Sex and Violence: Welcome to Adulthood

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Sex and Violence: Welcome to Adulthood

Why can't Heather Chaplin see that the world revolves around a deep fascination with sex and violence?

Permalink

i like both those things, and rockstar seems to have got that down perfectly :P

An excellent rebuttal to Ms. Chaplain's rant, and one that too few of us have been able to properly articulate, settling instead for calling her a "bitch who bitches too much" (true quote).

Even some of our most thematically packed indie games still use sex and violence as hooks to draw gamers to a deepr level of discourse.

Somebody buy this man a beer.

Undoubtedly, games will continue to use the two, and for the good reason of money and it pleases the fans. Of course, sex and violence is no more "adulthood" than fart jokes.

tendo[span title=:
82[/span]" post="6.104606.1657418"]Sex and Violence: Welcome to Adulthood

Why can't Heather Chaplin see that the world revolves around a deep fascination with sex and violence?

Read Full Article

She obviously doesn't appreciate the good things in life XD

People like this might as well stop complaning about the whole sex and violence thing. After all, it's a free country and the 1st amendment protects game developers so they can put anything into a game and not get in trouble for it.

Who is she? Seeing as I never heard of her before I do not think she will get very far other than making rants.

Griloch:
Undoubtedly, games will continue to use the two, and for the good reason of money and it pleases the fans. Of course, sex and violence is no more "adulthood" than fart jokes.

My wife is 34 years old, an experienced engineer, and a MBA student. She loves fart jokes. A properly placed fart in a movie will have her bent over in tears.

I admire Endo for his honesty. I think most adult gamers feel the same way, even if they are ashamed to admit it.

dogstile:
i like both those things, and rockstar seems to have got that down perfectly :P

Saint's Row 2 is arguably better, in my opinion. And that's not stemming from the ZP review - I had racked up 72 hours of game time on my save before Yahtzee reviewed it. lol

SlaughterRot:

dogstile:
i like both those things, and rockstar seems to have got that down perfectly :P

Saint's Row 2 is arguably better, in my opinion. And that's not stemming from the ZP review - I had racked up 72 hours of game time on my save before Yahtzee reviewed it. lol

you assume that i'm talking about GTA 4... this is not true :P

Yes sex and violence are fun (I even showed madworld to my mother last time I went home), but that doesn't mean they're an end in themselves. The general trend in the industry is still a very narrow-minded view of chauvanism and pubescence. One need only look to Ivy (I think that's her name) from the new Soul Calibur, your companion in the new Resident Evil or any other representation of a female in a game apart from Alyx Vance, Samus or Jade.

Speaking from a female perspective, I'd say they're great draw-factors as well. More the violence than the sex but that may be down to my distaste for faux-women. Endlessly killing polygons in say, Unreal Tournament is as much a good time as it is a means for me to work out frustrations. And really, the "Male" image in games is often as stereotyped as the female, though often with more fabric involved. The intent may be different but in many ways the approach is similar. None the less games are an enjoyable medium to settle back and blow shit up. Of course there are games which don't reply on this. Puzzle games in particular spring to mind but even then there are things like Portal which are undeniably inventive yet still have that vein of destruction. Tasty destruction.. mmm.

In short it's a relaxation mechanism and I doubt that'll ever change. It's more profitable for developers this way.

SlaughterRot:

dogstile:
i like both those things, and rockstar seems to have got that down perfectly :P

Saint's Row 2 is arguably better, in my opinion. And that's not stemming from the ZP review - I had racked up 72 hours of game time on my save before Yahtzee reviewed it. lol

I liked Saints Row 2, but I found the characters incredible unlikable. Johnie is a fuckwit sociopathic murder, your character is pretty much the same, and everyone else is just wasted. Fun game but the cutscenes and characters just made me want to avoid the plot.

koboldkommando:
Who is she? Seeing as I never heard of her before I do not think she will get very far other than making rants.

That's great. I hate to flame, but I can't stand this self-involved logic. You are the sole metric for determining if someone's opinion is worthwhile or not, based entirely on whether or not you have heard of them?

Well, a pretty simple Internet search shows that she's a journalist and author, which gave her the credibility to be a GDC panelist, getting, I imagine, much farther than you will.

Sex And violence is a good song by The Exploited

I enjoyed reading Tom's rebuttal, but he's missed the point entirely. It's not that video games are just about sex and violence, but that video games still mostly cater to a juvenile level of sex and violence. There's hardly any mature sophistication to video games, save for a rare handful. And that's the point I think she's trying to make and I agree with her that gaming needs to grow up.

Who said anything about abandoning sex and violence? Again, this is a great article and I agree with the importance that sex and violence holds in adult entertainment, art and culture, but that has nothing to do with the current lack of maturity in today's games.

Heather Chaplin's point still stands: gaming needs to grow up.

Sex and violence are integral parts to entertainment since the idea of watching other people do things was first thought.
The ancient Romans enthusiastically watched real men, women and children be publicly raped, tortured, fight and be executed in horrific manners that would cause most people to violently puke in disgust. The first Christians to try to stop this so outraged the mob viewing the games, as they were called,that they were literally torn apart by the crowd.
In modern times we have mostly replaced actual human suffering with special effects and computer graphics, Ala the Hostile films and God of War games for example, but the news media has operated for many decades if not centuries with the old adage "If it bleeds it leads".
Imagine this, a scientist creates a cure to a terrible disease and saves thousands, maybe he or she gets coverage at the press conference announcing the cure from many respectable news organizations but will that be that nights leading story. Doubtful, now imagine that same scientist goes to work with a weapon and starts killing many co-workers before being taken down by the police. Obviously the police will nearly be outnumbered by the media storming in to get the latest info, talking heads will try to explain the violence, helicopters will circle for hours over the crime scene and certainly the local and most national and international news agencies will lead with it. Why?
Violence sells. So does sex, look at the tabloids.
We say videogames need to grow up but do we really mean it. Are we really happier as adults with responsibilities, compromise, jobs and bills to pay than we were when we were children, free and forgiven for doing and saying what we want when we want.
Even in supposed mature industries such as film the box office clearly shows a Iron Man or Incredible Hulk with there clear, happy and emotional baggage free ending will fare better at the box office than a No Country for Old Men or The Watchmen with their lack of a clear resolution or happy ending.
There is a place for mature thoughtful videogames as there are is a place for them in film but the demands of profits and the masses fear of doubt and introspection will leave them on the fringes as they are in all media.
Entertainment is about escapism to power, glory or joy with the rare trip to fear and disillusion that so plague us in real life. Games will mature in their own time and in their own way.

Nothing wrong with sex and violence. I love them. Yay. The problem isn't that there's mature content; it's that it's being used in an immature way. It's shallow, desperate, gimmicky, cliche, and borderline offensive to some groups of people.

It is definitely a "thematic wasteland" and I think that's what her issue is. She is concerned about games as art. Well, works of art can certainly have sex and violence, but that's not all that they contain! And, if they do contain these things, they definitely explore them in ways that are not necessarily subtle, but definitely not shallow. Video games do not have this approach. They skirt the line of AO because as a corporate product, that's all they can do.

For me, it all goes back to this corporate censorship issue, and that's one of the reasons why games are not perceived as art. The great products of the medium are from corporations, not free-willed studios. You not only have to worry about meeting the bottom line and all that risk-reduction bullshit, but you also have to worry about avoiding an AO rating from an organization whose rating system is incredibly conservative. That AO rating is also an effective ban. Do visual arts, books, and film (not movies) have to go through this shit? No. And even movies have it better off.

Rigs83:
Even in supposed mature industries such as film the box office clearly shows a Iron Man or Incredible Hulk with there clear, happy and emotional baggage free ending will fare better at the box office than a No Country for Old Men or The Watchmen with their lack of a clear resolution or happy ending.

Of course movies like Iron Man are going to top the charts (kids and adults can both enjoy those types of movies), but there is a huge wealth of mature movies being made. Directors can make something that appeals entirely to adults without the fear of it not making money. Where are the No Country For Old Men video games? There are hardly any games out there that don't make some sort of sacrifice to appeal to kids... and that's the problem. That's where games need to mature.

Some of the Escapists might be reading this and thinking, "Who shit in this guy's cornflakes?" So I'll try and put my ranting into perspective... when you were 5 years old, Sesame Street was so awesome. Now that you've matured, it's nostalgic, but hardly rewarding. That's how I feel right now with gaming in general. Almost every game I play feels like Sesame Street in some form or fashion. When people praise a game, I typically read it as someone trying tell me how amazing Elmo is.

I've seen flashes of brilliance. I know it's possible to make rewarding games that appeal more so to adults, but it's just not happening at any satisfying frequency.

SykoSilver:
Nothing wrong with sex and violence. I love them. Yay. The problem isn't that there's mature content; it's that it's being used in an immature way. It's shallow, desperate, gimmicky, cliche, and borderline offensive to some groups of people.

Amen, brother.

From what I understood from the original comment she's some kind of PR agent whose job is to tell people why games aren't evil tools Empowered by Satan (TM) to corrupt the children but it's extremely hard to tell that to people when games seem to be a celebration of all the things we don't want children to see in other media either. And while sex and violence may have been sellers in other media as well we're mostly facing resistance from older people (and older is defined pretty loosely here) who grew up with much more restricted levels on these things (remember what Marylin Monroe actually showed when going for a "sex sells" approach? Compare that to what modern games show) and thus can't connect to the levels that are present in modern media. Yes, in the Roman times games involved actual bloodshed but that was almost two millenia ago and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone imbued with ancient Roman morals these days. In non-game media they can just pick shows, books, music, etc with less violence and sex and possibly topics that aren't so limited to the current youth in their appeal but with games they have no idea what exactly there is and without experiencing it themselves they don't know what gaming really is like. Maybe they just see the word "game" and think it's meant for children or families but then see a TV ad for Scarface and wonder why someone would try to sell that to children.

SykoSilver:
That AO rating is also an effective ban. Do visual arts, books, and film (not movies) have to go through this shit? No. And even movies have it better off.

Depends on where you live, in the country I live in yes, they do have to put up with the same restrictions. Well, okay, books and music don't have an age rating scale, they're either for everyone, banned from shelves (only sold under the counter or in separate 18+ sections) or banned from sale. Games and movies have a whole scale for anything that's not subject to either of these bans. I'm not sure how closely the scales match since they're given out by different groups (FSK for movies, USK for games) but I know the USK ratings also take into account what the player's motivation is. A game where the goal is to get X kills or to perform the kills in the most violent way to get extra points will get rated higher than one where you kill people because they get in the way of your objective or because they want to kill you (then again games about making violent kills tend to be off the scale anyway which results in the game getting blocked by the console manufacturer if they're console games or even one of the two ban categories being brought down on it). I guess unnecessarily violent depictions might also affect it, at least I suspect that's why Gears of War got blocked (I recall the reasoning against a Doom 3 ban being that the violence, while bloody, is realistic, not that accurate IMO with people turning into skeletons and some select organs when gibbed but it's not over the top either). Then again Epic was talking some nonsense about not wanting to "compromise their artistic integrity" (I thought GoW was about "loss and redemption", not unnecessary violence?) so maybe they just didn't attempt to release it rather than trying and getting blocked.

Ah, good read. Someone above made the distinction between immature violence and handling the topic more productively and I do think it applies. But at the same time...I wonder if saying that a violent depiction is mature is kinda delusional. Someone getting shot in the face is still just someone getting shot in the face, no matter how you contextualize it.

And I let go of boxing years ago when I discovered UFC. Nothing comes close.

Echolocating:

Rigs83:
Even in supposed mature industries such as film the box office clearly shows a Iron Man or Incredible Hulk with there clear, happy and emotional baggage free ending will fare better at the box office than a No Country for Old Men or The Watchmen with their lack of a clear resolution or happy ending.

Of course movies like Iron Man are going to top the charts (kids and adults can both enjoy those types of movies), but there is a huge wealth of mature movies being made. Directors can make something that appeals entirely to adults without the fear of it not making money. Where are the No Country For Old Men video games? There are hardly any games out there that don't make some sort of sacrifice to appeal to kids... and that's the problem. That's where games need to mature.

Some of the Escapists might be reading this and thinking, "Who shit in this guy's cornflakes?" So I'll try and put my ranting into perspective... when you were 5 years old, Sesame Street was so awesome. Now that you've matured, it's nostalgic, but hardly rewarding. That's how I feel right now with gaming in general. Almost every game I play feels like Sesame Street in some form or fashion. When people praise a game, I typically read it as someone trying tell me how amazing Elmo is.

I've seen flashes of brilliance. I know it's possible to make rewarding games that appeal more so to adults, but it's just not happening at any satisfying frequency.

SykoSilver:
Nothing wrong with sex and violence. I love them. Yay. The problem isn't that there's mature content; it's that it's being used in an immature way. It's shallow, desperate, gimmicky, cliche, and borderline offensive to some groups of people.

Amen, brother.

Sorry I get Emo after midnight.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this article. First off, kudos to the great Orson Scott Card reference, got a kick out of it.

I always think it's funny that it can only be that gamers(predominantly men) are the "fucking adolescents" who idealize looks, shun complex storylines, and are simply titillated by shallow offerings. Where does mass consumption of trash television and gossip magazines come into consideration?

How, exactly, is Hollywood that much different? A movie has a cast of unattainably beautiful people that are portrayed as not only perfect looking, but the idealization of the perfect character and moral fiber. "Milk" was a widely acclaimed piece of art that managed to make $2.6 million opening weekend, and $20.54 million in its theatrical run(http://www.boxofficereport.com/ybon/2008gross.shtml).

There are 110 films above this piece of art for 2008, and guess what? Most of them are not great art, but rather rely on sex, violence, and titillating its audience to fill theatres and increase the production company revenues.

It's surprising to see that a person who has worked in the field for so long has such a narrow view of it, and would lambast the same sort of negative stereotypes as the Fred Thompsons and Tipper Gores of the world.

Echolocating:

Rigs83:
Even in supposed mature industries such as film the box office clearly shows a Iron Man or Incredible Hulk with there clear, happy and emotional baggage free ending will fare better at the box office than a No Country for Old Men or The Watchmen with their lack of a clear resolution or happy ending.

Of course movies like Iron Man are going to top the charts (kids and adults can both enjoy those types of movies), but there is a huge wealth of mature movies being made. Directors can make something that appeals entirely to adults without the fear of it not making money. Where are the No Country For Old Men video games? There are hardly any games out there that don't make some sort of sacrifice to appeal to kids... and that's the problem. That's where games need to mature.

Some of the Escapists might be reading this and thinking, "Who shit in this guy's cornflakes?" So I'll try and put my ranting into perspective... when you were 5 years old, Sesame Street was so awesome. Now that you've matured, it's nostalgic, but hardly rewarding. That's how I feel right now with gaming in general. Almost every game I play feels like Sesame Street in some form or fashion. When people praise a game, I typically read it as someone trying tell me how amazing Elmo is.

I've seen flashes of brilliance. I know it's possible to make rewarding games that appeal more so to adults, but it's just not happening at any satisfying frequency.

SykoSilver:
Nothing wrong with sex and violence. I love them. Yay. The problem isn't that there's mature content; it's that it's being used in an immature way. It's shallow, desperate, gimmicky, cliche, and borderline offensive to some groups of people.

Amen, brother.

So you want your toys that are meant for kids to grow up? Yes of course we all don't get the same satisfaction from Seseme Street like when we were kids and the same does apply to video games. Asking a toy maker to grow up is like asking a clown to stop being clumsy, it goes against everything they do. Granted now I'm talking about the people and not the product they develop but the whole admiration of a toy maker is that while they are grown up and take care of many adult aspects in life such as raising a family, paying bills and ensuring his own and family happiness the toy maker is still young at heart and crafts things kids would like.

The toy maker is grown up however the content does need to be one thing, a toy. Something that someone else young or young at heart will enjoy. Video games and this current generation is quite the anomoly because we say to adults now that it is okay to not grow up. I can at least speak for the american culture that there is something that will always make exceptions to let someone not really grow up in society and still go out on their skateboard and do something stupid and not take accountability. The same thing does apply with video games, they were targetted for families but really caught on with the kids and thanks to the technology factor video games have grown with the generation. Video games have grown in many ways, the most obvious being graphics but in the end they are still the same old toys we have been playing since we were kids. Instead of seeing pixels blow up, there is blood and explosions. We now have stories told by the game instead of reading the instruction booklet, but they are still toys meant to entertain and head-fake those playing.

I know that when it comes to video games I have essentially "graduated" and there really isn't anything more video games can teach me. While society had divided the age group to allow people to play games the concepts of problem solving and being involved in stories and conflicts still remain for kids to be the hero, the warrior, and most importantly be a grown up.

So the next time you think about video gaming "growing up" think about that old fashioned toy maker or that clown entertaining that child and teaching the child how to be a grown up and what responsiblities they will have when they get older.

I could even go back to hunters and the many games the children played in order to properly throw spears through rings stressing accuracy and power so they can supply food for their families when they come of age.

This is a remarkably bad argument.

Here's your claim:

"adolescent male fantasies are responsible for the majority of our great works of entertainment and art"

Here's your evidence:

1) you like adolescent male fantasies in entertainment and perhaps in your private life.

2) Antonioni, the Blues, a photograph of a boxing match, Cormac McCarthy, Jean Luc Godard.

You might want to try a little harder on this one, kiddo.

For one, your survey of "great works of entertainment and art" is less than expansive. Not exactly up on our Proust, are we? No; Your little bowl of cherries here seems more like the kind of thing a boy would pick--which I suppose leads us to our second point.

Are you writing for The Escapist or The Projectionist? It's one thing to wear your neotony proudly; it's quite another to cover the whole world with it. You're right to describe video games as adolescent male fantasy; you're wrong to see every exploration of sex or violence as the same thing. You're projecting your Peter Pan syndrome onto everybody else's mature work (or at least onto Cormac McCarthy's and the Blues).

In other words, it's not just that your world is tiny; it's that it consists of nothing but yourself.

But, then, solipsism and narcissism are pathologies of adolescence. What can you do?!?

Ahh, sex and violence. The things that define a man. *Eyes twitch*

I said simillar things in a very long thread here some time ago. She should be directing her rant at publishers more however. No one has the balls to fight to remove the AO banhammer so anyone actually capable of decent writing who really wants to do a mature game is all but screwed. Of course there are some bright spots like Persona 3 and Persona 4 the former features suicide of all things as a mechanic.

The AO banhammer isn't really that serious, if you find yourself unable to avoid that maybe you should try a different subject. Adult and mature does not mean blood and sex in copious amounts, it means something that an older person can enjoy. Which happens to include Tetris. Children probably don't enjoy Columbo much but you don't see much violence in that series.

turbotica:
This is a remarkably bad argument.

Here's your claim:

"adolescent male fantasies are responsible for the majority of our great works of entertainment and art"

Here's your evidence:

1) you like adolescent male fantasies in entertainment and perhaps in your private life.

2) Antonioni, the Blues, a photograph of a boxing match, Cormac McCarthy, Jean Luc Godard.

You might want to try a little harder on this one, kiddo.

For one, your survey of "great works of entertainment and art" is less than expansive. Not exactly up on our Proust, are we? No; Your little bowl of cherries here seems more like the kind of thing a boy would pick--which I suppose leads us to our second point.

Are you writing for The Escapist or The Projectionist? It's one thing to wear your neotony proudly; it's quite another to cover the whole world with it. You're right to describe video games as adolescent male fantasy; you're wrong to see every exploration of sex or violence as the same thing. You're projecting your Peter Pan syndrome onto everybody else's mature work (or at least onto Cormac McCarthy's and the Blues).

In other words, it's not just that your world is tiny; it's that it consists of nothing but yourself.

But, then, solipsism and narcissism are pathologies of adolescence. What can you do?!?

...Heather Chaplin? Is that you?

You come off as a bit of a cultural elitist. Within the first five lines of your post I knew you were going to name-drop Proust.

Tenmar:
So you want your toys that are meant for kids to grow up?

I thought video games were an entertainment medium.

Tenmar:
I know that when it comes to video games I have essentially "graduated" and there really isn't anything more video games can teach me.

There isn't anything more that video games can teach?! Are you serious?

Wait... are you one of the game developers that Heather Chaplin is talking about?

When my none gaming spare time is spent enjoying sex and violence (I have a gorgeous partner and I train MMA), why would my gaming all of a sudden involve Jane Austin?

Sex and violence are, at heart, adult subjects, part of adult life. Always have been.

turbotica:
This is a remarkably bad argument.

Here's your claim:

"adolescent male fantasies are responsible for the majority of our great works of entertainment and art"

Here's your evidence:

1) you like adolescent male fantasies in entertainment and perhaps in your private life.

2) Antonioni, the Blues, a photograph of a boxing match, Cormac McCarthy, Jean Luc Godard.

You might want to try a little harder on this one, kiddo.

For one, your survey of "great works of entertainment and art" is less than expansive. Not exactly up on our Proust, are we? No; Your little bowl of cherries here seems more like the kind of thing a boy would pick--which I suppose leads us to our second point.

Fine art is famous for being racey and loving the naked form. Check Boticelli, the birth of venus, now complain about Ivy's state of undress. This only seems to change with a poke from anal retentive religeous movements, such as christianity, and its preocupation with sin.

Im not going to argue art history, I studied a real subject, but its enough to know there are plenty of examples of smut if you look for them.

Quit looking down your nose quoting Proust; its the Escapist, not the Elitist.

Echolocating:

Tenmar:
So you want your toys that are meant for kids to grow up?

I thought video games were an entertainment medium.

Tenmar:
I know that when it comes to video games I have essentially "graduated" and there really isn't anything more video games can teach me.

There isn't anything more that video games can teach?! Are you serious?

Wait... are you one of the game developers that Heather Chaplin is talking about?

Keyword you left out in your post. "me". I think video games are great for teaching people the basics or a specific concept of a subject. Construction in World of Goo would be a good example in building bridges was mentioned by Josh when we had a discussion last night in the Mumble channel. While I had the same concept taught to me in the seventh grade with using toothpicks it still is a good foundation to learn from.

Taking those teachings to the next level is the problem. Chances are a video game is not going to teach someone calculus or the philisophical teachings of Thomas Hobbes. If you really do want to learn more about philisophy, math, art, or history you really have to do it yourself. College and video games have taught me that.

I personally disagree that video games need to grow up because I still do see them as toys. Yes they do entertain but they also can and do whether the person realizes it or not can teach. I am not a game developer(although I wish I was) but from my years of playing video games although I do enjoy the gameplay, story and questions brought by video games I have been treading the same ideas, questions and concepts for some time now not really learning anything more from video games. While I may not learn more about philosophy from playing an RPG, a child who engages his mind will be amazed at the concept and idea as he looks head on into the story from the eyes of the protagonist. When I played games as a child I didn't focus on getting the best items or grinding, I wanted to know what happened next as I traveled to my next destination as I became stronger.

Video games are a great starting point to teach kids and even adults on concepts and ideas they never considered before but I think more advanced teaching the will to take the concept and bring it to the next level is up to the individual. You get that starting experience but then to really learn you really do have to be out there in the field chosing what you want to specialize in.

bjj hero:
Sex and violence are, at heart, adult subjects, part of adult life.

This is not true.

Sex and violence are neither necessarily adult, nor necessarily adolescent.

You're making the inverse of the error Endo made.

He argued that, because adolescent male fantasies focus on themes of sex and violence, whenever you find themes of sex and violence, you find adolescent male fantasy.

You're both wrong.

bjj hero:
Fine art is famous for being racey and loving the naked form.

1) Fine art is famous for being fine.

2) Nudity and sexual themes are not always adolescent male fantasy.

bjj hero:
This only seems to change with a poke from anal retentive religeous movements,

That's not what 'anal retentive' means. You mean 'prudish' or 'sexually repressive'.

bjj hero:
there are plenty of examples of smut if you look for them.

This is an adolescent assessment. Nudity does not equal smut, except in the minds of children, adolescent males, and the sexually repressed.

bjj hero:
Quit looking down your nose quoting Proust; its the Escapist, not the Elitist.

I didn't quote Proust. As Clemenstation pointed out with mighty wit, I name-dropped him.

It's (note the apostrophe) The Escapist, indeed, but if you don't think this magazine has an elitist bent, well, I guess Yahtzee fooled you.

And, yes, in the colloquial sense, I am now being anal. But not adolescent!

Well turbotica if you are suggesting they are indeed wrong. Then why don't you take the time to inform them what is right? What is your opinion on the subject?

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Your account does not have posting rights. If you feel this is in error, please contact an administrator. (ID# 64545)