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  • #62080
    Angel Barracks
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Are there any subjects you wont game on moral/emotional/ethical grounds.
    I am sure there are plenty of games people won’t play due to lack of interest.

    I don’t do WWII but would if it looked pretty and someone supplied the stuff (looking at you Piers!), however I can’t conceive of any way in which I would feel comfortable playing a game where you liberated a Death Camp.

    I would not be happy playing a modern game if decapitation was in it.
    Hostage killing maybe, but leave it as vague as the hostage is killed.

    Just getting into Fantasy gaming as I am I have come across a few torture miniatures which quite frankly I do not care for and would not play any games with torture models.

    Those are a couple of things that spring to mind, what about you?

     

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Mike Mike.
    #62081
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    I won’t play anything post-WW2 because my emotions and politics generally get in the way. Other than that, a few themes that I would find distasteful spring gazelle-like to mind: torture, death camps, suicide bombs, and civilians as targets. There are also certain nations I won’t play in games because of the reality of their actions or politics, but I’ll happily fight against them on the table top.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    #62082
    Angel Barracks
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Your comment about civilians made me think…
    I know eh.

    I am guessing it would be ok to have civilians killed in a zombie game?

    #62088
    Blackhat
    Blackhat
    Participant

    Never really understood people who gamed Northern Ireland – especially when the situation was still going on….

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #62089
    piers brand
    piers brand
    Participant

    Im not sure anything military based bothers me too much, depending on the context of the game and the motivation of those running/playing the game.

     

    Any period can be made to be distasteful if you want to put your mind to it.

    I’ve played most periods over the last few decades and never had any issues, but perhaps that’s as the games were always fun and treated the subject with the right amount of respect it deserved. I think the people you game with can have a lot to do with it. I’ve played modern conflicts, like Afghanistan and Iraq in the past, and to be honest, the gameplay didn’t really resemble the real events much. I don’t tend to equate a game to being directly related to current events either.

    That said, I no longer game any period after WW2, mainly as it lost interest to me. I do still have an interest in Cold War gaming and perhaps pursuing my interest in the Iran-Iraq War one day.

    As far as WW2 goes, my gaming sometimes touches on some rather unsavoury theatres of war. Im currently researching the anti-partisan operations in the OZAK and looking to build Axis units and partisan forces for the setting. Some of the events are truly horrific in such warfare, but then warfare as a whole is rather a horrid business. Some may well find such a theatre rather distasteful to game, but to me its another aspect of history that offers some interesting units and scenarios to play… same as when we play Irish War of Independence or Irish Civil War scenarios.

    All wars have their dark side. I tend to avoid them in games and stick to playing with toy soldiers. The dark side however needs to be remembered historically so we don’t end up with ‘my waffen-ss are kewl’ type utterances…

    #62090
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Hmm, zombies. I’m not a zombie fan, so never thought of that. Still, it’s a good question. I guess I see the civilians as combatants in zombie games, and that puts a different slant on it.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    #62096
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    To be honest there is nothing I won’t game.

    I once wrote up a Warsaw Uprising scenario for Steel Panthers – a hexed based WWII computer game. The Jewish forces could not win – my aim was less about the win/lose war game aspect and more about the futility of their position and their willingness to fight in spite of that. I can conceive of a similar game for the Auschwitz uprising. I have played the tabletop game Guillotine where you win by sending people to be beheaded, so I can’t take any moral high ground there. I am also contemplating the role of hostages in a VSF campaign I am planning – They can be swapped back, killed or sold into slavery. The same campaign will also assign support between scenarios depending on casualties with civilian casualties providing a bonus.  I have used IED/suicide bomber like units in SF games. Though these could be fluffed off as robotic, I could see using similar alien or even human units if the context supports it.  Needless to say being a WWII gamer, I have used flamethrower units.

    However, I have never since young adulthood, when I didn’t yet know better, fielded an SS unit. Even now for opponents for my Canadians in NWE who went up against the SS, I use generic Heer figures. There was a young FoW player at a convention a few years back who walked around on the first day at least wearing a 12 SS HJ shirt to reflect his army. I didn’t punch him in the head though it was tempting, but instead reported him to management who took care of it.

    There is a Ticket to Ride like game with a moderator who, as play develops, gradually reveals to the players that what they are shipping is people to the death camps. It’s purpose is to demonstrate the banality of evil and profoundly disturb its players. As an education tool, this is a good thing.

    I think in some ways that sums up my approach to “black” games – their purpose should be to investigate and educate but never to celebrate. IEDs, human shields, and terror bombings are all part of our reality; I see no reason not to game them. It’s important I think to look at the dark side in order to understand and control it  but if I start feeling too comfortable with it, then it will be time to stop.

    #62097

    Dan Kennedy
    Participant

    I admire Pat’s stance on this subject; I think there should be room for games to be used to inform or educate where the topic is suitable. I would probably not play them, but certainly don’t judge those who do. I don’t see much difference in reading a book on the subject to playing a game, if the intention is to gain knowledge and understanding.

    For myself, I play games for escapism and to indulge my imagination, so I’m naturally drawn to fantasy and science-fiction. That said, as a child of the Cold War I remain intrigued my NATO/Warsaw Pact games, though as that’s a hypothetical set in the past I’m not sure if it even counts as historical.

    If someone else has been kind enough to set up the board and invites me to join, then I’ll try pretty much anything that doesn’t involve children or torture. However, my preferences are most assuredly in the realms of imagination, where I feel safest.

    #62117

    Gaz045
    Participant

    I will game pretty much anything………the Eastern Front (WW2) is rife with atrocities and I see little difference between the SS or the NKVD, I have gamed anti partisan police actions etc but the civilians not ‘involved’ didn’t appear on the tabletop and so fell beyond the remit of the scenario…..I do have some refugee figures but they tend to be ‘terrain’ much like a temporary roadblock or to slow a unit moving etc….

    I have no SS units in my WW2 collection, more from my preference for second rate units rather than battling ‘elite’ formations.

    I did start collecting for WW1, built the shell torn trench lines,6×4, started to paint the figures, went on a war walk along the Somme……….came back and binned the terrain, the figures remain in their box from all those years ago. I game the air war, I have gamed the Turkish fronts too…..no problem but the Western Front is a line too close to home.

    I have gamed a lot of modern wars, Africa being a focus the last couple of years, so I have militias and even a few child soldiers, they are mrely representative of a reality in modern Africa, my gamng with them is not likely to change that reality but it might raise awareness perhaps? To be honest that’s not my concern either.

    Whilst gaming recent/ongoing wars I have sometimes met with veterans of those wars, I’ve never heard a negative response from them or other participants…….several times the vets were happier knowing that someone knew/recognised where/what they had seen…….

    I always maintain an ‘each to their own’ opinion……don’t judge lest ye be too!

     

     

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

    #62118
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    My gaming is Comic Opera in style , so no atrocity’s. That’s just me.

    #62123
    zippyfusenet
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    “Any period can be made to be distasteful if you want to put your mind to it.”

    I agree.

    That said, there are subjects that I’m emotionally involved with, to the point that I don’t want to make a game of them. And other people have different sore spots than I do. Most people, I think, have a few.

    So my answer to the OP is, “Yes.”

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #62125
    Victoria Dickson
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    I used to enjoy playing Escape from Colditz when I was younger, and I never hesitated to use the ‘Shoot to Kill’ card to stop an escapee.

    #62127
    Rod Robertson
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    This may be a little harsh but Napoleonics, a vile period of self-manoeuvring firing squads, artillery that targeted humans as duck-pins on a vast and lethal bowIing alley and socially superior cavalry who butchered the proles from horseback and seemed to think this good sport. To be honest mass combat from the late 16th century to the end of the Franco-Prussian War seems like suicidal madness to me. The slaughter of the masses by employing tactics which throw away their lives in order to concentrate fire-power and enhance manoeuvrability and command control seem obscene to my mind. Skirmish warfare and naval engagements seem so much more sensible in this four-hundred year period and I will happily play them. The idea that non-combatants would sometimes pack a picnic lunch and watch such large-scale butchery makes my blood boil. The spectacle belies the atrocity and butchery; war is never pretty nor spectacular, it is a tragic crime. Others may enjoy these battles but they are not for me.

    That and any games with zombies which just seems silly to me (not saying others can’t do it, just not my cup’a if you know what I mean.).

    Finally games which celebrate the atrocities of war depress me so anti-partisan operations, death camp themed games, or games targeting civilians are not to my tastes either. I play ancients, medieval, and modern (WWI to present) wargames and try to steer away from the atrocious aspects of these periods. I am no Ashurbanipal or Ashurnasurpal, piling the skulls of the vanquished before the city gates.

    Cheers and good gaming (whatever games you enjoy).

    Rod Robertson.

    #62128
    Kaptain Kobold
    Kaptain Kobold
    Participant

    [quote quote=62080]Just getting into Fantasy gaming as I am I have come across a few torture miniatures which quite frankly I do not care for and would not play any games with torture models.

    There was an era when just about every DBA/DBM camp element seemed to have a model of someone being executed or tortured on it, which I always found a bit disturbing as a trend. But I say that as the guy who has a HOTT general’s element which features Hitler supervising a human sacrifice, so I accept that my moral high-ground probably isn’t that high.

     

    #62131
    Tim
    Tim
    Participant

    Anything past WWII is just too close in time to me with veterans I’ve known. Exception is Cold War as it was a war I trained to fight but did not. Fun to see what our Leopards would do in various rules. WRT WWII, I’ve no problem with SS, their camo smocks were cool.

    I’ve no problem with folks who say they won’t play WWII, period. However, sorry, but not sorry: I’m going to say it:

    I have a big issue with people who play an era and say they won’t field or play a particular force for moral reasons, BUT WILL play against someone fielding the offending force are judging the other player(s) and people like me for doing so. That’s ****ing preachy, holier than thou (“because I play allies”), and hypocritical, pack right off. Sorry, Pat, just my own view. I’ve not encountered that except on line, but if I did encounter someone like that, I would play something else with them.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Tim Tim.
    #62133
    zippyfusenet
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    “… if I did encounter someone like that, I would play something else with them.”

    Aww, here I thought we were going to have a good, old-fashioned internet spitting contest, and you go and get all reasonable with me. Now, where’s the fun in that?

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #62134
    Tim
    Tim
    Participant

    I’m too out of shape to beat the crap out them. LOL 😀

    #62135

    Etranger
    Participant

    “… if I did encounter someone like that, I would play something else with them.”

    Aww, here I thought we were going to have a good, old-fashioned internet spitting contest, and you go and get all reasonable with me. Now, where’s the fun in that?

    What do you expect from a bunch of Canadians?

    I, more or less arbitrarily, don’t game anything less than 50 years old. That gets me to the beginning of the American war in Vietnam. I don’t have any SS units in my WWII figures, although that’s also because I tend towards the more obscure theatres of war. I do however have WWII Japanese, so there are some evil bastards in the mix.

    #62137
    MartinR
    MartinR
    Participant

    You can make a game out of anything, but we all have our own individual “taste horizons”.

    When I was younger and the world was still black and white, I used to operate a 20 year rule, but these days I really don’t care. If it is an enjoyable and/or informative experience in bringing history to life, I’ll do it.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #62138
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    I think a lot of us have either a no go area or at the more milder level, something that is so low on our agenda that it will never get played simply because of the time limits on our lives and the many alternatives that are already lined up to use that precious time.

    I have my dislikes, but don’t need to give them space here, especially as the hypocrite argument is never far away (i.e. willing to game death with one army / period, but not another). Suffice to say I respect life, abhor misery of conflict but love gaming, board gaming and toy soldiers and military history. I have never felt a need to explain that, it is just how it is and I play games for what they are.

    I don’t think computer gamers beat themselves up with a stick the way we do.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #62145
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    There was an era when just about every DBA/DBM camp element seemed to have a model of someone being executed or tortured on it, which I always found a bit disturbing as a trend. But I say that as the guy who has a HOTT general’s element which features Hitler supervising a human sacrifice, so I accept that my moral high-ground probably isn’t that high.

    As a Viking enthusiast and historian, I recognise the potential accusations of hypocrisy against myself in this statement too. Is it any better to have a camp with slaves and plunder in it, when you know how they would have been acquired? Still, I think we are all allowed to reserve areas of inconsistency in the application of our qualms and tastes.

    You can make a game out of anything, but we all have our own individual “taste horizons”. When I was younger and the world was still black and white, I used to operate a 20 year rule, but these days I really don’t care. If it is an enjoyable and/or informative experience in bringing history to life, I’ll do it.

    I’ve gone in the opposite direction. I had fewer issues with gaming anything and everything in my youth than I do now.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    #62146
    General Slade
    General Slade
    Participant

    I used to enjoy playing Escape from Colditz when I was younger, and I never hesitated to use the ‘Shoot to Kill’ card to stop an escapee.

    Happy days.  I remember playing one game where one of my chaps managed to escape and my friend who was playing the Germans was so cross that he used the ‘Shoot to Kill’ card on one of his own guards.

    It caused great hilarity at the time so I guess even summary executions can be fun.

    #62156
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    … However, sorry, but not sorry: I’m going to say it: I have a big issue with people who play an era and say they won’t field or play a particular force for moral reasons, BUT WILL play against someone fielding the offending force are judging the other player(s) and people like me for doing so. That’s ****ing preachy, holier than thou (“because I play allies”), and hypocritical, pack right off. Sorry, Pat, just my own view. I’ve not encountered that except on line, but if I did encounter someone like that, I would play something else with them.

    I will respond by saying first that I am not judging anyone. One of my regular gaming partners has an extensive 12 SS FoW army – because that was his Grandfather’s unit. He’s also a rider so has  Florian Geyer force as well. However, he understands the history and has sound reasons for choosing those units. While I have yet to play FoW with him, playing SS on either side wouldn’t phase me in the least.   Secondly, I’m primarily a solo player so I decide what my opponent brings to the table. My old armoured regiment served in NWE and I wanted to put them on the table so I bought a bunch of 20mm plastics. When it came to opponents, SS is a necessity but I decided that I didn’t want to spend my money on SS figures, so I didn’t. That’s it.  If I was putting on a convention game, I would of course have to suck it up and start painting peadot. As for being “holier than thou”, not a chance, though yes the Allies definitely had the moral high ground for some very obvious reasons. What we did to Dresden, Tokyo and many, many other axis cities was indeed a war crime and yes my friend’s grandfather was lucky to be allowed to surrender rather than being shot out of hand.

    Now let’s go back  to the kid in the T-shirt – again no concerns about his army, but his choice of outer wear at a Canadian wargames convention showed a profound lack of understanding of history – Am I judging him for that? Damn straight I am. I think that is what pisses me off about SS, they seem to be played simply because of the “rule of cool”. I find that attitude ignorant, perhaps even willfully so.

    Oh and if you ever want to drop by for a game, I have Fallschirmjaeger for NWE (also correct for the theatre) or we can play Western Desert in 6mm. For ancients, In only have Romans and Alexandrians but I won’t make you play the Romans. 😉

    #62157
    zippyfusenet
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    “You can make a game out of anything, but we all have our own individual ‘taste horizons’. ”

    A-yep.

    “…the hypocrite argument is never far away (i.e. willing to game death with one army / period, but not another).”

    A-yep.

    “It caused great hilarity at the time…”

    A-yep. In the privacy of my own game-room, my humor sometimes becomes…coarse. But that’s in private. among friends who know how far to take a joke, and what not to say to one another. Out in public, I’m more discrete. Most days.

    “I don’t think computer gamers beat themselves up with a stick the way we do.”

    Wasn’t the whole ‘Sad Puppies’ controversy mainly about computer gaming?

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by zippyfusenet zippyfusenet.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #62169
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    I have run into a couple of things that I was quite uncomfortable with over the years, and avoid those.  That said, I play and have played a lot of things that get mentioned as being “in poor taste”.  On another forum, I was recently (inadvertently I think) referred to as being such, because of my African imagination campaign.  I’m okay with that, nobody should be put in a situation where they are expected to play something that they are uncomfortable with.  If they need to judge me for what I play, I’m good with that too.  It probably just means that we won’t game together, and thus, they won’t be put into a position to game something that makes them uncomfortable.

    Generally in games, I try to immerse myself in the “character” of the force that I am playing.  Militarily, I want to try to make decisions as the force that I am playing would do. This involves following their doctrine, and their motivations.  But sometimes I can’t do it.  I recently played a series of games set in modern Afghanistan with a veteran of Iraq.  The subject of the games was his choice, and they went over very well.  For me, it offered a unique challenge, I found it hard to wrap my head around being Al Qaeda.  In the end, I played them  from the approach that I use when playing the Afghans fighting the Soviets.   I simply could not step into character with these.  I focused on the tactical situation, and we both had a good time.

    I think that mostly, these situations depend on the attitude of the players playing questionable forces or situations.  If they seem to embrace the ideology of a questionable force or situation, then I may find it offensive.  If they don’t, then I probably won’t.

    #62171
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    (Simplifying of course) Sad Puppies began as complaints about Science Fiction book prize nomination processes pushing out traditional SF in favour of more inclusive SF. It rapidly spiralled out of control and turned into Rabid Puppies pushing a very right wing reactionary agenda.

    Gamer Gate began as complaints that a specific game  in a very niche area got good reviews because the coder was sleeping with the reviewer. Having played it, it’s a bloody good game regardless of who was sleeping with whom and whether or not that affected the review. GG then degenerated into misogyny, threats of violence and unending harassment of female developers who dared say anything.

    Compared to the antagonists in both these event, we wargamers come off looking pretty good.

    #62173
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Spanish Civil War and VBCW just do not appeal to me, partly because of they feature/model the total breakdown of society and the “neighbor against neighbor” aspect where emotions can run way too high.  My feelings on these 2 conflicts (even though one is fictional) are colored both by having a relative who volunteered in Spain murdered/executed and being trapped in South Central LA in ’92 when the riots broke out and having to help defend a friends neighborhood, which was a very violent mess.

     

    I did once play in a game that was Planet of the Apes based, where each player had a team of Apes and the goal was to capture as many feral humans as possible, and though you weren’t supposed to you could try to shoot those that were escaping or out of reach.  I was amazed at how quickly some players devolved to just shooting everything in site…

     

    I play Vietnam games (and write rules) because to me, though my father fought in that war, it is a conflict that is totally different from just about any other.  He doesn’t have any issues with it and occasionally contributes, as do many of our retired military friends.  More contemporary conflicts do not bother me either, and I’ve played Iraq and ‘Stan games with veterans of those conflicts so if they can handle it, I’ll happily give it a go.

     

    Now here’s an odd one: once had a fella cuss us out at a convention because in out HUGE pirates games one of the commodities that the national powers (dutch) traded was slaves.  He didn’t care that the british sold booze, nor that the slave trade was historical to the period, just that it totally offended his (very Caucasian) sensibilities and asked Adepticon to ban us and our game from ever appearing there again.  They did not take up his request.  The complainer was later spotted playing an 40k Ecclesial army and heard to be shouting about burning heretics, nonbelievers, and threatening to “torch” his opponent who disagreed with is outlook on the rules…

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #62174
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I’ll game anything.

    If the approach and attitude is right.

    I’ll avoid anything if the players/organisers attitude is wrong.

    Just playing toy soldiers is fine, playing a dark sided subject is fine if the there is a point.

    The half way house where murder brutality and slavery are part of the game and the moral context is missing – ‘SS and loving it’. Not so much.

    #62176

    McKinstry
    Participant

    I won’t do Vietnam as I was there and it just feels wrong. I won’t do modern US as I have 2 sons and a daughter-in-law in the Army with one already having done an Afghan tour and all at risk/likelihood for more.

    As with others, games on any topic where bad taste such as atrocities, torture, deliberate civilian targeting are involved are out as I would have no interest.

     

     

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #62206
    Patrice
    Patrice
    Participant

    In many medieval, TYW, and Old West games, I’ve seen lots of murders of civilians, and hangings (not to mention worse…) and nobody was shocked it was part of the fun. But we wouldn’t have accepted it in a WW2 game.

    It also depends on who is “doing” it in the game and what the player doing it thinks about it in real life. I don’t object to SS miniatures but I can have a big problem if a player likes them too much.

    “You can laugh about everything but not with everyone” (said French humorist Pierre Desproges).

    There are also things I can game with friends, or in wargame conventions, but not in all-games festivals with local family public; and there are things that you don’t mention in the AARs on internet.

    I plan someday to game skirmishes inspired by local events, Resistance vs German Army in Central Brittany in June-July 1944, but to do it in a public event here will need caution and explanations – some people could be shocked.

    once had a fella cuss us out at a convention because in out HUGE pirates games one of the commodities that the national powers (dutch) traded was slaves

    That’s interesting… In our Caribbean pirate games we have decided to include miniatures of slaves, and sometimes to include slave trade in the activity of player characters, and we are ready to explain why: not mentioning it when displaying a miniature colonial plantation on the gaming table is a denial of history. The public never objected – but only once, a young lady of African origin looked unhappily at the miniatures in loincloth and said: “Black people wear trousers as everyone else!”… I was not expecting that, I can just answer that sometimes we also play with miniatures of naked Celts or Picts…

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    http://argad.forumculture.net/

    #62233
    Ivan Sorensen
    Ivan Sorensen
    Moderator

    Theres stuff I won’t play because I either don’t have the interest (most things pre-gunpowder, most things naval) or because I’ve gotten tired of it (anything zombie) but I suppose that’s not the question 🙂

    If I am putting on a game, I will put on something where the forces are on an even footing.
    I typically don’t do insurgency style gaming, though I’ve deviated once in a while. A lot of the time, it feels like it’s basically just set up for one side to gun down the other and I’d sooner just eat a sandwich instead.
    That’s more bad scenario writing than anything but what can you do?

    Relationships matter too though.

    My best mate asking if I want to do a game about partisans fighting the SS? Yeah, I’d play it because I know my mate.

    Some random weirdo at a convention? I’ll probably pass.

    If someone hypothetically asked to run something I really didn’t agree with at a convention, using my games?

    I dunno. I’m not so keen on someone running “SS massacre – FiveCore Edition” you know? But then, maybe I shouldn’t really give a hoot what they do?
    I dunno, s’complicated man! 🙂

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/

    #62294

    yourpaceormine
    Participant

    Obviously some things are out of bounds for taste and decency reasons e.g. SS Warsaw ghetto.

    But ‘normal’ warfare it has to be WW1 (if it can in any way be described as normal). My grandfather lied about his age to do his patriotic duty and was on the Somme aged 15/16. Prior to that he went out to his regiment in Egypt where they were recovering from Gallipoli. He also experienced Ypres, Passchendale. The enormity of his experiences at such an age didn’t hit home until #1 son became 15. For that reason it is off limits. Too personal.

    Heck, I can’t even visit the WW1 galleries at the Imperial War Museum, it is too upsetting.

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