Spec Ops and moral complicity

Drew Dixon

Steven Sukkau
July 13, 2012

My question is, can games be both fun and enlightening? Can a shooter be fun if you're not shooting someone every six seconds? Is there a way to have a steady stream of action without ultimately cheapening the cost of human life and the act of killing?

Or does it make a difference if the enemies are sub-human, like the Locust of Gears of War or the Aliens of Halo?

Drew Dixon
July 13, 2012

I kinda feel like games have already proven that both things are possible. I mean there were certainly moments when I felt enlightened BECAUSE I was shooting people and that made me feel very uncomfortable.

Also there are plenty of games with a steady stream of action that are not particularly violent.

But I would say that game developers shouldn't even think of "a steady stream of action" as a necessary component of a good game. Games should be engaging but that doesn't require constant action in my opinion.

July 17, 2012

Does the game explain what the fight is about? Counting the cost and understanding the human toll is important. So is understanding the reasons justifying the war. My dad was in the Chemical Corps in WWII. After the war he had to go to Japan and clean up after Hiroshima/Nagasaki. War wrecked my dad before I ever got to meet him. He didn't talk much about it but I think "necessary evil" fit his definition better than "just war."

In my opinion, the only truly just war is spiritual. John's Revelation describes Jesus leading a battle at Armageddon against the forces to evil. I have to wonder whether some people will be standing around with "give peace a chance" signs.

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