Tech & Science

Red Cross: Gamers should follow rules of war

The International Committee of the Red Cross is urging gamers to “play by the rules of war” in hopes of raising awareness about the devastating effects of real-life armed conflict.

The rules of war, also known as international humanitarian law, are a set of guidelines “designed to sustain humanity in armed conflict and ultimately reduce suffering and save lives.”

According to the Red Crossfirst-person shooters (FPS) are the most popular video games in the world.

“Every day, people sit on their couches and play games set in conflict zones,” the website says. “But now, armed conflict is more prevalent than ever. For those who suffer its effects, this conflict is no game.”

The website’s tagline states that “how you play an FPS makes a difference on the battlefield IRL (real life)”, but the site offers no data or information to back up this claim.

The Red Cross lists four rules adopted from international humanitarian law that encourage gamers to play.

  • Don’t be thirsty: Gamers should avoid shooting enemies when they are ‘down and unresponsive’.
  • Don’t Target Nonviolent NPCs (Non-Player Characters): Gamers shouldn’t shoot at civilians.
  • Don’t Target Civilian Buildings: Gamers shouldn’t target homes, schools, or hospitals in safe zones. “When fighting in these spaces, you have to do everything you can to avoid damage.”
  • Use Med Kits on Everyone: Gamers should use med kits on everyone, even if they are considered “enemies”.

Earlier this month, the Red Cross invited five streamers to play FPS games like Fortnite and Call of Duty “by the rules” and stream them on Twitch.

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