Eastern instructor talks about his contribution to ‘Battlefield V’ game

Jonathan Mattson, instructor of communication studies at Eastern, did historical research for the first person shooter “Battlefield V” videogame, and he said it was an unforgettable experience.

Mattson said DICE, the game’s development company, invited him to travel to Stockholm, Sweden to do historical research for it, and he happily agreed.

In game, “Battlefield V” takes place during World War II, and Mattson said he was tasked with studying what happened during that time.

DICE asked Mattson to provide them with in depth details about particular events and interesting stories that happened in relation to the war, he said.

During his research, something Mattson said he gravitated toward was the personal stories of people involved with the war.

“Yes, you can consult tactical assessments of battles and things like that, and opinions on equipment, and statistics, and all of those kinds of things. But where you really get a sense for the human experience is through the personal accounts of the people involved,” he said. “I really like to read from the records of the people who were there, because it just provides so much context in to what they were thinking, how they were feeling, the challenges they faced and the difficulties.”

By the time of “Battlefield V’s” debut on Nov. 20, Mattson said he was pleasantly surprised to see his name in the end credits.

Before DICE contacted him, Mattson said he was posting YouTube videos on his channel discussing the historical weapons, technology and other equipment featured in “Battlefield I,” another first person shooter videogame whose story takes place during World War I.

“I started making content for “Battlefield I”—kind of taking the setting of the game to a different level,” Mattson said. “So, a lot of the stuff I did was, ‘Here’s the game, (and) here’s what really happened.”

Mattson said the content he was posting on YouTube caught the eyes of many fans of the videogame and its developer DICE.

DICE producer Steven Bigras said he and the rest of the development team was looking for someone who could reveal factors of WWII that were largely not discussed for “Battlefield V.” Mattson’s detailed YouTube videos about “Battlefield I” were an indication that he was their man, he said.

“We (at DICE) were looking for someone who knew “Battlefield” at a deep level and could help us do research and bring to light the unseen, untold and un-played aspects of WWII,” Bigras said. “We are all big fans of his YouTube series and knew from our Game Changer events he was a good fit to help us dig into the history of WWII.”

As an avid “Battlefield” fan, Mattson said he is still a little shocked he got such an incredible opportunity to contribute to the development of “Battlefield V.”

“Media is something that a lot of us just consume. Going into communication studies, we try to shift from consumer to producer, so it’s something I never thought would happen—going from playing these (“Battlefield”) games to being a part of how they’re made,” he said.

Since playing “Battlefield V” for himself, Mattson said he can even see his own contributions during gameplay.

“It’s been a lot of fun to play (“Battlefield V”) because it’s one of those things where I can see my fingerprints all over it,” he said.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at lrraschke@eiu.edu.


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