Deus Ex Designer: "The Ultra-Violence Has To Stop"

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

rhizhim:

no ultra - violence in deus ex whatsoever...

Warren Spector was project leader for the original deus ex. It's had two games since he left. You can't blame him for the direction they took the sequels in.

Next week, Warren Spector sits down with The Escapist and talks about why the tide needs to stop coming in.

So pretty much his argument is he doesn't like it so it should stop, why does Spector's opinion on this matter anyway.

I think that in the future, games will go back to more early gaming style, as the audience grows tired of the increasing focus on violence. We are saturated with shooters, we want something new.

Caffeine_Bombed:

To be fair, he didn't say there wasn't violence in Deus Ex. It was just meant to feel uncomfortable. Which is bull.
What part of a guy with blades in his arms pulling fancy moves is uncomfortable???

He was talking about Deus Ex, the one he made. That is Human Revolution that you just watched.

okay, i just feel the need to point out the hypocrisy here... Kingdom Hearts, while not overtly bloody, definitely has violence in it, you spend the whole game beating things with a giant key.

violence is a part of gaming, just as it is a part of movies, books, television, cave paintings, and any other form of art and entertainment.

it's also worth pointing out that one of the most violent games i've ever played, Postal 2, can be played through minimizing the violence at almost every oppurtunity.

Actually we're programmed not to get involved in needless violence - it results in injury and that's bad for the propagation of your DNA. Soldiers in World War 2 were shooting to miss in up to 80% of the time.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/hope_on_the_battlefield

Caffeine_Bombed:

rhizhim:

no violence in deus ex whatsoever...

To be fair, he didn't say there wasn't violence in Deus Ex. It was just meant to feel uncomfortable. Which is bull.
What part of a guy with blades in his arms pulling fancy moves is uncomfortable???

To be even more fair, that's Human Revolution. The only Deus Ex game Warren Specter didn't work on.

Personally, I think we need more violent games.

Violence has been part of gaming since pretty much the beginning of gaming, Space Invaders for example, you are destroying ships filled with sentient life forms. Or they are flying aliens, hard to tell with those graphics.

I actually like violence in games, not for the sake of violence, but because the threat of death adds the element of risk, as in a chance you can actually fail. To be honest, I found nothing wrong with the "Hitman" or "Tomb Raider" trailers. They are no more violent than what you see in movies these days.

martyrdrebel27:
okay, i just feel the need to point out the hypocrisy here... Kingdom Hearts, while not overtly bloody, definitely has violence in it, you spend the whole game beating things with a giant key.

Comparing Kingdom Hearts to a modern-day shooter or hack 'n slash is like comparing a Disney movie to an 80's action flick. Yes, there's violence, but only one of them can be called overly violent.

Deus Ex is a good example for his case, because you could go through that entire game without killing a single person. Violence is an option, and I don't think it succeeded at making the violence feel uncomfortable for the most part(the first level did, though), but just running around slaughtering everyone isn't an option.

Naeras:

martyrdrebel27:
okay, i just feel the need to point out the hypocrisy here... Kingdom Hearts, while not overtly bloody, definitely has violence in it, you spend the whole game beating things with a giant key.

Comparing Kingdom Hearts to a modern-day shooter or hack 'n slash is like comparing a Disney movie to an 80's action flick. Yes, there's violence, but only one of them can be called overly violent.

Deus Ex is a good example for his case, because you could go through that entire game without killing a single person. Violence is an option, and I don't think it succeeded at making the violence feel uncomfortable for the most part(the first level did, though), but just running around slaughtering everyone isn't an option.

my point is that it doesn't matter, any violence is still violence. to say that your company is superior because it doesn't use violence, when it does, however prettyfied and un-bloody it is, is just arrogant tunnel-vision. you can't condemn the fact that games overly rely on violence when the company that is supposed to be above it ALSO RELIES ON VIOLENCE.

"I'm squeamish, and I feel that my views should be standardized."

Essentially.

martyrdrebel27:
my point is that it doesn't matter, any violence is still violence. to say that your company is superior because it doesn't use violence, when it does, however prettyfied and un-bloody it is, is just arrogant tunnel-vision. you can't condemn the fact that games overly rely on violence when the company that is supposed to be above it ALSO RELIES ON VIOLENCE.

Sorry, but no. There are different kinds of violence, and the "hyper-violence" is the part where it starts feeling more like a power-fantasy than anything else, and modern games tend to do that a lot.

As an example, let's compare, say, Super Mario 64 and Manhunt. Both games include violence: you punch and stomp stuff and throw lizards at bombs in one game, and mutilate innocent humans for snuff films in another. Following your logic, they're equal because "any violence is still violence".

Naeras:

martyrdrebel27:
my point is that it doesn't matter, any violence is still violence. to say that your company is superior because it doesn't use violence, when it does, however prettyfied and un-bloody it is, is just arrogant tunnel-vision. you can't condemn the fact that games overly rely on violence when the company that is supposed to be above it ALSO RELIES ON VIOLENCE.

Sorry, but no. There are different kinds of violence, and the "hyper-violence" is the part where it starts feeling more like a power-fantasy than anything else, and modern games tend to do that a lot.

As an example, let's compare, say, Super Mario 64 and Manhunt. Both games include violence: you punch and stomp stuff and throw lizards at bombs in one game, and mutilate innocent humans for snuff films in another. Following your logic, they're equal because "any violence is still violence".

i'm saying that they can't condemn the use of violence when they use any violence whatsoever. that whole "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" biblical parable totally applies. only someone who has never relied on violence can condemn the use of violence. and since there's practically not a single game company that hasn't used violence, they can all shut up. i guess the guys who made World Of Goo would be allowed to speak up, but that's the only one i can think of right now.

EDIT: and saying that you mutilate "innocent" humans in Manhunt is just plain ignorance. The people you mutilate have weapons, and they are trying to kill you with those weapons to get paid by a perverted madman...

Emiscary:
"I'm squeamish, and I feel that my views should be standardized."

Essentially.

white knighting at its worst. The kind that actually gets idiots to report on it.

FelixG:

Emiscary:
"I'm squeamish, and I feel that my views should be standardized."

Essentially.

white knighting at its worst. The kind that actually gets idiots to report on it.

Personally I think the very worst is people crusading against profanity.

"NO! DON'T MAKE *THOSE* SOUNDS! THOSE ARE THE *WRONG* SOUNDS!"

Look, I understand why we have laws against physically violent behavior- they keep us safe from our own tempers. But what pre-tell does censoring curse words keep me safe from?

It DOESN'T matter how many times I say: "FUCK" out loud, nobody is going to catch fire because of it. Here's proof:

martyrdrebel27:
i'm saying that they can't condemn the use of violence when they use any violence whatsoever. that whole "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" biblical parable totally applies. only someone who has never relied on violence can condemn the use of violence. and since there's practically not a single game company that hasn't used violence, they can all shut up. i guess the guys who made World Of Goo would be allowed to speak up, but that's the only one i can think of right now.

You're both dodging my question and misunderstanding the discussion here in the first place. The point is that you can replace "hyper-violence" with "power fantasy". In fact, that would probably make it more accurate. Spector's games have never relied on that, as far as I know, and that's what he's referring to. He never said anything about violence. He said something about power fantasy-level violence.
And even if that wasn't the case, he'd still have the right to say that it shouldn't be what's defining our industry. Which it currently is. I completely agree with him on the fact that that needs to change.

EDIT: and saying that you mutilate "innocent" humans in Manhunt is just plain ignorance. The people you mutilate have weapons, and they are trying to kill you with those weapons to get paid by a perverted madman...

My point still stands though. One is extremely violent, the other one.. not as much.

Emiscary:

FelixG:

Emiscary:
"I'm squeamish, and I feel that my views should be standardized."

Essentially.

white knighting at its worst. The kind that actually gets idiots to report on it.

Personally I think the very worst is people crusading against profanity.

"NO! DON'T MAKE *THOSE* SOUNDS! THOSE ARE THE *WRONG* SOUNDS!"

Look, I understand why we have laws against physically violent behavior- they keep us safe from our own tempers. But what pre-tell does censoring curse words keep me safe from?

It DOESN'T matter how many times I say: "FUCK" out loud, nobody is going to catch fire because of it. Here's proof:

no but saying shit enough will summon demonic dragons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Hits_the_Fan

Naeras:

martyrdrebel27:
i'm saying that they can't condemn the use of violence when they use any violence whatsoever. that whole "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" biblical parable totally applies. only someone who has never relied on violence can condemn the use of violence. and since there's practically not a single game company that hasn't used violence, they can all shut up. i guess the guys who made World Of Goo would be allowed to speak up, but that's the only one i can think of right now.

You're both dodging my question and misunderstanding the discussion here in the first place. The point is that you can replace "hyper-violence" with "power fantasy". In fact, that would probably make it more accurate. Spector's games have never relied on that, as far as I know, and that's what he's referring to. He never said anything about violence. He said something about power fantasy-level violence.
And even if that wasn't the case, he'd still have the right to say that it shouldn't be what's defining our industry. Which it currently is. I completely agree with him on the fact that that needs to change.

EDIT: and saying that you mutilate "innocent" humans in Manhunt is just plain ignorance. The people you mutilate have weapons, and they are trying to kill you with those weapons to get paid by a perverted madman...

My point still stands though. One is extremely violent, the other one.. not as much.

and you're missing my point that violence is violence. the scale of that violence is just a subjective argument in semantics. at what point does violence become "hyper-violence"? where's the line? 40 Bullets fired is okay, but 41, whoa, slow down there Manson! running around beating hookers with a baseball bat in GTA is too much, but replace the bat with an oversized key and the hookers with shadow things, and that's acceptable? there is no invisible line to define the difference between the perceived "hyper-violence" and what you seem to argue is "acceptable violence". violence is just violence.

Why is this article titled "Deus Ex Designer: "The Ultra-Violence Has To Stop", and not "Warren Spector: "The Ultra-Violence Has To Stop"? Does nobody know who Warren Spector is anymore? I guess not.

Game designers are pandering to an adolescent audience? :O

It's what sells man, if you don't like it, look away or bugger off.

Naeras:
snip

and as for the "power-trip" perception, people need to quit projecting. currently, i'm playing fallout: new vegas. in that game, you can stop the game, aim at a specific body part and watch it explode in slow motion. and i've never once felt the rush of a "power trip fantasy" from it. that game is about survival in a post-apocolyptic wasteland, that's the fantasy i get from it.

and it bears mentioning that the game, and indeed the precision aiming system for explody-head come from a game that is 15 years old. whatever he's perceiving as a current problem with our culture is something that has always existed.

one could argue that the power pellets in pac man infuse people with a power trip...

For the sake of the game industry we need more variety for sure. Its primarily violence... if I was to hazard a guess at ratios it would be something like 80-20 with violence being the core theme in the majority. In regards to hype violence, yeah, I think we need to tone it down or at least juxtapose it to an another theme (regret, guilt etc.) if its being used... though that is far harder to do and still encourage sales.

To Kickstarter!

But I think a stop to violence needs to happen across the board in media if you want to stop desensitisation to it. Only hitting one medium (though one which blatantly indulges in it) is futile in the grand scheme of things... especially a medium that is still relatively small to a juggernaut like Film.

I can get behind this... maybe even contribute to it in the future if things work out in my favour.

Pinkamena:
I think that in the future, games will go back to more early gaming style, as *a fairly small percentage of gamers* grow tired of the increasing focus on violence. We are saturated with shooters *because they sell really well*, *a fairly small percentage of gamers* want something new.

Quick fix. Seriously your opinion isn't the same as everyone else. Quit acting like you know what is best for everyone because a small percentage of people agree with you, this is how cults and extremist groups are formed.

martyrdrebel27:
and you're missing my point that violence is violence.

I'm not "missing your point", I'm disagreeing with it.

the scale of that violence is just a subjective argument in semantics. at what point does violence become "hyper-violence"?

A hyper violent game is a game where the violence is the main focus of the game, rather than just a part of it, and the gratification of killing dudes and inflicting pain is the primary thing the game has going for it.

where's the line? 40 Bullets fired is okay, but 41, whoa, slow down there Manson!

Read my last paragraph.

running around beating hookers with a baseball bat in GTA is too much, but replace the bat with an oversized key and the hookers with shadow things, and that's acceptable?

Wait, you're seriously arguing that context is irrelevant?

there is no invisible line to define the difference between the perceived "hyper-violence" and what you seem to argue is "acceptable violence". violence is just violence.

Where did anyone say the line was invisible? It's VERY visible.

and as for the "power-trip" perception, people need to quit projecting. currently, i'm playing fallout: new vegas. in that game, you can stop the game, aim at a specific body part and watch it explode in slow motion. and i've never once felt the rush of a "power trip fantasy" from it. that game is about survival in a post-apocolyptic wasteland, that's the fantasy i get from it.

Yep, that's my point. The focus of the game isn't on the violence itself, although the violence is definitely a part of it. Yeah, it's a violent game. No, it's not hyper-violent.

and it bears mentioning that the game, and indeed the precision aiming system for explody-head come from a game that is 15 years old. whatever he's perceiving as a current problem with our culture is something that has always existed.

Oh, here's the old "yeah, it's always existed so it's not a problem"-strawman. Just because it's always been like this doesn't mean it's not a problem.

one could argue that the power pellets in pac man infuse people with a power trip...

And anyone who does that has probably eaten one too many "power pellets" themselves.

Violence and gore is never really a selling point for me in a video game. Sometimes the absence of it can take me out of things a little bit though. If a scene is supposed to be gruesome but its not, it is a little hard to get into it.
Of course, I think he might be out of luck because I believe most gamers are immature misanthropic crazies that ARE into all that stuff. At least the vocal part that never seems to shut up.

Revnak:

Comics died as an industry when they decided kids weren't worth catering to. Not a happy comparison at all.

Comics hasn't died... They are in fact, actually rebounded, thanks largely to those "Adult" titles. Image is making a killing right now, with Saga, Moirning Glories, etc. The fact that ignorant comments such as yours still exists amazes me.

Tanis:
I KIND OF get it, but it's not like other industries are any better.

Music has it's 'cop killer' or 'in the name of the king'
Movies have its 'saw' and 'the expendables'
Books have its 'american psycho' and 'twilight'
Comics has its 'punisher' and 'the walking dead'
Tv has its...

The list goes on and on and on.
We're predators, we LIKE violence, it's part of our dna.

As I think others have said too, where as Clockwork Orange, say, or Saving Private Ryan is still pretty shocking in its level of violence and portrayal of suffering, and are known because of that, the vast majority of top selling games have a level of violence that casually exceed these 'shocking' limits. It's a bit strange that one can happily blow through a small army in BF or COD or Halo and not think twice; this might be because the violence in these games is dissociated from context and reality, and the only way developers see to make an impact is to make the explosions bigger and the gore messier. This just turns slaughter into a spectacle, and there's a case to be made that desensitising people to mass slaughter could have a lasting effect on people's attitudes to conflicts in real life..

There's a reasonable argument to be made to encourage publishers to drive for more context and weight to the actions you make in shooters. There was a suggestion a while back about encouraging devs to honour the Geneva Convention in war shooters, and things like that could actually make a subtle difference; people's instinctive behaviour can be adjusted by games, and if you learn to, say, accept enemy soldiers' surrender and are rewarded for it by the game mechanics then it could perhaps be a step on the road to making gaming more than a meaning-less pass-time and potentially a more complex commentary on reality.

That tangent aside, one thing that could be done to make death carry more weight in a game is to have less of it. Compare the 6 or so deaths in the film Drive to the slaughter in a Jason Statham or John Woo film; each of the kills in Drive had weight, to the point of actually stirring feelings in me that I never thought a film could bring up. Each death carried weight and consequences, affected characters and the audience profoundly, and stood out against the rest of the film's backdrop through dramatic contrast and strong pacing.

John Woo crafts some very impressive fight scene choreography, but there's little there bar the excitement. The death of nameless mook #56 matters not to anyone; it's no surprise that the horde of people wearing white boiler suits that endlessly steam in get instantly killed. The heroes don't really break much of a sweat over them, though they might take a dramatic flesh wound if the scene needs more tension. Not even their employers give a shit - analogous to how the majority of video games work.

I'm not going to say that each and every shooter needs more Drive and less John Woo, but it would make the genre much more interesting to have a few more mature 'mature' games in the mix.

I was actually pleasantly surprised when i was able to make it pretty far into Prince of persia: sands of time without engaging in combat despite the obvious choice to

Which brings to mind how i decided to kill everyone in my last playthrough of Stalker but then forgot about it for some reason after some hour

I may be desensitized to video game violence but when it comes to the real thing, it makes me uncomfortable. A good example was the picture of the guy who got his face eaten off. Saw that pic and lunch was over with for me.

Revnak:

Zachary Amaranth:
But then, this isn't just a gaming issue. And as long as game publishers are on this " Hollywood" kick, we're going to see torture porn.

That comment would be a whole lot more legitimate if the majority of Hollywood blockbusters were rater R, except they aren't, so it isn't. It's more that gaming as an industry is insecure and thinks that more guns and violence will make it seem more grown up.

Note that ""Hollywood" was "in quotes."

It doesn't matter what Hollywood does, it matters what game companies think they're doing.

I'm sorry you missed that, but it's a very legitimate comment.

Kahunaburger:
It's interesting that the violence in Deus Ex was meant to feel uncomfortable, because I definitely tried to avoid killing enemies in that game more than I usually do. It's a combination of humanization and alternate options, I think.

I for one avoided killing enemies because it was harder to do so than in other games. Or at least it was with guns.

rhizhim:

no ultra - violence in deus ex whatsoever...

*slap*

He made the original Deus Ex, not Human Revolution. And whilst HR features that, it doesn't glorify it particularly - it's not designed to make you whoop and cheer, it's just a reflection on the character you're playing as and the choices you're making.

The game is neutral on the subject. The original does it a little better by having more characters comment on your actions with various opinions, but they're the same, in that respect.

Waaghpowa:

Kahunaburger:
It's interesting that the violence in Deus Ex was meant to feel uncomfortable, because I definitely tried to avoid killing enemies in that game more than I usually do. It's a combination of humanization and alternate options, I think.

I for one avoided killing enemies because it was harder to do so than in other games. Or at least it was with guns.

Haha, that too. GEP gun ammo is too precious to waste on a dude you can just whack in the back of the head.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

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
Register for a free account here