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Op Ed

Thanks Cutter.

Gamasutra - Video game detractors becoming weaker, weirder.
Increasingly, the views of guys like Dr. Zimbardo and Bennett look crankish and odd. To make a connection between the popularity of online pornography and games seems like lazy thinking, a bizarre coupling of sexual compulsions with the compulsions to succeed built into some games by their designers. These are complex human behavior patterns that deserve to be studied and compared, not thrown together as a catch-all explanation for complicated socio-economic and cultural changes that may take us decades to unravel.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - E3 Day Zero- When Game Violence Becomes Vile.
Yesterday, I saw games that treated violence as the raddest, most Mountain-Dew-can-crushed-against-your-forehead thing in the world, an utterly bone-chilling, blood-curdling last resort, and quite a few things in between. But wow, it sure didn’t look that way. And, if we don’t stay mindful of what game-makers are doing and how we’re acting in response, it won’t be that way for too much longer. So pay attention and speak up. Sure, a thousand hands clapping paints a pretty damning picture, but you know what’s a thousand times worse? Silence.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - E3′s Press Events Do Not Represent The Gaming I Know.
And that’s just one example of the hoary, outdated tone all these pressers took. Embarrassing moments were scattered throughout, from a peculiar display of esports in tight-fitting clothing, to hosts declaring that they’re “a gamer first and, er, er, a woman seventh”, all punctuated throughout the night by producers holding controllers and pretending to control cutscenes like kids in a service station yanking the steering wheels of the driving arcades while “INSERT COIN” flashes on screen. The message is a peculiar contempt for the audience – of course they’re not really playing! In any game where you can get killed by the enemy, or, as so many of those shown wished you to believe, events are procedural and unscripted, not having a pre-filmed sequence in a live show would be just stupid. Stop pretending – it’s embarrassing.

CNET - Video game violence at E3: Too much, yet still not enough.
Unfortunately, E3 this year has done little to impress anyone who isn't already either a fan or an apologist for mind-numbing game violence. If anything, it's successfully buried the vibrant, creative, nuanced, clever, and amazing games that could help the industry get its mojo back.

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27 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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27. Re: Op Ed Jun 7, 2012, 03:59 StingingVelvet
 
DeadlyAccurate wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 11:47:
Sure you can. I can rant all day long about how offensive I personally find the female armor models in TERA. That doesn't mean I think they should be legally required to change or censor them, and if someone suggested it, I would argue just as long about how wrong that is. Doesn't mean I'd play the game, though.

I didn't see anyone saying these games should be censored or that the devs' right to free speech should be violated. But unless you're the government, asking someone to tone it down isn't censorship; it's consumer opinion.

Seems like a lot of these titles are Ubisoft's. I don't play or follow their titles any more due to their DRM policies, and it makes me curious to know if they're trying to drum up sales with some good ol' fashioned titillation.

If violent games really made people twitchy and angry that would certainly be cause for further regulation. Bikini armor in an MMO is just tacky, not socially dangerous.
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 21:58 ViRGE
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 13:32:
I think you missed a few opportunities to use the term Manshooter.

Personally, I think that's an ill-conceived buzz word meant to evoke horror at shooting your fellow man that really comes off as a euphemism for penis.
Well it's that or write "first/third person realistic action shooter" every single time. It seemed appropriate to just use a single word.
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 21:21 Beamer
 
This thread inspired me to find a decapitation mod for Mount & Blade.


Wooohoo!
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 21:12 Prez
 
I read the article and it sounds like you didn't.

I should have been clearer - I was speaking mostly to the Rock Paper Shotgun article. And yes, I read it in its entirety and it sounded like whining about too much violence. I hate that shit. Did these people also freak out when Quentin Tarantino made his ultra violent chop flicks? Why is over the top movie violence celebrated and enjoyed without over analyzing but videogame violence elicits such whining and crying from the gaming press? Bunch of fucking crybabies. With counter-productive double standards to boot.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 19:49 Cutter
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 15:25:
Cutter wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 12:26:
The people targeted for those sorts of games aren't the sort of people that hang out on sites like RPS or here. We're a little more sophisticated and a lot smarter than that.


That being said, there are times where you just want to frag someone, and if they explode into chunks, well, that's just the icing on the cake.

I dunno, I've never required my gaming violence to be overly visceral. However, Fallout's "Bloody Mess" is kind of funny once in a while. Looking at the footage of the game in question of the article, it does seem pretty needlessly over the top. At the very least it deserves an R rating.

 
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22. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 18:18 Flatline
 
Prez wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 13:43:
Oh Christ, the violent videogames thing again? Must be slow news week. Let's go over it again, shall we?

Real life violence = BAD. Videogame violence = not a fucking problem because it is pretend. Enjoying violence in a game =/= enjoying real life violence. Let's try and remember it this time, mkay?

I'm okay with people wanting a little variety but most of this comes across as the usual "games are too violent and make us gamers look bad" garbage. I don't give a crap about how we look to non-gamers - they're irrelevant.

I read the article and it sounds like you didn't.

She's not saying "don't do violence", just that it's harming the industry when *all* that you see is slow-motion headshots and gratuitous violence at the leading industry trade show, and I tend to agree. I'm not saying video game violence is bad, I'm not even saying those games shouldn't be made. What I do think is that when Sony & MS both basically go the Saw film splatterhouse route for their shows, it is boring and it gives more ammo to the anti video game nuts out there.

My other simple comment on the article can be summed up in one word: Money.

Call of f*cking Duty prints money every year by breaking sales records serving up the same derivative sh*t over and over. So right now studios have the "grim 'hyper-realistic' ultraviolence" boner going on, hoping to scoop up some of that gravy that slops everywhere.
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 17:28 PHJF
 
Sure you can. I can rant all day long about how offensive I personally find the female armor models in TERA. That doesn't mean I think they should be legally required to change or censor them, and if someone suggested it, I would argue just as long about how wrong that is. Doesn't mean I'd play the game, though.

Funny you should mention that, because they did self-censor TERA...
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 15:39 Mr. Tact
 
Which Kickstarter games are you playing?  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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19. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 15:30 jdreyer
 
Tumbler wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 12:38:
Thank God for Kickstarter and Indies. I'm far more satisfied with spending money in that area than I am with AAA gaming currently.

I mostly agree, as more than half my purchases have been indie games over the past couple of years. But I still find the majority of my time played in AAA games, and there have been some absolutely spectacular ones over the past year: Skyrim, Deus Ex HR, & Witcher 2 to name a few. Even Diablo 3 was a blast to play (did the beta), I just refuse to buy it on principle.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 15:25 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 12:26:
The people targeted for those sorts of games aren't the sort of people that hang out on sites like RPS or here. We're a little more sophisticated and a lot smarter than that.


That being said, there are times where you just want to frag someone, and if they explode into chunks, well, that's just the icing on the cake.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 15:13 jdreyer
 
ViRGE wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 10:48:
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 10:39:
There's plenty of stuff that isn't that, it just seems like it's all violent.
Of course. But why aren't they showing it off? That's the real issue. All the big games they could show this year, and they spent most of their game demo time on manshooters. As a gamer it tells me that they're disinterested in other genres, which is obviously going to raise my ire because I like variety.

If all you show off are manshooters then you're telling the public that video games are all about manshooters. You're telling developers that if they want to get stage time they need to make manshooters. You and I know that there's more to gaming than manshooters, but if all we celebrate is manshooters, then how much longer are developers going to make AAA games in other genres? I just don't like where this trend might lead.

Well, how about because CoD Black Ops was the #1 selling game of 2011? Shooters get snapped up like freakin' hotcakes at a starving orphanage.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 13:50 Beamer
 
Smellfinger wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 13:23:
Tumbler wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 12:38:
Anyone else feel like "Gaming" has crossed a line into stupidity with this E3?

I've felt that way since the late '90s when I was writing for Gamesdomain and getting all-expenses-paid trips to E3 every year. E3 has always been a spectacle that panders to the worst common denominator, but at least back then you could go to the Sega booth and see some decent Saturn and Dreamcast games. There was also a clear separation between PC and console. Each platform offered a unique experience. Now it's just one big blur of mediocrity.

You must be new here. The correct thing to say is "oh man, everything was so much better in the 90s! It's just dumb now, but back then it was for men!"
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 13:43 Prez
 
Oh Christ, the violent videogames thing again? Must be slow news week. Let's go over it again, shall we?

Real life violence = BAD. Videogame violence = not a fucking problem because it is pretend. Enjoying violence in a game =/= enjoying real life violence. Let's try and remember it this time, mkay?

I'm okay with people wanting a little variety but most of this comes across as the usual "games are too violent and make us gamers look bad" garbage. I don't give a crap about how we look to non-gamers - they're irrelevant.

This comment was edited on Jun 6, 2012, 13:49.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 13:32 Agent.X7
 
ViRGE wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 10:48:
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 10:39:
There's plenty of stuff that isn't that, it just seems like it's all violent.
Of course. But why aren't they showing it off? That's the real issue. All the big games they could show this year, and they spent most of their game demo time on manshooters. As a gamer it tells me that they're disinterested in other genres, which is obviously going to raise my ire because I like variety.

If all you show off are manshooters then you're telling the public that video games are all about manshooters. You're telling developers that if they want to get stage time they need to make manshooters. You and I know that there's more to gaming than manshooters, but if all we celebrate is manshooters, then how much longer are developers going to make AAA games in other genres? I just don't like where this trend might lead.
Anyway, as the article itself says you can't have it both ways, you can't say GAMES ARE FREE SPEECH AND SHOULD NEVER CENSORED and then also write an article about how game violence makes you feel twitchy or angry or whatever. A lot of sites seem to play both angles.
I don't think anyone is saying games should be censored, are they? Just show things other things along with manshooters. Don't make the hardcore gamers look like the violent psychopaths that we are.

I think you missed a few opportunities to use the term Manshooter.

Personally, I think that's an ill-conceived buzz word meant to evoke horror at shooting your fellow man that really comes off as a euphemism for penis.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 13:23 Smellfinger
 
Tumbler wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 12:38:
Anyone else feel like "Gaming" has crossed a line into stupidity with this E3?

I've felt that way since the late '90s when I was writing for Gamesdomain and getting all-expenses-paid trips to E3 every year. E3 has always been a spectacle that panders to the worst common denominator, but at least back then you could go to the Sega booth and see some decent Saturn and Dreamcast games. There was also a clear separation between PC and console. Each platform offered a unique experience. Now it's just one big blur of mediocrity.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 13:13 Smellfinger
 
ViRGE wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 10:23:
A pair of really good articles from RPS today, particularly the one on violence. Why the heck is everything a realistic ultraviolent manshooter this year? Not to bemoan violence as evil, but it's like eating ice cream for dinner every night; it lacks variety.

I think it's more like eating a shit sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm sure there's a decent analogy in there somewhere, but the fumes are making me light-headed.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 13:00 briktal
 
Tumbler wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 12:38:
Anyone else feel like "Gaming" has crossed a line into stupidity with this E3? (I don't mean Kinect/Motion/Wii U) I was still into a lot of what I saw last year but since then the road has seemed pretty rough (3DS, Vita, DRM escalating, DLC crap) and after watching bits and pieces of the MS and EA press conferences I just read highlights of Ubi's and didn't even both with Nintendo's. At this point is feels like the industry (AAA gaming industry and uses EA to present big titles) is turning into a used car salesman. All these games seem all too familiar. It's like no one thinks they have to try anything new and we'll just line up to buy copies of older games with a new coat of polish.

Thank God for Kickstarter and Indies. I'm far more satisfied with spending money in that area than I am with AAA gaming currently.

I think some of that is the nature of console lifecycles.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 12:38 Tumbler
 
Anyone else feel like "Gaming" has crossed a line into stupidity with this E3? (I don't mean Kinect/Motion/Wii U) I was still into a lot of what I saw last year but since then the road has seemed pretty rough (3DS, Vita, DRM escalating, DLC crap) and after watching bits and pieces of the MS and EA press conferences I just read highlights of Ubi's and didn't even both with Nintendo's. At this point is feels like the industry (AAA gaming industry and uses EA to present big titles) is turning into a used car salesman. All these games seem all too familiar. It's like no one thinks they have to try anything new and we'll just line up to buy copies of older games with a new coat of polish.

Thank God for Kickstarter and Indies. I'm far more satisfied with spending money in that area than I am with AAA gaming currently.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 12:26 Cutter
 
They're both excellent editorials. And Asmodai correctly points out that we see the biggest noise from Sony and MS for the console crowds. That's just par for the course. It's big and loud but not representative of the entire industry by a long shot. Anything that relies almost entirely on sex and/or death to sell is generally not very good IMO. The people targeted for those sorts of games aren't the sort of people that hang out on sites like RPS or here. We're a little more sophisticated and a lot smarter than that.

 
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8. Re: Op Ed Jun 6, 2012, 11:47 DeadlyAccurate
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 10:39:
Anyway, as the article itself says you can't have it both ways, you can't say GAMES ARE FREE SPEECH AND SHOULD NEVER CENSORED and then also write an article about how game violence makes you feel twitchy or angry or whatever. A lot of sites seem to play both angles.

Sure you can. I can rant all day long about how offensive I personally find the female armor models in TERA. That doesn't mean I think they should be legally required to change or censor them, and if someone suggested it, I would argue just as long about how wrong that is. Doesn't mean I'd play the game, though.

I didn't see anyone saying these games should be censored or that the devs' right to free speech should be violated. But unless you're the government, asking someone to tone it down isn't censorship; it's consumer opinion.

Seems like a lot of these titles are Ubisoft's. I don't play or follow their titles any more due to their DRM policies, and it makes me curious to know if they're trying to drum up sales with some good ol' fashioned titillation.
 
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