Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Vietnam Project

I was born in 1965. I can remember when President Nixon was re-elected, I can remember hippies and Charles Manson and having "acid rock" explained to me. And through it all I can remember when the Vietnam War was active and the day Saigon fell. The Second World War was my grandparent's war (and also the First, for my grandfather on the German side who saw action for the Kaiser). My father served in Korea. For me, Vietnam was the war. But unlike the previous conflicts the war in Vietnam was collectively swept under the American rug afterwards and remained there for more than a decade. With catastrophic consequences for many Americans.

Through all the years that I've been playing wargames I have yet to play a game set in the Vietnam theater. Now I'd like to fix that. I think the conflict has lessons that our leaders have forgotten- there are reports from Afghanistan that read chillingly like after action reports from 1967. Further, I think there are stories from that war that need to be told and remembered. Largely stories of ordinary Americans who were put in extraordinary circumstances and for the most part did their best. For their country, or their friends, or just because they wanted to do the right thing. That's not to say that terrible things weren't done as well. Doing terrible things is, in a sense, not hard during wartime. Stress and a weapon is a recipe for disaster. The stories I'm looking to tell through gaming are the ones where men and women went above and beyond. When they resisted the darkness that lies within all human beings and became something greater.

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