Gaurav Joshi
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Is It Fair To Have Games About Conflicts?

Are conflicts too sensitive issues to be touched by the gaming industry? The Israel-Palestine Issue 

For a long time now, we’ve been made to believe that gaming is purely fictional, and has nothing to do with the real life. But, what about the games that mirror real-life issues way too clearly? 

There have been speculations about video games, and game designers have tried to make the world believe that games are like movies; if movies can portray real-life characters and stories, games can too. What they fail to understand is that even if they are allowed to borrow substances from the real life, still there are issues that are way too fragile to be touched by gaming. Here, fragile isn’t like a flower. Here, issues are fragile like a bomb. They can bring chaos like nobody has ever witnessed. 

For instance, there was a game called “Bomb Gaza” that was made to be taken down by Google Play Store after massive backlash. While the rest of the world is trying hard to bring truce between the two areas, here’s a game that wants its users to “drop bombs and avoid killing civilians”.

When questioned, the makers of Bomb Gaza said, “It’s nothing sinister, you shoot people who shoot you. It’s like every other game. I don’t want to offend anyone.

“Games are just another medium, like video. You can use it to make your voice heard.”

 It’s devastating to see that ‘Bomb Gaza’ was downloaded 1,000 times in its very first week. But, soon after that, the game makers drew harsh condemnation for making light of a genuine, on-going human catastrophe.

Even though after the verbal-comment clash, “Bomb Gaza” is no longer available on Google Play Store, but that hasn’t made it free from similar games. There are multiple games still available that puts Israel under missile attack, just like Iron Dome: The Game. The game is still available for downloading and playing. 

Several scholars have presented their views stating that gaming can be a form of truce in situations like the Israel-Palestine issue. That might be true with innovative ideas like “Games For Peace”, which is “an initiative to bridge the gap between youth in conflict zones via a shared experience of gaming that requires communication and collaboration within a virtual world.” Games like Minecraft, NBA 2K, Among Us, etc., which are multiplayer, can actually act like a bridge between the children belonging to the opposite sides. These bring a ‘hope’ for a peaceful Israel-Palestine in the future. It is advisable that only peace-making and neutral games must be promoted in fragile zones like these, and not the ones that tattoo “hatred” in the mind of the upcoming generation for one another. 

If drawing inspiration from real-life is crucial for the gaming industry, then better subjects needs to be chosen and conflicts must be left one.

About the Author
Gaurav is from India and works as an owner of a small company: Smithk Solutions.