1
   

All of the violence with none of the gore!

 
 
Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 10:09 am
An article in today's paper discusses the new Left Behind Video game. A couple of the statements baffled me:

(The article is not online so typing errors are mine)

Quote:
To win, the Christian side must recruit converts, set up bases and train combat units. And, as in other real-time strategy games, players use violence - including modern military weapons - to vanquish their enemies.


Quote:
"There is no blood or gore," Lyndon said in an online statement. "The game is designed to be a classic battle between good and evil, but it does not gratuitously depict violence or death."


I like to play video games but I'm not at all into violent games and I think the "Left Behind" folks have a huge market and every right to tap into it with a video game.

But "use violence - including modern military weapons" and "no blood or gore" seems like a strange combination.

I also wonder about "gratuitously". As opposed to..... what?

I guess to me that violence might not be so attractive to some people if they had to witness the carnage. Sanitized violence seems much more dangerous.

What do you think?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,598 • Replies: 17
No top replies

 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 10:11 am
Yes, I agree.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 10:15 am
Sounds like Civilization or maybe Warcraft.

Maybe this kind of game is why people don't seem to see the human cost of the tragedies happening in Iraq....
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 10:17 am
Riiiiiiight.

So, like, when you're killing for Jesus, it's not all messy and icky. Just nice, clean, abstract violence, like watching smart bomb videos on CNN back in 90-91. Great.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 11:16 am
Smart bombs -- that's it, exactly.

Like I said, I don't really play violent video games so I can't speak with any authority on how violence is depicted but I am curious about other's opinions.

Does it make any difference if you're killing bad guys? Aliens? Monsters?

Does it matter if it is cartoonish or realistic?

Do you think first person shooter games have any effect on how one feels about violence or learns about violence?
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Oct, 2006 07:33 pm
I play all kinds of video games, they could have an effect on how one feels or learns about violence but that's as far as you could go, could. I've played shooter games for years, I have vivid memories of watching the film 'Predator' as a kid and as those who've watched it will know, that's a pretty nasty looking film in places, some of my earliest memories of computer games were the likes of Wolfenstein and Doom (both 1st person shooters involving nazi's and monsters)...yet I classify myself as an extremely non violent person.

The questions of who you're killing and the realism involved in the action could both be applied to one game in particular, Grand Theft Auto or GTA. I've played nearly all of those games as well and now the issue starts to become weird, it's easy enough to grab a bat in those games and beat an innocent bystander to death, the cops arrive of course but then with a simple click of a button you can mow them down with an uzi and proceed to use a rocket launcher to brush aside the army etc etc.

The look of GTA is, to my eyes, one of a cartoonish feel. There are certain issues regarding graphic detail, level size (freedom to explore) and performance issues (system speed etc) in games that determine how they're all designed and presented but I don't know how this affects the action, re-action and motivation for playing GTA in the 1st place. I guess the cartoonish feel takes the edge off what you're doing, in that it becomes easier and more natural to laugh a lot while playing as opposed to a more intense shooter game. What am I laughing at though? I think it's the absurdity of it all.

For me personally I think it's all about having a perspective to enable you to place video games into context. I don't think playing violent video games taught me anything about violence per se but rather, even if only on a sub-conscious level, acted as a re-enforcer of the boundaries between reality and fantasy. My experience through playing violent video games is that I'm not really in the right mind set to actively "learn" anything, even if the game was geared towards more of a learning experience. Though I guess everyone is different. I'm not sure when and how I really learnt about violence except that I've always felt real displeasure at witnessing any kind of unhappiness in people, with violence, clearly at the extreme end of that spectrum.

It seems there needs to be a context with a kick or a pull that makes you want to play any game so in GTA the freedom and huge areas to explore is an example, of first person shooters, world war II games appeal to me because of that era in history, it's fascinating and absorbing on so many levels. If an action within a game makes sense within the context of the setting then you do it, but it's within the context of the game, which is why I think people make too big a deal about violence in games as if committing violence in a game is an indicator that person wants to commit violence, in real life. Basically, if there is to be a good discussion about violence in games I feel it should be applied much more broadly than just to gory games but to any kind of battling at all.

What I wonder about, is whether this need for an appealing context is really just a crude layer of thought that masks a simple desire to cause havoc in a fantasy setting. It does seem to me though, with regards to this 'Left Behind' game, that in their motivation to create a "battle" game with no gore/violence that they're in fact missing the point any worthwhile discussion about violence in games would centre on, which would be more to do with motivations for battling at all as opposed to the level of realism involved. Phew, sorry went on a bit there (I could keep going... Laughing ), just nice to see a topic in the Video games forum that doesn't have 'Millsberry' in the title though. :wink:
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Oct, 2006 09:49 am
Please do go on, Asher. Your reply is very interesting -- thank you.

This is particularly interesting:

Quote:
I don't think playing violent video games taught me anything about violence per se but rather, even if only on a sub-conscious level, acted as a re-enforcer of the boundaries between reality and fantasy.


Once upon a time I worked in advertising. The goal of my job was to influence people's behavior based on what "I" showed to them. Buy our beer/car/clothes/whatever and the fantasy may become your reality.

I'm not sure how movies and games fit into the scheme of influencing behavior, or if they even try to.

I would imagine in the Left Behind game that they're hoping that the player will take the message of converting people to Christianity out into the world making it part of the real life.

My brother (who is in the Army) says that the new online (?) Army game is a pretty blatent attempt to get people to enlist.

Product placement in movies and television shows (and games?) has become so common that they are clearly trying to influence behavior.

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to get at here but you've hit on something that is really making me think. I'm going to ponder your reply a bit more to see if I can dredge the idea out of my head.

In the meantime, please feel free to expand on your comments.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Oct, 2006 10:11 am
Hi Boomer! I saw your new subject and thought it would be a good way to become more active on a2k again, even though I can't add anything on the subject of violent games.

Asher's description of his experience playing 'shooting' games is the best I've read. This statement fascinated me:

Quote:
It does seem to me though, with regards to this 'Left Behind' game, that in their motivation to create a "battle" game with no gore/violence that they're in fact missing the point any worthwhile discussion about violence in games would centre on, which would be more to do with motivations for battling at all as opposed to the level of realism involved.


Perhaps there is purposely no violence so that they don't have to explore their motivations in causing death and pain and gore. Onward Christian Soldiers--in great costumes, on beautiful horses with a motivating soundtrack in the background.

It's just good, clean fun; no real thinking is needed.
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Oct, 2006 05:33 pm
Boomerang, well in terms of influencing behaviour you'd think the simplest and most specific examples or at least the most applicable to the player would be the best. The army game example ('America's Army'?) makes a lot of sense to me since making that step between playing the game and doing the real thing, while in many ways it might be a world of difference, would be less of a jump in terms of imagination, compared to say this Left Behind game. Seems like a lot more abstraction involved with Left Behind and any conversion attempts in real life since the game itself seems to have much less of a basis in reality, even if the game promoted a general feeling of wanting to recruit others to the faith.

I've read a couple of 1st impressions on this game and I'm still unsure on what they're going for when it talks of violence leading to negative consequences in one paragraph and then in the very next there is talk of setting up bases, training units, armour, infantry and taking over territory. How all of this applies to Christianity I don't know? There are factions in the game with the 'good guys' being those who've seen 'the light' and the opposition being 'Global Community Peacekeepers' who are led by, the anti-christ...I'm not sure Christianity should be building more walls between itself and non-believers at large but it seems religion dumbed down to its core, tribalism...

There were a series of programmes about a guy in the UK called Derren Brown, a "psychological illusionist", maybe you guys have heard of him? Anyway the programmes were all about tricks of the mind and it was really quite interesting. One of the episodes centred around marketing ploys and he really showed just how easily influenced and malleable the mind is. He actually used a marketeer's ploys against him and placed all kinds of suggestions into his mind before even meeting. It was then a matter of using the right signals and words to get the desired responses, he made it look very easy. I know with these shows you're never quite sure what's happened behind the scenes but I'm confident based on what I've read that it is indeed easy to manipulate people with the right techniques, scarily easy even. There was also an example in another of the shows regarding video games and the trance like state some people go into while playing but I think they did over-exaggerate parts of that.

I think games have a basis in two areas of interest to people, competitiveness and role playing. The interactions the player goes through to complete nearly all games are based around an inherintly competitive nature we all have, I think the nature of the game just depends of the level of abstraction. So from Pong or Space Invaders we go through increasing levels to meet with immense role playing games like 'Baldur's Gate' which is, quite literally, a world within itself. At that point I begin to wonder because you're designing a world that is so intricate and yet at the same time so, deliberately designed, with all the boundaries and limits of choice you might expect from a "designer" of a world but really, you're channelling a player through a series of exchanges and giving the player "choice", but limiting his sense of consequence based on those choices. Basically, the worlds become so intricate and therefore immersive that some, I guess, may develop this unhealthy attachment but the consequences of some of the more severe actions in games, for example, will never be as fully displayed to the player as in real life. Just seems like a big question mark to me especially when considering the advances in games for the future.

Diane, I agree. It seems like a kind of half way compensation point just to appease people. These kind of strategy games generally tend to have far less gore in them than first person shooter games anyway but I can't think why Christianity would want to have anything to do with battle games, that they're looking at this market but with the, no gore so it's all peachy clause, seems downright strange to me. Exploring motivators for all of this should be done with as little denial and as few walls in place as possible since experience itself seems to drive development and learning.

Couple more thoughts... Smile
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Oct, 2006 11:26 am
Hi Diane! I'm flattered that you chose my post to get your toes wet with. It is always good to see you.

And thanks again, Ashers, for another excellent post.

The motivation is really confusing.

I'm guessing it is a real push-pull between making something marketable - something that appeals to our innate sense of competitiveness or our desire to role play - with something that contains the Left Behind message of salvation.

Now that Mo, who is five, is playing games we restrict the games to things like Animal Crossing or Super Mario Party - that type of thing. Before Mo I used to like games like Baldar's Gate (since Asher brings it up, I'll use that one) even though I was never very good at them.

The reason I was never really good at them is because while I liked the strategy part of it - which weapon to chose, getting the upgraded stuff, the buying and selling - I didn't really like the battle parts of it. Of course, to get to the parts I liked you had to win battles, which took me forever.

On occassion I would find myself getting a little too involved with the head knocking, ass kicking aspect of it though because I wanted to move on to the next level. I never ever found myself wanting to head knock and ass kick in real life.

I guess that is what is so confusing to me about the Left Behind game.

If you're playing it is it supposed to make you want to save souls by ass kicking?

Just for the sake of argument let's say that there is a game coming out that has Muslim people ass kicking Christians but with none of the gore.

How do you think people would respond to that?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Oct, 2006 01:53 pm
I think part of the Christian Logic is an update of, "Why should the devil have all the good tunes?"

Another part is that a lot of fundamentalists believe that a holy war is cleansing. The Battle Hymn of the Republic is literal rhetoric for these folks.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Oct, 2006 05:58 pm
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Oct, 2006 06:09 pm
Like your sig, diane. Reminds me of a thought I had the other day. In talking about some scheduling next year, we were told that there would be an attempt to recognize individuals' religious holidays.

If I were a Unitarian, would I be entitled to all religious holidays, regardless of deity or sect?
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Oct, 2006 11:07 am
Pdog, if you were in the Unitarian Jihad, you could celebrate any holiday at all, including those you made up just for the heck of it.

Here is how it started:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/04/08/DDG27BCFLG1.DTL

Here is one community:
http://community.livejournal.com/unitarian_jihad/

If only...
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 09:02 am
Well all products out there need to sell themselves, be popular, grab headlines and general attention but the best games grab your attention and keep your attention for an extended period of time (depending on the scope and quality of the game this could be years). This game strikes me as only, at best, doing the former, because of the way it sells itself. Christianity runs right through it but, they can quote scripture all they want, it seems like a superficial use of a religion to me.

I basically wonder what the audience of this game will actually be made up of rather than what we assume. I'm guessing it could easily be more popular with Non-christians due to the consistent attraction of role playing, whatever the subject. From a Christian perspective, I'm guessing it'll consist of a very strong majority of young people and the religious impacts and effects we see around us tend to be lost on them (not always of course).

Here's an...interesting little review from one gamer...

Quote:
The gameplay doesnt really is that worth it but i do believe the storyline is based on Fact in the book of Revelation.
The left behind franchise movie is quite interesting and intruiging and so, The stroy is about the becoming of the anti-christ which is very true and i believe he is alive and may read this review actually the rise of the anti-christ is destined to rised up and rule the world, hmm seems like Lord of the rings? or other mythic stories well believe it i hope coz it might cost your soul hehe but the real question where will you be in this time of crisis, you choose good or evil, what are you gonna do if Jesus comes back to earth this very time!!!!!, what will you say? for further information read the books of revelation in the Bible but of course dont be decieved by other preachers coz they might be a big FAKE!!! to fellow christians go back and repent yourself and got to church!! every sunday.
to all demanding gamers like me i know that this doesnt to be deserved to be a high rated game but it tried it best dont push it so hard, just watch the series in Left Behind movie its highly addictive!!! better than Matrix!!


Gamespot link

...doesn't a kid's 'flavour of the month' just jump out at you from that?^ If religion is to be used in games I'd rather see them go for something a bit more weighty, like a big RPG, with the Christianity (or whatever religion) influencing the game via moral decisions and character development i.e. what I'd like to think religion should be about.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 09:27 am
Ashers wrote:
...doesn't a kid's 'flavour of the month' just jump out at you from that?^


Even worse, "paid to flog it" jumps out at me from that. This line especially: "to all demanding gamers like me i know that this doesnt to be deserved to be a high rated game but it tried it best dont push it so hard." I regularly peruse Craigslist for jobs and this kind of thing is often there -- some variation of "just post about our product on message boards and earn ____!"
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2006 09:49 am
Good point, I didn't even think of that kind of thing.
0 Replies
 
justcallmeblue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Nov, 2007 12:48 pm
Patiodog I love your signature.
I lol'ed so hard i peed
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

What game are you playing? - Discussion by Seed
World Of Warcraft - Discussion by lazymon
Call of Duty4: Modern Warfare 2 - Discussion by tsarstepan
Spore - Discussion by maporsche
PC Gaming - Discussion by quinn1
Worst video game ever? - Discussion by tsarstepan
skate 2 or skate 3 - Question by kent0111
call of duty black ops - Question by stevencole90
 
  1. Forums
  2. » All of the violence with none of the gore!
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/01/2020 at 02:27:49