Battlefield 1’s tiny handgun is here to humiliate you

Picture this: you’re in the Battlefield 1 open beta. Chaos is happening all around you. Buildings are falling, gunshots are whizzing past your ear, narrowly missing. The fear of an airstrike or mustard gas bombing always looms in the background. As the action crescendos, an enemy jumps out of a bush, and kills you with a gun no bigger than a credit card. A fucking Kolibri. The 2mm Kolibri is a very real, very tiny handgun—first manufactured in 1910, it remains the world’s smallest centerfire cartridge. The name Kolibri literally means hummingbird, although I would argue here that the gun’s…


My experience as a virtual war photographer in Battlefield 1

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by writer and artist Gareth Damian Martin. /// What makes a battlefield different from any other place? Our towns, cities, fields, and parks are all potential battlefields, with lines of sight, choke-points, defensible terrain and no man’s land, all waiting to be activated. But how do you design a battlefield, balance the distribution of buildings, the flow of landscape, the arrangement of forms? It started as an investigation. I would trawl the lone map of Battlefield 1‘s open beta to try to catalog the space custom made for its warfare. Stripping the game of its HUD…

Battlefield 1

Listen, Battlefield 1 owes nothing to history

The title might say it all: Battlefield 1’s choice of numeral suggests a process of looking backward, of turning to the past to find a way forward. In its appearance at the EA Play event yesterday, Battlefield 1 demonstrated this in what was a comprehensive display of force: British Mark IV tanks churned through French mud like supercharged rally cars, soldiers bayoneted their foes after Olympian sprints across the battlefield, and zeppelin after zeppelin tumbled to the ground in a simulacra of the Hindenburg’s fiery descent. Yet the commentary was not the panicked voice of Herbert Morrison, his cry of “Oh the…