The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Violence in Games

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:35 pm

Exhuminator wrote:It's just personally I would love to see those millions of dollars spent on ... something like a highly polished mountain climbing adventure.


It certainly seems like Death Stranding might be that game, if what we saw at E3 was any indication of that. :lol:

Erik_Twice wrote:This is actually one of the reasons why the newer Wolfestein games make me so uneasy: The protagonists seem to reflect fascistic values better than the game's Nazis. The Nazis in Wolfestein don't actually resemble Nazis. They are unrealistic, dehumanized caricatures mixed with exploitation tropes (Sexy nazi women, ocultism) and racism. Blazkowicz, on the other hand, is the kind of man fascism likes. He beats fascim, not by believing in democracy, in fairness or justice but by being better at violence than his opponents. He is very much an ubermensch and the political marketing (Punch a nazi) only makes the game look more in line with fascist thinking than, say, democratic values. Was this the intended message? Of course not, but it's the impression it gives me in practice.


In some defense of Wolfenstein, fascism isn't exactly directly equivalent to totalitarianism. While can fascism certainly thrive under totalitarianism, it isn't actually required for a fascist ideology. The fear and persecution of difference, undying respect for tradition, and a rejection of intellectualism are effectively the biggest and most significant factors in fascist ideology (at least as defined by Emberto Eco's essay "Ur-Fascism" on what generally fascism is and isn't). Under Eco's definition, it's entirely possible to have a democratic fascist state where those not of the "primary" group simply have no say due to their disenfranchisement from national politics. The antithesis of fascism being more-so diversity and unprejudiced inclusiveness rather than just democracy.

If you take the pat of letting the younger guy live, Wolfenstein: The New Order does actually comment on how America in the early 20th century was effectively a fascist state. An African American member of the resistance confronts Blazkowicz with how before the war "you WERE the Nazis," to which Blazkowicz takes great offense, as even a "hero" like him is brainwashed into believing the myth of American supremacy and moral purity so prevalent during the period during and before the second world war (and still here today, to a certain extent). That's not to say that the new Wolfenstein games are some perfect commentary on how fascist American culture may/may not be, but that along with how often Blazkowicz is complimented on his fine "Aryan" features while he's in disguise among the Nazis, to me, shows that the developers are at least fairly aware of the irony of an Ubermensch-style blonde white guy being the face of the anti-Nazi resistance
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MrPopo
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Re: Violence in Games

by MrPopo Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:12 am

Exhuminator wrote: SCUBA diving RPG.

How about a game where you play as a shark with experience and a skill tree who eats SCUBA divers?
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isiolia
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Re: Violence in Games

by isiolia Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:27 am

Exhuminator wrote:...is a developed character, shown to be a loveable goofball, with a good heart, who wants to help his friends. He's given a backstory (deep-sea salvage expert raised by nuns) and a job (treasure hunting) that don't really correlate with being a mass murdering marauder. Meanwhile Metal Slug's protagonists are soldiers, Contra's protagonists are guerrilla warfare experts, and Shinobi's Joe Mushashi is a trained ninja of the Oboro clan. Those protagonists' actions fall more in line with their origins. Meanwhile Nathan's behavior seems disingenuous to his personality and motive, making murdering hundreds of thugs seem surreal.


While I agree with this in general, I think a lot of it goes back to that they're video games. A novel or movie version of Nathan Drake would have a much lower kill count, even if it'd still make him count as a mass murderer - Indiana Jones's relatively low numbers could still qualify for that label.
That version of him, however, probably wouldn't be constantly defending himself against a small army of well equipped mercenaries. Maybe at the climax of the story, but probably with some indirect way that they're dealt with or avoided. As a video game, however, relying on that interaction for a lot of the gameplay means holding to consistent rules for success, and a great amount of repetition.
Again, it doesn't gel with the other aspects of the character or story in Uncharted - but, just because it's one of the well-known and discussed examples of it, which the creators have acknowledged (to the point that there's a Ludonarrative Dissonance trophy in 4 if you kill a lot of enemies) doesn't really make it a special case. For some genres, the player character basically KOs or kills everything that gets in their way, and it's hard to avoid implementing that way without in turn making it a different kind of game.

That said, Uncharted as a series already includes non-conflict sequences, and could easily be changed into a non-violent series (which, to be very general about it, is the turn that Nathan's story arc ends up taking). To me, that's something that's less of a "back to basics" thing, and more trying to evolve how games can be engaging.


Also, while not really AAA, maybe Subnautica is kind of along the lines of some of the stuff you want? I mean, sims and other stuff are around in some form, just maybe not exactly that (like, open world driving games instead of the more niche flight sims). Might also see more of what you're talking about in VR, such as Crytek's The Climb.
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Re: Violence in Games

by Exhuminator Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:18 am

MrPopo wrote:How about a game where you play as a shark with experience and a skill tree who eats SCUBA divers?


There's something kind of like that on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/7083 ... Simulator/

isiolia wrote:A novel or movie version of Nathan Drake would have a much lower kill count, even if it'd still make him count as a mass murderer


I understand the constant shooting thugs stuff is meant to be engagement fodder; activity that eats time and provides interactivity because otherwise Uncharted games would take 1/3rd as long to finish. However of the two Uncharted games I've beaten, the shooting parts where the least fun for me. I much preferred the platforming and puzzle solving. I'd gladly play an Uncharted where exploration, platforming, and puzzle solving make up 95% of the gameplay. There could still be shooting at bad guys, but if it happened far less often, it'd have greater impact and fit the narrative more convincingly. However, putting together a lot more platforming and puzzle solving sequences is a much more work, versus stringing together shootout after shootout after shootout. Average Joe gamer doesn't mind the shooty shoot stuff ad nauseum anyway, so why should Naughty Dog bother? I guess they shouldn't, from their perspective.

isiolia wrote:Also, while not really AAA, maybe Subnautica is kind of along the lines of some of the stuff you want?

My point wasn't that the sort of games I was describing don't exist. They exist in the lower budget arena. But to garner the attention of the greater gaming masses, AAA budgets are required, as well as expensive marketing. That sort of presentation / representation could serve the evolution of this medium on a more impactful scale. Or maybe not? Maybe most gamers really do just want to kill virtual people via as pretty pixels as possible? I don't know if that's what they ultimately want, or if they just don't know any better, due to lack of exposure to more diverse alternatives.
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Re: Violence in Games

by noiseredux Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:36 am

Exum, have you played the recent Tomb Raiders? I haven't played any of the Uncharted games so I'm wondering how you think the time ratio of puzzles/exploring to shooting is in those games.
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Re: Violence in Games

by Exhuminator Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:02 am

noiseredux wrote:Exum, have you played the recent Tomb Raiders? I haven't played any of the Uncharted games so I'm wondering how you think the time ratio of puzzles/exploring to shooting is in those games.

The most recent Tomb Raider I beat was the 2013 one. Its ratio of shoot people VS puzzle solving was more balanced, yes. Crystal Dynamics fascination with showing specific glorified cutscenes for Lara's deaths was a little strange.
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Re: Violence in Games

by Hyp81 Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:16 pm

I agree with the OP-- in modern games the realism of what you are viewing takes it to another level. Street Fighter back in the day?? Very cartoon like, very much like a comic book. I feel the same way with violence in a fantasy movie versus a movie set in "real life," or modern times. Something about it being fantasy creates a gap for me that prevents it from being overwhelming.

I will also say that, as I have aged, I have found that video games, movies and other media with wanton, reckless violence have become a lot less entertaining to me. Perhaps because we are surrounded and inundated by stories of wanton, reckless violence towards real people in the media... it's just not fun or amusing to me. I find myself gravitating more towards puzzle games, simple platformers and RPG's. Those are relaxing and when I play video games I very much want to relax.
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Re: Violence in Games

by theclaw Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:08 pm

If you ask me, most violent games look completely and obviously fake. Grow up or go home as the saying goes.
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Re: Violence in Games

by Arenegeth Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:16 am

As a kid of the 90's I used to love violence and gore in games, and even these days, I can appreciate a lot of those over the top gory games as the period pieces that they are.

As a discerning adult however, I'm pretty much desensitized to it all. It is not a selling point or a detraction of any kind, though if a game is particularly pushing the boundaries, I may take an extra look at it because of that (like Agony) but unless I find the gameplay compelling, I'll probably still ignore it and not play it (like Agony).

Of course the biggest issue is, the neo-puritanical double standard between sexual themes and (sometimes extreme) violence in both movies and games, but I guess that's a discussion for another topic.
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Re: Violence in Games

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:29 am

I love violence. I play video games as an escape from reality, so I love to do shit in video games that I would never do (or even want to do) in real life. YAY GORE AND GENOCIDE
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