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Does Stalin really belong in the game?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by caketastydelish, May 8, 2008.

  1. allunderheaven

    allunderheaven Settler

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    Mao shouldn't be in the game either since he was just as cruel a leader as Stalin
     
  2. Ceritoglu

    Ceritoglu Janissary

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    My earlier examples are a reference to criticisms people could make, depending on their politics, etc. I don't want to get into an argument about Washington's stance on slavery, on Victoria's human rights record or on Napoleon's motives for his expansionism - I'm just saying dependent on your moral agenda these people could too be cast as villains (in addition to many others in civ). I chose those three because they're fairly uncontroversial, to prove that if you want to be really sensitive you can even make an argument (whether it's right or not is another matter) against such inconspicuous leaders; the Maos, Genghises and Isabellas aside!

    My point is that a game developer shouldn't be tasked with drawing the moral line on which leaders are politically 'safe' and which aren't. The criteria for selection shouldn't be based on ethics partly because it narrows the field drastically if you want to be really sensitive, partly because it's pretty boring playing against 'nice' leaders. I propose (and it seems the civ developers agree with me) that the criteria for selection should be based on a leader's impact upon their civilisation, their influence in making their civilisation noteworthy.
     
  3. tonberry

    tonberry Emperor

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    I'm not in the secret of Firaxis but I'm guessing the leaders of each civ are choosing following those criteria:

    Obvious choice: You can't really put the mongols or the zulu without putting Genghis or Shaka

    Fame and importance: Napoleon, Alexander, Julius or Hannibal achieve so much in their lifetime that they can't be ignored.

    Representation of an era: This is where Stalin belong. He's the perfect soviet ruler and permit player to play the Soviet Union for this is an empire as popular and important than say, imperial France or colonial England.

    The big difference between Hitler and Stalin is that the first start a war and lose it while the second die while his country was a superpower. The only thing that all leader have in common is that they were succesful (except Boudica but she's probably there because there is few female leader to choose from).
     
  4. daunt

    daunt Chieftain

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    Well most leaders can't be criticized for their count of deaths... ok Gengis Kahn used to raze cities and kill everyone inside, but it was just a way to have fear spread in nearby cities, which would have surrendered before being slaughtered as well. And it was a common practice at that time to treat conquered cities like that, only thing was, he managed to take more cities than everyone else, so he killed more people. But he's still a great ruler and he founded an empire.

    Also, Victoria was an imperialistic ruler who made colonialism a religion, but at that time everyone did that (like Leopold II of Belgium who almost completed a genocide in Congo).

    Roman leaders subjugated nation after nation, people in Rome enjoyed the show of gladiators killing each other or beasts eating people alive, but yet we're talking about a civilization that is rightfully considered a civil, social, scientific and artistic lighthouse for mankind.

    Egypt was based on the work of slaves, yet we play Egypt.

    The great wall costed thousands and thousands of deaths, we still build it.

    The aztecs used to sacrifice people on a regular base...

    One of the best civ gamewise, caste system, has been and still is a social plague, but we do use it.

    In the frank empire, everyone who refused to become christian was killed, this is why the christian religion has been spread so much...

    And don't forget religions... probably taoism and confucianism are the only religions that never caused any real troubles. Even a peaceful philosophy like buddhism has been used to justify wars and blood... better not talking about christianity and islam.


    So, to sum up: a civilization's history depends also (mostly) on unethical things, so unethical leaders can be accepted.
     
  5. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Hawks4life

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    Like I said before, I give up. All you people leave me alone!:mad::(
     
  6. Napalm102

    Napalm102 Warlord

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    You know there is a Russian saying (probably not just Russian either), loosely tranlated: there is no bad without the good. Sort of Ying-yang thing.

    Anyway the point is, leader being evil has nothing to do with him being good or bad leader. Good or bad here not defined as moral description of that leader, but as his ability to cope with the situation that is present. For Stalin that situation was a wrecked country that was recovering first: from the revolution and mis-management of the monarchy. Second: from the huge civil war that followed.

    I think that it is fully creadible to give him the credit, that there was a country at all after 1945. As for his reighn of terror, well that was his dark side.
     
  7. KingMorgan

    KingMorgan Deity

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    Didn't the Romans kill Jesus?

    Stalin should be included as he does represent an era of history.
     
  8. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    Then why do you keep coming back here then?
     
  9. Comrade Alex

    Comrade Alex Warlord

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    Stalin won the Second World War.

    'nuff said
     
  10. Comrade Alex

    Comrade Alex Warlord

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    Alright, that was a massiv over-simplification.

    I still think they should have used Hitler, and Swastikas, in the WWII mod though. instead of unobtrusive Von Papen... and that old German Imperial flag.

    But then again that's illegal in Deutschland isn't it?
     
  11. buffalo6542

    buffalo6542 Nuke Maniac

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    THINK!!! WHY DO YOU THINK THEY DIDN'T PUT HITLER IN THE GAME. IT WOULD OFFEND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE! DO YOU NOT REMEMBER THE HOLOCAUST?! 6 MILLION JEWS!!! IT WOULD GLORIFY HITLER!! MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A GOOD PERSON!!
     
  12. WICKLC1

    WICKLC1 King

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    Most of the leaders of civ were cruel. But they are all important parts of history.
     
  13. Gooblah

    Gooblah Heh...

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    However cynical this sounds, there is one main reason Stalin is in and Hitler is out:

    If Hitler was in, sales in Germany and Israel would be banned, costing Firaxis thousands of dollars in potential revenue. In Russia, Stalin isn't (as far as I know) a 'banned' figure, so no hurt there.

    I admit that what Stalin did was morally and ethically wrong, but by the same standards, virtually every single leader in the game would be removed; Washington had slaves, Lincoln didn't care about slavery until he saw that it would be an amazing political tool to use during the Civil War, Bismarck warred incessantly, the Romans hated Christians and Jews, Charlemagne, Isabella, and Justinian I all embarked on Inquisitions in their own style. Not to mention Shaka (ruthless leader of Zulus), Genghis Khan (kind to his own people and once conquering was done, massacred many thousands in the process), Tokugawa (brutal dictator), Qin Shi Huang (brutal dictator; enforced a police state as part of the Qin dynasty), Asoka (bloody king who led many wars of conquest until settling down and converting to Buddhism), Gilgamesh (probably wasn't real), etc, etc. The only leader I see surviving after the purge of all the immoral leaders would be Gandhi, and even he did some immoral actions (however minor they might be).

    To take out these 'horrible people' would be to pretend their effect on world history (this is, after all, a game about Civilizations) was minimal or nothing at all, and would (for lots of people including myself) totally ruin the gameplay experience.
     
  14. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Re Germany: The intent of German laws is to ban gratuitious and needlessly offensive use of Nazi themes. They provide for some exceptions in education and art; however computer games are classified as toys and so these exceptions never apply (no matter the artistic or educational value).
    Because of this status, many German versions are excessively censored; you can get away with a lot more in film than you can in computer games here. This applies to uncomfortable political subjects and anything that could be taken as glorifying violence. The stance towards sex is a little more liberal, to the extent that some US version of German games feature light censorship.

    ***

    Personally, I don't miss Hitler from the main game. While he shaped history to a great extent, he failed at his goals in his own lifetime (instead of having them turned over later), didn't leave much of a legacy to direct successors (Stalin can be argued to have turned Russia into a modern superpower), and is almost universally reviled in his own country.
    I would prefer his inclusion in anything that directly deals with the WW2 era. Von Papen as the German leader in the Road to War mod, for example, simply doesn't feel right.
     
  15. john k

    john k Chieftain

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    Sorry if this has already been pointed out but, if so, It could be restated.

    Civ developers do not base their leaders on the actions they did but their impact on history itself. Sure Stalin and Ghengis did bad things, but everyone with the slightest knowledge of history can recognize their names. Plus, if people didnt want to be a complete jerk, GTA would have never have sold a game.

    Hitler is one thing though. A has been stated, All Nazi releated material in games are banned in Germany, (even in Hearts of Iron a complete WWII simulation, the Swastika flag is not used in the game, nor is any mention of the holocaust made.)
     
  16. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Hawks4life

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    When you manage to make someone as great as Lincoln look like a "bad guy" you know your manipulating the facts. As for Washington? Don't kid yourself. He was the best president America ever had. His slaves where set free after he died. Also, he said two things that where exactly right. First, he said something like "don't get involved with alliances and such with other countries, it will be bad for us" and he also said "don't have poltical parties. They will divide the nation". He was right about both things. Our alliances got us in both world wars. The after-effects of the world wars was the creation of Isreal. Our alliance with Isreal is what made 9/ll happen. Also, the political parties have divided our nation so much. Its sad really.

    We could have just listened to him, but you know what? We didn't. Don't even get me started about Washington. He is one of the greatest people to ever live!!!!!!

    And Bismark, only declared war on France because France declared war on Prussia, there ally.

    Anyway, like I said before I give up. You win. Leave me alone.
     
  17. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Hawks4life

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    Thank you. :)
     
  18. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Hawks4life

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    you seem to contradict yourself. You keep coming back as well.
     
  19. King Jason

    King Jason Fleece-bearer

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    Washington was also traitor. ;)
     
  20. King Kalmah

    King Kalmah Magyar Madness

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    I hate to say it,but by putting a person in the game it makes them looks good?

    Does Stalin/Mao/Montezoma/Khan look any "friendly" because they are in a game?

    Do the thosands apon thosands of Human sacrifices that was a daily ritual under Montezuma make him anymore of a "decent person".

    Does the cultural rape preformed under the English Empire count as fair to those who had to deal with the English.(South Africa,Asia,Indies,middle eastern holdings towards the end)

    Even the French owned Colonies and does anyone remember the Vietnam war?

    Technically it was the French who got into that mess of a war.

    Germany is the only country that has ever preformed such a brutal act against one people,but we remove Hitler due to that act and not Germany.

    Stalin on the other hand was very evil....

    He burned down all crops in Ukraine because the invaders lived off the land,but who else lived off the land?

    The Ukrainian an without food about 5 million would perish.

    Then there are the Jews of Russia who were treated poorly,but it wasn't Stalin who sent every jewish person into the camp.In Russia you had to be overly religous to be picked out.Same thing for Counter Revolutionaries.They say Stalin killed atleast a million enemies against the state.In Russia it was all about blending in.

    In Germany Hitler made the Jews stand out by forcing their businesses to display certain signs and right before WW2 all Jews had to wear a star of David which is why so many were rounded up early.I mean not even Germany's citizens had any idea what happened.I remember watching this film where they inteviewed this older woman who lived near a camp.

    She said the smell was always disgusting and she thought at the time she lived next to a chemical depot and not a Camp.I mean it must have been pretty well covered up if many citizens had no clue about the camps untill after WW2.

    Everyone knew about the KGB and the gulag's in Russia,basically conform and be communist and you lived.You were sent to prison camp only if you did something "out of line".
     

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