Do you think The Witcher series is "mature?"

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Been lurking on the Dragon Age Bioware forums today and come across an incredible hatred of The Witcher 2:

Also, calling Witcher series "mature" is like calling XBox Live a civilized discussion platform.

A lot of people appear to have this problem with TW series. Are they just Dragon Age fanboys or is it a legitimate argument?

I found the game pretty mature. It dealt with a mature high politics plot as well as a personal one with realistic and complicated romances, friendships and working relationships. This was across a backdrop of a pseudo realistic medieval fantasy storyline, filled with rape, mysogeny, racism etc. It's no less mature than Game of Thrones, which isn't called out as being immature. Sure it has tits but that's no less mature than the characters in Dragon Age having sex in their underwear?

Your opinions?

Well, there's this deal, "mature" and "rated M" are not the same thing. As far as Witcher goes, yeah, it's dark, it doesn't sugarcoat stuff, but at times it just seems as if it's trying too hard to be "mature" and comes across as pretentious. Let's just say that considering my taste in gaming, by all criteira, I should have liked the Witcher series, but I just couldn't enjoy the games.

Witcher is mature in the same way Game of Thrones is, which is to say... sorta?

The game clearly loves to show off the occasional naughty bit and has a love of naughty words as well. An almost child-like glee at times, especially in the first game where it hands out cards and all but giggles to itself in glee.

But then so does Game of Thrones. It's pretty entertaining.

The main things that make The Witcher series more 'mature' tend to be its emphasis on adult topic matter and political intrigue. A kid doesn't give a crap that the King of Temeria is fighting a war over his bastard children because he doesn't want them being used as pretenders to his throne by noble families looking for a casus belli to wage war against him, and yet that's the main plot for the beginning of the Witcher 2 and one that continues throughout the game, with the plot turning towards various kingdom fighting for political control over the Pontar valley and later a political summit to resolve the issue and attempted assassination there.

And while Witcher 2's prevalent themes were political in nature, with the first Witcher the prevalent themes were racism. Persecution of minorities (Non humans) and whether that persecution makes it right for those minority to then turn around and commit acts of, as the US would put it, terrorism.

Not really kids stuff. So while the Witcher series can be a bit childish when it comes to omigoshboobies, yeah, I consider it a pretty mature series. Atleast insofar as any video game can be mature.

The Witcher isn't mature in terms of sex, women and NPC dialogue. In fact, it's incredibly immature and half the dialogue has been written by a 13 year old. There's a whole gameplay mechanic that would give people who know what a female is migraine's just thinking about the design of it.

'I couldn't sleep last night over the sound of my neighbour beating his wife' as NPC dialoge is something that belongs in Saints Row, it is the purple dildo of maturity and is only fitting in a game which doesn't understand the words it's using.

However I think once you get over the fact the writers have giggling fits whenever they hear the word 'whore', I think the politics and grey morality is fairly mature. Overall there was too much juvenile crud for me, but fantasy is often famously airy fairy and bringing in some grit is a gesture I can understand a lot of people getting behind. And the racism stuff was done pretty well.

So not Planescape: Torment, and pretty darn juvenile in some aspects, but a decent job in others

The sex and stuff in TW2 never bothered me. It was kinda just there, lurking in the background. No one made a big deal out of it in-game.

It's a probably with the industry being all like "OMG SEXSEXSEX SEX TITS SEX SEX". Obviously it was a bit less mature in TW1, but the second game grew up a lot.

I only had sex once in the game, and that was the very tender and romantic bath scene with Triss.

The rest of it was no worse than the sex scenes in A Song of Ice and Fire, or Gregor Clegane discussing rape scenes in a Tavern.

BrotherRool:

'I couldn't sleep last night over the sound of my neighbour beating his wife' as NPC dialoge is something that belongs in Saints Row, it is the purple dildo of maturity and is only fitting in a game which doesn't understand the words it's using.

Err what? That doesn't belong in Saints Row at all. Saints Row is all about fun violence, and characters actually enjoying what they're doing instead of all the gritty realistic stuff that is GTA. ( I like GTA by the way.) I would shocked if they said something that serious.

Anyways that line fits very will in Witcher 2 because that's how their world is. That's how they treated their wives, and that's how they treated women. Hell the first part of the game were soldiers were going to burn dozen, or two dozen people alive in building.

I think a lot of people forget that in the Witcher 2 universe that's how they, and act. Since I doubt 95%(I know this is a made up statistic, but in my life all the people I talked to about the Witcher has never read the books) of the people who played the Witcher has read the books therefor should really shut their mouths on what's immature in the game in the terms of sex, and behaviors when they books are the same damn thing.

Not that I am a Witcher fanboy, but I hate it when people don't realize that's what their universe is like, and that's how it was in the books.

Too me it's both mature and incredibly immature at the same time. The political intrigue, general themes, issues with racism and some of the sex scenes are done maturely yes.
But the out of place fan service crap, the obsession with lesbians, the dick jokes, the constant swearing and ignoring the description of characters because red heads in mini dresses are hotter is not. I don't like their handling of rape either because they just throw it in all the time. How do we make this situation worse? I know lets have some more rape/attempted rape.

Th3Ch33s3Cak3:
It's not mature in the slightest. It's being dark for the sake of being dark. It has blood and gore just to have an M-rating. That is far from mature.

Why would it want to have an M-rating if by simply taking the blood out would give the game a better chance at selling more sales?

The blood, gore and sex is there to enhance the atmosphere of the setting and help to tell the story. The story just wouldn't work as well if it was told in a PG rated sense.

The-Traveling-Bard:

BrotherRool:

'I couldn't sleep last night over the sound of my neighbour beating his wife' as NPC dialoge is something that belongs in Saints Row, it is the purple dildo of maturity and is only fitting in a game which doesn't understand the words it's using.

Err what? That doesn't belong in Saints Row at all. Saints Row is all about fun violence, and characters actually enjoying what they're doing instead of all the gritty realistic stuff that is GTA. ( I like GTA by the way.) I would shocked if they said something that serious.

Anyways that line fits very will in Witcher 2 because that's how their world is. That's how they treated their wives, and that's how they treated women. Hell the first part of the game were soldiers were going to burn dozen, or two dozen people alive in building.

I think a lot of people forget that in the Witcher 2 universe that's how they, and act. Since I doubt 95%(I know this is a made up statistic, but in my life all the people I talked to about the Witcher has never read the books) of the people who played the Witcher has read the books therefor should really shut their mouths on what's immature in the game in the terms of sex, and behaviors when they books are the same damn thing.

Not that I am a Witcher fanboy, but I hate it when people don't realize that's what their universe is like, and that's how it was in the books.

That line is absolutely absurd and it's hilarious that they put it into NPC mouths without recognising it's absurd. Maybe I'm not conveying the casual tone, or the fact it's just blurted out to a random stranger without any context. It's like someone saying 'I'm sexually inadequate' in the middle of the street. There is no sensible world where people (a woman at that) would talk so casually about an abusive relationship. It could be something that every accepts, something no-one is willing to stop or talk about. But that's the point, people wouldn't talk about it, they'd just keep quiet, or gossip about it to people they knew. It wouldn't be a casual thing and it would take a very very special sort of person to emphasise the fact that they couldn't get a good nights sleep.

Abuse, okay thats a mature subject, and a society where its accepted as a norm, those have existed(ish) and could be explored in an interesting way. But people wouldn't act like this and it only betrays a complete non-understanding of the topic.

We're not going to agree on this. Apart from anything else, I realise that what I say is probably going to sound like a bit of an insult to yourself, because you felt the dialogue was mature and that aggression on my part is going to ruin any chance of coming to a conclusion. But there is no part of me that can accept that this can happen in anything but a completely absurdist Saints Row esque world where they treat important matters with a snickering irony and absurdity. This game had that without realising what it was doing. When I first heard this line, I almost burst out laughing and then I couldn't believe they put it in the game and then I almost stopped playing the game. And all the NPC dialogue is in a similar vein.

Abuse just plain isn't nice, it messes with peoples heads and can make just functioning like a human being in later life, incredibly difficult and there is absolutely no way a functioning human being with close experience of it would talk about it in that manner. I'm sorry we're going to disagree but I absolutely have to stick with my guns on this one.

DementedSheep:
. I don't like there handling of rape either because just throw all the time. How do we make this situation worse? I know lets have some more rape/attempted rape.

This is the worst part for me, and why I don't actually feel bad laying into the devs. I like to believe that they've just had no experience of the matter and through it in because it's something that makes a game 'mature' and gritty without any understanding because frankly the alternative would be unpleasant.

In the game it was almost just a dirty word, like throwing in a fuck for emphasis.

BrotherRool:

The-Traveling-Bard:

BrotherRool:

'I couldn't sleep last night over the sound of my neighbour beating his wife' as NPC dialoge is something that belongs in Saints Row, it is the purple dildo of maturity and is only fitting in a game which doesn't understand the words it's using.

Err what? That doesn't belong in Saints Row at all. Saints Row is all about fun violence, and characters actually enjoying what they're doing instead of all the gritty realistic stuff that is GTA. ( I like GTA by the way.) I would shocked if they said something that serious.

Anyways that line fits very will in Witcher 2 because that's how their world is. That's how they treated their wives, and that's how they treated women. Hell the first part of the game were soldiers were going to burn dozen, or two dozen people alive in building.

I think a lot of people forget that in the Witcher 2 universe that's how they, and act. Since I doubt 95%(I know this is a made up statistic, but in my life all the people I talked to about the Witcher has never read the books) of the people who played the Witcher has read the books therefor should really shut their mouths on what's immature in the game in the terms of sex, and behaviors when they books are the same damn thing.

Not that I am a Witcher fanboy, but I hate it when people don't realize that's what their universe is like, and that's how it was in the books.

That line is absolutely absurd and it's hilarious that they put it into NPC mouths without recognising it's absurd. Maybe I'm not conveying the casual tone, or the fact it's just blurted out to a random stranger without any context. It's like someone saying 'I'm sexually inadequate' in the middle of the street. There is no sensible world where people (a woman at that) would talk so casually about an abusive relationship. It could be something that every accepts, something no-one is willing to stop or talk about. But that's the point, people wouldn't talk about it, they'd just keep quiet, or gossip about it to people they knew. It wouldn't be a casual thing and it would take a very very special sort of person to emphasise the fact that they couldn't get a good nights sleep.

This is why I call the game immature. Abuse, okay thats a mature subject, and a society where its accepted as a norm, those have existed(ish) and could be explored in an interesting way. But people wouldn't act like this and it only betrays a complete non-understanding of the topic.

We're not going to agree on this. Apart from anything else, I realise that what I say is probably going to sound like a bit of an insult to yourself, because you felt the dialogue was mature and that aggression on my part is going to ruin any chance of coming to a conclusion. But there is no part of me that can accept that this can happen in anything but a completely absurdist Saints Row esque world where they treat important matters with a snickering irony and absurdity. This game had that without realising what it was doing. When I first heard this line, I almost burst out laughing and then I couldn't believe they put it in the game and then I almost stopped playing the game. And all the NPC dialogue is in a similar vein.

I don't have personal experience of abuse, but I have talked to people who have been abused and there is absolutely no way a functioning human being with close experience of it would talk about it in that manner. I'm sorry we're going to disagree but I absolutely have to stick with my guns on this one.

I'm not insulted. You have your opinion. I have mine. That's all.

"
I don't have personal experience of abuse, but I have talked to people who have been abused and there is absolutely no way a functioning human being with close experience of it would talk about it in that manner. I'm sorry we're going to disagree but I absolutely have to stick with my guns on this one."

Here's the thing.. don't think of it in the terms of our world. Think of it in terms of *their world*. In their world it's okay (Not that I agree with this by the way.) for them to do things, and talk about it. That's how it is in their world. Besides during medieval times man would beat their wives, and the King would have sex with other women besides his Queen. That's just how it was. Even a King hit his Queen.. but that's usually frowned upon by the people but if a normal man beat his wife. Nobody would do anything about it. That's just how it was.

Remember things may be accepted in that world, because that's the norm in that world.
When I play video games, and RPGS. I don't think about the real world when it comes to behaviors. We're playing in alternative world.

Did you play up to that scene when you had a choice to kill the Prince because people thought he poison The Dragon Slayer? Do you really think that a Witcher could pass such a judgement on a Noble let alone a Prince? Not in the real world, but in their world it happens.

ALTHOUGH! I will agree with you that the whole thing of just blurting out random things like that is a bit immature without any real reason to do so, but think of it like this. Maybe they were holding a conversation before you walked up to them, or next to them? There's your reason why the NPC said it.

That's how I see it though.

I'm not trying to argue, but just have a discussion.

The-Traveling-Bard:

I'm not insulted. You have your opinion. I have mine. That's all.

"
I don't have personal experience of abuse, but I have talked to people who have been abused and there is absolutely no way a functioning human being with close experience of it would talk about it in that manner. I'm sorry we're going to disagree but I absolutely have to stick with my guns on this one."

Here's the thing.. don't think of it in the terms of our world. Think of it in terms of *their world*. In their world it's okay (Not that I agree with this by the way.) for them to do things, and talk about it. That's how it is in their world. Besides during medieval times man would beat their wives, and the King would have sex with other women besides his Queen. That's just how it was. Even a King hit his Queen.. but that's usually frowned upon by the people but if a normal man beat his wife. Nobody would do anything about it. That's just how it was.

Remember things may be accepted in that world, because that's the norm in that world.
When I play video games, and RPGS. I don't think about the real world when it comes to behaviors. We're playing in alternative world.

Did you play up to that scene when you had a choice to kill the Prince because people thought he poison The Dragon Slayer? Do you really think that a Witcher could pass such a judgement on a Noble let alone a Prince? Not in the real world, but in their world it happens.

ALTHOUGH! I will agree with you that the whole thing of just blurting out random things like that is a bit immature without any real reason to do so, but think of it like this. Maybe they were holding a conversation before you walked up to them, or next to them? There's your reason why the NPC said it.

That's how I see it though.

I'm not trying to argue, but just have a discussion.

Thanks for the pleasantness of the response. To me a world where abuse is that light-hearted (although I could accept it being that common and that accepted, just not so light-hearted that people would be more worried about their sleep than it going on) is so strange that it would lose it's meaning to me not inhabiting that world. It#s sort of why I compared it to Saints Row, because it creates that feeling of unreality. And because of the other bits (as far as Witcher 1 goes, from your account and some other comments in this thread, it sounds like Witcher 2 tackles this better) I'm not really certain that the developers had the skill or the want to address the issue in a meaningful way.

Maybe if, like you said, this came up in a conversation and it was part of a larger theme, I think that might have been a fairly mature way to handle it as part of the setting.

I'm afraid I didn't get up to that part of the game, there was an option with the witch at the end of Chapter 1 that I'm particularly sensitive to and I just didn't want to play a game with that in it. Some of the political stuff and the nature of Witchers that people talked about coming later up sounded pretty interesting, but I decided I wasn't prepared to play the game when it had this certain thing in it

More "mature" than most in terms of the subject matter. I.E., the medieval era politics that drive the plot. It's fairly dense, wordy stuff that assumes a high level of familiarity with the world and a reasonable level of intelligence from the audience. There's very little painful exposition or hand holding.

As for the sexuality, the violence, and the language...I don't know if I consider it mature or immature, and I'm not really sure why it's always the primary focus whenever this game comes up in conversation. They've clearly gone for a "grit turned up to 11" feel, and it can definitely feel forced at times, but I won't say the game feels "immature" because of it.

Dragon Age feels very much like a young adult novel, in the same vein as those woeful Forgotten Realms novels, or perhaps a Shannara book if you're feeling charitable. Very basic, archetypal factions. Goody goods, and blackest evil. Very broad and simple political affiliations. Very simple, timeworn plot elements. In many ways it reads like an AD&D module. It's approach to sexuality is particularly PG-13 and faintly embarrassing, but fundamentally harmless.

Witcher 2 feels very much like a lower rent Scott Lynch novel. Lots of profanity, extensive shades of grey, and everyone is a shithead of one stripe or another. There's no holding back with sexuality or violence, and the game can occasionally seem rather indulgent as a result. The plotting is dense, occasionally at the expense of pacing, and there is no heroic resolution. The primary characters move from point A to point B and are arguably worse off for the journey.

BrotherRool:
Thanks for the pleasantness of the response. To me a world where abuse is that light-hearted (although I could accept it being that common and that accepted, just not so light-hearted that people would be more worried about their sleep than it going on) is so strange that it would lose it's meaning to me not inhabiting that world. It's sort of why I compared it to Saints Row, because it creates that feeling of unreality.

Like ASoIaF, and the generation of "gritty" fantasy novels that were spawned in its wake, The Witcher cribs heavily from Medieval Europe for its setting and feel. Life amongst the peasantry wasn't exactly quaint or pleasant. They're not attempting to simulate 21st century North America. Saint's Row is, which is why it comes off as by far less concerned with "reality". Which is ironic, given The Witcher is technically a fantasy game.

Would people approach strangers to discuss their bitter existence at length? Probably not, but people don't stand around with exclamation marks over their head waiting for travelers to come through and clean the orcs out of their cellar either. It's a game play mechanic. A little suspension of disbelief is required.

I think a far more pressing concern than the omnipresent specter of rape/abuse in the dark fantasy environs of The Witcher is all the monsters boiling around settlements in every CRPG ever made. You want to talk about people being worried about their sleep? You can't walk 5 feet out of town without being molested by a fantastical menagerie.

BrotherRool:

The-Traveling-Bard:

I'm not insulted. You have your opinion. I have mine. That's all.

"
I don't have personal experience of abuse, but I have talked to people who have been abused and there is absolutely no way a functioning human being with close experience of it would talk about it in that manner. I'm sorry we're going to disagree but I absolutely have to stick with my guns on this one."

Here's the thing.. don't think of it in the terms of our world. Think of it in terms of *their world*. In their world it's okay (Not that I agree with this by the way.) for them to do things, and talk about it. That's how it is in their world. Besides during medieval times man would beat their wives, and the King would have sex with other women besides his Queen. That's just how it was. Even a King hit his Queen.. but that's usually frowned upon by the people but if a normal man beat his wife. Nobody would do anything about it. That's just how it was.

Remember things may be accepted in that world, because that's the norm in that world.
When I play video games, and RPGS. I don't think about the real world when it comes to behaviors. We're playing in alternative world.

Did you play up to that scene when you had a choice to kill the Prince because people thought he poison The Dragon Slayer? Do you really think that a Witcher could pass such a judgement on a Noble let alone a Prince? Not in the real world, but in their world it happens.

ALTHOUGH! I will agree with you that the whole thing of just blurting out random things like that is a bit immature without any real reason to do so, but think of it like this. Maybe they were holding a conversation before you walked up to them, or next to them? There's your reason why the NPC said it.

That's how I see it though.

I'm not trying to argue, but just have a discussion.

Thanks for the pleasantness of the response. To me a world where abuse is that light-hearted (although I could accept it being that common and that accepted, just not so light-hearted that people would be more worried about their sleep than it going on) is so strange that it would lose it's meaning to me not inhabiting that world. It#s sort of why I compared it to Saints Row, because it creates that feeling of unreality. And because of the other bits (as far as Witcher 1 goes, from your account and some other comments in this thread, it sounds like Witcher 2 tackles this better) I'm not really certain that the developers had the skill or the want to address the issue in a meaningful way.

Maybe if, like you said, this came up in a conversation and it was part of a larger theme, I think that might have been a fairly mature way to handle it as part of the setting.

I'm afraid I didn't get up to that part of the game, there was an option with the witch at the end of Chapter 1 that I'm particularly sensitive to and I just didn't want to play a game with that in it. Some of the political stuff and the nature of Witchers that people talked about coming later up sounded pretty interesting, but I decided I wasn't prepared to play the game when it had this certain thing in it

Aye. Some games will tackle mature themes like beating a wife/rape/killing differently, because they don't live in our world. They live in their world. They don't follow the same rules as us. Just look about all the rape talk in the Witcher in general.. They don't do it to be gritty, hard, immature, mature, etc. They do it because that's just how things work in that universe. I was shocked at first to when they first brought up a rape in discussion and I was like.

"HOLY CRAP! They talk about like it part of day to day life." Which it is.. in their world.

Witcher 1 for example and all the sex scenes. Here's the thing.. in books Geralt is describe pretty much like this. Every single women would claw her eyes out to be with him. He had tons of partners in the book, and they wanted to bring it across in the game. Did they did it in the best way possible? I don't think so. I think the sex cards were going a little too far, but they wanted to get the point across although they did it in the wrong way.

People forget when you play a game it doesn't mean they have to follow our laws, our society, our ways. They make an entire world up, or did we forget that when Dragons were flying in the sky?

BrotherRool:

DementedSheep:
. I don't like their handling of rape either because they just throw it in all the time. How do we make this situation worse? I know lets have some more rape/attempted rape.

This is the worst part for me, and why I don't actually feel bad laying into the devs. I like to believe that they've just had no experience of the matter and through it in because it's something that makes a game 'mature' and gritty without any understanding because frankly the alternative would be unpleasant.

In the game it was almost just a dirty word, like throwing in a fuck for emphasis.

Yeah. I know the setting is ridiculously grim and rape would happens a lot but it feel like its a near constant thing and they really don't need to keep bring it up all the damn time, especially not so casually. One of the first conversation you likely to have in the game and it's "hey Geralt, remember that time we threatened to rape the love of you life? No? well then, can you help us with something real quick?" I know why the Crinfrid Reavers were put in the game since the short story they are referencing is relevant but that conversion was just...odd.
The one that really get me though is with Ves

The-Traveling-Bard:

Aye. Some games will tackle mature themes like beating a wife/rape/killing differently, because they don't live in our world. They live in their world. They don't follow the same rules as us. Just look about all the rape talk in the Witcher in general.. They don't do it to be gritty, hard, immature, mature, etc. They do it because that's just how things work in that universe. I was shocked at first to when they first brought up a rape in discussion and I was like.

"HOLY CRAP! They talk about like it part of day to day life." Which it is.. in their world.

Witcher 1 for example and all the sex scenes. Here's the thing.. in books Geralt is describe pretty much like this. Every single women would claw her eyes out to be with him. He had tons of partners in the book, and they wanted to bring it across in the game. Did they did it in the best way possible? I don't think so. I think the sex cards were going a little too far, but they wanted to get the point across although they did it in the wrong way.

People forget when you play a game it doesn't mean they have to follow our laws, our society, our ways. They make an entire world up, or did we forget that when Dragons were flying in the sky?

I think this is going to be a good place to leave it, I'm still not onboard with the Witcher being mature in regard to sexual stuff, but I appreciate your point of view and it does make it a little better.

But on the subject of rape I would like to just add a reason why using it lightly like this isn't such a good idea.

Rape is such a violent and torturous act that it can leave it#s victims with scars for years to come as a normal response to something so abnormal and cruel. In particular, for some people, it being mentioned in media like this, or portrayed or described in particular circumstances or lights can trigger a flashback. So whenever you include rape in a fictional work, there's always going to be a chance that it#s going to cause someone playing your game/watching your film/reading your book to reexperience the feeling of being raped.

I'm not saying it should be avoided, there are numerous everyday things that can serve as triggers from person to person, we shouldn't necessarily censor media and there are legitimate reasons to confront and deal with such a serious issue and it's impacts, but I think writers should be aware of the risks involved in that and decide if personally if they want to go ahead or not

EDIT: Changed a few lines around to soften what I was saying a little bit

BrotherRool:

The-Traveling-Bard:

Aye. Some games will tackle mature themes like beating a wife/rape/killing differently, because they don't live in our world. They live in their world. They don't follow the same rules as us. Just look about all the rape talk in the Witcher in general.. They don't do it to be gritty, hard, immature, mature, etc. They do it because that's just how things work in that universe. I was shocked at first to when they first brought up a rape in discussion and I was like.

"HOLY CRAP! They talk about like it part of day to day life." Which it is.. in their world.

Witcher 1 for example and all the sex scenes. Here's the thing.. in books Geralt is describe pretty much like this. Every single women would claw her eyes out to be with him. He had tons of partners in the book, and they wanted to bring it across in the game. Did they did it in the best way possible? I don't think so. I think the sex cards were going a little too far, but they wanted to get the point across although they did it in the wrong way.

People forget when you play a game it doesn't mean they have to follow our laws, our society, our ways. They make an entire world up, or did we forget that when Dragons were flying in the sky?

I think this is going to be a good place to leave it, I'm still not onboard with the Witcher being mature in regard to sexual stuff, but I appreciate your point of view and it does make it a little better.

But on the subject of rape I would like to just add a reason why using it lightly like this isn't such a good idea.

Rape is such a violent and torturous act that it can leave it#s victims with scars for years to come. In particular, for some people, it being mentioned in media like this, or portrayed or described in particular circumstances or lights can trigger a flashback. So whenever you include rape in a fictional work, there's always going to be a chance that it#s going to cause someone playing your game/watching your film/reading your book to reexperience the feeling of being raped.

I'm not saying it should be avoided, we shouldn't necessarily censor media and there are legitimate reasons to confront and deal with such a serious issue and it's impacts, but I think writers should be aware of the risks involved in that and decide if personally if they want to go ahead or not

I get what you're saying but I still defend my argument with. They don't live in our world. They don't need to handle sensitive topics the same way we do.

As for the flash back things... Then don't play the game/read the book/ watch the movie. It's as a simple as that. I'm not trying to sound like an asshole but if you don't like something or it gives you bad memories then don't play/watch it. I also know I just put this in most blunt/rudest way possible, but I don't feel like sugar coating it for all those PC believers right now.

You're welcome though. :D I'm glad I made it a little bit better, and it's okay. If you don't like then don't like it. That's your opinion. I respect that, and thanks for the healthy discussion.

The content within The Witcher games certainly is not "mature". It's actually quite immature and mysoginic.

The-Traveling-Bard:

I get what you're saying but I still defend my argument with. They don't live in our world. They don't need to handle sensitive topics the same way we do.

As for the flash back things... Then don't play the game/read the book/ watch the movie. It's as a simple as that. I'm not trying to sound like an asshole but if you don't like something or it gives you bad memories then don't play/watch it. I also know I just put this in most blunt/rudest way possible, but I don't feel like sugar coating it for all those PC believers right now.

You're welcome though. :D I'm glad I made it a little bit better, and it's okay. If you don't like then don't like it. That's your opinion. I respect that, and thanks for the healthy discussion.

It#s not always possible, there are a lot of films that just throw in a random sexual violation. I think the Witcher gives enough clues to drive anyone off whose on the lookout, so its okay. Still I don't think this is particularly PC, it's something that actually psychologically happens to some people and is pretty horrific and knowing the general weight of what you do is important. Calling a black person 'coloured' or whatever doesn't cause anyone to reexperience serious trauma. If people know and choose to include it anyway thats still cool, but if you#re obliviously causing people pain, I just mentioned it, because I figure that the more people who're aware the more people can at least choose with proper knowledge. It's easy to not know without

The Witcher is staggeringly mature. Not for the violence and sex but for it handles morality and the way it presents players with choices. Usually our choices fall between one of two extremes and help build some kind of bar that defines our character along two extremes, but The Witcher games don't attach their narrative choices to mechanics, allowing our choices to play out entirely freely. Without any kind of mechanical reward for the choices we're making, but all the same having to make those choices, we're compelled to choose what we think is best.

That's the kind of maturity that's been missing from games for so long. Certainly the sex cards in the first game were immature and both games like to indulge in themselves at points, but when it comes to the factors that are actually important -- such as choice, characterisation, politics and whatnot -- they really excel.

Vegosiux:
Well, there's this deal, "mature" and "rated M" are not the same thing. As far as Witcher goes, yeah, it's dark, it doesn't sugarcoat stuff, but at times it just seems as if it's trying too hard to be "mature" and comes across as pretentious. Let's just say that considering my taste in gaming, by all criteira, I should have liked the Witcher series, but I just couldn't enjoy the games.

I'm inclined to agree with this. It's trying very hard to be mature by making everything dark and gritty, but the problem is that it's so dark and gritty that it ends up coming full circle and coming across as a joke. The emphasis on politics and racism are definite points for its attempt to present a mature, believable world, but much of it is a 13-year-old's idea of maturity, especially the sex cards in the first game. They were basically too keen to make a fantasy RPG which was gritty and "realistic"; absolute 100% grimdark all the time is not maturity, it's an adolescent boy's D&D power fantasy. For me, the best moment of the game was the resolution of Carmen and Vincent's quest.


Incidentally, I also feel like I should have enjoyed the Witcher much more than I did.

Trollhoffer:
The Witcher is staggeringly mature. Not for the violence and sex but for it handles morality and the way it presents players with choices. Usually our choices fall between one of two extremes and help build some kind of bar that defines our character along two extremes, but The Witcher games don't attach their narrative choices to mechanics, allowing our choices to play out entirely freely. Without any kind of mechanical reward for the choices we're making, but all the same having to make those choices, we're compelled to choose what we think is best.

That's the kind of maturity that's been missing from games for so long. Certainly the sex cards in the first game were immature and both games like to indulge in themselves at points, but when it comes to the factors that are actually important -- such as choice, characterisation, politics and whatnot -- they really excel.

Despite the rest of my post, you definitely have a point here. They grey morality was one of the few things I genuinely enjoyed about the Witcher, and it's an area where it absolutely succeeds in presenting a believable, mature world. The fact that there's no clear right or wrong and that your choices have far-reaching, often unintended consequences was a huge step up from the way choice is handled in most RPGs.

I would say that the Witcher is mature in its portrayal of politics and racism whereas in everything else it just seems to be trying to hard to be "dark and gritty". I feel the problem with this discussion is that everybody has a different definition of mature in their heads which can cause some confusion. I've heard people call Dragon Age childish and the Witcher serious but Dragon Age has similar themes to the Witcher but with racism but applied to the mages, is it okay to persecute people if sometimes your fear is justified. I would say what makes the Witcher mature where other games may not be is that the politics in the game are immensely complicated and intricate to the point that to someone less mature the games plot probably seems convoluted and boring. So uh, yeah I would say that the Witcher 2 is a mature game.

BloatedGuppy:
Scott Lynch

FINALLY someone else that's familiar with Scott Lynch. It's been getting damned frustrating how little known he is despite being such an amazing author. He deserves more attention.

Oh, and mentioning Dragon Age just reminded me of that game. Why is it Witcher 2 is a horrible misogynistic childish piece of shit but Dragon Age gets away with all this crap with barely a shrug of the shoulders:

And that's an official trailer.

Xarathox:
The content within The Witcher games certainly is not "mature". It's actually quite immature and mysoginic.

Are you saying this solely on the sexuality topic that seems to be rampant in this debate, or more in general? because personally i think the whole political intrigue and plots between 1 & 2; along with all the stigmas and cultural differences are quite greatly done and believable, even for a fantasy game.

I'd like to point out that "not mature" and "immature" are different things, too. Think of them mathematically; "mature" might have a value of 1, "not mature" a value of 0 and "immature" a value of -1. Sex and violence aren't immature, but neither are they mature -- those elements have a null value, because they're neutral. While it's true that sex and violence are often associated with game developers and publishers who want to appear mature while taking the easy road, they're not in themselves immature and fall to execution rather than the concept of their content.

Both Witcher games have lots of violence and a bit of sex, but if we accept that those elements have a null maturity value, they can't make the games "immature". But both games gain maturity in content for their handling of player choice, and morality -- especially since there isn't so much good and evil, but "differently good". That's why I consider them such mature games. And I think railing against a game because it contains lots of violence and sex is more reactionary than helpful, but it discounts the possibility that those elements could be used in a mature fashion.

For what it's worth, though, I maintain that the sex cards in The Witcher were pretty immature.

There seems to be two main parties when it comes to discussing the Witcher series maturity.

Those who have played both games and appreciated the complex moral and political themes, the characterisation, lore and the appropriately dark and cynical medieval setting.

And then those who have either not played the game or only played it briefly and seem to dismiss it as immature because it has nudity.

Some people consider nudity, sex, and gratuitous violence immature, so in those people's definition The Witcher series is immature.

I think that these games are mature because they freely explore mature themes - violence, sexuality, and justice, more than any other game (that I know of) in recent years.

Milk:
There seems to be two main parties when it comes to discussing the Witcher series maturity.

Those who have played both games and appreciated the complex moral and political themes, the characterisation, lore and the appropriately dark and cynical medieval setting.

And then those who have either not played the game or only played it briefly and seem to dismiss it as immature because it has nudity.

Ehm, sorry, but this thread kind of suggests otherwise. There's a variety of opinions, and this is one poor false dichotomy. Could almost be paraphrased as "angry chess kid".

I mean putting it like that you make it sound as if people shouldn't be forming their own opinions. And well, I personally stand by my opinion of "pretentious".

Vegosiux:

Ehm, sorry, but this thread kind of suggests otherwise.

Not really this thread has only had 28 responses and in my post I spoke of many stances but the 2 I described being the main ones. This is of course in my own personal experience.

There's a variety of opinions, and this is one poor false dichotomy. Could almost be paraphrased as "angry chess kid".

It's almost as if it was deliberate.

I like the Witcher so I spoke of it fondly and wrote a dismissive strawman of those who don't. Simple humour, not to be taken too seriously. The general content itself is still an observation of mine however.

And well, I personally stand by my opinion of "pretentious".

How is it pretentious and how could you improve it in such a way that would stop it from being pretentious?

Milk:
How is it pretentious and how could you improve it in such a way that would stop it from being pretentious?

As I said, it tries too hard. At times I got the feeling the game is yelling at me "Have I reminded you how dark and gritty I am in the last 20 minutes? Oh well, just in case, have another guy bragging about rape and murder, so you don't forget how incredibly edgy I am."

Basically, sometimes it seems as if it's trying to force the atmosphere on me as opposed to just letting it be there. And I do not take kindly to that. As I said, by all of my tastes in fiction, I should have liked it, but I didn't.

Depends on what you mean by mature, but for me personally...how does dark and realistic mean mature?

pornography is more realistic then tv shows that have people having sex.
Same with violence and snuff films.

Yet they are both considered Universally less mature then a tv show that shows those things less realisticly.

To me that says that what makes it mature is the reason for subject matter or how it is presented.

Was the witcher 1 mature? no. It was a game that actively rewarded you for trying to bone women (pointlessly). It dealt with less common and more realistic aspects of a fantasy setting (racism being the only one that really comes to mind)

It's a game, games are inherently immature as they are time sinks.

A game that's mature in a sense other then graphic, would have to actually provide some real form of improvement for you personally. Such as games specifically designed to help you increase your memory, skills with math and so on.

Nudity, sex, rape, racism, and having more then just hack and slash story in your game doesn't have anything to do with it being mature or not.

It's definitely mature when it comes to racism at least, too often do I see the issue approached as though it's a symptom of having too little melanin, but in the Witcher it's clear that racist attitudes exist on all sides, we really need to acknowledge that more.

I recently bought the Witcher 2, and I have to say... I wouldn't call it a mature game.

I kinda set it down because it really wasn't holding my attention and was terribly written. Whoever wrote some of the dialogue options I feel really has never actually had a conversation with a woman before. It was a tad bit misogynistic.

cerebreturns:

It's a game, games are inherently immature as they are time sinks.

So books, movies, plays, travelling, hanging out with friends, and every single other aspect of life that doesn't revolve around staying healthy and working is inherently immature? Hurray, we've successfully determined that almost everything in life is immature. Seriously dude, that's a... weird thing to say, to say the least.

On the topic at hand, I do not believe the Witcher or the Witcher 2 are immature. The second game has some of the most morally grey decisions to make I've ever encountered in a game (and the first isn't far behind, not to mention being the better of the two at hurling unexpected consequences for your actions at you later down the path), and it explores its concepts of medieval politics and racism in a way that makes the Dragon Age games look hilariously childish in their simplicity. I don't believe the presence of sex in the games, even the ridiculous sex cards from the first one, just cancels all of that out. Not to mention that the only compulsory sex scenes are treated in a considerably more respectful manner, so if a player is sleeping with everybody then, as I see it, they're the ones behaving in an immature manner. The developers just gave them that option, and good on them for catering to different personalities.

JoesshittyOs:
I recently bought the Witcher 2, and I have to say... I wouldn't call it a mature game.

I kinda set it down because it really wasn't holding my attention and was terribly written. Whoever wrote some of the dialogue options I feel really has never actually had a conversation with a woman before. It was a tad bit misogynistic.

Misogynistic? It's a game with strong women, with weak women, with honourable women (heck, the only truly "good" character I met in the course of my first playthrough was a woman), with despicable villainesses, and men of every stripe as well. It is, of course, set in a society that is decidedly misogynistic, but that doesn't mean the game itself is and the way it portrays the wide range of different female characters was pretty novel, frankly, compared to just about any other game on the market.

Yes, what you encountered was just garden variety fanboyism. See, after Dragon Age 2 went down the gurgler and The Witcher 2 was a hit, there were some people hailing CDProject Red (developers of The Witcher) as "the new Bioware" or "like Bioware but better". To a hardcore Bioware fan, this would be akin to a needle under the fingernails, so they respond by hating on The Witcher games with all their might.

As for whether or the Wither games are mature.... hahahahahaaa... nope.

The first one was laughably immature. Surely we haven't forgotten the Gotta Bonk 'em All collectable sex cards.

The second one was a bit better. But it's the kind of maturity you'd expect from a 14 year old boy who wears his father's pants, desperately shaves his bumfluff and swears loudly in the schoolyard. "Hey, hey, have you noticed how totally mature I am? Here, have some more cussing! Ohh, and I'm dark too. See, here's implied rape scene number four!"

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