I haven’t been following the Analogue Hobbies blog before but I came across is while I was looking through the TGN blog feed that I’m a member of and got intrigued by the topic of the latest post: A Question of Historical Wargaming: ‘Ok, Who Wants to be The Bad Guys?
Link to the Analogue Hobbies post: http://analogue-hobbies.blogspot.se/2012/06/question-of-historical-wargaming-ok-who.html
“Nonetheless, in the past few years there has been a growing interest to game more contemporary conflicts (i.e. ultra modern fighting in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan) and this has led me to thinking about the combatants, their motivations and how we as wargamers portray them. From my observation it seems that these conflicts generate a definite sense of a ‘good’ side and ‘bad’ side.”
He then discuss the morality of playing modern conflicts and especially playing the “bad” side in the conflict. The post is very well written and I find the topic very interesting as I have thought about those questions a lot myself.
I’m pretty laid back when it comes to what period is ok to play but I have to say that playing modern conflicts isn’t really ok to me. It’s not that I think people who games in that period is disrespectful in any way but for me it’s mostly a no-go period. With that said (and add a small amount of double standards) I do find fictional Cold War very interesting and would love to game in that period.
I can understand that conflicts that are still “fresh” in memory so to say can seem a bit disrespectful to game for some people but I’ve never come across a player (in my relatively small historical experience) that were disrespectful to the history (or people) of the period. It’s more the the other way around in my experience. I’m sure there’s nazi wargamers that plays their FoW SS army etc but you would find idiots like that in every parts of life.
Most of the historical gamers I know have a big interest in the period and conflict they game in and with the research they do for building their armies I would say that they know quite a lot more about the conflict then the average Joe does and with that knowledge I often find that it comes with more respect for the people that were involved in the conflict, both as combatants and civilians.
If you want to hear more about this topic I suggest listening to View from the Veranda Episode 2. For those that doesn’t know, View from the Veranda is a part of Neil Shuck’s Meeples and Miniatures when he and Henry Hyde sit down and discuss various topics. I highly recommend listening to the podcast, it’s always interesting and by far my favorite podcast out there.