Bloody Syria computer game proves a level too far for tech-heads
Fictional violence has long been a source of inspiration for video games. But while players might jump at the chance to become their favorite action hero battling the bad guys, for many it is a different story when the inspiration behind the game is real life bloodshed.
‘Endgame:Syria’, claims to give mobile video gamers across the world the chance to venture into the Middle East and take part in the Syrian conflict from the comfort of their own homes.
Players adjust variables of the war, deploy military units and pick political paths to guide them through, as they take on the part of the Syrian rebels, fighting to push the conflict to its ‘endgame’.
So while real-life opposition fighters make daily decisions that end lives, gamers are given the luxury of playing and re-playing events to see how different choices on the ground might lead to different outcomes.
While the game has been widely slammed for trivializing and even glorifying the Syrian struggle, the company behind the game, Auroch Digital, has publicly defended its decision.
The makers claim that, despite its somewhat misleading name, ‘Endgame: Syria’ is in fact a novel way of educating the public about the conflict, bringing news of the Syrian struggle to a new audience.
Considering themselves new-age journalists rather than game developers, the Auroch Digital team claim to be ‘the world's first news correspondents who cover global events as games.’
And with previous titles under their belt, including a game that exposes the cruelty of child labor in Uzbekistan, it seems there is no atrocity that Auroch Digital won’t give the ‘gaming touch’.
While the group says the response to the game has been mainly positive, it was dealt a blow this week when tech giant Apple refused to include it in its App Store.
As Auroch Digital looks at changing the game to make it more attractive to Apple and other potential buyers, gamers around the world have been expressing their outrage.
While fictional fighting might be fun, for many gamers, finding entertainment in an ongoing war that has claimed the lives of over 60,000 people, is a level they don’t want to reach.
What do you think of the game? Is it a good way of educating a new audience about the conflict or does it trivialize the war? Share your comments with us below!