Sex, Violence, and the Wii

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I have always been shocked that the baby boomers get so pissed about gaming and call it evil when they went through the same crap with there rock and roll devil music. One would think they would sympathize with us and realize they don't understand gaming but much like rock and roll it's not evil and doesn't cause people to be stupid/homicidal.

Hell music introduced more people to drugs even with the whole hippie phase and it actually got record amounts of people smoking pot and doing acid, but gaming doesn't cause people to do drugs in fact it might even keep them away. It's true there's a lot of gamers who are druggies or at least claim to be because it's so damn cool. I used to smoke pot but never got into anything harder and even quit smoking all together because I preferred gaming and decided to hang out with other gamers instead of potheads all the time.

There have been a fair amount of crime based around video games and I don't mean kids shooting up a school saying gta made them, but instead I mean arguments about consoles and such ending in violence. That has more to do with the population is increasing but the average IQ is dropping and most parents are busy with work and the stay home mom/dad is a rarity.

But in the end each generation prosecutes the one after it for something and sadly enough our generation will find something to hate about the next. My theory is robot girlfriends will be the next hot topic. Not robot boyfriends tho because I can't think of fathers hating a machine they can program to not have sex with there daughter and can't get them pregnant ^^.

YAY!!! now there will come an age where people will see a kid killing his parents and say "damn, that king is fu&%ing wako" instead of "MW2 made him do it"

Games are for kids, thats why.

well, 60-70 y.olds think that way.

The game was chosen because it sold something in the neighborhood of 6 million units in its first day. The anti-video game groups do not care about a game like Eat Lead, that currently sits in the "please steal me" section of my local gamestop. They are not going to waste their time on those games because they are not worth it. This is why Peta went after Ringling Bros game and the Cooking Mama franchise.

Anti gaming groups are not going to waste time on something relatively obscure like the Tron 2.0, Rumble Roses XX or whatever when they are better targets for them to go after.

I hate people who look down on casual gamers. When did video games become serious? Most of the same people who use casual gamer as an insult are the same who rage at noobs.

there's nothing to be done about this. We just have to wait for those people to retire or die. But the alternative is for them to turn into gamers themselves.

Heh, I can see it now; "You have 3 choices Mr.Bond, you can Retire, Die or become a Gamer."

I like the way this idea was presented. Hopefully, his hypothesis will stick.

oppp7:
I hate people who look down on casual gamers. When did video games become serious? Most of the same people who use casual gamer as an insult are the same who rage at noobs.

I agree with you. Casual gamers don't steal anything from us, it's a separate market... Tere will always be hardcore games, and some simpler one, who appeal to more people!
And I think wii have a few good hardcore ones, No More Heroes, Punch out come to mind now (and certainly there are many more, but I don't own the console so I didn't get the chance to play much), and many "casual" games who ARE FUN. Actually, I think that's what our hobby is about, having fun with eletronic media, and that doesn't mean we always have to end up in huge realistic fantasy-like dungeons with advanced mechanics. Sometimes you can have fun just by pressing x not to die, that's not forbidden...

'...but it's still possible to walk into a Walmart today and buy movies like Eyes Wide Shut that will show you something a lot more scandalous than that.'

I'll say. Eyes Wide Shut is possibly the saddest punctuation stop to a film making career ever. It's difficult to believe that the same person who brought us Dr Stangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange and many other superb films, could produce (and write) a film so bad that I got so bored that even a near naked Nicole Kidman couldn't persuade me to watch it all the way through. It's scandalously bad.

CJ

Going back to FC2, what exactly was worse about it?

Everyone you fought could defend themselves with weaponry. All the airport people could do was run.

A better example, by a long shot, would be any of the GTA games. ANY of them. THAT is comparable.

Pjmcnally:

murder_of_raven:
I wonder, how could we as "serious gamers" help the public make the connection between casual "toy" gaming and our "hobby"? Are they connected?

I think that is the essential question here. However, I think we need to look at this from both ends. We not only need to convince the non-gaming public to see that connection we also need to convince the "Hardcore/Haxor" gamers to see it too. How can moderate yet serious gamers work to convince "Hardcore/Haxor" gamers that they want to be part of a larger group? How can both sides of this puzzle be brought together?

I'm not sure the issue is that- I think the kind of games that have made Wii as big as it is are things like Wii Sports, and as a result, we might be worse off, giving people just enough information to form the wrong opinion- it was probably a lot easier beforehand to go "games are/can be a bit like films" and have it understood, if they didn't accept it.

Now, I think that the majority of new casual ga-- sorry, "people who are no longer going to blame and ban videogames", those that haven't really moved past Wii Sports, are going to hear about a game with violence in it and think it's Wii Sports, but with killing.

I could be wrong- I hope I am- but I don't think we should be flying the flag of victory just yet.

Well that article hit the nail squarely on the head. Most of the problems with society and videogames come from a long time fact that gamers are an exclusive group(in fact they throw up arbitrary barriers to protect that fact and are extremely hostile to new-comers). People don't understand due to inadequact exposer to videogames. The wii is doing something that lots of gamers hate: making new gamers out of non-gamers. That ruins the exclusive club part of the equation but helps people to see games aren't so bad(not to mention pumping new blood into a group that will inevitable stagnate without it). I hope the Wii actually does it's goal of making gamers out of a much larger percent of the population. Maybe then gaming can seen as being just as common a pasttime as going to movies, or seeing bnaseball games.

I'm sure, Shamus, you remember those days in the mid-80's when we were simultaneously uber-nerds and Satan worshipers because we were playing Dungeons and Dragons with our friends on weekends.

Or that time when they made a TV movie staring Tom Hanks where a kids life was ruined from D&D, since he played so much he couldn't tell fantasy from reality.

Soccer moms have to get their jollies somehow.

GonzoGamer:

Robert0288:
by introducing the baby boomers to video games hopefully they wont be as ignorant about whats being said in the media. Here's to the comming generation of video game playing leaders.

Or it might just turn them into nintendo fanboys, saying things like: you don't see murder simulators like this on the wii.

While their children hide their copies of Manhunt 2...

Great article. Keep up the good work Shamus.

I'm afraid all your examples were a world away in difference, in that killing the innocents was a personal choice as opposed to a narrative necessary scene, even though MW2 was skippable. The only way to kill lots of innocents in Deus Ex for instace, is to make the conscious decision to decide to, which instantly makes it a game. Saying that, there's been very little scandal in MW2. Certainly not in Britain, and even Russia was just fed up as been portrayed as the ultimate evil.

Sadly the Wii won't do that because it makes "different" games. Casual gamers don't play violent games on the Wii so it doesn't switch them over to our side in any real way. In fact it's just "why are you killing people whilst you can have so much fun playing glorified peggle and associated mini-games on the wii?"

Credge:
Going back to FC2, what exactly was worse about it?

Everyone you fought could defend themselves with weaponry. All the airport people could do was run.

A better example, by a long shot, would be any of the GTA games. ANY of them. THAT is comparable.

Which have similar controversy surrounding them.

No offense, but I am still bitter that "Video Game Players" have stolen the term "Gamer" from us true Gamers, the pen and paper RPG players. It was like when your Grandfather realized all of the hipsters were drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Want to talk about the media portraying your hobby as EVIL and the general public having no clue what your hobby really is. The oppressed video game players have nothing on my tribe of oppressed brethren.

Its an easy hit as well one must remember, newspapers print anti-game stories because "we" don't read newspapers, so it doesn't affect their circulation. Politicians shoot to the heavens, because, guess what, gamers don't vote so much (personally I do, but most gamers I know don't). And FOX rags on games, well, because they live and die on right wing sensationalist bull-s**t.

But even if we all go out and convert ten baby-boomers to being "casual gamers" we still have the problem that people who play th Wii don't see themselves as gamers, my mam plays Wii and DS, yet she still thinks MW:COD2 crossed the line, she asked me to turn off Prototype more than once. And I mean I'm 25...

The simple fact is that most non-gamers see a distinct line between playing a sports game and playing GTA or MW2 or Prototype. They think you play a sports game because you like sports, and want to "feel" like a sports star, this is something the Wii promotes is it not? The whole motion control crap. So by this logic, if you want to play violent games, you want to be violent. Also the fact that most games casual gamers play are without a proper storyline makes the gulf hard to cross as well, sure you can say that people who watch Comedies or Rom-Com aren't against violent films, but they see films as story telling. Most casual gamers don't see games that way they see it as a brain training exercise, a way to get fit (or pretend to) or in the case of FB games a way to just get to the next stage. The simple fact is that without the context of a story we can't compare the way someone who won't watch violent understands them to the way the a person who won't play violent games sees them.

Perhaps I'm wrong...but can anyone name a real "casual" game with a plot? I can't.

Well, I for one, blame the Wii of all this. Well, not the Wii to be precise but what it represents.
Gaming is still regarded (against our better judgement) as something for children, along with reading comics or watching cartoons (all of which I do, despite being in my mid twenties), and the Wii's reputation as both this generations king and a "kiddie and/or casual" console doesn't help matters.
Gaming is not as respected an entertainment as movies because it's still relatively young, and we're still reeling from the mostly simplistic stories and cute main characters from the 8-bit era.
Still, it's just like Shamus said. People who condemn video games are a dying breed. Too bad it's our generation that has to put up with them.

"Sex, Violence, and the Wii: Preferably two out of three."

Joke aside, I'm not real sympathetic over casual gamers. The drivel made to cater to easy needs has badly buried the games I'd be interested in.

Generic_Dave:
Perhaps I'm wrong...but can anyone name a real "casual" game with a plot? I can't.

Grim Fandango, Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VI, etc.

axia777:
The Wii does not sell millions of action FPS games for the most part. The PS3 and 360 do. That is were the money is for publishers and that is where it will stay.

As for other games I am happy for all the gamers who love the Wii because they can't handle the PS3 or 360. Props to them.

But the savior of the hardcore games is and always be Sony, Microsoft, and all PC game publishers. Besides of course Nintendo and their first party line up. But that is a given. We all know how well third party games sell on the Wii. It is basically a joke.

Did you actually read the article or see the title and assume what it was about? Because no way in your post does it seem to hint that you read the article. It seems to say, "I saw the title of your article and I was so offended by how you said the Wii was going to save us hardcore gamers." Publishers can hardly be saviors if they are bogged down with controversy.

What Shamus is saying is that if we introduce the Wii to the baby boomer generation, they'll slowly realize that, "Hey! Maybe gaming ISN'T the fault of all this and that and etc!" because they'll "get" gaming in a sense - that games don't really make people go out and do this stuff.

Props to Shamus on this one. Very good article.

I think that what the Wii is doing in a small way is showing the world just how weak and perhaps even hypocritical blaming games for the ills of the world actually is. When we see what something really is, it alters our view of it. When gaming is seen as just entertainment, extreme criticism of games will go down to a level similar to films because convincing the ignorant man is easier than convincing the knowing man. Likewise, it is easier to defend the knowing man than it is to defend the ignorant man. It is easier to defend something that is hard to criticise. It is why films are not criticised as games are; because there are very many who would stand up for the film industry, many who see the film industry as just entertainment. Now, how many are willing to defend games? That number is slowly increasing, and with that the number of people willing to criticise games as a certain lawyer did is slowly decreasing. The more people realise that gaming, like films, are just entertainment, the less gaming industries of all types will be criticised. We play games to escape reality, to unwind, to relax. This is what the Wii is, at least in my view, is trying to do. Because if fantasy were reality, we'd really be flaming the flamers, now wouldn't we?

Strangeite:

Generic_Dave:
Perhaps I'm wrong...but can anyone name a real "casual" game with a plot? I can't.

Grim Fandango, Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VI, etc.

I'm sorry...what? Maybe my definition of "casual" is different that yours, but WTF? Casual? Really? And a Final Fantasy game? You know people in their 40's / 50's who could pick up and play these games when they came out? Sorry, I'm not gonna be too argumentative but I just don't see it.

Robert0288:
Here's to the comming generation of video game playing leaders.

Hear, hear.

randommaster:
We're just going to have to live with this nonsense until video games stop being the cool thing to hate.

If we just live with it and do absolutely nothing about it, we'll have to live with it for a long, long time.

Strangeite:

Generic_Dave:
Perhaps I'm wrong...but can anyone name a real "casual" game with a plot? I can't.

Grim Fandango, Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VI, etc.

Wikipedia states that casual games "are typically distinguished by their simple rules and lack of commitment required in contrast to more complex hardcore games."

None of those games could ever be described as simple by any stretch of the word. If you can play through Grim Fandango with no commitment whatsoever, I praise your natural talent for insane puzzle solving.

3 words that should but cant be put together

Generic_Dave:
I'm sorry...what? Maybe my definition of "casual" is different that yours, but WTF? Casual? Really? And a Final Fantasy game? You know people in their 40's / 50's who could pick up and play these games when they came out? Sorry, I'm not gonna be too argumentative but I just don't see it.

You aren't being argumentative and I admit that I am speaking from a position of ignorance. I used to play lots of video games but I don't anymore. So I really don't know what is the common meaning of a "casual game".

The reason why I quit the hobby with the exception of the "causal" Wii game, Civilization, etc. is that I became bored.

I enjoy adult games with a real plot, excellent graphics and sophisticated game play, but I don't enjoy gratuitous violence. I recognize the fact that they are enjoyed by millions and I am happy for those that do enjoy the GTA or whatever, but it isn't my cup of tea.

I do wish that there were games aimed at adults that didn't involve shooting a person in the head. If video games want to become as respected as movies, then there needs to exist as wide a range of genres. With a range as wide as Full Metal Jacket, to Dumb and Dumber, to Wall-E, to Pierrot Le Fou.

Ericb:

Wikipedia states that casual games "are typically distinguished by their simple rules and lack of commitment required in contrast to more complex hardcore games."

None of those games could ever be described as simple by any stretch of the word. If you can play through Grim Fandango with no commitment whatsoever, I praise your natural talent for insane puzzle solving.

I am not trying to be difficult, because again, I am speaking from a position of ignorance, so most of the people posting here would consider Legend of Zelda, and yes, even Animal Crossing as "hardcore games" because both have sophisticated underlying rules and a deep commitment?

GonzoGamer:

Robert0288:
by introducing the baby boomers to video games hopefully they wont be as ignorant about whats being said in the media. Here's to the comming generation of video game playing leaders.

Or it might just turn them into nintendo fanboys, saying things like: you don't see murder simulators like this on the wii.

Oh but you do, Madworld comes to mind.

Ericb:

Robert0288:
Here's to the comming generation of video game playing leaders.

Hear, hear.

randommaster:
We're just going to have to live with this nonsense until video games stop being the cool thing to hate.

If we just live with it and do absolutely nothing about it, we'll have to live with it for a long, long time.

Even if you get the majority of the public to support games, there will still be old crotchety grumps who refuse to see games as anything but tools to teach kids how to murder others. I'm not saying that we can't improve the image of video games, but that ther will be people who oppose them the same way that there were/are people who opposed jazz, rock, radio, television, and so on and so forth. I probably could have said that more clearly the first time, though.

Ericb:

Strangeite:

Generic_Dave:
Perhaps I'm wrong...but can anyone name a real "casual" game with a plot? I can't.

Grim Fandango, Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VI, etc.

Wikipedia states that casual games "are typically distinguished by their simple rules and lack of commitment required in contrast to more complex hardcore games."

None of those games could ever be described as simple by any stretch of the word. If you can play through Grim Fandango with no commitment whatsoever, I praise your natural talent for insane puzzle solving.

Tetris is probably one of the most casual games ever, but only the most hardcore players try to max out the score. The Halo games are complex, but I'm definitely a casual Halo player. The difference between hardcore and casual is based more around how much you want to succeed at a game. It's about going beyond simply playing the game. You can play MW2 multiplayer casually, but it stops being casual when you start caring about how well you do.

Casual gamers usually play simple games because they don't want to invest a lot of time into the game. This results in them gravitating towards games like Peggle and Wii Sport, which are easy to learn how to play, rather than MW2 or WOW, which take a long time to learn. It's not the game, but the gamer, that defines "hardcore."

randommaster:
Casual gamers usually play simple games because they don't want to invest a lot of time into the game. This results in them gravitating towards games like Peggle and Wii Sport, which are easy to learn how to play, rather than MW2 or WOW, which take a long time to learn. It's not the game, but the gamer, that defines "hardcore."

But to pin those definitions solely on the intent of the player is to entirely ignore the very design elements implemented in the examples you used yourself.

Although the term "casual" only makes sense in contrast to the "hardcore" one, a dichotomy I dislike for many reasons.

Anyway, there was a design philosophy back in the day that the best games (before the whole casual/hardcore nearsighted thing came into play) were actually easy to learn, but hard to master. To a certain extent, I still agree with that line of thinking.

Strangeite:
I am not trying to be difficult, because again, I am speaking from a position of ignorance, so most of the people posting here would consider Legend of Zelda, and yes, even Animal Crossing as "hardcore games" because both have sophisticated underlying rules and a deep commitment?

Animal Crossing does not require a deep commitment to get anywhere crucial plotwise because it does not start with a end goal to begin with. Even though it is not as simple or short as Peggle, it definitely does lets you just do things at your own pace and leisure with no end in sight.

Not only Legend of Zelda does as is filled with plot-driven fetch-quests, it almost invariably have a very well defined and established end goal: Save the princess/defeat the bad guy/save the world. They usually make sure of that by having the game world and plot show you that things are bad or about to get that way in pretty blatant ways.

All that talk got me thinking about open-ended gameplay compared with its linear counterpart. I'll have a look into that.

beemoh:

it's Wii Sports, but with killing.

I could be wrong- I hope I am- but I don't think we should be flying the flag of victory just yet.

Am I the only one who thinks that would be epic? "Now for he nintendo Wii: Wii Colosseum! Do you have what it takes to survive in the pit? Take your Mii's into the arena and prepare for a grueling, gladiator-style death match! Improve your Mii's gladiator score by killing your friends with the Wii's famous motion sensor technology! For blood, and Glory!"

As awesome as this would be (you know it would be ;) ), it would likely be a step backwards in the defense of gaming, giving haters something new to bitch about.

anyway, back on topic...

After reading the article, I must say that you have a very positive way to look at the Wii (and the influx of casual gamers), however, I Wonder if the opposite will happen? Will the new Baby-boomer gamers gain respect for the hobby, or will they simply turn casual gaming into a weapon, using it as an example that "games shouldnt have to be about sex, drugs and violence? After all, they might think, they have a great time playing the non-violent stuff... perhaps 'Hardcore' gamers are more affected by their gaming then we thought?"

something to think about, anyway

But surely the lack of violent Wii games (in comparison to the other 3 platforms) will mean that even if they do own one, they'll still see it as something completely different to what us genocidal maniacs play?

Generic_Dave:

But even if we all go out and convert ten baby-boomers to being "casual gamers" we still have the problem that people who play th Wii don't see themselves as gamers, my mam plays Wii and DS, yet she still thinks MW:COD2 crossed the line, she asked me to turn off Prototype more than once. And I mean I'm 25...

See, this is where the problem is. Even if you get Grandma to play the Wii, there's still the fact that there are the violent games out there. Playing non-violent games doesn't mean that those people will stop screaming about the violence in video games today.

While Shamus said the GTA IV/Wii Sports comparison, those are 2 utterly different games, no question. We have a Wii at our house (I'm still a minor. >.<), and of course Wii Sports. My mom is insanely into Wii Bowling, but when she goes on the real course there's no surprise that she can't bowl for jack s**t. But she still won't let me buy MW2 or something along those lines when I'm going to get my PS3. I've explained to her that "video games don't make you a killer" speech and all of that, but it's still the fact that it's simulated violence. In her case, violence is violence. But for some reason, she'll let me watch CSI, Bones, all that cop drama stuff. I'd suppose it's the medium and the interactive part of it. *shrugs*

Different circumstances mean different situations.

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