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Subject: Most offensive boardgames rss

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Kyle S
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I stumbled across this article on the most offensive boardgames:
http://deputy-dog.com/2008/01/17/the-worlds-most-controversi...


It's an interesting read.
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Colleen
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The banning of these games is further evidence that boarding is a method of reinforcing the staus quo. Games that suggest "inappropriate" behavior will be taken off the market. Yet somehow art that depicts war, terror, and death is displayed in museums.

Fascinating read. The next time someone says boardgaming is a wase of time, I will ask if they feel it's appropriate to ban serial killer games. If yes, then obviously gaming is expected to uphold basic cultural values.

Edit: typo.
 
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Dwsparks
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Most of these games were covered in this geeklist:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28062

Although I'm sure there are others as well....
 
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CHAPEL
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Congratulations to Friedemann for making the list, and my Avatar. thumbsup zombie
 
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marc lecours
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This is a difficult question.

Should we ban all movies that have a murder or deliberate killing in it? Should we ban all movies where one person hits another? Should we ban all movies where a person drives while drunk? Should we ban all movies where someone smokes a cigarette? Should we ban all movies that mention the word cancer? Should we ban all movies where someone swears? Should we ban all movies where women are treated as eyecandy and nothing more? SHould we ban all movies where someone makes a racist comment? Should we ban all movies where someone steals something (i.e. robs a bank)? Should we ban all movies where a person disobeys their parent? Should we ban all movies that hint at sex out of wedlock? Should we ban all movies where the rich exploit the poor? Should we ban all movies that have rebels (i.e. Star wars)?

I think a lot of entertainment(movies in particular) is based on portraying behavior that is questionable. That is where the money is. That is also where a lot of entertainment is. Shakespeare was not immune to writing plays that included violence.

One solution that hollywood has used in the 40s and 50s, was to make sure that the good guys won and that any adulterer, robber, murderer paid for their crime by the end of the movie (even if they were the hero). In gaming terms this would mean that the game was designed so that the bad guys always lost. This is not really possible in most games. If one player is playing the role of the bad guy, then most games give the bad guy a chance to win. One way to avoid this is for no one to play the bad guy and thus the game become a cooperative one.

I have always had problems with World War two:
1. The Germans are the bad guys. They are often given better leadership. In tactical and operational level games the Germans are usually given equal chances of winning. We can in our minds dissociate the battle portrayed with the racist and genocidal policies of Hitler. But it is there.
2. In strategic games of the whole WWII, the Germans rarely win. Usually the German player has to do better than the Germans did in WWII to win but does not actually have to beat the allies. This is a neat solution to the bad guy winning problem. The "bad guys lose"
3. I have problems with the strategic bombing in the WWII games. The killing of a million or more civilians by bombing of cities is a war crime. The only reason that it was not considered officially a war crime is that the side that bombed the most civilians won the war. If the Germans had been the only ones bombing cities, then it would have certainly been officially called a war crime.
4. I have problems with the denial of the Holocaust in WWII strategic level war games. It is completely ignored. I don't know of any strategic level WWII war game that deals at all with the completely immoral killing of several million jews by the Germans. On the other hand I can't think of any possible way that a game could deal with this issue without being even more insensitive. I think that it is impossible to deal with this issue.
5. All war games tend to treat battlefield deaths as statistics. Wargamers associate lost units with lost units and not with actual human death and suffering. We sacrifice units as "speed bumps" to slow down the advance of the enemy without considering the individual soldiers that would have died if we had used that tactic in the real war.

All in all I like war games and I like to play WWII strategic level war games. I am against censorship. I do not think that playing a game where you play a bank robber will encourage you to rob a bank. I do not think that playing a game about being a mass murderer will encourage you to become a serial killer.

On the other hand, I do believe that every time you are exposed to a questionable behavior (whether in a game, a novel ,an action movie, and especially by the news media (who treat disasters,death, and government scandals as entertainment)) it desensitizes people to the behavior. This means that when exposed to it,people accept it more as being normal. People are less shocked by a murder or a corrupt politician in their community because they have been bombarded in the news media by such behavior in other communities.

Do games have this effect? I don't know.

But games do one thing that news, book and TV don't do. Games put you in the skin of characters with questionable behavior. For an hour you are the character and YOU make all sorts of immoral decisions (often the immoral decision is the best move). How does this affect the game player? Again I don't know. I don't feel that I am a worse person just because I have played Hitler in a few games. But who knows?

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Hugh G. Rection
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Yay! More hand-wringing about board games! We seriously need a "hand-wringer" microbadge.
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Neon Joe, Werewolf He-yump
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rubberchicken wrote:

4. I have problems with the denial of the Holocaust in WWII strategic level war games. It is completely ignored. I don't know of any strategic level WWII war game that deals at all with the completely immoral killing of several million jews by the Germans. On the other hand I can't think of any possible way that a game could deal with this issue without being even more insensitive. I think that it is impossible to deal with this issue.


You're probably right that it's impossible to integrate this into a game. To have a game reflect this, you would have to have victory objectives related to rounding up and exterminating Jews, as the Germans did not follow the rational actions that most of us would have our Axis and Allies pieces take. You would not push all your infantry through the eastern front as fast as possible, but would have to leave a certain number of infantry behind in each vanquished country over and above a standard guard contingent to handle the logistics of the Holocaust yuk

Of course, regardless of the game, you can always give the German player crap about all the horrible things he's doing to innocent people as he's pushing through the Eastern Front
 
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marc lecours
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showing the major death camps on the map is an interesting idea. It would be there without being part of the game. A reminder. But would a publisher want to put something on a game map that has so many sad associations?
 
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J.L. Robert
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rubberchicken wrote:

I have always had problems with World War two...


You seem to be confusing your morality with what the purpose of a strategic game is supposed to be.

1 In a WWII game, the Germans are the "Bad Guys" only because they lost the war. A lot of soldiers and civilians bought into their nation's propaganda machine, just like many Americans did theirs. The "Bad Guys" were Hitler and his staff, who developed the ravings of Mein Kampf into the atrocities that are so incredible, people to this day deny its happening.

The German Army WAS better trained and experienced vis a vis their Allied counterparts. Poles, French and British troops did not have the experience of Spain behind them, and the Soviets did not fight in France, Greece or North Africa before June, 1941. That learning curve, however was not as steep as the Germans would have preferred, and such things ARE represented in many strategic wargames, in the form of the increasing weight of volume most Allied sides get in a game.

So, tell me, which are the "Bad Guys" in an Eastern Front game? Stalin had exterminated AT LEAST as many people as Hitler.

2 I don't see a problem here. Historically, they lost the war. For them to win a game, they should have to do better than they did historically. So, do better, and do better.

3 Rare is the war where civilians are NOT harmed during combat. The goal of MOST strategic bombing campaigns was industrial output or infrastructure, NOT civilian centers. Time is proving that Dresden was more a case of bad targetting than malicious intent, and the casualty numbers were certainly inflated by Goebbels, another lie told to the German public.

Even with today's guided munitions, civilians still wind up as casualties of tactical and strategic bombing. Explosions don't differentiate between combatant and civilian.

4 How would you propose dealing with the Holocaust in a GAME? The purpose of the game is to entertain, not depress. In a strategic wargame, I'd enjoy the challenges the German High Command faced in trying to win a land campaign. I would NOT enjoy pretending to be Hitler himself.

You'd first have to decide if you will go with the Functionalist or Intentionalist theories of The Holocaust. Do you have a means of altering the events themselves, or are they locked into place? If you can change things, can it be sweeping or must it be gradual? What would be the in-game impact of such changes? You must also provide a means of accelerating the program, in the interests of accuracy. If they are locked into place, why bother having them in the game? In the end, it would simply be another game mechanic, trivializing the event moreso than just silently acknowledging it.

5 It's a GAME...about WAR. How would you go about dealing with casualties? Should we write several hundred telegrams each time a counter is lost? Believe it or not, strategic commanders would have to do such things in order to maintain strategic objectives. Yes, sometimes you DO have to sacrifice men and equipment for the sake of a higher goal. Are captured pieces in chess...or even jumped pieces in a game of checkers...any less a loss of life?


A war isn't an episode of The A-Team, with big explosions and vehicles flipping, only to have every passenger climbing out of the wreckage. Casualties occur, people (both soldiers and noncombatants) die, and battlesites are scarred by damage. A game is merely placed in context of a war; it neither condones or opposes it. You are not personally waging war, you are trying to solve (or out-solve) the problems faced by the commanders of that point in time. Real lives are not in the balance, and the dead will not come back if you prevent a particular unit's loss. Enjoy a game for what it is, but making morality judgements based on a game is just unfair to the person(s) playing with you.
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