@Testament said in But Why:
The argument to me feels more like moralistic grandstanding than anything else.
Yeah that’s where I land. Like I have my personal prefs of what I want to play and in what genres. Others have theirs. “You are bad for wanting to play this type of character and/or in this genre” is just bargain basement self-aggrandizement.
I’m actually gonna go a step further here in disagreeing with the OP. I also think it is Absolutely Fine and Good to play an evil, serf-oppressing, conflict-profiting, violence-dispensing, privileged aristocrat who is actively engaging in Bad Things. The assertion that it is only morally defensible to play Good Folk Doing Good Stuff is puerile and trite. Engaging with such a role is no different from reading through Antony Beevor’s Fall of Berlin.
This hobby allows for a lot more than simply playing heroic characters. Playing an unheroic character can be a vehicle for exploration of the human experience, and can be equally valid whether or not that character goes through a redemption arc. Our world is complex and built on circumstance and context; it can be interesting to explore ideas like “why good people do bad things” or “what drives someone to rationalize acts of evil” or even simply “what is the internal experience of someone who is put in a position with few options that don’t hurt someone”.
Even more simply, narratives are built on Conflict. Villains (and I am using broad terminology to describe what is a very wide spectrum even before contextualization) serve narratives by prompting Conflict. Heroes with no Conflict just sit around and have tea parties (obligatory: playing TeaMU is a morally defensible activity even if i personally find it boring af).