David Cage tackles domestic abuse in latest Detroit: BH trailer.

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Ezekiel:

erttheking:
And still no examples. And you have the gall to call me obtuse.

Uh, yes, I did. Wolfenstein II is similar to a lot of games. This is why I didn't wanna bother. Obtuse. Denial.

Well you're a bit of a hypocrite then, because it's similar to what games exactly? Still no examples, you could've given me a dozen by this point. Not many games like Wolfenstein being made today. But sure, keep saying obtuse and snipping posts like it means something.

I always thought he was phrasing a feeling I believe writers should have incorrectly when he said he didn't choose to do so but it chose him. It's the idea that when writing a setting if you wish to base it into some sense of cohesion, reality and consistency you gotta do the dirty, because that's what a writer must do to make the world and the tale within grounded and "genuine". If you wanna tell a story in a time period you do it as it was with all those awful outdated trimmings it had. A society in some alternate world oh shit better write some horrendous nasties that'll fuck the kiddies upbut fuck what you WANNA write if I gotta write stories about say humans being skinned and worn by another species to create the cohesive world then gerdermmit you gotta fucking do it.

Do I think he is a good choice for such a thing? No. Do I think he did it well from what we have been shown? No. I think it's gonna fall flat and have horrendous consequences for having such a weak, lacking and Hollywood tint to it. I just thought that particular point was of some interest.

Hawki:

...Doom had a "great story?"

It did in my book, and in the books of a lot of people. Mainly because the Doomslayer himself practically oozed personality in a way many games utterly fail to do.

Oh, and speaking of Jim, he's responded to this trailer. He thinks very poorly of it. He called it a caricature of what abuse looks like, and says that Wolfenstein actually did it better.

http://www.thejimquisition.com/detroits-domestic-abuse-trailer-is-a-hackneyed-farce/

I'd say that Mass Effect 2 also did it better, what with Miranda's father being controlling instead of physically abusive.

ProfMcStevie:
I always thought he was phrasing a feeling I believe writers should have incorrectly when he said he didn't choose to do so but it chose him. It's the idea that when writing a setting if you wish to base it into some sense of cohesion, reality and consistency you gotta do the dirty, because that's what a writer must do to make the world and the tale within grounded and "genuine". If you wanna tell a story in a time period you do it as it was with all those awful outdated trimmings it had. A society in some alternate world oh shit better write some horrendous nasties that'll fuck the kiddies upbut fuck what you WANNA write if I gotta write stories about say humans being skinned and worn by another species to create the cohesive world then gerdermmit you gotta fucking do it.

Do I think he is a good choice for such a thing? No. Do I think he did it well from what we have been shown? No. I think it's gonna fall flat and have horrendous consequences for having such a weak, lacking and Hollywood tint to it. I just thought that particular point was of some interest.

Yeah, that phrase I wouldn't have a problem with if it came from a writer with any history whatsoever of acceptable writing, any understanding of narrative cohesion, character cohesion or a desire to tell an original story. On a generous day, I wouldn't have a problem with a budding writer with little to no evidence of their talent saying that. But Cage has consistently produced narrative work so bad, it's astounding. Like if one of RLMs Best of the Worst entries were given a AAA budget repeatedly.
He's well far enough into the negative zone of writer credit that when he says something like that, it's a sure thing it's only because he's heard it said elsewhere by people with actual talent and wants to maintain that pretense of a beloved auteur. (But saying any of that in the OP would've skewed the tone somewhat).

See, I'm conflicted about this.

On one hand, it's potentially just a cheap marketing tactic to generate attention through all the kerfuffle about why Sony played this at a public event.

On the other hand, it's a David Cage game, and frankly at this point we shouldn't be surprised at the dumb shit he puts in his trailers in a mediocre attempt to appear like he gives two shits about a 'serious topic'.

I'd say there's a third hand where they actually did mean to cover the issue seriously and just fucked up the execution, but... well, it's David Cage, it's hard to tell if he's actually trying to be serious about a topic, but it's very easy to tell when he's fucking up the execution. He's very good at that part.

I think the dude might be a hack:



erttheking:

hanselthecaretaker:

erttheking:

Western games focus more on the story?

Struggling to see the problem. Particularly when the guy admitted he was stereotyping.

Also, what does this have to do with anything?

Storytelling is great, but not when it compromises gameplay. The west is especially in love with cinema and these developers realize it, but trying to marry it with gameplay is a fine art in itself that very few have proven able to pull off convincingly.

Really how often does it do that? And for each West game, a Japanese one probably does it he same.

And again, this has what do with this thread?

- Every time a game disrupts gameplay for something pointless like opening a damn door in some scripted way, or using quick time for something that could be handled more naturally/organically, or just plain gimps the gameplay because "We're trying to tell a serious story here, so never mind that you can only move your character at a snail's pace while someone's talking."

- Oh, goodmorning Strawman, nice to see you!

- This is one of those games that definitely focuses on story above gameplay, and while I don't think Cage does as badly with it most seem to, it really has a ways to go towards feeling like you're playing something more than an elaborate game of Simon Says. The gameplay always feels tacked on in these kinds of titles, like a reluctant requirement of the medium.

Casual Shinji:

hanselthecaretaker:
Storytelling is great, but not when it compromises gameplay. The west is especially in love with cinema and these developers realize it, but trying to marry it with gameplay is a fine art in itself that very few have proven able to pull off convincingly.

Where does that border lie then? Should every game have a particular story to gameplay ratio? Wouldn't that make games awfully homogenized? Does every game need to be Doom '16? I say this because I kinda like that games can be whatever we want them to be, whether it be gameplay centric, story heavy, or even text based.

And also, Japan is the home of the JRPG and visual novel. Two genres that are all about the world, story, and characters. Two recent examples being Persona 5 and Yakuza 0; Both games that were highly praised despite them involving little more than walking to the next story sequence (some of those sequences being of substantial length).

I always find it odd that this 'story compromising gameplay' critique is only ever labled at western games, eventhough Japan is just as "guilty".

Well, the difference there is those games know what they are and don't pretend to be anything else. I never felt irritated that a cutscene happened before a boss fight or that I had to read thousands of text blerbs playing FF. What irritates me is when I'm playing an action game and have scripted interruptions over something completely trivial, like opening a door, critical kills, etc., or have to walk at a snail's pace to listen to some "important" conversation, all in the name of appearing more cinematic.

I can understand when technology was limited and a game had to load the next area, but there's really no excuse for these disruptions anymore. It's why I'm curiously looking forward to the new God of War, which is supposed to be done entirely in one continuous shot. I'm just hoping they handle the "walk n talk" stuff better than others have so far. Keep the normal move set intact and if something's important, do what Uncharted 4/Lost Legacy did with the talk icon above their heads, or maybe have the kid wave me over to him so I know to focus on what he's going to say.

hanselthecaretaker:

erttheking:

hanselthecaretaker:

Storytelling is great, but not when it compromises gameplay. The west is especially in love with cinema and these developers realize it, but trying to marry it with gameplay is a fine art in itself that very few have proven able to pull off convincingly.

Really how often does it do that? And for each West game, a Japanese one probably does it he same.

And again, this has what do with this thread?

- Every time a game disrupts gameplay for something pointless like opening a damn door in some scripted way, or using quick time for something that could be handled more naturally/organically, or just plain gimps the gameplay because "We're trying to tell a serious story here, so never mind that you can only move your character at a snail's pace while someone's talking."

- Oh, goodmorning Strawman, nice to see you!

- This is one of those games that definitely focuses on story above gameplay, and while I don't think Cage does as badly with it most seem to, it really has a ways to go towards feeling like you're playing something more than an elaborate game of Simon Says. The gameplay always feels tacked on in these kinds of titles, like a reluctant requirement of the medium.

What straw man and examples please. And Cage games are very much a break from the norm.

hanselthecaretaker:
Well, the difference there is those games know what they are and don't pretend to be anything else. I never felt irritated that a cutscene happened before a boss fight or that I had to read thousands of text blerbs playing FF. What irritates me is when I'm playing an action game and have scripted interruptions over something completely trivial, like opening a door, critical kills, etc., or have to walk at a snail's pace to listen to some "important" conversation, all in the name of appearing more cinematic.

Well then, what games pretend to be something they're not? Even games that go for a heavy cinematic presentation don't pretend like they're not. To come back to David Cage, Quantic Dream games wear their "cinematic" hearts on their sleeve. They don't pretend to be anything other than big flashy, interactive movies.

So again, how is this such a sin compared to JRPGs and visual novels?

And if we're already calling moments like door-opening animations or finishers a scripted sequence, then what isn't a scripted sequence? I mean yeah, they are, but so are reload animations, or equiping a gun or sword, or getting in a car, or climbing on a horse.

hanselthecaretaker:
Well, the difference there is those games know what they are and don't pretend to be anything else. I never felt irritated that a cutscene happened before a boss fight or that I had to read thousands of text blerbs playing FF. What irritates me is when I'm playing an action game and have scripted interruptions over something completely trivial, like opening a door, critical kills, etc., or have to walk at a snail's pace to listen to some "important" conversation, all in the name of appearing more cinematic.

Since when is a Quantic Dream game pretending to be anything else than an adventure game with AAA-quality graphics? And, the "classic" FF games were constantly interrupted with gameplay as they were literally adventure games with a combat system thrown in. Every 3 steps, I was interrupted with pointless combat.

erttheking:

What straw man and examples please. And Cage games are very much a break from the norm.

erttheking:
And for each West game, a Japanese one probably does it he same.

I realize Cage games are a break from the norm. I really don't mind them that much actually. But it's still pretty clear that story is taking the front seat because the gameplay that's in them is pretty damn shallow, and is designed specifically to accommodate the story.

hanselthecaretaker:

erttheking:

What straw man and examples please. And Cage games are very much a break from the norm.

erttheking:
And for each West game, a Japanese one probably does it he same.

I realize Cage games are a break from the norm. I really don't mind them that much actually. But it's still pretty clear that story is taking the front seat because the gameplay that's in them is pretty damn shallow, and is designed specifically to accommodate the story.

Which is honestly kinda sad considering the story in Cage games are not particulary....good.

Unless you consider Ellen Page crying a lot or the holographic avatar of the internet trying to freeze the world for reasons quality storywriting.

altnameJag:
I think the dude might be a hack:



Ho. Ly. CRAP. It's amazing that a guy who is so obsessed with narrative keeps sucking at it and is so oblivious as to how he is viewed (see also: Ninja Theory). "Not about domestic abuse." What? That's not how it works, David. You have inserted that into the narrative so it's going to be about domestic abuse in some way; you can't just put that in there because you want the drama of it. I want to slap this clown until his facial features randomize

Aiddon:

altnameJag:
I think the dude might be a hack:



Ho. Ly. CRAP. It's amazing that a guy who is so obsessed with narrative keeps sucking at it and is so oblivious as to how he is viewed (see also: Ninja Theory). "Not about domestic abuse." What? That's not how it works, David. You have inserted that into the narrative so it's going to be about domestic abuse in some way; you can't just put that in there because you want the drama of it. I want to slap this clown until his facial features randomize

But he's a GENUIS! He shows so many EMOTIONS in his games because there are so many PIXELS! MORE PIXELS=MORE EMOTIONS!

David Cage is the French Uwe Boll, strangely. One makes terrible movies from video games, the other makes terrible video games that are one step away from being movies. Both of them see themselves as being Auteur Geniuses.

Dalisclock:
But he's a GENUIS! He shows so many EMOTIONS in his games because there are so many PIXELS! MORE PIXELS=MORE EMOTIONS!

David Cage is the French Uwe Boll, strangely. One makes terrible movies from video games, the other makes terrible video games that are one step away from being movies. Both of them see themselves as being Auteur Geniuses.

You know, in a way, I can sort of respect David Cage just for putting heavy themes in his games.

Except everything of his I've played or seen tells me he's not the guy for it. He doesn't have the chops, not as a writer, or director, nor as a game designer. Which could be forgiven. He's not the first to have tried and failed. Maybe if he put half as much energy into improving his skills as he does into trying to convince everyone he has them, he might just be decent.

But he's too convinced of his own talents as an auteur, his head too far stuck up his own ass. Maybe all that rapey and abuse stuff in his games is really intended to be poignant, and not for cheap drama. If so, he clearly doesn't understand how to make them work.

Sad, because there are rare moments where he gets ever so close to getting it right.

I think there's a stigma about writing and delivery in games, because most of it has been so shitty even compared to average or B movie quality. It?s kinda sad, because it just makes the job of people who do want to tell a good story that much tougher. We have bits and pieces, but what game/developer has really nailed everything? Naughty Dog for example nails the delivery, but as far as writing quality and engaging subject matter it's a crapshoot.

I don't think gaming has had its equivalents of the greatest movies or books yet, at least as far as taking advantage of the medium's unique storytelling capabilities.

altnameJag:
I think the dude might be a hack:



If he didn't choose to talk about domestic abuse, I wonder how the scene ended up being about it.

- Did he randomly pick a movie from his Oscar-bait collection for inspiration, and it just happened to have domestic abuse?
- Did he just heed the voices in his head (again)?
- Did the dart landed on "domestic abuse" on his "moving and meaningful" dartboard?
- Did his monkey wrote it on the typewriter (after discarding his Hamlet manuscript for not being meaningful enough)?

Write your guesses, ladies and gentlemen!

I really liked that clip, like a lot. I don't know if it's the music, combined with the flashing between choices, but that shot after he walks up the stairs, after ordering her to stay put, and you immediately see the interface indicating player agency, yeah that got me.

My immediate response was "yeah, fuck that noise", it wasn't even a "choice." I admit I have a soft spot for stories of people being defiant in the face of tyrants and abusers, and I equally have a soft spot for stories of AI and individuality, and the inherent concept of "just because she's artificial, doesn't mean she isn't alive".

So yeah, I'm totally on board with that clip. I was already really interested in this game from the previous clips I've seen, but that one actually gave me some emotional reactions, which is something I always seek out in a game. So to have it work so well in that trailer, yeah, color me sold on the game. Hopefully the game itself will measure up, it might not. But I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it.

Pretty consistent for what I've seen of David Cage; which is to say, tone death, trashy, derivative story telling that makes way too big a deal about offering choices, all the while either failing to offer sensible choices (i.e, how can a futuristic robot have free will, but can't report to social services or the police?) Part of me wants to praise the guy's ambition, but it's only one step forwards and two running backwards leaps.

maninahat:
Pretty consistent for what I've seen of David Cage; which is to say, tone death, trashy, derivative story telling that makes way too big a deal about offering choices, all the while either failing to offer sensible choices (i.e, how can a futuristic robot have free will, but can't report to social services or the police?)

Do you want to play a video game where the resolution to the scenario is "And then they called the cops?" That's fairly dull and unexciting. Sure it's not realistic, but most of the shit that happens in video games is unrealistic.

Nevermind that there are a ton of real world reasons that the police or social services wouldn't act on a tip like that, as those things do happen. Due to legal procedures and other factors, they are unable to step in and assist, and then later bad things happen. Nevermind that the entire thrust of the story seems to be that your "standard" model of android isn't apparently supposed to have free will, which is the whole issue with the conflict between them and the biologics.

Devs might try for as much realism as possible in the games they make, but there is a level of drama that is inherent in any storytelling. Hell, Alfred Hitchcock was asked that very question of "why don't they go to the police?" to which he responded "Because it's dull." And there is some merit to that. I don't really want to play a game where I don't do anything.

Hell, in Watchdogs, a game entirely about a guy with a phone, he doesn't "just call the cops." He actually does stuff while on his phone. Which is more interesting.

I have mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, David Cage. As far as the dramatic aspects of his work go, he rarely seems to rise above a mediocre USA channel movie, and does plenty that falls beneath.

Points to him for trying to mesh cinematic aesthetics and ideas with modern video game technology, but to say his reach exceeds his grasp is often putting it mildly.

So, yeah... It was unlikely that this was ever going to be groundbreaking beyond the very surface-level controversy. We get a layer of "how dare David Cage, of all people, try to cover this difficult topic" in addition to the usual "how dare video games dare try to cover this difficult topic", because where video games aren't for children they're apparently exclusively for an audience of delicate sensibilities.

On the other hand, every time something like this comes up, I think "This reaction isn't telling producers to handle delicate subjects with more sensitivity; it's telling them to box the ears of any creator who tries to touch on them at all."

And Jim Sterling's reaction... Well, I mean, he apparently suffered from some terrible things as a child, it's understandable why he might feel strongly on the matter. But I get the distinctly uneasy feeling that jumping to the worst possible conclusions as to why person 'x' or company 'y' is doing [perceived] terrible thing 'z' is becoming downright reflexive, and that's not a small blind spot... Nor, unfortunately, an uncommon one.

It is, in fact, quite possible that Cage isn't aware that he's somehow inherently banned from taking movie-of-the-week shots at the subject of domestic abuse; it's entirely possible that the idea occurred to him, re-occurred to him, wouldn't leave him alone, and he decided it was resonant enough with him as a storyteller that he felt some kind of need or obligation to act upon it. People used to talk about artists being visited by their "Muse"; that's part of the package, whether you're a master artist of the high Renaissance or a second-rate screenplay hack.

Video games aren't going to really hit their stride artistically until they genuinely have the freedom to be enjoyably bad. Between the costs involved, the timbre in criticism, aggregate sites like metacritic and the belief that all a game is can be filtered down to a 1-10 (or, realistically, 4-10) review score, I can't help but wonder if that will happen any time soon. Indeed, one might argue that movies are moving in the opposite direction with the prolonged death of video rental and the growing loss of direct-to-cable.

I'll be mildly curious to see how Become Human ends up doing. I rather hope this particular tempest in a teacup passes soon.

Happyninja42:

maninahat:
Pretty consistent for what I've seen of David Cage; which is to say, tone death, trashy, derivative story telling that makes way too big a deal about offering choices, all the while either failing to offer sensible choices (i.e, how can a futuristic robot have free will, but can't report to social services or the police?)

Do you want to play a video game where the resolution to the scenario is "And then they called the cops?" That's fairly dull and unexciting. Sure it's not realistic, but most of the shit that happens in video games is unrealistic.

Nevermind that there are a ton of real world reasons that the police or social services wouldn't act on a tip like that, as those things do happen. Due to legal procedures and other factors, they are unable to step in and assist, and then later bad things happen. Nevermind that the entire thrust of the story seems to be that your "standard" model of android isn't apparently supposed to have free will, which is the whole issue with the conflict between them and the biologics.

Devs might try for as much realism as possible in the games they make, but there is a level of drama that is inherent in any storytelling. Hell, Alfred Hitchcock was asked that very question of "why don't they go to the police?" to which he responded "Because it's dull." And there is some merit to that. I don't really want to play a game where I don't do anything.

Hell, in Watchdogs, a game entirely about a guy with a phone, he doesn't "just call the cops." He actually does stuff while on his phone. Which is more interesting.

Not to mention it's pretty useless.

"Thank you for calling 911, what?s your emergency?"

"OMG a man just broke into my house, please help!!"

"...Ok we'll send a car over to your location ASAP. What's your address?"

"Oh, it's 234 Baker St*. Please hur*THUD!*"

"Ma'am, you still there? Ma'am please respond..."

"....."

Oh my god, Cage you fucking hack, you use the same character model for the big bad rape guy in Beyond: two shits as you do for the big bad dad here...you are a walking cliche with no self-awareness. How can you claim to present dark and serious subjects sincerely when you make everything a cartoonish caricature from 80's stereotypes?

image

image

image

Casual Shinji:

Still, I'll give him some kudos for not showing the female protagonist in a rape scenario, though that might change once the game is out.

Mmm, yeah...

I give it ten minutes from the start of the game, tops, until we see a short-haired, slim, young-looking girl naked in the shower, bathroom, or some sort of compromising position.

I honestly don't know what's worse: Cage's pretentiousness, his ego, his fans, his inability to write anything cohesive, coherent, or engaging, or the utter predictability of his creepy obsessions.

As one Matthew "McMuscles" Kowalewski of the Super Best Friends Zaibatsu put it: "David Cage is the worst thing to happen to France since their surrender in World War II."

Happyninja42:

maninahat:
Pretty consistent for what I've seen of David Cage; which is to say, tone death, trashy, derivative story telling that makes way too big a deal about offering choices, all the while either failing to offer sensible choices (i.e, how can a futuristic robot have free will, but can't report to social services or the police?)

Do you want to play a video game where the resolution to the scenario is "And then they called the cops?" That's fairly dull and unexciting. Sure it's not realistic, but most of the shit that happens in video games is unrealistic.

It doesn't have to be realistic, the writers simply need a scenario where that plausibly isn't an option. Most thriller movies (including Hitchcock's) will at least offer some hand-wave reason as to why calling the cops won't work, help, or be desirable. If the game doesn't bother with that, it asks the audience to accept something that, on the face of it, is stupid and implausible. We're presented with a sophisticated, expensive looking robot housemaid that has no means to contact the authorities if it sees something going wrong? You need at least some built in reason for why the robot can't do the obvious thing, or alternatively, don't bother with this hamfisted scenario in the first place.

Wow, that was like... soap opera or Hallmark-movie levels of bad.

It is so cliche it was like he used TVtropes to write each scene. It is like Cage went "Oh I saw single aggressive dad on a tropes page, lets throw that in there. Oh agrro dad hides a gun with (Booze or medication) thats a nice trope, add it in! Abusive daddy says 'I wuv you' after being abusive, I have seen that in every Law and Order SVU episode, make sure that gets put in!"

Cage should try to be a daytime TV writer, he would fit in because thats like, the only crowd who would find this deep or impactful.

Happyninja42:
Snip

I'd accept this explanation for 99% of games, mainly because those games don't have a mouth breathing moron talking about how deep he's being in talking in such a serious subject matter while doing it with the subtly and grace of a drunk and horny rhino. Cage can't have it both ways.

hanselthecaretaker:

Not to mention it?s pretty useless.

?Thank you for calling 911, what?s your emergency??

?OMG a man just broke into my house, please help!!?

?...Ok we'll send a car over to your location ASAP. What?s your address??

?Oh, it?s 234 Baker St*. Please hur*THUD!*?

?Ma?am, you still there? Ma?am please respond...?

?.....?

Well, lesson learned. Never call the cops during a home invasion ever. Just Home Alone the situation.

erttheking:

Well, lesson learned. Never call the cops during a home invasion ever. Just Home Alone the situation.

Steal your parents' gun, shoot the robbers, get sent to psch eval, then get put in a film with Elijah Wood that shows that you're still a psycho?

...what? That's what happened isn't it?

erttheking:

Well, lesson learned. Never call the cops during a home invasion ever. Just Home Alone the situation.

And if you live in the boonies where the cops are going to take hours to arrive?

Smithnikov:

erttheking:

Well, lesson learned. Never call the cops during a home invasion ever. Just Home Alone the situation.

And if you live in the boonies where the cops are going to take hours to arrive?

...you call the cops and defend yourself best you can.

Better than just skipping to step two and not having a chance at backup.

I mean, we can invent scenarios where trying to call for help is useless, but at some point you're just screwed.

Smithnikov:

erttheking:

Well, lesson learned. Never call the cops during a home invasion ever. Just Home Alone the situation.

And if you live in the boonies where the cops are going to take hours to arrive?

There's a difference between a situation where calling the cops is an ineffective option and just saying never bother calling the cops ever.

hanselthecaretaker:
Not to mention it?s pretty useless.

Speaking as someone who has had to call the cops to intervene in a domestic violence situation, that's a pile of sloppy, steaming bullshit.

Bleh.

I have nothing whatsoever against games depicting domestic violence or other sensitive material.

But David Cage is not the writer you want doing it. He's not really a writer you want doing anything. He's a miserable hack.

That scene is what you would get if you typed "domestic abuse scene with android" into a script-writing algorithm. It's every cliche movie scene on the subject rolled into one. Because that's what Cage does, he just imitates medicore movies and gets away with it because the writing standards in games are so low that sub-par movie scripts looks passable when compared to the puerile shit that serves as writing in 99% of games.

Plus the scene doesn't even make sense. Why is a robot allowed to commit violence on its owner? Why can't it notify the cops?

Imagine how much more interesting and involved the scene would be if you had to work around the the restricions of the robot's programming to distract or defuse the abuser long enough for the cops to show up. Plus it would allow for a more nuanced exploration of the subject matter than "just shoot the arsehole".

Zhukov:
Imagine how much more interesting and involved the scene would be if you had to work around the the restricions of the robot's programming to distract or defuse the abuser long enough for the cops to show up. Plus it would allow for a more nuanced exploration of the subject matter than "just shoot the arsehole".

See, that would be a compelling story and game. You are designed so you can't act aggressively or disobediently against your owner, so its up to you to figure out a way to side step those limitations. The easy, straightforward options aren't there, so it encourages creative, quick thinking, and also raises an interesting philosophical point about whether we should deliberately design machines with the capacity to cause harm.

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