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LONG BLOG

Afraid To Shoot Strangers

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Strangers, in this case, being anyone who isn't a Nazi or Japanese.

WWII has dominated the video game war scene, both on consoles and PCs, since the late 1990s, and had a fair amount of titles based on it in the decade before that. Wolfenstein, Battlefield, Call Of Duty, and Medal Of Honor are all highly recognizable franchises, and even series like brothers In Arms, Silent Service, Commandos, and Hearts Of Iron might get a few nods from your friends if you bring them up. Over one hundred games basedon the second World War have come out in the last two decades, whereas its older brother, nicknamed The Great War, has cranked out maybe thirty-something games in as many years. You'd think that, by now, someone may have noticed they're starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel for things they can do with the same conflict.

Well, the idea does finally seem to be gaining a bit of a foothold; EA's announcement of their Medal Of Honor reboot heading to Afghanistan, the attempted treatment of the latest Iraq invasion by Six Days In Fallujah, Modern Warfare's somewhat plausible takes on slightly altered, modern-day tensions, and even ridiculous interpretations like 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand all point to an interest in broadening the spectrum of war in the video gaming theatre. These are all fairly familiar conflicts to today's gamer audience, however, and I hope these baby steps turn into larger strides toward overlooked, but just as important, world conflicts, rather than stalling in the realm of the recent. While I'm here, I might as well highlight some fictional wars that may lend themselves to interesting gameplay experiences, alongside some very real ones.


The Korean War



I frequently waver on whether or not I'd like to see any sort of game set in Joss Whedon's Firefly universe, but I think the war between the Alliance and the Independents would be pretty safe ground to cover, without having to tiptoe around established canon. I know there was an MMO announced that vanished into obscurity, but I think telling the story of this war would be much better suited to story missions tied together with narrative cutscenes rather than something more persistent.

Cameos from some of the series characters would be easy enough, given that Mal and Zoe were obviously at the battle that ended the whole thing, and Wash, Jayne, and Book were all old enough to have been involved somehow, nevermind that several of them are already quite familiar with doing voice work for games. Emphasis on the cameo aspect; I'd rather not have a Firefly game that just panders to the fans when the war was so much bigger than one or two characters.

Joss Whedon's already done a great job expanding the franchise in comic book form, so getting his blessing, if not his hands directly on the whole thing, doesn't seem altogether impossible.


War's definitely a moneymaker when it comes to games, but if some of these, or some of the numerous other, incursions throughout real and less-real history start getting introduced to the pot, what's been a stone soup for so long might actually mature into a much more delicious, murdery stew.

(Asha Greyjoy image by Nawia.)
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About nekobunone of us since 5:17 PM on 06.29.2007

Hi, I'm Chris, though I've been going by nekobun and variants thereof for so long, I kind of answer to both anymore.

While I've kind of got my own thing going in the realm of indie coverage, at least in the form of playing through (and streaming) (and writing about) the huge backlog I'm developing of games gleaned from various indie bundles, I try to keep my more mainstream, game-related features here, as well as opinion pieces on the industry at large, out of mad love for the 'toid. When I'm not rambling here or trying to be clever in comments threads, you can catch me rambling on Facebook and my Twitter, and trying to be clever in the Dtoid.tv chat.

Now Playing:
360: Halo 4
PC: F.E.A.R.
SNES: Secret Of Mana

Promoted:
I suck at games: PEW PEW LASERS
Improving game communities: Collective consciousness
Nothing is sacred: These walls have torn my world apart
The wrong thing: Only cream and bastards catch them all.
Love/Hate: I love to hate -you-
Love/Hate: B(u)y the book
The Future: Is still what it used to be
My Expertise: Playing the race kart
Something about sex: Sex sells, but who's buying?
E3 Approaches: It's oh so quiet
Freedom: Together, we'll break the chains of HUDs
East vs West: We've got the empire
Handhelds: Graduating as 2000's Catchemaledictorian
Relaxation: Cheesy double Chief burrito
Online Passes: A spoonful of sugar
Peripherals: Many tentacles pimpin' on the keys
This is what MAGfest is all about
Beginnings: Put it on the pizza
Disappointment: Bad(vent) timing

Recap Topsauce:
It's Thinking: Could you quit playing with that radio, love?
Do the wrong thing: And do it right, for once.
Afraid to shoot strangers.
Not if you were the last junkie on Pandora
Is Jim Sterling servicing the video games industry?
Something About Sex: Unsafe at any speed.
Doing DLC right
Congress passes sweeping Elfcare reform bill
Bottom five healthcare systems in videogames.
Pushing my love over the quarter line.
When my life would depend on an eight point none.
Remember the heroes.
Every Journey begins with a single step.
It's all over now, bomber blue.
Being Social: We'll always have Rainbow Road
Labor Day: Of course you realize, this means wark.
Please, aim it higher.
There Would've Been Brawl: Show me 'round your eggplantcage.
Integration: A place for everything
Zelda Week: I guess this is growing up.
MAGfest: the (don't be an) idiot's guide
Promotions: The bees are alright
Now is the winter of on-disc content
This was supposed to be a dozen items about nekobun.
Without Slenderness, there's something missing.
Cheap tricks (and treats) don't come cheaper than free.
The legacy of the (unlikely) wizard.
Cheap Tricks II: Sugar rush boogaloo
Thank you, for bringing me here, for showing me Home.
Burnt flowers fallen: the tragic bitchotry of Lilly Caul
Red and blue, resolving into purple.
Xbox LIVE:nekobun
PSN ID:strictmachine
Steam ID:nekobun
Mii code:2610 8366 7890 1412


 

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