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deltaKshatriya

The Battlefield V "Historical Accuracy" Controversy

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We are seeing more and more of this these days that game devs are changing up games to add minority/female characters into games to be met by backlashes nowadays. @Gian-Reto had a topic about this sometime back but it was more broadly defined. But what do we think, as game devs and gamers here? Is the backlash against the lack of accuracy justified? Or is it just an overreaction? Does it make sense for the devs at DICE to take this approach?

I have begun to feel that this is an overreaction, since at the end of the day, Battlefield and Call of Duty were never historically accurate depictions of World War 2, 1 etc. That and it seems that Battlefield V is taking more of a PUBG/Fortnite approach (which I'm not sure is a great idea, but that's a different topic) in any event, so it does make sense that they are trying to make character customization an inherent feature of gameplay.

But of course, this is only my opinion. What is yours?

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I'm really... baffled by the whole realism debate. The last one I followed was Kingdom Come. A lot of angry comments that there could be no strong woman, nor black people because it was realistic Bohemia. The it goes on to paint nobility as people of unshakable virtues. And it was seems to be something along those lines. 

 

So, is a backlash against lack of (very specific) realism (to gate out people they don't like) justified? In a game which is not a true simulator? I see no reason why it would be.  

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If you want realism, watch the History channel.

Delta is on the right track with his thoughts--these games were never historically accurate, and it seems that people were fine with this until devs started trying to add characters that aren't white males.

 

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Well, I made my own stance oin this topic clear in the past...

But I think its so easy for devs to avoid any kind of fallout... Simply Don't. advertise. your. game. as. historical. when. it. isn't.

Will there still be outrage warriors? Of course. But they have a much thinner leg to stand on when the dev comes out and admits flat out that they just produced a random FPS Shooter with a light WW2 skin (or a fantasy RPG with a medieval skin) instead of calling it realistic and integrating BS "history tours" into their fantasy egyptian looking world.

 

On the other hand I had to chuckle hard about the other sides outrage warriors going ballistic over Kingdom Come. Hey, you know, right back at ya... don't like it? Don't buy it! The devs clearly wanted to stick to a realistic depiction of historical bohemia. And they didn't wanted to concentrate on that one black moor that might have found its way into bohemia at the time.... or the few jeanne d'arc stories that survived the times. From what I have heard and seen, it pretty much matches the history I got taught in school about medieveal europe... so call it all the -isms and -phobias you like, I my eyes the dev of that game stuck to history as taught here in europe. Maybe the history taught in school is wrong, yeah. Still historical accurate from what we know about medival bohemia today.

Do I think it was the right thing to do? Well, it seems to have financially turned out to be a good idea. All the outrage warriors running amok against it probably should create their own historical RPGs set in bohemia if they don't like it... I am sure they would trigger a lot of the historical accuray outrage warriors as a bonus point.

Now, trying to see it from the lens of someone with a different opinion on history... yeah, maybe they could have gone easy on the historical accuray stuff. But then, without that their game probably was just another RPG, decent maybe, but not that earth-shattering as I heard, and who could resist the free marketing of a million outrage warriors selling the game to the ani-SJW crowd... so again, probably shouldn't have ridden the historical accuray train like CoD WW2 shouldn't have. In the end, even history has become subjective nowadays.

 

So really, devs not dealing with a) a long running franchise and b) not trying to sell their game as historically accurate, should do whatever the hell they want. they will get attacked by outrage warriors anyway about something silly. Putting "historically accurate" on your product will just paint an even bigger mark on your products forehead.... so unless you want free marketing to cater to a specific side, you probably should just keep your marketing shills in check.

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The measure of a game's success (like any other product) is based on how it's received by the customers. If there is some backlash, but the bottom line is still good then who cares. If it effects profits significantly, then it is something to be concerned about.  You can't make somebody like something. They feel how they feel and there is no right or wrong answer.  

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16 minutes ago, Gian-Reto said:

The devs clearly wanted to stick to a realistic depiction of historical bohemia

And failed. Or do you believe in high virtue nobles? Where's thievery on the streets? How realistic are the distances? Why is it that somehow, realism is only a problem when is about gender or color of skin?

19 minutes ago, Gian-Reto said:

Hey, you know, right back at ya... don't like it? Don't buy it!

For any civilized adult, that's not how the world works, and this particularly juvenile argument is past its expiration date. If they market "realism", but only deliver a particular brand of said realism, people have the right to call on that. 

 

The whole thing is absurd. No video game is realistic. Period. It's just another empty marketing word. It makes absolutely no sense to attack or defend a game based on that. And this is why the discussion about realism in games always boils down to race, gender and such. Because at this point, it's just an excuse for bigotry.

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Was Battlefield ever marketed as a realistic shooter? I'm also not very familiar with the Kingdom Come controversy. 

I was surprised by how many people had such a strong reaction more than anything else. I had certainly expected some people to whine, but this seemed to be quite a bit larger than usual. Is it just my misperception?

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While watching the the trailer i've learned that war must be total fun! Can't wait for WW3! ...and probably all those terrible things that happened during WW2 were not that bad at all? I mean... looks really funny - colorful fireworks or something.

So what i think is, if they want to make a game like this they should use a fictional setting, not a historical one. I do not care if there are women or if every race is present, but how the deal with war is is a shame. And i'm afraid it helps to repeat bad history :(

 

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9 minutes ago, Michael Aganier said:

The historical accuracy argument is a pretext. The real reason is much deeper and the gamers are justified to be angered.

People change things for a reason. If I have a cake that's so sweet that it tastes bad, I will alter the recipe to make it better. I will correct the recipe because it was wrong, and it will be right once corrected. 

Now, what do you correct by adding minorities to the game? If those minorities have nothing to do with the history, plot or context of the game, then what are you correcting? What in the game was wrong that needed to have minorities to be corrected? Nothing. Minorities are forced into our games for political reasons. Not for game design reasons.

What is pissing people off is the political agenda you push on them. This stinks of moralising, contempt and disrespect towards the players. We as game makers are not here to moralise the player, we are here to entertain them.

I have not followed this SJW debate and don't know what it is all about. So i have to ask: Why are you (or other people) upset about minorities being present in this game (or in other games in general)?

Personally, i agree with women and blacks in this game, because:

This game needs any kind of non-realism it can get, for the reasons i've mentioned above.

Woman and blacks are no minorities at all.

We really need to get used to the idea to live together with people from other cultures, because we become too much people and need to solve world scale problems as a union. Internet can help there, games as well.

(i don't wanna argue and i'm just interested in a better understanding of public mind... i read comments on gaming sites and i don't get the point...)

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9 minutes ago, Michael Aganier said:

This stinks of moralising, contempt and disrespect towards the players

Why are you offended by minority representation in games? How does this hurt your game play?

10 minutes ago, Michael Aganier said:

Now, what do you correct by adding minorities to the game? If those minorities have nothing to do with the history, plot or context of the game, then what are you correcting? What in the game was wrong that needed to have minorities to be corrected?

Look up Symbolic Annihilation in scientific literature to have those answers.It's not strictly about correcting the past, but carrying on in a better way.

 

12 minutes ago, Michael Aganier said:

We as game makers are not here to moralise the player, we are here to entertain them

This is a very limiting view. You can do multiple things with a game. You are describing toys.

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