DICE is returning to World War II with Battlefield V, and it’s doing so with the help of feeemales. Following the game’s reveal trailer and confirmation that it will include women, some fragile fans have confirmed they’ve never read a book by protesting what they see as “historical inaccuracy.” Please, keep your women out of my war games!
Online, this infantile cry has rallied around its own hashtag — #NotMyBattlefield — and it is full of users shrieking about political correctness. “Hey...good job making a shitty unrealistic SJW ‘WWII’ game!” wrote one on Twitter. “Seen the downvotes on your YouTube trailer video? You have til October to fix this shit and give us a realistic gritty WWII experience.” “Very disappointed with the new Battlefield trailer,” wrote another. “Blatant disregard for historical events and mindless political correctness. Sad to see a much loved franchise fall apart.” On YouTube and the game’s subreddit, the comments aren’t much better. “Genderfield V,” complains one, while another whines about “gender fluid mouth breathers in Sweden [shitting] out a revisionist history SJW game shitting on everything people like my grandpa fought for.”
It’s laughable to think that any modern video game based on a war is “historically accurate,” but even in this case, Battlefield isn’t off the mark. Women did fight in World War II, from the air force units known as the “Night Witches,” to secret agents like Nancy Wake. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is hailed as the most successful female sniper in history, as well as one of the top military snipers of all time with a credited 309 kills. Wanda Gertz began her military career during World War I and later commanded an all-female battalion in World War II. Young women enlisted in combat roles across the world. That a single British woman in the game’s reveal trailer has Battlefield players so riled up is willful ignorance that such a role could have ever existed in history.
This ugly, familiar line of thinking reared its head before when DICE dared to put a black man on the cover of Battlefield 1. #NotMyBattlefield is more of the same, a chance for these angry contingents to push against what they view as a bastardization of the series. But as the hashtag itself says, it’s not theirs. Battlefield V is yet another example of a game, a movie, a TV show, a cultural touchpoint that young, angry white men want to claim as their own. Fans have no ownership over the things they love. Battlefield players don’t get to decide what belongs or doesn’t belong in Battlefield V. As executive producer Aleksander Grøndal said on Twitter, “We will always put fun over authentic.”