The Red Cross Takes Shots At Game Developers

The Red Cross is up-in-arms over the use of its emblem in video games. A complaint was posted on the site,, in which Canadian Red Cross official, David Pratt, expressed his concerns over the misuse and reproduction of the readily recognized symbol, without authorization. In his letter, he says: On behalf of the Canadian Red Cross, I wanted to bring to your attention a practice which appears to be rather widespread in the video game industry. The practice I am referring to is the unauthorized and indeed illegal use of the Red Cross emblem by the industry. A number of examples have been brought to my attention which display the Red Cross emblem to depict “First Aid” “Health” or “Injury Recovery” within the content of these games. The emblem has also been used in video games depicting Red Cross facilities and vehicles in combat situations presumably to give the games more verisimilitude. Pratt continued to discuss the problem of the Red Cross being depicted in scenes of violence, “The fact that the Red Cross is also used in [games] which contain strong language and violence is also of concern to us in that they directly conflict with the basic humanitarian principles espoused by the Red Cross movement. The British Red Cross agreed with the Canadian stance and offered a solution to the problem by saying to GameIndustry, “We would be willing to work with a videogame manufacturer to produce a game which shows the emblem in its correct use, as a symbol of protection during armed conflict, and where the player is rewarded for using the emblem correctly. Such a game could reward the player for respecting the rules of war and thereby, help the Red Cross Movement with its work to promote such respect. While the British Red Cross ideas of rewarding the player for respecting the rules of war are laudable, it won™t happen. The plethora of WW2 shooters is based on action and thus, killing the enemy. One thing that the Red Cross may have missed is the fact that in all the games in which they are depicted, they are seen as the good guys. Injured troops and soldiers come to the Red Cross to take up healing and recovery. Is this not what the Red Cross is supposed to do? As to their protest of being in games of violence and strong language, anyone would be hard pressed to point out any war in which these two things did not occur.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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