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Interesting article on the "value" WWII console games

Discussion in 'PC and Console Simulations' started by KJ Jr, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I recently read this article about Call of Duty: WWII and similar console simulations. Within the article it goes into detail about how they add "value" to historical context. It also theorizes that it bridges the gap for the younger generation. Being a bit of a gamer it was a decent read and interested to hear your thoughts.


    War Games Become Vital History Lesson as Greatest Generation Dies Out
     
  2. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    Yes and No.

    Call of Duty games are not played for their story, but for their MP aspect. I think the last COD game I got, I didn't bother with the SP Campaign as they are usually pretty unrealistic and over the top.

    The popularity of the game is not because of the time period its set in, but because its a brand and people have come to expect certain things from the brand. Same with the Battlefield series. I am sure their non World War Titles did just as well as BF 1. My first interaction with the Battlefield series (I forget which one) was a modern warfare game and at the time was the most popular FPS despite their being WW2 FPS out there too.

    I think Virtual Reality should certainly be the direction you take things. The horror VR games are quite immersive. Of course, you'd have to make a really dark and gritty WW2 to get the message across and cross the line into realms game companies do not want to go right now.

    COD is played for the gameplay, not for the story or information of WW2. Its also not very historically accurate either so is presenting a warped view of WW2 to ignorant kids who aren't going to go out and buy a book on WW2 because they played COD.
     
  3. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I agree to a point. The new COD is in the proper timeline but the unit info is wrong. I actually quite enjoyed the campaign, though the 1st Infantry Div. did not go as deep into Germany as it played out in the plot line. It was a fun adventure and concepts were clever. I do believe there is a draw to the younger generation. I remember the WWII themed games always kept me connected as a kid. However, like you mentioned, it's all about multiplayer now which loses any of its historical value.
     
  4. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    Games have never been about connecting to history. They've always been about making $$$. WW2 games are more balanced due to the technology of the time and quite a few movies were made of the genre. But I have never met anyone who has said they got interested in history or WW2 because of a video game.

    Ironically, my interest in WW2 started via PBEM (Play By E-Mail for those younguns who don't know what that means). It was all text based, set in WW2, and the players were essentially Generals in their respective Armies. Detailed OOB's of your units and where they were stationed. Each 'Turn' you wrote in orders...moving XX to AA etc etc. The more detailed you were, the better things turned out. This was long before all the online resources we are familiar with today, so to look at a map you actually had to own an Encyclopedia! Luckily, my family did, and I can remember spending countless hours pouring over maps coming up with my strategic plans! I was in charge of the combined German and Italian forces in North Africa and realized 'I have no idea how this played out historically' - which is how I then found this forum (way back in 2000) to learn more about the Africa campaign and the rest, they say, is history!
     
  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    "War is sweet to those who haven't experienced it"

    Flys in the face of "enjoying" war games and understanding war...

    Games are good for getting a reasonable grasp of geographical positions...and weapons etc etc...without the chance of dieing or horrific injury, its hardly realistic.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, that is not entirely true...There were games back in the "heyday"(1990s) that did connect to history. SSI's Silent Hunter II is foremost in my mind, they went and got Erich Topp to be the technical advisor, and he did several recorded interviews that came with the game. Other games would have cinematics that would explain WW2 as the game progressed.
     
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  7. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    The Close Combat series and Panzer Commander were obsessions of mine as a young man. They most certainly enabled me to access parts of the conflict that I was eager to delve into deeper. Gaming was a definite component in my further interest in history. It evolved of course, but it has a place.
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Yes but those aren't first person shooters, which is what most of the younger folks are playing. They are not, in any way shape or form historically accurate, nor do they give an accurate portrayal of tactics, weapons and skills required to be successful in combat. They're a game, they're fun, they're entertaining, they provide no historical value nor provide any real insight into the periods they're set in (modern, WWII, etc.). Attempts to assign them some deeper value is simply B.S., trying to make a guilty pleasure have some intrinsic value other than what it actually has.
     
  9. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I agree completely with that statement. It is a run and gun approach with visual appeal. Which, unfortunately, sells. There is no strategy or thought process like the other games mentioned in this thread. The veteran in the article echoed many opponents of the genre in that FPS desensitize kids to reality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  10. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I've never been a game player, so I really don't have the knowledge to address this directly. I quickly succumb to boredom when I try them. However, I can't see how they are reflective of history. What happened in WW2 (and in any human endeavor) is personal to those who took part in it. No two people experienced combat in the same way. What was horrific to one was passed off as just one of those things to another. No game can capture the reality of combat, they can use all the participants they want. Reading still is the way to learn. Games don't cut it. Money, not reality, is the goal.
     
  11. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    Those are niche games though - they're not Call of Duty. Armchair Generals play those games - you have to have an appreciation of the time period and a sense for strategy in order to even be interested in those sorts of games. COD appeal to the masses due to the simplicity of run-and-gun.
     
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  12. FredCarson

    FredCarson New Member

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    "COD appeal to the masses due to the simplicity of run-and-gun."

    I agree. They definitely are watered down.
     
  13. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    First-person shooters? I feel like it may be a window for a small subset of gamers who play WW2-themed games and end up wanting to learn more about the era. But generally, I'd agree there is not much historical substance or value in these games, relatively speaking.

    But there are other genres, particular the RTS and grand strategy games. Specifically, I'm thinking of the Hearts of Iron series. I've spent hundreds of hours on the series and can very honestly say I've gained quite a bit of knowledge on World War 2 from this game. They game developers go to great lengths to simulate all the different factors that went into fighting the war, including home support, supplies, technology, and economics.

    Call of Duty is garbage, IMO, but there absolutely are games out there that hinge on historical accuracy and realism, and aid in learning about the war.
     

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