So, I have had a recent discussion with a friend about playing games that I find morally objectionable (at least I have religious conflicts with). I don’t like invoking demons and devils in my games. Personally I think that it is playing with fire. I don’t dislike people who play with them or use them in games, I just don’t. It does bring up a good question, how do we, as gamers, determine what is objectionable to us?
For me the answer to the question is if it conflicts with my morals (rape being a great example) or religious leanings (demons/devils in that case). Other gamers will find things objectionable in other ways. Good. Some things, I think, are universally distasteful. The Game that Shall Not be Named often brings these things to the front (rape, racism and misogynistic statements abound in it). Finding elements distasteful is easy, but is it enough to toss the whole game?
Dungeons and Dragons tossed demons and devils from 2nd edition for that very reason. They were giving in to religious bullies (and they wanted to expand their market share). Some games have elements that can’t be excised (Demon: The Fallen, anyone?). Those games are the ones that I won’t play (if the elements are objectionable). Can a game be good even if it conflicts with my values though?
Sometimes I think they can (D&D being a good example) and sometimes they can’t (Demon). So my penultimate question is what kind of material do you find objectionable? How do you handle games that have elements that you find distasteful?