Monday, September 26, 2011

A Different Spin On War

Tony Maniaty, a former ABC correspondent, believes that training is needed for today's war correspondents. After spending decades in the field, he has seen the world of reporting change. Instead of major news stations sending out seasoned veterans into the field, it's very easy for someone with a couple grand to get a small, HD camera, fly out to a warzone, and freelance for a break into the industry.

Thus he has teamed up with a small studio, Defiant Development, to create Warco. Short for war correspondent, it's meant to provide an experience of being out in the field with a camera in your hand. (Recently getting more buzz as ABC has released the story...impartial much?)

In the game, players are to capture footage of the scene playing out before them while walking/running through warzones, edit the footage, and create a news package. Scenes range from intense violence to talking to fellow reporters in your hotel. While most of the game focuses on the action, it also allows for the player to decide what moments are best to film. What about those morally ambiguous shades of grey? Is it ok to edit footage to tell a different story then what is shown in the footage? Can we really show a man being killed to the world?

While it's a good spin on the traditional war games, so far the studio has not found a publisher wanting to buy. It's a hard sell. It looks like an FPS, but it's not really an FPS. You get to see war and violence through a game, but you can't fight back because you are an "impartial" observer. There isn't a point system, or a right or wrong type of sentiment built into the game. Right now it's a low-rez version of Call of Duty where you don't attack anyone. With it's buzz on ABC, maybe a smaller publisher bill interested in the rights. Warco just needs a little more fine-tuning to make it more attractive to the gaming community.


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