The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Luke
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by Luke Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:40 pm

AppleQueso wrote:Incidentally this thread prompted me to finally get around to moving my MK2 arcade cab into my game room. I like where it's at now, though i'm starting to run low on space!


And I started playing MKII on the Gameboy. The graphics are surprisingly fantastic.
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by AppleQueso Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:47 pm

Luke wrote:
AppleQueso wrote:Incidentally this thread prompted me to finally get around to moving my MK2 arcade cab into my game room. I like where it's at now, though i'm starting to run low on space!


And I started playing MKII on the Gameboy. The graphics are surprisingly fantastic.


I think I only played the GB version once, and my main reaction was that it was way better than the GB version of the first one.
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by brunoafh Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:50 pm

AppleQueso wrote:I think I only played the GB version once, and my main reaction was that it was way better than the GB version of the first one.

The GB version of the first one is pretty much unplayable. It was still entertaining in a humorous kind of way though.
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by J T Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:52 pm

o.pwuaioc wrote:
J T wrote:Of course taking pleasure in a "Fatality" is disgusting, violent, and sadistic.

So all Romans were disgusting, violent, and sadistic? Clearly this is a subjective and modern-centric stance.


You have a strange way of arguing. I said nothing about Rome, though I did talk about Mortal Kombat. And video games are kind of a modern thing, so certainly this is a modern-centric stance and I never made claims about some universal truth across the ages. And to call an opinion subjective is like calling an apple "appley".

Anyway, I assume you're trying to make some stretch to talking about Romans feeding Christians to the lions for entertainment, or something like that, to which I would say that, yes, that is disgusting, violent, and sadistic. Do you have other terms to describe it? People get so defensive whenever you say something appeals to our darker sensibilities because they don't want to own their dark sides. Even something as seemingly whitebread as America's Funniest Home Videos is full of similarly sadistic pleasures of watching people get kicked in the balls. I would argue that AMF stuff is even worse because someone was harmed in the making of those movies, and nobody was hurt in a videogame. While I'm saying that videogame violence is all of those nasty words, I'm not arguing to ban violent games or suggesting anyone is a bad person for playing them and having a good time. I just think we should be able to call it what it is: violence, sadism, gruesome. I know there are negative connotations to those words, but that doesn't mean we should doggedly pretend they are not there.

From my perspective, I can freely say that laughing at a Mortal Kombat fatality is sadistic (or technically schadenfreude, but there's no appropriate English word for a non-sexualized pleasure in other people's pain), yet still happily enjoy Mortal Kombat and not feel bad about it because I know I'm not going to hurt anyone and I'm a very pro-social individual in real life. The whole problem with sadism is not that we have the capacity to experience pleasure in others' pain- you can't get around the fact. Where sadism becomes something shameful is when your sadistic pleasures negatively affects other people; when you willingly harm someone else for your own amusement. But it doesn't affect others in a videogame. You're free to laugh at death, and hack and slash with glee in a gaming context because nobody's hurt. Some may feel the pangs of their conscience when playing a violent game, but I don't. I always feel just fine because the real measure is whether I have hurt someone else or myself, and I have not.
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by MrPopo Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:48 pm

I think the problem you're running into is how loaded the appropriate words are, beyond their dictionary meaning.
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by o.pwuaioc Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:48 am

J T wrote:You have a strange way of arguing. I said nothing about Rome, though I did talk about Mortal Kombat. And video games are kind of a modern thing, so certainly this is a modern-centric stance and I never made claims about some universal truth across the ages. And to call an opinion subjective is like calling an apple "appley".

:lol:

Anyway, I assume you're trying to make some stretch to talking about Romans feeding Christians to the lions for entertainment, or something like that, to which I would say that, yes, that is disgusting, violent, and sadistic. Do you have other terms to describe it?

Entertaining, just, and pious, although I suppose by the time the Christians were being fed to lions (centuries after arena spectacles were instituted), perhaps it had degraded to pure sadistic violence, which does seem disgusting. But that

People get so defensive whenever you say something appeals to our darker sensibilities because they don't want to own their dark sides.

The problem is in representation. You call it "dark side", but that's a very modern way of looking at it. Violence is a universal, and is actually crucial to our survival. Whenever a criminal kills, we technically commit violence against that person in order to apprehend them, and its violence which restrains that person while in jail. Violence is necessary, and so is what you call our "dark side", but I wouldn't call it dark it all. In fact, it's quite healthy to get out emotions. You call it disgusting and sadistic, but how is it sadistic? Sadism rests on the premise of the person getting gratification from harming others. There is something at play in seeing others get harmed. The world is so depressing! Right now, in Syria a brutal regime is obliterating their people; a universally despised people millions of whose members were murdered by a deranged populist is now in the process of fighting a never-ending war with neighbors; anti-science and (especially) bigotry is rampant not just in America but in nearly every country in the whole world. If we couldn't laugh at this, we'd be overwhelmed and our bodies would shut down. There's a reason that slipping on a banana peel was funny decades before violent video games. There's a reason that the British Empire invaded more countries than any other nation in or empire ever. There's a reason Genghis Khan slaughtered everyone in every city which resisted Mongol rule. There's a reason that the Romans were particularly fond of gladiatorial combat. There's a reason we've been fighting wars since the dawn of time. We're a violent people, and we laugh at it because empathy would kill us all. But it has nothing to do with American culture of violence, or any culture of violence. It has to do with the human need for survival.

I just think we should be able to call it what it is: violence, sadism, gruesome. I know there are negative connotations to those words, but that doesn't mean we should doggedly pretend they are not there.

From my perspective, I can freely say that laughing at a Mortal Kombat fatality is sadistic (or technically schadenfreude, but there's no appropriate English word for a non-sexualized pleasure in other people's pain), yet still happily enjoy Mortal Kombat and not feel bad about it because I know I'm not going to hurt anyone and I'm a very pro-social individual in real life. The whole problem with sadism is not that we have the capacity to experience pleasure in others' pain- you can't get around the fact. Where sadism becomes something shameful is when your sadistic pleasures negatively affects other people; when you willingly harm someone else for your own amusement. But it doesn't affect others in a videogame. You're free to laugh at death, and hack and slash with glee in a gaming context because nobody's hurt. Some may feel the pangs of their conscience when playing a violent game, but I don't. I always feel just fine because the real measure is whether I have hurt someone else or myself, and I have not.

I don't think it applies. When my friend and I first played MK9, we got all starry eyed at the gruesome deaths whether we were on the giving end or the receiving end. Some people think it's so cool when they receive a particular gruesome (in the neutral sense) wound. It's not a matter of sexual gratification or even Schadenfreude. It's being amazed at the extraordinary, at the marvelous. When Herodotus wrote his Histories, he was only following human instinct in highlighting thōma "wonders", because we are a curious people easily fascinating by a shake up in the mundane. That's what's going on with Mortal Kombat. It's fun to watch not because people are getting hurt, but because it's so different from what we are used to.
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by DinnerX Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:08 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Sadism rests on the premise of the person getting gratification from harming others.
On a related note, I have hard time seeing people playing violent games as sadistic. Most people are only able to enjoy the violence because they know no one is harmed. :?
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by J T Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:53 am

I wouldn't enjoy the violence if anyone was actually harmed, but you still have to wonder, why play games about imaginary violence instead of any number of other topics?
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by AppleQueso Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:55 am

J T wrote:I wouldn't enjoy the violence if anyone was actually harmed, but you still have to wonder, why play games about imaginary violence instead of any number of other topics?


Because if all you played were racing, puzzle, and sports games things would get boring?
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Re: Sadistic and realistic gore/violence in contemporary gam

by Menegrothx Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:45 am

You cant make a thread about sadistic video games with out mentioning Postal 2.
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