Logo for the game
|Designer(s)||Tony Maniaty, Robert Connolly, and Morgan Jaffit|
Warco is a first-person video game created by Australian game studio Defiant Development. The game is made to train journalists to work in war environments. In the game, players control a journalist filming and travelling through war zones.
Australian journalist Tony Maniaty first conceived the idea for the game while watching his two sons playing the first-person shooter game Far Cry 2. Maniaty had previously done reporting in post-Soviet states and covered the murders of the Balibo Five in East Timor. He envisioned creating a video game that would train journalists to work in war-torn regions. Maniaty brought his idea to Robert Connolly, a film-maker who had directed Balibo, a 2009 movie that tells the story of the five Australian journalists who were killed in the small town of Balibo in East Timor. With funding from Screen Australia and Screen New South Wales in the amount of A$250,000, Maniaty and Connolly worked with game designer Morgan Jaffit of Defiant Development, a Brisbane-based studio, to create a prototype of Warco.
Allan Little, a foreign correspondent for BBC, was troubled by the idea of blurring the gap between video games and actual war zones: "I think anything that encourages the view that you can understand real-life shooting wars better by playing a game has to be treated with caution." Creator Tony Maniaty noted that video games are used in other professions to train workers, and contested, "I would never say this game should replace proper hostile environment training but if we can save the lives of a few journalists it'll be worth it." From 1992 to 2011, nearly 900 media industry workers have been killed in the line of duty according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- Hughes, Stuart (2011-10-04). "Video game to aid war journalists". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Webster, Andrew (2011-09-21). "Warco: an FPS where you hold a camera instead of a gun". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Ross, Monique (2011-09-27). "Video game gives taste of war coverage". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-10-11.