Self-censorship in RPGs?

There are times when I wonder about my sense of good fun.

Last weekend, I ran a game where the players had fun battling through storm conditions on the high seas, getting excited by running the risk sinking and drowning - when that very night, in the North Sea, dozens of real sailors lost their lives in a shipping disaster.

Regularly, I run games where religious intolerance, inter-faith war, assassination, fanaticism and the like are sources of entertainment - while the so-called Islamic State and al-Qeda are organising and inspiring the murder of journalists and aid workers
Is it okay to use these horrible events, vile actions and situations as part of a game?

Yes - of course!

We can examine the world through RPGs. By playing roles, we can understand people better, empathise better. By imagining what brings a person to behave in a certain way, we aren't condoning it.

Would you say that Sean Bean is evil because he played the corrupt agent 006? That Alan Rickman is a bad person because of his portrayal of the Sherrif of Nottingham?
Would you say that Peter Jackson is promoting black magic because he made films about Sauron and the Witch King of Angmar and all those evil beings?

Story telling is one of our ways of coping with the nasty and horrible parts of the world - and roleplaying games especially so.

So let's not self-censor ourselves. You only have to answer to your player group. If it's cool to you, then it's cool.

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