One of the more current examples is EA’s Battlefield V . In a game that at first aimed to depict World War II faithfully , a conflict in which Nazi Germany played a considerable role, words like “Nazi,” “white man” or “Jew” are censored in the game chat, Nazi iconography was left out, and dozens of historical inaccuracies were added, all in an effort to avoid offending anyone. It should be obvious that including Nazi iconography in this game is not to promote Nazism, but to authentically display the soldiers’ uniforms and events as they unfolded during the war. However, those offended are often unable or unwilling to understand this, so it becomes a publisher’s responsibility to “put out fires before they happen.” In Battlefield V’s case, it meant twisting the story almost beyond recognition to fit the least offensive narrative. This also forced the publisher to defend its position against its core audience — the players — or face repercussions from the very same media outlets it sought to appease. The result: Game sales were so abysmal, they caused one of the biggest drops in stock price in EA’s history . But this trend is likely to continue, increasing its choke-hold on artistic freedom. Without it, games we play increasingly resemble cookie-cutter scenarios and tell unimaginative stories that do little more than tick socially acceptable checkmarks.
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