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POLL: Morality of Civilians as Targets or Objects in Games


458 votes were cast.


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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP writes:

So my question is, is it immoral to have civilians as "targets" or to represent possible victory points for killing/capturing/rescuing in mini-based games?

Obviously there is no "one answer fits all gamers" solution as it's basically up to each gamer, but I'm curious how the majority of gamers feel.

For me, I could see doing "hostage rescue" scenarios, but I would not do game scenarios where killing civilians garners victory points or is a victory goal of one side.

In the very first RAFM "Charlie Company" game I ran, the scenario was called "It takes a village".
The object for the US player was to move his platoon towards an unarmed peasant village that had accidentally gotten the hell shelled out of it due to a botched artillery mission. The US commander had to go in, round up the villagers and escort them back down the road the road to the security checkpoint.
Local VC forces decided to wait until the platoon was laden down with villagers to decide to give harassing fire and sniper shots at US GI's and scared outta their wits civilians…The US Player was then given a tough choice. Does he contine moving down the road under fire from the VC and trying to protect the villagers, (while all the time taking casualties), OR does he move his platoon out and engage Charlie, and tell the villagers "Head down the road as quickly as your feet can carry you", and leave them to their own devices???

It wasn't a pretty game or a pretty choice.

I'm working on a scenario right now where one sides object will be to attempt to take stands of civilians "hostage". They get points for capturing them and securing them, and they get less points (And actually lose some), if they kill them.
Meanwhile another sides goal is to get the civilians to safety, (evacuated), from the oncoming enemy forces. Defense side losesif stands get captured, and they lose points if any gets killed.

It tends to make the players look over their choices and it tends to tell a lot about the person who seems to "enjoy gunning down unarmed civilians with malicious glee…"
Although I do think we've had a former member of this site kind of hint to that in some of his games in the past…


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VOTING RESULTS
AnswerVotes%Chart
no, it isn't immoral
305
67%
bar of chart
yes, it's immoral
80
17%
bar of chart
no opinion
73
16%
bar of chart
POLL IS CLOSED
POLL DESCRIPTION

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP wonders...

Having read a number of books dealing with Beslan, and because I deal with hostage rescue in my work occasionally, I have considered using but not implemented related scenarios in my near-future games.

Civilians are a constant on any modern battlefield - and in Iraq or 'stan, they are often the targets. In any 40K army book, an Assassination scenario is often fielded, but this doesn't apply to "civilians".

So my question is, is it immoral to have civilians as "targets" or to represent possible victory points for killing/capturing/rescuing in mini-based games?

Obviously there is no "one answer fits all gamers" solution as it's basically up to each gamer, but I'm curious how the majority of gamers feel.

For me, I could see doing "hostage rescue" scenarios, but I would not do game scenarios where killing civilians garners victory points or is a victory goal of one side.