. If anything about The International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in this article is true, it sounds like a perfect example of how NOT to win a war and increase the odds of the soldiers on your side dying as much as possible. I mean seriously, don't attack churches? Get medical attention for wounded enemies? Don't destroy civilian property? Come on! If the people that made these laws were trying to get their soldiers killed by the enemies they were trying to help, and create safe havens that their enemies can hide in they did a very good job. I don't know who made these laws, but even as someone who hasn't themselves I'm guessing that none of those people that did have ever actually been in a war. In war, there are no morals, in war, it's kill or be killed, and in war, the goal is to kill as many of your enemies as possible until whoever commands them either surrenders or dies along with their men. There's no room for pity, guilt, or compassion in a warzone, period.

Mygaffer:
You know playing the AC 130 mission in any of the call of duty games (there were similar missions in at least two that I know of) was kind of disturbing to me. I know it is just a game but I was killing so many virtual people in the same way that so many real people have been gunned down, like the Reuters photographer in Iraq. I quit playing actually and haven't really played any Call of Duty games since.

You DID follow the mission brief for that stage of COD4 right, your comrades were stranded deep behind enemy occupied areas where they would suffer a terrible fate if the enemy overwhelms them, death or worse. Why are you comparing hardened militia who are trying to kill your allies, to Reuters reporters? They have COMPLETELY different intentions!

Why would a Reuters reporter run side by side with heavily-armed militia and carry guns and explosives? They have kind of made a career transition from reporting the news to soldiery by that point.

PS: why was that Reuters photographer hanging around in the open with guys toting AK47s anyway? He has to have known considering the considerable US Air-power in the area that they may be fired upon. The footage from the First Gulf War was well known, how US Air-power would rain down ordinance following just the silhouette of a heat signature.

The US military made it very clear that non-combatants were to stay away from armed groups who were operating outside coalition authority.

Reporters are trained to know that from a distance their camera can seem indistinguishable from a rocket launcher and that anything they can do to mark themselves as press, any militia could spoof as well. They know that entering a warzone and consorting in close proximity with enemy forces they are willingly putting themselves in harms way at their own risk. The best they can do is inform and work in close co-operation with those operating air-power in the area, but they cannot have any illusion that they can extend that "sphere of protection" to enemy combatants by sticking close to them.

In the Falklands war you didn't have BBC reporters embedded with Argentinian special-forces as they assembled for an assault before an imminent strike by RAF jets!

oktalist:

Jumwa:
the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas (which, FYI, the British were the first to engage in, not the Germans)

OT: The number one war crime is to initiate an unprovoked war. "To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." - Nuremberg judge. I like the way the Europa Universalis games penalise you for starting a war without a legal justification; like in real life, it forces you to use diplomacy to fabricate a justification.

While I agree with that statement (if only it were able to be enforced today), and its importance in founding the UN--a highly important institution towards world peace--it came after the war. The topic was on war crimes laws that were in place during the war.

As for who bombed first, it is a nitpicky point on my part with no real moral validity anyhow. And to be fair I was just referring to the great western allies when I said "who started it". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_bombing_of_cities#Aerial_bombing_during_World_War_II

I see someone else has already gone into greater detail on it above. I only made the point of saying that because a lot of people make issue of the Blitz on Britain as justification for the horrific civilian bombings of German and Japanese cities by British and Americans.

I'm not trying to villainize people here either, to put that out here. I just don't think the facts point to WWII being "the one truly good war" as some people put it. It was a massively destructive, horrendous thing, with acts of cruelty, illegality and inhumanity on all sides, and not recognizing that is dangerous.

This is of course assuming that all IHL are worth following. I personally think games have some things dead on. If an enemy combatant, someone who will shoot and kill me without a second thought, throws down their weapon we are required to take them prisoner and render medical aid if they are wounded. This kills the combat effectiveness of the squad and places several more soldiers in the line of fire to transport the now POW. What would they do if we threw down our weapons or surrendered needing medical aid? They would kill us then, or take up prisoner to kill us in front of a camera. You know what a popular tactic is for the insurgents in the Middle East? They fire on coalition forces and then run into Mosques to avoid retaliation. We can't call in indirect fire missions or go in after them, and the local police/ national defense force won't go in because it is against their religion to bring firearms into a Mosque.

You know how many additional people we have to expose to the enemy if we shot the unarmed combatants? None, and it would only cost the U.S. about $0.30 per round.

I can understand not leveling a Mosque, but why can't we go in after them? What really makes a religious building more important that someone's home? We can forcibly enter a private residence if insurgents launched an attack and then ran in there to hide.

In short, why are we following rules that place more of our people in danger and lets people who want to kill us go free when they are not playing by the same rules?

Major Tom:
It is an interesting question, and one that has bugged me before. In particular, there's a sequence near the end of CoD:WaW where when fighting in Berlin you come across a group of surrendering Germans. There is no option to take them prisoner, your character can't even mention it. You either gun them down or let someone molotov cocktail them (I did nothing, hoping that there was a capture sequence).

It was historically correct though. You were playing as the Russians and they did that all of the time. They were brutal. So would it have been better to depict a false scenario that would have complied with the IHL, or to depict the brutal reality of what really happened?

And sorry for the double post, I just REALLY wanted to reply to this after I read it.

in skyrim I was forced into fighting a guy (abandoned house in markarth) I defended myself and when he fell to his knee and begged for his life I backed off refusing to kill him ... only for my AI follower Aela to skewer the guy -_-.

to be fair you do have to finnish off damn near every enemy in the game as they WILL get up and attack you again I really wish they could actually give up and either stay down or flee out of the cell when they get up.

When fighing combatants the Geneva Convention doesn't apply if the rule of self-defence applies instead. Self-defence is applied if the attacker Honestly Beleives that they, or someone else, are about to be attacked. They are permitted to use 'reasonable force' in order to prevent injury or loss of life.

This allows the combatant to shoot or kill anyone they think are going to harm or injure themselves. For instance, if I see someone across a crowded road, pull something that I Honestly Beleive is a gun, and I Honestly Beleive that they are going to shoot someone with it (by body language, whatever) then I am permitted to kill that person. As long as I am prepared to stand in court and say that I Honestly Beleive that was what I thought was going to happen!

Sarge034:

I can understand not leveling a Mosque, but why can't we go in after them? What really makes a religious building more important that someone's home? We can forcibly enter a private residence if insurgents launched an attack and then ran in there to hide.

In short, why are we following rules that place more of our people in danger and lets people who want to kill us go free when they are not playing by the same rules?

We can level a mosque. If a combatant is using it to store his weapon, or as a fire point, then the mosques protection is forfeited and it is fair game to being attacked... the only thing that is stopping us is policy considerations. It is policy in theatres at the moment that we will not knowingly kill civilians in any attack, and in that situation the soldiers will not know if there are civilians in that building or not. Therefore a targeting decision would have to be made, and by that time it is a tactical disadvantage, and therefore no point in persuing!
Also the polacy guys from the government wouldn't sign it off, knowing that it sould be spun the wrong way in the press!

An interesting mechanic might be a shift in the rules of engagement over the course of a campaign. If a game starts out as a limited war or peacekeeping action, then strict rules are imposed, no shooting prisoners or civilian property damage etc. If the conflict escalates into a Battlefield/Modern Warfare style total war, then the rules are gradually dropped and the player gets access to more destructive weapons.

BTW typo in 3rd paragraph "Instead, prisoners have to be interred within boundaries." I thought we were talking about prisoners not mass burials.

I wonder how many of the opinions that these rules are "silly" have been formed as a consequence of the very issue brought up.

If no one even gives the option of surrendering or living to the people who have to fight you on the other side, then the hatred and desperation may well escalate all the way to the Big Red Button.

Sarge034:

Major Tom:
It is an interesting question, and one that has bugged me before. In particular, there's a sequence near the end of CoD:WaW where when fighting in Berlin you come across a group of surrendering Germans. There is no option to take them prisoner, your character can't even mention it. You either gun them down or let someone molotov cocktail them (I did nothing, hoping that there was a capture sequence).

It was historically correct though. You were playing as the Russians and they did that all of the time. They were brutal. So would it have been better to depict a false scenario that would have complied with the IHL, or to depict the brutal reality of what really happened?

And sorry for the double post, I just REALLY wanted to reply to this after I read it.

True, some Russians were very brutal. However, some were not. My own grandfather would not be here if some Russian sergeant hadn't told some soldier to put the pistol away (so this question is very personal to me). It's not that shit like that didn't happen, it's that I didn't even have the option to say no, we take them prisoner.

The comments here are more interesting than the article.

I wonder if people against these rules have ever been close to, or in the military.

I'm not, and I never would for irrelevant reasons, but the idea that in a war soldiers at least *should* not shoot my civilian head off is very dear to me indeed.
They probably would, but that's a different problem. Not sticking to rules is different than not having any.

As to games.. I second the people who mentioned SWAT.

I remember the stories my grandfather told me. War is so much different now, it seems.

I had rules of warfare when in the army, and with good reason, but to tell me we need the same in video games, and the whole warcrime crap applies to video games? Seriously there is a reason these games are available to ages 18+ because adults are mature enough to handle it, where kids grow up impressionable. I think these people who are in charge at the red cross need to learn to be parents before trying to treat everyone like little kids. RoW(rules of warfare) in the army are one thing, in video games its just fucken stupid. Games are meant to be extreme, are they going to want to censor books and movies next? Look at the violent content in Japan, do you see thier people jumping up and down screaming IHL? It's video games, these assholes need to stop trying to fuck with games already, same excuse is always used "oh my God think of the children on how it affects them" forgetting that studies prove video games don't lead to violent behaviour or that they are rated 18+

I am playing Skyrim with the intent of killing as few dragons as possible. I assume someone is stirring them up and causing them to attack cities and come after me (the dragonborn). I am currently level 28 and have only killed 5 or so dragons. I intend to get to the bottom of who's causing this problem, and, as a Argonian, doing so with as few casulaties to my god-like dragon-kin as possible.

If a few prejusticed people/cites die along the way, that is what the warm-bloods get for being such pricks.

Steve Watts:

You've probably committed virtual war crimes without ever knowing it.

Why yes I have committed virtual war crimes. What of it?

Although, in fairness, I don't believe I've ever committed a war crime without knowing about it. :p

Steve Watts:
You're a War Criminal

You've probably committed virtual war crimes without ever knowing it.

Read Full Article

You seemed to only talk of war shooters, what do you think of the following:
RTSs are immoral because you use units as if they're disposable and the goal is to destroy EVERY opponent building and/or unit regardless of whether its absolutely necessary.

RPGs such as Fallout 3 allow you to do whatever you want, including atrocities, and doesn't penalize you in a serious way (bombing Megaton). However, the morality system or law system clearly shows what the "world-if-it-were-real" prefers, you just have no reason to follow it.

How about RPGs where being evil or good actually gives you bonuses regardless of which you choose like InFamous, without a real moral conflict (unlike Bioshock which, to some degree, was a moral conflict).

How about GTA or Saint's Row's indescriminate killing? How different is this argument from "games don't follow laws, real or moral" argument?

What if the war crime is meant to affect the player, but does not effect any of the characters/mood in game (they don't show any visible shock or dismay, the effect is meant to be more subtle)? This is commonly found in books, and we can't always tell what was indescriminate and what had a point. When I sold the little girl to slavers in Fallout 3 I felt bad, but it was just part of the world and there was no negatives to it and no one noticed. How can we be sure they meant for that moment to be emotional or just added it for the hell of it (completeness of the game as an RPG as you had to be a slaver to get that quest anyhow, I think)?

So no, the Red Cross has no point. It is no different than the anti-GTA crowd and PETA trying to abuse video games to gain fame for themselves. We are an easy target and I for one will not try to interact with them in any way because they make these arguments in bad faith. You don't argue with someone who just wants to see you fail for their own gain, American voters understand this I assume. This isn't a discussion, its an accusation.

Le_Lisra:
The comments here are more interesting than the article.

I wonder if people against these rules have ever been close to, or in the military.

I'm not, and I never would for irrelevant reasons, but the idea that in a war soldiers at least *should* not shoot my civilian head off is very dear to me indeed.
They probably would, but that's a different problem. Not sticking to rules is different than not having any.

As to games.. I second the people who mentioned SWAT.

I remember the stories my grandfather told me. War is so much different now, it seems.

Thank you. The people here arguing this are failing to see that its a troll and falling into the trap of becoming the most horrible people in the world to defend their point. Just because the Red Cross uses a strawman does not mean you have to validate that strawman to support your preferred activity, you can just call it a strawman and move on!
Both my parents were in the military, my mom was a paratrooper and my dad a reporter. I expect moral combat from them as much as their opponents, I could not live with myself if I believed my parents went into the army without an understanding of morality and laws. I know better than that. I know soldiers want to follow these rules, and they want their opponents to do the same. Just because not every situation is ideal does not mean we should just give up said ideals.

Steve Watts:
You've probably committed virtual war crimes without ever knowing it.

Yeah? So? It's "virtual" for a reason.

And using examples like the Resistance series seem to fall flat when you consider the differences of sci-fi settings, especially ones where the enemy is an inhuman race dedicated to the eradication of mankind. I doubt that taking pains to avoid committing potential war crimes would ever take any kind of priority over ensuring the survival of humanity. There's not much reason to put a lot of priority into following the Geneva Conventions if doing so would likely result in the species that wrote them getting wiped from existence.

I believe that Colonel Shepard of Atlantis had a rather valid philosophy on the matter when he overlooked the conventions in his dealings with the Wraith, if I recall his stance correctly - If the Wraith had been present at Geneva, they would have eaten everyone there and there wouldn't have been a Geneva Convention in the first place. Swap "Wraith" with whatever bad guys you're dealing with and "Eaten" with whatever hideous thing your chosen bad guys would likely have done, and the same situation sounds like a pretty convincing argument.

Every time I see the "rules" for conduct in wars mentioned I can't help but laugh. It's utterly ridiculous to enforce some sort of laws saying this and that is a no-no. It is war for fucks sake, people trying to *kill* each other. It's not supposed to be polite or pretty.

The objective of any war is destruction of an enemy, you want to maximize enemy casualties, while minimizing yours. To that end, any means necessary should be used. Restricting your options is unjustifiable, it is weakness and it only invites defeat.

Yes, I'm a (virtual) war criminal. And I would have it no other way.

maxben:

Steve Watts:
You're a War Criminal

You've probably committed virtual war crimes without ever knowing it.

Read Full Article

You seemed to only talk of war shooters, what do you think of the following:
RTSs are immoral because you use units as if they're disposable and the goal is to destroy EVERY opponent building and/or unit regardless of whether its absolutely necessary.

RPGs such as Fallout 3 allow you to do whatever you want, including atrocities, and doesn't penalize you in a serious way (bombing Megaton). However, the morality system or law system clearly shows what the "world-if-it-were-real" prefers, you just have no reason to follow it.

How about RPGs where being evil or good actually gives you bonuses regardless of which you choose like InFamous, without a real moral conflict (unlike Bioshock which, to some degree, was a moral conflict).

How about GTA or Saint's Row's indescriminate killing? How different is this argument from "games don't follow laws, real or moral" argument?

What if the war crime is meant to affect the player, but does not effect any of the characters/mood in game (they don't show any visible shock or dismay, the effect is meant to be more subtle)? This is commonly found in books, and we can't always tell what was indescriminate and what had a point. When I sold the little girl to slavers in Fallout 3 I felt bad, but it was just part of the world and there was no negatives to it and no one noticed. How can we be sure they meant for that moment to be emotional or just added it for the hell of it (completeness of the game as an RPG as you had to be a slaver to get that quest anyhow, I think)?

So no, the Red Cross has no point. It is no different than the anti-GTA crowd and PETA trying to abuse video games to gain fame for themselves. We are an easy target and I for one will not try to interact with them in any way because they make these arguments in bad faith. You don't argue with someone who just wants to see you fail for their own gain, American voters understand this I assume. This isn't a discussion, its an accusation.

Is a crime not a crime just because it goes unpunished? Was Stalin innocent because he died old with all whims accomplished?

Games are about freedom and winning, not being punished for your sinning.

In RTS games your are an absolute ruler - anyone who opposes, you can zerg-rush the loser.
Fallout is set in literally a lawless society, no US Government of any variety.
GTA the law is simply ineffective, stand around after murder and you'll get a lead disincentive.
The moral choices in Infamous came with no real penalty, was just for the abilities a type of currency.
Infanticide in Bioshock won't sabotage your mission, merely determines if you are hero or villain!

Absolute Freedom in winning gives a sense of achievement, but also extends to avoiding any real punishment.

So games do not say what is legal or not, just that whatever you do... you will never be caught.

And now you may wonder why I am talking like Dr Seuss, that perhaps I have even got a couple screws loose.
Well after watching The Grinch I've got rhyming on my brain, now you shall all share in my mental pain :D

image

Zetatrain:
I think he may be referring to the air raids on Berlin during the Battle of Britain that led to Hitler ordering terror bombing campaigns on London and other civilian targets in retaliation.

Are you sure that Hitler specifically ordered the bombing of civilian targets in London? There is an important distinction to be made between an order to target a city, and an order to target a specific class of target within a city (e.g. industrial or residential). The switch to targetting cities and the later switch to area bombing of civilian areas within those cities were separated by several months, and it's not clear to me who did what first. There seems to me to have been a gradual escalation on both sides, partly for practicality and partly to keep up with what the other side was doing.

Although I think it's accurate to say that the RAF killed a great many more civilians than the Luftwaffe did, but only in the later years of the war.

Jumwa:
I only made the point of saying that because a lot of people make issue of the Blitz on Britain as justification for the horrific civilian bombings of German and Japanese cities by British and Americans.

I'm not trying to villainize people here either, to put that out here. I just don't think the facts point to WWII being "the one truly good war" as some people put it. It was a massively destructive, horrendous thing, with acts of cruelty, illegality and inhumanity on all sides, and not recognizing that is dangerous.

Entirely agree. Just because the people you're fighting against are bad, doesn't necessarily make you good.

And we weren't fighting to oppose fascism. Actually a great many politicians and general public of the Allies thought fascism was fine. We were just fighting the protect our national interests. If we were serious about opposing fascism, then there were far better ways to do that if we had started earlier, without resorting to war. By 1939 it was too late. But even at that late stage, many British politicians were still hoping to negotiate a surrender to, or alliance with, the Nazis that would allow them to keep their jobs.

oktalist:
Are you sure that Hitler specifically ordered the bombing of civilian targets in London? There is an important distinction to be made between an order to target a city, and an order to target a specific class of target within a city (e.g. industrial or residential). The switch to targetting cities and the later switch to area bombing of civilian areas within those cities were separated by several months, and it's not clear to me who did what first. There seems to me to have been a gradual escalation on both sides, partly for practicality and partly to keep up with what the other side was doing.

My understanding of the situation was that the original plan was to only target industrial, military and other such targets. However there was an incident where a Luftwaffe bomber group got lost on a night mission, and decided to dump their bombs and head home.....but there happened to be a city underneath them at the time. I believe the Germans did apologise for the incident, but Churchill went in retaliation mode and ordered strikes on German cities. This in turn upset Hitler.....and you can guess the rest.

I could be wrong, it has been a while since I've read up on the Battle of Britain, but that's how I've always understood the whole mess to have occurred. That and Luftwaffe intelligence, which was laughable.

Edit: Not lost as such, but they couldn't find the target due to the blackout conditions. As far as I know, it was standard practice for all sides to dump the load if the bomber had to return early.

MrDeckard:

My point is, I find war crime laws to be rather silly. They seem nice and happy in theory, but when nations go to war and millions of humans kill each other, rules like this seem incredibly petty.

This. So much this. This is the reason I dont really support the UN, the ICC, the Geneva convention. Basically, any law that unnessisarly limits warfare.

Or maybe the gaming public at large has a general degree of contempt for the concept of war crimes. When snipers and other hostiles operate out of mosques; exactly how many lives is it worth to preserve a building?

Just how much mercy is owed to an enemy that bombs civlians at random or will happily saw your head off on national television to the adoring cheers of the locals?

Hell, Saudi Arabia just executed some woman for "witchcraft and sorcery" and those are our ALLIES in the region. Yea, let that sink in. Those are what passes for the civilized good guys over there.

A lot of these countries can't refrain from barbarous savagery during peacetime and the Red Cross has nothing better to whine about than cruelty in video games. Wow, that's sadder than a Sudanese slave market.

DeanoTheGod:
We can level a mosque. If a combatant is using it to store his weapon, or as a fire point, then the mosques protection is forfeited and it is fair game to being attacked... the only thing that is stopping us is policy considerations. It is policy in theatres at the moment that we will not knowingly kill civilians in any attack, and in that situation the soldiers will not know if there are civilians in that building or not. Therefore a targeting decision would have to be made, and by that time it is a tactical disadvantage, and therefore no point in persuing!
Also the polacy guys from the government wouldn't sign it off, knowing that it sould be spun the wrong way in the press!

Sorry, I would have responded earlier but the escapist was just too slow there for a while. Anyway, simply because there are hostiles in the building does not make the building fair game.

If the hostiles were to launch attacks from the building, i.e. snipers on the tower suppressing coalition forces, then the building would be deemed hostile and lose its protection. However, policy might still stop us from destroying the building out of fear of collateral damage and the backfire from the religious community.

If the hostiles were using that building as a base, i.e. storing a weapons cache, housing insurgents, directing attacks as a HQ, or training insurgents then the building would lose its protection. However, policy might still stop us from destroying the building out of fear of collateral damage and the backfire from the religious community.

Now what I was saying is that hostiles engage a convoy from the road or the building down the street from the Mosque. Then the hostiles disengage and run into the Mosque for protection and do not fire upon the coalition forces once they are inside.

Technically the building DOES NOT lose its protected status because the attack was not initiated or continued from the Mosque and the Mosque is not a base of operation for the hostiles. After that police comes into play. We do not know if civilians are in the Mosque, making collateral damage very probable. We also don't want to lose what little goodwill we have by destroying a holy structure.

I advocate for ground forces and snipers. I think completely destroying the building should be a last resort, but still be on the table. I think we should be able to peruse the hostiles no matter where they run to. Kind of like Osama Bin Laden. We didn't have specific permission to get him, but you know what? He isn't making any threats against my life today is he? No thanks to Pakistan. Interesting fact! Did you know that Osama Bin Laden was hiding right down the road from Pakistan's version of West Point? Yea, like they didn't know where he was.

Off topic-
HAHAHAHA

Captcha-image

Sarge034:

Lol, That is what I was getting at, but my internet messed up, and I was on the 3rd time writing my post, and ended up cutting most of what I originally said! But you are correct, policy is the thing stopping us attacking most buildings like that, and not the geneva or hague conventions! However it could be argued that a man hiding with an AK-47 in a mosque could be classed as the mosque being used to house combatants, and store his weapon! Also, mosques vary alot in the middle east. They could be large buildings with prayer towers and the like, like we are used to seeing, but they could also be what is essentially a shed facing in the right direction, and people I know said they saw one which was a square of stones in the desert... Its things like that which make these laws, and policies very dificult. Imagine having to stop defendingyourself from an attack, because the guy shooting you stepped into a rectangle on the ground, just because it is a known mosque...

In the game world, however, I cannot think of an in-game church that I have been in that wasn't also being used to fight from, or hiding a weapons cache, therefore they are pretty much all fair game! And of course it only applies to conventional warfare... If you are a mercenary, or a non-state militia, technically this doesn't apply to you!

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