Heavy Rain Creator: Industry Too Focused on Violence

Heavy Rain Creator: Industry Too Focused on Violence

image

The industry is catering too heavily to kids and teenagers.

2010's Heavy Rain was a unique and enthralling if slightly flawed game, and the experience has yet to be replicated by another game and another developer. Quantic Dream mastermind David Cage wishes that more studios would follow Heavy Rain's lead, at least regarding subject matter.

"Of course, we want many studios to do [interactive dramas like Heavy Rain]," Cage told Develop. "Do it better than us. Do it with your own ideas, your stories, your characters, your style."

Even without other developers following suit, however, Cage maintained that Quantic Dream wouldn't be branching out into more mainstream fare. "I think all I want to do is offer some diversity to the medium. I want to give people the chance to buy something other than ten different first person shooters and RPGs," he said.

"There should be games for all ages, all tastes ... [the] industry is too far balanced towards kids and teenagers. It's too focused on violence."

This isn't the first or even the second time that Cage has called for a revolution in the market. So, you certainly can't fault the guy for being inconsistent. I'm just not seeing how games about serial killers aren't focused on violence.

Source: Develop Online

Permalink

Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

Good point, but to even start moving in that direction there need to be some compelling ways to translate non-violent experiences into games. If the choice is between a quicktime conversation "interactive movie" experience and an actual fucking push-button-for-action game, then the latter will keep dominating and rightly so.

Soviet Heavy:
Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

There is a difference between "Im rambo!"'ing through a middle eastern country and stuff like heavy rain.

I'd agree but David Cage kinda shot himself in the foot when it comes to writing games.

John Funk:
This isn't the first or even the second time that Cage has called for a revolution in the market. So you certainly can't fault the guy for being inconsistent. I'm just not seeing where games about serial killers aren't focused on violence.

Or a game where you can make a woman take a shower and fight off attackers in her underpants isn't catering toward teenagers.

Funny, I seem to remember Heavy Rain featuring a bunch of rather pointless action scenes.

Nevertheless, I agree with the general sentiment.

I'm with him on this. Shooting people in the face is fun, but gaming needs some variety. I don't want steak for dinner every night, so the occasional veggie souffle could be a nice change-up.

My secret video game wish was that someone could create the dialogue branching structure Bioware used in Mass Effect and combine it with the mocap used in LA Noire. I would loooooooooooooooove to see some dialogue-driven games that don't feature gunplay at all.

Maybe give us something like this, hmm?

image
My Dinner With Andre: THE VIDEOGAME

John Funk:
Heavy Rain Creator: Industry Too Focused on Violence

This isn't the first or even the second time that Cage has called for a revolution in the market. So you certainly can't fault the guy for being inconsistent. I'm just not seeing where games about serial killers aren't focused on violence.

Permalink

I think he means gameplay being focused on mass murdering wildlife, bandits and idealistically-opposed-middle-easterners rather than violence having no part in the story at all. Most films and books have violence somewhere in there.

How it's portrayed is important too, that finger scene was a lot more powerful than killing three people with a grenade in CoD.

John Funk:

This isn't the first or even the second time that Cage has called for a revolution in the market. So you certainly can't fault the guy for being inconsistent. I'm just not seeing where games about serial killers aren't focused on violence.

There's a difference between a game including violence, and a game being about violence. And indeed, there's a difference between a story that meditates on violence and a story that simply indulges in violence.

If you look at films, it's like comparing Rambo 3 and Se7en. Se7en is quite possibly the more disturbing film, containing as it does some horrific scenes of torture and violence. And yet it isn't about violence in the same way that Rambo 3 is. Rambo 3 is little more than an excuse for Sylvester Stallone to blow up some Commies in the Middle East in a variety of different ways. There's no food for thought greater than "I wonder what weapon ol' Rambo;s going to use next?" Rambo 3 is purely about brainless violence, whereas Se7en is about the ideas behind violence.

I think if you compare Heavy Rain to the likes of Call Of Duty, it makes for a similar comparison. Heavy Rain may use action sequences and gore, and it may come off as heavy-handed and flawed in the way it presents them, but ultimately the game tried to go beyond violence for the sake of violence and to look at the themes and ideas behind why violent acts are committed. Heavy Rain tried to get players to at least stop and think about the nature of violence, whereas every instalment of COD post-original Modern Warfare has done nothing more than offer players a variety of new ways to shoot terrorists and Russians to get the adrenaline pumping.

I'm completely in agreement with Cage on this one. It seems to me at least that violent action-focused games have been pushed and marketed this generation in a way we didn't see in previous generations. I remember reading up on releases for my original Xbox way back when, and games such as driving simulators, sports sims, puzzle games, etc were all just as likely to get press as the latest murder simulator. Whereas nowadays, even the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo are being pushed to the sidelines of the media to make room for more articles on Epic's next shooter, or EA's new shooter, or Crytek's new shooter. In the same way that comics have become stuck as the medium of the superhero, games risk becoming the medium of violence. Just because violent situations create an easy sense of challenge to draw players in, that doesn't mean we should encourage all of gaming to go down this path. We need games to be diverse, and developers to tackle challenge and competition in a variety of different ways, not just by giving us yet more tangos to shoot at.

Soviet Heavy:
Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

Don't forget peeing, gotta have pee in his games (besides Heavy Rain he also did Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, where putting a dead body in a toilet stall makes your character less insane). Oh, and several of his games feature female nudity.

Honestly, he and Hideo Kojima should team up for some kind of ultra-messed up game.

But yeah, who is he to preach?

They already exist, they're called visual novels, and exist almost solely in Japan. Maybe one of these days the demand for them will be high enough that we'll actually get games that he wants.

Don't see it in the foreseeable future, however much Kawata Shoujo's reception gave me hope.

Has this man seen the ending to Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy?

Is he aware that there's a kung-fu fight on top of a building? And that they fly and shit? Because if not someone should really tell him.

Soviet Heavy:
Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

Shit... got ninja'd by the first response.

Captcha: underpants

I know this is funny beyond the obvious, but I cant figure out why it is... maybe it has something to do with this article?

It's not the videogame industry that's too focused on violence - it's motherfucking human nature. Bam. Blow your mind, I know. (not really, I'm too arrogant to think that I'm not sharing a brand new and brilliant and correct worldview with you)

Anyway, this coming from the guy whose games contain plenty of pretty messed up violence alright (as has been pointed out).

What can you say? Violence is instant conflict in a can. Conflict drives plot. That's why games use it. More so for games it presents a challenge.

Sure, you can use puzzles, but most other forms of conflict are internal, and that's hard to translate into a game. I see internal conflict in games like the Witcher 2 and Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 with some of the choices I've made, but there's a high risk that the conflict doesn't take. With a clear, present, external challenge it creates conflict by barrier.

Soviet Heavy:
Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

Which was included as it pushed the theme of "How far would you go to save someone you love?" and wasn't used because "LOL, controversy!"

This child death scene in Modern Warfare 3? "OH NOOO! CHILD DIED, FEEL SYMPATHY!" When we don't even know who these characters are, what's going on, or why we should care in the first place. This is an example of what Cage was talking about.

DVS BSTrD:
Or a game where you can make a woman take a shower and fight off attackers in her underpants isn't catering toward teenagers.

One flaw does not a point destroy. In hindsight, sure, those kinds of scenes were stupid, but Cage in the article itself calls for competitors to;

"do [interactive dramas like Heavy Rain]," Cage told Develop. "Do it better than us. Do it with your own ideas, your stories, your characters, your style."

Pedro The Hutt:
Don't forget peeing, gotta have pee in his games (besides Heavy Rain he also did Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, where putting a dead body in a toilet stall makes your character less insane). Oh, and several of his games feature female nudity.
...
But yeah, who is he to preach?

See above. Ad homeniem, a flaw does not destroy a point, and again, he wants others to do better than him.

Jonny49:
Has this man seen the ending to Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy?

Is he aware that there's a kung-fu fight on top of a building? And that they fly and shit? Because if not someone should really tell him.

Can't tell if this is sarcasm or not, but he did work on Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, and they tackled Heavy Rain with a specific intent on not going the batshit route again. Mistakes are made, and we do better.

Overall, I get this feeling that whenever a slightly fringe developer comments on the state of gaming today, the response is almost always "I don't care about ART, I wan't FUN! Stop trying to make EVER GAME ART." when that is never the point. No reason why we can't have intelligent, thought provoking games that are equal parts engaging and entertaining, along with a more diverse set of games to choose from. I really don't get the hostile nature towards this.

I don't think this guy is the messiah or anything but I am always interested in what he has to say.
Personally I agree. the industry uses a system of "appeal to as many as possible" that has become invalidated by the Internet.

People have an easier time finding what they like these days. They know if what you make is for them. The biggest problem I've always had from the mass market approach is that it tries to please everybody and ends up satisfying nobody. There is ALWAYS something missing, somewhere they should have taken it further, or dialled it back but they didn't because they thought it would "alienate" certain parties.

Jumplion:

DVS BSTrD:
Or a game where you can make a woman take a shower and fight off attackers in her underpants isn't catering toward teenagers.

One flaw does not a point destroy. In hindsight, sure, those kinds of scenes were stupid, but Cage in the article itself calls for competitors

"do [interactive dramas like Heavy Rain]," Cage told Develop. "Do it better than us. Do it with your own ideas, your stories, your characters, your style."

I just think it's a bit hypocritical to say that other developers aught to have refined than you are yourself.

Okay, so removing the argument from the hilariously biased source, it's still a fair thing to propose.

Of course, they really should stay out of the 60 dollar market unless it's cinematic gold.

Oh definitely, nothing wrong with trying to expand what you can do with games (as you'd expect from an Extra Credits fan).

But it just seems a bit... off coming from Cage. And his games have already been outdone, they were even outdone before they were ever made, by Shenmue!

Eh, I think you missed the spirit of his words and just went for the more eye-catching title. The interview makes it pretty clear that he's just trying to bring some diversity to gaming. His statements were mostly about what Heavy Rain brings into the world of video games; he wasn't at all calling for a "revolution in the market."

Soviet Heavy:
Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

Because, you know, that's kid-and-teenager-appealing violence.

You know what he means. Don't dismiss it for a one-liner that the article already made.

At any rate, I agree with him. I like games that aren't violence-focused. There's a reason I do a no-fatality low-KO run every time I play games like Deus Ex, Splinter Cell and Mirror's Edge. And there's a reason I play games like Deus Ex, Splinter Cell and Mirror's Edge instead of God of War, Gears of War and pretty much anything where you play a straight-on soldier.

[/quote] Or a game where you can make a woman take a shower and fight off attackers in her underpants isn't catering toward teenagers.[/quote]

It's not catering to them it's using nudity in a more mature (for lack of a better word) way it's not saying "LOOK BOOBS" I think it tries to take a more adult stand point on it and just accepting nudity as a normal thing.

OT: I enjoy games that feel like games not a movie with interaction also "insert argument for conflict creating story here"

Pedro The Hutt:
Oh definitely, nothing wrong with trying to expand what you can do with games (as you'd expect from an Extra Credits fan).

But it just seems a bit... off coming from Cage. And his games have already been outdone, they were even outdone before they were ever made, by Shenmue!

Shenmue is an old, outdated game that not as many people know about. Now, this isn't to say that Shenmue is a bad game (I personally haven't played it), but from what I can gather Shenmue and Heavy Rain aren't quite in the same category and deal with completely different themes and motifs.

To the contrary, I think the industry is currently too focused on trying to tell stories better suited for other media and metacritic review averages.

Soviet Heavy:
Says the man who's game included self mutilation, child death and rape by screwdriver.

Perhaps an indication of the necessary evil?

Space Jawa:
To the contrary, I think the industry is currently too focused on trying to tell stories better suited for other media and metacritic review averages.

You cold, cold human being.

Also: completely agree.

Games are a different format, you cant bolt on a narrative structure from another format and expect it to work.

See Bioshock for a proper example.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here