The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War (later known as World War I), one of the greatest, bloodiest, and perhaps most pointless conflicts in human history. But this year also marks one of history’s most poignant moments: The Christmas Truce of 1914. Soldiers on both sides laid down their arms and celebrated Christmas together.
To think that both sides were forced to go back to killing one another by the end of the day, it genuinely makes me weep.
This is a powerful moment that has been written about and portrayed in film. It is now going to be recreated live by schools, clubs, re-enactors, and actual soldiers for its anniversary. It is even being recreated in video games.
WWI games are few and far between, given the setting’s general incompatibility with traditional gaming conventions, but designers have been finding ways around that by exploring genres apart from the first person shooter. This year, Ubisoft published Valient Hearts, a side-scrolling adventure game telling the stories of multiple, playable characters.
This game does not feature the Christmas Truce, which is a terrible shame, but it has not stopped me from feeling… many emotions, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
I don’t have much more to say at this time. But I hope, for anyone who reads this, that you are encouraged to look into one of the most important events of the 20th Century that is still creating ripples in our world today. Many, if not all events on the world stage can be traced back to this war. But let’s scale back to something seemingly smaller (yet no less impactful): from the trenches of this war, JRR Tolkien would bring to life stories that would one day become part of his future Middle-earth (such as the Fall of Gondolin).
Above all, Merry Christmas.