The moderators of the Battlefield subreddit have closed all discussion of accuracy in the games’ depiction of history, citing exhaustion and evidence of brigading.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and in a place without Wi-Fi), you won’t have missed the complaints from certain corners of the gaming community that Battlefield V is historically inaccurate – complaints that substantially focus on the game featuring a female soldier with a prosthetic arm. It seems the sheer volume of discussion this has generated has finally overwhelmed the Battlefield moderators, but much of that volume has come from agenda-driven brigading.
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The post about the new policy is titled “We’re done, it’s over. New rule: No more bitching about historical accuracy… Violations will have consequences.” Here’s what moderator u/sloth_on_meth had to say:
“Reddit admins have confirmed brigading and the modteams of the subs in question are fully cooperating to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Hate us all you want but we’re done with this bullshit.
“This issue has been discussed in a million fucking threads but we’ve never been brigaded more than we have in the past months. Admins can only keep up with so much. We’re done wasting our time on this, every point has been made, no you’re not sexists or whatever, but this shit is just repetitive now.”
Sloth_on_meth – and I can’t mention the username twice without commenting on how brilliant it is – continued in an update: “We get that y’all have valid criticism about Battlefield V and the customisation options within the game. Sadly, this subreddit has proven to be unable to have a civil discussion about these things without devolving into name calling and slapfights.” Following accusations to the contrary, they updated again to say – loudly – that: “WE ARE NOT PAID BY, CONTROLLED BY, OR AFFILIATED TO, EA OR DICE.”
The decision has beendivisive,to put it mildly. A casual scroll through the thread shows a great many replies protesting about ‘censorship’, or similar: “telling an entire subredditwith 120k+ users that nobody is permitted to discuss a topic is wrong.” The two top-voted replies both ask how the mods will explain their decision to their daughters – a reference to EA exec Patrick Söderlund’s robust retort to the community backlash.
Some of the more moderate replies acknowledge the need to curb the recent toxicity but say “this is gonna come off as extremely heavy-handed.” Anotherupvoted replysuggests this is an act of contempt by the mods against those who care about history, and assumes the latter are all “uneducated bigots.”
Brigading occurs when a group of users, often outsiders to a targeted community, invade said community to push an agenda there. It’s a problem because the brigade is often content simply to manipulate discussion through downvoting, and if they ever actually contribute, will seldom do so in good faith.
Personal opinion: setting aside gender politics for a second, I like historical accuracy too – though I don’t mind if videogames take some liberties especially if, like Battlefield, their principal selling point is entertainment value. Regardless,at least somewomendefinitelyfought inWorld War Two. That’s a matter of fact, not opinion. No one is saying they were in the majority, but the fact that their stories were so exceptional, and have been so under-explored, is what makes them interesting.