Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by ErissN6 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:30 pm

ERISS wrote:German games are very neutral and harmless, you should play them, such as farm simulator.
A farm simulator?! In a european country? Damn are you for the destruction of traditional and ecological agriculture? Halt the MonSanto propaganda!

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by ptje63 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:31 pm

Musketeer wrote:Still in moral dilemma here... :/ It still seems to me, that we (as tactical wargamers) try to be like some crazy-ass peoples (dominate others in game forcefully), which we now totally despise (Stalin da Conqueror), yet we play Finland from Russia side in PC etc. and simply emulate them. It costs only virtual lives and prestige, but you got my point...
I guess in each passionate wargamer a true pacifist is hiding somewhere ;-).

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by goose_2 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:39 pm

I am like every other man on the planet.

Whenever I walk into a new situation I ask myself the same 3 questions that all men I have ever encountered ask themselves.

What is the game?
Who are the players?
How do I win?

This is the way I believe all men are wired, and seeing as a majority of the players of this game are men, not all, but most, that is how I believe everyone approaches this game.
If you find this game pricking your conscience, find another game.

As for me, it is graphics on a screen and does not bother me in the least.
I sleep very soundly, even though I mostly dominate. ;) :mrgreen:
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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by goose_2 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:40 pm

ERISS wrote:
ERISS wrote:German games are very neutral and harmless, you should play them, such as farm simulator.
A farm simulator?! In a european country? Damn are you for the destruction of traditional and ecological agriculture? Halt the MonSanto propaganda!
I almost laughed out loud when I read this, that is seriously funny.
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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:48 pm

As I said - moral = every man for himself! ;)

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by goose_2 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:58 pm

Musketeer wrote:As I said - moral = every man for himself! ;)
No, that is not moral that is everyone doing what is right in their own eyes, that equals a scary time in any culture.

In a Christian context you understand that in Christ you already have right standing with God. And nothing you can do will improve or destroy that right standing with God, in Christ.
So...
This leaves you free to serve your neighbor as they are the ones who need things.
So, in light of this truth.
Is playing a game harming your neighbor?
No, in fact I have found through this forum a way of taking my love for gaming to serve my neighbor through the posts I make about my AAR's and the like.

So, I can in good conscience continue to play this game.

If your conscience is feeling pricked playing this game, then stop and feel free to serve your neighbor in other ways. ;)
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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:03 pm

"Is playing a game harming your neighbor? " well at least VIRTUAL neighbor today it is ;)

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:17 pm

Btw. Which positive traits strategy gaming gives you? :idea: :?:

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by goose_2 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:43 pm

Musketeer wrote:Btw. Which positive traits strategy gaming gives you? :idea: :?:
Just off the top of my head:
- improves concentration and memory

- develops problem-solving skills

- enhances creativity

- has been shown to improve skills in reading, mathematics and other academic subjects

- last but not least it is an enjoyable way to destress from life's challenges
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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:45 pm

Life's challenges = Relax = Conquering Evurope over map?! Quite a relax and NO STRESS :D :lol: :!:

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by HalfLifeExpert » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:22 pm

@Musketeer

As an American, I can never fully relate to yourself and your fellow Europeans on this, because your nations were occupied, fought over, and terrorized in the war, whereas my nation was not, but I can try understand where you are coming from, and I am sure that the war (and the pre-war conquests in the case of your country) are still sensitive subjects over there.

The way I see it, most games that allow the player to play as Axis forces in single player (I exclude multiplayer, as someone has to play the other side! :) ), is generally from an approach that I call "Professional Military Only".

It would be financially, politically and socially suicide for a serious developer to make a game where you control Axis forces and commit the atrocities that were really committed. So the solution is, like in Panzer Corps, approach the situation from a purely military perspective, denying the player the ability to commit war crimes, and avoiding any ideology other than being a professional and skilled soldier. In Panzer Corps, there is also an omission of Waffen SS units, they are substituted by the SE (special elite) units, which from the German perspective kind of fills the role of the elite units of the SS that fought in the war, from what I understand it is basically a compromise between historical accuracy and sensitive issues. But for the real history buffs, you have the freedom to rename any unit, so you can label those SE units as SS Units if you so choose.

Generally games do a good job of presenting a situation of playing as the Axis in a way that is both historically accurate but also avoiding sensitive issues. This is basically fine. Many of the Wehrmacht officers saw themselves as professional soldiers who were serving their nation, and it wasn't their responsibility to make political choices. Of course some did become ideologically motivated, while others rejected the ideology and some famously took part in the resistance efforts to overthrow the Nazis.

What we all must remember is that fascism was at the time a new form of government and society, and we have perfect hindsight of how horrible a system it is, especially in its most horrific form that came about in Germany. But at the time, many people were disillusioned with Democracy and fearful of Communism. With the chaos in post WWI Europe, and especially after the 1929 Stock Market crash, people embraced what they saw as their only hope. Of course Fascism is horrific, and I personally consider May 8 and September 2 as important dates to commemorate, as being anniversaries of 'Victory over Fascism". But at the time, the people had no way of knowing the full dark path that this new Ideology would take Europe down.

So in the end you concerns are valid on the surface, but I honestly believe that in the end its fine, and Panzer Corps really is a fun game, I do recommend it.

While it is not a critical need, I wouldn't be too bad of an idea for developers to mention in the credits or manual or something of their game that they completely condemn what the Axis did (remember Japan committed horrific atrocities too), and that by allowing players to assume the role of the Axis in their games it is from a professional military perspective, and is not ideological or intended to be offensive toward those who suffered and their descendants.

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:02 pm

My old-grandad was killed in Mauthausen by gasoline injection/thrown to dogs. It IS personal to me definitely... :evil:

HalfLifeExpert, you have definitely brought some great points! Especially love "approach the situation from a purely military perspective" ;).

+ Lets do not forget that cca 60-70 % of people simple do as they are told/threatened their families. Rest is motivated with guns, gulags, family threats (stalinism)...

Actually democracy is not that ideal - two wolves + one sheep vote what will be for dinner? ;) (People still dont get the truth about politics seems to me - what difference make if Dracula sucks you from left or right hand? :idea: )

Of course, strategists did not play PG, PC and other such games for living the Nazi atrocities first hand, but to give themselves a nice tactical challenge.... I respect that. Like them too! Lets be honest - chess and alike are a little too boring and predictable (or learned 20 moves ahead) today... ;)

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by McGuba » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:29 pm

While I perfectly understand the basic assumption I think it is a bit more complicated than that.

To start with, as far as I am concerned, the base game Panzer Corps makes no effort at all to emphasize that the player is in the shoes of a NAZI general, i.e. there are no direct referencies to war crimes, lagers, mass murders etc. and even the use of the nazi symbol, the swastika, was totally omitted from the game (at the cost of historical accuracy e.g. the Iron Cross/Knight's Cross award should include a swastika in the middle). Instead, the game briefings and de-briefings mainly focus on pure military strategies and targets. However, we all know that these things were there, these things did happen, and hopefully we are all disgusted by that so it is fair that players should have a bad feeling conquering more and more territories for the Reich.

But, if we accept it, we also have to accept that not every German general was a NAZI devil, who was only interested in mass murdering and raping just about everyone who comes in the way. In fact, there were quite a few German generals and high ranking officers who strongly opposed Nazism, and at some point even risked to resist actively. Unfortunately, many of them had to pay with their lives for their actions and we should not forget them either.

As for Czechoslovakia. It was indeed betrayed, but as you wrote it yourself, it was betrayed by France and the UK in the first place, Germany only made use of the opportunity (most likely it would have attacked anyway). So while you feel it is not right to play Germany, do you feel it is right to play France or UK? Those countries, who selfishly sacrificed your country, only to buy a few more months of peace for themselves? With other words, perhaps no nation is completely innocent in history and following this reasoning, people should not play strategy games at all?

There is one more thing to mention: former Czechoslovakia consisited of a Czech and a Slovak part. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia joined the Axis powers and took part in the invasions of Poland and the USSR on the side of Nazi Germany. So strictly speaking former Czechoslovakia became both a victim and a helper of German expansionist plans and many former Czechoslovak citizens fought on the side of the agressor.

As for surviving veterans of WW2 still playing Panzer Corps or not. All I know is that my grandfather, who was born in 1915, did fight in WW2 and certainly went through some hell and stuff. But he died in 2009, at the age of 94, and even if he was alive, I could hardly imagine him playing a computer game today, at the age of 102. So to answere your question I think the chance that any WW2 veteran playing this game today is extremely low.

However, what I do know for sure is that many British and American guys who serve(d) in Iraq or Afghanistan do enjoy playing first person shooters and wargames set in various conflict zones. I also personally know a guy who served with the British in the Middle East and who went through some hell, and this guy is a keen player of World of Tanks. So what?

War never changes...
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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:34 pm

Not war, people never change! :idea:

You are of course on point with Slovakia (Ján Tiso president if I remember correctly), France, UK etc. etc.

"As for surviving veterans of WW2 still playing Panzer Corps or not. All I know is that my grandfather, who was born in 1915, did fight in WW2 and certainly went through some hell and stuff. But he died in 2009, at the age of 94, and even if he was alive, I could hardly imagine him playing a computer game today, at the age of 102. So to answere your question I think the chance that any WW2 veteran playing this game today is extremely low."

It was ment like people who went through war dont play on it as far as I know. YMMV of course...

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by wargovichr » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:06 pm

Difficult as it is for some, it is true that the vast majority of weapons in use today by the USA, a great force for Peace, owe direct lineage from weapons of the Wehrmacht.
America's great manned space program and derived nuclear weapon rocket force got its birth and headstart from former Nazi party member/officer and rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.
Was the Roman Empire (ground war, slavery) ALL bad? No.
Was the British Empire (naval war, colonization) ALL bad? No.
It may shock some of you to know that the very science and technology of WAR throughout Man's history was CRITICAL in driving groundbreaking positive scientific discoveries beneficial to all mankind (War is good?!).
Nowhere in the Panzer Corps series do I see the glorification of Nazism, antisemitism or genocide. I see the follow-on DLC Soviet Corps and US Corps....
Grand strategy? Yes. Megalomania...Maybe!
One has to look at and fully understand the wide sweep of history.

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:51 am

wargovichr wrote:Difficult as it is for some, it is true that the vast majority of weapons in use today by the USA, a great force for Peace, owe direct lineage from weapons of the Wehrmacht.
America's great manned space program and derived nuclear weapon rocket force got its birth and headstart from former Nazi party member/officer and rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.
Was the Roman Empire (ground war, slavery) ALL bad? No.
Was the British Empire (naval war, colonization) ALL bad? No.
It may shock some of you to know that the very science and technology of WAR throughout Man's history was CRITICAL in driving groundbreaking positive scientific discoveries beneficial to all mankind (War is good?!).
Nowhere in the Panzer Corps series do I see the glorification of Nazism, antisemitism or genocide. I see the follow-on DLC Soviet Corps and US Corps....
Grand strategy? Yes. Megalomania...Maybe!
One has to look at and fully understand the wide sweep of history.
Lot of Truth, but we must draw line somewhere! Torturing people like Dr. Mengele did and then profit from such actrivities as person or state is definitely despicable!

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by 13obo » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:55 am

To add some new perspective to the discussion - World War 2 was indeed the most brutal one in terms of absolute casualties, but is far from being the most 'savage' or 'lacking morals' one. It is fresh in our history, so thus causes some moral dilemmas.

All wars are horrible, and have had countless of atrocities committed in their name (primarily on the civilians) however just the Casus Belli was:
- Holy Wars - Middle East / Byzantium / Baltic/ Spain all suffered terrible looting, r*ping, murdering and etc. because they saw the non-Christians as non-human.
- Religious Wars - 30 years war wiped out 30% of German population with countless towns/cities burned.
- Reconquering lost lands - this excuse has been used numerous times to justify invading a neighbour just because the territory in question (even as far back as hundreds of years before) was at some point tangibly related to the aggressor.

I can keep going, but the point is... WW2 did not bring the worst in humans to light- all wars do that, and if someone objects to playing it, they shouldn't play any war game.

Musketeer, you object to the morality of WW2 because it was recent and because it was relevant to you. Though my guess would be you don't mind playing games about medieval warfare (or further back) as you can detach yourself from them.

Everyone else justifying playing the game from a purely strategic and intellectually stimulating standpoint - I doubt you'd play a game that instead of warfare was simulating where to allocate your (limited quantity of) ponies in the most efficient way, so that you can grow your farm bigger or something similar like that.

Let's agree that we like to some extend playing war games, and resign that there's a beast repressed deep inside all of us that wants to come out from time to time no matter if its in the form of FPS or grand strategy war games.

In the end of the day, the super ego trumps the id anyway.

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by parmenio » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:19 pm

I have no personal family impact from WW2 (although I do from WW1) and I find myself struggling to engage with the OP's stance here on wargaming as the Axis (although to be fair the thread title is more encompassing than that).

I haven't, as yet, got onto Soviet Corps but I suspect I will game that as the campaign rolls out of Soviet Russia and into Eastern Europe (including possibly the former Czechoslovakia) with the same equanimity as I'm currently playing Afrika Korps as I strive to crush the British Imperialists in North Africa. I haven't had a problem attempting as Napoleon to win at Waterloo or gaming as the Confederacy either on the tabletop or via Age of Rifles, Take Command or Scourge of War.

Seriously, I really think that if this is giving you so large a moral dilemma you need to find either another game to play or another hobby.

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:40 pm

To be correct - the feel can be easily replaced for anybody from USA - AFAIK few last scenarios are on USA land? Are they feeling any different for anybody then, lets say, Kursk?

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Re: Big discussion about strategy/tactics gaming morality

Post by Musketeer » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:46 pm

When you use Strategic bomber in Dresden hex + icon + city the results was in reality like this (20-25k dead Germans):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ngriff.jpg

And from here is not THAT FAR (AT LEAST PSYCHOLOGICALLY) to virtual gulags and killing camps?

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