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Author Topic: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming  (Read 266 times)

Mike Tanner

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The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« on: September 11, 2018, 07:03:42 PM »
I had to roll my eyes and shake my head when I first read The Sun newspaper article below.
 
Are wargamers who would consider using such models in their games really monsters as the article suggests?

Is there a conflict or period in history you guys as individuals could not game on moral grounds? 

Quote
WAR GAMES Outrage as British toy brand Airfix sells model of Afghan home reduced to rubble by air strike Veterans are calling for Airfix to scrap 'sick' model showing a dilapidated bomb-blasted Afghan home


BRIT toy brand Airfix is selling a model of an Afghan home reduced to rubble by air strikes — sparking outrage among veterans.

The harrowing model includes a collapsed all and a pile of crumbling concrete.



Airfix describes it as "a typical single storey house found in Afghanistan used for both living space and storage."

They add: "The collapsed wall and rubble adds to the diorama possibilities".

But Afghan war veterans have hit out at the "sick" toy made by British toy giant Hornby.
Full article here

martin goddard

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 08:10:32 PM »
I could not reply straight away to this post as I was so upset.  There are muggings, rapes and murders in wars but this really shows the real horror.   Saw the new TV series "bodyguard". It was apparently criticised for portraying a terrorist as a muslim.

I am all for "political correctness", people should not be upset needlessly.  Quite right. However, this sort of story is more about some junior reporter whom "can't find any news" than unearthing "this is shocking".

Having said that, I am shocked that communities let paediatricians walk amongst us and not be arrested for their crimes. Pedestrians are also just as guilty.  We also surely need an end to women's suffrage, it sounds so painful. :-*

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 09:04:08 PM »
Thanks for this, Mike - I had clearly missed my daily dose of The Sun on that occasion.

I personally would feel a little uncomfortable at playing anything within my memory and to date have drawn the line at the Vietnam War.

I remember the Falklands quite well and don't see that as something I would wish to game. Which probably just means I'm a hypocrite.

Mike6t3

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 09:16:41 PM »
I'm sure the "veterans" have seen far worse than a plastic model ! The veterans in question were probably winding up a gullible reporter and having a right laugh at the Sun's expense.

Personally I prefer not to wargame recent conflicts but am not offended by those that do.

Sean Clark

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 10:51:15 PM »
Imagine the Sun readers outrage at being able to buy toy Taliban soldiers and rules that allow you to refight ambushes on British soldiers.

Dear oh dear. Whilst I accept people are entitled to opinions, this kind of gutter journalism smacks of some hack with too much time on his hands. His ability to research the subject of models depicting modern warfare must be limited because if he dig a bit deeper using Google he would have found lots to upset the readers with !

Duncan

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 07:22:01 AM »
Although I wasn't there, I still feel uncomfortable with the AWI incident. Especially the recent need to publicise and celebrate America Independence day, it is just so unpatriotic. So I do not feel I can comfortably 'game' or collect this particular war. How can we of taken our finger off the pulse so catastrophically. I know the King had issues, but surely he had advisors and need I say, parliament? Well, excuses! It still leaves a bitter taste. After all they arecsjpposed to be our closest allies, what goes?

NTM

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 07:29:39 AM »
The extract above does not include the quote from the only named veteran who gives quite a different perspective.

But former SAS hero Ben Griffin, of the Veterans For Peace group, said that it is important for people to know what the horrors of war are really like.

He added: “If anything, this Airfix model does not go far enough.”

Article is complete tosh in my view with "outrage" coming from perhaps 2 people for a model which has been out for years and I'm fairly sure they used to do others.

Really wish Airfix would rerelease the other WWII houses they used to sell.

Leman

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 08:22:40 AM »
I find modern conflicts difficult to come to terms with as a pastime. By modern I mean post-1930. I have a variety of reasons for not doing the SCW or WWII, but having sat through night after night of TV news of Vietnam I have no appetite for recreating that. As for the current conflicts I am totally turned off. People may call me a hypocrite, but for me wargaming is history and post-1930 is still contemporary.

Big Mike

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 11:54:51 AM »
For me the very fact that people in our group are discussing this issue is evidence that we are mindful of the ethics surrounding our hobby. I grew up watching b/w war films with my Dad an ex soldier  in the 50s & 60s, reading Commando comics and playing with good old Airfix kits and figures. I can Wargame WW2 because I feel it is now history. It was largely a war between good and evil fought by ordinary people who were capable of great heroism, sacrifice and barbarity on both sides. I find gaming WW1 with gas attacks difficult, my Grandad fought and lived through the Western Front. I do not won a WW1 army. All these points are personal to me and I would expect every gamer to have a different take on them. No hypocrisy with anyone's view point.
The journalist needs a story. Science, history, medicine, diet, you name it, they will find a contradictory story or even a downright lie to get one.
Just one more thing, if we want our hobby to be seen at its best and to appeal to new or returning wargamers, we must be careful how we conduct ourselves.  Sorry if this sounds a bit preachy.
Good discussion guys, sorry to rant on.

Wardy64

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 12:27:24 PM »
Big Mike, makes some very good points. Coming from a family that has served in WW1, WW2, Korea and having a wife who was in the Cold War era army I can see every one has their own view points. I game WW1 but would never use gas, my granddad was gassed in France so that is personal to me. My dad served in the Far East in WW2, his comments on my gaming were just remember the horror and brutality of war!

 If we look at current video games, certain re-enactment groups our hobby is not too shabby. Its about maintaining the high moral ground.

Wardy

pbeccas

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 03:07:47 PM »
Unfortunately western society has lost the plot.  The rise of the SJW has lead to the rise of the nationalist.  Here we go ago again.  Europe will be at war.

Sean Clark

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 07:28:25 PM »
I  had to Google SJW (social justice warrior for those like me who hadn't heard of it  :) )

It is each to their own on this really and Mike is right no one should feel hypocritical for what ever they choose to do. Equally, no judgement should be passed on those who wish to recreate Afghanistan for instance. I know one company (Skirmish Sangin) who produce rules and figures for these games and have a strong following - some of whom are veterans of the campaign.

I have said this many times - we are a broad church, but with a small congregation. Wargaming to understand conflict and wargaming for fun are not mutually exclusive in my humble opinion, no matter what the era. But if a person declines to game a particular period because of their own mores, than that is perfectly fine. It doesn't offend me or make me feel like a blood thirsty insensitive ingrate because I choose to play toy soldiers refighting Vietnam or whatever.

When one begins to impose standards on others from a morale high ground stance, we begin to enter dodgy territory. I have yet to see that kind of thing on this forum but have witnessed it elsewhere.

My message is - enjoy your toys whatever period you choose to play and let others enjoys theirs how they want to.

Please now turn to Hymn number 75 in your hymn book and all stand....

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 08:44:55 PM »
Amen.

Smiley Miley 66

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Re: The moral and ethical issues surrounding wargaming
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2018, 04:43:59 AM »
I saw an FV 432 crush a car on the main road of Borden many years ago, because the driver thought he could out accelerate an APC....
But i still have plenty of model APC's in my  collection. Wot a load of #@$&......
 Most of us have thought at some time about what we do and is it right ? At some point of our lives, i am in no doubt. Do we do it to glorify war ? NO.
It is a hobby that most of us do because we love it, and a hint of Honour, to do the past heroes and suffers Justice, that's why we spend time to get it right.