#1 By: Rob Beschizza, February 10th, 2014 09:40
#2 By: Enkidu, February 10th, 2014 09:45
#3 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, February 10th, 2014 09:56
I am fuzzyfungus' complete lack of surprise...
Incidentally, that reminds me of the (honestly, a trifle disturbing, I have to admit) experience I had when I started playing Skyrim. It's a hack-n'-slash-n'-fireball action RPG, so there's a certain amount of blood and big axes and people grunting just like a more Nordic version of the Doom Guy when they get hit; but suddenly I realized what had been nagging at me:
Skyrim is, per the story, in the midst of a bloody civil war, with strong ethnic(human vs. aldmeri, human vs. dunmer, nord vs. reachmen) and religious (Talos, divinity status of) dimensions; but there are minimal atrocities and war crimes, almost no violence against civilians by regular or irregular military forces, virtually no use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, almost no collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, scorched-earth attacks on crops and other food supplies, and so on.
I'd apparently spent so little time playing violent video games, and so much reading the news, that my perception of what qualified as a 'real' civil war had been warped beyond what Bethesda was willing to publish...
#4 By: Bozobub, February 10th, 2014 09:57
More like, "Warped beyond what would be fun to play for most people in a game."
#5 By: Jason Andresen, February 10th, 2014 09:59
Ethnic cleansing and mass rape tend to turn people off from an entertainment. The lack of such atrocious elements helped it sell a gajillion copies instead of getting mired in controversy.
#6 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, February 10th, 2014 10:05
Oh, I know exactly why they did it, and don't disagree (I still think that the 'civil war' quest arc is by far the weakest; but that's not a major issue). I just think of it whenever somebody is bloviating about the horrifying ultraviolence that videogames are using to warp our children into trained killers... Skyrim is reasonably violent, by video game standards, except for the omission of limb sever mechanics that Fallout 3 and NV had, a glaring one given the number of axes in the game; but it was so tame compared to BBC news, or any other not-total-tabloid as to seem downright unreal.
I hardly think that 'Authentic Ethniclashistan: Hacked to Death' is where video games should be going; but I wish more people who whine about them would shut up for a second and acknowledge that the nightly news is already there and reveling in it.
#7 By: Jardine, February 10th, 2014 10:14
I'll just leave this here.
#8 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, February 10th, 2014 10:17
So maybe I should give 'Authentic Ethniclashistan' a chance, for the sake of world peace?
#9 By: Jason Andresen, February 10th, 2014 10:22
That's cute, but correlation is not causation.
That said, it does put a big damper on the whole "Doom raised a generation of murderers!" though, so I approve.
#10 By: Melted_Crayons, February 10th, 2014 10:26
Gun Lobby + politics = "nothing seems to be happening"
#11 By: Jardine, February 10th, 2014 10:27
Correlation is not causation, but if there is causation, the correlation seems to indicate that moar violent vidya games = less murderdeathkilling.
#12 By: gwwar, February 10th, 2014 10:33
Well, there are also elves and dwarves and daedric princes and dragons. You can shoot fire from your hands, or turn invisible and steal everyone's spoons. Did you really want war crimes and other atrocities shoved into your fantasy game?
Here, try this one instead:
#13 By: euansmith, February 10th, 2014 10:40
Postal 2 was a crime against civilization. That's civilization as in the sum of human endeavour, rather than Sid Meier's strategy game.
#14 By: Acer Platanoides , February 10th, 2014 10:48
If kids are going to keep killing kids, we're just going to have to ban childhood. Clearly.
#15 By: Mat Linnett, February 10th, 2014 10:49
I highly recommend this recommendation.
Spec Ops isn't a happy game. It's not something you'll eagerly jump back into after finishing it once.
But man, will it make you think.
While the gameplay itself is merely that of a competent third-person shooter, the narrative is superb.
It's very much from the "Heart of Darkness / Apocalypse Now" school of story-telling, and acts as a microscope over both war and the medium it's using to convey its message.
When I finished it, I had to get outside and just spend some time in the park thinking about it and what it meant for me.
#16 By: rocketpj, February 10th, 2014 11:08
Correlation is definitely not causation. However, when the two trends are going in opposite directions, and the statistical evidence is widely available, it does make the handwringing and moralizing over the latest moral panic (that X generation didn't do when young so therefore must be corrosive) somewhat more obviously blatant pandering bullshit.
I'm a parent of young boys, and I routinely get into disagreements with other parents about video games, screens in general, the effect of said technologies on our respective kids etc. Even in the current generation of parents we see a lot of people who get the vapours at the violence in a game as innocuous as Minecraft.
#17 By: Jason Andresen, February 10th, 2014 11:10
You'll be singing a different tune in 15 years when those kids are waving swords vaguely in the direction of other people.
#18 By: Shuck, February 10th, 2014 11:51
I can't get over the absurdity of spending $10 million to figure out if video games cause gun violence. Of course they're not going to spend any money to find out if guns contribute to gun violence, thanks to the NRA.
#19 By: Anthony Vicari, February 10th, 2014 11:54
As a fencer and martial artist, I would find your comment offensive if it weren't amusingly sarcastic.
Also, note the complete lack of a distinction between genres. There are violent games which make meaningful distinctions based on the morality of killing in different circumstances, and other violent games that just don't care.
#20 By: Jason Andresen, February 10th, 2014 11:58
Just to ease your sensibilities, that was a Minecraft joke. "Attacking" in Minecraft involves moving your sword rigidly up and down while pointed roughly in the direction of an enemy until one of you falls over. It's about as close to fencing as Pong is to Tennis.
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