Battlefield 1’s Diversity Failure Ignores History The Women of World War I Too "Unrealistic" For Battlefield 1

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Rumors that the next Battlefield would take place in World War I swirled for months. When Battlefield 1 debuted in May 2016, blood-soaked trenches, daring air battles, and terrible music confirmed the new setting. While the internet collectively cheered, many were wondering about the implications of the first AAA first person shooter set during the Great War.

There have been World War I games in the past, everything from strategy games to arcade fliers staring everyone’s favorite Peanuts character, Snoopy. But Battlefield 1 would be the first big budget, mainstream World War I game of the modern era, and it was coming from a developer with a troubled history.

Battlefield 3 and 4 met with mixed reviews, largely due to online instability issues and terrible single player campaigns. Battlefield Hardline came out during a time of unrest in the United States over the police killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and countless other men and women of color. All of this resulted in – or at least, should have resulted in – Battlefield 1’s announcement being met with skepticism. Thanks to the unfavorable debut of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the reception of DICE’s online first person shooter saw gleeful declarations that it had won some kind of entertainment war.

battlefield1_03

Real Realism

Thanks to this, the questions about historical authentic or accuracy got lost in the shuffle. These questions were un-asked, ignored whenever they were. Nobody cared that all public footage for the game, and the open online beta, featured gameplay that was more or less a painted over World War II game. High octane battles with men wielding heavy machine guns and wiping out hundreds on horseback.

But there have been bright spots. The single player campaign will focus on several characters throughout the war, including an African-American soldier fighting in Europe and an Arab woman aiding the infamous Lawrence of Arabia. These aren’t the kind of soldiers many associate with The First World War, whether or not they associate anything with the war.

You wouldn’t know either of these characters were in the game if you only played the multiplayer though, a mode awash with the more “standard” idea of what soldiers in World War I looked like: white men.

There has been a greater push in recent years to get more representation in online shooters, particularly in Call of Duty and Battlefield. While both have complied with this demand in recent years, EA and DICE have regressed to the old boys club for the latest Battlefield installment. “Old boys club” here referring to the sterotyped angry, racist twelve year old kids online that may or may not represent the bulk of online players.

A Missed Opportunity

Thanks to former DICE developer Amandine Coget, we know female soldiers were going to appear in the online portion of Battlefield 1. After leaving DICE, she took to Twitter to vent her frustration about the removal of these characters from the online aspect of the game. She says the original design document said “screw realism, we’re adding female soldiers, because we’re way overdue.”

battlefield1_01

As Coget describes it, DICE executives called her into a meeting and told her that they were “going for realism after all,” that “Female chars matter,” yet “it’s just not the game we’re making.” As you would imagine, Coget explains she had to force the reason for the change out of the execs, who eventually told her what she already expected. “All that is believable but female soldiers are not, to the core audience of boys.”

The “all that” she’s referring to are the tanks that go impossibly fast compared to real tanks of the time, the abundance of handheld automatic weapons, the soldiers in full metal body armor resembling Medieval knights, and a host of other liberties rife for castigating. Corget herself, and likely many others, are wrong in one regard. The “screw realism, we’re adding female soldiers anyway” mentality need not exist. Female soldiers were as much a part of World War I as any modern conflict.

Were there as many female soldiers as men on the average battlefield? No, but there were more than just a handful of women serving as nurses. Women were fulfilling numerous roles throughout the war, from those front line nurses to spies, and even soldiers. Here’s a look at just a few of World War I’s women warriors.

Edith Cavell

(1865 – 1915)

edithcavell01One of the most well-known women of The Great War was Edith Cavell. A British nurse living in Brussels, Cavell was visiting a friend in England when the war broke out. She returned to her nursing school and clinic in Belgium, which Germany invaded in August 1914.

She used her clinic as a hospital for wounded Belgian, French and British soldiers. At this point of the war, the familiar trenches weren’t yet utilized. The war as mobile as the Second World War. Without this defensive advantage, the Belgian army was overrun in matter of months, taking heavy casualties and leaving most of Belgium occupied by Germany. Cavell hid the soldiers while they recovered, and helped them escape to the neutral Netherlands after they recovered.

After a year of aiding soldiers and partisans, the Germans discovered what Cavell was doing and arrested her. She was charged with aiding enemy forces escape to a neutral nation, and also spying for the Entente. The German’s claimed she was passing military intelligence on to the soldiers and other nurses, who then passed the information on once they got back to Britain and France.

She refused to defend herself in court. Diplomats from neutral Spain and the United States fought to have her released, yet these efforts were in vain. She was sentenced to execution – the standard penalty for any captured spies for both sides in the war. Her sentence was carried out via firing squad on October 12, 1915.

The story that Cavell was innocent of spying, and that she wanted to help her nation and allies persisted for a century. Now thanks to documents uncovered just last year (2015), we now know Cavell was operating as a spy. Thanks to the unearthed accounts of a Belgian mining engineer who first brought wounded soldiers to Cavell’s clinic, we know she had in fact established an extensive spying network. She relayed information about “German trench systems, the location of munitions dumps and the whereabouts of aircraft” to the Entente. She and her spies would write the information on strips of fabric, and sew it into the lining of clothing and shoes given to the recovered soldiers being sent to the Netherlands.

Marie Marvingt

(1875 – 1963)

mariemarvingt01

Like Edith Cavell, Marie Marvingt began her career as a nurse. From the outset of the war, she was determined to join the French army. Yet she cemented her legacy even before war broke out.

Originally a world class athlete in a multitude of sports, Marvingt tried to enter the Tour de France in 1908, but was refused entry. Refusing to give up, she successfully cycled the course after the race was complete, something only 36 of the competing 114 men accomplished. She began her aviation career piloting hot air balloons, but took a liking to piloting aircraft, and studying how they worked.

In 1910, she proposed an air ambulance service using fixed wing aircraft, and drew up designs for a flying ambulance. However, the company she hired to create the first such aircraft went bankrupt, and the plane never made it into production.

When the war broke out in 1914, she disguised herself as a man and joined the French 42nd Battalion of Foot Soldiers as a front line soldier. She was discovered after three weeks and forced to return home, but was accepted – sans disguise – in the Italian army in 1915, again as a front line soldier. She eventually moved to the Air Force, when she took part in a bombing run on the German city of Metz, becoming the first woman to participate in a flying combat mission.

Flora Sandes

(1876 – 1956)

florasandesFlora Sandes is officially the only British woman to serve as a soldier in World War I, but she didn’t do so in the British army. Like many women on this list, Sandes began the war as a nurse. In August 1914, she traveled to Serbia with 37 other nurses to aid the humanitarian crisis. The Austria-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia, and began indiscriminately killing civilians throughout the nation. She traveled to Kragujevac, which served as a base of operations for the Serbian army, and began work immediately.

After the Serbian army was overrun, Sandes got separated from the rest of the nurses. As odd as it sounds, she joined the Serbian army for her own survival. Food and water were in short supply, and soldiers were guaranteed rations. The Serbian army, meanwhile, was in such disarray they were in no position to turn anyone down.

Sandes fought in the army for years, but was gravely wounded in 1916 after engaging in hand-to-hand combat when a grenade exploded near her. She survived the explosion, received a promotion to Sergeant major and even earned the highest decoration from the Serbian army, the Order of the Karađorđe’s Star. She was so revered that a lieutenant crawled through enemy gunfire to drag her back to the Serbian lines.

However, her wounds were too severe to return to combat, so she instead wrote a book of her adventures over the previous two years, and donated the profits from its sales back to the Serbian army. She even ran a hospital for wounded soldiers.

By the end of the war, Sandes achieved the rank of Captain. She stayed in the army even after the war ended, and didn’t leave until 1922.

Turkish Women Soldiers

karafatmaThere are several Turkish women who fought in World War I. The Ottoman Empire allied themselves with Germany and the Austria-Hungarian Empire early in the war. Kara Fatma is considered a national hero today. She was a Second Lieutenant and formed her own squad of other female soldiers. Her husband died in the World War I, but she didn’t serve until the Greco-Turkish War in 1919.

There were Turkish women who fought in The Great War itself however. There aren’t many records of them in Western culture, so a lot of this information had to be translated from Turkish. According to Borderlines: Genders and Identities in War and Peace edited by Billie Melman, Tayyar Rahmiye led a group of Ottoman soldiers against a French garrison and died in battle. There were also reports dating back to 1916 of a female sniper at the Battle of Gallipoli, killing countless Entente soldiers. These reports are considered to be propaganda today, however.

The difference between 2nd Lieutenant Fatma and Tayyar Rahmiye and the unknown Arab woman in Battlefield 1 is that they did not aid the Entente. That’s not to say Muslims, even from the Ottoman Empire, did not join the Entente. Lawrence of Arabia constructed the Arab Uprising, which succeeded in convincing Muslim tribes throughout the Middle East to break away from the Ottomans, and fight for independence.

Maria Bochkareva and the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death

(1889 – 1920)

mariabochkarevaMaria Bochkareva joined the Russian army in 1914 under special permission from Tsar Nicolas II. Ridicule and sexual harassment followed her everywhere in the Russian military camps, until she proved herself in battle. The first time she saw action, her unit was almost wiped out in a bloody charge. She, and several others, retreated back to the lines, but went back into No Man’s Land and single-handedly dragged 50 wounded men back to Russian lines before getting shot in the leg.

After years of front line service, she petitioned the government in 1917 to form multiple shock battalions composed of women. These shock battalions were akin to Special Forces; they would advance into No Man’s Land and capture as many German trenches as possible, securing a path for the main Russian army come in and hold those positions.

She was granted permission, and led her own battalion, the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death. During the Kerensky Offensive in July 1917, the Russian army was order to go over the top and attack German trenches near the town of Smarhon. By this point in the war, Russian moral was at an all-time low, and it wouldn’t be long until Russia left the war.

But there at Smarhon, the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion went over the top alone. They captured three German trenches by the time the men summoned enough courage to join them. They found several cases of Vodka in the German trenches, which the men tried to drink before the women broke all the bottles.

There were several other all-female battalions, such as the 1st Petrograd, 2nd Moscow, and 3rd Kuban. Some of these battalions never saw combat, faced with sexual harassment and bitterness. These female battalions often pushed the men into combat, when at this point many men were close to mutiny.

Russia decommissioned all the Women Battalions after they surrendered to Germany. Bochkareva didn’t fight in the Russian Civil War, but still found herself caught in the middle. She was arrested by communist forces after being asked to ferry messages in the National backed White Army, but managed to get away. She then traveled to the United States, where she met President Woodrow Wilson and begged for support. The story goes that Wilson was so moved by her plea he was brought to tears and offered American support.

1strussian

It was difficult choosing the women who should be on this list. Everyone who fought in the war deserve some form of recognition, but it’s impossible. We could have looked at Dorothy Lawrence, Loretta Perfectus Walsh, or any of the women who stayed behind to staff the factories that produce weapons, ammunition, and food. There are too many, both women and men, whose names will be forever lost to time. Their bodies put into mass graves, their families not knowing what became of them, only to be eventually forgotten.

EA’s Equality Failure

Battlefield 1 could have brought these women into the spotlight, to at least acknowledge the sacrifices and the bravery of the women who fought alongside men on every front. Unfortunately, some marketer somewhere deemed women warriors “too unrealistic.” There’s a playable female soldier in the single player campaign, but it seems it’s only her. How many people play any Battlefield game for the single player anyway?

However good or bad Battlefield 1 may be, and early reviews are suggesting the single player is surprisingly poignant, it will forever remain a missed opportunity. As disliked as many of EA’s policies are, they do at least claim to stand for equality. How can they, in good conscious, continue to promote equality when they consistently leave out women and people of color in their games, and even remove them after the fact? The simple answer is: they can’t.


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Josh Griffiths

Staff Writer at New Normative
Josh still doesn’t know what to write for these things. Should these be written in first or third person? I could go second person if I were a decent writer. Instead, you’ll just read about his love of indie games, and cheese.

  • frank pik

    oh my god nobody gives a **** and you only end up pushing people away for trying to assimilate them into your castrated brand of progressivism.
    Instead of acting like an authoritarian mental eunuch, go find an idiot to front you a $100,000,000 to make your own stinking game rather than accuse someone else of some inane unwritten “thought crime” because the way they used THEIR money and THEIR artistic expression & freedom of speech broke through the safe-space bubble you live in and triggered you.
    Go open a book, find how many men died fighting in that war – or actually any war in general, and then go eat that page

    • Sean Timm

      That response isn’t necessary. The article was well written. Part of the purpose of art is to be critiqued. So, making an artistic choice to not include women in multiplayer is just as open to discussion and critique as anything else.

      • J.j. Barrington

        If the devs could just say “Because this is how we wanted it” and people let that be an answer, I’d agree. But gaming is an art where the consumer often thinks they know better than the creator what should be created.

        There used to be respect for the artist’s vision in gaming, like anything else. But that’s definitely not the case anymore.

        • I’ll recuse myself from this one since it’s just going to piss people off, hehe.

          • J.j. Barrington

            It’s a discussion you started. The article pisses people off. Why stop now?

  • kornick

    Blah blah blah stupid SJW idiots.

  • KHAOTIC

    Your article is on N4G and is getting blasted. Mostly because gamers are sick of SJW making a big deal when there’s not one. Yes a fraction of 1% of the soldiers in combat in WW1 were woman. And what you are stating is the should have been forced into the game so you SJW’s can feel like you made a difference. You should go find a worthy cause, this is gaming and most of us don’t care, because well it’s a video game and not history class. We want our games fun and not politically correct just for the sake of some stuck up vocal minority. If you think I’m alone in this, go to n4g and read the comments. There is over 100 comments that fall in line with mine.

    • Reefer Sutherland

      lol who gives a fuck about N4g? I’m on N4G myself and it’s a bunch of crybabies who think they represent all gamers when they are a vocal minority of toxic fanboys. If some women care about having female characters in a game let them… they’re also consumers. Maybe the writer is jumping the gun and they’re saving the female story characters for DLC who knows? Everyone has a right to an opinion including your anecdotal over 100 n4g commentators. I have a 100 people here who says chocolate tastes better than vanilla, they must be right.

    • Deevs

      I agree that characters shouldn’t be added willy nilly just to please some consumers. What’s interesting is that it “screw realism, we’re adding female soldiers, because we’re way overdue” is what DICE developer Corget said was in the original document design. I think what the author is saying is that adding women in the game for the sake of it is moot. There were notable female soldiers in WWI, like Maria Bochkareva and Flora Sandes, who were very much real.

  • Amith Thomas

    “We’re long overdue, we’re putting women in… screw realism” – I don’t even…

    See that’s the kind of nonsense that hopefully never takes over in games. Proponents push aside any reasoning as ‘excuses’ and ‘inequality’. They want to include things just because “we’re long overdue” and because “equality”, despite the fact that none of these have to do with the game world. How many women fought in WW1 ? Is it a comparable proportion at all ? This is like that nonsense about Witcher 3 that someone wrote about – “Witcher 3 should have had coloured people, because it’s 2015 and we should be doing these things” completely ignoring the setting of that world. It makes no sense. Forcing something into a game regardless of the game world, but based on Political Correctness of the current time period in the real world ? That makes no sense at all. :/

    Maybe DICE could have successfully included women in multiplayer, but I have my doubts. It’s a big thematic inconsistency. Women made up hardly 1% of forces that fought in that time period. When you watch war movies, one thing you generally don’t see is women soldiers on the frontline. Having WW2 weaponry in a WW1 game was a big enough consistency for lots of people to get annoyed. Having women running around in multiplayer will be an even bigger thematic inconsistency and will be noticed by a lot more people. Given the choice, I wouldn’t have it in a WW1 game, because I do indeed want the most realistic and immersive experience. And that, to me, is way more important than having character skins in a game where it doesn’t even make any difference or add anything meaningful at all. Given the choice, I’d probably have realistic WW1 weapons too, but it seems DICE would have to redesign the game around that and completely change the class based combat – ie core gameplay, which is actually a valid reason (it’s the most important part of the game)

    I think DICE should be applauded for the way they handled it. They had a female character in the story, which is perfect because it’s following specific characters, so they are not breaking immersion or sacrificing realism. Not to mention the fact that a female character actually adds something meaningful in a story focused campaign ! As opposed to multiplayer, where they are nothing more than character skins (yes, that’s basically what people are whining over – skins)
    They handled it perfectly. They used diversity as much as they could for the benefit of the campaign, while still not sacrificing realism and thematic consistency for nothing more than some extra visual character customization.

    “We’re long overdue” “Screw realism” – this stuff rubs me the wrong way.
    Hopefully the people who try to use that nonsensical logic don’t get their way. If your reason for including something is anything like “Well, it’s 2016” “we’re long overdue” or “Get with the times”, then you haven’t given a reason. You’re applying real-world political correctness regardless of the game’s setting or time period.

    • Tani Greene

      not “hardly 1%”. Looking at infantry (not front-line troops, but armed soldiers) women made up around 0.00083% of the forces.

  • J.j. Barrington

    Forcing insignificant changes is NOT progressive.

  • How about you don’t force devs to check off some checklists just for “diversity” sake? SJW logic streams on moronic.

  • To be honest I read article but only noticed what site this is. lol Wonder how many hear visit the mary sue site? Anyway my statement is valid. Tho i should have retrained from name calling.

    But devs should not check off things from a checklists just for diversity. As much as like making a bunch of spider mans or thors does Nothing for diversity. You want real progressive then build original content, and build audience around that. Overwatch is one. Rainbow six siege is another.

  • DarthDiggler

    Pissoff with your diversity agenda nonsense. I am so sick to death of libtards inserting their agenda into gaming.

  • It’s curious to me how many folks miss the point; but it’s understandable since headlines are easier to read than full articles.

    The point is that either EA and Dice go for accuracy and exclude mostly exclude women and minorities to reflect the overall makeup of the fighting forces, but then they should acknowledge that the entire multiplayer experience falls apart from a historical accuracy standpoint. On the flipside the argument of “it’s just a game, it’s meant to be fun!” is entirely fair, and I don’t disagree with it. However, if it’s just a game and not a historical combat sim, why is there no diversity in the multiplayer game? So, excluding women and minorities in the multiplayer game is to maintain historical accuracy, but the absurdity of the multiplayer combat is because it’s just a game? Riiiiight.

    • oceans1

      Who would want to be the Woman player in battlefield? They run slower than men, can’t shoot as well and can carry as much ammo as men so playing as a woman would be a disadvantage.

    • Not An Argument

      What are you talking about excluding minorities. Have you actually played the multiplayer? Or did you just miss the Indian medic, the Afro-British and Afro-German scout models, and the Turks? Half of the factions have minorities in it, with one being entirely made up of it. Austo-Hungary didn’t have any colonies in Africa, the Italians used…well Italians, and the United States didn’t actually use African-Americans, attaching them to the French who used hundreds of thousands of colonial troops, which I imagine will be part of their faction in the DLC.

  • Frdjck

    Killing women is wrong. Not including women as a playable character in a violent video game is good taste. Including women as a playable character in a violent video game is promoting violence against women. It’s legitimating women abuse as something normal. I applaud Dice and EA for doing something against women abuse. Thanks EA for not including women in Battlefield 1. Feminist are thanking you because including women in a violent video game is really sexist and feminist are against sexism.

    • *pssss. It’s not actual people in the game. They’re pretend*

    • Joe Michael Stonebraker

      It’s not immoral to kill pixels

    • Youdontneedmynameffs

      “Killing women is wrong”

      So killing men is okay?

    • It’s not actually killing people either.

  • It’s funny, I agree with your last statement wholeheartedly, except on the opposite side of the argument. The question of “why does it matter?” is the same thing I ask. “Why does it matter? Just do it.”

    • J.j. Barrington

      Just do it?

      It doesn’t impact gameplay at all. It’s not what they want to do, it doesn’t make any sense. It requires more coding- which means more potential for bugs. It requires more man-hours- which means more money spent.

      But just do it, Because about a dozen out of the 7 million or so people who want to buy your game want it?

      • Denngar

        It does impact gameplay in terms of identity. Much like the general population, the gaming population is split pretty even ( http://www.bigfishgames.com/blog/2015-global-video-game-stats-whos-playing-what-and-why/ ), and immersion is pretty important ( https://books.google.co.jp/books?hl=en&lr=&id=w6GRAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA87&ots=eevsBcGhxr&sig=5wQ0fqf6W3HBXqwso8xMuEQ0vbs&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false ). That’s why it matters, and beyond the support Josh provides, game popularity shows how important diversity matters.

        Look at Overwatch and it’s diversity, or Street Fighter, or any RPG that has monster races. I know more women who play those games than most of these “hard core” shooter types that are just a bunch of (mostly white) dudes shooting each other. Gender is such a small option that the lack of it stands out.

        Just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect a lot of people. It’s understandable, since as a guy, you statistically seem to think this is a non-issue ( http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/how-diverse-are-video-gamers-and-the-characters-they-play.html ). It’s not. In fact, a recent study on diversity’s importance in gaming ( http://www.themarysue.com/why-diversity-matters-gaming-study/ ) has comments on how, while it’s nice to have more evidence of the issue, almost doesn’t matter because we know it’s an issue already. The problem is getting people like you, who are holding progress back, to see all the reasons we need to move forward.

        People like options, but you seem to be threatened by that so you’re crusading for conservatism on a progressive site. Without any facts or figures to support your arguments, you may want to change your rhetorical approach or move on, since your arguments are far from convincing and make you seem trollish, not because you may intend that, but because you’re engaging in a war of opinions using the same common ammo as your rival, and it’s just not going to cut it.

        • J.j. Barrington

          “the gaming population is split pretty even”

          Let’s start here: WRONG. As has been pointed out multiple times since that study got any sort of publicity, a breakdown of who actually IS playing what (hint: women overwhelming play more mobile and browser/facebook games than console games or typical PC games) has always been lacking from that report. In other words, they’re lumping in casual gamers with those that aren’t so casual.

          “a recent study on diversity’s importance in gaming”

          Sorry, but anything from that site is taken with less than a grain of salt. That was determined when the writer of the piece on Tifa being objectified outed himself as a man who wrote the article solely for the controversy, and the site editors were okay with that(they didn’t know he was a man, though). Might as well be citing breitbart.

          “The problem is getting people like you, who are holding progress back, to see all the reasons we need to move forward.”

          Oh, okay. So calling out the stupidity of expecting everything to cater to you is holding back progress? Well, sure, why not?

          “you seem to be threatened by that so you’re crusading for conservatism on a progressive site.”

          Not even close. It’s the same as saying hip hop is sexist because there aren’t more female artists. Cuz even though it’s split down the middle in terms of gender and who consumes the music, there aren’t as many female artists, so it’s inherently sexist. Or racist, since not many white or Hispanic people produce music, though PLENTY listen.

          But that’s asinine. The music is for a certain audience. People outside that audience can enjoy it, and they do. And NOBODY is preventing them from doing that. But to try and make the artists or industry change because some people don’t think they’re represented well enough is the height of stupidity.

          “since your arguments are far from convincing and make you seem trollish,”

          Let me ask: who, exactly, is this article convincing? Who are YOU convincing? Who is that study convincing? The only ones being “convinced” are those that already believe, like yourself.

          For those of us that have been gaming for decades, been a part of gaming for decades- making/selling/buying- we may not have studies that tilt in our favor. We DO have real-world experience, though. When that article says women are half the buyers of games, I don’t dispute it; from years of experience, however, the vast majority of that purchasing is for others.

          You don’t have to believe anything I say. That’s fine. You can choose to believe that anybody who doesn’t see it your way is afraid of change or whatever nonsense you tell yourself. That’s up to you.

          But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna read something like this and, taken in context, see that there’s a reasonable point being made if there ISN’T. And here, there ISN’T.

          • Laura Smyth

            Calm down. Video games are video games, casual or not.

          • J.j. Barrington

            Thanks for the late reply. I was calm 7 months ago, and I’m calm now.

            As for your comment, that’s definitely superficially true. A more in-depth look tells us that not all games appeal to all people. And those habits affect the market differently. Those people have different values to the people controlling gaming.

        • Richard Gutie

          If EA thought they could have made more sales by adding female WW1 soldiers in multi player mode, they would have. But they didn’t, against your advice. So the question is, who knows more about EA’s market, you or EA.

          You who have no money riding on this and probably did no market research beyond what you wrote in your post. On the other hand, EA have a lot of money riding on this and probably have a very good idea of what their market wants. So no offense, but on this one I’ll probably go with EA’s opinion.

  • Denngar

    God YES, thanks for this Josh! Someone had to write this. If a girl can have jell-o boobs, why can’t she fight too? Hell, I’m sure their player base would welcome female models just to ogle.

    • J.j. Barrington

      She CAN fight, genius. Just not in World War 1, where should wouldn’t have been fighting…

      Do Battlefield’s female characters have boob physics? No? Then question, Denngar: why even bring that up? You’re equating something some devs do to something they all do, and then complaining about something a specific dev does as if it’s related… but it’s not.

      To make matters worse, your horrible excuse for a comment IGNORES that a great many female characters- including jello-boobed ones- actually ARE FIGHTERS, and are as any males in their game, and even gaming in general.

  • Sebastian Garcia

    Oh shut up, women were not fighting in the trenches in WW1 so why put them in the multiplayer fighting in the trenches? I’m sure if they had women in the game getting their head smashed by a club by a man you would be writing an article how it promotes violence to women.

  • njevans

    wait so we are likening a nurse who used her clinic for wounded soldiers to someone fighting in mud and trenches in the front lines? I have no doubt that Ms. Edith Cavell should be honored and remembered for the part she played, but let’s be a little honest here, she wasn’t shooting guns and fighting the bad guys. Which is exactly what this game is portraying. While I admit that they could have thrown the rule book out the window for at least the Multiplayer component since that is fictional, I can’t fault them for not including certain people because of the so called “Just because… ” movement.

  • Zoidberg

    We demand 100% realistic war experience including cruel raps and civil massacres.

  • Joe Michael Stonebraker

    I don’t wanna play game where I work in a field hospital.

    I want to fly around, drive tanks and do infantry stuff.

  • John Zych

    They should have a DLC where you sit around and type condolence letters

  • Bartłomiej Kordek

    List few women from WW and say that they shold put them in battlefield to be more realistic? Please, think more, write less.

  • oceans1

    Women had such a minor impact on the actual fighting that it’s stupid to change history just to make a bunch of whiney lefties happy. Even the profiles of the women that supposedly fought in WW1 in this article have very limited combat experience or none at all. Fast forward to today’s military and women can’t compete with men in the Special forces. They get cushy jobs in the lower ends of the military.

  • Matthew Messerly

    I read this article and I”m offended. Not at the everything must be inclusive nonsense but at how he casually dismisses the campaign at the end.

  • Richard Gutie

    The game could have improved the diversity angle by actually adding more realism. Instead of starting off in the trenches, you start off as a male blue collar worker. You receive a letter saying you’re forcibly conscripted, simply because you’re male and therefore disposable. You try everything to get out of it. You get medically tested like cattle. You’re abused during the training. Now you get shipped to the trenches. Then news comes of the next big attack. You know you’ll probably not survive.

    If only they had added those steps, this diversity discussion would have been a lot more interesting.

  • Denngar

    For those trying to argue about profits and EA knowing their audience (which is funny considering they’ve been voted worst company in America twice), here’s some numbers and mentions of how diversity is one of the biggest reasons Overwatch stands out as more than a Team Fortress 2 clone: http://www.polygon.com/2016/6/22/11978908/overwatch-diversity-team-fortress

    If profits are the only way you measure success, here’s some homework so you can practice using some facts. Use this site in about a week and compare BF1’s sales to Overwatch’s: http://www.vgchartz.com/

    Blizzard is rarely seen as a progressive game company, but was with this title. They also made a game that costs $40-$60 in a genre that’s saturated in free to play, and it’s their first shot. EA churns out “premium” shooters like McDonald’s makes burgers, so they should be good at this. BF1 should make more money than Overwatch because clearly EA knows what consumers want more than the consumers themselves, right? Well, let’s see if BF1 can compete.

  • Not An Argument
  • Not An Argument

    What are you talking about excluding minorities. Have you actually played the multiplayer? Or did you just miss the Indian medic, the Afro-British and Afro-German scout models, and the Turks? Half of the factions have minorities in it, with one being entirely made up of it. Austo-Hungary didn’t have any colonies in Africa, the Italians used…well Italians, and the United States didn’t actually use African-Americans, attaching them to the French who used hundreds of thousands of colonial troops, which I imagine will be part of their faction in the DLC.

  • Just because you can find a half-dozen exceptions to a rule, doesn’t change the rule. Stop injecting identity politics into video games. No one gives a shit.

  • TheWhiteHawk

    How difficult is it to get your article proof-read before publishing? Made my teeth itch. I gave up when I got to a plural with an apostrophe. -_-

    • Very unfortunately. Feel free to send corrections 🙂

  • roger

    You might want to look at statistics on world war 1, the Russians, the french, the German, the Austro Hungarian, the Italians, the Belgians, the British, the Ottomans, even the American expeditionary corp, were guys. Out of the more than 50 million “official” (no militias) soldiers in ww1, all of them were men. That was due to the parameter of the drafts, that the armies fought for hundreds of years around the Mediterranean basin and were established. A woman on the frontline in a ww1 game does not belong any more than a laser gun. Sure BF 1 is unrealistic in terms of how the action unfolds and experimental weapons seeming standard issue, but it’s thematic and creates the “atmosphere” of WW1. People who don’t understand game design or history might get offended but hey they’re not really the audience. Not even gonna comment on the minorities issues flagged in the article since the main campaign includes those stories and the harlem hellfighters are also present in multiplayer. Was disappointed they didn’t have a longer storyline but hey, i didn’t make the game. If you want to get offended, be offended about the lack of russians and french, they bled more during WW1 than everyone you complained about not being included.

  • Glowurm

    It’s reffered to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

  • Joshua Wallace

    Including women would diminish the sacrifice of the millions of men who gave their lives to protect their countries and women (who did not participate in combat, except for freak accounts)

    • Laura Smyth

      Women serving in the military are not freak account.

  • Jag765

    ok so “the abundance of handheld automatic weapons” is unrealistic even though those weapons existed and people used them? And soldiers in full metal armor is completely realistic because it is supposed to be protection so You’re wrong again. And being someone who plays battlefield 1 a lot the tanks do not move that fast and if they do move faster it is not by that much and that is not that unreasonable anyways but having women in combat in world war 1 is a huge difference and is extremely unrealistic and I know you can say, oh well there was a Russian unit with females in it! To counter this there are 3 things

    1. There was not even 10,000 women compared to the more than 20,000,000 men that fought in ww1
    2. We don’t even have the Russians yet in BF1
    3. They were disbanded anyways

    So don’t even mention that please. And a lot of people got battlefield 1 for the story because it is good.
    In conclusion you are an idiot so please shut up BF1 is a good game and not having women soldiers in a game based in WW1 makes it bad?! That’s retarded to even think about and I know that saying this is going to get me killed by feminazis but I don’t care I am standing up for things I care about because I don’t know if you are going for equality or trying to take over the world, equality I will stand for but this game is not about equality it is about history and trying to change history to fit your “equality” needs is not okay. Just stop and most of all don’t touch the media because saying games are sexist then nitpicking the crap out of it to find something to complain about is not equality like saying that “overwatch is sexist because they have fit girls” ignoring zarya the Russian girl that can lift 512 pounds with her bare arms and wields a weapon she ripped off a tank, or saying “battlefield 1 is sexist because they don’t have girls fighting in World War 1” ignoring the fact that having 1 women in a 64 person team in WW1 is extremely unrealistic.

    There is a difference between feminism and feminazis, please open your eyes