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Can You Violate the Geneva Conventions in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Hitman, and Blaseball?


blaseball, call of duty, can you violate, Geneva Conventions, hitman, samurai jack, spider-man

A new era is upon us. This year, a new generation of consoles will come into our homes, bringing us more realistic gaming experiences than we’ve ever seen. That’s why it’s paramount that we hold games accountable when they allow players to violate things like the Geneva Conventions, which are an important moral barrier both in war and digital entertainment. Let me show you what I mean with our latest breakdown of war crimes happening in today’s video games.

For the sake of argument, let’s put aside all of Ronald Reagan’s real life war crimes for a moment. Let’s pretend the digital version of him that appears in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is an entirely fictitious version of the infamous criminal who didn’t have any hand in the Iran-Contra affair. Okay fine. Then let me point you to the game’s first trailer where someone tells Reagan that the military operation he’s proposing is, QUOTE, “highly irregular, probably illegal.” The blurb writes itself, folks.

The very core of the Hitman series is based in illegality. The unnecessary suffering, the use of mercenaries… it’s all textbook. But I’d specifically like to draw your attention to the “Fake Surrender” button, which allows you to pretend to give yourself up to the police before knocking them out with a sucker punch. Well, more bad news for Agent 47. That’s a clear violation of perfidy, which prohibits “the feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender.” Though admittedly, this is probably less of an issue than putting your enemies into a woodchipper.

Speaking of mercenaries, we’ve previously shamed Spider-Man himself, calling him out as a mercenary–ruling that was controversial amongst our faithful readers. But something that you can’t deny: the scientists in Marvels’ Spider-Man have never even HEARD of the Geneva Conventions. That’s just a fact.

To Samurai Jack’s credit, he fights with honor in his latest adventure, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time. The same can’t be said for his rival Aku, who teleports Jack into a future where he rules. There’s a lot to unpack here due to article 49 of 4th Geneva Convention, which prohibits “individual forcible transfers.” Let’s call Aku’s actions what they are: temporal deportation. 

The commissioner is doing a great job… at allowing rogue umpires to violate the Protocol on Incendiary Weapons.