Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ego Check for Battlefield V

Settle in readers. We're in for a doozy.

I don't want to be that person who types "what is up with the white male gamers and their fragile egos?" But I can, and will, and did.

EA and DICE released info about Battlefield V ahead of E3. Given the spade of leaks from retailers and sources within, EA was stemming the tide and pushed the content out now to give gamers something to chew on. Some of the most surprising news is that the game will not have a premium pass - a big departure for EA, whom typically love to rack up those microtansactions. They are most likely pulling back a bit from the pass-heavy mode after the fiasco with Star Wars: Battlefront II. EA also confirmed that the game will have "single-player stories" and a battle royale option. Features from past games such as Operations Mode will return. The game will take players back to World War II though it's unique brand of wild story-telling.

So what has a select segment of gamers up in arms?

There's a woman and a black gentleman in the trailer.

What? Gasp! "That's not historically accurate," they cry! These bros are in need of a history lesson. Women have been active in the U.S. military since WW2, and have ties dating back to the American Revolution. Over 2.5 million African Americans registered for the draft for WW2. And before the argument arises that Battlefield V appears to focus more on British soldiers, feel free to catch up on your history with woman and POC in WW2.

The spade of sexist/racist comments arising from the #notmybattlefield hashtag is disgusting. This is an instance where I'm glad I don't work for a major publication, because I would probably need to wade through all the slop to find the golden nugget of comments. And I get enough insults on my blog for being a female gamer. I don't need to see it, en masse.

While Battlefield has always held an impressive lineup of graphics, game play, and semi-realism, the games themselves have never pushed themselves to be the definitive "war game." None of the battles are accurate. None of the scenarios are point for point historically the same as their real-world counterparts. They'll use names of battles, generals, and combat zones, but the end result is a shell of the real events. If the games were  exact copies of what happened in WW1/WW2, they would be ridiculously violent while restricting gamers freedom - you can't run off to shoot the enemy if historically your character stayed with his troops and held the line at Normandy. The stories developed by EA/DICE have always been far from the truth. If they were real, they would have included more women and POC from the start! For Battlefield V, the trailer shows a character with a claw hand, jeeps flipping in the air, bombing runs that don't kill our main team, plans crashing out of nowhere - what about these aspects make it a "historically accurate" game? None of it. Battlefield I allowed you to ride horses that were often impervious to tanks. That's all one needs to understand about the franchise's "historical accuracy."

So why the madness from these select gamers? Who knows. Maybe they weren't loved enough by their family as a child. Maybe they feel threatened that the gaming community is finally growing up and realizing that white straight men aren't the only ones who play their games. Maybe they don't understand that the world doesn't revolve around their fragility.

Maybe their concern is not the "accuracy" of WW2; rather the "accuracy" of their current cultural beliefs that support sexism, racism, and their supremacy due to their skin tone and gender.

Like it or not, Battlefield V is there. Let the "accuracy" complainers cry about it, and turn their hashtag against them. We don't want gamers like you in our community if you're going to whine about women and POC being in a fictional war game. A game where you can dab.

2 comments:

  1. I know many men critizise the game for the woman as a "main character" but i think women in these games is perfectly fine, i sometimes wish BF3&4 had some playable women in them... BUT my main gripe is that the trailer looks like a non cartoon version of fortnite... it does not give you the battlefeel that the previous entries in the franchise gave you... it feels like battlefield has lost it's identity...
    (personal opinion) I think Battlefield 1 and V are just Battlefront with a different skin on them (yes visuals and sounds are amazing) and this is not battlefield what it once was...
    I want to go back to BF3... and i think many of the long time fans/players wanted that too... and that's what started this uproar in the community

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment! As someone who hasn't really been into the Battlefield games, the most that I know about them are from earlier versions and watching people stream them. The games felt like, to me, that they were some form of "fantasy history" where it's not a focus on trying to provide an accurate representation of the world but a sandbox version for people to play in. Though the earlier games felt more "real" I still think the franchise has always had this quirk to it. I honestly didn't see anything wrong with the trailer, but again it's not my type of game. But I can understand that as a fan, you might not agree with the direction the game is going because of the game play - not because of the characters. Unfortunately a vocal few have taken that notion and focused solely on the woman/POC as the main problem. That's going to bite them in the bum.

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