We live in morally confused times, so I really shouldn't be surprised that it's very common to see people expressing the morally confused idea that killing Orcs is murder.
I commented on one such occurrence recently here, where Zzarchov from Unofficial Games goes on a crusade declaring that killing villains is murder. One doesn't have to try in order to find more examples, even Jeff Rients gets into the act with a new blog entry tossing out "orc-murdering" while defining all characters as bastards.
Jeff's entry is likely something of a parody, but it serves to illustrate just how common this mindset is. It seems one born out of modern Moral Relativism (which states that no one is evil, just different) and Kindergarten rules ("Don't hit, that's always wrong").
Thus orcs aren't evil, they're different but equal to you. And killing (i.e. hitting) is always wrong. The perfect combination of abrogating one's moral responsiblity while replacing it with a mindset suited to a five year old.
Taking this viewpoint to rpgs is silly in the extreme of course. For one thing, the recommended age for rpgs is higher than five.
For another, it's typically done by the exact same people who claim that rpgs don't reflect (or affect) their real views or real life (thus they can steal from other players, rape various characters for fun and otherwise run evil characters etc), but for some reason still want to define rational and moral acts in rpgs as 'murder' and attempt to act against them either in 'moral' rants or game mechanic driven punishment. Interesting mix of thoughts there isn't it?
The following shouldn't be neccessary for anyone who has a basic grounding in morality, but here goes:
1. Villians by definition are evil. They are not just a simple law abiding folk blocking the desires of your characters. They are someone who is presenting a clear and present (or near future) danger to life, limb & property of innocent people.
2. In the fiction upon which most rpgs are founded, the heroes have the moral requirement (and often legal right) to deal with the villain.
Magnificent Seven- Normal law is completely missing and the bandits are in control, so the heroes intervene in effect as 'law for hire'.
Robin Hood- in most versions is a landed noble and supporter of the rightful King acting against injustice.
Star Wars- Luke and the entire rebellion are acting against tyrannical rule.
Known and accepted heroes, likely cheered on even by those writing articles like those linked above. And yet by their reasoning Chris, Robin and Luke are all murderers for killing bandits, Gisbourne , and stormtroopers.
People can play Teletubbies the RPG if the like, but stop calling my characters murderers when they're defending innocent people from death and worse. It ticks me off, and makes you look like the amoral five year old you are.
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