EA Concerned Kids Don't Know About WW1 For Battlefield 1

Lightspeaker

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Steven Bogos said:
"I think what people don't understand about World War 1 is the technology shift that went on during the war. People started the war on horseback and ended the war with airplanes and tanks and battleships and submarines. And that's a huge opportunity for us to be able to do a video game around."
I know he's only saying this for emphasis but I'm kinda bothered at the lack of knowledge in respect to the level of technology on display here. And also the way this is phrased. The 'technology shift' was an ongoing gradual thing that had been going on for decades; perhaps the biggest shift in WW1 was a shift in mindset and the gaining of experience with these new technologies in terms of utilising them in a really large-scale war as opposed to the regular smaller conflicts constantly ongoing.


Submarines predate WW1 significantly. Many large nations had submarine forces at the start of the war. In fact a quick google tells me the first sinking of a ship by a submarine using a torpedo was in September 1914, just a couple of months after the outbreak of war.

Battleships were around since at the latest 1880. Even if you don't count the old ironclad designs as battleships its pretty hard to argue against HMS Dreadnought (1906) and the ships based off its design.

Aircraft. Most major powers had military air forces prior to WW1's beginning. In fact aicraft were used in wars prior to WW1.

The only one of the four mentioned that genuinely came into its own during WW1 is the tank. But despite that, designs were proposed prior to the war breaking out. It was the realities of trench warfare that brought them to the fore.

As for horses. Horses were vital in warfare even into WW2.

None of this was difficult information to check. I just used google. And I was already familiar with most of it anyway because I've always enjoyed looking at history. I know its not exactly this guy's job to be familiar with the intricacies of WW1 technology development but by the same token if he's going to play up that angle and make such grandiose comments it'd be nice if he could have some idea what he's talking about.
 

Xan Krieger

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VinLAURiA said:
lacktheknack said:
That's... fine? The game is rated M, the only legal customers most assuredly realize that WWI was a thing.
Today's seventeen-year-olds were born in 1999. Even 9/11 is probably something they only know from history class now.
As someone born in 1990 this makes me feel ancient, gonna go get my dad's walker now.

OT: Gonna add this to the list of reasons I hate kids.
 

Dango

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They do know their game is rated M right?

Regardless, do they think kids actually know more about modern military operations that they portrayed in past games?
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Nah. What they're really worried about is the five hundred Day 1 forum posts that are all misspelled variations of "I can't unlock a 12x scope and rangefinder for my Mosin-Nagant, game sucks, trading in for CoD IW".
 

LysanderNemoinis

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Are people honestly surprised kids don't know about World War I? Really? Schools these days are more concerned about making sure everyone can identify as 'whatever-sexual' and no ones hurts anyone else's precious fee-fees. Everyone's a special snowflake, everyone gets a gold star, and schools are allowing kids to get away with "2+2=5" so long as they can show their work. Schools today aren't where kids go to learn about actual subjects, it's where they go to learn to check their non-existant privilege, be offended by everything, and protest. And I don't mean just colleges. This shit's starting in grade school. So yes, we're becoming a nation of utter morons who cry when they feel a stiff wind. And it's only going to get worse.
 

Thaluikhain

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Over in Australia, the totality of WW1 taught in schools (or discussed anywhere) tends to be about the Australians (and maybe some New Zealanders) in Gallipoli, so not surprising.
 

Brian Tams

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EA should be more worried about people who DO know what World War 1 is, and will shit all over what is guaranteed to be an extremely unfaithful adaptation of what was a very brutal war fought in conditions where the filthy environment of the trenches killed just as many soldiers as the actual fighting did.
 

Thaluikhain

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Brian Tams said:
EA should be more worried about people who DO know what World War 1 is, and will shit all over what is guaranteed to be an extremely unfaithful adaptation of what was a very brutal war fought in conditions where the filthy environment of the trenches killed just as many soldiers as the actual fighting did.
Does it have to be set in the trenches, though? While that is the usual view of the war, it was fought across several continents and all sorts of lanscapes.
 

Bob_McMillan

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I had pretty comprehensive lessons on WWI. But that was just my teacher, he was a huge history buff and enjoyed teaching us about it.
 

Karadalis

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Same thing as with Alien and Aliens.. the sequel just was bigger, badder, more action, more explosions, more dead people.

But seriously... this one time i will share EAs worries... kids these days have no clue there was a "first" world war. Heck people are now dubbing it "the great war" instead of world war.

History is sadly rewritten by a bunch of revisionist assholes and/or seen as something thats not worth teaching/learning about... looking forward to repeating the mistakes of the past...
 

chadachada123

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Some small corrections, since there's always misconceptions whenever the ESRB is brought up. I agree in spirit with basically everyone here that EA's CEOs are probably more ignorant than the average child, and am surprised they openly admitted that they're going to be marketing this game towards those under 17.

lacktheknack said:
That's... fine? The game is rated M, the only legal customers most assuredly realize that WWI was a thing.
Remember that the ESRB is purely voluntary. There's no laws involved. Same with R-rated movies. A store can legally sell an R-rated or M-rated movie/game to a 5 year old, but usually won't because of the public backlash that would bring.

Recusant said:
So either they don't understand what "under 18" means
(It's actually under 17).
 

ddrkreature

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"We believe younger consumers out there won't know about ww1"

Question... Why are they worried about marketing an M (17+) rated first person shooter to elementary school kids? (Justification: I started learning about world wars in middle school)
 

Nuuu

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Aside from the obvious "It's rated M, it's not SUPPOSED to be for kids."

1. You SHOULDN'T NEED to know what WW1 is to enjoy the game, you're playing a shooter, not a trivia game. If you can't enjoy the game with prior historical knowledge, you might want to rethink the development plan.

2. If they don't know what WW1 is, then they'll LEARN. Yeah, the game won't be historically accurate, but unless they're going to be a historian the general premise and setting is a good start.
 

Souplex

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This is a pretty good explanation for WWI:
https://youtu.be/Mh5LY4Mz15o?t=6m2s
 

lacktheknack

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VinLAURiA said:
lacktheknack said:
That's... fine? The game is rated M, the only legal customers most assuredly realize that WWI was a thing.
Today's seventeen-year-olds were born in 1999. Even 9/11 is probably something they only know from history class now.
And if they've done a history class, there's two wars they're going to hear about: WWI and WWII.

Heck, as I mentioned, everyone knows who Hitler was (and I do mean EVERYONE), and it's well known that he was important in WWII, so anyone with a functioning brain will quickly conclude that a WWI occurred.

Screw history class, I learned this stuff reading a kid's book when I was seven.
 

Joccaren

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frizzlebyte said:
I don't normally use this kind of language, but:

How the FUCK would "kids today" not know about World War II *or* Vietnam? Is this a real phenomenon, or is this white-tower CEOs being dumb-asses? Because if it is a real thing, education is even shittier than I thought possible.
While I'm sure he was also mostly referring to American children as that's gaming's main audience, over here Vietnam and WWII get less focus than WWI. WWII is definitely taught for the absolute tragedy it was, Vietnam is... Not remembered, as while we sent some troops over, it wasn't really our war. Honestly I didn't even know about it until I watched Forest Gump. A couple years later my school went to the one museum started up by vets from that war, but you'd hardly know it was about Vietnam from being there, and most kids didn't understand what the Vietnam war was when they left.

WWI? Gallipoli. A day of national pride, and sorrow, for us. National holidays dedicated to it, so you know what WWI is pretty early on.

As for M rated games, that's 15+ here, and honestly I have little faith in those 3 years younger than me, let alone 6. I think its less the fact that its not getting taught, and more the fact that they don't care. As opposed to the shows my generation watched when we were younger, which were made by people that I swear were on some serious drugs, but half of which at least tried to encourage learning [The other half being anti-intellectual crap that often used serious topics and chances at learning as the butt of "I'm bored" and "Who cares" jokes], while the shows that were on for the age group a few years younger... Predominantly the type that espoused the view of being bored and uninterested at school as being cool, and WWII and maths and such as boring subjects no-one wants to learn about. It does have an impression on those who watch them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they took that attitude.


I think it also pays to remember that a fair portion of the population is actually not that well educated. General knowledge isn't a big thing these days, and a lot of people just aren't aware of basic facts. Part of this is a lack of interest, part of it is the prevalence of the internet and the "I don't need to know it, I'll just Google it" mentality. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a significant portion of youth in most countries didn't know about WWI. Maybe they knew it was a thing, but they wouldn't be able to give any defining characteristics of the war, name any pivotal or key battles, or even talk about who fought in the war. Its something that, sadly, isn't so much focused on in our cultural heritage these days, we tend to not remember the old wars as much, because most people alive haven't lived through them. And when you haven't lived through a war, its often hard to comprehend how important it is to understand how horrible war can be. For most these days, its just a thing they see in games and on the TV, and when that's what war is, of course they're not going to care or know much about some of the biggest conflicts in history. They have no need to, or at least that's how they'd likely see it.
Honestly, I think a lack of knowledge about WWI is a valid concern. Not in the "This game shouldn't be made" sense, but as a concern in its own right. Battlefield COULD be used to inform people about the era, but we'll see how good a job it does of that. Sadly, its likely to glorify the war and just make a mess of the lessons that should have been learnt. I hope though that at least the campaign portrays the horror of the war, rather than the gung-ho "Lets go kill people" attitude they normally have. Portraying the scale of the conflict, the huge number of lives lost, and the utter futility of it all would be a great thing to remind people about what war is. I just doubt Battlefield will be the game to do it sadly.
 

flying_whimsy

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I'm reminded of Yahtzee's review of Transformers: War for Cybertron. In it, he states that he didn't know or care much about transformers, and that game was the chance to do it. And 'it cocked it up.'

In other words, if the kids or other players don't know, this is a great way to introduce them to it. I can't help but feel like the execs at EA are totally blind to what this project actually is. Easiest way to explain it to them: battlefield with fresh coat of paint, microtransactions, and dlc. ka-ching. No one has to actually tell them what WWI was like or what any of the historical context involves.
 

Strazdas

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frizzlebyte said:
I don't normally use this kind of language, but:

How the FUCK would "kids today" not know about World War II *or* Vietnam? Is this a real phenomenon, or is this white-tower CEOs being dumb-asses? Because if it is a real thing, education is even shittier than I thought possible.
I thought so too, but this week i saw someone making a joke on reddit about September 1, 1939 and a huge amount of people had absolutely no idea what that date was. Apperently they dont teach history in school anymore or something.

chadachada123 said:
Remember that the ESRB is purely voluntary. There's no laws involved. Same with R-rated movies. A store can legally sell an R-rated or M-rated movie/game to a 5 year old, but usually won't because of the public backlash that would bring.
Pointing out that ESRB may be voluntary in theory, however no retailer anywhere is going to treat it as anything but mandatory to avoid complains and PR problems. Also outside of US the rating systems ARE mandatory. as in it is flat out illegal to sell 16+ game to 15 year old.

The rating system needs a huge kick in the balls. It should be completely voulantary and only be advisory instead of restrictive. Also fuck age restrictions, do content ratings, not age ratings.
 

Madkipz

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If you want to educate yourself on the ww1 debacle. Dan Carlin is your guy.

He has an amazing podcast series on it called Blueprint for Armageddon-.

http://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-50-blueprint-for-armageddon-i/