Monday, 22 August 2011

The Ethics of Wargaming ...

I attended the Eastern Front Wargaming show yesterday and inflicted my presence - and Zombie Horde - on Zombie Ad's display ATZ game. Having turned it from a display to a participation game for him - by saying to some observers "d'you fancy a go?", I wandered off and looked around the convention.

Pictures of the game will be in my next post!

But while browsing I saw an advert for a new range of Brits in Afghanistan and that got me to thinking, should this current conflict be wargamed? is it ethical to be playing a game, where the potential exists for someone to come up to the game and see something they have partaken in being played out on a table?

I don't have an answer, and I'm certain everyone will have their own opinion, but I think it is something that should be considered by anyone who could be in that situation. For instance what do you say to someone in a wheelchair put there by a situation like that on your table? I wouldn't know what to say them ...

I've never asked a combat veteran what they would say or think ... and. for that matter, I do game world war 2 wargames and although getting smaller, the potential for a veteran seeing me gaming it certainly exists.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't game current wars - it's not for me to tell people what to do! It is my personal choice not to; if you choose to, I won't say you are wrong either. I just think you should consider what could be the consequences of your choice ...


  1. It is somthing to think about. But then theres alot of Computer games you could say the same thing about

  2. Damn good point Brummie, and something I never even considered. If you considered 'Call of Duty' and other game of that sort, it puts wargaming into a completely different perspective, doesn't it?

  3. I wargame with a Vietnam veteran. He simply will not play a Vietnam wargame as it is too close for home for him, and I respect this.

    I do want to play a Vietnam wargame, but I will probably do so as a solo project.

    I am in two minds about wargaming Afghanistan - sometimes I think it would be good to do, but sometimes I stop and think as an active member of a defence force it might be a bit too close to home to play. Jury is still out on that one for me.

  4. I guess it comes down to being respectful of others wishes and being mindful if you think you might be stepping into 'too soon' territory.

  5. I think you need to take it on a person by person basis, some will mind, being to close to home, while others wont really care(I have met both types), I do respect both sides and as you have said there are no wrong or right answers, it just depends on where you are at with this subject, and what you went through while on duty.

  6. Sincerely I don't know what to think. In my opinion, if you meet someone at a wargaming convention, I think that a person can "expect" to see a contemporary conflict represented.
    In Italy it's really different, here everything must be "politically correct" (in an exagerated way if you ask me) but you must consider that we don't have a wargaming tradition and we are seen more like big kids playing with toy soldiers than modellers with a passion for military history, it's then easy to consider our game as "tactless" ( I must confess that I'm a big kid ;P ).
    That said, it's hard to find a veteran here, as an ex military myself I've just learned to "purge" my games from any political or social comments, especially for "recent" conflicts. More importantly, I respect the feelings of others and don't even joke on certain topics, I saw once a bad discussion between 2 players at a wh40k tournament because a player made a bad joke ( a pretty bad one I must agree) about Nassiriya in front of a friend of one of the wounded... particularly unpleasant if you ask me...
    I hope I've explained myself in a clear way, english might be tricky for me... ;)

  7. I'd like to add that I think something like 'The Battle of Tripoli' would too soon.

  8. An interesting, sane, calm discussion ... why can't all online chats be like this?

    Thanks for the comments guys