Ben Kuchera has a very interesting post on historical groups being used as "bad guys" in gaming.
"The tight-rope walk of using historical settings in games, and the enemies that exist inside those settings, is a tricky one. One Joystiq writer, while watching game play from Call of Duty: World at War, was unable to continue viewing the game because of his feelings about the racial makeup of the enemy.
"Then I read this, and my draw dropped. 'I have a very personal problem with demonizing the Japanese. I don't feel that way about the Nazis. I draw a disconnect between Nazis and Germans as large as the divide between 'alien' and human. The Nazis have been transformed into monsters, which does not need to be justified in my gaming,' he wrote."