Red Cross Wants Shooter Games to Follow Real-world Laws

The Red Cross is calling for games like GTA and Call of Duty to follow international laws!

The Red Cross is calling for games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty to follow international laws. They want players of games like these to face penalties for their offences when they kill civilians and prisoners in the game. 

Bernard Barett, a spokesman for the international Committee of the Red Cross, explains that they "want to make it clear that there are rules in battle and that certain acts are illegal."

The organization wants to ensure and address that shooting innocents, torturing, attacking ambulances and murdering prisoners, among others, are understood through real laws. 

Barett says they are not asking to censor or eliminate any components of the game. They simply want games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty to "respect the basic rules of armed conflict" and to give penalties to players when they commit a crime. 

Call of Duty is opposed to the change, saying the video games are "clearly fictitious." 

Hidden Agenda

It seems to me Red Cross is coming from the idea that video games affect the minds of players. So, by creating a more realistic world where players receive consequences for their crimes, they think this will solve this ongoing debate: Do video games cause violence in the real world? It is very clear what their hidden agenda and opinions are of video games.

So, what do you think? Should game developers listen to Red Cross's call to change the way games like GTA are played? 

Published Oct. 4th 2013
  • TerraOmnia
    It was my understanding that when you kill people in GTA you are breaking laws in the game world. Hence why cops chase you down afterward.
    It's also my understanding that gameplay in Call of Duty is under the sanction of wartime activity. It's not illegal for the US to kill a Taliban soldier, is it? Our real drones killing real civilians don't appear to have any consequences either.

    How do they define "games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty"? Do vertical scrolling shooting games count? Does Mario Galaxy count because player 2 can shoot enemies? Does America's Army (developed by the US Army) comply with the Red Cross's idea of a game that follows the law?

    On the other hand, it would be interesting to see a "game like this" developed by the Red Cross which does follow all their guidelines exactly. You'd have to develop a pretty interesting engine to be able to handle a story mode that bends based on jail time.

    My first thought when I read this was that they wanted real world punishments for in game actions. That's not what they're asking for, right? ...Right??
  • Si_W
    You know, and correct me if I'm wrong, but no FPS actually has prisoners to shoot or mistreat. I guess the closest would be the controversial airport scene in one of the COD's, although I don't know which one it was as I don't play COD. Still that created so much controversy that it was edited so you could skip it if I remember correctly, so job done as far as the Red Cross are concerned, no?

    Some games do punish you automatically if you kill civilians or give you warnings about it (see Assassin's Creed series) or in the case of GTA, the Police start chasing you and/or shoot you.

    Clearly no one at the Red Cross plays games, unless it's solitaire or farmville.
  • Eman_6499
    The point with a lot of games are the real life consequences you DON'T have to face... it's called FANTASY. I don't claim to know what the solution is, but I do think that it would be closer to the parents' upbringing than a video game causing their minds to be corrupted .... or maybe they just aren't "right" in the head in the first place? ... I bet Charles Manson's mom thought he was a "good boy", too! Hmmm I wonder if he played violent video games!?!?! If parents would do their job a bit better then maybe that would help? Choose to be a parent! And guess what... there's still no guarantee that one day your child won't attempt some kind of mass murder... but it's easier to blame it on a video game... I guess because it can't fight back... shrug. Ignorance is bliss
  • Louis_5299
    I think that it really depends on the game. Like Grand Theft Auto is about the life of a criminal, criminals don't obey laws. Now if this were Arma, SOCOM, or some military game, then I understand that there could be some penalty for civilian deaths. Counter-Strike gave penalties for killing hostages, I think that it should be that sort of deal, but only as a suggestion, there shouldn't be laws about it.
  • Coatedpolecat
    Featured Correspondent
    Absolutely not. It'd be like telling a painter how to paint, or a novelist how to write. It's a form of expression, it's creative, it's art. I don't see these same repercussions/discussions for TV shows.
  • Sheepzilla
    I kind of wouldn't mind this in GTA. Like after you die, you just magically wake up in a hospital, be nice to be inside the hospital. Could make it a maze of hospital horrors on your attempt to leave. Same could be done when arrested and magically appearing outside a county jail. But cops only arrest a player with 1 star, but then they take all your ammo away. But kind of hard to make spawning inside any of those institutions really unpleasant, it'd be just another sight to see. But again, this type of gameplay mechanics would make more sense in a game like Mafia, LA Noire, and maybe Sleeping Dogs. Where running a red light is illegal.
    Also, what Red Cross doesn't understand is the cops in GTA 5 are like robocops and are more annoying to shake, lol.
  • Alexa Serrano
    yea someone I know said they wouldn't mind either. He said there should be an option in the game to play with or without it. If it was an option I would be for it. They wouldn't be forcing players to play with the laws if they don't want to.
  • Raven Hathcock
    Featured Contributor
    The people that should be playing the game should already know about the consequences and about certain laws. Small children shouldn't have these laws explained to them because they shouldn't be playing the game in the first place. ESRB ratings should be followed and that will keep from censoring video games. Plain and simple.
  • DpBallistiXx
    Couldn't have said it better.
  • Sheepzilla
    The amount of small children with their parents during midnight release lines, was disgusting.
  • Miranda Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    oh my gosh...
    "Barett says they are not asking to censor or eliminate any components of the game" It is censoring if you are changing the game from the artists' original intent. This may be one of the worst statements I ever seen someone argue in the video game/violence debate! The Red Cross doesn't know what they are talking about...
    What, They want us to get tickets in the game for driving on the wrong side of the road too?
  • Alexa Serrano
    Haha, well said!

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