Last week some devs (I can’t remember their name, but that’s not important anyway) revealed their debut title, a game about some guy that hates humanity because he hates humanity, and he wants to kill humanity because he hates humanity. Very deep. Anyway, we’ve seen a lot of reactions to that game and everyone is talking about it being too violent or going too far.
At first I found it shocking and I was pissed off at the game, just like a lot of people, but then I took a little more time to think about the whole thing. I came to the realization that the game isn’t really different to other games out there, save for the fact that other games have a "plot" (quotes meaning "an excuse to kill everything that moves").
‘Hatred’ devs supposedly want to make a game that delivers the REAL gaming fun experience (or something like that) and that goes against the trends of making colorful "politically correct" games (whatever the hell that means). So, does it go against the "trend of making colorful politically correct" games (again, whatever the hell that means)? In a world full of hyper-realistic FPSs, GTAs, gory horror games, violent top-down/sidescroller shooters, combat-oriented sandbox games, and violent third person shooters where you raid tombs from time to time (oh, yes, I’m talking about the latest Tomb Raider game), the whole "We’re going against the trends!!! Suck it!!!" speech plain stupid because it’s nothing more than wishful thinking.
But being game that delivers the "REAL" gaming fun experience (or something like that) is something I’d find rather accurate because, no matter what the "plot" says ("you have been chosen to do this or that because you’re the best!!!"), most of the time you end up with a game about killing people (or zombies, or aliens, or whatever).
To continue this post I need to ask a few things:
1. We all know there are different kinds of games, so why ‘Hatred’ can be considered "more of the same" rather than "more of the same in that tiny group of the whole gaming spectrum"?
2. Graphic fidelity seems to go hand in hand with better and more realistic (or gruesome) ways of killing characters. Is it logical to think how photorealistic videogame character deaths will be in 5 or 10 years from now?
3. Is "it’s OK because it’s just a game" a good answer or is it just a bullshit excuse? (No, I have no reason to sugarcoat this third question).
More of the same in a world where not everything is the same.
So, a group of "real" gamers are complaining about "this sorta-new trend to make politically correct games" like they just discovered cellphones have cameras. I wonder if they are aware some of us were playing adventure games or puzzle games while they were playing whatever FPS was available in the 90’s, or if they think making something else than FPSs or such is somehow a new trend.
So why is this specific videogame considered "more of the same" in a world where not everything is the same? Are we really getting tons and tons of shooting/killing games and almost zero "other games" or is it just that those shooting/killing games are always the ones getting attention, or being more prominently displayed as THE face of gaming?
In other words, what’s the point of the “nice colorful games” or the “art-games” when sometimes it seems that big games about shooting is only thing worth taking about?
And BTW, we can talk about how other games have plots and how the shooting is part of the plot, but I’d be willing to argue that half of the time it’s because plots are written so that shooting plays an important role. Plot or no plot, a COD or GTA is not different to ‘Hatred.’
Looking for a bigger (and more photorealistic) bang.
I’ve always liked Mortal Kombat (except the crappy ones in 3d). Even if it’s violent, I find it funny because violence in that game is extremely ridiculous (you know, lots and lots of blood when the character is barely hit, and over the top fatalities). When I learned they were making a new Mortal Kombat I was really excited.
Then I saw the X-Ray moves and everything went to shit.
So, you’re saying that…
Give me a break…
In many other games you can chop heads off, crush skulls, burn people alive, and slice their throats with a pick-axe (I’m looking at you, Tomb Raider!!!), and every year, advances in graphics mean better and more photorealistic deaths (oh, and sometimes it means more realistic hair!).
What I am wondering is if we will see the day when we see maybe Mortal Kombat 42, and when they pull out a Fatality we will wonder if we were watching a videogame or a snuff video because it’s so realistic you can’t tell the difference.
And not just graphic fidelity, but about the strive to find more creative ways to kill characters… Combine the two and you’ll get yourself the gaming version of the videos Nick Cage watched in “8mm” (or worse).
By the way, if you take the time to read comments you’ll see some people are wondering (and even requesting) if you can kill minors in that certain game. Actually, it is a valid question to ask (albeit differently): will the quest of a bigger bang drive devs to allow us to kill minors (people of ages from 1 to 18 years)?
Bull* ‘they’re just games’ argument is bull*, like it or not.
At least I had the courtesy of censoring the word, even if I shouldn’t have because it’s just a blog post… Anyway, how about 2 or 3 micro-stories? I hope you have a strong stomach, because they are not very nice, but I’m writing them for a reason:
There was a girl who was taken to some abandoned house, and there she was raped, tortured and cut in pieces.
A group of people set up a camera in a room, then they brought a few babies and killed them in very gruesome ways and captured that on video.
A group of guys took a man and they twisted razor wire around his neck for a long time until the man died.
If you’re still with me, answer this: if the stories were fake, and just part of some movie or short film (or book, comic, whatever), would they be more acceptable than if they had happened in real life? In other words, is it ok to say “it’s just a short film” had they been fake?
The first story is from the movie “8mm” so I guess it’s ok to say “it’s just a movie.”
Some say the account on the second story really happened, but if it was fake it wouldn’t be any less offensive.
The third account is from a murder I read about some time ago.
I’m not saying “it’s not OK even if it’s a game, so it should be banned.” Personally I don’t like when violence in games is just used as a filler, but that’s my personal opinion and I have no right to impose my views on anyone else. That doesn’t mean I can’t say I find it gross or offensive.
Saying “it’s ok, they’re just games” is the equivalent to saying the stories above are ok as long as they are fake.
The real issue is not ranting about how ‘Hatred’ is too violent, too gross or too whatever. The real issue is that ‘Hatred’ is doing exactly the same thing other games have done in the past, but for some reason a lot of people react like they just realized evil exists in the world.
Let me put it this way: the best I read on youtube was “swap the black metal looking dude for a soldier and the civilians for evil terrorists and everyone will be praising the game.”
Lastly, Ieven if we have a variety of games (and we have had a variety of games for decades), it seems that “gaming” is only about “murder simulators” because that’s what the “real gaming experience” is about.
Having said all of this, I see no reason why ‘Hatred’ should not exist because similar games already exist in the market (some of them being critically acclaimed and such).