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Wargaming.net Partners with War Child for "War is Not a Game" Campaign

The partnership aims to bring more widespread awareness of the consequences of real-world conflict to the games industry.

By Pete Davison. Published 4 months ago

As gamers, we spend an awful lot of our time killing things -- be they fantastic creatures or realistically rendered people.

How many of these games really make us think about the act of killing, though -- not to mention broader real-world concepts such as war? More often than not, killing is a fun activity to do in a game; we're generally not encouraged to feel guilty about it, and instead revel in the enjoyment we get from proving our superiority over rival players or the game's own systems. There are exceptions, of course -- titles like The Walking Dead, Heavy Rain and Spec Ops: The Line all have somewhat philosophical attitudes to violence, death and the consequences thereof -- but they're just that: exceptions.

In the interests of getting people thinking a little more about war and its effects, World of Tanks and World of Warplanes developer Wargaming.net has partnered with the charity War Child to promote the belief that "Real War is Not a Game." The campaign is intended to encourage people to think about the "real, unacceptable issues that children face in conflicts around the world today."

Back in September, Wargaming.net sold three different charity packages in World of Tanks' gift shop, with a quarter of the total sales revenue donated to War Child. Following the success of the campaign, which raised over €100,000 (about $136,000) Wargaming.net has decided to extend its partnership with War Child and other organizations to "support the efforts of ensuring that history is not forgotten, and that people will not repeat the mistakes of the past that have brought so much suffering to so many people."

Going forward, Wargaming.net will be actively supporting War Child financially and helping to raise awareness of the organization through the communities who play its games. The company hasn't yet announced exactly how it will be providing money to the charity -- it's highly likely we'll see more charity packages available for in-game purchase -- but as part of the campaign's educational component, it seems that Wargaming.net will be adding information about international humanitarian law and the struggles of children in conflict-stricken areas on its website and in the manuals for its games.

"Our campaign Real War is Not a Game is intended to make sure that even while children in safer countries play games that involve war and conflict, they will be able to understand more about the realities of war facing children in other places," explains Rob Williams, CEO of War Child. "We do not aim to stop all games involving conflict. Rather, we want to use the power of these games to educate huge numbers of people about the realities of war, and to mobilize them to use their energy and creativity to support children who are stuck in real conflict zones."

The best community comments so far 2 comments

  • INSOMANiAC 4 months ago

    'Wargaming' partners with 'War is not a game'


    hmmmmm, interesting partner for a charity to pick....

  • Windwhale 4 months ago

    The gaming community in general seems to have a rather amoral view towards the depiction of violence, anything goes it seems. Criticism is often met by highly defensive and hostile behaviour. It may not be easy to draw a line, because the majority of video games have always been based on violence and they have gradually evolved from Space Invaders to Call Of Duty. But games are not the underdogs anymore, they have an impact on society. And developers and players do have a responsibility, which many refuse to take. Wargames, especially those that use real scenarios (Vietnam, WW 1&2, Gulf War etc.) often are extremely disrespectful towards the victims of war. They mostly show highly aestheticised violence, completely ignoring how ugly real war is. By "ugly" I mean massmurder, mutilation, rape and traumatization. I am not saying developers should show everything, not by far. Instead they should not show "real" wars at all, unless done in a careful and respectful way, which does not trivialize war and still addresses real consequences. THIS should be a line not to be crossed - at least one of many others.

    But the reality is that games are even used to propagate war. For an example: Why does the US Army produce and sponsor certain shooters (like America's Army)? To clean their image and there are many developers who, sometimes knowingly, somtimes unwillingly (by just doing what the others do), support that kind of whitewashing.
    I really hope War Child finds a way raise awareness of these kinds of problems, instead of giving the gaming industry another alibi.Edited 2 times. Last edited December 2013 by Unknown

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