Gaming controversy

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Blorx
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Gaming controversy

Post by Blorx » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:27 pm

Talking to Gray about PC games in Japan in the other thread reminded me about something that's been pretty overdone in the past:

Gaming controversy.

Plenty of games have inspired controversy in the past. A lot of them inspire controversy over violence and others, controversy over their portrayal of women (even so to the point that apparently the subject needs its own Wiki page to cover it all). I'm going to try and give my opinion on it.

First up is the subject of rape. Rape in video games inspires a heavy amount of controversy. To each their own, but in short, it can be a sick, perverted thing, or it can be a masterful expression of the terror behind it. When I think of rape in video games, two games come to mind: Edmund and Rapelay.

Rapelay is a sick, sick game. The entire goal of the game is to harass a mother and her two daughters (one of which is freaking 12 years old!) and eventually get to the point where you can rape them. In public. Yeah, that's all there is to it. It's a rape simulator. It's really no wonder why Amazon banned the game from their marketplace (see the related link for details).

On the other side of the spectrum is Edmund. Despite controversy over having 8-bit NFSW rape, the game really is meant to be a piece of art. It's a sick, sadistic piece of art, but a piece of art nonetheless. The game's own creator (in the earliest mention of the game in a forum post on TIGSource) had said that he wanted to create the game about a rapist after hearing the story of one of his own girlfriends being raped as a young child. The game is meant to capture a different side of it all. Sure, you play the rapist, but it's also trying to show the terror and sadism behind it, not just be the perverted after thought of a psychotic game creator.

Second is violence. Violence has inspired heavy amounts of controversy in the past. Mostly, when I think of games that are overly violent, I think of the Manhunt games.

Manhunt inspired heavy controversy when Rockstar first released it on the masses. The game was violent. There's no other way to put it. You're pretty much just some average joe that runs around killing people for what seems to be no apparent reason. The game featured dozens of executions ranging from strangling people with plastic bags to breaking their knee caps with a baseball bat and subsequently knocking their heads off. Uncensored. The game was so bad, in fact, that Australia banned it and it was accused of being used as an inspiration for murder. When the second game released, it was heavily censored, even though the brutality continued with executions such as driving a pen through someone's eye socket and into their brain.

It's also a pretty well-known fact that Modern Warfare 2 was under heavy fire by more than a few people for its insane amount of violence. Note that there are four separate links in that sentence.

Last, I'm going to cover drugs. When I think of the controversy behind drugs in video games, I think of NARC.

NARC wasn't just controversial because of the drugs (hell, there was GTA long before the controversial version of NARC). It was controversial because of a mix of police drug abuse and its link to police brutality. The most notable quote pertaining to the game, and quite a good description of why it was so controversial, was by Illinois' governor, Rod Blagojevich. He had said this: "These kinds of games teach kids to do the very things that in real life, we put people in jail for. Just as we don't allow kids to buy pornography or alcohol or tobacco, we shouldn't allow them to buy these games." As with Manhunt, NARC was also banned in Australia. However, NARC was banned before release.

So, that's my coverage of gaming controversy. I just wanted to get that out there. I felt obligated after having run into Edmund again.

I have to ask one question though - we've seen controversy behind sex, behind violence, and behind drugs. What kind of controversy would a game placing you as a terrorist bring? I kind of want to find out. Most games involving terrorism are counter-terrorist, so they get by fine. You don't have to just be a mindless killing machine. If you created a game about a Muslim terrorist, it would open up a world of possibilities to explore the thoughts and reasoning behind terrorism from the Middle East. It could truly be a work of art.

Anyways, I just want to hear everyone's thoughts about it. It's a pretty heavy subject, and there's a lot to think about. It's interesting to hear what everyone thinks about it though.

Also notable is that this is downright hilarious if you think about it and stays on subject with video game controversy. This is, as well.

Note: I'd advise checking out all of those links, especially the one to the Wiki page about gaming controversy. They're all good reads, and the Wiki page even has a list of game-related murders.

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Richie Rabbit » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:37 am

Rape is sick especially when done to kids..child pornography is a big problem japan needs to tend to seriously. It kinda bugs me that some people are picking at violence in video games.. i personally love the feeling of ripping the spinal cord outta my opponents navel ( add that move in overgrowth )humans are violent creatures.. besides violence in movies are just as bad if not worse.(i seriously want overgrowth to be vomit inducing violent....seriously) Drugs is not needed in video games or in any form of entertainment... :) .. :? .. :P

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Endoperez » Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:02 am

Richie Rabbit wrote:Rape is sick especially when done to kids..child pornography is a big problem japan needs to tend to seriously.

It kinda bugs me that some people are picking at violence in video games.. i personally love the feeling of ripping the spinal cord outta my opponents navel ( add that move in overgrowth )humans are violent creatures..
That's hypocritical. Humans are sexual creatures just as much as violent creatures. Or rather, that violence is more akin to two males butting heads, seeing who's tougher and then stopping before either gets hurt. The people who can enjoy the feeling of killing other humans are, or at least have been, deviations from the norm. Sexuality should be matter of love and/or reproduction, and again, the people who can enjoy the other stuff are deviations from the norm.

Internet has helped to create subcultures that endorse violence or sexual acts that might be just a different form of violence. I'm not sure which is a bigger problem. The wounds left by physical violence are easier to repair, but it's far, FAR more common... On the IRC, I talked with one guy who honestly thought that the proper response to someone picking a fight with him is to punch him unconscious and then hit him until he can't hurt him anymore.

Sorry, I'm on a pessimistic run here. Thinking of Rome and decadence and arena plays professional gladiators and sick arena plays with prisoners and animals and death and blood and torture; and modern people watching movies about flaying people alive for fun, or imagining it's them in the game ripping the spines from their opponents' navels... decadence and kidnappings and death and blood and torture. :?

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by zoidberg rules » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:28 am

Blorx wrote:What kind of controversy would a game placing you as a terrorist bring? [/i]
modern warfare 2 put you in the shoes of a terrorist, or at least an undercover American CIA operative, and this caused alot of controversy, leading to a disclaimer in the beginning of the game, asking if you want to skip the level.

personally, i agree with you in that a terrorist inspired game could be a work of art, but the game would need to be toned down alot, just to make it an education, rather than a straight out murder simulator.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJJicrUi ... tube_gdatathere is a game of this, which has just entered development, i read about it in the gaming section of the sun newspaper on friday. it has already inspired controversy, just because of what it's based on. the novel (and therefore, the game) will apparently be based on gangs here in Britain

thoughts?

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Blorx » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:24 am

zoidberg rules wrote: modern warfare 2 put you in the shoes of a terrorist, or at least an undercover American CIA operative, and this caused alot of controversy, leading to a disclaimer in the beginning of the game, asking if you want to skip the level.
That's...that's a little different, though, and it was covered with four links in my post. The thing with that is that you're undercover in a fictional Russian terrorist organization killing other Russians to try to start a war between Russia and America. It's all fictional. It caused a lot of controversy, but it wasn't as bad because it wasn't based on realism. The thing I'd be afraid of in creating a game based on you playing a Muslim that starts you out as a child and then you're raised into the violent society that bred the Al Qaeda is that I'd seriously wonder how the government would respond to it, rather than how the people would.
zoidberg rules wrote: personally, i agree with you in that a terrorist inspired game could be a work of art, but the game would need to be toned down alot, just to make it an education, rather than a straight out murder simulator.
Once again, I think it would be interesting to see a game start you out as a child and then be raised into being a terrorist in a cell of radical Muslims. Then, from the entire game on, you could be given choices. Do it for your religion, or for morality? For your country, or for justice? That's kind of how I saw the idea. It would be hugely controversial but it could also breed an amazing story.
zoidberg rules wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJJicrUi ... tube_gdatathere is a game of this, which has just entered development, i read about it in the gaming section of the sun newspaper on friday. it has already inspired controversy, just because of what it's based on. the novel (and therefore, the game) will apparently be based on gangs here in Britain

thoughts?
That actually sounds really interesting. It'd definitely be a touchy subject, but I think it could be pulled off brilliantly.

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Blorx
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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Blorx » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:36 am

Endoperez wrote: That's hypocritical. Humans are sexual creatures just as much as violent creatures. Or rather, that violence is more akin to two males butting heads, seeing who's tougher and then stopping before either gets hurt. The people who can enjoy the feeling of killing other humans are, or at least have been, deviations from the norm. Sexuality should be matter of love and/or reproduction, and again, the people who can enjoy the other stuff are deviations from the norm.
I have to agree. Humans are, in fact, more sexual than violent. Humans are still mammals. Mammals show displays of violence to establish dominance, protect territory, and for the occasional fun. Mammals are sexual because, well, they need to perform sexual acts to survive and breed. Mammals aren't amoebas. They can't reproduce asexually.

This should bring us to the conclusion that, in every day life, a mammal, such as a human, should be much more sexual than violent.
Endoperez wrote: Internet has helped to create subcultures that endorse violence or sexual acts that might be just a different form of violence. I'm not sure which is a bigger problem. The wounds left by physical violence are easier to repair, but it's far, FAR more common... On the IRC, I talked with one guy who honestly thought that the proper response to someone picking a fight with him is to punch him unconscious and then hit him until he can't hurt him anymore.
It's really scary, isn't it? The thing is though, research shows that internet personalities are much more drastic in any sense than personalities in real life. People often get in trouble because they'll say things online they'd never say in real life.
Endoperez wrote: Sorry, I'm on a pessimistic run here. Thinking of Rome and decadence and arena plays professional gladiators and sick arena plays with prisoners and animals and death and blood and torture; and modern people watching movies about flaying people alive for fun, or imagining it's them in the game ripping the spines from their opponents' navels... decadence and kidnappings and death and blood and torture. :?
That's...a bit different. It was done to prisoners and animals long before a generalized sense of morals was brought about. They didn't realize that we're just one of those mammals with a different, broader set of capabilities. They also didn't realize that prisoners weren't just toys to be played with like that. Not to mention all the people wrongfully imprisoned back then.

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Assaultman67 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:52 pm

Blorx wrote:... The thing I'd be afraid of in creating a game based on you playing a Muslim that starts you out as a child and then you're raised into the violent society that bred the Al Qaeda is that I'd seriously wonder how the government would respond to it, rather than how the people would...
You don't think that would breed more sympathy for the children raised in this society rather than the sympathy for the cause? Because I imagine they use your basic desensitization and misinformation to get people to join their cause ...

In fact ... our military does the same thing ... just not to the pliable minds of children :P ...

During past wars, they realized american soldiers had a habit of purposefully missing people ... especially in the case of the civil war in which 70% of all the shots taken were fired over the head of enemy troops ... (I remember them talking about digging up a weapon that had 8 loads of bullets stacked in it ... the person who had the weapon was faking every shot he took and then would reload the weapon with the next shot on top of the old one ...)

So to prevent this they made drills specifically designed to desensitize people from thinking too much about what they are doing and follow orders ...

And as for misinformation, do you think they go into specifics about who's children will be orphaned or how many possible civilians may be in the area when their mission is briefed to pilots bombing buildings? Hell no, they paint "terrorist" on everyone in the building and have them blow it up

(wow i went on a total tangent there)

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Blorx » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:00 pm

Assaultman67 wrote: So to prevent this they made drills specifically designed to desensitize people from thinking too much about what they are doing and follow orders ...

And as for misinformation, do you think they go into specifics about who's children will be orphaned or how many possible civilians may be in the area when their mission is briefed to pilots bombing buildings? Hell no, they paint "terrorist" on everyone in the building and have them blow it up
Good point. It's really odd to think about how close to everyone else we really are, sometimes.

It's also interesting to think that people are mad because people in other countries have created shooters that place their race as the hero and the Americans as targets (can't find the article link talking about the one atm). Role reversal much, but it's all within good reason. We have games killing them, why can't they have games killing us? Are we really so omnipotent that we can't even allow foreign media to do that?

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Endoperez » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:18 am

Blorx wrote:
Endoperez wrote: Sorry, I'm on a pessimistic run here. Thinking of Rome and decadence and arena plays professional gladiators and sick arena plays with prisoners and animals and death and blood and torture; and modern people watching movies about flaying people alive for fun, or imagining it's them in the game ripping the spines from their opponents' navels... decadence and kidnappings and death and blood and torture. :?
That's...a bit different. It was done to prisoners and animals long before a generalized sense of morals was brought about. They didn't realize that we're just one of those mammals with a different, broader set of capabilities. They also didn't realize that prisoners weren't just toys to be played with like that. Not to mention all the people wrongfully imprisoned back then.
Are you defending the bloody plays in Rome (not the professional fights between professional gladiators, but the bloody ones) with "they didn't know better, they couldn't have known better"? I'm not sure, because that'd be pretty bad considering I was saying modern people are the same. If you are saying that Romans didn't know better but modern people do, then why would modern people still watch the same things?

Romans did know better. Greece philosophers talked about moral and ethics before Rome. Romans knew these philosophers and discussed their works. Jesus talked about moral and ethics. Romans knew about him and killed his followers. So at least some of them knew, but did horrible things any way. I don't know the history or even the exact details of when the most hideous killings or acts were done, but I remember hearing that it got worse for a few centuries after 0 AD.

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by h2ostra » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:45 am

Endoperez wrote: Romans did know better. Greece philosophers talked about moral and ethics before Rome. Romans knew these philosophers and discussed their works. Jesus talked about moral and ethics. Romans knew about him and killed his followers. So at least some of them knew, but did horrible things any way. I don't know the history or even the exact details of when the most hideous killings or acts were done, but I remember hearing that it got worse for a few centuries after 0 AD.
This is true. Much of our modern law systems are based on what the Greeks were doing thousands of years ago. Even chimpanzees follow moral codes that don't differ too much from our own. I don't think the Romans can just be excused by saying "they didn't know it was bad".

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Assaultman67 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:53 pm

I think they did what every other person does when doing a bad action ... they justify the decision with some (often warped) logic ...

In general, people won't do bad things intentionally without a purpose (whether it be petty or complex) ...

The only exceptions I can think of are people who have brain damage or some other neurological disfunctionality ...

Morality really is deeply ingrained ...

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by nerodx » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:28 pm

Bloodshed for pointless reasons is just as present in our society as it has been forever. The only difference is that now we can blame it on video games and television instead of the ACTUAL reasons. Maybe that's untrue but I highly doubt there was ever a killing spree incited by viewing a play by Shakespeare during his time, though it would certainly be interesting if there was...

As for sex... meh, rape is bad of course but I have a feeling that the games involving them will be more frequent.

Drugs in games? I really couldn't care less about. I haven't even seen a game show drugs accurately, towards either end of the spectrum. Usually the screen just gets all wobbly or smokey. I doubt that will convince kids that drugs are great.

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Re: Gaming controversy

Post by Endoperez » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:49 am

Assaultman67 wrote:In general, people won't do bad things intentionally without a purpose (whether it be petty or complex) ...

The only exceptions I can think of are people who have brain damage or some other neurological disfunctionality ...

Morality really is deeply ingrained ...
"I was pissed off" is a reason. "I felt like it" is also a reason, "I was drunk" and "I never liked him" and "she shouted at me" and "he scratched my car" are all "reasons". For morality to be deeply ingrained, people shouldn't be doing bad things for petty purposes. A guy almost assaulted me when I asked if he was going to help cleaning up the kitchen area.

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