Battlefield 3 won't put civilians in harm's way because, DICE believes, players tend towards doing "bad things".
"If you put the player in front of a choice where they can do good things or bad things, they will do bad things, go dark side - because people think it's cool to be naughty, they won't be caught," BF3 executive producer Patrick Bach told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
"Me personally, I'm trying to stay away from civilians in games like Battlefield because I think people will do bad.
"I don't want to see videos on the internet where people shoot civilians," he said. "That's something I will sanitise by removing that feature from the game."
Bach asked, rhetorically, what would happen in a "more authentic" war game where a player had a gun and was confronted by a child. "Well the player would probably shoot that child," he answered.
In that scenario, Bach believes DICE "would be the ones to be blamed".
"We have to build our experiences so we don't put the player in experiences where they can do bad things," he said.
Tonally, Bach believes games are where films were in the '30s or '40s - discovering they can be political. He believes Battlefield 3 is a mature game that offers a glimpse at the perils of war. "Mature not being gore," he clarified. "That's childish actually, to want more blood."
Video games still need to "grow up a bit", and Bach believes they will as their audience - and their makers - also mature.
Modern Warfare 2 was famously lambasted by mainstream media for allowing players to gun down civilians while playing a double-agent role as a Russian terrorist. The topic was even brought up in Parliament.
Tom Bramwell flew out to DICE this week to see a brand new single-player level of Battlefield 3 on console. His new Battlefield 3 preview will be published momentarily.