Andrew asked me yesterday if I'd ever played the game Tanto Cuore. I told him that I had, and I thought it was a mediocre Dominion clone with a potential offensive theme and Andrew responded that he thought I'd find the theme appealing. My first reaction to that was to be a little offended that Andrew would think I'd like something that I've said was potentially offensive. Thinking about it more though... There are plenty of games with potentially offensive themes that lots of people like, especially with how easily offended some people can be.
Dungeon Lords, for example, is a game where you take the role of an evil overlord and need to build a dungeon filled with traps and monsters in order to kill off a party of good adventurers. It's very tongue in cheek, but at the core it's all about being a very evil person.
Grand Theft Auto is a game about stealing cars, murdering people, and all sorts of other terrible things. But behind the glossy theme it's an open world game with quests, exploration, leveling up, and achievements. All things I really, really like. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone thought I was a fan of the game. It turns out I haven't played any of the games since the very first one and even that one I didn't play very much. I'm not sure why, really. I've never felt the urge to pick it up. Maybe the theme does keep me from playing it? There are lots of games I want to play that don't involve murdering hookers, after all. And really, I'd hope anyone who thought I'd like the game would think I'd like it for the open world exploration and achievements, and not for the murder and torture.
Now, on the one hand, I do like attractive animated women. I just posted about outfits for my Final Fantasy XIV character, after all! If someone wants to dress up in a French maid outfit, all the power to them. On the other hand it doesn't feel like this game is depicting voluntary maids at all. We've herded all the maids into one spot and now, as the man in the game, we're offering them love to employ them. I don't know that I buy the theory that Grand Theft Auto trains murderers and thieves, but I think this game might well be training misogynists. Which is why I said the theme was potentially offensive. And I think is why it bothers me that Andrew thinks I'd find it appealing. Perhaps worse, I did buy this game without looking at any reviews. Partially because of the art when I saw it for sale at WBC a few years ago, and partially because it was at the start of the deck building game bandwagon and I wanted to play more of them. So maybe I did find it appealing? Maybe I still do? And maybe that makes me a terrible person. Heck, I liked playing Princess Maker 2... And that game had you raising your (adopted) daughter by sending her to work in a sleazy bar, had you buy buxomize pills for her, and one of the endings involved you marrying her!
I don't want to be a terrible person.