Battlefield V sparks controversy for the wrong reasons
The latest Battlefield game, Battlefield V, was revealed on May 24, and it sparked outrage among some fans. The main reason? It depicts women in combat and a woman is featured in the game’s box art.
These fans claim the series is committing a serious case of ‘historical inaccuracy’ and dropping the ‘realism’ behind to favor what they claim to be ‘forced representation’ and even ‘revisionism’, while others going as far as jokingly renaming the game to ‘Genderfield’.
Battlefield V is the latest game in the Battlefield franchise. A franchise that has tries to give players the sensation to be in a real war. Previous games explored battlefields in World War I and II, the Vietnam War, and even wars that might happen someday.
However, the online discussion that ensued proved this vocal minority wrong. There were and are many women side by side or leading men to the real-life battlefields.
As an article by gaming website Polygon reminds these vocal minority of gamers that World War II featured many notable women and women-only squadrons. One was the air force unit known as the “Night Witches”.
There were also women secret agents like New-Zealand’s Nancy Wake, who famously said, “I don’t see why we women should just wave our men a proud goodbye and then knit them balaclavas.”
Also, Soviet Lyudmila Pavlichenko is hailed as the most successful female sniper in history, as well as one of the top military snipers of all time with a credited 309 kills.
Polish Wanda Gertz began her military career during World War I and later commanded an all-female battalion in World War II.
As Polygon’s Megan Farokhmanesh puts it, “That a single British woman in the game’s reveal trailer has Battlefield players so riled up is willful ignorance that such a role could have ever existed in history.”
But war games aren’t really meant to be realistic in the first place. If they were, they would be quite boring.
“Full blown-out combat is not a common thing,” says Marine Lance Corporal Nicko Requesto to IGN. “No enemy is going to stand out in the open for you to easily shoot, but most of the time enemies in these games like to stand in front of my weapon. Soldiers learn to cover each other and work as a team covering all line of fire while maintaining a dominant position and then maneuvering to pin the enemy with fire.”
Regardless of what some fans might argue, women representation in Battlefield games won’t be demoted anytime soon.
“Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay,” Oskar Gabrielson, general manager at developer EA DICE, said to Polygon. “We want Battlefield V to represent all those who were a part of the greatest drama in human history. and give players choice to choose and customize the characters they play with. Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!”