The School Shooter Mod

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Ipsen:

Nelson LaQuet:
I wholeheartedly agree with Jim on this one.

Squarez:
This is the point where Jim Sterling officially lost any and all respect from me (his awful, awful show notwithstanding). He argues that the only way to combat offensive content is to just not be offended by it, which is stupid in a plethora of ways. The first being that if this line of thinking continued on it's logical path then we as humans would never be shocked or offended by anything, which would be a. not possible and b. completely stupid. The second and largest logical fallacy in his argument problem is that he implies that people can choose what to be offended by, which just makes me foam at the mouth at how someone can POSSIBLY think that.

Out of this entire post where you repeatedly stated how illogical Jim was being, you make a single coherent (yet, misguided) point: "[...] implies that people can choose what to be offended by [...]"

Jim doesn't _imply_ that. He outright states it as fact. Because it's true. Part of being an adult is having control, or (at the very least) understanding, of your emotions. We learn how we react to things, and we make choices that steer us away from the things we find distasteful. This is a perfectly healthy and natural behavior - I believe that everyone has the right to avoid situations that they feel uncomfortable with.

But let's not loose sight of the fact that the things we find distasteful have the right to exist; given that they do not bring physical harm to a person or a person's property. Some people may in fact enjoy this game, and who are we to not let them? I would stay away from it because it would make me feel uncomfortable. But I am not so consumed by my gut reactions to get up in arms about it. If enough people decide simply to ignore it on the basis that they personally don't find it enjoyable, it will become forgotten.

Uh uh. I'll say the "grown-up" speech doesn't work here. You can control your physical reaction to an emotion as an adult, sure, but you'd be retarding yourself to simply ignore it (there's at least a slight insinuation that this is the choice to make, from both this article and agreeing forum posts).

If you, a perfect stranger, were to call me a nigger in a demeaning fashion, I may not slug you in the face immediately, but I know I, one, would be 1) obviously hurt, from the cultural backlash and retardation from not only my own countryman (assuming I'm in the same country) but of my fellow human being as well, and 2) would not let you near my personal space. As with all cases that are offensive, they attempt to demean the target, regardless if the insult is meant from their core to or just trolling.

Case in point, you can shrug off trolls and offensive shit like this school shooter mod, but I advise you don't think it as "gone". Concerning the mod, while the developers had the right to make it, but it still leaves a bad scent in the air.

You proved my point, though. If I were to be so pointlessly and blatantly offensive, the mature thing for you to do would be to do what you described - even if I wouldn't fault you for loosing your cool. But like I think you understand, controlling your emotions and responding maturely is the best solution even in situations when it is difficult. If enough people controlled themselves when the trolling/racist assholes wielded this word to hurt people, I believe (as does Jim) that it would eventually loose it's sting.

I think we are almost on the same page with this issue. The difference seems to be what we're left with at the end of the day as far as an emotional response. I have a very bland *meh* response to it, because I choose to ignore it and not let it upset me. It seems, to me, that you're letting it get to you more than it deserves to.

I was sort of hoping this failtroll (Pawnstick) would fade after the first newspost gave him more publicity than he should ever have had in the first place.

Most people aren't upset when someone makes a new account here, spends his three first posts trying to be as offensive as possible, and the fourth one to flamebait, at which point he is promptly banned.
Yet when the same guy goes and makes a frankly half-assed Sourcemod and calls it "School Shooter", people make this face: >=O

So in the end, I suppose I can't justify calling him a failtroll, because despite his minimal effort, he has still sparked a lot of controversy and he has got the attention of a lot of people.

In the end, I suppose my post here is a small, but not insignificant contribution to this thread not dying like it should, and for that I feel bad.

C'est la vie.

Scrumpmonkey:
Bam! suprise jim! And i though i could contain him by just refusing to watch his show.

I know exactly what you mean. I nearly passed on reading the article because of it. Though thanks to James and Bob, I'm glad I read it. However, in Jim's defense, he seemed to contribute a bit more than I expected of him. : /

Jim Sterling:
I'm a lover of tasteless humor

Yes, we know Jim... Yes, we know.

Who the hell invited him anyway?

Anyway, weak topic, weak episode. Shooters like that are made to create controversy and nothing else. Period. That was all there was need to be said, and they spent 3 pages on that...

Jim Sterling sounds a lot saner in text form.

Harry Mason:
My words would be powerless, yes. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't be being a dick. I can ignore someone kicking me in the shins. It doesn't mean that they aren't the ones to blame for all the shin kicking!

Sure. But who's more likely to make a change?

Either good people take it on the chin and thus remove the power of their words, or we all sit around being very upset waiting for the dicks to stop being dicks.

There's a simplicity to our reality: you can only change one person, and that person is yourself. Yes, the onus should be on people making deliberately offensive statements to change their behaviour, but they won't.

ThisNewGuy:
However, these games do not all treat their subject matter the same, therefore different responses are justifiable.

And who gets to subjectively judge what a laudable treatment is and isn't? You?

Oh fuck.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. Jim wasn't trying to be funny in that painfully terrible way of his, so what he was saying was actually more than half decent. :P Odd. Very odd.

It seems like Jim is actually reasonably good when he's not trying to force his "humour" upon us...

To the people who stopped wathcing Jims show after the first or second episode: It got better ^^

Jim Sterling:

I've played Grand Theft Auto and I'm sure most people reading this have. I defy the vast majority of you to claim that you haven't, at times, gotten bored and decided to go on a killing spree. In fact, if you ever played the original top-down games, you'll surely remember getting bonus points for running over a line of Hare Krishna followers -- some of the most defenseless, harmless, peace-loving folk on Earth. Saints Row is even more blatant, where entire minigames are dedicated to torching innocent civilians or destroying people and property with rocket launchers. Bear in mind, these victims are no more able to defend themselves than the teachers and students presented in School Shooter.

Bolded for emphasis. This is undeniably a very good point, and sums up something that has always bugged me about the GTA series in particular. Saints Row gets a pass for knowing exactly what kind of game it is, and revelling in the sheer excess of the characters (Like Johnny Gat being on trial for 1 count of attempted murder and 387 counts of first degree murder) whereas GTA completely ignores the random killing sprees in its eagerness to portray the protagonist in a serious, dramatic and often sympathetic light.

Since when was "the other team can shoot back" a weak moral justification?

People are making such a fuss over this thing. Have you fucking SEEN what it is? Have you seen "gameplay footage" of what this really controversial bullshit is?

This isn't walking into a school and killing children, this is walking into a cafeteria and shooting citizens of City 17 while combine forces come in to take you down. You could just as easily call this game "Gordan Freeman flips his shit". It has nothing to do with schools, or children. It's truly astounding how simply branding something with the name of "School Shooter" causes so much controversy.

I wonder what would happen if we renamed Call of Duty to "Kill them dirty Muslims". Same content, but suddenly the games sole focus is racism and attacking Islam.

Can we please not involve Jim on this excellent series? He's like the school shooter mod in a sense: a stunt, made for shock value. Bob's great, James is great. Let's leave it at that.

Sentox6:

ThisNewGuy:
However, these games do not all treat their subject matter the same, therefore different responses are justifiable.

And who gets to subjectively judge what a laudable treatment is and isn't? You?

I think you completely missed the point of my post. I'm not talking about who gets to judge or if there is a validation for judgement.

Jim said it well. Sure several here will respect him more now.

ThisNewGuy:
I think you completely missed the point of my post. I'm not talking about who gets to judge or if there is a validation for judgement.

Interesting. You propose a right and way wrong of utilising virtual violence, yet don't feel the need to do anything with this categorisation per se?

At any rate, where do multiplayer shooters fit in your paradigm? Many of them dismiss any context other than "kill your opponents". By your standard, a deathmatch in CoD or a round of FFA slayer in Halo seems very problematic.

Falseprophet:

Android2137:
My issue with the mod isn't its existence. It's its reason for being and treatment of the topic it's addressing. I myself have never played GTA or any games like it, but I think the reason why people don't mind killing defenseless NPCs in those games is because there has never been a similar incident in real life (Or at least not to my knowledge. Feel free to correct me.). We're not replicating any real life massacre that we know of or can remember.

You are very wrong: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spree_killers_by_number_of_victims.

Ah. Thank you for the correction.

deathninja:
Once again I have to agree with Jim.

Anyone else think he should switch to written articles? The guy has (some) valid points, but he just doesn't work on screen.

Hear, hear. I was sort of turned off by the surprise Jim entrance in this week's panel, but decided to read through it anyway. Jim has good and valid points, but his video series...

Anyway, OT: I have to agree with James, games like School Shooter should be allowed to be made, but doesn't deserve publicity like these. They are practically targets for the pro "Violent games should be banned" groups. And they don't really hold up any valid arguments in defense of games. The only thing that protects them would be free speech, which has taken a lot of crap from these lately.

P.S. James, I would love to play your SPS game.

DEATHROAD:

Scrumpmonkey:
Bam! suprise jim! And i though i could contain him by just refusing to watch his show.

This. Oh god THIS.

OT: I couldn't read this weeks edition of Extra cons for reasons that if i explained them i would be banned for breaking the forums rules on attitude towards contributors.

Well i was going to use stonger words about my stance towards his show but i don't think just sliging insults and adding to the mountain of bullshit already surrounding his show's content, delivery and overall lack of quality here at The Escapist is helpful. Instead i will (again) offer my constructive criticism.

All i will say is that i am dissapointed that editorial content as weak as that is put on the same site with the same wieght as the biting humor of Mr. Crashaw or the almost professional lecture quality of the sublime "Extra Credits". It's EMBARASSING to watch in comparison even to much lower budget stuff, there are literally 100s of youtube contributors that regularly do better than that. Hell we are up to our necks in good quality online critics. Just look at "Blistered thumbs" and all their contributors or go over and look at TGWTG, Spoony or any number of really great content creators with their own angle and humor.

Im not sure i agree with his point here either, the idea that something is "just shooting" ingorning context is pretty self defeating and as an industry we should be able to say where the line is in our opinions and when it has been crossed. The differece between GTA and this mod is Satire, GTA is a satire of ultaviolence, this is shock for shock's sake and dosen't push the boundaries as it does take a shit on them. We can't just expect the excuse of "dude its um like... free speach man" to come to the rescue of truely meritless content like this. Especially at at a time when games seem to be increasingly on tril as a medium, its bad for the entire industry to fling your own poop this blatantly.

I have to disagree with Jim on this one. Intent plays a big role for me and the intent of this game isn't fun or enjoyment it's just meant to be shocking.

Edit: Games like Grand Theft Auto get a pass from me because they are played up in parts as being silly. If I ran over someone in my car I wouldn't expect them to get back up, run over to the door, drag me out and start kicking me. In fact my issue with the recent GTA games is that they are becoming too realistic.

Usually I wouldn't go near this brand of shit with a 100ft barge pole, it goes completely against my lurk ethic. here goes -

school shooter is a piece of shit, and that has nothing to do with it existing or not, or being censored. I am entirely against all types of censorship, in pretty much any form. you want to make a Holocaust Tycoon game? go for it.

Violence is inherent in pretty much everything. Context is what shapes violence, not in deed, but in the perception thereof. i.e. - killing an enemy combatant in a war on the orders of your superiors compared to gunning down someone for no good reason. killing for fun, for profit, for survival - the deed remains the same, the meaning behind the act does not.

off topic - video games as art? who gives a shit. just make them good, leave the art to the pretentious fucks who need a box like 'art' to give some sort of validation for whatever they're wasting their time on.

btw; jim kicks ass, movie bob is awesome though I disagree with most of what he says. keep up the good work please, it makes it worth coming to the escapist.

Nelson LaQuet:

You proved my point, though. If I were to be so pointlessly and blatantly offensive, the mature thing for you to do would be to do what you described - even if I wouldn't fault you for loosing your cool. But like I think you understand, controlling your emotions and responding maturely is the best solution even in situations when it is difficult. If enough people controlled themselves when the trolling/racist assholes wielded this word to hurt people, I believe (as does Jim) that it would eventually loose it's sting.

I think we are almost on the same page with this issue. The difference seems to be what we're left with at the end of the day as far as an emotional response. I have a very bland *meh* response to it, because I choose to ignore it and not let it upset me. It seems, to me, that you're letting it get to you more than it deserves to.

the problem with this stance is where does it stop?

you can take this to the extreme and argue that, if someone slugs you in the face for being a 'nigger', you should just walk away and that would take away the power of their intent? i know im being a little ridiculous here in pushing it so far but that is what Jim is saying if you take it to extremes.

there is a reason why jackasses are called jackasses and it feels like Jim doesnt just want to defend jackasses but wants to defend the existence of one and the right of being one. which, to me, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever

starwarsgeek:

Scrumpmonkey:
Bam! suprise jim! And i though i could contain him by just refusing to watch his show.

Basically this.

@James. If you read this, I would love to play your SPS idea!

Seconded, on both points by me.

I find myslf unmotivated to view the contents of the escapist becuase of Mister Jim.

More importantly I would like to buy that game James was writing about.

Valdus:
I have to disagree with Jim on this one. Intent plays a big role for me and the intent of this game isn't fun or enjoyment it's just meant to be shocking.

Edit: Games like Grand Theft Auto get a pass from me because they are played up in parts as being silly. If I ran over someone in my car I wouldn't expect them to get back up, run over to the door, drag me out and start kicking me. In fact my issue with the recent GTA games is that they are becoming too realistic.

I'm with you on that - also, whilst you CAN murder hundreds of innocent civilians in GTA, it isn't necessary. You can behave like a good boy, obey traffic signals etc if you want to. Must say though, the moral justification for most shooters is flimsy at its very best.

EC always seems to strike some interesting chords, good read as usual.

One of James' comments made me think of an old game I played as a child:

I'd love to see a game where raising a gun really meant something. Where pulling the trigger or taking a life was an act with great impact and moral weight. Most of all I'd like to see that done in a context that's actually engaging (rather than a drab "serious game" that's offering specific moralizing).

The game that suddenly appeared from the depth of my subconsciousness was "Law of the West":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_West

It combines dialogue with very simple shooter mechanics. The player controls a sheriff in a typical Western town. As an interesting effect the world is seen from the point of view of the sheriff's right hip. (First hip shooter perspective?)

This game could have been made as a mindless shooter, but they chose to make it more interesting by encouraging peaceful resolutions to conflicts. The player needs to deliberately pull the gun to get into shooter mode, an action that the NPCs will react to negatively.

The main objective of the game is to simply survive the day, but this can be done with varying degrees of finesse and the game will rank violent actions negatively. The player will need to carefully consider his actions, but also be quick to draw if the circumstances call for it.

As far as I remember it is possible to complete the game without any violence at all, but that is hard to do.

And with the inclusion of Jim, I woefully retract my interest in "Extra Consideration." I was trying to avoid Jim by not watching his show, but now he's creeping into things I like, and I don't want him here. Sorry. I'm avoiding all Jim, all the time.

Yossarian1507:

Jim Sterling:
I'm a lover of tasteless humor

Yes, we know Jim... Yes, we know.

Who the hell invited him anyway?

Actually, I think we did. :(

I watched Jims first two episodes, and read the comments to them. Anyone familiar with Jim's work over at Machinima (or wherever he was/is before) says that he is much better in written format. I'm betting that Russ Pits was made aware of the public distaste for Jim's show, and tried to see how this will work. I'm betting we'll see one or two more instances of Jim in Extra Consideration before anything further can be decided.

You have to admit though, Jim sure can stir a pot. 4 pages of comments, and I'd lay down a 20 that says half of them are about "Jim? On EC?! WTF!"

My thoughts on Jim's entrance: It's really difficult to give an objective critique of him because he's built up a lot of spite from me over his godawful show, even if the third episode managed to be tolerable. I actually ended up skipping his last bubble because I was just sick of hearing from him, even though he was making some reasonably valid points. I also get the impression that Jim thought he was lobbing justified criticism at his audience when he compared School Shooter to GTA and etc., expecting a bunch of defensive ignorance or shocked silence at the stunning revelation that your killing spree on GTA is no different from a game designed from the ground up to mimic actual, real world massacres. Of course, there are several problems with this. One, Jim's point comes across as disingenuous, more like he wants the attention of revealing a great and terrible truth to the world than that he actually wants such truths revealed. And two, it's obviously wrong, because GTA and company have more going for them than just the possibility for spree killing, and if they didn't, there's no way I'd ever shell out money for them.

My thoughts on insults and responsibility: Humans are social animals, and we are designed to recoil from people who belittle us in one way or another, because anything stated in an insulting tone carries with it the implicit threat of social ostracization. Depending on circumstance, that threat might not be at all valid, the same way that I could walk up to a 6'3" MMA champion and threaten to beat him to a bloody pulp and he probably wouldn't be bothered at all. But when you're a black man who's grown up surrounded by the vestigal remains of nightmarish slavery possessed of cockroach-like immortality, the threat of social ostracization based on race, which humans are built on a fundamental level to be afraid of, is significant. And when the possibility of ostracization is significant, the threat of it should be responded to so as to discourage things from escalating.

My thoughts on Movie Bob: His lack of self-awareness is what separates his narcissism from Yahtzee's. I found most of his points to be worthwhile, but his holier-than-thou preaching is as irksome as ever.

I don't get all this hate on Jim -- his show isn't the best thing on the escapist, but he's done nothing to incite the straight up ridiculous amount of hate i've seen in the comments (death threats? seriously?).

People need to grow up. and I say that as a person who quite likes the Jimquisition.

Nelson LaQuet:
snip

No. You are wrong. You absolutely cannot chose what to be offended by.

I'm gonna set up a scenario. I'm black (true) and if someone came up to me out of nowhere and called me a "dirty fucking nigger and should go back to Africa or some shit". I do not, in that moment decide in my head whether that hurts my feelings. I may not want it to hurt my feelings, I know that if I don't let that hurt me then my day will be 100x better, but I can't. It will offend me. It will upset me. My day will be ruined. If it was possible to chose what to be offended by no one would be offended by anything, ever.

But okay, then. Lets take your word for it. I can chose whether to be offended or not, fine. If that's the case, who the fuck are you, (or indeed Jim Sterling) to tell me what to get offended or upset by?! That's the whole crux of Jim's argument - that if nobody was offended by this then this game wouldn't be a big deal.

Squarez:

Nelson LaQuet:
snip

No. You are wrong. You absolutely cannot chose what to be offended by.

I'm gonna set up a scenario. I'm black (true) and if someone came up to me out of nowhere and called me a "dirty fucking nigger and should go back to Africa or some shit". I do not, in that moment decide in my head whether that hurts my feelings. I may not want it to hurt my feelings, I know that if I don't let that hurt me then my day will be 100x better, but I can't. It will offend me. It will upset me. My day will be ruined. If it was possible to chose what to be offended by no one would be offended by anything, ever.

But okay, then. Lets take your word for it. I can chose whether to be offended or not, fine. If that's the case, who the fuck are you, (or indeed Jim Sterling) to tell me what to get offended or upset by?! That's the whole crux of Jim's argument - that if nobody was offended by this then this game wouldn't be a big deal.

I think the wording in that instance was poorly chosen, as I'm reasonably sure instinct plays a large role in what offends you. So I agree to an extent: You can't choose what offends you. You can however choose how to react to that offense.

It is your reaction in the end to a given situation that actually matters, and yes you can take a situation like someone insulting you or demeaning you and turn it around, and not let it bother you. Not that that is always easy.

I'm perfectly happy for example that people find the School Shoot mod offensive. It's disgusting piece of electronic 'entertainment', frankly. However: gauge your reaction carefully. It's never a good thing to let what has offended you rule your subsequent actions in regards to the object of offense, and recall that this is the exact kind of driving thought that would see any and all games with violent content banned.

X offends me. Therefore X and all relating to X should be banned. I have vague and nebulous correlations and research to back me up and extreme examples to provide despite the fact that all related to X do not represent X.

Squarez:

Nelson LaQuet:
snip

No. You are wrong. You absolutely cannot chose what to be offended by.

I'm gonna set up a scenario. I'm black (true) and if someone came up to me out of nowhere and called me a "dirty fucking nigger and should go back to Africa or some shit". I do not, in that moment decide in my head whether that hurts my feelings. I may not want it to hurt my feelings, I know that if I don't let that hurt me then my day will be 100x better, but I can't. It will offend me. It will upset me. My day will be ruined. If it was possible to chose what to be offended by no one would be offended by anything, ever.

But okay, then. Lets take your word for it. I can chose whether to be offended or not, fine. If that's the case, who the fuck are you, (or indeed Jim Sterling) to tell me what to get offended or upset by?! That's the whole crux of Jim's argument - that if nobody was offended by this then this game wouldn't be a big deal.

I'll tell you what you _shouldn't_ be offended by - an Internet forum :) lighten up.

I don't think Jim meant that. Perhaps he did, but it isn't what I took away. I think he simply meant that if nobody showed outward rage (much like we see here to varying degrees) that these people will loose their power and get bored. The difference isn't what you get offended by, but how much offense you let bleed though. By all means, be upset. But instead of showing rage publicly, simply channel your anger into ignoring it. Trust me, that is the only proven way to beat a troll.

thornsap:

Nelson LaQuet:

You proved my point, though. If I were to be so pointlessly and blatantly offensive, the mature thing for you to do would be to do what you described - even if I wouldn't fault you for loosing your cool. But like I think you understand, controlling your emotions and responding maturely is the best solution even in situations when it is difficult. If enough people controlled themselves when the trolling/racist assholes wielded this word to hurt people, I believe (as does Jim) that it would eventually loose it's sting.

I think we are almost on the same page with this issue. The difference seems to be what we're left with at the end of the day as far as an emotional response. I have a very bland *meh* response to it, because I choose to ignore it and not let it upset me. It seems, to me, that you're letting it get to you more than it deserves to.

the problem with this stance is where does it stop?

you can take this to the extreme and argue that, if someone slugs you in the face for being a 'nigger', you should just walk away and that would take away the power of their intent? i know im being a little ridiculous here in pushing it so far but that is what Jim is saying if you take it to extremes.

there is a reason why jackasses are called jackasses and it feels like Jim doesnt just want to defend jackasses but wants to defend the existence of one and the right of being one. which, to me, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever

I think you may be going too far the other way though. Physical and directed bullying is a different situation with different solutions. Sometimes ignoring a bully is truly the best way, but the situation may come to a point where you are in danger of physical harm. Clearly ignoring them will not be the best course of action here.

This case of trolling is non physical and indirect. I think that is the difference between this and your hypothetical situation.

I am not black, and I do not know what it feels like to be called a nigger by a person who truly means harm. However, I do have a belief that no matter how hard it is, verbal bullying should be dealt with by walking away. I have had personal experence with this, and can vouch for its effectivness. However, once it turns physical, it's different.

ReiverCorrupter:
BULLETSTORM DID EXACTLY THIS! They explicitly talk about it while you play. General Serrano laughs at Grayson when he tells him that it wasn't mutated prisoners but vacationers that he was killing, and Grayson stops making snarky comebacks and actually appeared genuinely disturbed by the fact. The game had a great story if you were willing to pay attention to it, its voice acting was top notch too. I don't know what the hell that guy is complaining about.

Just because the main character was written to be disturbed doesn't mean the revelation was disturbing itself. The "vacationers" had been so far gone that it became the sort of justification as discussed in the Extra Consideration article. You're not killing innocent people. These people are completely nuts and lost their mind and all they want to do now is kill you. Any sense of guilt is lost.

I was not aware the story was penned by a comic book author, but considering what he was given there still fails to be a lot of actual emotional moments. Any that are significant, at least. At best you just have cookie cutter "these are the elements that make a character 'deep'" moments trying to force the lead hero to seem like a dead beat that faces his own sins and learns from the experience.

But it doesn't actually work. Unless your only source of entertainment is shitty 80's action films or The Expendables then Bulletstorm will fail to give rise to any sort of emotion but happy go lucky bloodlust at tearing someone's head off with a glowing blue leash.

Remember, video games are interactive, and thus the revelation should effect the PLAYER as much or more than the character. A perfect example of this is "Would you kindly?" from Bioshock, forcing you to face the fact that, yes, you've been on rails the whole time. You just had the ILLUSION of options. The player's only involvement in Bulletstorm was to kill shit, and by telling you that "oh hey, you're killing people that USED to be innocent", well, it hardly works when glowing green guys screaming gibberish and swinging machetes at you are supposed to be "innocents". No, Bulletstorm would have been better off if the back story had been the game instead. That is, if you wanted a game with an emotional impact. Otherwise, well...for being a game whose sole focus was to gun shit down, it had WAY too much in terms of cut-scene anyway.

Yeah, Bulletstorm would have been better off starting like Unreal. No cut-scenes, just you waking up in a crashed ship and wandering the world looking for a way off. No NPC's, no story, no nothing. Just levels and levels of killing dudes in interesting ways.

Being offended can be good. Sometimes it makes us stop and consider our point of view.

We may not be able to decide what we get offended by, on the other hand we have no right not to be offended. I believe that is a good thing, getting new input that may offend us can be a doorway to perceive the world from another angle. Without offense we are not inclined to reconsider in the same way.

What I hate about Jim's argument, and though I will admit he has some very valid points is that he doesn't really seem to get the context of the game of School Shooter. The big picture is, you, the person with the gun, are charged with the task of killing innocent "school-children" in a school setting, and that IS unnerving no matter if you compare it to war games or silly GTA games.

GTA's context has a social standing point, and takes lots of shots story wise at Mafia relations and drug abuse, and in any other setting, if it were a more serious game, would be very depressing because the characters in the game are so down-trodden and so low on the social and class scale that they have to scrape to the "top" and the "top" is so criminal that it wouldn't even justify being a higher class than when they started. BUT because it's GTA, you run over old ladies, you do crazy car stunts simply because you can, and the jokey, cartoon like setting and the characters total disregard for any harm to them or others simply reinforces that. It's FUNNY in the context of the game's silly humour.

School Shooter doesn't have any other point, doesn't exist in any other context other than being exactly what it is, a shoot-up in a school setting. It's exactly the same as if someone made a mod of the player manually crashing a plane into the Twin-Towers or the Pentagon. You're playing the bad-guy and your role is only to do what the game tells you. Perhaps, if they had put in a little depth into it, maybe tried to empathise with the shooter a little more the gaming community would have understood, because looking at a tragety from all angles including the perpetrator's gives alot of insight.

But they didn't; they made a mod, at the end of the day, where you shoot "children" in a school setting. I'll admit they didn't try very hard, in fact they barely tried at all, and what infuriates me most is that they put so little effort in to empathise with it all, and in the end defend their right to make such utter tripe simply because they wanted it to be offensive. Fannies to that I say.

Nelson LaQuet:

I think you may be going too far the other way though. Physical and directed bullying is a different situation with different solutions. Sometimes ignoring a bully is truly the best way, but the situation may come to a point where you are in danger of physical harm. Clearly ignoring them will not be the best course of action here.

This case of trolling is non physical and indirect. I think that is the difference between this and your hypothetical situation.

I am not black, and I do not know what it feels like to be called a nigger by a person who truly means harm. However, I do have a belief that no matter how hard it is, verbal bullying should be dealt with by walking away. I have had personal experence with this, and can vouch for its effectivness. However, once it turns physical, it's different.

i know i was going too far, but that was kind of my point: at which point is 'going too far'? im not actually black (chinese) and i do walk away from some of the verbal abuse i occasionally get in the suburbs on london. you drew the line at physical violence but i would personally go a step further and say that verbal abuse is also out of order.

it just simply felt like someone was saying it's the fault of the offended to be offended but...that seriously makes no sense. whilst it is true in some cases (im looking at you ultra feminists) in others it's not. to me that's the same as saying 'the mugger is in the wrong but there mugged are also in the wrong for being mugged'

but we're getting slightly off topic now :) Jim's argument is that there is nothing inherently wrong about this game compared to other games but i'd say that there is nothing inherently right about it either. GTA kind of has a storyline from what i've gleaned (since i've never played it) and it's existence is justifiable instead of existing simply because it can. Call of Duty and other shooters go a step further and, whilst i can imagine that most people play it just to shoot things, it boils down to the good guys shooting the bad guys.

this is the inherent difference between shooters: the word 'good' and 'bad'

not just guys shooting guys

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