How To Approach Dissenting Morality

When we see a moral dilemma presented in creative mediums, we will all generally pick a side. People have their own moral compasses that dictate how they might react to a given situation. With Bethesda’s new title "Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus", a controversy of sorts arose with the games marketing campaign for being blatantly "kill Nazi’s". This is a game that is reflective of the tense current day political atmosphere in the United States; one that had some more conservative gamers taking offense to it. To them, it was seen as a blatant political statement by Bethesda in taking sides and being "politically correct". To more liberal gamers, it was pointed out that in American culture, Nazi’s, by the definition of World War II, are the bad guys and they always have been. "We’ve been killing Nazi’s in this series for many years now. Why should it be an issue now?" was a common response.

So the following question came about as a result: How might you, if you could, handle a story if it tells a tale of an individual of a dissenting opinion (perhaps if it takes a political siding), and convince everyone, regardless of personal views, liberal/conservative or otherwise, to still enjoy it just the same? And can this be done effectively and appropriately at all without angering one side or the other.

  • That's a good topic. For me, general morality and specific political identities are different things. I don't know if I would have a lot of success convincing someone to play (and enjoy playing) a game that references a current, real-world political identity in a way that conflicted severely with that other person's own beliefs. Generally, sure, we might be nice people but still enjoy playing bad people in games and might do things in games that we would never do in real life. That's not the same thing as reflecting specific political views. I guess my strategy in that argument would be to talk about what games are and how they work, allowing us to do explore things we don't normally explore in real life. That argument may not get very far, though. Sometimes we don't want to explore something. I know I would have a hard time enjoying playing a character who was a hardcore white supremacist who wanted to get rid of whole groups of people. – JamesBKelley 6 years ago

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