PLAYING GAMES WITH HISTORY: PHILOSOPHERS ON THE ETHICS OF HISTORICAL BOARD GAMES | AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

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Here is a fascinating article I came across on the ethics of playing / designing games with problematic historical themes. 

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Premium User9 months ago

It's a very interesting article that raises thoughts around a lot of the media we consume.  

There is definitely something different about playing a board or video game where you are actually DOING the thing rather than passively consuming it in a book or movie.  

It's a tough one.  My first instinct is to say that it's ok to portray a socially brutal period as long as you don't wash over the horrible things that are actually happening.  But my second thought it, who would want to play a game like that?  

If you move your green cube in to such and such a territory and extract resources and the game gives you X resources along with a human body count in the thousands it would be realistic and accurate but also very tough to play. 

However, in the end perhaps that is the point.  We play games with themes that abstract that body count and perhaps we shouldn't. 

Video games have had the same commentary for years.  Even the game themselves poke fun at it.  "You're here to stop me from killing people yet how many faceless minions did you kill to get to me?" to paraphrase a few games.  It's why killing aliens, zombies, and nazi's is the go to in games because socially it is "ok".  

So for me, for now, I'll say that it's ok to play a game like Scramble for Africa but not ok to abstract out the nastiness.  

Supporter9 months ago

Agreed - it’s easier to depict known bad guys instead of shine a light on the blemishes that the good guys have. 

Supporter9 months ago

It’s an interesting discussion. The idea of designing games around historical events has never bothered me.  

Supporter9 months ago

It hasn't bothered me other, though I do believe we need to be thoughtful about it. 

Supporter9 months ago

Definitely. 

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