Remember those Battlefield V adverts that said forget everything you knew about history?
Well, Electronic Arts and Dice weren’t wrong when they said that, so sit down boys and girls and let me tell you a little World War II story and how Electronic Arts and DICE revised history and literally wrote the Norwegian commandos out of their own story and wiping them from the history books in their game. Battlefield V’s single player mission entitled “Nordlys” it centers around a woman by the name of Solveig, a young woman who must wage a one-woman guerrilla war in the mountains, to thwart the German export of heavy water, used for research into atomic weapons. Well turns out it isn’t based on any historical events at all. The story is actually “loosely” (and I use the term very liberally) on the Vemork heavy water sabotage that took place in Norway.
Where Norwegian commandos basically airdropped behind enemy lines and traveled to the plant on snow skis to gather intelligence before sabotaging it. Soon after the intelligence was gathered, British commandos were dropped via gliders to commence the sabotage. But things did not go so smoothly, half of them died when their gliders crashed, and some of them where caught and executed by the Germans. Those who survived hid in the freezing mountains for months, surviving on moss, lichen, and reindeer until the British dropped Norwegian commandos to find them. But they did not stop there, they carried on with the mission, destroying the plant without harming a single person in the process.
This was one of the many smaller events that happened during the course of World War II, consisting of real men, shedding blood who not only accomplished an amazing feat in the face of death and adversity but also died in the process. This alone makes it blatantly obvious that Dice and Electronic Arts put current social justice politics in front of actual historical events. Because fuck historical accuracy, right? Fuck these men who put their lives on the line so we could have a future. Fuck all of that, because we want to revise history and insert woman where they weren’t in the first place, why even call it a World War II shooter if you aren’t going to base it on historical events?
DICE and Electronic Arts had a massive opportunity to portray some of the lesser known events and groups of people who help win World War II. They had one of the most narratively saturated moments in world history and utilized none of it, they pulled the same exact shit with Battlefield 1. Imagine thinking that female and gamers of color are such fragile creatures that they NEED representation in every game, at the expense of wiping away actual historical events. Wanted to represent women in World War 2 events? They could have easily chosen an actual badass female Russian sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko who killed 300 Nazi’s and used her story instead of writing some Tumblr levels of fanfiction.
Is this really the best they could come up with?! I mean fucken seriously, this is so generic, even her Majesty Queen god damn Elizabeth was a driver and mechanic in the army. And yet with all these amazing examples, the woman they inserted into their game come out as being forced and contrived. And in the process overlooking real women doing really amazing things during the course of World War 2. And from a historical standpoint, you could have had so many amazing stories from World War 2 where women were complete badasses: Spies, French Rebels, Russian Pilots ect, but no let’s re-write history so we can look virtues while morally posturing for woman and minorities.
The current argument being made for including these women where they don’t belong historically in the latest Battlefield game is: “Women served in World War 2, so we should be allowed to have playable female characters because it’s more inclusive and fun for people.” And usually followed by the argument “Battlefield has never been historically accurate so it’s fine to include women who weren’t actually part of the armed conflict.” So, let’s use that logic shall we since the Battlefield franchise is not supposed to be historically accurate according to those who use the above-mentioned arguments. Then why can’t you play as either dogs, pigeons, horses, camels, and bears? I fucken kid you not. Bears!
Meet “Wojtek” a Syrian brown bear purchased, as a young cub, at a railway station in Hamadan, Iran, by Polish II Corps soldiers who had been evacuated from the Soviet Union. He was eventually enlisted officially as a soldier with the rank of private and was subsequently promoted to corporal. Serving with the 22nd Artillery Supply Company. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, in Italy in 1944, Wojtek helped move crates of ammunition and rations around. But why stop there? How about Siwash the duck?
The First Battalion of the Tenth Marine Regiment managed to acquire a duck named Siwash as a mascot. Siwash accompanied the Marines to the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, where the animal engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a Japanese rooster. With utter disregard for his own personal safety, Siwash, upon reaching the beach, without hesitation engaged the enemy in fierce combat, namely, one rooster of Japanese ancestry. So by using the above logic and ignoring context and historical accuracy and wanting to make the game “fun” should they not include a playable bear and duck in the game as well? I mean a bear and duck did fight in World War II.
In before but it’s a game filled with glitches and bugs how can it be historically accurate? No fuck you and your entire strawman. The entire franchise has been built on the promise of giving us an authentic experience by both developers and publishers. Why the change now? My entire childhood was comprised of me idolizing characters or individuals who did not match my race, skin color, sex, gender or ethnicity I did not care about that growing up and I sure as fuck don’t care about it now. What I do care about though is developers and publishers ham-fisted attempts to rope in representation because they want themselves to appear on “the right side of history” when it comes to social justice politics.
Diversity and representation mean nothing unless you put in the effort to make your diverse representatives meaningful as I have discussed before. This kind of bullshit is why people don’t take people complaining about a lack of diversity seriously and does way more damage than good. Forced diversity stifles creativity it does not help the creative process but hinders it instead. And I worry about this because I feel like those who are shoehorning this bullshit knows what they are doing and don’t care about the impact it has on games and the video game industry. The right way of doing it is to give deserved spotlight and marketing to female or minority characters, or to characters who are established but haven’t gotten their dues.
This constant push for token characters in video games now has the effect of watering down those characters. Instead of being well rounded and written characters, they become defined by their tokenism, their sex or color of their skin and not by the actual skill that went into creating said characters. I get annoyed when diversity in a video game is brought up and paraded around as a selling point for the game, it is one of the warning signs telling me to stay away from the game and not buy it. Let the strength of your characters in your video games speak for themselves, I don’t care what they look like or what their sexual orientation is. As long as they are well written I don’t give a flying fuck. So, I won’t say sorry for wanting a game set in a historic time period to be historically accurate instead of politically correct…