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

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ReinWeisserRitter:

DJjaffacake:
There seem to be a lot of people in this thread talking about "ultraviolence" in the AAA industry. Can I just ask, which violence are you referring to? Because, shooting people is not "ultraviolence" that's just violence. Please stop exaggerating.

The same with "fetishising violence." Just having it in the game isn't fetishising it, it's just having it in the game. Again, please stop exaggerating.

Ever seen Gears of War or Madworld? Yeah.

I have not, but even if they are "ultraviolent" or "fetishising violence," that's two games in a massive industry.

Revnak:

Fumbles:

Revnak:

Funny, and here I was pretty certain sales have been going down since the golden age on. Except they have and you're just fooling yourself. Certainly things may be doing better now than say the eighties or nineties, I really don't care enough to look up the specifics, but without children the industry cannot survive, just like any other industry. Kids and teens are the most important audience, and excluding them is the absolute worst decision any Industry can make. If you are only willing to target your adult fans then how in the world is your industry going to expand other than through sheer coincidence?

Technically no, mostly due to movie sales (The Avengers). I contend though that there are still kid comics, for every Saga there is Mice Templars, etc. There is a really large section of kid appropriate titles, but there are the darker more adult titles as well.

I'd still say the dark trends of the eighties and nineties really hurt comics. I do see that there are more kid friendly stuff as of late, which is good. And I suppose that movies have bolstered the industry a good deal, but comics that are capable of delivering to the same audience as the movies must exist for there to be any growth from them, which there is today but wasn't a while ago. I really should have clarified in my first comment I was talking about the dark age.

Fair enough, then I actually agree with what you said. The whole dark 80-90s thing was a really bad move.

DJjaffacake:

ReinWeisserRitter:

DJjaffacake:
There seem to be a lot of people in this thread talking about "ultraviolence" in the AAA industry. Can I just ask, which violence are you referring to? Because, shooting people is not "ultraviolence" that's just violence. Please stop exaggerating.

The same with "fetishising violence." Just having it in the game isn't fetishising it, it's just having it in the game. Again, please stop exaggerating.

Ever seen Gears of War or Madworld? Yeah.

I have not, but even if they are "ultraviolent" or "fetishising violence," that's two games in a massive industry.

Then, with respect, you're probably not in a position to speak about the industry at large, at least based on your input regarding Gears of War, which was a high profile series where things indeed became quite a mess. It's also two games I came up with in the span of seconds.

The first "ultraviolent" game I can think of that came out period was Doom, where enemies were reduced to masses of bloody meat after you were done with them, and your character's mugshot become increasingly more gruesome and heinous as you took damage. There have been a fuckton of games since then trying to top it, in almost every genre imaginable; Duke Nukem was one of the first that - rather disturbingly - followed in its footsteps, going one up by fetishizing women during the violence and as part of the violence, and I'd rather not detail some of the things that have happened in that series to prove that point, thanks. Mortal Kombat was also a very early series that made its reputation and its money off of what was, especially at the time, extreme violence, via the tearing off of opponents' heads, ripping out their hearts, impaling them on beds of spikes, and other things.

And I never argued from the beginning that these games are in fact the minority. But as you just said, it's a massive industry, and even a small percentage can be a huge number. And, well, it kind of is.

ReinWeisserRitter:

DJjaffacake:

ReinWeisserRitter:

Ever seen Gears of War or Madworld? Yeah.

I have not, but even if they are "ultraviolent" or "fetishising violence," that's two games in a massive industry.

Then, with respect, you're probably not in a position to speak about the industry at large, at least based on your input regarding Gears of War, which was a high profile series where things indeed became quite a mess. It's also two games I came up with in the span of seconds.

The first "ultraviolent" game I can think of that came out period was Doom, where enemies were reduced to masses of bloody meat after you were done with them, and your character's mugshot become increasingly more gruesome and heinous as you took damage. There have been a fuckton of games since then trying to top it, in almost every genre imaginable; Duke Nukem was one of the first that - rather disturbingly - followed in its footsteps, going one up by fetishizing women during the violence and as part of the violence, and I'd rather not detail some of the things that have happened in that series to prove that point, thanks. Mortal Kombat was also a very early series that made its reputation and its money off of what was, especially at the time, extreme violence, via the tearing off of opponents' heads, ripping out their hearts, impaling them on beds of spikes, and other things.

And I never argued from the beginning that these games are in fact the minority. But as you just said, it's a massive industry, and even a small percentage can be a huge number. And, well, it kind of is.

With regards to Gears, I've got a PS3, so I don't get exposed to it very much, and I wasn't into gaming when the likes of Doom and Duke Nukem came out. But, Doom can't really be used since it is quite clearly in the past, it's not a part of the modern AAA sub-industry(?), which is what is in uestion here. Duke Nukem, from what I know of it, was more sexualizing violence than fetishising it. It just put "sexy" (I would make those speech marks a lot bigger if I could) women in the games, rather than trying to make the violence itself somehow more appealing. And Mortal Kombat, while definitely very violent, is not "ultraviolence" because it does have other things in it besides all that stuff.

To quote Bart Simpson, "if I ever stop loving violence, I want you to shoot me".

Pedro The Hutt:
I'd say it's all about balance really, I'm no fan of the hordes of "Modern warfare" shooters

The most violent part of those games is when enemies take the last hit or headshots, which shows a spray of blood that lasts like half a second.

Funny thing is that it's more or less the same amount of blood that is shown on many +12 movies (don't know enough about the PG-13 for a comparison).

DJjaffacake:
With regards to Gears, I've got a PS3, so I don't get exposed to it very much, and I wasn't into gaming when the likes of Doom and Duke Nukem came out. But, Doom can't really be used since it is quite clearly in the past, it's not a part of the modern AAA sub-industry(?), which is what is in uestion here. And Mortal Kombat, while definitely very violent, is not "ultraviolence" because it does have other things in it besides all that stuff.

Like what? Because it's also a fighting game? Doom's also a first person shooter; you progress through it and adapt to its challenges like any other game. "Well yeah, but it's also a game." can be said of almost any violent game where violence is the main draw.

DJjaffacake:
Duke Nukem, from what I know of it, was more sexualizing violence than fetishising it. It just put "sexy" (I would make those speech marks a lot bigger if I could) women in the games, rather than trying to make the violence itself somehow more appealing.

...And again, that's only what you know of it. Let's say that some of the fetishism doesn't take place without the violence. Look up videos if you must, but you'll be better off if you don't, at least if such things bother you. Hell, you'll probably be better off anyway.

And my point with mentioning older games is that extreme violence has been around for a long time, and that it's been built upon along the way, not that those games are the current trend. Sniper V2 is a game that just came out that features a delightful view of your shots traveling through digitally rendered heads and limbs as you shoot them. It that the point of the game? I doubt it. But you still watch bullets plow through peoples' brains in slow motion. And again, to be fair, you don't seem to have the largest video game resume in the world, and that's fine, but it also means you don't have as much exposure as you could. But the games are there, whether you're aware of or have played them or not.

rhizhim:
incomming three stooges kind of slap.( even when woodsey is the only one who should get it since he started slaping me)

Well, to be fair, I slapped you as soon as I saw it and before I saw everyone else had already piled in. It was that kind of a mistake. :p

rhizhim:
better? no? how about this then.

Because using cheat codes is so diagnostic for the content of the game. I'll grant you Deus Ex is a violent game, but there's no way to force feed UNATCO troopers (or for that matter, anyone else) to Jock's blades that I'm aware of in the game.

Matt King:

FelixG:
Yep disney has nothin to do with violence. nope.

oh wait.

And he failed horribly in making me uncomfortable with the violence in deus ex.

that comic...what is it from?

Marvel Zombies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Zombies

Hope that helps! specifically it is from comic 4

Grey Carter:
You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed - whether they succeeded or not I can't say - but they were designed to make you uncomfortable

Wait, Deus Ex was trying to make me feel uncomfortable about it's violence? Wow. Deus Ex actually completely failed at something. I never thought I'd find something that that game did really poorly, but there it is.

Interesting to think that the violence in DE:HR was meant to be unsettling because it was all cut-scene-choreographed and beautiful. If that was his actual intention then he definitely failed. There was nothing in the violence that was disturbing.

The scene in all of gaming that threw me the furthest off balance was having to push the button myself to blow up Megaton in Fallout 3. I actually left, did some other bits and came back. I finally did push the button but damn it was hard. Since then I no longer go back just to get the achievement.

DE:HR, nah nothing in the game has changed anything except thinking that was a pretty pre-programmed move. I haven't gone back to play the complete stealth mode as lately I seem to prefer my own deaths in Dark Souls to other games.

SNIP

Christ, are you practicing for a dissertation or something? Anyway, I can see what you're saying though and it does makes sense when you look at the long term of things, in how our culture seems more squeamish to violence than past cultures, even our own culture's past. Still, it's no less disturbing.

I'm just glad I work for a company like Disney, where not only is that not something that's encouraged, you can't even do it, and I'm fine with it."

Dear god they've brainwashed him! Warren! Warren speak to me man!!

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Mickey, you monster, are you happy now?!

You've lobotomized one of gaming's greatest and gotten him to enjoy creating your sterilized entertainment. I mean look at him, just look at him!!

He's a mindless zombie who can't even feel the enjoyment of watching a shadowy assassin souplexing the head of a beefed up minion into the pavement so that it explodes in gooey red shower of brain matter and scalp.

*slaps Warren*

Come back to us Warren, before they put you to work with Square on developing the next Kingdom Hearts handheld title!!

ruthaford_jive:

SNIP

Christ, are you practicing for a dissertation or something? Anyway, I can see what you're saying though and it does makes sense when you look at the long term of things, in how our culture seems more squeamish to violence than past cultures, even our own culture's past. Still, it's no less disturbing.

What I was getting at is that it becomes less disturbing when you start viewing the enjoyment of violent imagery as part of human nature. We shouldn't pretend that the negative aspects of our psyches don't exist, and we certainly shouldn't repress them. It isn't healthy.

A few ultra-violent video games aren't destroying society, they're giving an outlet to a certain part of human nature. As long as the viewers keep it all in perspective they'll be fine. The few people who will be affected by it in all likelihood have other preexisting problems that cause them to react that way. Ultra-violence is no more of a threat to video games on the whole than pornography is to cinema.

My basic attitude is that sex and violence need to keep moving forward in terms of intensity in video games and other media. Like it or not, that's what people find entertaining. It has been this way since the dawn of time, where many of the first stories were about violence and bloodshed and war. Sex and erotica has also been a part of human entertainment for as long as we've had such. You can decry human nature, but well, there it is. Truthfully I think half the problem nowadays is that people pull too many punches for fear of offending those in denial.

As far as Warren Spector's comments in paticular, to me it seems like we're witnessing a great race to see who can sell out first and fastest, and claim they were going in this direction before it became the current issue. The gaming industry (and fans) might have won the big Supreme Court battle to prevent the legal enforcement of game ratings, but the criticisms about game content and whacked studies tying fantasy content directly to real action have not gone away. Rather than continue to fight, game developers in general seem to be taking the attitude that it's easier to sell out, and pretend it was their idea. If they produce less intense content and people buy it, it's all good, especially if they save on the time, stress, and expense of fighting all of the closet anti-sex and violence wierdos and guys like Jack Thomson. It also gives them ammunition due to reforming.

As "paranoid" as this might sound, this kind of trend has happened before, we saw it back in the 1980s with the UK "Video Nasties" list, a big part of the problem was there and abroad you started to see movie producers within the horror genere backpedaling to avoid contreversy. It eventually changed as did the trends, but we saw stuff a lot like what we're seeing with guys like Warren Specter commenting on the industry and fans both going too far, and of course the door being opened up for everyone with an axe to grind over content. It remains to be seen whether the gaming industry will rally, even against elements within itself that are going over to the other side, and recover much like movies eventually did.

At the end of the day I like my sex, I like my ultra violence. I prefer my products include more than just those two things non-stop though of course.

I'll also go so far as to say that I think Warren Specter is a wee bit of a hypocrit. He's one of those odd developers who has actually been a character in some of his own games. He's appeared as Doctor Specter in both "Worlds Of Ultima: Savage Empire" and "World Of Ultima: Martian Dreams", in the latter he was playable for the duration and definatly didn't have any problems with himself being used to say murder both people and martians with guns, fire axes, and anything else at hand. When you more or less step into one of your own adventure games as one of the heroes I think you kind of lose the right to talk about other people's violent power fantasies. I don't really think the level of graphic detail affects the acts any, killing someone or something is killing something, it doesn't matter how realistically it's presented. Some people might not see it the same way, but to me it's sort of like 50 Cent coming out and taking a strong anti-gun position after making a bunch of games about himself running around shooting people as an action hero.

I know many people will disagree with me, but such are my thoughts. To be honest I tend to think Warren Specter is scared more than he really believes what he's saying. He's trying to adapt to trends he sees occuring, and take a public position that let's him justify his work and changes to it. As I said, I've seen it before. It's like an 80s horror movie guy suddenly decrying "the pornography of violence" or whatever so he could make movies while that was going on, and then switching back to making B-horror flicks when others kept pushing and won. I could be reading it wrong, but I don't think I am, it's how it looks to me based on other things I'm familiar with, and given his body of work up until this point, having been one of the first to put non-lethal weapons in a game is kind of a technicality.

geizr:
I'm probably reiterating what others have already said, but I'll throw my voice in anyway. In my opinion, the problem is not that there is violence in video games, because violence is an occurrence within the human experience. The problem is that video games, at least AAA Western video games, simply are not being designed with any thought, effort, or intent, whatsoever, to explore any other facets or possibilities. Basically, the AAA segment of the industry has become too inbred, and, now, there just isn't any balance in the type of experiences from that segment. That entire segment has become over-saturated with dark, edgy hyper-violence.

This is one of the problems with gaming on a narrative, aesthetic, and tonal level. Everything that is said to be "AAA" and touted as the big blockbusters that garner critical success all seem to be cut from the same cloth from a lot of standpoints. It's led to the big hits scene being very monotone and kind of dull from a certain perspective. Gaming really needs to broaden itself as this is kind of embarrassing.

FelixG:

Matt King:

FelixG:
Yep disney has nothin to do with violence. nope.

oh wait.

And he failed horribly in making me uncomfortable with the violence in deus ex.

that comic...what is it from?

Marvel Zombies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Zombies

Hope that helps! specifically it is from comic 4

thank you....just thank you so much

ReiverCorrupter:

Snowblindblitz:

Just to get this going, AAA games are a genre though. I don't buy many of them myself. There are thousands of non-AAA games out there that cover all ratings. E3 only covers the big games for the most part., because that is the crowd they cater to. You won't see many, if any, indie or children aimed games at E3, making it a poor representation for the argument. You don't go to a gun show to check out the tazers.

Allow me to preface what I'm about to say by pointing out that my point is semantic. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your overall point.

AAA games are not a genre, though the can be a sub-genre under legitimate genres. Skyrim and Call of Duty are both AAA and they belong to completely different genres. AAA games cater to a certain demographic, perhaps, but that doesn't make them a genre. They are defined by their quality and production value, not by their content. Genre is a matter of content. Now this is not to say that production value cannot significantly modify content, but how it modifies the content depends upon the content.

There is no genus of 'AAA Genre' that directly contains under it all AAA games. Rather AAA would be a sub-genre contained under the genus of specific genres. For instance, Skyrim would belong to the genre 'AAA RPG', which is a sub-genre of 'RPG' because its production value affects its content. In other words, the 'AAA' only applies to the individual through the specific genre. There is no game that is just described as being AAA. Hence AAA would be a class of sub-genres at best.

I understand what you're saying, but 'genre' isn't quite the word you're looking for.

EDIT:

Revnak:

Hmm, I guess I'll have to pull myself out of this hole I dug.

Nope, just did it for you. You're welcome!

Very well put. It's just so hard to shake the AAA feeling. You just know when you're playing one.

They just have that vibe to them.

I would like a push forward for some games to make more limelight. Imagine our Sundance film festival for gaming if you will, to push the non-AAA games to the fore front. I find that lacking for this area of gaming.

E-sports is, a bit roughly, pushing a professional side to gaming forward, now we need a focus on the art side.

I get what he is trying to say, but I feel like he's stuck in old ways.

Violence in and of itself doesn't have meaning. Violence is not an inherently evil thing. It can be good, it can be bad, it can be happy, sad or fun. It's all in the way you present it.

Yes, he is right when he says gaming is heavily focused on it. What he isn't getting is that that isn't a bad thing. "Bad taste" is a purely subjective thing.

And as MANY people have mentioned, neither Disney nor Deus Ex are foreign to pointless blood and murder.

Darkness665:
Interesting to think that the violence in DE:HR was meant to be unsettling because it was all cut-scene-choreographed and beautiful. If that was his actual intention then he definitely failed. There was nothing in the violence that was disturbing.

The scene in all of gaming that threw me the furthest off balance was having to push the button myself to blow up Megaton in Fallout 3. I actually left, did some other bits and came back. I finally did push the button but damn it was hard. Since then I no longer go back just to get the achievement.

DE:HR, nah nothing in the game has changed anything except thinking that was a pretty pre-programmed move. I haven't gone back to play the complete stealth mode as lately I seem to prefer my own deaths in Dark Souls to other games.

As has been stated many times in this thread already, Warren Spector was the creative director for the original Deus Ex, not Human Revolution. The article even states that he left Eidos some years ago. Learn to read properly before you start criticizing...

Breaker deGodot:

Grey Carter:
You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed - whether they succeeded or not I can't say - but they were designed to make you uncomfortable

Wait, Deus Ex was trying to make me feel uncomfortable about it's violence? Wow. Deus Ex actually completely failed at something. I never thought I'd find something that that game did really poorly, but there it is.

The fact that you didn't react to something doesn't mean the game did it poorly, because you do not speak for everyone. Personally, the fact that the game regularly criticizes you for using lethal methods, includes tons of conversations between regular enemy mooks to humanize them, and makes some pretty insightful comments on the nature of violence in videogames... was all enough to make me and plenty of other gamers feel uncomfortable with engaging in regular violence, and to try non-lethal playthroughs instead.

The fact that a goddamn cyborg psychopath like Anna Navarre sings your praises if you go into Hell's Kitchen guns blazing is not supposed to be a ringing endorsement of violence. When the game has sociopaths like Anna and Gunther praising your methods, it's not meant as a compliment.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
The fact that you didn't react to something doesn't mean the game did it poorly, because you do not speak for everyone. Personally, the fact that the game regularly criticizes you for using lethal methods, includes tons of conversations between regular enemy mooks to humanize them, and makes some pretty insightful comments on the nature of violence in videogames... was all enough to make me and plenty of other gamers feel uncomfortable with engaging in regular violence, and to try non-lethal playthroughs instead.

The fact that a goddamn cyborg psychopath like Anna Navarre sings your praises if you go into Hell's Kitchen guns blazing is not supposed to be a ringing endorsement of violence. When the game has sociopaths like Anna and Gunther praising your methods, it's not meant as a compliment.

The reason I think DE did it poorly is because all of the reasons you mentioned didn't even occur to me as I was playing. I never even considered the idea that what I was doing could be considered morally wrong. Perhaps I just found the characters difficult to relate to, so I couldn't pick up that sort of agenda.

Violence sells. Heck, I'm pretty sure most kids wouldn't go the diplomatic route when trying to rectify a problem in a game and would instead go for their gun.

Snowblindblitz:

ReiverCorrupter:
snip

Very well put. It's just so hard to shake the AAA feeling. You just know when you're playing one.

They just have that vibe to them.

I would like a push forward for some games to make more limelight. Imagine our Sundance film festival for gaming if you will, to push the non-AAA games to the fore front. I find that lacking for this area of gaming.

E-sports is, a bit roughly, pushing a professional side to gaming forward, now we need a focus on the art side.

Well, like I said, the production value of AAA titles affect their content, so they're definitely their own category of game. They just aren't a genre, which is a more specific type of category.

As far as a gaming Sundance goes, it can happen if there's enough of an audience for it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there are indie gaming scenes that we just haven't heard about. In fact, I'd put money on it. The only problem is that they are indie scenes, so they don't attract a lot of attention by their very nature. You probably have to go out and look for them, which defeats your purpose of getting more attention.

The fact of the matter is that games are expensive and most consumers are pretty selective because of this, especially in the console market.

Here's what I propose: an indie version of gamefly where people can try out new indie games every week. It would probably work best on the PC, but it might be also be possible on XBLA and its counterparts. That would probably get the word out a lot better than some indie gaming festival in the middle of Wisconsin.

Scrustle:
I agree. I don't have a problem with violence in games in general, even extreme violence like Mortal Kombat, but the direction games are going in right now with violence is getting disturbing. Like the guy says, it's become very gruesome and being fetishised. It's no longer about theatre or even just getting past an obstacle, now it's about revelling in the suffering of enemies.

Games like MK or Assassin's Creed I don't mind because they make killing in to a spectacle, which is obviously supposed to be fantasy and not taken seriously. You're not supposed to be impressed by the fact you have killed someone, but how you've done it. Like in MK when you rip out someone's spine, or in AC when you expertly drop down off a roof on to your unaware target and sink a knife in to their neck. Those things aren't real, but they're fun to watch. But when you look at a game like Tomb Raider the death isn't like that at all. It's not impressive to watch. It's just focusing on screaming and pain. If that's what gamers really want then we have a big problem.

I play gears of war, where your fighting monsters and the violence is pretty over the top, with chainsaw bayonets and headshots literally making the enemies heads explode. the violence doesn't do anything for me, and some of the executions were a bit too far, but overall, it didn't bother me.

Then I played spec-ops, the line, and the game offered me a prompt to 'execute' a wounded enemy who was not a danger to me... and yeah, the fact it was another human being it was encouraging me to finish off left me very uncomfortable, and I just moved on. Context is a very important thing, but I do feel some games are going a little too far in how they portray thing now.

Therumancer:
My basic attitude is that sex and violence need to keep moving forward in terms of intensity in video games and other media. Like it or not, that's what people find entertaining. It has been this way since the dawn of time, where many of the first stories were about violence and bloodshed and war. Sex and erotica has also been a part of human entertainment for as long as we've had such. You can decry human nature, but well, there it is. Truthfully I think half the problem nowadays is that people pull too many punches for fear of offending those in denial.

Actually, I agree with the vast majority of what you said, especially the first paragraph and most especially with the emboldened sentences.

Therumancer:

I don't really think the level of graphic detail affects the acts any, killing someone or something is killing something, it doesn't matter how realistically it's presented.

I do, however, strongly disagree with this. Playing space invaders is a far cry from playing Gears of War. I think you can definitely notice a large difference in the psychological effect of a game when you make the NPCs the player kills seem more human. Graphic detail is one part of this, and a large part if you include realistic bodily movements, voices and facial expressions.

I don't feel much of anything when I kill grubs in Gears, but if a game pulls it off just right I will actually feel compassion for some NPCs. This is, of course, difficult to do with a set of default behaviors. Despite Peter Molyneux's best efforts I couldn't give less of a crap about the hordes of mindless NPCs in the Fable games. I find it only happens in the prerecorded conversations of primary characters played by decent voice actors.

Playing Call of Duty online might be a lot more disturbing if they made players have extended and graphic death sequences. Real dying soldiers often revert back to childhood memories when they go into shock, and sometimes call out for mommy in a distant and terrible way. That would probably be something that most people would have a hard time stomaching in their online shooters. It's really the realistic violence that people would find most disturbing, not the comedic nonsense where NPCs get blown into tiny pieces of steak.

ReinWeisserRitter:
Like what? Because it's also a fighting game? Doom's also a first person shooter; you progress through it and adapt to its challenges like any other game. "Well yeah, but it's also a game." can be said of almost any violent game where violence is the main draw.

That is the point of ultraviolence though. Violence for it's own sake and without any reason. A game can be very violent, but if that violence is there to stop the terrorists/Russians/aliens or whatever, ultraviolence it is not. That's my gripe with the use of the word.

...And again, that's only what you know of it. Let's say that some of the fetishism doesn't take place without the violence. Look up videos if you must, but you'll be better off if you don't, at least if such things bother you. Hell, you'll probably be better off anyway.

And my point with mentioning older games is that extreme violence has been around for a long time, and that it's been built upon along the way, not that those games are the current trend. Sniper V2 is a game that just came out that features a delightful view of your shots traveling through digitally rendered heads and limbs as you shoot them. It that the point of the game? I doubt it. But you still watch bullets plow through peoples' brains in slow motion. And again, to be fair, you don't seem to have the largest video game resume in the world, and that's fine, but it also means you don't have as much exposure as you could. But the games are there, whether you're aware of or have played them or not.

I'll take your word for it on Duke Nukem, and I agree that there's no good reason for the killcams in Sniper Elite beyond, "It's cool to see someone's skull shatter." The thing is, these are just some games, not all AAA games. In the same way that there being many sports games doesn't mean the whole industry is predominantly sports games. Something else that has just come to mind is, how is the "sexy" stuff combined with the violence treated in Duke Nukem? I've heard about the, "You're fucked" bit, but is it treated as, "Isn't this hot?" or more, "This is happening?"

ReiverCorrupter:

ruthaford_jive:

SNIP

Christ, are you practicing for a dissertation or something? Anyway, I can see what you're saying though and it does makes sense when you look at the long term of things, in how our culture seems more squeamish to violence than past cultures, even our own culture's past. Still, it's no less disturbing.

What I was getting at is that it becomes less disturbing when you start viewing the enjoyment of violent imagery as part of human nature. We shouldn't pretend that the negative aspects of our psyches don't exist, and we certainly shouldn't repress them. It isn't healthy.

A few ultra-violent video games aren't destroying society, they're giving an outlet to a certain part of human nature. As long as the viewers keep it all in perspective they'll be fine. The few people who will be affected by it in all likelihood have other preexisting problems that cause them to react that way. Ultra-violence is no more of a threat to video games on the whole than pornography is to cinema.

No, I get it and agree. My problem is when people don't keep it in perspective and decide to do stupid shit, like greasing their fellow students, joining the army for dumb reasons, being overly obsessed with violence and carnage and so on and so forth. It's the minority, but still troubling.

ruthaford_jive:

ReiverCorrupter:
snip

No, I get it and agree. My problem is when people don't keep it in perspective and decide to do stupid shit, like greasing their fellow students, joining the army for dumb reasons, being overly obsessed with violence and carnage and so on and so forth. It's the minority, but still troubling.

That's probably a result of very poor parenting more than anything else. What I find far more disturbing than violence in media is the fact that parents are letting media raise their children, allowing them to plop down in front of the TV or computer for hours on end. Even if the subject matter isn't objectionable, they are still allowing their children's values to be determined by an inherently consumeristic product. They should hardly be surprised when their kids turn out to be vapid, greedy, superficial and completely lacking in work ethic.

That's the real threat to family values: people aren't really raised by their family anymore. Parents who pass on stories about their ancestors and teach their children time honored cultural traditions are becoming an ever rarer phenomenon. You certainly can't expect people to learn about their history through the public school system either. All these children have to form their worldviews and sense of identity from is the freaking Disney channel and MTV.

Society is boned.

Welly welly welly welly welly welly well.

What's funny is that he doesn't even mention kids anywhere, he's talking about adults here. He's lecturing other people on what they should and should not like, about overdoing violence in mature-rated games such as Hitman. Maybe he also expects people to bow before him, kiss his hand and confess their sins?

As adults, I think we have a choice on whether we want to subject ourselves to violence in all forms of entertainment (books/movies/videogames) and I don't think we need his guidance in the matter. It's a matter of preference. I like violent paperbacks, I liked the original Saw movie because it had a very interesting setup, I love every Tarantino movie ever made, I do NOT like most torture porn movies because I find them rather pointless. That's just me, others think differently, and it is their right to have access to their preferred form of entertainment, as long as it does not hurt other people. Violence as an element of entertainment is purely aesthetic, there's no morality or immorality attached to it.

If he's really looking to protest against something, how about prioritizing, you know, actual violence instead? Like domestic violence? Or like the one his country has been causing all over the world for the last 50 years? Or like the one my own country inflicted upon me, by forcing me to abandon my family and friends and go through a year of mandatory military training, with racist fucktards screaming at my face at 5 in the morning and forcing me to sing racist hymns about how I want to bathe in the blood of innocent people who just happen to be living in my neighboring countries? But yeah, who cares about that, as long as your videogames are full of rosepedals and friendship.

Fuck him and everyone like him.

We hear this discussion brought up every year, and the sad truth is that the games that reflect the market are the ones that sell. And if violent games sell, then more will be made.

The violence in Deus Ex: HR was designed to make us uncomfortable, eh?
Well, it certainly didn't make me uncomfortable. I guess it's just that no matter how advanced games get, there's always going to be that level of detachment from what is going on onscreen.
That isn't to say that games can't make me uneasy, but typically the only games that can do that are not very violent, usually psychological horror based games like Amnesia the Dark Descent. Violence in games just can't bring that same level of unease and discomfort, I guess because it's just not realistic enough. The process of death in even the most gritty, realistic modern shooter is so cartoony it's utterly meaningless, no matter how violent. A guy's head can erupt into a cloud of pink and white particles after being exploded by a sniper rifle round in SHOOTER GAME 3: THE RE-SHOOTENING and it's no more disturbing than watching a caterpillar inch it's way up a branch.
Part of it is desensitization of course, but even when I was first getting into gaming the violence just didn't disturb me, and I think now as always it's simply been the lack of realism. You can always distance yourself psychologically from the death and destruction on screen because it's not real and it doesn't look real.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

As has been stated many times in this thread already, Warren Spector was the creative director for the original Deus Ex, not Human Revolution. The article even states that he left Eidos some years ago. Learn to read properly before you start criticizing...

Yep. I definitely missed that. Sorry bout that.

I never played the original. I had a few friends that did and we all agreed it sucked. You could go absolutely bat-shit-crazy and the story would chug along like the little corridor shooter it wasn't. No matter what you did it just went straight on until morning. So, yeah he did fail.

Darkness665:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

As has been stated many times in this thread already, Warren Spector was the creative director for the original Deus Ex, not Human Revolution. The article even states that he left Eidos some years ago. Learn to read properly before you start criticizing...

Yep. I definitely missed that. Sorry bout that.

I never played the original. I had a few friends that did and we all agreed it sucked. You could go absolutely bat-shit-crazy and the story would chug along like the little corridor shooter it wasn't. No matter what you did it just went straight on until morning. So, yeah he did fail.

Actually, you could go batshit crazy and pretty much take over the world. You could get your brother killed. You could kill your boss and fellow agents, and enact bloody revenge on everyone who double crossed you. And the game's story would accept that, and change accordingly. As far as games go that allow you to change the course of the narrative, Deus Ex stands as one of the best examples. Not only does it allow for varying play styles depending on how violent or non-violent you want to be, the story itself changes based on how you play, who you interact with, and who you ultimately decide to leave alive and who to kill. There are entire areas that will be shut off or opened up to the player depending on what they decide to do.

Methinks you have not the slightest clue what you're talking about. The fact that you admit you haven't actually played the game says as much...

And while I'm at it@

Tradjus:
The violence in Deus Ex: HR was designed to make us uncomfortable, eh?
Well, it certainly didn't make me uncomfortable.

Once again, Warren Spector worked on the original Deus Ex, not Human War. As said in the article, quite clearly. If he had worked on Human Revolution, the article would have said Human Revolution. Warren Spector left Eidos (the company who made Human Revolution) some years ago. Again, as mentioned in the article.

Jeez, aren't they teaching reading comprehension in schools any more.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

-blather I already knew about so not new snipped-

Methinks you have not the slightest clue what you're talking about. The fact that you admit you haven't actually played the game says as much...

Methinks you should log onto a clue server. I didn't play the original because it wasn't worth buying! It was just a pile of semi-okay graphics and it claimed to have this morality BS system. Well, when I watched the buddy play it we all laughed. Nobody reacted to what the designer said he wanted to have happen. They went out and did whatever they wanted and felt nothing. No reaction except, oh wow! Or, funny! It doesn't care about anything you do. Sure the story changed. Nobody felt any different. Nobody reacted to the violence on a personal level.

So, if you can possibly recall the actual article jeffers, he claimed the violence has to stop and he had done some super violence reaction solution that made the player f_e_e_l regarding the naughty things they did. Well it did pretty much the exact opposite of that which is why I am saying he f-a-i-l-e-d. Stated a goal. Failed at the goal. Happens every single day. Get over it.

Two games did what he claimed he tried to do. Fallout 3 and blowing up Megaton. Mass Effect Whatever and destroying all the Geth. Both of those situations actually had me stop and think about the reaction. In a game. Made me stop and think about what I was going to have my character do. Interesting that none of those designers came out and said "we did this so gamers would stop doing the ultra violence without feeeeeling it".

I am really glad you liked the game. Big deal. Go play it again. Now stop getting so violent about it.

ReiverCorrupter:

ruthaford_jive:

ReiverCorrupter:
snip

No, I get it and agree. My problem is when people don't keep it in perspective and decide to do stupid shit, like greasing their fellow students, joining the army for dumb reasons, being overly obsessed with violence and carnage and so on and so forth. It's the minority, but still troubling.

That's probably a result of very poor parenting more than anything else. What I find far more disturbing than violence in media is the fact that parents are letting media raise their children, allowing them to plop down in front of the TV or computer for hours on end. Even if the subject matter isn't objectionable, they are still allowing their children's values to be determined by an inherently consumeristic product. They should hardly be surprised when their kids turn out to be vapid, greedy, superficial and completely lacking in work ethic.

That's the real threat to family values: people aren't really raised by their family anymore. Parents who pass on stories about their ancestors and teach their children time honored cultural traditions are becoming an ever rarer phenomenon. You certainly can't expect people to learn about their history through the public school system either. All these children have to form their worldviews and sense of identity from is the freaking Disney channel and MTV.

Society is boned.

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