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Edge: War Porn: Part One

Edge: How are the compromises in military shooters affecting our perception of war?

The glamorisation of battle is hardly a new enterprise. Crude charcoal daubs on cave walls suggest that early man was just as enthralled by violence as he is today. The Iliad, an epic poem whose origins pre-date literacy, is an action spectacle. It bemoans suffering and needless bloodshed while revelling in it, describing with palpable awe the exchange of blows between heroes. A mere 3,200 years later, and Gearbox Software’s garrulous president, Randy Pitchford, is demonstrating the latest Band Of Brothers game. Military advisor Colonel John Antel (retired) stands at the other end of the room, barking at cowed journalists about the game’s authenticity, its veneration of the sacrifice made by Our Boys during World War II. Pitchford interrupts, yelping with delight: “Oh my god! Did you see that guy’s head explode?” A decapitated Nazi cartwheels in slow motion across the screen next to him.

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