Originally Posted by Shoeless
I don't know if the one guy was just being facetious, but to think that I am against video games depicting soldiers and the game of chess is just silly, and not at all what I was getting at. There is a difference between sitting in your living room and playing a piece of entertainment about soldiers, and actually dressing in the uniform of a serviceman and firing blanks at other people.
I'm the guy and I was not being facetious. I understand you are not against videogames or chess, and I guessed as much before I posted that; that's why I mentioned them, it's a reductio ad absurdum.
I'm aware there are differences between playing war on a boardgame and playing it in a costume. Then again there are more points in common than differences. In both cases it's entertainment, it's not the real thing; you are not a real general when moving your counters on the board, and you are not a real soldier when wearing your costume.
Whether you were a real soldier in your real life, or not, has little bearing on either, since in both cases it's not reality, it's fiction. Having been a real soldier certainly helps you playing the part better, but a non-former-soldier who is a committed student may be just as good. Most actors interpreting Hamlet were not princes in real life.
I'll add that I think that what's important is what goes on in one's mind. That's why I mentioned that if no disrespect is intended, no disrespect is done.
But to elaborate, there is of course a slim possibility that a guy in, say, Patton's uniform, deludes himself into thinking that he is, somehow or to some extent, as good as the real Patton.
Naturally I would disapprove of that, but I would disapprove exactly in the same way if a guy playing Patton in a boardgame, videogame or role-playing game nurtured similar delusions. I've won Diplomacy games playing as Turkey, and I'm happy about that, but I don't think, for that reason, that I'm better than the real Turkish decision-makers who lost WWI. Mine were games.
In both cases (re-enactment or gaming) the man having those delusions would be a guy with mental issues, not your typical re-enactor or wargame player.
Of course I understand you have just put forth your personal point of view and I respect it; the above, in turn, is just my own point of view.