Well this is just heartwarming.

Verdun, a multiplayer World War I shooter currently in Early Access on Steam, has declared a Christmas truce from December 18-25. You will still be able to duke it out in The War That Didn't Really Succeed In Ending All Wars if you wish, but developers M2H and Blackmill have begun to "enforce" peaceful events rooted in very real history. They explained:

"100 years ago French, German and British troops while fighting in World War I held truces during Christmas 1914. They exchanged Christmas greetings, sang Christmas carols and rumours say that they played a few football matches. "

"There will be a Truce event where you can find soldiers dressed for the winter, join football matches and throw snowballs at each other."

There will be a number of related events in the coming days, including a competition for who can make the best holiday "best wishes" card from the twisted wreckage of the human condition that is war or, I don't know, maybe like a macaroni painting. Also expect video competitions, streams, and the like.

Plenty of games have Christmas events, but I really like the idea underlying this one. Beyond the surface level change of not shooting each other in a first-person shooter, it's cool when games let us look at our foes—human or not—in a different light. Games frequently put us in a mindset of "kill-kill-kill win-win-win," not "consider that there's a person who can joke and laugh and sing Christmas carols in those combat boots." While that's mildly unsettling in the context of war, I think the issue for most of us, as gamers, is that it's easy to get angry in video games, to dislike someone for out-shooting you or making you lose. Just hanging out with those same people, though? Flinging snowballs, wishing each other a happy holiday? It's a nice change of a pace, a good way to keep things in perspective.