Civil war is wrought with good stuff like civilian casualties, loss of property and landscape, the exchange of power in not always popular ways. So what would compel developers to mimic a war that not only is still in process but is also know to anyone with a clue as horribly bloody and lop sided.
The game is called Endgame: Syria. Just the thought of it makes me cringe. Maybe it’s because I spend too much time in /r/gore to know that there is nothing I’ve seen in the REAL Syria, that I would like to see portrayed in a game. But then again, I’m all for preaching the truth and I think it is high time people started to really see what war looks like and if my sick and twisted image searches are to be believed, then it is really really sad. Perhaps if more people understood that war is more than a glorified romp through Europe to find Private Ryan they wouldn’t be so eager to look for WMD’s.
But alas, it’s not the politicians and leaders that will be playing this game. It’s going to be predominantly boys and men 14-35. If the Syrian conflict is accurately portrayed it may keep them joining in the dirge. Well I have no opinion on that either way. I am not brave enough to join the services, but I have the utmost respect for those that do. I’m anti-war but I am pro soldiers with all my heart.
Apple has refused to distribute the game, because like my first instinct, they find it insulting. This is also in the midst of some pretty stiff debate about gun control and violence in video games.
According to Tomas Rawlings, Endgame: Syria’s designer, “(It’s a way)…for those who don’t want to read a newspaper but still care about the world…to find out about things.”
When you actually see the game its very basic. Based on deploying troops and infantry, and garnering support. The game ends when one side loses support. That is in no way a happy ending. The game does a good job of portraying that no matter what side wins, Syria still loses. What it’s lacking is that rawness I talked about to start. The setup is still detached from the reality of the situation. The young boy still alive after having half his face blown off…that is the reality of what is happening in Syria.
Those that played it found it a very sobering experience. The air strikes and civilian deaths quickly escalating as the game progresses is a typical game style obstacle, but quickly becomes a slap in the face when you realize that is what the people of Syria are facing every day.
Andrea Stanton a religious studies professor at the University of Denver has this to say of her experience, "(it’s) a very sobering game in that you sense how quickly the military stakes escalate and how little the political phase has to do with actual Syrians," .