To: The Game Industry
From: Gen Katz, Editor
Topic: All War All The Time
Date: Aug 2003

I always complain that there aren't enough games for girls and women. Well, men and boys are short changed in games too. I see press releases of lots of the new games. Many we do not review on our web site. But just reading them fills me with disquiet.

Leaving out the sports genre, games are overwhelmingly about war - cold wars, hot wars old real wars. You can chase Rommel and Germans through North Africa and Sicily; once again fight the Japanese in the Pacific, and replay the Battle of Britain. Notably missing is anything to do with Vietnam. If realistic battles don’t satisfy, there are always fantasy wars with dragons, werewolves and convenient aliens. But the icing on the cake is the tempting array of weapons. Reading just one press release doesn't prepare you for the barrage of adjectives used to attract buyers to these games. Here are a few:

"200 unique weapons - each weapon possesses unique attributes that add an element of strategy to every battle and hours and hours of fun" Soulcalibur

”taking on conventional combat crafts along with futuristic vehicles such as VTOLs, hover-tanks, battle mechs, giant helicopters, mobile fortresses and attack satellites" .Lethal Skies

"Natter rocket plane or the Allied F-85 Goblin. Both the Axis and Allies also have new motorcycles with machine gun-mounted sidecars, as well as amphibious assault vehicles: the German Schwimmwagen and the American LVT-2 Water Buffalo. The new Axis Flakpanzer, a T-38 tank with an anti-aircraft gun mounted on top, is a nasty beast-but it looks tame compared to the Allies' Sherman tank with a T-34 Calliope rocket launcher." Medal of Honor - Battlefield 1942

"Selecting from an arsenal of new high-tech weaponry and a wide variety of new units, players will employ whatever it takes to remove enemy Generals from power. With new weapons such as the US Specter Gunship or Global Liberation Army (GLA) combat motorcycles, players will have all the firepower they'll need for global domination." Command and Conquer

"Bloody Roar 4 brings more brutal power … all this plus new hand-held weapons such as silenced SMGs, new assault rifles, and deadly throwing knives, become a deadly force on the most intense virtual battlefields ever created." Bloody Roar 4

Guilty Gear X Advanced Edition, "Instant kill ability" - on the GBA no less (GBA is a platform mostly for kid games) Guilty Gear X

They are fighting the wars their fathers and grand fathers fought. Do those old battles add a sense of heroic glory while players shoot and take out the enemy safety in their armchairs? Most of the men that I know that were in the Vietnam war - don't even want to talk about it - much less play it. Note: all these carry a Teen rating - that is 13+.