Images of those suffering due to the ongoing crisis in Syria are easily found throughout the media these days. But there is one set of victims whose suffering goes largely unnoticed – the designers of contemporary-war-based video games.
Often forgotten compared to the refugees and war orphans – since they do not flaunt their plight so blatantly – these unacknowledged patriots work tirelessly to ensure we get to experience the warfare our government wages from the comforts of our man caves.
A programmer for Activision who works on the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare series explains it’s not just about his suffering, but also that of the gamers.
“It’s their taxes paying for all this death and destruction, so the least they deserve is to get some entertainment out of it in the form of a first person shooter using the latest 3D rendering technology.”
He lays the fault for the current regrettable situation firmly with former President George W Bush for getting embroiled in Iraq in the first place.
“This is what happens when you go to war without a clear-cut objective or post-invasion plan – the game logic suffers.”
He longs for the halcyon days when they were coding earlier titles like Call Of Duty: World At War.
“Then it was easy. You had Americans who were the good guys together with a few Brits and a Canadian fighting the evil Krauts and Japs. Okay so you had to explain the deal with the Russians but it’s nothing like the traumatic nightmare I’m experiencing now.”
Besides having to understand all the multifaceted allegiances in the current conflict, he is also under pressure to play diplomat, such as when he was urged by the State Department to include a playable female Kurdish combat fighter in the next release.
“Fucking great. Now I have to redo all the mocaps because they move differently. Whose side are these damn Kurds on again anyway?”