On the Guiltless Destruction of Untermenchen

by Elias Blum

According to game designer (and armchair philosopher) Jeff Dee, the reason so many computer games feature ‘Nazis, demons, robots and aliens’ as baddies is that ‘you can kill as many of them as you like without feeling bad.’ By selecting such loathesome enemies, the simple and cathartic enjoyment of virtually blowing stuff up with a great big gun need not be hindered by any ethical qualms or sympathies for the slain.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the UK government’s list of ‘those outside the compass of moral consideration’ appears to include muslims, immigrants, the poor, the homeless, people with disabilities, prisoners, and quite a few others besides. Indeed, given their enthusiasm for nukes, it appears to include just about everyone on the planet.

Maybe someone should try to get David Cameron and George Osbourne hooked on playing Doom or Wolfenstein (I have not really played computer games since the 1990s, so my frame of reference might be a little dated). A bit of nazi-and-demon blasting would no doubt help them to give vent to their emotionally immature angst, loathing and frustration without actually harming human beings.

Just a thought.