Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (Full Version)

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Capt. Harlock -> Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/10/2019 3:58:08 PM)

An entertaining but also thoughtful take on the issue of video games with Nazis or Terrorists:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCj8llyzfWo&fbclid=IwAR1Ls8AFQ3mVCLoHpQao9f_qIJtm0DZDloymyh7PCUXTGwOPrL2Rlqme4pQ

Especially valid is the point that a game needs to *be* historically accurate if the defense is that you have to have Nazis (or others on the wrong side of history) to be historically accurate.




rico21 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/10/2019 4:17:52 PM)

I totally agree to play only the winners.
Who knows when will come the next games with the Chinese army?[:D]




Kuokkanen -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/10/2019 9:44:15 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21

Who knows when will come the next games with the Chinese army?[:D]

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS was released just recently on 23.5.2019 and ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIV is coming soon. I'm sure Chinese have made few more, and I guess many (most?) of them haven't been translated. Did this forum have a visitor from China few years ago who told something about Chinese war games?




Lobster -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/10/2019 11:08:25 PM)

This video is such a piece propaganda it's not even attempting to hide it. [8|]

It's telling you that you can't play an Axis soldier in any WW2 game because it:

a) makes you a Nazi

or

2) makes you a Nazi supporter. No not THAT kind of supporter.

So throw out all of your WW2 war games because they all have Nazi or Nazi supporter elements. Someday they'll come for you if you don't throw these games away. [X(]




RangerJoe -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 1:15:17 AM)

I was taught to do terrible things to protect those that I love. Does that make me a bad guy?

If so, become a hippie then visit ISIS and other terrorists.




demyansk -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 1:20:19 AM)

The media and kooks out there have gone insane. Luckily, we have two oceans in between us.




Gilmer -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 1:50:47 AM)

I think we may have already had a thread about this and that it was locked already, as well. I may be wrong, though.




RangerJoe -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 2:15:45 AM)

I think that there was a similar thread that went awry.

How about a war game where the good guys fight the good guys . . .




operating -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 2:32:21 AM)

Can't wait to see the thinking of a certain group of people when they find out the Chinese have a history of being slave owners.

Slavery in China has taken various forms throughout history. Slavery was reportedly abolished as a legally recognized institution, including in a 1909 law fully enacted in 1910, although the practice continued until at least 1949.




Kuokkanen -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 4:09:30 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

So throw out all of your WW2 war games because they all have Nazi or Nazi supporter elements. Someday they'll come for you if you don't throw these games away. [X(]

They are more concerned about violence, sexuality, and ethnic representation. Video game violence has been on the table since 1970's and sexuality at least since 1980's. What are the concrete results thus far? Censoring of genitals in Japan, mass banning of games in China (few games elsewhere), and Nazi symbols in Germany doesn't target just video games but everything else. There's some more, like changing the colour of blood to something else than red, and some other censorship as imposed by publishers and Sony (PS4 versions of games only). Is that all? Much of the BS goes on Internet and most of those deciding the laws have little interest on reading it (or anything else on Internet). We don't need to be worried.




jwarrenw13 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 4:43:53 AM)

It is an interesting subject for discussion, but I think the discussion will end poorly on this forum.




warspite1 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 5:31:48 AM)

Removed as previous thread locked.




Gilmer -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 6:41:51 AM)

Well good! Glad I was wrong.

This won't work well for wargames, because someone is always the bad guy or perceived as the bad guy. Who do you play in War in the East? Surely people don't think the Russians were good guys. And if no one ever plays the bad guy, then everyone will have to play the AI. For myself, I play almost exclusively the AI, but some like the h2h against another player. Someone's gotta be the bad guy.

Who do you play in War in the Pacific? A lot of people play Japan. And believe it or not, they were the bad guy in WW2. [:D]




warspite1 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 8:04:43 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

This won't work well for wargames, because someone is always the bad guy or perceived as the bad guy.....And if no one ever plays the bad guy, then everyone will have to play the AI.

warspite1

The guy in the video above wasn't saying we can't play the 'bad guys' but he was saying there should be differentiation so that when playing the 'bad guys' (and you have to elect to play the bad guy and can't be simply told you have to play that side) you know you are playing the bad guys.

This in itself is a problem because how do you differentiate? For example, suppose you are playing a game about the War in the Desert game. Yes the Germans and Italians are the 'bad guys' but I've never heard of any atrocities carried out in that theatre that were so common place elsewhere. So what - according to the video maker - would a game maker have to do to 'inform' any player electing to play Rommel or Graziani's forces, that they are the 'bad guy'?

If I am playing World In Flames for example, I know if I am playing the Axis then I am playing the 'bad guy'. But what is the video maker saying that a potential Axis player needs to be told? The game is about the war and yes, as an Axis player I have to go around invading countries to win. But the game doesn't centre in any way on the Holocaust, the comfort women or any of those aspects. It is a war game. So what do I need to be told?

Does every game need to come with a history lesson? But then who writes the history? Was Napoleon bad or good? Depends on your view? Was the Soviet Union the bad guy or the good guy in WWII?

quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

Who do you play in War in the East? Who do you play in War in the Pacific?
warspite1

I prefer to play the Allies as a general rule, but that is nothing about having qualms about playing a German or Italian or Japanese or whatever - its that I simply prefer to play as the Allies - especially when doing AAR on new games because a lot of people like playing the Axis so it gives a different perspective.

And as said, there is also the question of course of who is the 'bad guy'? In WWII it's relatively straightforward. But what about WWI or even the Napoleonic Wars?




demyansk -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 11:26:53 AM)

Warspite is accurate, no need for me to say anything. Good job, the only thing I don't like to play is anything to do with al-Qaeda side.




Chickenboy -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 1:15:47 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: demyansk

Warspite is accurate, no need for me to say anything. Good job, the only thing I don't like to play is anything to do with al-Qaeda side.


You know, that's funny. While I've been able to bring myself around to playing the Axis powers in WWII in many games, I've never been able to stomach playing the al-Qaeda side of games like "Modern Warfare". Too visceral still?




Zap -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 2:28:50 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: demyansk

Warspite is accurate, no need for me to say anything. Good job, the only thing I don't like to play is anything to do with al-Qaeda side.


You know, that's funny. While I've been able to bring myself around to playing the Axis powers in WWII in many games, I've never been able to stomach playing the al-Qaeda side of games like "Modern Warfare". Too visceral still?



They have to be completely defeated along with its ideology and 20 or so years passed before stomaching playing that side. And maybe not even then!




Kuokkanen -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 2:49:21 PM)

I watched it. This is something worth of note:
quote:

We're not even saying we shouldn't make games where you play as a Nazi or a terrorist, but what we are saying, is that the fact that you're playing as a Nazi or a terrorist in a game has to mean something, and it can't just be a skin.

I see that as straight jab at Battlefield V. I haven't played it myself, but I can make a guess the game has a skin for black female Nazi. So in this respect, I can get behind of what is said in the video.

Also focus of the video is on first-person shooters like aforementioned Battlefield V; not war games. First-person shooters are mainstream, war games are not.




jwarrenw13 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 2:52:51 PM)

Okay, I got the impression that the video was more about first person shooter type online games. Those present many more questions than the type of abstract and more complex computer games played here. There is the whole layer, as mentioned above, about the question of whether those type games promote violence or desensitize young people especially regarding gun violence, and whether they might trigger young people who are mentally unstable. That is a legitimate question for discussion. There is a huge difference between Fortnite and War in the East.

Then there is the question of the interaction in online games. I have no firsthand experience there because I have purposely avoided online games since they came into existence and have just never played them, including playing an online opponent in a more sophisticated game. However, as an American high school (grades 9-12 in the US system, and I teach English to students in grade 12) teacher, I know that many of my students play online games like Fortnite and others. They talk about them a lot and try to play them on their phones in class when they can. Some are quite addicted.

On the other hand, I played real life make believe battles with my buddies as a child using toy guns, getting "shot" and dying multiple times a day. We also had easy access to BB guns and real guns and went out in the wood with them in rural Louisiana. During that whole time I never saw an incident in which one kid pointed a weapon at another kid even jokingly, and I only heard of one such incident in school, an argument in which one kid briefly pointed a rifle at another kid. We were all horrified and that kid was socially ostracized for some time. Yet I think there is something fundamentally different about the make believe culture we created and the current video game Fortnite type culture of today. And I do think that culture is harmful to kids. I just don't know how harmful.

Where am I going with this ramble. I don't think the question of which side you play is as important as the question of the overall effect on violent multi-player video games on young people. I think that is a legit question.

I don't think which side is played in a Matrix type game matters, and I don't think it has any negative effect on anyone. I guess people who already glorify Nazi Germany, for example, might enjoy playing Nazi Germany more, but I don't think playing Nazi Germany has any effect on an adult player. In my own WWII games, I tend to play Germany on the East Front. Anything on the West front I tend to play the Allies. Games like Strategic Command I will take either side. In Cold War hypotheticals I always take the NATO side. I spent five years in Germany in the US Army during the Cold War. I'm not going to play the Warsaw Pact. I agree with others that I am just not going to play AQ in a modern game.

Bottom line, I think which side you play is a much smaller matter than the overall effect of modern youth-oriented multi-player first person shooter type games, and that their effect on young people needs to be more closely studied.

Edit -- This could lead to game censorship that might even affect Matrix type games if taken to its end.




MrRoadrunner -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 2:58:34 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Does every game need to come with a history lesson? But then who writes the history? Was Napoleon bad or good? Depends on your view? Was the Soviet Union the bad guy or the good guy in WWII?

quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

Who do you play in War in the East? Who do you play in War in the Pacific?

quote:

warspite1
I prefer to play the Allies as a general rule, but that is nothing about having qualms about playing a German or Italian or Japanese or whatever - its that I simply prefer to play as the Allies - especially when doing AAR on new games because a lot of people like playing the Axis so it gives a different perspective.

And as said, there is also the question of course of who is the 'bad guy'? In WWII it's relatively straightforward.


Interestingly this sparked a memory from the past.
I was running a game tournament at at club where a "medal" was given out. The Swastika was on one side of the globe and the Hammer and Sickle on the other. A few of the players did not want to receive the medal because of the Swastika. When I asked if they were offended by the Hammer and Sickle they each said no.
To me, the two were equally "bad guys" and I was unsure of their reasoning.

That discussion quickly morphed into a back and forth of model kits no longer having German WWII planes displaying the Swastika but the Soviet one's displayed the Hammer and Sickle.

If we do not know history we are doomed to repeat it's mistakes?

Go figure?

If you play a side in a combat game there are winners and losers. Winner write and define the history?

RR




bayonetbrant -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 3:09:31 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Yes there was a thread on this subject and no, it didn't end badly, it just fizzled out.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4668657

I said on that thread - and say again - that this is a subject war gamers and war game designers and producers should be talking about because it affects the future of the industry. I suggested that Matrix offer a few thoughts, but disappointingly this wasn't taken up.

There is no reason for this discussion topic to end poorly or get locked. What is being debated is pertinent and can't be ignored. There is no reason why we, as war gamers who spend our hard earned GBP/$/ etc on games shouldn't be discussing the industry's future direction is there?


Well, it was locked before it could fizzle.

And the reason the discussions end poorly or get locked is that too many people seem fundamentally incapable of engaging an argument on it's merits without reflexively defaulting to any number of logical fallacies, whether a slippery slope argument or a false dichotomy argument or a wicked alternative argument or any number if borderline-irrelevant straw man arguments. There's a half dozen in this thread alone.

Many folks seem to react at a visceral level based on some really poor headline-writing (especially true with the New York Times article) and refuse to even read the articles/watch the videos under discussion. Many also claim that the mere source of the article is sufficient for thoughtless dismissal.

The bottom line is that these questions aren't new - David Hughes wrote an article about this for Battles! Magazine back in 2009. They're not going away as the gaming audience diversifies. And many of them ask some pertinent and thoughtful questions, like Rob Zany's column at VICE did.

We recorded a loooong podcast about this last week over at Armchair Dragoons, wherein we discuss the latest blowup, some of the previous blowups, and why many of the questions being asked are perfectly valid questions, but still facing hostility for even being asked.

https://www.armchairdragoons.com/podcast/mentioned-in-dispatches-special-summer-2019-edition/




warspite1 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 3:22:24 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Yes there was a thread on this subject and no, it didn't end badly, it just fizzled out.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4668657

I said on that thread - and say again - that this is a subject war gamers and war game designers and producers should be talking about because it affects the future of the industry. I suggested that Matrix offer a few thoughts, but disappointingly this wasn't taken up.

There is no reason for this discussion topic to end poorly or get locked. What is being debated is pertinent and can't be ignored. There is no reason why we, as war gamers who spend our hard earned GBP/$/ etc on games shouldn't be discussing the industry's future direction is there?


Well, it was locked before it could fizzle.

The bottom line is that these questions aren't new

warspite1

Well that's the first thread I've seen locked with no comment.... strange.

Who said they were new? So the fact you've done a 'loooong podcast' last week mean that no one else can discuss it? What was your 'loooong podcast' the last word on the subject?


Edit: If I'd seen that the last thread was locked I wouldn't have bothered commenting here. Post removed Matrix with apologies.




Kuokkanen -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 3:31:12 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwarrenw13

Okay, I got the impression that the video was more about first person shooter type online games. Those present many more questions than the type of abstract and more complex computer games played here. There is the whole layer, as mentioned above, about the question of whether those type games promote violence or desensitize young people especially regarding gun violence, and whether they might trigger young people who are mentally unstable. That is a legitimate question for discussion. There is a huge difference between Fortnite and War in the East.

I'm an adult from Finland. Here we play largely the same kinds of games as you Americans do, including first-person shooters, Grand Theft Auto, and the likes. Yet we don't go around shooting people, and I believe that applies to great majority of other countries where video games are in the mainstream. Were people shot in America before video games entered the market? How many % of terrorists have played violent video games before they became terrorists?

quote:

Then there is the question of the interaction in online games. I have no firsthand experience there because I have purposely avoided online games since they came into existence and have just never played them, including playing an online opponent in a more sophisticated game. However, as an American high school (grades 9-12 in the US system, and I teach English to students in grade 12) teacher, I know that many of my students play online games like Fortnite and others. They talk about them a lot and try to play them on their phones in class when they can. Some are quite addicted.

I used to play Duke Nukem 3D in school. Few other games too, most of them shooters. Delta Force II demo may have been the first Internet multiplayer game I have played. I have read many Internet multiplayer games are plagued with players who insult other players and demonstrate poor "sportsmanship". You know, I got a piece of that in school's computer classrooms outside of text chat. I don't think it felt much different from the bullying that didn't involve computers. After schools, I have played a small number of online games. My experiences with players on the games & servers are considerably better than what I had in computer classrooms in vocational school. At least with Internet in the way, I don't get thrown eraser pieces and other crap on me. Is this a bad thing?




bayonetbrant -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 3:41:29 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Who said they were new? So the fact you've done a 'loooong podcast' last week mean that no one else can discuss it? What was your 'loooong podcast' the last word on the subject?



Oh hell no! [X(]

There's plenty to be discussed, and there's always someone who missed the previous discussions that might well have some meaningful contributions.

The hope is that they are "discussions" and not pre-scripted shoutfests [;)]




RangerJoe -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 4:00:46 PM)

I read online that the data shows that the US is less violent than before. Mass shootings and such did happen but there were no 24 hour news outlets. Think of when it was just newspapers and the telegraph was the means of sending information at so much cost per word. Think of the song "The Night Chicago Died" which was based on what the songwriters got from movies.




Zorch -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 4:30:07 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

I read online that the data shows that the US is less violent than before. Mass shootings and such did happen but there were no 24 hour news outlets. Think of when it was just newspapers and the telegraph was the means of sending information at so much cost per word. Think of the song "The Night Chicago Died" which was based on what the songwriters got from movies.

We are so much more aware of events in the world.




danlongman -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 5:20:19 PM)

It is unfortunate but for political and cultural reasons some audiences
cannot accept criticism. I hope that we are well educated enough
around here to understand that contrary opinions, especially about deeply
held or controversial beliefs and values arouse an emotional response at
a visceral level. The intellect disengages but the emotions are quite
willing to run the show. The discussion tail spins into a partisan
squabble.
I have been harshly criticized and even banned from places for having
opinions some people found offensive. Group think is an awesome thing
when a thought can be anathema because of collective values. Enemies will
rally together to eject the perceived outsider.
My only point about politics and gaming is that the combatants in conflict
rarely see themselves as being evil doers or being on the wrong side. Most
are doing something they believe to be necessary.
Many people here who picture themselves as personally being mighty warriors
for a certain set of "proper" values would - under different circumstances
of birth and indoctrination - just as righteously be mighty warriors for the
opposite side.
All that aside most of our games portray state or culturally sanctioned
violence but that does mean we condone it by playing a side. They are games.
I remember in my long ago youth gamers who would only play one side and wore
items or insignia and talked exclusively in "Panzer" accents and did other
bits of role playing. Hopefully these folks outgrew this and managed in later
life to be incarcerated at the county or state but not federal level.




Lobster -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 6:46:22 PM)

I always find the distinction between who was the good guys and who were the bad guys is drawn by who wins. The Soviets invaded 4 peaceful countries before the war even started and not a word about it. Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They marched into part of Romania and seized that pre war. They invaded Poland along with Germany. The Soviets murdered thousands of Polish officers. The Soviets appear as heroes in virtually every war game simply because they were on the Allied side. They starved millions of Ukrainians to death in what is called the Ukraine Holocaust (Holodomor). The Stalin regime was every bit as ruthless and evil as the Hitler Regime. But they were on the winning side. It's all too subjective to even bother with.




Zorch -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 7:44:32 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

I always find the distinction between who was the good guys and who were the bad guys is drawn by who wins. The Soviets invaded 4 peaceful countries before the war even started and not a word about it. Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The US never recognized the incorporation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the Soviet Union. Maps of the Soviet Union used to have a disclaimer to that effect.




jwarrenw13 -> RE: Opting Out of Playing the Bad Guys (8/11/2019 8:21:08 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kuokkanen
I'm an adult from Finland. Here we play largely the same kinds of games as you Americans do, including first-person shooters, Grand Theft Auto, and the likes. Yet we don't go around shooting people, and I believe that applies to great majority of other countries where video games are in the mainstream. Were people shot in America before video games entered the market? How many % of terrorists have played violent video games before they became terrorists?



Good point. I had of course been primarily thinking of America because there is a big discussion now about the effect of violent video games on American kids and we've just had a series of mass shootings. I had not considered how they may or may not be affecting young people around the world. I will have to think more about that. Politicians and commentators here in American want SOMETHING done, and violent video games are in the discussion.

Also Rangerjoe and Zorch pointed out another factor that affects everyone's thinking, the 24-hour news cycle and instant access to news via the Internet. I've always been something of a new junkie with a college degree in journalism (1977, the distant past) and part of my Army career spent in public relations including talking to the media. And I do think that the instant availability of news and the way events like mass shootings are covered warps to some extent our ability to look at things in perspective. For example, we cover the mass shooting but more people are shot in a typical weekend in some of our larger cities, but there is virtually no coverage of that.

One thing I remember from my journalism classes is Marshall McCluhan's quote, "The medium is the message." He wrote that in 1964 not long after the dawn of the age of live TV news. We applied it to TV, with the idea that TV focused more on stories that had video and less on those without video. That is still true. Now we are shifting again, with more emphasis on the instant capabilities of the Internet to spread information both real and false, and with everyone so much more connected, including for online gaming.




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