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War journalist working to make a War journalism game

2:15 PM on 10.04.2011

Jonathan Holmes

Editor-in-Chief

The mainstream media is slowly becoming less prone to treating videogames like a taboo. Case in point, 35 year war journalism veteran Tony Maniaty, and his plans to create a training/entertainment videogame about being a tele-journalist in a war zone. The game is called Warco, and its currently in the planning and funds-gathering stage of development. Mr Maniaty, who has worked as a war-based correspondent since the Timor Civil War in 1975, states that he was inspired to create the game after watching his son's play Far Cry 2. "I thought it looked like journalism - you're in a situation you've got to talk your way through. The environments seemed very similar." he says '"I had the idea of replacing a gun with a video camera but I thought it must have already been done. I found that it hadn't and I was quite staggered."

Of course, he's gotten some flack from other journalists, who continue to hold an almost instinctual dislike for videogames as a medium. One was quoted to have said "I don't like the close association between a video game and real-life war." Looks like that particular journalist has never heard of the Call of Duty series, or any of the other "real-life war" games that have dominated the gaming world for what feels like forever. 

Personally, I think Warco is a fantastic idea, both as a potential training tool, and as a piece of art/entertainment. I wonder if it could make any money though. Do you think a game about documenting the horrors of war could ever financially compete in a gaming market flooded with popular titles about actively creating those same horrors?

[Thanks, Lindsay!]

Video game to aid war journalists [BBC.co.uk]

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