Battlefield V looks like a fun Battlefield game set in World War II—the historical era that defined the franchise. But after publisher Electronic Arts announced the game, fans took to the internet to complain about it, as video game fans often do. The problem has gotten so bad that the mods of /r/battlefield have added a rule to prevent people complaining about historical accuracy in the game and relegated discussions of the topic to its own thread.
The mods seem serious. “We're done, its over,” they said in the post announcing the change. “New rule: No more bitching about historical accuracy, it's a game, not a history book. Violations will have consequences.” Then people started complaining that the mods were paid shills of EA. As of this writing there’s still plenty of threads complaining about historical accuracy in the main Reddit, though many holdovers from days ago.
Some Battlefield fans have valid concerns about mechanics in the upcoming game, but a majority of salty gamers on the subreddit wanted to complain about one thing: women.
Developer DICE had the temerity to add women avatars to its popular franchise and make a woman the face of its marketing campaign of Battlefield V. Some fans aren’t having it. “Do you think a mod to disable woman voice lines is possible?” One Redditor asked. “The constant woman screaming is 100% immersion destroyer, I will not buy the game without a way to stop it.”
The most popular complaint is that the having woman fight in World War II isn’t historically accurate. "Do they even care about getting their story right?” One redditor wrote. “Am I supposed to ‘believe’ women fought in every army during WWII and that it ‘fits with the era?’ Because I’m not believing it.”
Over the past week, the subreddit has become a warzone between people debating the historical role of women in World War II, complaining that one of the women in the trailer for the game is disabled, and accusing EA of foisting women on players because they knew it would stir up controversy and press. Others rushed to the defense of EA and women in combat. Still others pointed out that it was, you know, a video game and isn’t meant to be historically accurate.
EA has been clear about its policy towards the toxic section of its fanbase. “You have two choices: either accept it or don't buy the game,” EA chief creative officer Patrick Soderlund told Gamasutra. In the interview, Soderlund told a story about his 13 year old daughter asking why her father’s game was getting attacked online, a tidbit that prompted an /r/battlefield shitposter to point out that Battlefield V is only for those 18 and up.
I like Battlefield and I’ve never played them for historical accuracy. The idea that adding women to the game somehow lowers its value or makes it unplayable is ridiculous on its face. As a company, EA has done a lot of dumb things but they seem to be handling this well. So are the mods of /r/battlefield. The drama may continue, and the memes may be awful, but at least the community and the company are standing up to the toxic manbaby subsection of its community.
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