As we all know, there’s only one better way of honouring the fallen soldiers of World War 1 than observing a two minute silence. The best way is to load up Battlefield 1, a game about shooting soldiers in World War 1, and then not do that.
At 11am Canberra time yesterday, (nearly) everyone on a Battlefield server agreed to stop shooting each other. Footage of the unprecedented outbreak of peace can be found below.
News of the event came via this Reddit post. You’ll have to click through if you want to see, because the embed refuses to play off-site.
It’s pretty much what you’d expect: opposing soldiers standing next to each other, doing their weapon-changing animations as close to each other’s faces as possible. It’s not long, of course, before a plane swoops in and ruins everything with a barrage of machine gun fire, and someone stabs the player who’s recording in retaliation. At least they apologised.
This isn’t the first time video game combatants have thrown down their arms. The Verdun devs do a Christmas truce mode, which swaps out the guns for snowballs. It doesn’t share quite the same appeal as an ad hoc ceasefire like this, but you can play footie.
I once championed a Christmas day truce in Star Wars Battlefront (the old one), though it never occurred to us to stop fighting altogether. I just shouted at everyone until we all agreed we’d only use pistols for a bit.