Every patch in EVE Online brings small and large changes. Often, of course, to improve the game experience itself. In patch 119.3, however, there was now a small change that makes EVE Online now even compliant with the Geneva Convention…
Sometimes you can only shake your head when you see how interest groups try to enforce their sometimes very own ideas of justice. A few weeks ago, computer game developer “Introversion” received a letter from the British Red Cross asking them to remove the red crosses from their game “Prison Architect”.
Introversion is a smaller studio that has made a name for itself especially with indie game gems. Anyone who has played Uplink, Darwinia or DEFCON knows that the developers place great value on always giving their games an educational character along the way.
So now the British Red Cross Association (representing the International Red Cross/Crescent) asked the developers to remove the red cross symbol from the game. “The reason for this request is that the red cross as a symbol is an internationally recognized symbol of protection and assistance in armed conflicts.”
This is the official reasoning of the letter, which asks the developers to remove the red crosses from the computer game.
One may now object that “armed conflicts” and virtual worlds in computer games are two different shoes after all. But the Red Cross does not accept this: “If the Red Cross or similar symbols are used for situations that have no purpose, no matter how charitable or noble they may be, the actual meaning of the symbol is misunderstood. The Red Cross and similar symbols are NOT a general sign for ambulance, health care, first aid, nursing, medical aid or similar fields. Further, this symbol should not be used to appear in advertising campaigns or products sold to third parties.”
De facto, the misuse of the Red Cross/Crescent/Lion/Diamand in and outside of combat operations, for example for camouflage, is a war crime!
Now the Red Cross can not just come along and sue game manufacturers who use the symbol. The Geneva Convention is just a guideline to follow. The IRC is busy making sure that these rules are followed.
Now it has also hit EVE Online!
The “Pudels Kern” lies, as always, in the details. Just like Introversion, the EVE servers are located in London/England. Also the CCP Office including CEO are there “emigrated” and are thus subject to English law from now on. And that prescribes since 1978 that the rules of the Geneva Convention also apply on a national level. Thus, EVE Online is in fact breaking English law when the Damage Control module has a red cross on it. BADUMM TSSSSS
So that EVE players are no longer war criminals in the future, the symbol of the Damage Control module undergoes a rework and is from now on provided with a green cross.
Learned something again…