Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Playing as The Enemy

If you play games, there is a great chance you have played at least one game involving the World War 2. And if you played those games, you probably played as an American soldier, maybe a British one and in rare cases, as a Russian.. But the chances of you played even a single part of a game as a German officer, Japanese soldier or Italian private is probably zero. Outside the multiplayer, you probably never played as a member of the Axis in those games. And this is a missed opportunity.

I understand that creating a game where you are a Nazi, the only group that basically everybody can hate and kill without feeling bad about it, would be trick. I am not talking about excusing them, or justifying their actions, but to show their battles, why they were fighting and why they believed what they were doing was right. I am sure there was some soldiers on the Axis who didn't agree with their leaders, while others was doing their job as soldiers and fighting for their country. And sure, there was probably the ones who really deserve the hate they receive, but I would like to hear their stories.

I am not saying here that those games should transforms those soldiers in heroes or throw a positive light in them. I am saying to show their side too. I never saw a war were there was the good guys who always did the right thing and the bad guys who are pure evil. There is good and bad people in both sides, and usually their wars is more a fight for something valuable like territory than philosophical differences.

I would like to see how German soldiers dealt with their missions and their war, why the Japanese decided to try to conquer the Pacific and what the hell the Italians were thinking. It would be an interesting lesson on History to play a game were the side who lost have a chance to tell their version of the conflict.

And this is not the only war I am interested in playing the other side. Why not play as the Vietcong and see how they fought an enemy who was theoretically superior? Or as a North Korean? There still is plenty of wars of recent times that we only know one side of the story through games.

And that is not just for real wars. Why not a Killzone game you fight as Helghast? That would be incredible to play and something that would make you think. After playing so long as the 'good guys', maybe discover they are not so good after all.

All wars have two sides of the same story. I am not talking about transforming one side in heroes while demonizing the other, but that I am interested in hear both sides out. It would be an interesting exercise in critical thinking knowing both sides a little better.

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