Follower of the Way
I think--this is me hypothesizing, not knowing--that part of the response is that it doesn't have to be "about" real things. It's that this stuff is too much like the literal, real stories actual land-stealing, local-killing, culture-erasing groups have used. Orcs are too much like the way native populations have been characterized as subhuman. "The locals worship evil gods, and we must prevent that or it will destroy everything" wasn't far off from (for example) the Conquistador perspective on local religious practice in Central and South America. Even if the people telling these stories mean nothing bad by it, they perpetuate narratives that really did--and, sometimes, still do--valorize and defend the oppression of real people. Consider, for example, the unfortunate implications behind James Cameron's Avatar narrative, which is a sci-fi Dances with Wolves (and part of a long trend of stories filled with unfortunate implications)--we don't need to write stories this way, and we can write stories that are as interesting (or maybe even more interesting, since they're so rarely told) that don't do that stuff. That, for me, is a big part of facing some of these questions head-on and making a decision about them, because it leads, as Tolkien might have said, to "many a song...unheard by man or elves."I would disagree with that kind of analysis, because I think people are smart enough to separate real life and fantasy worlds, to realise the pertinent distinctions between the two, and to think/act accordingly. However I'm interested to see what other people think about this kind of critique?
Further, even if people can enforce nice clean conscious separations between things, there's at least some wiggle room that thinking about beings in this way..."smooths" the path for thinking about other things in similar ways. Condensing moral problems to flat, simple things. Solving your problems with violence whenever it becomes inconvenient to solve them without violence. That sort of thing. This is already a serious problem in politics, religion, science...basically everything important in the world. One aspect of "decolonization"--such as, "is it really okay to have human-like beings that are morally okay to hurt and kill?"--is that it rejects having unexamined flat, simple answers. Maybe the answer really is that simple, but you know why it's that simple, and you know what the consequences of that simplicity are.
This is (one reason) why I'm not so keen on really really dark games. I do think that the things we play, the ways we behave toward fictional people, contribute to the ways we behave toward real people. It's not deterministic. It's not a "play six hours of DOOM 2016 and you'll SHOOT YOUR OWN GRANDMOTHER." That's sensationalism and entirely unhelpful. However, I do believe that, much as what we eat slowly shapes our future health, what we play-act slowly shapes our opinions. Hence, I always strive for characters that seek peaceful solutions, that regret violence and seek to address its consequences even when it was entirely justified. Building up those habits when I'm just playing around will, I hope, contribute to me exercising similar habits when I'm not playing around and things are deadly serious. Asking those questions, and reflecting on the answers (or lack thereof), is part of what makes us better and fuller people.