I was just thinking...

Real time World War II combat simulation
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Legacy
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I was just thinking...

Post by Legacy » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:07 pm

...I've played a lot of WWII themed games, from shooters to strategy, and there are relatively few that let you play as the Germans. Anyone else notice that? I know why it is that way, but it's not something I've ever seen anyone else comment on.

Being that I come from a long line of German-Americans, I like playing as the fatherland sometimes.
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Post by the space predator » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:17 am

I have not pay attention to this before, but you are rigth. It's the same thing with the movie. American side, british side, russian side, sometimes french side, but rarely german side
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Post by TheKangaroo » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:04 pm

That's more than slightly depending on game genre and release time, I reckon. Shooter games generally don't have German or Japanese campaigns, obviously for immersion and identification reasons; they want the player to be a 'good guy' eventually and setting up an axis side campaign with the detail necessary for a 'close up' kind of game would either jeopardise that plan or make it ridiculous very quickly. (Remember the public outcry over some scene in a game that lets the player kill innocent people?)
Strategy games are a whole other affair. Pretty much all of the older ones had axis campaigns, some even rather prominently (Panzer General?), but lately it seems there has been a decline in that. My theory on that is, that most more recent strategy games are rather 'action strategy', with a lot of flash and effects, while in the old days a large portion of those games were about playing out how different decisions by the involved commanders would have influenced the famous battles. But it might also be that similar arguments as for shooting games apply.
Simulations finally are completely different in that regard. Both in the past and present there have been two major currents in simulation: those that do one single tank/aircraft/submarine/horse carriage only, but that one in full detail and those that have a bit of a wider spectrum but slightly less sophisticated execution. The latter usually lets you play as both sides, today often simply because vehicles for both sides would be necessary for multiplayer and after you make for example a model of the plane, making some missions to go with it is a rather small affair.

So what does it come down to? Money and time, I guess. Depending on the case putting together a campaign for the other side means a lot of work or might even compromise the company in the media, which they don't seem to like despite it boosting sales a lot.

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Post by Legacy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:35 am

I think the primary reason is they don't want us to identify with the axis, but that reasoning implies that the average soldier who fought against the allies was a barbaric monster. While the Japanese culture was certainly alien to us at the time, they are not, nor have they ever been evil, and we English speakers, especially in the US, have borrowed a lot from German culture.

I find the idea that entire nations/generations are effectively shunned and written off as monsters more offensive than the idea of playing the bad guy.
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Post by the space predator » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:25 pm

So:

- It's a question of culture

and

-It's a question of money, game maker want to sell there game, and it's better when you have the "good" american that kill the "bad" german
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Post by TheKangaroo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:30 pm

I think the primary reason is they don't want us to identify with the axis, but that reasoning implies that the average soldier who fought against the allies was a barbaric monster.
While you are right that that certainly is correct, there are a few things to consider after all:
If you make a campaign from a German or Japanese point of view and simply leave out atrocities committed by them completely (which by the way is standard procedure for Allies campaigns, they racked up a massacre or two themselves...) you quickly face the problem that parents for example rightfully question the morale of the game, even though they are the ones giving M-rated games to their 12 year old kids and don't mind the general violence. This seems antithetic but I'm actually with the parents on that one, mostly because I've met young folks who seriously believed that events depicted in pure action games like CoD series were actually facts and 'what it was like then'.
On the other hand you could include, maybe as subtle allusions, all the gory detail, which on the other hand is tricky because of the identification issue. The majority of today's gamers are not interested in actual facts beyond their game itself (see kids mentioned above) and thus probably, if you pardon my french, don't give a damn about different cultures or certain facts of the time.

In conclusion I certainly agree that it's a pity we rarely see 'the other side' in games because - oh the irony - said individuals easily do write off whole nations as monsters even today, but I also see how it makes for a very tricky affair and frankly a lot of publishers just don't like to provide funding and time for people to come up with intricate, smart ideas of implementation anymore.

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Post by Legacy » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:25 am

Playing as a member of the Afrika Korps, fighting the British across the desert, there'd be no need to walk the player through Auschwitz, just as playing Medal of Honor or Call of Duty doesn't require you to spend a half an hour strolling through the Japanese-American internment camps.
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Post by TheKangaroo » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:00 pm

You have a very good point there, I probably didn't think that through properly.

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Post by Perturabo » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:31 pm

Medal of Honour: SS "Dirlewanger" would be awesome :lol: .

Generally, I love playing bad guys and lack of WWII FPS games from Nazi perspective is a huge disappoint to me.
...

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Post by Perturabo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:06 pm

Nice attempts at whitewashing the history, in this thread.
TheKangaroo wrote:
I think the primary reason is they don't want us to identify with the axis, but that reasoning implies that the average soldier who fought against the allies was a barbaric monster.
While you are right that that certainly is correct, there are a few things to consider after all:
If you make a campaign from a German or Japanese point of view and simply leave out atrocities committed by them completely
Then you'd end up without game, because the main atrocity commited by Germans and Japanese was waging an aggressive war. German leadership was was tried not only for war crimes and crimes against humanity but also for crimes against peace. And morally, any German soldier that willingly participated in German wars of aggression (willingly - so not because of fear of punishment, but because of some weird concepts like "duty", "honour", "patriotism", etc.) shares that crime.

German crimes included not only the Holocaust but also illegal trespassing of borders, murdering government servicemen defending their country, murdering civilians, destroying of unimaginable amounts of private property, destroying of unimaginable amounts of public property, destroying historical monuments, robberies, kidnappings, disrupting normal life of civilians, overthrowing governments by force, etc.
All the German atrocities were just a result of illegal presence of German soldiers on soil of other countries.

The same for the Japanese.
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Post by the space predator » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:26 pm

Perturabo wrote:German crimes included not only the Holocaust but also illegal trespassing of borders, murdering government servicemen defending their country, murdering civilians, destroying of unimaginable amounts of private property, destroying of unimaginable amounts of public property, destroying historical monuments, robberies, kidnappings, disrupting normal life of civilians, overthrowing governments by force, etc.
All the German atrocities were just a result of illegal presence of German soldiers on soil of other countries.

The same for the Japanese.
play eastern front as german mean "forgot" the atrocities commited by german soldier, not only SS. Entire village devasted, violence again russian and ukrainian "inferior" people...

One of my grand father's brother have been make prisonnr by Japanese at Hong Kong, it generally forgoted, but the Japanese prisoner camp and the concentration camp were very clause, the only difference is the goal, for Japanese: use prisoner as slave, for german: kill as many people as possible

German and japanese have made a "bad" war, all war are bad, but WWII have been simply an horror beacause of how german and japanese have act...
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Post by TheKangaroo » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:30 pm

I know I'm probably not the position to say that, but I'd like to anyway:
While the attempt was made at the Nuremberg Trials to convict German leaders for the very fact of waging war, that morally without a doubt can't be justified, attorneys from the victors were themselves concerned with the juristic merit of that. It was the first attempt ever to make war itself a crime in the sense of law and that, please correct me here if I'm wrong, hasn't made it into the UN Charta, just as it wasn't in the legislative framework of war before the second world war (e.g. Haag Treaty). It is quite obviously true that without waging war and occupying other countries the Nazis (both SS and some regular army) wouldn't have been able to commit genocide and other crimes in those countries.
Risking to get political here, claiming that waging war in itself was an atrocity (in the sense of the law), would certainly mean that it would not end with Germany or Japan. China invaded Tibet and the world court doesn't seem to mind so much. The Vietnam war was started twice by the north, which is the present day Vietnam and everyone seems to be fine with that. Argentina invaded the Falklands. Russia not so long ago invaded Georgia. Going in the other direction things get even more troublesome. And lets not even mention a number of countries that were part of the Axis (and had their very own share of genocide they did just by themselves) that, thanks to the fact that their peoples were being oppressed by the next dictatorship already, never really happened to come up.

In conclusion: you are obviously right that the German aggression is a moral crime without which other atrocities never would have happened, but it not the same an atrocity in a legal or political sense.
German and japanese have made a "bad" war, all war are bad, but WWII have been simply an horror beacause of how german and japanese have act...
The despicable way in which by this time massacres and genocide have become almost scientifically organised is definitely the reason it is one of the darkest times of the world, since it is the main reason the sheer numbers of civilian tragedies have soared to abstract numbers like never before. (Also contributing to the large number of military dead on the Soviet side, which are the bulk, via Stalin's extensive pre-war killings)
If you try to look at the war itself and turn a blind eye to the atrocities in its wake, I believe the first world war has been even more of a nightmare.

Regardless of where we are from and how we see things, though, I'm certain that we can consider ourselves glad not having to live through those times, thus enjoying the luxury of arguing over the finer points of them.

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Post by Perturabo » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:20 am

TheKangaroo wrote:Risking to get political here, claiming that waging war in itself was an atrocity (in the sense of the law), would certainly mean that it would not end with Germany or Japan. China invaded Tibet and the world court doesn't seem to mind so much. The Vietnam war was started twice by the north, which is the present day Vietnam and everyone seems to be fine with that. Argentina invaded the Falklands. Russia not so long ago invaded Georgia. Going in the other direction things get even more troublesome.
The main reason why those who commit crimes against peace aren't persecuted is that they aren't in a similar position as Germans and Japanese were. Both of them got utterly defeated and were at mercy of the victors. Which means that their leadership could be persecuted.
In these cases bringing them to justice would require require waging a long and bloody war that would kill even more innocent people.
China and Russia are giant countries that have nukes. China practically owns USA economically.
Vietnam war has proved too much for American public and they have basically betrayed the South Vietnamese by not keeping the promise of sending help if they'll get invaded again, so I doubt they'd be willing to attack North Vietnam for Great Justice.
...

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Post by the space predator » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:50 pm

TheKangaroo wrote: If you try to look at the war itself and turn a blind eye to the atrocities in its wake, I believe the first world war has been even more of a nightmare.
probably, but mostly (only?) for the fist-line soldier, it's the big difference beetween the two world war: the first was terible for soldier, the second for civilian...
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Post by Perturabo » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm

Well, there were towns, villages and cities that got destroyed during the war. Also, it interrupted normal lives of a lot of people. Not to mention that these soldiers didn't magically pop into existence. They were normal men like you and me that either volunteered or got conscripted.
Also, war production - people had to produce weapons, ammo, etc. instead of normal sensible stuff.
...

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