The discussion at the end of this episode on historical accuracy in Battlefield V was very interesting. When it comes to WW2 games, developers and designers seem to have little problem with putting the player in the shoes of a soldier, pilot, or general on the side of Nazi Germany. This is across the spectrum of gaming from multiplayer FPSs to tabletop wargaming.
Meanwhile, I recently came across some interesting notes from Joel Toppen, the designer of GMT’s Navajo Wars. It’s a solitaire wargame where the player takes on the role of the Navajo/Diné people, and the adversary is controlled by a “bot” (I assume in the form of flowcharts, if it’s anything like other GMT games with solo modes). Toppen writes about the design of the game:
Very quickly I ruled out a multiplayer format. The reason for this is simple: it would be very culturally insensitive to have as the goal for one of the players, the destruction of the Diné. Instead, I wanted the game to tell a story. I wanted the game to tell the story of the Navajo struggle to maintain their way of life. More than that, I wanted to tell the story from the native perspective. To do this, a solitaire game format was adopted.
(from the “Playbook” here)
I could imagine the same mindset being adopted about Nazi Germany, and only making games where the players are in the role of the Allies. But obviously the industries of gaming have gone the other way with the WW2 setting…