Extra Punctuation: What Is the Matter with You People?

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I thought that comparison to the romance options was pretty rubbish. There's no in-universe reason for why kids are completely unaffected by the gameplay-effects of the mayhem (storytelling doesn't spare them tho, they're getting emotional scars left and right), just as there's no in-universe reason for why perfectly innocent civilians are immortal.

Yet you can harm one but not the other, just because of their age. I just don't get it.

With romance it's another thing because of the age of consent and laws, so being able to marry children, pets and dwemer modules wouldn't add to the realism and it wouldn't make sense in-universe - just like the immortal children. And before you go on about sex or rape, there's no option to do that to anyone universally, so that's a global gameplay restriction nobody is this picky about.

If you're not going to apply the same rules to children as to any other NPCs, then why include children at all? It's like they're standing with one foot in the universe, the other being pulled by soccer moms.

Oddly enough, I find myself agreeing with him.
But I also agree that invincible kids standing in the middle of dragon breath has to go.

So, here's my solution. Rather than the gormless little shits standing in the middle of a fire and calmly surviving, throw in some of that AI from racing games - have them run out of the way and hide behind walls, not just from dragons but from any attacks.

Mod that in and my immersion won't be ruined by 'invincible kids'.

Until then, you can expect to see me with the child-death mod, because I'm a sucker and I want to waste half my game time reloading quicksaves until I can clear out a village without losing a single, precious child.

That said, I haven't got Skyrim yet. I haven't even played Oblivion, so first things first.

Anyway, everyone knows children never die in fantasy stories, even if everyone else in the village does. 'Cos then the child is expected to go off and train for fifteen years until they're built like a bullock barbecue and can take revenge on the dark lord who orchestrated it all. It's pretty much the law.

...An army of Batmen after me?
...Oops...
Well, it's too bad I don't get to adopt them after their parents got killed by a dragon.

"Jim Middleton said:
Yahtzee, buddy, weren't you the one who said in your review of Fable 2, "I grew bored of happy marriage and decided it was time to murder my entire family. This was the point when I discovered that you can't kill children. So much for total freedom, eh?"

Now I agree with the thrust of this article, and think it is pretty weird that these mods get added, but claiming the moral high ground here with such indignation ring a bit hollow here. After all, "freedom" is hardly a better reason to be able to kill children in games than "realism." "

THIS, pretty much.

Really, Yahtzee, if the game allows you to kill random NPC's they must allow you to do that to ALL of them. Or maybe we should start excluding the option of killing old NPC's? They're frail and all, oh deary me!

NOTHING is as immersion breaking (you love immersion, remember?) as undying children, unless there's a reason for it. And morals from the real world do not count as an ingame reason.

If you could rape people (which I think is ALWAYS the case when children are involved) in a game that'd be really bad, because of what it implies. Murder is nothing to an NPC, it just stops being animated (and annoying). Forcing sex is something way different.
And what is the sex is consentual between adults? You'd be freaking out about gay rights if you could only knob the opposite sex.

So; murder everything; check. Sex with anything; nope.
Stop comparing apples with pears just because you couldn't think of a different topic for your weekly contractual obligation, chap.

laserwulf:
*dons armchair philosopher fez*
Although I understand the desire of a developer to shape the experience though the available actions in-game, the ability to do evil things in a game world makes 'good' choices meaningful. In any game for that matter, are you the "good guy" because the game says so, or because you're avoiding killing civilians and going out of your way to help NPCs because it's the right thing to do?

That's actually a brilliant point, one more reason to add more freedom to our games is to make our choices meaningful. What's the point of being good if that's all you're good for? If performing actions without consequences is masturbation, being forced down one and only possible path is impotence.

Yahtzee might be losing it after all. Tell us, oh, the great one... Was this most recent article a mistake or was everything you ever done and said before nothing more than a mask of insecurity?

Geo Da Sponge:
See, here's the thing; I think people just want to get back at the kids because as so many people have said they're annoying little shits. Now I don't think that necessarilly means they want to kill them, it's just that they're presented with absolutely no way to get back at the children what-so-ever. Killing them is, however, very easy to mod in. I'm willing to bet that at least half of the people who used that mod would be happy with a non-lethal way to get back at the smug kids. For example, pinching them by their ear lobe and dragging them off to their parents to see if they intended to raise their children to mouth off to the hero of the land...

See, this I would have done if given the option.

Even a conversation option *take the kid to his parents for a good disciplining*

Fade to black, loading

Yo appear in the parents house, both parents warp back with the kid between them.

"I'm sorry Thane, we'll make sure to properly discipline *name* for their behavior and to make sure they respect the cities nobility."

This could have been a good steam perk, Teacher: get mouthed off to and discipline all kids in Skyrim properly!

Regarding the first half, when I played through MW3, I kept hoping against hope during the final level that it'll end with Price walking away muttering that Makarov got away again, then switching over to a news reel about a terrorist attack on a tourist hotel resort, with a clip of you shooting at innocent civvies running away.

the children are so annoying in skyrim.

Yahtzee's not saying that being able to have kids be killed in a game - possibly by dragon/creature rampage, being confidently targeted, or intentionally Killing them off is a good or bad thing in itself.

Instead he's saying that folks who go to the extra effort to create and/or install the ability to commit atrocities against youth have their priorities out of whack.

Sure the developers could have programmed better AI's for the munchkins, perhaps running around a bit, then disappearing into the woods. (Or even making the kids cool enough you wouldn't want to kill them.) But the point is someone thinks slaughtering the kids is so important that they invest effort in getting it to work in their game instead of engaging in other cool fantasy adventuring.

As stinky and gross as most adventurers probably are, after days or weeks on the road, it might have been good for the kids to run away and avoid the creepy stranger until the PC has pretty much proved he isn't a homicidal idiot anyway.

In other words: "You see kids in the distance, but they see you and run the heck away." (Out of range of your attacks.)

There's got to be a psychology thesis in this somewhere.
It's obvious (for several reasons) why modders make the nude mod but not so obvious why they want mortal children versus say; an end to 1 metre high invincible barriers, or imaginary encumbrance limits or when 'reloading' equals topping up the bullet count, or realistic stamina (I challenge all you modders to walk 15 miles carrying only 30 kilos of weight without collapsing and crying yourselves to death).

It doesn't just end with FPS games. In military sim games, modders get quite obsessive over the realism of their weaponry but I've rarely seen a complaint from a flight-sim modder that perhaps bombing raids shouldn't allow civilians to be harmed.

In general, we all want full-on total immersion in our games. That means that within computer-processing limits, we want a full on alternative world experience. We're not getting that.

What we get is a half-arsed pastiche immersion experience that's been thoroughly self-censored by the developers and carefully sold to you by the marketing department.

"ENTER A WORLD OF SWORDS & SORCERY! Buxom beauties and exotic Amazons await your call to arms!", they cry.
"But I want to live in a world of swords & sorcery where I can be a democratic leader and help my people realise their potential in the arts and science and eventually, free all women from slavery and sexual inhibition.", you say.

"TL;DR. Get lost, fag.", they say.

This pisses us off, doesn't it? We want what they promised. To live in a virtual world that's as full as the real world (except that we can be the badasses, if we like) and to be able to go there whenever the real world gets more miserable than it already is.

We **HATE** when we get there and find that there are arbitrary morality rules and lazy physics.

It's like winning a competition that awards you full-body plastic surgery, a new kidney, DNA therapy to remove 10 years of ageing and a million dollars, only to find that the party's being held in Riyadh.

Casanova was famous for his love of women, not children.

Children will kill anything in sight. They're children. Such a stupid question you ask.

I want to say it's dumb to have a game where you can kill everything but X, X being kids, kittens or the damn my little ponies.

Now for skyrim and other similar games, I'm going to say it's not exactly in there to be annoying, but more like since you can do things likes take their clothes, cut off their heads and pose them, it would be a complete ****storm the second someone did something like this with kids.

http://kotaku.com/5863096/a-peek-inside-the-home-of-skyrims-first-serial-killer

Think of all the laws it'd break.

I have no real need to kill a child in a game, they are threatening and I consider them background. But the ones in Fallout 3 - those fuckers that insult you continuously and then start shooting you when you try to discipline them but you have to run as you cant damage them. Them bastards deserved, maybe not death, but at least a slap to teach them some respect.

You know the kids im talking about.

I would install a child-killing mod, and here's why:

Any time actually becomes relevent, it ruins my suspension of disbelief.

It's got nothing to do with the desire to kill children. I've got lots of games where I can murder friendly NPC's and I never do, unless I'm about to stop playing and feel like screwing around for 30 seconds first.

I didn't even know you could kill children in Deus Ex, because I never tried, but consider another game. In Half Life 2 you can't harm friendly NPCs. Ok, fine. It doesn't bother me that I can't jump around in the story bits and knock people around with the crowbar. It DOES bother me (very much) that if Alyx is being swarmed by zombies friendly immunity makes it a sound strategy to launch a grenade directly at her.

I'd suggest developers allow npcs to kill children but not PCs, but I know it wouldn't help, people would just complain.

"how come the troll can kill a child and I can't? I mean, it severely devalues the active choice of not just murdering every child in sight if I know I can't! quick someone mod this so I can totally *not* kill any children!"

no I didn't read the 11 page thread.

I agree with the general sentiment that killing children is an ethical no-no. However, I think Yahtzee's argument starts to falter under a little scrunity. If the intention of the developers to withhold the player from killing children to maintain the "heroic" nature, why is this not consistent within all the games quests and actions you can take?

I've recently got a quest from a daedric lord once I acquired it's weapon to seek out and murder those that I've gained trust with, and won favor for. So by this I can surmise that bethesda thinks systematically murdering those who trust me(10 people!), to power a blade that feeds on deceit and betrayal, is less morally dubious than killing a single child? Or how about beating a priest into submission until he forsakes his god's and is damned an eternity under the the "prince of rape" through my help with this god.

These two examples are of quests that the developer deliberately created! So how do we draw moral equivalencies between that of what happens in real life, and a videogame? We really can't to be honest. An invincible child is just obstruction of the overall flow of the game, one directly imposed on the player.

I had no reason to get the mod because I don't senselessly kill people in games, but other people have no such qualms.

To those arguing against the "immersion" points, think for a second. We're not asking that a game be realistic, we're asking that the game play by the rules that it created for itself. Magic A is Magic A (Fair warning: TvTropes)

Let's make an analogy: In the game, you have cheese, eggs, and berries. You can eat the cheese, you can eat the eggs, but you can't eat berries. And the game doesn't bother to give you any reason for not being able to eat the berries. The game could have said "berries are poisonous" and we would have been okay with it.

Gamers have this ability called suspension of disbelief. You kind of have to if you want to play any fantasy game. I guarantee you, if Bethesda had bothered to give the slightest reason for making kids immortal, people would be fine with it. But because there is no reason otherwise, the perceived reason is "because doing so is wrong in another reality's rules that have no bearing on this game".

P.S. = Someone said this before me, but I feel the need to repeat it because it was golden.

Sex with adults is legal.
Sex with children is illegal.

Murder of adults is illegal.
Murder of children is illegal.

You've been able to kill children in World of Warcraft since launch if you're the opposing faction, i do not see why this is suddenly big news

The reason why i want to murder skyrim(and fallout 3/new vegas)'s children is this:
A: I don't think of these characters as people. The characters have improved in skyrim, but they still suck, and for me, they're walking quest dispensers/pawnshops.
B: Most of the children in skyrim are FUCKING ANNOYING. Most of them just annoy by constantly walking up to you and talking to you(just as everyone else), but a few of them are downright infuriating.
You're not afraid of me, even though i am your elder? I GET IT NOW SHUT UP YOU LITTLE BRAT.

Also, i argue that at least in FONV/3, children getting murdered was very much within the tone of the game. If a kid wants thousands of bottlcaps for a toy gun that happens to bring fiery laser retribution down from the sky, he can die in a fire.

(also, just thought about this: presumable the C-finder in FONV is activated with the trigger, so wouldn't max accidentally bring down fiery murderdeathlasers the next time he plays with it after ARCHIMEDES is activated?)

Personally, I would prefer a game where I could kill Child Murder modders. There is no reason to have it in Skyrim. You're playing a game where you can shoot fire out of your hands and you are upset because a couple of children are running around a scorched town. Grow up.

Sylocat:
I too have wondered why killing children is so important to gamers.

Maybe it's just that same "allure of the taboo" thing, that explains why the most sex-o-phobic countries are the most sex-obsessed countries? Even in fictional media where people are butchered left and right, killing kids is this shocking and controversial thing, so people enjoy doing it, just to act out?

That doesn't make it any less disturbing, though... especially when child-murdering is usually one of the first things to get modded, but a child-fucking mod would most likely be this controversial and horrible thing that no one would touch.

The main thing is immersion. I would like killable children in Skyrim. Not because I want to kill them myself, but because it makes sense that they die from a dragonsbreath. The emotional impact it could have could also make the game more engaging. Children are a cheap emotional leverage, but it feels good when you save them because they are pretty helpless.

Saving a city from a dragon would be all the more epic when the kids come crawling out of the woodwork afterwards, rush around you and thank you for your heroic effort. Likewise, the negative emotional impact would be big when you dont manage to save them.

In short: Killable kids, yes please.

I'd want children in Skyrim to be able to die, not because I want to kill them, but so something else like an attacking dragon could.

It can add drama and grittiness if NPCs can kill them or if they die as a result of collateral damage. I'll have to watch where I fling that sword around a bit more than usual.

I really cannot believe Yahtzee took that quote from his video seriously. It's pretty obvious it was sarcastic comment about how people not finding the death of a child shocking enough, a joke, like "You people are really complaining about a childs death not being shocking enough? Okay well here's another shocking child-killing scenario for all you sick, jaded whackos out there. Shocking enough? You satisfied?"

Kind of disappointed in Yatzhee right now.

I think it would make more sense if the mod made it so children could die, just not by your character (I.E. dragon kills them), but then that too raises annoying complications and laughable scenarios.

I don't get why removing child invincibility is so terrible. People may go on mass murder sprees. So what? They can make an evil character if they want to. Killing helpless adults is terrible. No less so than killing the kids.

Besides there have been games in the past that have featured child murder without mods. Fatal frame 2 is one of them. There are scenes where children are strangled to death as sacrifices. one ceremony didn't work which resulted in the brutal murder of everyone in the village including all of the children (who wander and occasionally attack you as ghosts). I also remember a child character being killed off in Shadow Hearts Covenant when a town your character lived in was occupied by a foreign military. Her soul then lives inside you to help you find final happiness as you slowly die over the course of the game.

its not about killing children, its about removing an immersion-killing annoyance from the game. ideally they shouldnt be there to begin with, because bethesda made invincible, untouchable children who are annoying little shits that get bathed in dragon breath without so much as a reaction... which kind of kills my "mighty dragon-slayer" vibe. kind of a bad habit theyve gotten since fallout 3. when people bring up the "realism" argument, that is sarcasm. they are telling you how obnoxious having children in a game where you can murder everyone is, because obviously you wouldnt be able to murder children.

and bethesda knows the issues, they just apparently forgot them. in oblivion, Miaq the liar, the in-game mouthpiece for why something isnt in the game, said "i think children are the future, but i dont want them ruining our fun."

i dont want to kill children. i want to have fun. children are impeding that. is it any wonder these mods come up? and that i am in FULL support of them?

Raddra:

Geo Da Sponge:
See, here's the thing; I think people just want to get back at the kids because as so many people have said they're annoying little shits. Now I don't think that necessarilly means they want to kill them, it's just that they're presented with absolutely no way to get back at the children what-so-ever. Killing them is, however, very easy to mod in. I'm willing to bet that at least half of the people who used that mod would be happy with a non-lethal way to get back at the smug kids. For example, pinching them by their ear lobe and dragging them off to their parents to see if they intended to raise their children to mouth off to the hero of the land...

See, this I would have done if given the option.

Even a conversation option *take the kid to his parents for a good disciplining*

Fade to black, loading

Yo appear in the parents house, both parents warp back with the kid between them.

"I'm sorry Thane, we'll make sure to properly discipline *name* for their behavior and to make sure they respect the cities nobility."

This could have been a good steam perk, Teacher: get mouthed off to and discipline all kids in Skyrim properly!

I very much second that. I wonder how much modding competence one need to aquire to accomplish such a feature.

Though I would rather give them some good medieval spanking myself. Just like the "brawl" minigame...
Come to think of it, a lot of the adults should get someform of non-lethal method of getting taught a lesson. Especially the racist-idiots in Windhelm.

It's funny that Yahtzee jumps down that route, because it's not really applicable. In fact, it reeks of the same sort of attempt at "shocking" people as Activision is attempting to check off with their game, here's Yahtzee, here's his "shocking" review, his dick jokes, his biting and scathing sarcasm and hatefilled opinion... oh.

I suppose a lot of us depend on check-lists.

It's times like this that I sort of wish Yahtzee was required to read all of the responses he gets because... well, I'm about to sort of knock him around a bit more than I have before, and I really think he needs it:

Yahtzee, even though you will never read this you DO realize that this game is one where you have the actual abillity to be evil right? You know sort of like your proclaimed plans to want to play as "Ming The Merciless" in Fable always get ruined by the central game design not allowing you to be evil enough. Cases where being evil is more like being a puppy kicking jerk than anything truely villanous...

In Skyrim this is a game where one quest involves you luring a guy into a dungeon so you can eat him in worship of a demon in order to obtain a mystical ring. The most powerful weapon in the game is a rip off of "Stormbringer" where you are not encouraged to kill random people, but to murder people who trust you because you did quests for them in order to power it up.

Let's say your playing a pitch-black evil run through, and honestly you have no real reason to criticize because you've made it abundantly clear you do this, and are the one guy I would think I don't have to explain the appeal of dark play, horror movies, and similar things to. Your a cannibal seriel killer, who gets their rocks off by earning people's trust so you can lure them back to your place and feed them to your soul drinking sword. Your hobbies include theft, and depopulating towns, and only want Alduin dead because you can't stand someone else competing with you for the title of most evil bastard on the mortal plane. In this case why should children be excluded from your rampages?

Let's also be blunt about something, not ONE parent, babysitter, or person who has worked with children has not occasionally wanted to just haul off a pulp some little sh@t against a wall. Kids are annoying, noisy, and frustrating. We don't do this because it would be wrong, and we're not self-serving sociopaths. However it can occasionally be somewhat relaxing to give in to an impulse like that harmlessly.

This is to say nothing about the existance of child-soldiers throughout the third world, or the age at which kids in ancient times frequently entered the battle field.

A big part of why this issue recurs is because game designers don't try and make their kids likable, but as annoying as possible. About the 47th time I had child gueriellas make me play gofer while calling me "Mungo" in Fallout 3 I was ready to just splatter the whole community of Little Lamplight, and really even as a good guy I would put it into the context of say dealing with a group of gun toting African child-fodder.

To seriously ask this question raises questions about "why would anyone want to play as the bad guy?", "why do people enjoy horror movies?", why had Kane Hodder gone to conventions or things like "Spooky World" (closed now, theme park in Massachusetts) and signed plastic replica hockey masks (he's perhaps the most famous actor to portray Jason Vorhees). People ask these questions frequently, and the answers vary... but the end result is that it's perfectly normal behavior. For there to be a problem with things like this you need to be dealing with people who cannot seperate fantasy from reality at all or are both sociopathic and murderously sadistic... both of which are unthinkably rare despite what Hollywood might lead you to believe from the movies.

When it comes to having sex with children, that's not my cup of tea, especially given that I was raped (by an older kid) when I was like six. I tend to have an issue with it, but there are contexts where I think it might be appropriate. A game attempting to say promote ancient greece, rome, or asia that insisted on a modern age of consent would be odd, given the huge focus on child brides and such which have had a lasting culture influance on those cultures into today (I've read a bit on why there is such a pedo-phille focus in Japan and why extreme youth is so heavily associated with beauty, I won't break it down, but let's just say it's something that goes beyond modern pervs, not that it in any way makes it acceptable).

It's sort of like slavery, I have no desire to take or keep slaves, but I see no real reason why if I'm supposed to be reveling in barbarian, egyptian, roman culture or whatever I have to be the only guy running around with the morality of a new millenium ulta-liberal.

If we as gamers want to get away from accusations about how video games cause violence and lead to violent behavior, we also need to get over things like how say someone who has no problem with killing kids or playing evil in a video game has something wrong with them that reflects on real life. The entire point of gaming is to get away from reality and do things you never would in reality.

Long, but hopefully this has been read. The bottom line is I think when it comes to an "M" rated game there should be little or no moral limitations imposed, especially if your dealing with a sandbox where the point is to dictate your own path and morality.

At the same time though, I do think there needs to be a bit more of a reaction to player behavior in these games. For example if you kill one town, I would think especially with mages and oracles and everything else that other towns might hear about it and become increasingly ready for you. If your going around banging (sexually) everyone in a game where it's permitted, likewise I think you'd develop a reputation, and might even have people going after you for your antics as much or more than you see from stealing stuff.

Marik Bentusi:
I thought that comparison to the romance options was pretty rubbish. There's no in-universe reason for why kids are completely unaffected by the gameplay-effects of the mayhem (storytelling doesn't spare them tho, they're getting emotional scars left and right), just as there's no in-universe reason for why perfectly innocent civilians are immortal.

Yet you can harm one but not the other, just because of their age. I just don't get it.

With romance it's another thing because of the age of consent and laws, so being able to marry children, pets and dwemer modules wouldn't add to the realism and it wouldn't make sense in-universe - just like the immortal children. And before you go on about sex or rape, there's no option to do that to anyone universally, so that's a global gameplay restriction nobody is this picky about.

If you're not going to apply the same rules to children as to any other NPCs, then why include children at all? It's like they're standing with one foot in the universe, the other being pulled by soccer moms.

It's kind of foolish to say that "age of consent" and "laws" prevent you from banging kids, when you support murdering them, which is against the law.

If the modders really didn't just want to kill kids, They could've made it so that only NPCs can kill kids and not the player character. I think I would actually prefer that. It would give the best of both worlds :)

SidingWithTheEnemy:

Raddra:

Geo Da Sponge:
See, here's the thing; I think people just want to get back at the kids because as so many people have said they're annoying little shits. Now I don't think that necessarilly means they want to kill them, it's just that they're presented with absolutely no way to get back at the children what-so-ever. Killing them is, however, very easy to mod in. I'm willing to bet that at least half of the people who used that mod would be happy with a non-lethal way to get back at the smug kids. For example, pinching them by their ear lobe and dragging them off to their parents to see if they intended to raise their children to mouth off to the hero of the land...

See, this I would have done if given the option.

Even a conversation option *take the kid to his parents for a good disciplining*

Fade to black, loading

Yo appear in the parents house, both parents warp back with the kid between them.

"I'm sorry Thane, we'll make sure to properly discipline *name* for their behavior and to make sure they respect the cities nobility."

This could have been a good steam perk, Teacher: get mouthed off to and discipline all kids in Skyrim properly!

I very much second that. I wonder how much modding competence one need to aquire to accomplish such a feature.

Though I would rather give them some good medieval spanking myself. Just like the "brawl" minigame...
Come to think of it, a lot of the adults should get someform of non-lethal method of getting taught a lesson. Especially the racist-idiots in Windhelm.

I think it would be fun to have a whole animation of you picking up the kid by the shirt before walking off, then fade to black :) That would be pretty cool! Mod that in:)

He's opening up a window for people to mod the game so that they could have sex not with children, but with the woodland critters or the various plane of oblivion creatures...
That is at least what I understood from his rant.
.
Back on topic - Immersion breaks when you have something that breaks the flow of the game.
It goes the same to long loading times and glitches... Though I don't really mind the children because I'm not that murderous bastard. I prefer killing dragons.

(Mind you I'm with Yahtzee on this one) from a gaming notion i suppose its some sort of Oedipus complex or maybe like Romeo and Juliet the tragic story would not be as impacting to the senses if the tragedy didn't occur. I don't know. Personally i don't want to kill children in a game much like i really wouldn't like to break a pencil if i were to name it. I'm soft and that's my nature. If you want some child slaughtering achievement the gaming world would probably give you the go ahead. To be fair for political correctness (being the devils advocate here) its "your right" as people would say. Funny how that line greys with complexities of society. but enough of that; you go ahead with your crusade Yahtzee the people should be forced to feel and think. not completely abandon their world for the sake of "gaming." For wouldn't that be as sinful as gluttony itself?

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