WWE Champion: "Games Are Games, Reality Is Reality"

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WWE Champion: "Games Are Games, Reality Is Reality"

Parents need to be involved with what their kids watch and play, says WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, but violent games aren't real life.

Kofi Kingston - born in Ghana as Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah - makes no secret of the fact that he's a gamer. He owns every console, plays Madden and Black Ops regularly, and once told Nintendo Power that he'd always wanted to own a pink hoodie like the one owned by boxer Little Mac in Punch-Out!!. He's also a rising pro wrestling superstar in the world of the WWE, who earlier this month took the Intercontinental Championship belt from Dolph Ziggler (seen here).

The Escapist had a chance to briefly chat with Kingston at a recent event meant to show off WWE All-Stars, in which he appears. Given that professional wrestling had once upon a time been accused of encouraging children to commit violent acts - much as games are now, a subject that is at the core of the California case currently in front of the Supreme Court - it seemed that Kingston, as wrestler and gamer, would be in a position to comment on the issue: Does violent media affect children?

"I always say it really is up to the parents to really kinda police what their kids are watching," he said. With the WWE, continued Kingston, "[It's] a PG show and we advertise that "G" - that it's entertainment. We tell everyone to not try what we do at home, because we train for years to perfect the moves that we do - and there's still a lot of risk. So we always stress to not try what we do at home."

Kingston said he thought it was important to remember that it was all about the fiction of the matter. "We're all about really storytelling when you think about it. It's all about - if I'm going up against a guy like the Big Show, it's the whole David and Goliath story. A guy like Sheamus coming out of nowhere and winning the WWE championship, it's the story of 'He's a beast, he's a monster, he's coming in to take over.' Of a young guy trying to make an impression."

And what about games? "I wouldn't say [there's any correlation between games and violence]," said Kingston - who pointed to the exaggerated cartoon physics and visuals in WWE All-Stars as an example. "With a game like WWE All-Stars, you can look at it and see that it's exaggerated, no one can do these moves in real life, you know what I mean?"

"It's impossible to do some of the things that they do, so you really have to take it in stride and realize that games are games, and reality is reality."

Permalink

Maybe games dont cause violence, but I certainly remember the time my friend tombstoned my other friend at school.

...Why is a guy that gets his head beaten on a regular basis have more sense then every single person in Congress?

Seems like a pretty down to earth guy :)

Not G. Ivingname:
...Why is a guy that gets his head beaten on a regular basis have more sense then every single person in Congress?

Because he doesn't actually gets his head beaten on.

Prometherion:
Maybe games dont cause violence, but I certainly remember the time my friend tombstoned my other friend at school.

People also try stuff from movies and fail. What's your point? That people can be stupid and try to reenact stuff they see, even if they are told not to?

I remember the interview involving the pink hoodie back when I read Nintendo Power. Plus, I remember that match he had with Dolph Ziggler.

OT: Well, that makes sense. Plus, what event did this happen?

Prometherion:
Maybe games dont cause violence, but I certainly remember the time my friend tombstoned my other friend at school.

I also remember being tombstoned at school.

I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

Femaref:

Because he doesn't actually gets his head beaten on.

This is actually a misconception.

I hate people that think just because wrestling is scripted, these guys still aren't getting their asses kicked. It's physically enduring. Even though the other guy isn't trying to hurt you, you are getting slammed around and twisted in ways you shouldn't be :p

Ever notice how Hulk Hogan limps? Yeah

THQ seems to be riding the hype train hard on this one. Hope this one does really good and it all pays off. Maybe this game will tell the guys up top that no one really cares about the simulation style of the last series of games. (IMO at least)

+10,000 respect for WWE guy.

Not G. Ivingname:
...Why is a guy that gets his head beaten on a regular basis have more sense then every single person in Congress?

maybe it has too do with all the stupity that was beaten out of him its a scientific fact! you can,t punch stupity INTO a skull but you can beat it OUT OF it
OT somebody make this guy a spoke,s person for the gaming community

BioHazardMan:

Femaref:

Because he doesn't actually gets his head beaten on.

This is actually a misconception.

I hate people that think just because wrestling is scripted, these guys still aren't getting their asses kicked. It's physically enduring. Even though the other guy isn't trying to hurt you, you are getting slammed around and twisted in ways you shouldn't be :p

Ever notice how Hulk Hogan limps? Yeah

I didn't say it isn't physically enduring. Yes, you are punched etc. But real shots to the head don't really occur, and if, they are accidential, you can't fully prevent it. The guys are pretty intelligent actually, and mostly great actors. (TNA guy here btw, got tired of WWE).

Timbydude:
I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

You don't respect people who take huge risks and suffer serious injuries to entertain the fans?

... you're not a fan of physical sports are you?

Prometherion:
Maybe games dont cause violence, but I certainly remember the time my friend tombstoned my other friend at school.

in the 90's thats pretty much what we did on trampolines, occasionally being drop-kicked off them onto the ground.

Not G. Ivingname:
...Why is a guy that gets his head beaten on a regular basis have more sense then every single person in Congress?

I think we should apply that process more readily. It seems to work.

Bagsy DDT'ing the Governator.

Ziggler is now my fav Wrestler.

Well, i now agree with a Wrestler on something.

Trucken:

Timbydude:
I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

You don't respect people who take huge risks and suffer serious injuries to entertain the fans?

... you're not a fan of physical sports are you?

...What? That wasn't at all what I was talking about.

I don't respect the fact that every single action in that ring is a hoax. The entire crux of wrestling is to make sure that the audience is convinced that the fighting onstage is real, even though it's not. WWE is barely a notch above the latest diet pill advertised on TV.

Not G. Ivingname:
...Why is a guy that gets his head beaten on a regular basis have more sense then every single person in Congress?

ahhh ninja'd
O.T. I always liked kofi kingston since he first debuted I just like the attitude he had

Huh, he seems like he admits that WWE isn't real fights.

Jonluw:
Huh, he seems like he admits that WWE isn't real fights.

Hulk Hogan said it wasn't real so whatever. Why does it being fake upset so many people? I mean you watch TV Shows and well those characters aren't real. They're portrayed by actors...

Timbydude:

Trucken:

Timbydude:
I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

You don't respect people who take huge risks and suffer serious injuries to entertain the fans?

... you're not a fan of physical sports are you?

...What? That wasn't at all what I was talking about.

I don't respect the fact that every single action in that ring is a hoax. The entire crux of wrestling is to make sure that the audience is convinced that the fighting onstage is real, even though it's not. WWE is barely a notch above the latest diet pill advertised on TV.

Well, the fans (most of them anyway) are well aware that wrestling is staged, but they like to suspend their disbelief. It's like watching a movie, it's more fun if you're not constantly thinking 'this is fake'.

And even though wrestling is staged, it's hardly 'fake'. All those slams and bumps hurt, and sometimes things can go really bad.

Anyway, I can understand if someone doesn't like wrestling. I personally don't like Formula 1, it's just not my cup of tea.

Jonluw:
Huh, he seems like he admits that WWE isn't real fights.

Yeah, lol. It's heavily implied but not explicitly stated. Wrestlers get a lot of shit from their companies if they threaten the scripted nature of the business. Triple H got demoted to the "minor league" for breaking character during a show. For hugging and cheering on two wrestlers-real life friends-that were leaving the company.

Timbydude:

Trucken:

Timbydude:
I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

You don't respect people who take huge risks and suffer serious injuries to entertain the fans?

... you're not a fan of physical sports are you?

...What? That wasn't at all what I was talking about.

I don't respect the fact that every single action in that ring is a hoax. The entire crux of wrestling is to make sure that the audience is convinced that the fighting onstage is real, even though it's not. WWE is barely a notch above the latest diet pill advertised on TV.

While wrestling is fake, and can be argued as being essentially acting, with a lot more grunting, the damage it does to the wrestlers isn't false at all. Look at the highflying moves (jeff hardy springs to mind...). The tombstone, if done wrong can break the next and cause severe damage.
For fans of ECW, before it became integrated into WWE, Axl and Ian Rotten's Taipai Death Match -- taped up hands, dipped in super glue, then dipped into broken glass, then beat the hell out of each-other. How do you fake that? The entire front row around the stage got to see the taped up, glassed up, hands up close before the match too, to confirm it was real glass.
Or Terry Funk and Sabu's barbed wire match, replacing the ring ropes with barbed wire. Sabu sliced his arm open (later needing over 100 stitches, still got a very big scar from it), grabbed athletic tape, taped his arm up, and kept going. The match ended with a pinfall despite Funk's shoulders not being down because the wire was a few centimetres from his throat.
They put their bodies on the line every week to entertain the audience. Yes, the audience can be seen as barbaric, but the wrestlers thrived on it.

If that doesn't convince you... Chris Benoit. The damage he suffered by wrestling, as well as the drugs he was on to keep going in wrestling (because it's not just a career, it's a way of life, once you've been out there in the ring in front of thousands of fans you can't do anything else) is the most likely cause of his actions*. Post-mortem autopsy of his brain showed damage equivalent to that of a seventy year old alzheimer's patient.

*for those that don't know what he did, look it up. I'm not going into it here.

Timbydude:

Trucken:

Timbydude:
I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

You don't respect people who take huge risks and suffer serious injuries to entertain the fans?

... you're not a fan of physical sports are you?

...What? That wasn't at all what I was talking about.

I don't respect the fact that every single action in that ring is a hoax. The entire crux of wrestling is to make sure that the audience is convinced that the fighting onstage is real, even though it's not. WWE is barely a notch above the latest diet pill advertised on TV.

News flash for you. (almost) EVERYTHING ON TV/MOVIES/THE INTERNET IS NOT REAL. Do you also say that you have no respect for games that say "The most real shooter/driving sim/ Cooking adventure" because thats the exact same thing.

Disaster Button:

Prometherion:
Maybe games dont cause violence, but I certainly remember the time my friend tombstoned my other friend at school.

I also remember being tombstoned at school.

Is there a chance that you went to the same school as the guy you quoted and he was talking about you?
'Cause that would be pretty darn cool.

OT: Kofi seems like a nice guy.

Looking past the "WWE/WWF is completely scripted" discussion, I must admit that this guy understands that parents need to take responsibility for monitoring their kids. Kofi is a hero.

Huh.

I can't say I was expecting an article about someone from the WWE on the Escapist.

Props to Kingston anyway.

PatchlingZoon:

Jonluw:
Huh, he seems like he admits that WWE isn't real fights.

Yeah, lol. It's heavily implied but not explicitly stated. Wrestlers get a lot of shit from their companies if they threaten the scripted nature of the business. Triple H got demoted to the "minor league" for breaking character during a show. For hugging and cheering on two wrestlers-real life friends-that were leaving the company.

*scratching head* Vince McMahon out and out said it (not being real fights) years ago, on national television. They aren't trying to hide it anymore - thus the whole transition to "sports entertainment*.

People here are mistaking "fake" for "kayfabe". It's like breaking the fourth wall in any other medium, but even then that's marginal. It's more like plausibility - is what's occuring acceptable given the product's storyline/universe/target audience.

CHIKARA fans will know how far kayfabe can stretch. They have a worker who treats the NES controller on his tights as real, so a hit to the pause button, and he'll freeze in place.

(Wasn't there an article on here about kayfabe before?)

OT! - It's nice to see someone established in other media defending gaming for a change. Oh, and to the people who talk about kids doing wrestling moves on each other? That's the same kind of logic anti-gaming crusaders take. In other words: Where were the parents?

The guy makes a great point, and he also produces high quality USB pendrives :p

Not G. Ivingname:
...Why is a guy that gets his head beaten on a regular basis have more sense then every single person in Congress?

Maybe if we beat the Congresscritters' heads in, they'll develop some sense?

Disclaimer: This was meant as an ironic comment, I'm not advocating violence.

For all the people going 'trying to sell themselves as real' no they aren't.

epunk35:

Jonluw:
Huh, he seems like he admits that WWE isn't real fights.

Hulk Hogan said it wasn't real so whatever. Why does it being fake upset so many people? I mean you watch TV Shows and well those characters aren't real. They're portrayed by actors...

He said that? Huh. Goes to show how little I actually keep track of the developments in wrestling.
I think what annoys people isn't that it is fake. It's the people that insist it's real, when it really isn't, that are annoying. But apparently, that isn't an issue anymore.

Personally, if I want to watch someone fight; I want to see an actual fight between professional fighters who want to determine who's stronger.
That, or I want to watch a carefully coreographed fight where every camera angle has been placed thoughtfully.
I do not want to watch two people pretend to compete against each other in a fashion that's just too simple to see through.

Timbydude:
I don't have too much respect for people who participate in stage fighting that's marketed as real, but I guess I agree with what he said...

Pretty sure they stopped marketing it as real after the 80's.

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