Why Red Crosses Aren’t Allowed In Video Games


Hey everyone, I’m Melvin from Censored Gaming! The International Committee of the Red Cross
has, in recent years, become quite protective of their logo’s use in various media, in this
case video games. One of the latest products to be targeted
is the game “Prison Architect”, from UK indie developer Introversion Software. The reasoning behind this is for the game’s
use of the Red Cross symbol on ambulances and medic bags. Misuse of the Red Cross is technically a violation
of the Geneva Conventions, a set of treaties that is actually embedded into British law. An e-mail sent to the developer reads “If
the red cross emblem or similar signs are used for other purposes, no matter how beneficial
or inconsequential they may seem, the special significance of the emblem will be diminished”. The developers have responded by changing
the in-game symbols to a green cross. Producer Mark Morris and Designer Chris Delay
have gone into detail surrounding the issue and their thoughts on it in a video on their
YouTube channel. They are naturally quite upset with the decision,
noting that several other games have gotten away with their use of the symbol. They do mention however that the e-mail they
received was more soft-spoken than you would imagine for a situation like this. This lines up with a previous statement made
by the Canadian Red Cross, in which they state that “As a humanitarian organization, our
preferred choice is to educate people about the emblem and seek their cooperation. That includes the makers of video games whose
products touch the lives of millions.” This isn’t the first time a video game has
been targeted by the organization. For example, in 2014, the fighting game Skullgirls
was targeted for using red crosses on one of its characters, Valentine. That issue was resolved in a similar manner
with a color swap from red to magenta. In fact, the removal of red crosses dates
way back to the early 90s. The SNES’ Earthbound, for example, had multiple
uses of this symbol taken out when localized for the West. It was speculated that these changes may have
been the result of Nintendo’s censorship policy during this time, which saw anything that
could be perceived to be a religious reference, such as most forms of crosses, removed outside
of Japan However, as time has now shown, it seems that
these changes may have simply been the result of legal issues, rather than censorship ones. That’s all for now but until next time, this
has been Melvin from Censored Gaming.