Why Is It Okay To Shoot Nazis in Video Games?

Why Is It Okay To Shoot Nazis in Video Games?

Nobody likes Nazis. It doesn't take a social scientist to remind us that Adolf Hitler and his merry band of fascists haven't aged well over the years—dominating multiple societies on the claim of being racially superior tends to cause that kind of collateral damage. The Nazi platform, as it's commonly known, is pretty difficult to defend if you subscribe to the belief that "all men are created equal," and, as such, it's easy, and generally correct, to view Nazis as one of the hallmark Bad Guys of our world. Thus, it's no surprise that most people, whether it's real "justice" or not, actively want to do Nazis harm when given the right platform.

For over two decades now, video games have been that "right platform." From Wolfenstein to any pre-Modern Warfare Call of Duty to last month's Sniper Elite V2, gunning down Nazis has become nearly as commonplace as collecting 1ups and saving princesses within the realm of gaming. Since the general concept of Nazism is so blatantly inhumane, players have largely had no qualms racking up as many headshots as possible on the digital ghosts of Germany's past over and over again. And again. And again.

Today, it may be time to finally give those evil bastards a rest.

Why Is It Okay To Shoot Nazis in Video Games?

Now, lest you misconstrue me as one of Hitler's homeboys, let me explain myself: It's perfectly normal to want to mass murder video game Nazis as they're proposed to us.

There's a multitude of reasons for this, but the process of how we've come to accept our endless stream of Nazi killing is a simple one. For one, video games, for many, often serve as cathartic experiences. You can't—or at least you really, really shouldn't—shoot up your workmates after another frustrating day of the office, so coming home, firing up your Xbox, and opening fire on an assuredly racist oppressor can act as a welcome release of pent-up frustration or anger.


Secondly, as we've noted, Nazis weren't exactly good people. If we're going to go on killing a group of actual people, they might as well be Nazis—they are pretty easy to hate, after all. If nothing else, it's probably better that we shoot up Goebbels and company than modern-day Russians or Arabs, who appear to be the ethnic groups of choice when it comes to working out our trigger fingers these days.

Third, and this is the important one, the way in which video game Nazis are typically presented only stands make it especially easy for us to feel no twanging of guilty conscience when we're blasting Nazi brain after Nazi brain out of their respective skulls. The vast majority of Nazi shoot-em-ups portray the old Germans as soulless devils, devoid of any mind or sense of humanity. While that may be accurate relative to other groups of humans throughout history, it's probably not an entirely honest portrayal.

Why Is It Okay To Shoot Nazis in Video Games?

As you can imagine, it's much, much easier to cap a Nazi whose sole reason for existence is to kill you and everything you stand for instead of one who's only fighting because he knows he'd be exiled and/or killed if he doesn't fall in line with his mentally disturbed dictator's psychotic vision. In other words, shooting a scary shadow is easy, but a man of flesh and blood? Not so much.