Okay so, I want to touch a little on some gaming news that I saw floating around twitter. Don’t watch the above video if violence, gore, or psychopathic behavior upsets you.
This game, Hatred, coming out in 2015 some time, seems to be about some psychopath with the intent of killing as many people as possible before he’s stopped.
Okay… So that’s probably something that doesn’t sound too uncommon in gaming, right? I mean… I’ve enjoyed plenty of violent videogames. Virtual gore and violence doesn’t upset me, and neither does the idea of killing innocent, unarmed, and/or non dangerous characters in videogames. The Grand Theft Auto series is pretty violent, but I’ve enjoyed playing pretty much all of them and going on killing sprees in them. Postal 2 is one of my favourite games, and is even more violent - I mean, I’ve gone on killing sprees in that game in which my sole aim was to see how many people I could pee on to make them throw up and then decapitate them with a shovel while they’re still throwing up. Carmageddon is a series of racing games that I’ve enjoyed a lot, in which you can win the race by either winning it fair and square, winning it unfair and unsquare by killing your competitors, or winning it for some reason by killing all the pedestrians that are dotted around the map. So killing innocent people is far from uncommon in gaming.
Fine. But this game is on a whole different level. The character you play in this game is extremely worrying (and while I’m having a jab, poorly acted). He states that he hates the world, and the human worms feasting on its carcass. His intention is to go out there and kill as many people as possible, to satisfy himself on his “genocide crusade” before he gets killed himself (or ends his own life, the trailer doesn’t cover this, but it’s probably the former). What’s worrying about this is that there is seemingly no other aim to the game (I assume this because, well, a good trailer should cover at least a basic plot), and it’s just done so… seriously. The combination of those two things alone makes me shudder. It falls in a horrible uncanny valley that is way too close to violence in real life. All the other games listed above have some other sort of story, and death of the innocent is not the aim of the game, and is even sometimes executed in a comical way. Hatred just seems to hit far too close to real life events such as school shootings, terrorist attacks, etc., and just… glorifies them.
I’m not the sort of person who thinks too much of the link between violent media and real life violence. Let’s compare two very different reactions to videogame violence:
- *kills an unarmed pedestrian in a videogame* “Man, look at that head bounce! Let’s see if I can get that dog to play fetch with it”
- *kills an unarmed pedestrian in a videogame* “You know what, it really could be that easy”
What we’ve got here is, first, the reaction of someone like myself, who has no intention of ever harming the innocent (I can’t even step on an insect by accident without feeling awful and sitting down in silence with it for a minute), compared to the reaction of someone who clearly has a problem to start with and should seek help, regardless of videogames they play.
"Well, doesn’t that mean that this game is no different? Going by what you’ve just said, violent people will be violent, games or not, right?"
Well, you see, the difference here is that in this game you are literally playing as a person like example number two above. There’s no humour to appeal to those looking for humour. There’s no other path to take to appeal to those looking for story options. This game just doesn’t have any other appeal than acting out being a psychopath… It essentially seems to be a murder simulator.
Think about this for a second- if someone with violent thoughts and no care for other beings gets hold of this game, they’re going to relateto the main character. It’s only going to have them agreeing with the main characters opinions and actions, and whereas other violent games can be seen as an outlet, this seems way too close to encouragement and glorification to me, and I don’t feel comfortable with it.
Maybe it is a fun and genuinely challenging game to play. Maybe the mechanics are good. Maybe progression through the game is satisfying. It’s just a shame that it has to be done in such ill taste.
If anyone thinks to applaud the developers for being edgy, I’ve also heard a loose rumour that some of the developers are linked with Neo-Nazis. So there’s some food for thought, but don’t quote me on that.
Anyway yeah I thought I’d share my opinion on this, since I haven’t felt uncomfortable about a videogame since Manhunt.
I agree with that, game is way too violent, more than needed.
May be worse than Postal, in some senses.