Battlefield V’s creators: female characters are ‘here to stay’

The revelation of the new first-person shooter of World War II Battlefield V caused a strong reaction from some fans, but not exactly in the way that its developer, DICE, could have tried . Online, a contingent of disgruntled players has been pushing back the "inaccuracies" of the game, specifically the developer's decision to include women soldiers on the front line. But DICE has a message for these angry voices: their female characters are not going anywhere.

On Twitter, DICE CEO Oskar Gabrielson addressed the issue of dust . "First, let me be clear about one thing," he says. "The choice of the player and the female playable characters are here to stay, we want Battlefield V to represent all those who were part of the greatest drama in the history of mankind, and give players the option of choose and customize the characters they play with. " He adds that the studio is committed to creating games that are inclusive and diverse, as well as fun. "The test area Battlefield has always tried to play the way you want," he concludes. This sometimes means offering fantastic experiences that are neither realistic nor historically accurate, "like trying to fit three players on a galloping horse, with flamethrowers," Gabrielson writes. "With BFV you also have the chance to play as you like." This is #everyonesbattlefield . "

Battlefield V executive producer Aleksander Grøndal echoed this sentiment, explaining through Twitter that "we will always put fun over authentic [ity]". Gabrielson's claim that this is #everyonesbattlefield is a direct throwback to the #NotMyBattlefield tag, which has been circulating since the game was revealed. The conversation around #NotMyBattlefield, which has spread through the game's many online communities, is a confusing, often toxic disaster. While some claim that they are angry about the "unrealistic" nature of the game – concerns that are disproportionately level with the idea of ​​women on the battlefield and not, for example, acrobatics with horses throwing flames – others are less subtle hide their disgust for what they see as giving in to the culture of the PC.

Since yesterday, when I published a story on this subject, I received hundreds of comments through tweets, DM and emails from fanatics discussing the minutiae of what exactly caused them anger. Predictably, the mileage varies from questionable to absolute misogyny. "I'm sorry, but you can not put 20-year-old women in shape as you can for 20-year-old men," one wrote. "If that were the case, it would have been natural for women to go to war and for men to stay at home, look, you liberals have to corrupt everything and try to rewrite history to feel better." Others have ruled out completely theme as a "SJW" crusade. "You SJW only increase the number of players who despise them when they constantly push their stupid identity policy on everyone," wrote another. "We're not going to allow you to hijack our hobbies."

While a smaller number has a wider problem with unrealistic elements such as cricket bats and katanas, for most, these fantastic features are simply part of the fun, it's just the inclusion of women who "ruin" " the game. "In general for me it is immersion braking [sic] having too many women, and a bit insulting for the large amount of time that women spent to help their homeland in the Second Great War," one told me via email . "At the end of the day, I believe that women should be represented proportionally like men, but I am against doing it if that tarnishes the reputation of a franchise by ignoring reality for the sake of political correctness," wrote another. "I would not be against certain classes that historically have had fighters with warriors, for example, the Soviet sniper class, if they had a probability of breeding as a female, equal to the proportion of female snipers to male snipers in the Soviet Union, I would not oppose it. "

It's a strange argument, given that the Battlefield series has never been about total authenticity, as its developers have reminded fans this week. Twitter users have gathered GIFs from some of the most grandiloquent moments of the game, from soldiers ravaging a field with blowtorches on horseback to a player jumping on a plane in flight holding on to it. These are not interactive war recreations; they are fantasies of action in a historical context. Women have played a role in wars throughout history, however, they are rarely represented in any capacity, accurate or not. If a developer decides to explore that in his own way, with the creative license he sees fit, why should he destroy the game experience? Why is this game unlike the other 15 previous ones, "hijacking" the property of the right to revise a fantasy of specific action on World War II simply by expanding the breadth of women's roles?

The problem with many of the arguments in #NotMyBattlefield is that they do not recognize that any game in the series requires a suspension of disbelief: they are already suspending it around absurd, but entertaining fighting tactics, as well as game elements necessary for immersion, such as reappearances, on-screen displays and user names in the configuration multiplayer To protest suddenly the inclusion of women, regardless of their nationality or number, in defense of realism or accuracy overlooks the fun character before the events that has always driven the series. (It also raises the question of how players can enjoy a truly horrible experience.)

Ultimately, selective criticism of the game's creative license around gender and complaints that incorporating a different genre is fundamentally heartbreaking experience seems less about rigorous historical accuracy and about what fun matters, and whether the fun of some people should not matter at all. The anger around Battlefield V raises the question of who can participate in the fantasy; the answer says more about the person than the game itself.

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