The Red Cross wants gamers to stop committing virtual war crimes

The Red Cross wants gamers to stop committing virtual war crimes

The International Committee Of The Red Cross has announced a “Play By The Rules” initiative, which will task fans of first-person shooter (FPS) games with respecting real-world rules of war while they play.

Play By The Rules will aim to raise awareness of the rules of war, laws that aim to “maintian humanity in armed conflicts” by regulating what participants can and cannot do in warfare.

As part of the initiative, the Red Cross has issued a number of guidelines for players looking to follow these rules while playing FPS games.


As detailed on this website, law-abiding players will need to avoid shooting at enemies who are down and can’t respond, stop targeting “non-violent NPCs” and civilian buildings, and share their med kits with allies and enemies alike.

Escape From Tarkov. Credit: Battlestate Games.

A number of participating shooters have been confirmed for Play By The Rules, including Fortnite and military simulator Arma 3. The latter has a history of promoting the Red Cross — back in 2017, Arma 3 raised money for the organisation with its Laws Of War downloadable content (DLC), which told its story through the eyes of a humanitarian faction.

“We’re working to create a shift in the way players want to experience first-person shooter games,” shared Christian Rouffaer, the head of project for Arma 3 at the ICRC. “We want them to learn something about the importance and real-life meaning of the Geneva Conventions without spoiling the fun of the game.”

In addition to the participating games, content creators recently streamed the likes of Escape From Tarkov, Call Of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, PUBG and Rainbow Six Siege; all while following the rules of war. You can catch up on the streams here.

Earlier in the year, the developer of Among Us revealed it accidentally broke the UK’s Geneva Conventions Act while the multiplayer game was at the height of its popularity.

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