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Red Cross urges gamers to ‘play by the rules of war’

By Shannon Carranco, writer

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — The International Committee of the Red Cross is urging gamers to “play by the rules of war,” in hopes of raising awareness about the devastating effects of real-life armed conflicts.

Also known as international humanitarian law, the rules of war are a set of guidelines “set up to maintain humanity in armed conflicts, ultimately reducing suffering and saving lives.”

According to the Red Cross, first person shooter games (FPS) are the most popular video games in the world.

“Every day, people play games set in conflict zones right from their couch,” the website says. “But right now, armed conflicts are more prevalent than ever. And to the people suffering from their effects, this conflict is not a game.”

The website’s tagline states: “how you play FPS makes a difference on the battlefields IRL (in real life),” although the site does not provide any data or information to back up this claim.

Red Cross lists four rules its adapted from the international humanitarian law that it encourages gamers to play by:

No thirsting: gamers should avoid shooting an enemy when they are “down and can’t respond.” No targeting non-violent NPCs (non-player character): gamers should not fire at civilians. No targeting civilian buildings: gamers should not target houses, schools or hospitals in safe-zones. “When fighting in these spaces, you must do everything you can to avoid damage.” Use med kits on everyone: gamers should use med kits on everyone, even if they are considered “the enemy.”

Earlier this month the Red Cross invited five streamers to play Fortnite and Call of Duty, among other FPS games, “by the rules” and streamed it on Twitch.

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