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"AUSCHWITZ! THE GAME!- Or-- the morality of gaming" Topic


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2,093 hits since 29 Mar 2012
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OSchmidt29 Mar 2012 10:18 a.m. PST

No, there is no game of Auschwitz (at least I hope not!) nor am I advocating one. that's just to get your attention. It has nothing to do with a game of Auschwitz. It's an invidious title. The question is to advance a point.

This is that although we can game with sides or forces that in real life might have been morally reprehensible and completely evil, nevertheless that does not make one evil if one plays that side in a game. Players may, or may not be in agreement with that moral evil but the playing of a game, I contend is neither evil or-- good because the point of the game is neither to be evil or good, but to have fun.

Admittedly a game may be in bad taste, or of dubious worth. Or the player might REALLY sypathize and be at one with morally reprehensible groups, but the playing of the game is not itself morally wrong. Even the playing of the game which has morally reprehensible "slaughtering the innocent with a clear conscience.

Sensibilities are another thing. I am somewhat interested in modern games, but I find both the Soviet Union and the Third Reich as morally reprehensible, evil powers. Nevertheless. For my own "sensibilities" I use imagi-nations which portray them as Marx might (Groucho not Karl) which is as burlesques of themselves. Hence the Nazi regieme becomes "Vahrvergnuggen" and the Soviet Union becomess WWWF (The Workers Winter Wonderland of Freeland.)

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 10:24 a.m. PST

but the playing of the game is not itself morally wrong.

I disagree.
One COULD have a game where one tries to "better" the average of 10,000 gassed per day. Does the fact that it is "just a game" remove it from scorn based on morality? I think not.

MajorB29 Mar 2012 10:25 a.m. PST

the playing of a game, I contend is neither evil or-- good because the point of the game is neither to be evil or good, but to have fun.

I think we'd all agree with that.

religon Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 10:27 a.m. PST

Consider this game…

link

Personal logo richarDISNEY of the RDGC Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 10:29 a.m. PST

Or this…
Christians and Lions
link
*bere*

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 10:41 a.m. PST

Hence the Nazi regieme becomes "Vahrvergnuggen" and the Soviet Union becomess WWWF (The Workers Winter Wonderland of Freeland.)

I like these names!

Jim

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 10:47 a.m. PST

AUSCHWITZ! THE GAME!

Fight your own battle inside the camp as you:

Try to stay alive

Help others keep their morale and health up

Sabotage work items without getting caught

Try to identify weaknesses in prison guards that might be exploited

Organize fellow prisoners in an attempt to do the little things you can to fight back from within for as long as you can

Fun? Probably not, but in a "We're all dead already so let's make this as effective a resistance as we can for as long as we can without guns" sense, there are certainly challenges.

Is fighting to the last man at Thermopylae or the Alamo "fun?" Yet we do it. The only difference in this case is the warfare is far more subtle while being just as deadly.

JJ

Warjack Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 11:40 a.m. PST

One that is out there.
link

Personal logo Cheriton Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 11:52 a.m. PST

penalty

pizza guinness

Caesar29 Mar 2012 12:09 p.m. PST

link

Pain Doctors, the game of plastic surgery.
Darkies in the Melon Patch.

Caesar29 Mar 2012 12:11 p.m. PST

And, of course, Juden Raus.

link

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 12:12 p.m. PST

The winner is held to the moral high ground, but as wargaming and history buffs, we certainly realize that both sides do what they have to do to win. The concentration camp example goes beyond warfare in an extreme way.

We in the U.S. have our examples of behavior in this vein if you take into account our treatment of Native Americans.
I won't get into the discussion regarding the atomic bomb drops as a true student of history knows that more lives were saved than lost because of the bombs ending the war much faster than projected.

As far as my knowledge of war goes, I can't remember any side, whether winner or loser, being free of reprehensible behavior somewhere.

I have played Germans for WWII battles. As a youth, I don't think I would have contemplated playing them at all. Ditto for Fascist Italians. But then again, I am playing a game and not getting into morals. Still, I won't play SS and probably quite a few other units that slip my mind. I think the Thunderbird Division in WWII on the American side would be one I would think twice about gaming as well; even if they had some previous incidents from the Nazi side that influenced how they behaved.

Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 12:21 p.m. PST

A good rule of thumb might be:

"Collect, paint, and play the figures that you wouldn't be embarrassed by, if dinner guests in search of the bathroom accidentally stumbled into your wargame closet and asked, 'What's This?' "

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 12:27 p.m. PST

I think A Special Loathing for Cherubs's post above is one to live by for wargamers.
--
Tim

Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 12:35 p.m. PST

[Whispered by the wife to the husband as they drive home from your house]:

"Dan said he had the Ghuzz in his closet. Do we need the Ghuzz in our closet?"

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 12:45 p.m. PST

I'm sure I've mentioned before the guy who came running up to the WD stall at Salute one year – all excited because he had an aerial shot of a nazi concentration camp and "could run that game now"

I kid you not.

OSchmidt29 Mar 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

Ok

So therefore are you saying that anyone playing the SS in a wargame is morally reprehensible, or that the playing of an SS unit means that one supports the activities and politics of the SS?

If one plays the Mongols in the 13th century who slaughtered millions without the benefit of bureucracy and concentration camps is one morally reprehensible (or does it change things because they are equal-opportunity genocidists?

As to the links to games out there, there are games that are morally liminal but are engaged in or rather created merely for their "shock value" or wierdness. They really don't enter into it do they? Unless they are made with the idea that such normally reprehensible activities are not in fact reprehensible, or played by a person who supports such reprehensible activities but hides it under the aegis of "a game", then aren't you in effect unable to defend ANY war games because they involve killing and slaughter, robbery and rape, torture and violence in some form?

Remember I'm the guy with Fahrvergnuggen and the WWWF. Personally I don't care to model their sinister prototypes, but many do. Are all who do then morally reprehensible?

Further is there a material difference between the Wehrmacht and the SS from this point. Both served the same regieme which perpetrated the horros, as did the Red Army which perpetrated the Stalinist regieme in WWII. Once again, Stalin killed over 10,000,000 in the terror famine in the Ukraine (which he was at peace) and another 8,000,000 or so in the great Terror. Is he less reprehensible because again- he is an equal opportunity killer?

At the root of it is the question Is it truly "Just a game
" or is it more than a game? And if it is more than a game, what is it?

Have fun.

Remember I'm the guy with Fahrvergnuggen and the WWWF.

The problem you are facing is…

pphalen Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 12:58 p.m. PST

if dinner guests in search of the bathroom accidentally stumbled into your wargame closet and asked, 'What's This?' "

They wouldn't even have to find the closet. If they wandered inot the right bathroom, there is probably some sort of rule book amongst the other reading material…

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 1:10 p.m. PST

…and when they see the OTHER reading material, they'll never notice the rules! wink

basileus66 Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 1:25 p.m. PST

I am not sure where you want to go. That Nazism and Communism are equally morally reprehensible, perhaps? I would agree with you. As a liberal I find both ideologies scary and heinous. I wouldn't want to experiment the "benefits" of either of them.

Or may be you want to defend the fact that you don't find anything morally reprehensible in gaming with miniatures representing either of those armies? Well, let me tell you that neither do I.

What I do not enjoy and what I find disgusting is gaming mass murders or genocide. I wouldn't bother myself to represent the role of an extermination camp's commander, or that of the head of a band of Tutsis chasing Hutus, or of Serbians looking for Bosnian women to rape and Bosnian men to kill.

So I wouldn't play "Auschwitz, the game"… Not because I find it morally repugnant (which I do) but because I do not find anything funny in the topic. And I only play games that I believe I can have fun with them. I won't judge you if you play it, nonetheless. It's not my business to tell you how to enjoy yourself as long as you don't violate any law or harm anybody. It's your right and privilege to have fun in the weirdest way you can imagine, as long as you abide by the law.

pphalen Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 1:29 p.m. PST

I am not sure where you want to go.

Probably the medicine cabinet, I would think…

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 1:29 p.m. PST

So therefore are you saying that anyone playing the SS in a wargame is morally reprehensible, or that the playing of an SS unit means that one supports the activities and politics of the SS?

No – but you have to ask why they always want to play an unrepresentative unit. Most of the german army wasn't SS – so why all the SS figures ?

However, that said, yes, I do believe that SOME people do play the SS because they sympathise with "the cause".

Would I game the slaughtering of innocents ? No, what possible enjoyment could such a game have ?

OSchmidt29 Mar 2012 1:38 p.m. PST

Dear Basileus

Oh I don't want to go anywhere. I'm just picking up a dimension from the "Whose side are you on anyway" thread. One could argue that the Tutsi's chasing Hutu or Bosnians seeking women to rape is not that morally liminal when you consider murder or rape as crimes sui-generis. When does killing become atrocity? Would it make it any better if the Tutsi and Hutu were equally armed? But both wished to exterminate the other for on other reason than they were who they were.

There's no way around it. Wargames models killing, the infliction of wounds, pain, and death. We fetishize about the rules to make this more realistic. Is there any real difference then between ages? The SS winning a battle in Central Russia outside of a Ruissian town will, after the battle is over pepetrate certain atrocities inside the town, just as a Catholic Army in the 30 Years War outside a Protestant town will pepetrate much the same in the town (or vice versa). In the course of which pain death and suffering will first be inflicted on the combatants of both sides. Is the pain suffering and death suffered by the patient, that is those on whom suffering death and pain is perpetrated on, any different in a good cause or a bad?

sneakgun29 Mar 2012 1:38 p.m. PST

Is this the weekly meltdown, where somebody gets snarky and leaves the forum in a huff??

corporalpat29 Mar 2012 1:56 p.m. PST

Yeh, some of the "Sheldons" out there got put off by the title. All I can say is: it's a GAME!

Wolfprophet29 Mar 2012 2:04 p.m. PST

No, there is no game of Auschwitz (at least I hope not!) nor am I advocating one. that's just to get your attention. It has nothing to do with a game of Auschwitz. It's an invidious title. The question is to advance a point.

I'm sorry to inform you of this then: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KZ_Manager

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 2:32 p.m. PST

Morality is about how people deal with other people.

Warfare is one of the ways in which people deal with other people.

Separating morality and warfare is impossible.

Gaming of any sort is also about a contest between people so, equally, morality applies to that too – but only in the way you deal with the people that you game with.

Chosing to play a game in which making decisions have a moral context or content is acceptable to some but not to others – that is what morality is about – choices that you make as a player/person.

Playing Mongols or SS units in a game that has no moral content or context (i.e. they are just fighting units doing what any others of the same period are doing on a battlefield) does not really bother me as the morality of warfare in general is pretty much abstracted out of a wargame. If it bothers you them maybe you are in the wrong hobby or at least should limit yourself to non-historical games.

striker829 Mar 2012 2:33 p.m. PST

First off everything is going to offend some one whether intended or not. People tend to be far to sensitive and look for offense in the most inoculous things nowdays.

I don;t care if some find anything offensive, be it game, movie, etc. Often the most reprehensible things aften lead to people learning and as far as I'm concerned that's more important that people being offended. Remeber those that fail to remeber and learn from history are bound to repeat it.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 2:37 p.m. PST

Let us hope that we can stay above the realm of flaming and flamebait.

Now, as to the OP's last statement, it ignores the understanding that yes, there is a big difference between conflict involving two armed parties capable of injuring each other and one party slaughtering the unarmed and innocent. Just as we know there is a difference between seizing a random individual and locking them in a room and arresting, trying and incarcerating a criminal. One is a crime, the other is justice. To suggest that all deaths are equally unjust is foolish and irresponsible. One can argue that war is always bad, but war is not always unjust, and indeed may be preferable to a far worse alternative (be it slavery, genocide, totalitairianism, or some other gross evil). So there is no moral equivalence between armed conflict and a massacre, in and of themselves. One can argue that a particular armed conflict is evil, or even that a mass killing is justified (admittedly a shakier argument), but on general terms we understand that the former is not necessarily so, if only at least for one side in the conflict, and the latter is more likely to be an evil action than not.

As for wargaming even grossly unjust wars, the balm of time removes the stench of history, at least as far as "equal" combatants are concerned. Nor does it make any sense whatsoever to assume that merely because one is interested in the "pike and shot" era that one has any sympathies whatsoever for the political or cultural motivations of any of the combatants, or for any atrocities inflicted in the course of a given war. One might as well suggest that someone with a goblin horde is sympathetic to the concept of a Dark Lord seizing control of the world and covering everything in smoke, ash and bad grammar. The notion is silly, to the point of being insulting.

On the other hand, the original suggestion of deriving entertainment value from a grossly offensive injustice is an entirely different matter. No one can argue that the concept of gaming Auschwitz or anything similar is not likely to cause offense. Of course it is, and the argument "it's only a game" is not a viable defense, any more than "it's only a joke" is a viable defense for a racist slur. It is known to be a sensitive and offensive topic, and the decision to make light of it clearly involves a willing choice to disregard the perfectly legitimate feelings of the victims and their loved ones and also the understandable proscription of society. It is a deliberate act, if not to offend, then at least to risk offense, and to do so without the shelter of any valid reason, were one even to exist. I see no comparison whatsoever to wargaming as a whole, which reasonably risks offending almost no one aside from those whose apparent joy it is to seek reasons to be offended (as, for example, Naomi Wolf).

Yesthatphil29 Mar 2012 3:07 p.m. PST

Wargaming is about exploring history. How you approach it may tint that exploration.

Fun is a useful by product, and can be what makes the exploration compelling – but for some of us, at least, it isn't an end in itself.

Wargaming that falls outside the fact-based or fact-related sphere is, of course, something I'm not able to answer for, although I'm told it's fun.

Parzival's last paragraph is very good.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 3:18 p.m. PST

First they came for the people who gamed Auschwitz, but I did not game Auschwitz so I looked away.

I do not game Auschwitz
I think that people who game Auschwitz are beneath my contempt and loathing on so many levels
I would die to defend their right to do so.
I like gaming Normandy
I have sometimes played with SS
If you don't like it your odium makes me stronger.

I play my games, you play yours.

Gwydion29 Mar 2012 3:21 p.m. PST

That Nazism and Communism are equally morally reprehensible, perhaps? I would agree with you.

Nazi ideology sought to destroy 'racial groups' it regarded as inferior and went about it with a will as well as unleashing war against many countries for no good reason other than to establish hegemony over them and providing room to spread the aryan super race.

Communism wanted to make all people be treated equally and share the goods of the world from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.

Equally morally reprehensible???????


Stalin perverted the good aims of communism Nazism didn't have any to start with.

Personal logo Prince Alberts Revenge Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 3:40 p.m. PST

Yawn. Why does so much on TMP have so little to do with actual wargaming and toy soldiers?

Maddaz111 Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 3:52 p.m. PST

I have to say that "It is a game" (probably best delivered in a style like "You are a Toy!" from the original Toy Story, is my usual defence.

However, I have to say that unless we are modelling for shock value (so for example WD wargaming First World War Trench Assaults, and the associated Butchers bill or the previously mentioned train game) then it is probably better to leave atrocity out of the game. The shock value impact if we are teaching about the atrocity or mindset of generals etc is probably appropriate if done in an abstract and "tasteful" fashion.

I have played in campaigns with exchange of prisoners, medical facilities, prisoner camps, and refugees.
Considering these issues added to the realism of our campaign, and made us more aware of the "real cost of war"

Little Big Wars Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 3:58 p.m. PST

A better question would be: Is it too soon?

70 years is a pretty long time and youthful (or at least younger) minds may not be able to appreciate the horror sufficiently to take the same level of offense.

Also, for the record, the First Nations win the "prize" for most horrific racial/ethnic holocaust.

Personal logo Cheriton Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 4:58 p.m. PST

Let us hope that we can stay above the realm of flaming and flamebait.

Wish everyone the best of luck… unicorn

guinness

xxxxxx29 Mar 2012 5:17 p.m. PST

Seriously, these are just games, right?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 7:50 p.m. PST

Seriously, these are just games, right?

Does that make gaming Ausachwitz any less morally reprehensible?

Little Big Wars Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 8:18 p.m. PST

Does that make gaming Ausachwitz any less morally reprehensible?

Morally reprehensible is too strong… in bad taste surely, but assigning a moral value to the existence of or the playing of said game is dubious.

basileus66 Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 10:41 p.m. PST

@Gwydion

Perhaps you haven't notice that the comparison was regarding Nazi Germany and Stalin's USSR, as those were the ones that the OP used as immoral standards to measure atrocity. Anyway, I stand in my opinion regarding Communism and Nazism. I have heard one time too many the specious argument that "it was Stalin, not Communism". Sorry, but that is false. It was Stalin… and Lenin, and Mao, and Pol Pot, and Kim Il "Dear Leader" Jong, and Castro… and so on, and so forth.

Although, I would agree that in a scale 1 to 10, Nazism would be in a 10 in the Brutality Scale and Communism in the 9.5 rate… slightly less undesirable, although that is a scant consolation for its victims.

goragrad29 Mar 2012 11:19 p.m. PST

@Gwydion some further reading in history might be in order.
National Socialism was that as opposed to the 'International Socialism' of Communism. Most of your list of differences could just as well be attributed to Hitler's 'perversion' of it's core as you do with Stalin and Communism.

National Socialism had a strong eugenics component that led to it's genocidal policies. Paralleling this, inherent in Communism is a core antipathy to religion. This has lead to similar policies on the part of Communist organizations with respect to people with religious beliefs as those perpetrated by the Nazi's against 'untermensch.'

Now some might consider that a person could not change their ancestry to avoid Nazi persecution and that this makes them more 'evil' than Communists who might not ship you to a 'labor' camp if you renounced religion. I personally don't.

P.S. I also think that if you care to look at the totals that the Communists have a much more impressive scorecard with respect to numbers of victims. And I doubt that a Nazi concentration camp commander could have given any instruction in evil to the commander of a Khmer Rouge 're-education' camp.

Crown and Empire Inactive Member29 Mar 2012 11:47 p.m. PST

Question is, do you get extra points if you get a mormon to baptise the dead Holocaust victims?

link

AndrewGPaul30 Mar 2012 1:58 a.m. PST

OSchmidt:

No, there is no game of Auschwitz (at least I hope not!) nor am I advocating one. that's just to get your attention. It has nothing to do with a game of Auschwitz. It's an invidious title. The question is to advance a point.

It might have been, but what's happened is that as usual, the actual thrust of your question has been ignored in favour of nitpicking at your example, with an added dose of political discussion.

Personally speaking, I can play the "bad" guys. It doesn't bother me and I don't think I'm "glorifying" or condoning what they did because what I'm doing is not real.

There are some games I wouldn't play because I don't think they're in good taste, but I'm afraid my standards are a bit haphazard; I've quite happily played the "War on Terror" boardgame, for example.

Anyway, I'm also not glorifying anyone because I usually lose. grin

Norman D Landings Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2012 2:55 a.m. PST

Meh… this again?

Didn't we do this last week? And, in fact, haven't we done this every week since dinosaurs ruled the earth?

All this thread adds to an already exhaustively mined topic is further proof that few people ever bother using TMP's message board search facility to check whether their subject has been covered before.

Oh, and it's quite quaint that on the internet – the home of the beheading video, gunpoint porn, and Rule 34 – somebody still thinks that saying "Auschwitz: the Game" is 'edgy and 'challenging'.

That's just sweet.

Me, personally?

I manage to play 'Hangman' without getting all quivery-lipped on the subject of the death penalty.

I must be some sort of monster!

Buff Orpington Inactive Member30 Mar 2012 3:38 a.m. PST

I can't saw I know anyone who would play such a game and I'm rather glad about it.
No point going on about comparative morality. I doubt that the Mongols slaughtered millions idea could be proved, if you exclude combat casualties. How big was the world's population back then?

OSchmidt30 Mar 2012 4:59 a.m. PST

Dear Andrew G. Paul

You essentially have hit it on the head. My point, if any, was that "taste" or "tastelessness" is a matter of individual -- well-- taste-- and there is a second dimension when we place the subject in the context of "a game." Games are not reality, and while one might consider watching porno movies of Aliens raping or having sex with human females quite tasteless and revolting, when we play "Bug-Eyed Monsters from Outer Space!- They Want our Women!" it's elevated to the role of high farce. Yet-- it might be argued-- we are doing exactly the same thing.

Again, the taste of some is to not play SS troops, mine is to not model the obvious moral evils of Nazism and Communism (and if we're going to get statistical, Stalinist Russia wins hands down as the most morally reprehensible) and that is my taste. Also, I rather prefer submerging or cloaking these evils under the high farce of a National Socialist State or a Communist State in the vision of a Groucho Marx and the Three Stooges.

As I said, the title was invidious simply to get people to consider the point-- not of a game of Auschwitz, but what we are modeling in games. Certainly one could take the absolute standpoint that purposeful killing is a monstrous wrong, especially to he who is made dead, and who little cares the cause or morality of the agents of his demise. But the world is an imperfect place and sometimes horrible means must be used to restrain those who would perpetrate horrible things upon their fellow man.

Agreed-- at this point we are moving into the idea of "Jus Bellum" or Just war (and perhaps Jus in Bellum or Justive IN war) but again, that whole discussion is really insulated in that we are not talking about real war or true war, but a game about war.

My contention is that such arguments, (and the question of loyalties) in a GAME is completely different than the question of loyalties or justice in real life. Indeed, particularly germaine to this question is the moral liminality of a show like Hogans Heroes? But that's another topic, and as there is no game attached to it (not that I know of) then it's not a topic for here.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member30 Mar 2012 7:50 a.m. PST

In general what we are modelling in games is a set of constraints on a decision making process. This enables competition where both parties have decisions to make, or a "beat the previous score" competition where only one party has decisions to make.

For example in my WWII night bombing game, you get points for the cutting of rail routes, points for destruction of infrastructure and industrty and points for the destruction of homes. However, points for deaths peak at 5% of a suburb as this is deemed to be sufficient to place an onerous load on the remainder, wiping out the entire population would be pointless as there would be no one left to load up with the consequences.

How many people has this game killed or made homeless, none.

It has no context by which it can be judged moral or immoral it is a game. Playing it in Germany, or even some parts of the UK might be considered tasteless but morality does not enter into it. Playing it in a Dresden old folks home might be immoral, but most Dresden victims don't attend wargames cons, let alone my dining room table.

religon Inactive Member30 Mar 2012 11:23 a.m. PST

As to the links to games out there, there are games that are morally liminal but are engaged in or rather created merely for their "shock value" or wierdness. They really don't enter into it do they?

I completely disagree. Dismissing the 'Train' game as weird or designed for 'shock value' appears to fail to acknowledge the lesson it imparts. It directly addresses the posed question. 'Train' forces the participant to address the morality of the simulation and act. It directly challenges rationalizations and justifications of sanitized truths such as Fahrvergnuggen or the WWWF.

The action required of the player is a moral action rather than a strategic or tactical action. The yellow game pieces are human beings. Continued participation in the game is the existential equivalent to condoning genocide. Not all recognize their role in the unfolding narrative.

A Special Loathing for Cherubs' advice is very good. Everything we play is 'just a game,' but even a game can have moral consequence.

OSchmidt30 Mar 2012 11:49 a.m. PST

Dear Religon

Your logic is spurious. The yellow pieces are not human beings. They represent human beings. Likewise the minis we put on the field are not human beings but represent human beings. If you are going to dissolve the representation as you do and say, that the yellow pieces ARE human beings then so ARE the miniatures human beings and everything we do in gaming is-- in pont of fact-- egregious murder. WORSE! While in real life soldier A may have just cause to kill soldier B, our guilt is even more reprehensible because we do it only for gratiutious amusement. That is, we take joy and pleasure in killing simply for the sake of it devoid of any real justification such as defence of country, home and family, land and friends etc.

Secondly the train may challenge rationalizations and justifications, but I doubt it. First of all we are not in the hobby to have our rationalizations and justifications challenged, and second I doubt that ANYONE who playes the Train game does so. Unless the players of"the train" side are not told they are shuffling Jews off to the concentration camps, then there really no moral obloquy can be attached to them. It would be unfair to say that such persons were reprehensible because they carted Jews off to the concentration camps, because they did not know that was what they were doing. In fact it would be hard pressed to castigate them even if they DID know, because they could simply shrug and say -- but I killed no Jews, I carted none to the concentration camps, and I hurt no one. I simply moved little yellow pieces from hither to yon, and it is a game. Even more, if one would try to insinuate that they were morally deficient, they could again shrug and say "well YOU made the game." Would not then the moral reprehensibility attach to those who made the game in the first place? Indeed, a devotee of Pita would consider the stuffing of cows or pigs onto railroad cars and shipping them across country just as reprehensible-- and it too is a train.

Second, in a game, as Grizzly mac says, we use process and procedures to overcome obstacles created for no other reason than to overcome them. It does not matter what specific label you put on them, they are artificial process and no one is really harmed. The object of the game is to overcome the obstacles not kill human beings. In fact the only moral reprehensibility that can attach is if the person were to state that, outside of the game, he really does want to send Jews to the camps. In that case, the game doesn't enter into it and he is a self confessed morally reprehensible person.

By your logic NO games could be played if a person considers a specific side, cause, army, nation, or or group morally reprehensible. Indeed a hard core radical Islamofascist would consider ANY infidel army a reprehensible institution.

religon Inactive Member30 Mar 2012 12:32 p.m. PST

@OSchmidt,

Your logic is spurious. The yellow pieces are not human beings. They represent human beings.

Don't be obtuse.

I didn't call anyone or any act "reprehensible." Most of your argument is in response to a point I did not make.

I did not share my ethical framework or my logic, only my beliefs. The conclusions are your own and do not reflect my beliefs.

I believe that your adoption of the terms Fahrvergnuggen or the WWWF represent an internal conflict within yourself. There would be no need to adopt alternate names if you were entirely comfortable with the choices you made.

Play what you wish. However, if you have doubts or feel the need to rationalize it to yourself, you may wish to search deeper. There may be inconsistency in your own logic or beliefs.

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