The War Is(n't) Glorious

I watched today a movie called Platoon (a good movie, maybe you heard of it), and it made me think about the place that battles and wars take in RPGs. If we look at every game out there (well, almost...), we can see that the combat aspect takes a great dose of rules and a large part of the book. Also, when we come to the game, it's not a common thing to have a session without at least a single battle (and some games have even more than one a session).
The movie, if you haven't seen it, revolves around a soldier who comes to Vietnam sure of the righteousness of the USA in the Vietnam War, and slowly learns to question the morals of the other soldiers. The movie also shows the uglier sides of war, those that we don't normally deal with: Bugs, leeches, diseases, (dis)obeying orders, etc...
I think that, after seeing the movie, I at least want to further explore these ugly aspects in games. After all, the glorious parts have been explored enough, so why not trying something else for once?
What about playing a game about the soldiers who return from the war, but the memories still flicker and destroy their lives? What about a game that revolves around the families that are left behind? Or better yet, what about a game that revolves around some pacifist or idealistic soldiers that were forced into the army like in WWII?
I, at least, find these ideas much more fascinating, and much more important to explore, than the common kill&loot games...


  1. Take a look at generation Kill for a slightly more modern story with a similar feel. Not so much the righteousness of the conflict, but the reality for the men on the ground.

    Totally inspired me to run a military style game sometime soon.

  2. Thanks for your comment, and I'll surely check this series. Sounds exactly like what I'm looking for.