Killing For Your Country

What is it like, I wonder, to be a German, Russian, or Middle Eastern gamer? To know that purchasing a game in the huge selling Military Shooter genre, will at some point call on you to wield your weapon against advancing hordes of your own people?

  As an American or British gamer, of which I am the later, this issue never really arises. You might have to take out some American troops if playing as Op-For in a Deathmatch, but the character in your sights in multiplayer never really feels as identified with its supposed nationality as do the enemy in single player. Divorced from any storyline, your opponents online always seem more representative of the real person in control, whether friend or faceless Internet foe, than the uniform they happen to be wearing.

 In single player, or story mode, things are different. If the story is good you feel invested in the character you represent and take some of his motivation into your actions in the game. Your computer-controlled opponents become the “baddies” and you feel righteous in your culling of their number.

 Or so I thought.

Playing through the recent Call of Duty, Black Ops, I came to a scene where I was required to sink and then escape from an ice-bound warship filled with a chemical weapon sought by various warring parties. I had no problem filling countless nameless Germans with bullet holes on the way onto the boat and spilling Russian blood all over the decks on my way out. However, then something strange happened.

  Suddenly British commandoes arrived on deck, also seeking to capture this terrible technology for their masters, and suddenly faced with foes of my own nationality I was strangely reticent to fight back.

  This series has tried before, generally in an incredibly cack-handed way, to try and make us “think” about our actions. Witness the infamous “No Russian” mission in ‘Modern Warfare 2.’ Maybe this was one of those moments, but it seemed too short a section, and also unlikely, in that it would be strange to just target British gamer’s perceptions.

 Whatever the intentions of the designers I was weirdly jarred by this section. I wouldn’t claim to be strongly nationalistic in anyway, and think patriotism is more of a curse than a virtue but I really had trouble turning my gun on virtual representations of my own countrymen. I fired as few shots as could get away with and still progress but mostly ended up using sprint to barrel through the short section.

  Now, if I had trouble with this five-minute slice of game what must it be like to play this game as a Russian, German, or Vietnamese? What must it be like to play this whole genre of games if you are from one of the countries or religions regularly portrayed as the bad guy? Don’t misunderstand me, I realise that there must be enemies in shooters and it is enjoyable to recreate History for fun but it must be strange having to swallow down on that nationalistic instinct most of us have to play the world’s most popular game.

 I suppose as a German shooting SS or Gestapo in ‘World at War’ one could look on them as Nazis before Germans, but for a Vietnamese playing Black Ops? The Vietnamese War is far less black and white than WWII, and recent enough that there might just be some combatants from the Viet Cong side who have sat down, controller in hand, to find themselves slitting the throats of their former comrades.

  This isn’t a plea for change, for MW3 to be told entirely from the view of a jihadist in Afghanistan, or a Communist special operative cutting swathes through Cold War N.A.T.O forces. It is obvious who makes these games and what markets they make them for and I can’t imagine the next edition topping the charts if Treyarch, Infinity Ward or whoever takes any of my examples as their starting point.

  At its heart this is just another example of the hegemony of the western entertainment industry. What makes it so interesting is the way it forces foreign gamers to take side against their own people and literally wipe them out to take part and succeed.  

  Maybe that is stretching things too far, however it is true that these games don’t just sell by the bucket load in the US and the West. Gaming is a worldwide phenomenon now and there is no doubt that Russians, Germans, and Vietnamese have spent the last few weeks gunning their own people down in pursuit of achievements and the secret of “the numbers.”

  I would love to hear how gamers whose nationalities or religions are normally represented as the enemy in videogames deal with having to take arms against their own. Maybe my fierce reaction was due to the scarcity of situations such as this for a British gamer and those used to these scenarios have become inured to the nationality of those they fight against, although if this is the case it must be quite hard to care about the narrative and feel motivated by a game’s storyline.   

  This is not an issue that needs to, or will be tackled any time soon. Our modern military shooters are still going to feature the US as the good guys and their historical foes as the baddies. I suppose if gamers find this arrangement distasteful there are plenty of aliens and other strange beings to kill when they feel the virtual bloodlust rising. However there are many new potential lucrative markets coming on line around the world. The vast number of non-gaming fingers in China must be interesting companies like Activision and if the worlds most populous country liberalises and wants new ways to spend its burgeoning wealth they will no doubt be looking for ways to repeat the success they have had in the west. Would this mean a new approach with games such as C.O.D? Will developers have to find new protagonists to tell their stories, sell different games to different markets or will Chinese gamers follow the rest of the world and surrender to the American cultural juggernaut?    

44 Comments
46 Comments
Posted by leebmx

What is it like, I wonder, to be a German, Russian, or Middle Eastern gamer? To know that purchasing a game in the huge selling Military Shooter genre, will at some point call on you to wield your weapon against advancing hordes of your own people?

  As an American or British gamer, of which I am the later, this issue never really arises. You might have to take out some American troops if playing as Op-For in a Deathmatch, but the character in your sights in multiplayer never really feels as identified with its supposed nationality as do the enemy in single player. Divorced from any storyline, your opponents online always seem more representative of the real person in control, whether friend or faceless Internet foe, than the uniform they happen to be wearing.

 In single player, or story mode, things are different. If the story is good you feel invested in the character you represent and take some of his motivation into your actions in the game. Your computer-controlled opponents become the “baddies” and you feel righteous in your culling of their number.

 Or so I thought.

Playing through the recent Call of Duty, Black Ops, I came to a scene where I was required to sink and then escape from an ice-bound warship filled with a chemical weapon sought by various warring parties. I had no problem filling countless nameless Germans with bullet holes on the way onto the boat and spilling Russian blood all over the decks on my way out. However, then something strange happened.

  Suddenly British commandoes arrived on deck, also seeking to capture this terrible technology for their masters, and suddenly faced with foes of my own nationality I was strangely reticent to fight back.

  This series has tried before, generally in an incredibly cack-handed way, to try and make us “think” about our actions. Witness the infamous “No Russian” mission in ‘Modern Warfare 2.’ Maybe this was one of those moments, but it seemed too short a section, and also unlikely, in that it would be strange to just target British gamer’s perceptions.

 Whatever the intentions of the designers I was weirdly jarred by this section. I wouldn’t claim to be strongly nationalistic in anyway, and think patriotism is more of a curse than a virtue but I really had trouble turning my gun on virtual representations of my own countrymen. I fired as few shots as could get away with and still progress but mostly ended up using sprint to barrel through the short section.

  Now, if I had trouble with this five-minute slice of game what must it be like to play this game as a Russian, German, or Vietnamese? What must it be like to play this whole genre of games if you are from one of the countries or religions regularly portrayed as the bad guy? Don’t misunderstand me, I realise that there must be enemies in shooters and it is enjoyable to recreate History for fun but it must be strange having to swallow down on that nationalistic instinct most of us have to play the world’s most popular game.

 I suppose as a German shooting SS or Gestapo in ‘World at War’ one could look on them as Nazis before Germans, but for a Vietnamese playing Black Ops? The Vietnamese War is far less black and white than WWII, and recent enough that there might just be some combatants from the Viet Cong side who have sat down, controller in hand, to find themselves slitting the throats of their former comrades.

  This isn’t a plea for change, for MW3 to be told entirely from the view of a jihadist in Afghanistan, or a Communist special operative cutting swathes through Cold War N.A.T.O forces. It is obvious who makes these games and what markets they make them for and I can’t imagine the next edition topping the charts if Treyarch, Infinity Ward or whoever takes any of my examples as their starting point.

  At its heart this is just another example of the hegemony of the western entertainment industry. What makes it so interesting is the way it forces foreign gamers to take side against their own people and literally wipe them out to take part and succeed.  

  Maybe that is stretching things too far, however it is true that these games don’t just sell by the bucket load in the US and the West. Gaming is a worldwide phenomenon now and there is no doubt that Russians, Germans, and Vietnamese have spent the last few weeks gunning their own people down in pursuit of achievements and the secret of “the numbers.”

  I would love to hear how gamers whose nationalities or religions are normally represented as the enemy in videogames deal with having to take arms against their own. Maybe my fierce reaction was due to the scarcity of situations such as this for a British gamer and those used to these scenarios have become inured to the nationality of those they fight against, although if this is the case it must be quite hard to care about the narrative and feel motivated by a game’s storyline.   

  This is not an issue that needs to, or will be tackled any time soon. Our modern military shooters are still going to feature the US as the good guys and their historical foes as the baddies. I suppose if gamers find this arrangement distasteful there are plenty of aliens and other strange beings to kill when they feel the virtual bloodlust rising. However there are many new potential lucrative markets coming on line around the world. The vast number of non-gaming fingers in China must be interesting companies like Activision and if the worlds most populous country liberalises and wants new ways to spend its burgeoning wealth they will no doubt be looking for ways to repeat the success they have had in the west. Would this mean a new approach with games such as C.O.D? Will developers have to find new protagonists to tell their stories, sell different games to different markets or will Chinese gamers follow the rest of the world and surrender to the American cultural juggernaut?    

Edited by TheSeductiveMoose

I would really like a game that would let me fight Swedes.

Edited by Donos

I'm Canadian so I'm a bit removed from the whole situation, but here's what I saw:
 
When I got to the section fighting the British, I got weirded out some. I'm not British, so I think the line was more between general cultures than specific countries. In this case, I think it was much more important that it was proper-english-speaking dudes versus not, than the colour of the flags on their shoulders. After a minute, though, the weirdness faded back to the normal level for shooting people in an FPS. At the end of the day, countries are largely meaningless and becoming moreso as time passes, so to me killing one person is the same as any other. While I don't expect the majority of people to hold this opinion, I suspect that most people who fight their own country in a video game would not be particularly bothered, for a reaon that follows the same logic.

Edited by MooseyMcMan

You know, Americans have been gunning down American cops for years in games like Grand Theft Auto, so I don't think most people stop and think about these things like you did.  
 
Also, while I can't say for sure, but I'd suspect that most Germans probably wouldn't mind gunning down Nazis, because the Nazis were pretty terrible, and I know if I were German, I'd find gunning down virtual Nazis fun.  
 
Oh, and at that part of the game, my PS3 started glitching out, and the thing stopped loading the dialog, so I didn't actually hear that they were British, under I replayed that level on a friend's PS3. Didn't faze me (I'm American). 

Edited by Feanor

I tend not to think about it, nor care about it. I am not shooting actual people, I'm shooting pixels. And if you are really pretending that you are gunning people down in a video game, then you have some problems. 
 
@MooseyMcMan: Don't forget that the Nazi's were those Germans grandparents. Also not even Nazi was some evil horrible person. The vast majority were just plain soldiers. Its not fair to judge all of them with  hindsight.

Posted by Gargantuan
@TheSeductiveMoose said:
" I would really like a game that would let me fight Swedes. "
That would be fun. Somebody should make a Kopps FPS!
Posted by Joeybagad0nutz

What? I don't understand why you care. It's a game. It's not real. I'll kill anyone I want in a game because it is all fake. Hence why I like GTA so much. Plus, Modern Warfare 2 made us kill americans towards the end and I didn't care. It's a game. People are too senestive and think games are offensive, it really is beginning to annoy me.
Posted by TomA

Most game devs don't care if a game could be taken badly in another country, because 75% of the people who are going to play their game are blissfully unaware North Americans. 
But it's a good topic of discussion.Game dev's should be more careful about the stuff they put in their game when it comes to different ethnicity's. Are they going to? No.

Posted by TomA
@Feanor said:
" I tend not to think about it, nor care about it. I am not shooting actual people, I'm shooting pixels. And if you are really pretending that you are gunning people down in a video game, then you have some problems. 
 
@MooseyMcMan: Don't forget that the Nazi's were those Germans grandparents. Also not even Nazi was some evil horrible person. The vast majority were just plain soldiers. Its not fair to judge all of them with  hindsight. "
Agreed. Too many people make the assumption that everyone who fought for(or under, rather) the Nazi regime were evil. Like you said, most of them were ordinary soldiers.
Posted by mrfizzy

Im Australian and i always get annoyed that we arnt featured in games more often. This is especially true with Vietnam games seeing as how big a part we played in that conflict. Having said that i think that killing Aussies in a game would make me feel really wierd, tho tbh i cant imagine a story where we would be the bad guys. 

Posted by Bones8677
@mrfizzy said:
" Im Australian and i always get annoyed that we arnt featured in games more often. This is especially true with Vietnam games seeing as how big a part we played in that conflict. Having said that i think that killing Aussies in a game would make me feel really wierd, tho tbh i cant imagine a story where we would be the bad guys.  "
How about a game where the player is killing your convict ancestors back in the 18th century? It could be something like Condemned.
Posted by Mikemcn

A game entirely built around shooting at retreating (Evil) French Soldiers, would fuel my AntiFrankish urges. On second thought, maybe its best if I just put those feelings behind me and learn to respect them. Than again they do hate everyone.....
 
@mrfizzy said:

" Im Australian and i always get annoyed that we arnt featured in games more often. This is especially true with Vietnam games seeing as how big a part we played in that conflict. Having said that i think that killing Aussies in a game would make me feel really wierd, tho tbh i cant imagine a story where we would be the bad guys.  "

I would Say Sam Worthington Represents Australia pretty well in Black Ops.
Edited by HandsomeDead

I'm assuming OP didn't get the hegemonic nationalism from MW2.

Posted by tunaburn
@TomA:  dude, ordinary soldier or not they were willing to help massacre millions and millions of totally innocent and unarmed people and then kill the opposing army thats just trying to stop the slaughter. anyone that didnt realize how evil what was going on was is a horrible human being. All nazi's are scum and didnt deserve the quick death most got.
Posted by Tennmuerti

Don't really care about it.
It's a game, I gots to shoot someone.

Posted by Ramone

I sort of had a weird and slightly racist moment when the British Commandos appear. I thought to myself 'Oh, here come the SAS they'll help us out' (assuming, because they were the same nationality as me that they would automatically be the good guys) and then they started shooting me and I shot back. I can play that sequence without any qualms but I did have a weird feeling when  it first happened.

Posted by Mars_Cleric

I always thought it would be interesting to play as axis soldiers but I know no publisher would allow it
Posted by emem
@tunaburn said:
" @TomA:  dude, ordinary soldier or not they were willing to help massacre millions and millions of totally innocent and unarmed people and then kill the opposing army thats just trying to stop the slaughter. anyone that didnt realize how evil what was going on was is a horrible human being. All nazi's are scum and didnt deserve the quick death most got. "
I wonder what you would have done, being forced into all this.. you really don't seem to understand war. I can only shake my head when I read something like this, sorry.
Posted by MisterChief

They're just video games so I wouldn't care.

Edited by Wuddel

I am German. My grandpa fought about 2 years in WW2 on the western front, after D-Day. As a french POW, he escaped to make it back home to his wife - pregnant with my mom.
 
So generally I really feel pretty detached from the story - or my personal relation to it. It is more like watching a movie. I just roll my eyes at massive displays of patriotism. I briefly lived in the US, and know a bunch of British people so, I maybe can set this into perspective - people are nice, despite their incredible patriotism. I can respect that, I agree on most of their basic ideals and I even became a bit more patriotic - given the country modern germany is. I did not play a lot of WW2 shooters though. Only "World at War" really. I honestly can not remember what type of german troops were depicted there. I doubt there was Gestapo, because these where more like a (evil) police. Not trained and equipped for combat. Maybe there was SS. These guys ran the concentration camps and the holocaust. Maybe Waffen-SS. The combat troops of the SS - considered elite and fanatic. You had to be a Nazi to be in the SS, and the majority of war crimes was committed by these people. The vast majority of the german forces though consisted of your average joe ordinary soldiers with no political agenda. (It is always refreshing when this is depicted in a game, like e.g. Company of Heros). Hey and guess what. If they did not fight, they would get shot. That being said. War usually brings out only the very worst in every man - on both sides!
 
I also happen to grow up on the east side of the iron curtain in the GDR. So there things are not as clear. Well, both the GDR, and the Soviet Union where terror dictatorships. Though the whole communism thing (as in the theory of Karl Marx - I guy living in the 19th century, who never lived to see the Russian Revolution) certainly did not start out as one, and I still think in theory it is the best possible society. I just does not work with mankind. So things are not so black and white, there. Certainly not the question who started everything, and who just defended themselves. Try to imagine you as a young man in russia. You just survived the bloody war, and then suddenly the US drops an atom bomb in the backyard or your nation. You would be scared shitless! Also keep in mind that history is usually written by the victor, and that we only see the tip of the ice berg of what our governments did. Also, it would not hurt a lot of people to read up even on that version of history.
 
Do not get me wrong. I am happy that it all worked out. Mainly because a guy named Michail Gorbatschow, sacrificed the way of life of his people, so we can all live to see another day and play video games.

Posted by Shadow

The leaders of those countries did some bad shit.  If you're from there and don't understand that, you've probably never even heard of a video game.

Posted by MooseyMcMan
@TomA said:
" @Feanor said:
" I tend not to think about it, nor care about it. I am not shooting actual people, I'm shooting pixels. And if you are really pretending that you are gunning people down in a video game, then you have some problems. 
 
@MooseyMcMan: Don't forget that the Nazi's were those Germans grandparents. Also not even Nazi was some evil horrible person. The vast majority were just plain soldiers. Its not fair to judge all of them with  hindsight. "
Agreed. Too many people make the assumption that everyone who fought for(or under, rather) the Nazi regime were evil. Like you said, most of them were ordinary soldiers. "
So how do you suppose the troops sent out to fight wars like this are supposed to only kill the ones that are evil?  
 
Yes, my comment did stereotype them a bit, and I'm sure most foot soldiers in the Nazi army didn't know about the atrocities committed the Nazis.  
 
But I still think that unless someone had a grandparent that died in WWII, there still wouldn't be a personal connection to killing Nazis in a game like this. 
Posted by Berserk007

meh it's all pixels, but I understand your point. Say for example a  developer released a FPS that set you in the position of a Nazi fighting against allied forces, all hell would break loose even though the argument against it's release is hypocritical.  My point being (If I have one) is that games like these are not meant to have true moral choices that reflect your actual feelings or politics, they are meant to put any enemy in your way in your cross hairs and pull the trigger. You follow the story the developer has planned out for you, so with certain titles like COD if you are in for a penny you are in for a pound.

Posted by EpicSteve

Someone has to be the bad guy.

Posted by leebmx

Thanks for the comments people. 
  To answer a few of the points on here, I understand that games are just pixels and moving light, however they clearly have cultural significance outside of themselves - especially games regarding the military.  
   Witness the recent outcry and forced change of the 'Medal of Honour' multiplayer team from Taliban to Opposing Force. Now while this was a change which seemed to be more important to the non-gaming world than those who actual pick up controllers now and then it shows how these things can affect people. - A sidebar to this is that shooters are extremely popular amongst the fighting folk of the US and GB and it would have been interesting to see how they took to this game if the multiplayer setup had not been changed.  - My guess is that most of them wouldn't have cared, I think fighting a real war and risking your real life probably gives you a healthy disregard for civilian arguments over what is offensive or not.  
  I understand that US gamers have been killing US cops and civilians in games such as GTA etc , but I think the military is a different category seeing how often we are told they are the best of the best in our nations and how grateful we should be for their deeds. 
      I would love to see a how well a game would do if it were as good or better quality than C.O.D but featured the player as a  Chinese soldier taking part in the invasion of America. Or a shooter from the point of view of a Viet Cong or Talib (I doubt the last one would even make the shelves in most shops).   
  I just think it is interesting to try and think outside our priveleged position as US or GB gamers where all the stories are told with our prejudices and expectations in mind. We should also bear in mind that this might not be because our stories are the best or our prejudices correct but because we currently have the fattest wallets. As I say towards the close of the piece it will be interesting to see what perspectives developers decide to show in their games when the rest of the world catches up to us in spending power. 

Posted by withateethuh

The only thing that's important is that neither side is painted in black and white.

Posted by tunaburn
@emem: i would of not fought. or joined the other army. or just surrendered without killing the allies.
Posted by emem
@tunaburn said:
" @emem: i would of not fought. or joined the other army. or just surrendered without killing the allies. "
Not fighting = You got shot or put into a concentration camp.  <-  "Jeder wird mit dem Tod bestraft, der es wagen sollte, den Fahneneid auf Adolf Hitler oder den Kriegsdienst zu verweigern" <- a german law back then which pretty much translates into: Whoever does not join the military service will be punished by death. 
 
Joining the other army = How do you plan on joining another army in a war situation without getting shot by either side? If you are lucky you get captured and put into prison.. back then you most likely would have been shot, because of the crimes the nazis commited, even if you had not done anything wrong. 
 
Surrendering.. your own people would have shot you for betraying your country or the other side would have shot you for being the enemy.
 
  
It may all look easy, saying something like "I just wouldn't have fought", but war was insane back then and it still is today. People do things you would consider being sick/unhuman, but just because it's wrong  that doesn't stop them from doing it. 
 
PS: I didn't even take into account that you most likely would have to take care of family and friends, too...
Posted by Vodun
@TheSeductiveMoose: There was an awesome mod for Battlefield 2 which pitted Sweden against Norway. You could even call out slurs against the other team like "Nordbagge"...can't remember the Norwegian ones but probably something like "Svenskjävel". Good fun. 
 
On topic: @leebmx:  I have absolutely no problem killing my countrymen, you know why? IT'S A GAME! It doesn't freaking matter where they're from (which it shouldn't in real life either). I think the greater question here is why is it so easy for you to kill Vietnamese/Russians/etc ? You should probably reconsider your opinion of your own nationalism and racism.
Posted by leebmx
@Vodun: I understand it is a game but one of the things that makes a game compelling is its storyline and if the narrative is good you become invested in your character and other characters portrayed in the game. Otherwise every shooter would just be Team A vs Team B with no exposition, dialogue or story. 
 As to your second point, this whole piece was consideration of my attitude to nationalism and I try at all times to be free of prejudice. I think you should always pause to consider before you call people rascist, even if just on an blog - its a very insulting thing to accuse someone of. 
 The point I was trying to make is that as a UK or US gamer (I am the former) you are very, very rarely asked to kill your own military in single, player, story focused game play and my experience of this made me wonder what it was like for people who are regularly in this situation. 
Posted by TheSeductiveMoose
@Vodun said:
" @TheSeductiveMoose: There was an awesome mod for Battlefield 2 which pitted Sweden against Norway. You could even call out slurs against the other team like "Nordbagge"...can't remember the Norwegian ones but probably something like "Svenskjävel". Good fun.
That sounds amazing, I really got an urge to fire up BF2 again.
Posted by HandsomeDead
@HandsomeDead said:
" I'm assuming OP didn't get the hegemonic nationalism from MW2. "
I'm assuming pretty much everyone in here didn't get the hegemonic nationalism from MW2.
Posted by Vodun
@TheSeductiveMoose said:
" @Vodun said:
" @TheSeductiveMoose: There was an awesome mod for Battlefield 2 which pitted Sweden against Norway. You could even call out slurs against the other team like "Nordbagge"...can't remember the Norwegian ones but probably something like "Svenskjävel". Good fun.
That sounds amazing, I really got an urge to fire up BF2 again. "
Oh wow, it was even older. It was for 1942:  http://www.silentheroes.se/
Posted by J12088

Yeah i found it a bit odd for a second..then figured it's just a game. I do wonder how the american media would react to people gunning down american troops as russians though.

Posted by Vodun
@leebmx: If you consider yourself free of prejudice then you're naive. Everyone is prejudice, but only through that awareness can you counter it. Hence my suggestion you take another look on your opinion of yourself. 
 
Also, did you honestly think you could state you have no problem killing people of nationalities other than your own and not have the suggestion of racism thrown in your face?
Posted by leebmx
@Vodun: I didn't say I was free of prejudice I said I try to be  - its different but important. And to your second point - this is the internet, I expect people to throw around all sorts of insults, I just wish they would think a little harder before they do.
Posted by S0ndor

I played through half of World at War playing as a scumbag Russian communist named Dimitri, the same people who would later butcher my people and illegally occupy our country for most of the 20th century. Was it weird? Nah, it's just a game.

Posted by Vodun
@leebmx: Perhaps you should think a little harder about the choice of forum in which you expose your ethical shortcomings. 
 
You state clearly in your original post, people of another ethnicity - no problem in killing them. Your own countrymen - problematic. Tell me how I should not interpret that as a symptom of xenophobia? How ever slight it is, you obviously have issues with this.
Posted by Jack268

Honestly, I wouldn't give a damn about a game where you kill swedes. You can do it in CS for example, but noone ever says shit about that. People just care more about the Call of Duty games because they're more cinematic, but the nationalities are still the same, and it's still a goddamn game. Those pixels don't have a nationality, they are all made in America.

Posted by Ragdrazi

  

  Sorry. Felt like it needed to be added.
Posted by tunaburn
@emem:  there were plenty of germans that fought on the other side. Maybe im a little swayed since i am jewish and had distant family that died in the holocaust but theres always a way. Wouldnt you agree it might be better to be killed than to kill innocent people?
Edited by emem
@tunaburn said:

" @emem:  there were plenty of germans that fought on the other side. Maybe im a little swayed since i am jewish and had distant family that died in the holocaust but theres always a way. Wouldnt you agree it might be better to be killed than to kill innocent people? "

Of course I would never want to kill innocent people, but imagine someone handing you a gun and asking you to either kill a person or see your whole family being shot right infront of your eyes.. there are situations you just don't want to be in, because you can't possibly predict the outcome.
 
I think there has been a huge amount of people who wanted to get out who were not able to or didn't know how to. 
 
To go back to your original statement, not every soldier was evil.. when you were ordered to go to war there was no turning back, it was NOT a matter of choice. And seeing people kill eachother.. I can only imagine, but in a situation like that I think it is no longer about what is right or wrong / good or bad, either you try to survive somehow or you die.  
 
I think everyone who participated in WW2 on the german side, knowing and understanding what it was all about and willingly following Hitler was demented. There have been so many kids going to war who were happy to do it, but most of them were victims of a sick mind as well. Having said that, there is no excuse for what happened back then and for wars in general.. but everyone should know that.
Posted by 27thRed_Martyr
Since im a mixed Asian, i don't feel bad killing other Asians. When i play i don't think about the race's all i think about is these are all people, or human beings, but if it were dog's especially if it was a German shepherd or rottweiler, i think twice, because of  Homer and Peter.
Posted by tariqari

As a Muslim gamer, I can honestly say that playing games like you said online really makes no difference.  It just feels like we could literally be shooting at opponents in monkey skins and I still feel no attachment.  The SP is different because their is a narrative, a plot, the setup and the end game.  Call of Duty really feels like it tries to monsterize Western forces.  Ambitious to kill, lack of shame for loss of life, and really distance from the reality of war.  A big contrast to games like battlefield which feels like a much more complicated version of chess.  Games that depict the killings of Muslims do seem movie like and really lack understanding of ongoing situations and how developers failed to relate real world issues in their games.  I think this is true for all Westerners as well, that they really don't know how to engage and communicate with Muslims and the Middle East as a whole.  I think Assassin's Creed truly tried to capture the importance of religion in relation to war more than any other game to date.

Posted by lamegame621

This is something I've been struggling with too. Granted I'm from the American south, and everyone here is a self-proclaimed "patriot" (personally I think patriotism and nationalism are two ways in which governments manage to manipulate their populace) . I've been trying to weigh the ethical dilemmas of playing a game like this that could, for some, merely reinforce their nationalist views. As much as I hate fascism, pretending the Nazis were somehow not human because of their horrible atrocities essentially means that we've given ourselves the right to do whatever we want to them. They're terrorists, or Communists, or fascists, so they "deserve" what they get. It's a dangerous way of thinking, but I'm not exactly convinced we're going to figure out anytime soon that it's actually destructive to all of us.