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Why We Fight 135

Posted by Zonk
from the human-nature dept.
AsiNisiMasa writes "The Contrarian in this week's The Escapist is a brutally honest and exceptionally disturbing piece entitled 'Why We Fight.' It examines the underlying mentality behind our affinity for violent behavior in games, citing the desire for efficiency at all costs. From the article: 'Your people face famine, plague, poverty and unrest. What policies would you enact to solve these problems? (Fans of Tropico, you know how this works.) My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them.'"
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Why We Fight

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  • There is an appealing simplicity in it all. In Age of Empires II, I usually just park my trebuchets outside the city and clear out their entire range before moving on, even if the mission doesn't require it.
  • Free Punch Card (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:43PM (#14195348) Homepage
    I have come up with an idea years ago that I think would solve many of these issues. A free punch card.

    Here's how it works:

    Each citizen gets a "free punch" once a year. You can punch someone and as long as you have your free punch still there can be no lawsuits or jailtime.

    See right now there is no accountability in America. People can act like assholes and hide behind suing you if you hit them, and they know it. but, if you had to wonder if the person still had their free punch card, you might not be so quick to be an asshole.

    While it is not really feasable to implement in any way, I am dead serious, and it would end a lot of stupid shit that goes unpunished these days. What it boils down to is accountability and punishment, there is none anymore, and this needs to be dealt with.
    • There's an easily implementable solution, repeal the murder laws. Murder is no longer a crime.

      If you really want to have some fun mandate that everybody must carry a serviceable firearm at all times.

      • Re:Free Punch Card (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rAiNsT0rm (877553)
        Killing is a little strong, but knowing when some schmuck pisses you off that you get to connect full on with his eye with no repercussions... that's a beautiful thing.

        Hell, even a free "poking with a pointy stick" card would be nice.. then even the elderly and handicapped could partake.
        • ...knowing when some schmuck pisses you off that you get to connect full on with his eye with no repercussions... that's a beautiful thing.

          Beautiful until he retaliates with his punch card...
          • Exactly, and therein lies the beauty of the system. Has it's own built in checks and balances.
            • Re:Free Punch Card (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              Exactly, and therein lies the beauty of the system. Has it's own built in checks and balances.

              What about the situation where a strong and health, but complete jerk does something like tipping over wheel chairs in the park. None of his victums can use their free poke at him for fear at least on of them suffering his full wrath as retaliation. How exactly is it really balanced if the weak and crippled are frightened by those who aren't?

              Situations like this make the system at best meaningless, and at worst e
      • Theft has to remain a crime for society to function in any reasonable sense. If I murder you I have stolen you from your family as they will be out your income. Sure insurance will help, but life insurance companies would disapear if murder was legal.
        How bought a murder responsibility act, you can murder or maim someone if they tick you off, but you become responsible for the upkeep of their family untill you can find a suitable replacement! Ahh the good ol days.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:58PM (#14196192)
        There's an easily implementable solution, repeal the murder laws.

        AJLOJYQY (or BGLUAWML).

        Murder is no longer a crime.

        AEZAKMI

        If you really want to have some fun mandate that everybody must carry a serviceable firearm at all times.

        FOOOXFT

        Have fun playing out your scenario.
    • The problem is that most public figures would get quickly pounded into pulp.
    • by Surt (22457)
      This is exactly why I started carrying around a small powerful xray emitter with me. When some person is a jerk to me in a way that I feel is sufficiently over the top ... wham: powerful xray to the groin == no more children for him. If he has the kids with him, I zap them too to do what I can to stop those genes from getting passed on. And of course the great thing about this is that it looks like i'm just pointing a bullhorn at you. Can't get pissed off at a guy for pointing a bullhorn at you like you
      • I hope your just kidding, if not - you're an ass.

        Messing with reproductive rights as if you're a fucking authority on anything is not only criminal, its sociopathic.

        And if I caught anyone pointing anything at my kids, they would be a stain in 10 seconds.
        • I don't really have a problem with "criminal" or "sociopathic" (since I break laws sometimes and have friends with antisocial personality disorder), but eugenics scares me, and random dipshit eugenics scares me even more. This sort of artificial selection will only yeild an agoraphobic population.
      • http://ptth.net/squish/ [ptth.net] WTF is that? Sorry but I'm not going to run any unsigned java code. Can anyone vounch for this?
        • http://ptth.net/squish/ WTF is that? Sorry but I'm not going to run any unsigned java code. Can anyone vounch for this?

          ...but you're going to take the word of some random slashdotter that it's ok?

          Uh, sure, man. That code is awesome. What is it?

        • Yeah I'm sorry about that. If you're sufficiently interested give me a week, I'm going to remove the feature that requires a signed jar (in particular, I let you load and save games to your local disk which violates the basic security policy).

          Also, you can (or should be able to: i can do it on win32/firefox) visit the game without agreeing to the security. It will just inform you that it fails if you try to load/save games.
      • You just made me laugh so hard, I snorted milk out my nose.

    • Re:Free Punch Card (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hal2814 (725639)
      This reminds me of my Brick Idea. It would revolutionize customer service. Every month, you get one non-transferrable, non-carry-overable brick. You cannot throw that brick at people or animals but you can throw it at anywhere else you want and not be held liable for the damages.

      Car dealership work you over? They get a brick through one of their shiny new showroom models.

      Phone company giving you lousy customer service? Take a brick to their equipment out on the roadside. Granted, one brick might not b
      • Re:Free Punch Card (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gulthek (12570)
        Do the customer service reps get bricks too? I can think of a few customers that I was forced to be courteous to who could really use a brick through something they value.
        • Sure, but it's an uphill battle because the rep would only get one like everybody else. Would you really want to use your brick on something you have to deal with at work?
          • Indeed, yes! Once you've worked customer service all day then nothing outside of work can get you down.

            "How totalled was your car?"
            "So totalled, complete write off."
            "Then why are you smiling?"
            "I'm not at work!"
      • Great. And if someone hasn't pissed me off all through December and I'll still got my brick, then on Christmas Eve when it's -5C I'll just randomly throw a brick through some old woman's window for a laugh.
    • Suddenly, a new market for Punch Cards opens up. Sellers and buyers haggle over price and everyone who owns one can sell it!

      Rich people could own dozens of punch cards and personally punch the living daylights out of anyone they choose.

      Or, better yet, they could hire professional boxers and lend them their punch cards with a contractually signed designated target. Think Mike Tyson as Hit (er Punch) Man. Talk about getting your money's worth. ;)

      Also, punch cards could be considered sexism since (on average!)
      • Heck, I have BOXES of punch cards somewhere. :-) :-)
      • thats a pretty sexist remark, to be sure, but for sake of women getting a "kick to the nads" card, I'll agree with you. but when I actually get my card, you may want to be a bit more careful about dismissing the abilities of women. :-p
        • Aha, again the beauty of my system at work. See, if I ruled the world I'd enact systems like these that balance themselves out without any beuracracy involved.

          I'm sure many women could put quite a hurting on a number of slimeballs. Oh, and nothing said you had to notify the person you were about to cash in your card... so women could always use surprise and the good ole sucker punch FTW!
        • Oh, I know there's plenty of women who could beat me up with or without a Punch Card. ;) But they've seriously trained for it, whether in martial arts or extensive weight training. Otherwise, men do have an inherent advantage in strength. As long as they're generally fit.

          And, honestly, if people get into serious fights they usually don't just punch and kick. A crowbar is a great equalizer. ;)
          • And, honestly, if people get into serious fights they usually don't just punch and kick. A crowbar is a great equalizer. ;)

            As is my patented "bite a chunk out of your face" move.

            • A funny aside on this topic... one time in a fight I clocked a guy so hard he went unconsious from the first hit. I had so much built up hatred and anger that I didn't want the fight to be over yet, I hadn't gotten my fill of ass kicking... so I bent over and grabbed ahold of his hand and snapped his index finger, just for good measure.

              It was the single sickest thing I ever freakin felt. It was like breaking apart a buffalo wing at the joint. Instead of the satisfying "snap" I had hoped for it was a grissel
              • Only to be used when outsized and out classed.

                The reality of the matter is that most "fights" aren't really fights at all. Thy consist of one person sucker punching another and then pounding on them while they're down.

                A "real" fight is rare and dangerous. Two combatants squared up with no rules is not pretty. It goes VERY fast and tactics tend to be gruesome.
                • Well as someone who has "starred" in more "real" fights than I care to say... I can say you are completely correct. I have gouged eyes almost to the point of out, I have broken arms, and partially ripped off an ear... real fights are not pretty and generally last about 30-45 seconds. They are primal affairs.
    • I may have the wrong author. Might be james p hogan too. Basicly, everyone in the world had a chip implanted in their head that would kill them if too many people reported them as being an asshole, no one knew the exact number it took. So as a consequence, poeple were extrodinary polite for the most part, and there were very few assholes left. However, in the story, one of the characters discovers the world has been lied to, its actually the reporter, not the reportee who can be killed. That inssuferab
    • Better yet, give everyone guns. There's accountability for you.
      • Re:Free Punch Card (Score:2, Interesting)

        by rAiNsT0rm (877553)
        I defer to one of the most profound statements ever made... and by none other than Chris Rock amazingly. When he did his bit on making guns accessible to everyone but make bullets cost $5000 dollars... that way when someone got shot, everyone would say DAMN, he really must have pissed someone off. And accidental shootings would become non-existant.
    • New Year's Eve would be punchtastic!
    • Re:Free Punch Card (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ChaosDiscord (4913) *

      but, if you had to wonder if the person still had their free punch card, you might not be so quick to be an asshole.

      I'm reminded of the occasional defense of concealed weapons: you're alot more polite. What?! You're really suggesting that I should watch my mouth because I might get punched? Hell, to a certain extent being able to be an asshole is part of being an American. "It's a free country" has never strictly been legally true, but for a long time it was a true representation of being an American.

      • You make some good points but you miss part of it. Americans used to be more polite due to both fear of injury and (this is a guess for the second) less people to deal with. Honestly tho if you knew everyone around you could pop you one right in the face would you act like an ass to some stranger. Cause although that stranger might not have his card the 40 other people might take exception to what you are doing and pop you right in the face. As you say one of the great things about being an American is

        • Why thank you. I have presented this idea in numerous different settings over the past three years and at first everyone has a laugh, then a few point out negative effects like the parent of this sidethread.. but after a little discussion almost everyone ends up agreeing that it would work and not really affect most people in any detrimental way.

          As far as free speech, no one is going to waste their card just because you state your opinion on something, but if you do it in a certain manner you may get popped
    • Each citizen gets a "free punch" once a year. You can punch someone and as long as you have your free punch still there can be no lawsuits or jailtime.

      I think this plan is in testing(called Jr. High). Unfortunately everybody punches the geeks, since their punch back would hardly result in any damage.
      • Well, I thought of an Amendment allowing the elderly/handicapped/weak to use a stick of no more than 2" diameter (thus allowing canes). But you would have to apply for a special card allowing the stick use and prove your physical limitation.
    • While it is not really feasable to implement in any way, I am dead serious...

      Hello? This is a contradiction.

      Who modded this stupidity up as "Insightful"?
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:43PM (#14195350) Homepage Journal
    The story in the summary reminds me of "Conscience of the King" -- a ruthless dictator killed half a colony's population during a famine so there would be enough food for the other half. (The story took place years later, after the ex-dictator had gone into hiding. Kirk and another Enterprise crewman had grown up on that colony, and recognized him in -- of all places -- an acting troupe.)
  • by Eightyford (893696) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:43PM (#14195359) Homepage
    Where I live, whiskey is usually the cause.
    • You're Irish aren't you. Come on you can admit it. God created whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world.
      • God created whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world.

        Aye, 'cause then we'd turn the whole bleedin' planet into one giant drunken bar fight. And then we'd sing the praises of our unconscious opponents afterward.

        Guess now we know where Roddenberry got the idea for Klingons.

        Where's me blood wi- er, Bushmills...

  • "My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them." Hmm?
    • Typed a nice reply to this, but somehow replied to posts down instead...

      Anyway, when it comes down to it, even when games are designed to reward the "right" thing and punish the "wrong" thing, sometimes just the way the system works opens the a for solutions that we would abhor in real life, or even completely counterintuitive solutions.

      Take the death camp solution: Your city is being wiped out by a highly virulent disease. Why would it not be considered acceptable to save a real city by sacrificing the sic
  • When I was playing Caesar II for the PC, I had one mission to develop and then defend a city in the desert from an attacking army. I totally messed up the mission by letting the city sprawl out of control when the enemy showed up. So I loaded up the earliest saved file that I had and proceeded to systematically destroy the city. By the time the enemy showed up, I was wildly popular with the people and successfully defended the city. Go figure.
  • C'mon, wrong answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by freality (324306) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:49PM (#14195429) Homepage Journal
    When resources are scarce, we usually don't attack our own societies, we attack those next to us. Don't look for cover for your fascist ideals in "human" nature. It's just your nature. The rest of us *do* weed people out who assert it, whether it takes a censure or a war.
    • I contend that our "fascist" behavior (I wouldn't call it "ideal") *is* our human nature. I don't believe people are inherently "good". Without getting into philosophy or morals too deeply, I look at life as a constant struggle to overcome our nature.
      Whether or how we overcome it is the subject of lengthy debate ;)
    • When resources are scarce, we usually don't attack our own societies, we attack those next to us.

      I take it you've never studied the Soviet Purges in the 1930's? Or the French Revolution or Germany after 1933 for that matter... Societies tend to attack themselves first and after they run out of enemies from within then attack other nations.
    • The issue decribed mentions plague. In Dungeon keeper, I'd usually hollow out a nice room out on my front lines and lock the door into it. In some of the later levels, disease becomes a bitch to deal with, and it's very expensive to build a large enough temple to try to cure everybody.

      My solution when it got out of hand was to round up diseased minions and throw them in the locked room to keep them from spreading, then using imps to whip up a fight and throwing my sick units onto the enemy lines and locking
  • Isn't it clear from TFA that we do have an innately creative slice of our society that now perceives an absolute fantasy .... (not unlike retelling war-stories generations later) to be real? Not only that... but they perceive themselves (as kings of every game they've played) as morally pure and wise??

    It's logical, as he saw it! Not a single game *I've* ever seen has declared its sim-king to be morally skilled by a moral maze of moral obstacles... maximizing the goodness of all at the sacrifice of the f

    • All I'm saying is that every society suffers from shallow, mindless, compassionless culture that is often defended (here) as harmless. Now the fruits are falling off the tree in larger numbers (Columbine). The game industry needs to find a book somewhere (SOMEWHERE) and realize what exists outside a gun's barrel... what the consequences are for asking everyone to enjoy being a Barbarian for an hour. Rome falls

      In truth or rather reality (because truth is a big gray area), given the choice of dictator or empe
    • Not a single game *I've* ever seen has declared its sim-king to be morally skilled by a moral maze of moral obstacles... maximizing the goodness of all at the sacrifice of the fewest violations of principles

      You have no clue what your talking about do you? The reason games don't attempt to score things on a moral basis is because the media would have a shit fit if games took that trend. What moral set are you using? Who decides the weight of those moral choices? What's immoral? These are matters that to this
      • what the consequences are for asking everyone to enjoy being a Barbarian for an hour. Rome falls.

        I wonder if the ghosts of the 6,600 Sparticani that were crucified along the side of the Via Appia after their slave revolt during the time of the Roman Republic thought it was a great tragedy that Rome fell? (Rome didn't fall for years after this, the Ceasar's came first. And Rome was notoriously brutal in it's suppression of it's enemies, "the barbarians," long before this. Barbarians mostly get a bad [nationalgeographic.com]

      • "The reason games don't attempt to score things on a moral basis is because the media would have a shit fit if games took that trend. What moral set are you using? Who decides the weight of those moral choices? What's immoral?"

        Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, was a game that revolved around you becoming the paragon of morality in the land. There was no evil magician at the end. There was just the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. Only accessible by one who was pure in all the eight virtues of the land. Who's moralit
        • yeah, but the thing about those games is that the "morality" is deciding who you are going to kill. That's pretty much it.

          I do agree that Ultima did attempt to make a game where "moral" behavior was rewarded, but you still went around and killed stuff - you didn't exactly try to form a commitee to discuss why the antagonist was so antagonizing.

          I have never played a Civ game, but in those empire building games I would think that having a diplomatic route is neccesary to flesh out the concept. Beyond that, I
          • True. You couldn't just talk your differences out with the Orcs over a pint of brew in Ultima IV. And although you had to meditate on the virtues at shrines to get them, in order to get experience and "level up" you had to kill tons of monsters.
            Black and white was a bit interesting when it came to "moral" decisions. As your "good" or "evil" behavior reflected upon your pet and you could focus on being benevolent and drawing worshippers away from the other god via your good acts.
            Oddly enough most Civ games o
            • Reading about those Civ games now has me interested. I usually stay away from those types of games because the ones I messed with early on incorporated RTS elements, and I really don't jive with those games.

              You bring up an interesting point about the Sims and Tycoon games. Another interesting fact about those games is they are huge with girls. I guess the whole kill everything you can deal doesn't appeal to the emotionally based part of the species. I tried playing the sims when it first came out, but after
              • Civ is kind of the last great hold out of turn based strategy games these days. I think for open ended gameplay and catering to multiple styles of play (from warlord to diplomat) it's the best thing out there. If you like turn based strategy games with a broad scope, you're likely to enjoy Civ.
                Someone once explained to me that the Sims is basically a digital doll house. The focus is on dress up, socializing and interior decoration. I found it horribly boring and tedious - I mean having to tell your Sims to
    • What a load of BS. Only a few negligent whiners don't realise it's a game.

      You are totaly blowing these things out of proportion. The sky is not falling, and the deterioration of family values isn't the medias fault, it's the families.

      I watched He-Man, Superman, GI-Joe. All these shows had one thing in common all problembs were resolved through violence. Something bad is happening quick get my gun/sword/kneck-punch-fist, that's what I learned by watching these shows. Hey you know what my mom did when I broke
      • For the love of all that is sane and rational, someone please throw parent a mod point.

        So many people involved in these discussions about games and violence seem to forget the whole underlying point of our modern societies: That we, as individuals, are responsible for our own actions. Nobody else is. That's why we have laws against theft, murder, etc. If I willfully kill someone, I am responsible for that person's death, therefore it is I who face the penalty for that action.

        It is never too early to tea
    • Don't give me the bullshit that "Everyone Knows Its A Game". The evidence is mounting high right in that article that more than a few take the metaphor very seriously... and our current political shift... blowing off debt and lives without care... show it is growing indeed. Shallow, mindless politics from shallow mindless ethics.

      "Everyone Knows It's A Game"

      You're suggesting that video games are responsible for some kind of growing lack of concern for human life? That video games contribute to a "kill 'em al
  • Satire (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neostorm (462848) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:05PM (#14195577)
    I think this is a work of satire. Especially if you read through the entire article to the closing statements. As I read through I couldn't believe he could think so highly of such a single-minded enterprise, and I heavily disagreed with his statement that hardcore gamers only wanted to games that allowed them to kill. Maybe the definition of hardcore has shifted in the years, but my pile of strategy titles would argue with that initial claim.
    Whether it's intentional or not, this article is pointing out how shallow and narrow our options for interactivity are. Technically we have a wider spectrum of options available to us in our games today, but it's really just a wider spectrum of violence. Solutions to problems that don't involve gunning down waves of enemies seem novel in action titles now-a-days. Half-Life was a memorable action title because you could actually *talk* to characters, the first 30 minutes of the game didn't even present you with a weapon.
    I hope what the author is trying to say, is that we really need to look at other ways to interact in these worlds. I like the occasional action title as much as the next guy, but by *nothing but* killing waves of mindless enemies we're not only dumbing ourselves, but making the gamer demographic look more unappealing and less intelligent from the outside as well.
    This is supposed to be a new artform. Play some Katamari, people!

    • This is supposed to be a new artform.

      It is what it is. (in you perception)

      I.e. What do you think it is? Then it is so.
    • You missed the point of the article. It was about optimization. A true hardcore gamer optimizes everything they can. Be it killing, population growth, disease, etc. Upon that basis he builds to the point that the morality of an all powerfull being is not what it is to a lesser person. He is 100% correct that the way you could deal with his made up problems most efficiently were as he presented.

      I am sure even in Katamari that you have found optimized ways to make your stars or whatever. Part of the fu

    • Interestingly enough the Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon were both huge hits that stayed on the top 10 lists for much longer than the average shooter. Both are pretty non-violent. Sure you can abuse your Sims, or build coasters that kill - but doing so won't get you further in the game.
      The puzzle genre has also spawned games with wide appeal such as Bejeweled and Bookworm. Maybe all of these games sell well because they appeal to a large number of players of both sexes.
    • This is supposed to be a new artform. Play some Katamari, people!

      You do realise that being rolled over by a giant ball and propelled into the sky only to be ignited with the heat of the sun will probably kill most people? ;)

      but my pile of strategy titles would argue with that initial claim.

      And isn't the goal of most strategy games not to kill a few people, but thousands upon thousands of them in some kind of army setting? Not just destroying a few lives but entire civilisations and cultures. FPSes may be h
  • Don't you give the citizens enough prostitutes and they get happy again?
  • by identity0 (77976) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:27PM (#14195841) Journal
    Wow, that was the stupidest political rant I've read recently, which is pretty bad considering how many we see on Slashdot.

    I especially love this part: "A friend of mine studied political science at Yale. In one class, the professor posted a game scenario: You are the newly empowered dictator of a third-world country. Your people face famine, plague, poverty and unrest. What policies would you enact to solve these problems? (Fans of Tropico, you know how this works.) My friend's solution? Death camps. Round up the sick, the lame, the infertile, the ignorant, the useless, the unproductive and execute them.
    ---
    The professor was overjoyed. Finally, a student saw the point of the exercise: making comprehensible what looks incomprehensible when viewed through the media, understanding how Papa Doc and Pol Pot and all their ilk come to power and why they make the decisions they do.
    ---
    My friend figured it out. He played the scenario and won. He saved the Kobayashi Maru. It should come as no surprise that he was a hardcore gamer."


    That's the most retarded economic/political idea I've read in a long, long, time. It would devastate that country and put it *back* several decades, as your state destroys the people who create your nation's wealth. One of the few things that Adam Smith and Marx would agree on is that a nation's wealth comes from the productivity of its workers - and no, having the government kill off the 'unproductive' would not help at all. High unemployment is a sign of poor utilization of labor, not of defects in the population.

    How well off would the U.S. have been in WWII if they had 'liquidated' all the unemployed during the depression? And did you notice how many great scientists came to the U.S. fleeing death camps like his friend proposed, to avoid being labeled as 'unproductive to society'? Some of them helped build the A-bomb, I'm sure you've heard of that? Point is, governments who make judgements about who is 'useful' to society and tries to destory those who aren't usually harm their society itself.

    Notice the examples he cites - Papa Doc and Pol Pot - are not known to have improved their countries at all. Even cursory knowledge of history would clue you in to that. This is why Poli Sci people should never be trusted with anything more important than a Sim city or civilization.

    Congratulations, John "Dumbass" Tynes, you've managed to give gamers an even worse reputation than before - now we're not just mindless killers, we're closet fascists waiting to have our putsch, too.
    • Once Master Huang and his students watched a debate in which one of the contestants claimed that women really wanted was strong, dominant men. Afterwards his students asked him what he thought of this idea.

      "The more a problem outstrips a man's intelligence," said the Mater epigrammatically, "the greater fascination a simplistic answer holds for him."

      "But what if," asked one of the students, "the man is a teacher, and he spends seven years thinking about the problem? Will he come nearer to the Truth?"

      "On t
    • At first I couldnt agree with your post more and believed he was making a flawed point as well.

      That said reading on more it becomes clear that he isnt mentioning that death camps and such are a good idea. Its just that it becomes an understandable idea. As the line about Papa Doc and Pol Pot describes it shows why people can allow monsters in to power and why they make there decisions because on the surface it looks great. Cull the useless and the brilliant survive to make a better world. In reality it does
    • I definately agree that the author makes several leaps to bad conclusions. I suspect "his friend" was merely himself in the example given. The professor was likely mostly excited that someone brought up an alternative solution, based on the events of the Pol Pot and Papa Doc, even if it was an attempt at trolling the exercise (death camps a good idea? you've pretty much nailed the problems with it) . The exercise is but one example of that. Near the end, he makes the statement "I believe humans have a deep
    • You're missing the exact point the professor was trying to make. The goal was to understand Pol Pot's position, not to endorse it. It's much easier to fight ones enemies if you understand them. It's easier to notice that a country is heading down a road to death camps if you understand the (faulty) logic that led there. The next real world facism probably won't look like WWII Germany or Italy. But the reasoning that leads there will likely be the same.

      Tynes's bigger point isn't that deep down all gam

      • by damsa (840364)
        Pol Pot wasn't killing people to reduce famine and disease, he was killing people, so he would have a communist utopia of farmers and workers, void of intellectuals and enemies. Dictators are not rational. They don't do a cost benefit analysis, that's why they are called dictators, they dictate, there is no consensus among their underlings on the best course of action. Besides, non facist governments kill and commit genocide as much as their non facist counterparts.
  • We need the ignorant, the useless, AND the unproductive people for our economy to work properly.

    If we had intelligent, productive people, they wouldn't buy things they didn't need. They wouldn't tolerate useless sinecures, bureaucracies, or government jobs. They wouldn't be satisfied working for somebody else, or taking charity from the State. Useful, productive people don't need mass-produced goods made identically by machines, because smart useful people won't work in mindless jobs operating and managing
  • Yeah, because killing everyone off works so well. It was tried by the Khmer Rouge [wikipedia.org] in Cambodia and just look how well it went for them.

    Actually, pick pretty much any nation-state through human history and something of the sort inevitably pops up. In the end, nothing is gained from it except a ton of hurt and pain.

  • This is why fascism is inextricably linked with violence: When the individual and the fascist state come in conflict, violence is how the state achieves its aims.

    When I played the original Castle Wolfenstein, or for that matter any of the games in his list, I wasn't enjoying it because I thought my political ideals were more righteous than the ideals of the pixel-people I was shooting.

    I'll admit I've only played about half the games he lists in his (very cheesy) bit at the beginning, but to be honest my pol
    • "The story is interesting, but it isn't what makes the game fun."

      I disagree. Often, half or more of the fun of many of the single-player games I've played, and a couple of the multiplayer ones, is the story/flavor. Counterstrike and Unreal not so much... Half-Life and Half-Life 2, definitely storyline. World of Warcraft, definitely flavor (although supplemented by community[same with Guild Wars, only with community/storyline{yay, nested parenthesis things!}]). System Shock 2, that was most of the point of t
  • Hardcore gamers don't buy games where the goal is to compromise. They buy games where the goal is to save the world - by force.

    I'm reading this article more as satirical commentary, rather than as a serious analysis of gamer problem solving skills. Are FPSs more popular in comparison to RPGs and MMOs, I wonder? I sort of doubt whether fascist approaches to problem solving would appeal to people who play these types of games. Did he even consider the possiblity that people who like and play FPSs are d

  • In case you havent noticed, what they are talking about is the concept of machiavelli "the prince" which is basically "The goal justifies the means" meaning that often the ones in power may occlude ethics in order to "achieve a greater good" killing the ill is a perfect example of it (a technique that was sadly used by the nazis) of course in practice this has never worked (at least not lately I hope) since most people do have strong ethics and will eventually rebel (by themselves or aided by their governor
  • After reading the responses, I felt compelled to actually RTFA and I see that most replies are way off the mark as to what the subject / purpose of the article was : "But these games begin at the point where politics has failed, where the will of the state to survive can only be expressed through violence. "

    You can say all you want as to how horrid it is and how we as a people should learn to 'get along". The games would be pretty boring if thats the case.

    Sorry, the most exciting/terrifying/exhilirati

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