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Can You Violate the Geneva Conventions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Watch Dogs, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

If you were horrified by the prisoner abuse at Abu Gharib in 2003, guess what? You might not be too different from the military personnel who carried out those deplorable acts. That’s because video games often normalize a whole slew of war crimes, and even incentivize us to break those laws. So here’s a weekly rundown of which games allow you to violate the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols.

The Animal Crossing series may seem like an idyllic utopia where nothing can go wrong, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. There’s no shortage of heinous crimes you can commit in New Horizons. For example, article 21 of the 3rd Geneva Convention states, “Prisoners of war may not be held in close confinement except where necessary to safeguard their health.” Thanks to fences, you are able to create such illegal cages, making you no better than the current United States government.

Once someone has died in war, you need to pay your respects. It’s not just a meme; it’s a law: “The gravesites of all such persons shall be respected,” declares article 34 of Additional Protocol 1. The creators of Watch Dogs take glee in breaking that rule by allowing players to vault over gravesites. It’s the kind of despicable act that’s unbecoming of a French studio like Ubisoft.

 

Sonic Adventure 2 features the classic chao garden, which lets you raise adorable little creatures. Or, you can choose to abuse them, so they grow up to be dark chao. But if you do that, you’re breaking article 50 of the 4th Geneva Convention, which mandates that you maintain “the care and education of children.” In the above example, Tails can be safely classified as a criminal.

High level Fortnite players may be proud of their “sick skills” when it comes to sniping down unsuspecting gliders. But a “200 IQ play” isn’t remotely smart in the context of war. Article 42 of Additional Protocol I is very clear about this: “No person parachuting from an aircraft in distress shall be made the object of attack during his descent.” Epic fail, bro.

If you need us to explain what the problem is here, you are beyond help.

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