In today’s news roundup we bring word of a recent study from Sweden which argues that International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law should be incorporated into war video games. We hear from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto about the sheer number of graduates looking for a job with Nintendo. And lastly, we take a look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s sales figures – yes of course they’re good, but has it been a total flop on the PC?
New study analyses war crimes in games
Video games featuring war and conflict should adhere to International Humanitarian Law argue a pair of Swedish organisations. The Pro Juventute Switzerland and TRIAL (Track Impunity Always) conducted a study in which they observed fourteen experienced gamers playing through various war titles from Call of Duty to Metal Gear Solid. The idea was to analyse the extent to which players were performing ‘virtual war crimes’ and raise awareness among the public and developers about IHL about being incorporated into war video games.
Players of Call of Duty: World At War were apparently guilty of a few breaches of the Hague Regulations. Using flamethrowers at point blank range was a definite no no, as was shooting enemies whilst they were injured and unarmed. However the study praised Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for the fact that players were specifically prohibited from blowing up a church during a helicopter scene. However the fact that they were allowed to decimate the rest of the town along with innocent bystanders, was apparenly another big violation of the Hague regulations.
The Swedish organisations wanted to make it clear that this study was in no way an attempt to make video games less violent or to educate the public in the ways of Humanitarian Law. Instead it was simply a way of improving the gameplay by ‘rendering the games more interesting’ and providing ‘players with a more accurate perspective of what is lawful and what is not in real armed conflict situations or law enforcement operations.’ After all, it’s not like anyone ever breaks these rules in real life… [Eurogamer]
Miyamoto: I wouldn't get a job here now
He's been dubbed the ‘father of modern video games’ and his creative hand was behind some of the most successful video game franchises including Mario, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. But now, Shigeru Miyamoto admitted to an interviewer that if he'd been a graduate in today’s job market, he never would have been employed by Nintendo. ‘The competition's really become so fierce for positions’ he said, ‘and that means that a lot of the recent recruits for Nintendo have tended to have the higher degree from the prestigious colleges and universities’.
He went on, ‘'if I was applying for a job here today, I, with my actual college degree, would probably not have been employed!’. Miyamoto said that he views getting personally involved in the interview process as an important part of his job. ‘I might pick up on them and try to find out something really different within them which you can't judge just by a college degree.’ So for all those struggling graduates out there trying to cope with rejection after rejection, hang in there, as it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not the next Shigeru Miyamoto… [play.tm]
Infinity Ward defends UK MW2 PC sales
Infinity Ward’s creative strategist Robert Bowling has rejected claims that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 sold poorly on the PC. Despite the fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 shot straight to the top of the UK Game’s Chart with some 1.7 million sales, it turns out that just 3% of that figure applied to the PC. Many are now arguing that MW2 has been a total flop on the PC – partly due to the big hoo-ha over dedicated servers – but Bowling insisted that this proved nothing.
‘All this percentage proves is that the console versions sold great, not that the PC version sold poorly, because that's actually not the case. The PC version has done tremendous in its first week, better than our previous game.’ Indeed, despite only having 3% of the total sales, Modern Warfare 2 still managed to top the PC specific game’s chart. [GamerBlips]