Even wars have rules. ICRC promoted Russian-made shooter during its campaign for gamers

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has run Play by the Rules campaign that urged gamers from all over the world to play first-person shooters (FPS) by the Rules of War to show everyone that “even wars have rules.” To advertise the campaign, ICRC invited game bloggers to stream on Twitch, showing what rules should be followed on the war and how. As one of the FPS, the Committee has chosen Escape from Tarkov, a game, developed the Russian studio Battlestate Games.

AIN.Capital tells more about what is the Play by the Rules campaign by ICRC about, and why choosing a Russian-made game to promote it was a bad decision.

What is Play by the Rules campaign about

Among all possible ways of protecting people on battlefields and war area in real life, the International Committee of the Red Cross has decided to launch a campaign that addresses violence against POWs, civilians, and infrastructure in none other than video games.

“Every day, people play games set in conflict zones right from their couch. But right now, armed conflicts are more prevalent than ever. And to the people suffering from their effects, this conflict is not a game. It destroys lives and leaves communities devastated. Therefore, we’re challenging you to play FPS by the real Rules of War, to show everyone that even wars have rules — rules which protect humanity on battlefields IRL,”

the campaign website explains.

According to the ICRC, there are four rules of war, which gamers were urges of following:

  • No thirsting, which is supposed to protect prisoners of war.
  • No targeting non-violent NPCs, which corresponds to civilians protection.
  • No targeting civilian buildings.
  • Use med kits on everyone, which is meant to bring attention to helping wounded.
Red Cross
Image: ICRC

As a part of the campaign, ICRC invited FPS Twitch streamers to show what does it mean to play by those four rules of the war on the example of such title as PubG Battlegrounds, Rainbow 6 Siege, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Escape from Tarkov. The last one is the Russian-made game, which mocks the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


What is wrong with Escape from Tarkov

Previously, AIN.Capital published an article talking about the game and explaining what is wrong about it. Here’s a short reminder:

  • The events of Escape from Tarkov unfold in the universe “Russia 2028”, where the EU and Russia are in conflict. The developers of the game are the Battlestate Games studio that claims to be located in London, UK, but at the same time is headquartered in Russia. The game is completely Russian-made, with the developers actively consulting with the Russian military.
  • In December 2022, these developers were actively making fun of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, by showing the middle finger to the stylized soldier of the AFU to advertise the newcoming DLC.

Why is it important

Instead of dealing with real world issues, the International Committee of the Red Cross would rather start a crusade against violence in video games. ICRC seems to be only interested in sharing Russian propaganda, while for the most part ignoring real war crimes committed by the Russian occupiers against Ukrainian civilians. No wonder such actions are causing an uproar among many Ukrainians.