A Near Run Thing

A simple blog about my wargaming activities and thoughts.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Morals of a wargamer...

Well it is difficult isn't it? War can never be a game and yet that idea is intrinsic to the hobby. When pushing around the little metal figures are we really keeping in mind what it is we represent?
I find it very hard to come to terms with the morality of playing games based on humanity destroying each other. It seems especially acute when playing a game from "modern" history such as WW2 and yet surely it is no different for a Roman killing a Gaul? Yet I don't know of anybody opposed to Ancient gaming on moralistic ground.
I think it is very unfair for all wargamers to be glorying war, I have found that since coming into the hobby it is harder and harder to watch war films or read memoirs and yet I feel I have to do it. You cannot simply ignore what war is about. I watched Brotherhood today and was nearly in tears at some sequences and almost left the room but I knew that it would be a cowardly thing to do. If people lived it I should learn about it, otherwise they will be forgotten.

This topic is certainly one that is haunting me recently and probably explains my shift towards eyeing up Sci-Fi figures and the like. But there is still the matter of the Crimea and the moral anxieties that causes....

Or is it just a game? Please leave thoughts.


At 7:05 pm, Blogger Poruchik said...

Rob, I couldn't agree with you more. I like the game to have a toy soldier feel to it. I think that's one of the reasons I was fading in the hobby. If it's to close of a simulation, it's sort of creepy to me. A good game of toys is just that, a good game of toys. I don't golf, but, I like to hang out with my buddies, tell a few jokes, drink a few beers and play a game of toy soldiers. No harm there I think.

I also have a problem with the idea that we can ever get realistic results on the game table. Anyone that has ever been shot at will tell you that you are terrified. You can conquer your fear but you are afraid. No gamer ever locked up in terror when the dice rolled 10! Thankfully! We can add all sorts of probability and odds to try to force a predictable outcome based upon historical truths, in the end, we still play a game of chance. Thankfully!

At 12:48 pm, Blogger Pleader said...

Know what you mean. It comes with who you play toy soldiers with. Without cheapening the concern, I think that playing the wargame has led me to think differently about war and violent death. Perhaps a bit more detached. I still 'enjoy' a good war movie, but in a different way to when I was younger. Not sure if it is only because wargaming and history have taught me things, or if it is the broader experience of aging and starting to recognise mortality and the black fate of fortune.

At 8:35 am, Blogger MiniatureZone said...

Your post mirrors exactly I've felt about this for some considerable time. Nice to find someone who feels the same.




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