5. Civilization – Indiscriminate use of tactical nuclear weapons.
In 1996, the UN’s International Court of Justice issued an advisory notice on the subject of nuclear weapons. This notice argued that the vast destructive power of nukes would probably make their use a de facto war crime, since it is impossible to use them without causing massive indiscriminate loss of civilian life. You might think this would indict a whole range of games.
However, the Court said that it couldn’t definitively say whether nukes would be lawful or unlawful “in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake.” Video games’ penchant for high-stakes plots mean this happens more often than you’d think (the famous nuke in Modern Warfare, for instance, probably counts). Nevertheless, games like Civilization, which allow willy-nilly use of nukes for whatever purpose the player pleases, effectively include war crimes.