Online WWI video game offers Christmas day truce
100 years ago today as World War I celebrated its first Christmas, the two opposing sides stopped the bloodshed and took a brief respite from the death in order to honor the holiday. From the trenches, the two armies sang holiday songs and – according to some stories – even left the trenches to shake hands, exchange a few presents, and possibly even play a quick game of soccer.
The event has been embellished over the years and things like the soccer game – if it happened at all – were more likely one person kicking a ball to someone and them kicking it back rather than an actual game, but it stands as a defining moment in history. Surrounded by the death and horror of the war, the beaten and bloody soldiers rose from their frozen trenches and retook their humanity, if only for a brief moment.
And now you can relive that thanks to the game Verdun.
Verdun is an online shooter that recreates one of the bloodiest battles from one of the bloodiest wars in history. It recreates trench warfare and combines it with a traditional first-person shooter style, pitting teams against each other in a familiar fashion.
Although the battle that the game was based on took place between February and December 1916 and cost the lives of 700,000 people, today it honors the unofficial Christmas truce that occurred in 1914. Today, located throughout Verdun are areas that are non-competitive. You can still access the primary game and fight opponents as usual, but to celebrate the truce you can play soccer, throw snowballs, exchange Christmas greetings, and sing carols.
To keep things interesting in the non-PvP areas, developers M2H and Blackmill are offering events, including prizes for the best video of the day and best screenshot. Check out the video below for a look at the game’s truce in action, and Happy Holidays to everyone!