Shooters set during the Vietnam War.

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Shooters set during the Vietnam War.

#1

Post by VG_Addict » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:45 pm

Why are there so few games taking place during the Vietnam War? Most shooters seem to be set during World War II.

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#2

Post by Valigarmander » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:58 pm

Image

Some of the earlier missions in Cannon Fodder were set in pseudo-Vietnam. That's the only example I can recall from games I've played myself.

I'm guessing WWII is a more popular setting for video games than Vietnam because it was a larger and more varied conflict, and less morally-ambiguous.

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#3

Post by Marilink » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:04 pm

Vietnam is a touchy subject. Val's "morally ambiguous" is a good, if generous, description.
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#4

Post by Calamity Panfan » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:51 am

Vietnam was a conflict that, as said, was "morally ambiguous" at best. Plus, the United States lost the war, it was unpopular even at the time it happened, and it left many people (soldiers and non-soldiers both) disillusioned for years to come.
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#5

Post by Booyakasha » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:34 am

'Morally ambiguous' my ass. What is morally ambiguous about fighting communism?

People should despise evil, and want to fight it. Communism is frankly despicable. It has led inevitably to some of the most horrendous evils of all time (how many people have pointlessly died during communist rule? Some hundred million in Russia alone? Seventy million more in China? Disgusting.) If Vietnam was a morally ambiguous war, then so was World War II. We should have kept fighting WWII. We should have rearmed the Nazis and kicked the Bolsheviks all the way back to Moscow. We should have supported Chiang Kai-Shek and helped him fight the scumbag communists that have ruined China. There wouldn't ever have been a Vietnam War, or a Korean War, if we'd properly finished WWII by killing fascism and statism dead. There wouldn't have been no 'Great Leap Forward', no stalinist purges, no Cuban missile crisis. No cold war at all. Imagine that.

The Western Allies frankly pussied out. We half-assed the end of WWII by making peace with evil, and the world has paid the price for it. How it has paid. Ugh.

Nobody will ever hate Stalin and Mao the way they hate Hitler. Why is that? Is it the moustache? I acknowledge it's a really bad moustache. It looks dumb.
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#6

Post by X-3 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:56 am

You can't fight a war for free. The US was one of the only countries not bankrupt or broken by the war's end. The UK for instance was still rationing food in the 50s. There was no financial support to go on, and it was initially though that the USSR would not develop the bomb for some time.

As for Vietnam, I'll discuss that when I have more time.

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#7

Post by Booyakasha » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:31 am

Fine. We (the US) still had the wherewithal to fight, and we didn't. We emerged from WWII like a powerhouse, and it was at least partly because we didn't help Chiang Kai-Shek fight Mao. It was at least partly because we didn't do anything to stop them Soviet jerk-offs from gobbling up Eastern Europe like Bubble Yum. Why did we not? Are we not meant to be the good guys, here? Is the American flag not meant to be a symbol of freedom no more? Educate me, please.
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#8

Post by Marilink » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:09 am

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on the Vietnam War, but things like the My Lai Massacre really stick out in my head as strong indications that something with that war was not quite right. I also don't have a lot of confidence in the USA's moral fortitude after studying a good portion of 20th Century Latin American history. I'm not on board with the country's desire to be the self-proclaimed international police force for Democracy. The "Well why shouldn't we fight?" argument doesn't do it for me.
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#9

Post by Random User » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:15 am

I mean, in the end Vietnam fell to communism. And the supposed domino effect didn't end up happening. So, the entire reason we went to war in Vietnam seems pretty moot in hindsight.

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#10

Post by Booyakasha » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:40 am

There wouldn't have been no Vietnam War if we'd helped Chiang Kai-Shek the way we should have. Chinese communism exists because we allowed Mao and his cronies to just have the country. That's a billion souls in chains, seventy million dead, thanks to our inaction. How is that acceptible? How is that an acceptible end to any war supposedly between good and evil, like WWII was?
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#11

Post by smol Kat » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:53 pm

To go along with part of what Val said, WWII was very complex. A lot happened during the course of the war, not to mention leading up to it and afterward. Lots of different potential perspectives.

Along that vein, though, I'd like to see more gaming and lit focused on WWI, since the outcome pretty much directly led to WWII.
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#12

Post by Random User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:13 pm

[QUOTE="Booyakasha, post: 1634172, member: 17381"]There wouldn't have been no Vietnam War if we'd helped Chiang Kai-Shek the way we should have. Chinese communism exists because we allowed Mao and his cronies to just have the country. That's a billion souls in chains, seventy million dead, thanks to our inaction. How is that acceptible? How is that an acceptible end to any war supposedly between good and evil, like WWII was?[/QUOTE]
I don't really see how it's the US's responsibility to worry about people that aren't either its own citizens or its close allies. We wasted thousands of lives in a pointless war, where even our troops thought the enemy was more justified than they were. Vietnam was simply a mistake, through and through.

I feel similarly about the wars we've been waging in the Middle East lately.

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#13

Post by Booyakasha » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:12 pm

I'll say it again-----------if we'd followed through, if we'd saved China the way we should have, there wouldn't ever have been a Vietnam War, or a Korean War. Those both happened because we allowed the Reds to have China. The Western Allies abandoned Chiang Kai-Shek, his pro-Western Nationalist government. We shouldn't have done that. That was the mistake------------making peace with that murdering bastard scumbag Mao. Making peace with Stalin. We should have gone on fighting. It was called for, and we fell short.
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#14

Post by Random User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:16 pm

The US aided Chiang Kai-Shek as much as they could, but Truman himself didn't even like the guy after a majority of the aid money we sent was wasted on real estate. Otherwise we'd have to invade China ourselves, but unlike Korea and Vietnam, landing in China is a deathwish. Strategically, mechanized units would be almost impossible to be efficient with due to the lack of paved roads. The best option would have been invading through developed Manchuria, which the Soviets had captured in WWII, so landing there would mean going to war with the USSR. The best we might have been able to do is bombing raids, but even that wouldn't have stopped the disaster of Chiang's men all deserting to Mao.

If we kept fighting with the Soviets? The world would be obliterated.

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#15

Post by Booyakasha » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:35 pm

I guess we'll never know. Oh well. Oh well. Oh well. It's only China, after all. A billion Chinese in chains? Seventy million Chinese dead? Oh well. A hundred million dead in Russia? Oh well, it's only Russia. There's infinite wonderful excuses to be made for not trying at all, aren't there? How convenient. Oh well. It's only humanity, after all. It's only the world. Why not. Oh well. We could have done something, anything at all, but we didn't. We had reasons not to, I guess. We weren't obliged to do something. It's only China. Oh well.
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#16

Post by Random User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:16 pm

We couldn't have done anything without placing the entire planet at risk, or wasting troops in a hopeless combat situation. Strategically and politically, there was not much the US could do about China other than sit back and watch. It would have been nice if we could have done something, but the cost is not worth stopping the spread of Communism. Communism just isn't large enough a threat to seriously pour our soldiers into a meat grinder. An invasion of China would have been a worse botch than Vietnam.

Besides that, while China's freedoms are quite clearly lacking, they are far from as bad off as the USSR was under Stalin. Things are at least somewhat comfortably livable as far as quality of life goes.

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#17

Post by Booyakasha » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:25 am

That's a fair assessment. I don't entirely agree, but that's okay.

I'm sorry if I came off touchy and bitchy earlier. I had a bad, bad day at work, man. I hope we're cool.
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#18

Post by Deepfake » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:00 am

The Vietnam war or like scenarios are usually handled in metaphor or substitutions in video games. There have definitely been many, but it's just a less popular subject, probably in part because the politics were messy and the draft was in violation of the will of the people of the US. I think war itself is a problem subject and it is good when any medium shows that victory as a goal can come at the cost of losing moral superiority.

Removing the taboo of taking a human life and actually training people to do so has a lot of negative effects on the human psyche, and beyond that the military obviously has a tendency to attract unsavory people due to that lawlessness. Most of what we hold true about past conflicts is only one narrative. Many Germans, for instance, may have felt betrayed to learn that their government was murdering those whom it had promised to reform. It is one thing to scapegoat someone, it is another to strip them of all humanity and treat them as disposable. Even US slaveowners were expected to show a level of decency in treatment of those they owned, and outright slaughter would've been considered atrocious.
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#19

Post by Random User » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:34 am

[QUOTE="Booyakasha, post: 1634479, member: 17381"]That's a fair assessment. I don't entirely agree, but that's okay.

I'm sorry if I came off touchy and bitchy earlier. I had a bad, bad day at work, man. I hope we're cool.[/QUOTE]
Yeah we're cool haha. I don't mind a bit of a history debate.

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#20

Post by I am nobody » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:03 pm

WWII and modern wars have the advantage that the overwhelming majority of war crimes and atrocities were committed by one side. The Western forces in those conflicts weren't always angels, but they didn't do anything on the level of the Holocaust, Nanking, or IS. It's easy to say "the good guys are on this side" and to create (or borrow from reality) antagonists who are as close to objectively despicable as it gets. WWII is also loaded with major battles like Normandy or Midway that make for entertaining levels, and modern wars have fancy tech.

In Vietnam, by contrast, the Western side was responsible for My Lai, the repeated massacres by South Korea's Tiger Force, chemical attacks on civilians, and making Laos the most bombed country in history despite it being neutral. No one's hands are anything resembling clean, and there's barely anything resembling the major battle set pieces in WWII. Wandering around in the jungle for three hours and then dying from a land mine or booby trap isn't going to sell many copies.

That last part is the same reason we also don't see much from Korea or WWI. Those wars have a lot of both sides spending the entire day sitting in ditches and occasionally being killed by artillery or bombs.

For what it's worth, though, I can think of a handful of games set in Vietnam, none of which I've played. Shellshock and its sequel, the recent Rising Storm 2, Vietnam '65, Bad Company: Vietnam, the HUEY series, and Men of War Vietnam are all at least somewhat well known. Steam has loads from more obscure publishers.

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Invading China after WWII would have made the 30 million that died under Mao look like nothing. The Communists had significant popular support, 15 years experience finding the Kuomintang and the Japanese, Soviet backing, and the morale to survive the Long March and WWII in fighting form, and the Nationalist government was corrupt, presiding over an economy ruined by WWII, and internally splintered. It's everything that made Vietnam a quagmire, but on an incomparably grander scale and immediately following the most devastating war in world history. US support might have been enough to change the outcome if it was fought to its conclusion, but it would have dragged on for decades and resulted in an unimaginable number of (mostly civilian) deaths.

Realistically, though, US public support would have given out even faster than in Korea or Vietnam. We'd have fought for a year or two, added to a war that already killed 6 million civilians, and then backed out with a truce that both sides would immediately break. It might be enough to change the result, but I doubt it since Soviet support would be unopposed from that point on. Even if it did change, it could as easily be a change to something like the Syrian or Libyan civil wars rather than an ROC victory.

Having said that, I wholeheartedly reject the idea that we shouldn't care about human lives because they pay taxes to someone we're not friends with. Direct military action isn't always the right answer, but the fact we've made the wrong call in the past isn't a reason to sit by and watch in the future.

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