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Thread: Violence in videogames ?

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    Question Violence in videogames ?

    Been talking to good old Zak about my review of the Chronicles of Riddick and he was asking about Enclave and what its like. This got me thinking (arrgh it hurts again !) when Severance Blade of Darkness got released (great game also mentioned !) and the hype about it being ultra violent and bloody. Being able to chop limbs off and enemies just keep coming back for more as long as they could still stand type of stuff !

    Now this isnt something new at all, many of the old games had blood guts and gore in them albeit quite pixelated at the time of the good old Commodore 64.

    There was loads of Karate sims (sim used in very loose sense !) Way of the Exploding Fist, IK and also IK+, Karateka, Yie Ar Kung Fu and loads of others (way to many to mention here). I remember my mother saying I wasnt playing stuff like that as it was to violent (always used to find a way one way or another !) These games admittedly were really tame, not forgetting the good old 64 would probably have a major heart attck if it so much as looked at the Doom 3 engine, yeah it was a great machine visually for its time but when it came to animated violence you were talking pixels the size of house bricks !

    However there was one game that went a bit further, Barbarian by Palace (had Wolf from TV's Gladiators on the cover of Barbarian 2 ! very cheesy !) Hack at another barbarian in an arena with huge broadswords, kinda similar to Arnie in the Conan films. Now the thing with this game was if you timed it just right you could do a spin attack and decapitate an oponent, to a cheer and a green snotball of a goblin comes onto the screen, kicks the head away and drags off the corpse. Now then, (see where I'm going here yet ?) In todays market what would happen with a game that had graphic violence like that, say a new Tekken done it, being able to decapitate one of the characters with Yoshimitsu. It would either have an 18 slapped on it instantly due to ominous amounts of blood (come back to blood in a tick) and cranial matter that would be needed to create the effect or there would be an instant ban due to either public outcry or government legislation.

    Now coming back to the previously mentioned blood, alot of you will remember the Mortal Kombat series of games on the SNES and Megadrive as the main formats. Nintendo didnt want to get involved with the fancy kills and all the blood so the programmers had to take it all out and instead of the slayings you ended giving you're victim a gift of some sort (This was MK2) ! Sega went all out and allowed a full arcade conversion. At the time games didnt really receive full BBFC certificates like we see regularly now on games like Doom3. I remember reading an article in one of the games magazines and all the hype the MK games were getting about the gore levels and particularly the blood. To cut a long story short the blood had to look pixely / blocky and not overly realistic, that was the top and bottom of it.

    Can anyone remember the ill fated Thrill Kill on the PS1 ? Alot of people managed to get unfinished copies of this game, it was never released due to the violence, setting and surreal characters (A year or so later the engine for Thrill Kill actually did get used on Wu Tang Feel the Pain) I remember visiting a friends house and we all sat around and played it for a good few hours with all the different characters, must admit it was pretty disturbed with the setting being in a mental hospital of sorts. No surprise, a ban was slapped on it.

    Lets come forward to today now after looking at some of the previous offenders when it came to violence (loads of other stuff was released between then and now, just wanted to point out some of the games that drawn mass attention). We are seeing more and more violence in media in general, some of the horror films that would have instantly had an 18 slapped on them 10 year ago are getting 15 certificates now, its quite odd really.

    Look at Call of Duty, that was given a BBFC 15 cert, understandable as the subject matter being war and technology today being able to portray it. However, Medal Of Honour, opted out of the blood and the game didnt receive a BBFC rating at all, even though the subject matter is the same as CoD. Wolfenstein was another that received a certificate, due to subject matter of the game. It makes you wonder how some games get the cert and others dont.

    There is no major blood guts and gore in Doom 3, yeah there is a few bits where walls are splattered and writing in blood but 18 cert, I wouldnt have gone that far with what is in essence a survival horror game with a good few scares. I know its aimed at mature audiences, but kids get stuff like that bought for them for christmas by parents unaware of the actual content and not overly understanding why a rating has been given to a videogame (either that or they arnt bothered)

    All in all I have to say that violence in games at times can be highly overated, but in other cases not looked into enough. We had the media all over it again with Manhunt by Rockstar last year (famous for their Max Payne games and also GTA series). Way I look at it is why is it that games like Manhunt arnt stamped on sooner, that game took it a bit far to the edge of what is reasonable gaming (kinda like Thrill Kill), it did however recieve the right BBFC cert of 18, also on the GTA series gloryfying car crime and general crime. Games like this do have cult followings, and personally not the type of thing I like to play, I find the GTA series very boring to play in general, violence in these games dont bother me and I know my kids will not get their hands on them till they are old enough.

    Where do you draw the line with something like this ? Is enough being done to protect children, why do the media blame games and movies for the decay you see in todays society. I dont think anyone has an answer to this 100% but its an interesting topic to follow as everyone that visits the gaming part of the board are gamers like me and it affects all of us in one way or another.

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    well I know its a game and enjoy blasting things to bits cause in real life I don't get to do this. plus there's monsters and things that have to be killed!
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    Prize winning member. rajagra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferral
    There is no major blood guts and gore in Doom 3
    I've just installed Doom3 on my new PC. When you run TIMEDEMO you see the zombies' brains fly out the back of their heads when they get shot. I don't recall seeing that while playing the game. How could I possibly NOT notice that before???
    (I know, it's because I'm a lousy shot! )

    I've never believed the theory that violent films / games / books encourage real violence.

    Religion is another matter. Look at the state of the world today thanks to religion. We're almost back to the Dark Ages and the Crusades, and it's getting worse. All religions should have an 18 certificate.

    Thank God for us atheists, we're the only peaceful bunch around!

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    After working in a games store for over a year you come to the conclusion that parents dont even look at the ratings of games anyway - about 1 in 30 parents that came into the store ive heard say "you not having that its a 18 or 15 or 16 etc) but the rest just go in... ask their kid what they want and bang... done! This was a majour thing when GTA Vice city came out and manhunt! Thing is that they dont pay attension to the rating but they complain when they see their kids playing it and they try to brnig it back over a month later with something along the lines of "HOW DARE YOU SELL THIS TO MY KID I DEMAND A REFUND" when it was actualy them that brought it. Or even worse parents blame games when their kid kills someone (manhunt thing) when infact it is either their fault for buying the game or the person who served them not the game itself (thats what the rating is for!)

    Ah well... nevermind

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    Violence, as portrayed in films like Reservoir Dogs and Deliverance should never hit the Gaming Scene. Not because it might cause people who otherwise might not have commited such acts to do them, but because it would lower the high standards we have in the industry.

    But violence in games is not just essential, but educational.

    /Angry Reader Mode= AREYOU MAD you cannot justify killing people or things as educational..... you loser

    Well...yes actually I can. There can be good grounds for showing a kid films such as Saving Private Ryan, and them letting them play Medal of Honour, and watch as they struggle to make it up Omaha Beach. Moreover, when they next go to a Church and see the gravestones, or visit a War monument, and see the hundreds of names, it may just spark something. Hundred of people like their Dad, or their older brother died or were gruesomely injured struggling up a French Beach. The steel air above, whistling around their precious craniums. Millimetres from 800 kph death.

    It has happened to myself in the arena of WW2 combat aircraft. You see, I get shot down a lot in IL-2. Its a pity, but I take it as a given now. My Combat manouvres are pretty good, not great, but good enough to take apart noobs, BUT I can't shoot for toffee. I cannot hit stuff.
    I get nervous. I get shaky. My hands sweat. it's just a game. But I live it. Some Online servers give you ONE life and then boot you. You MUST live. Or you wait for ages again. The 45 minute build up, to a take off where you may crash ON THE GROUND before seeing a bad guy. Oh the stress.

    When I next watch UKV History and watch the old lads remembering the sheer terror of trying to work out WHO to shoot at in their Hurricanes over the channel, in their first dog fights, defending their REAL family and REAL Mother back in London, who's girlfriends get showered with window pane glass as a German bomb goes off outside their house, and who then fiercesomely saddle up planes they have only flown for a few hours and go fight the bad guys who have 4 years experience and umpteen kills to their name, knowing they will die. In planes where their gunnery training was 6 seconds of fire over the North Sea at nothing "just to see what it's like". The Germans must have been scared too. But the Kills were real. No reboot guys. No hitting escape and restart level


    and I do mean KILLS.....horrendous deaths by bullet wounds, appaling burns from ruptured fuel tanks, crashes at hundreds of miles per hour into the ground, drowning..... When I have a 109 on my six and I cant shake him a 0.01 % of real life fear creeps in.

    This year, for the first time, I went to a full Commeration Service. it was excellent. I cried. My missus (Rias/Sair) cried and we remembered. Without thisgame, we'd not be so respectfull. Go figure.

    So in this fact, Gaming and violence bring together history, and respect for the previous sacrifices made by men and women to give us freedom.

    Doesnt QUITE work in Space combat, or lightsabre duels, but hey....

    The other kind of violence is simply stress relief. Serious Sam style shoot'em ups. Quake style gun mayhem. Tekken Tag 12 button combos where peoples backs are scrunched up, rolled over, coated in flour and deep fried in oil by a Ninja girl in a pink mini skirt who weighs less than the flat screen on my desk.

    One of the only problems I have ever had in real gaming terms was from Carmageddon. My problem was I loved playing it but it DID seem wrong to deliberately drive onto sidewalks and plough down loads of people for a Combo. But it WAS fun, I DID enjoy it and I enjoyed it in the same way as kids (and adults) love Grand Theft Auto.....

    Thief...another great game. And potentially they SHOULD have launched a game where you sneak around Manchester robbing wealthy houses and urinating on the rug before leaving. But they cant' and won't Nasty...evil.....barbaric.

    which kindly brings me to Severance....Blade of Darkness and one of the few games I enjoyed EVERY bit of. To throw your sword at someone and use an amputated arm to wipe out the other bad guy was the Defacto moment in gaming for me when you could use anything. if it fell to the ground after a fight, you could use it. Heads LITERALLY rolled....gravity worked well.

    A helmeted head...two minutes previously I had removed it from the orcs shoulders, and now I fully intend to use it to stove his best mates face in. With relish.

    Wrong? No..it's bloody well not wrong. It was both fun AND entertaining. But in the same way that I have managed to avoid leaving the road and ploughing into a rpw of old dears outside Wilkinson's this week in my car, I have also avoided cutting my old boss's head of and waving it around by the ears to attack my bank manager.

    You see....balance in life. I got it by the bucket

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    I would agree with all that has been said so far, bar one thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rajagra
    Religion is another matter. Look at the state of the world today thanks to religion. We're almost back to the Dark Ages and the Crusades, and it's getting worse. All religions should have an 18 certificate.

    Thank God for us atheists, we're the only peaceful bunch around!
    Hold up there fella, put your stereotypes back in the holster and step away from the sensationalist media representations.

    All religions should have an 18 certificate? For what reason may I ask? Surely it's not because all religions are violent? I myself am a Christian but for arguments sake let's take Buddhists - probably some of the most peaceful people in the world. I don't agree with a single iota of their religious practises or teachings, save compassion and care for others, for the simple fact that I believe their god is fake but why would you slap an 18 Certificate on Buddhism?

    And I'll just assume again and take from your comments that you’re referring to the "Terror" that we face in the world today which stems from Islamic fundamentalism. Once again I don't agree at all with the teachings of Islam but their religion itself isn't violent as their senior leaders will tell you. Its extremist Islamic terrorists who use their religion as justification for their acts of terrorism that bring about the state of the current world climate. In their minds that’s probably fine but it isn't in their teachings.

    Now let me make a few comments on your closing statement....

    Thank God for us atheists, we're the only peaceful bunch around!

    Please tell me you are aware of the almost painful irony of the first part of that statement
    Secondly, need I remind you of Stalin? Hardly the most peaceful atheist ever to "grace" the earth. How about North Korea? The main communist force in the world today and the USA still holds a defacto cease fire with this country - North Korea is not at peace with the USA.

    I am in no way branding atheists as war mongering villians whose goal in life is to ensure natural selection occurs and the weak and mercilessly slaughtered but it is grossly unfair to brand religion as the sole cause of the worlds problems today.

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    Going Retro!!! Ferral's Avatar
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    Nice to see a few participants in this discussion here in gaming !

    Well for old times sake I have just reinstalled Knights of the Temple (rubbing it in a bit here Zak !!! evil laugh commences again mate !) It does not have a BBFC certificate for some bizarre reason, is quite like Severance except you cant pick up loose limbs and cave someones face in with them. However, blood runs free on this game splattering walls and the scenery in general and one of the finishing moves on it is gruesome to say the least. Enemy has a little health left and is teetering and hung low, at which point you raise you're sword above his head and thrust it down over hitting him at the base of his neck towards the ground completely skewering him like a kebab !

    Game itself has an ESRB rating of 16+, however shops dont have to enforce that certificate at all so my eldest daughter of 7 could walk into a shop and buy it regardless of sales staff saying that it isnt really suitable for her. I think personally that these ESRB ratings should be enforced. I remember reading that if a sales person wants to enforce the certs they can, but how often does that realistickly happen. Take christmas for example, busiest time of the year for the game shops, they dont have time to argue with a child on suitability of a game that doesnt have an enforced certificate.

    Now going back to what I said about Doom 3, you get a brief glimpse of a zombies brain on it as you shoot it, however seconds later the corpse kinda bursts into an orange type dust stuff (similar to the way the vampires die on the Blade films). Its not overly graphic I personally dont think, of course its each to their own when it comes to looking at finer details like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33
    when they next go to a Church and see the gravestones, or visit a War monument, and see the hundreds of names, it may just spark something. Hundred of people like their Dad, or their older brother died or were gruesomely injured struggling up a French Beach. The steel air above, whistling around their precious craniums. Millimetres from 800 kph death.
    been there. seen the graves...and my gran's brother's
    hits you very hard. even when you're only 13yrs old as I was. saving private ryan and all those band of brothers episodes really added to the way it was in my mind. the horror they had to go through as well as the courage of those men

    I really don't want to sound like a moron but we really do own them so much.
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    Prize winning member. rajagra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoGuE|SaBeR
    (1) All religions should have an 18 certificate? For what reason may I ask?
    (2) why would you slap an 18 Certificate on Buddhism?
    (3) Islam ... their religion itself isn't violent
    (4) "Thank God for us atheists, we're the only peaceful bunch around! "
    Please tell me you are aware of the almost painful irony of the first part of that statement
    (1) Partly because religion has throughout history been behind more wars and deaths than any other cause of war. Certainly more than any video games! Also because I simply think it's wrong to brainwash malleable young minds with irrational beliefs. An 18 year old is better equipped to make up his own mind. Children should be taught about religion. They should not be taught to be religious. IMHO.
    (2) Fair point. Buddhists have a better track record than (ahem) certain others.
    (3) Few religions are violent in themselves. Yet see my 1st sentence in point (1).
    (4) I am "aware of the almost painful irony of the first part of that statement."
    Please tell me you are aware I wrote that deliberately, and that the comment was humorous, as indicated by the smiley.
    (5) Calm down.
    My point is valid, and relevant to the topic, I think. Religion can be very dangerous, and it seems to go in cycles. The Catholic Church is currently seen as benign, but it hasn't always been so. Likewise, some followers of Islam are being violent in the name of their religion, but that too hasn't always been so. I find it amusing but terrifying that the Christian Vs Islam wars ended centuries ago, yet the mindset of certain cultures persists in believing that Islam and the West are mortal enemies, and doing all they can to spark a full-scale holy war. (Don't they understand that "The West" is not a religion???)

    Video games don't cause violence. Hatred does. Religions have inspired more hatred over the millenia than video games ever could. That's why I believe that religions deserve to be controlled more than video games do.

    I'm sorry you took my comment personally and more seriously than I intended it to be.
    Last edited by rajagra; 15-03-2005 at 03:31 AM.

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    Going Retro!!! Ferral's Avatar
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    Can we please keep this on topic, discussion here is on violence in the videogames industry and effects / measures that are taken each way.

    As our man Zak has already stated, we all play these games, violent or not it does not affect us in a way that we would go out and repeat what we have seen the night before whilst playing a game.

    For example to go to the extreme, you mentioned about the zombies brain on Doom 3. I personally wouldnt equip a shotgun and go out and about firing it point blank range in peoples faces just to see if that actually happened and I'm sure that everyone that is having this discussion here would not do the same thing. Not even contemplate it at all.

    However, we do hear things like this happening on the news etc and movies and games are virtually instantly pointed at as the source of the person doing what they have done. It ends up turning into a bit of a media circus. Point the finger at videogames and or movie, as good a scapegoat as any ?

    My point behind this as we are all gamers, we all play games for fun and to pass the time on an evening after a hard days work. Things like what I mentioned happening affects the industry due to a minority taking things to far. It affects all of us in the long term, as rational people like stated we would not copy something we have seen in a videogame, but if things keep happening like they have done in the past, in a few years time we wont see these great titles on the shelves for sale as the violent aspect in gaming could end up being taken away completely.

    As for talking about religion etc, its not really suitable entering it into this discussion, thats not what this is about, in this topic should really be agree to disagree on that matter and leave it at that. Unless of course religions were appaled at gaming like this and the discussion could be continued in that way.

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    Prize winning member. rajagra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferral
    For example to go to the extreme, you mentioned about the zombies brain on Doom 3. I personally wouldnt equip a shotgun and go out and about firing it point blank range in peoples faces just to see if that actually happened and I'm sure that everyone that is having this discussion here would not do the same thing. Not even contemplate it at all.
    Of course not - because it bears no relation to the reality of our normal daily lives. It could only encourage someone to try it if they were incredibly curious, totally devoid of all morals, and were unable to comprehend the consequences of their actions. i.e. they would have to be psychopathic to start with, and would be an accident waiting to happen anyway.

    I'm reminded of one of the Simpsons' Halloween specials. Springfield was taken over by zombies, and Homer was fighting his way through the undead, leading his family to safety. A rotting Ned Flanders suddenly lunges at them, Homer quickly raises his shotgun and shoots him.
    Bart says: "Dad! You killed the zombie Flanders!!!"
    Homer replies: "Huh? Flanders was a zombie???"

    One of the funniest Simpsons lines ever IMO, it cracked me up. But would it be funny in real life? Course not. Just ask the poor guy who witnessed the axe murder in Swiss Cottage yesterday:
    Quote Originally Posted by the witness
    I saw a guy lying down with a huge flat red mushy mess instead of a head, just across the road.
    I didn’t notice it at first because it was there on the street, not in a book or a film. I was so taken aback that I had to second take. It is horrific.
    Anyone laughing at that? Didn't think so.
    The attack was shocking. Trying to understand what the witnesses went through (some were children) possibly even worse.

    Anyone who believes that "inferior" people are unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality is, frankly, a condescending idiot.
    Last edited by rajagra; 15-03-2005 at 04:35 AM.

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    Senior Amoeba iranu's Avatar
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    In yesterdays Daily Telegraph there was the story of a 4 year old boy who shot his 2 year old brother in the head, after he got angry, injuring him critically. He got the gun from his mothers handbag.

    Under Texas law the 4 year old is obviously too young to be prosecuted and would most likely not of known what he was doing anyway.

    My point is. The easy availability of firearms and the irresponsibility of adults who have children are what gets people killed, not violence in video games.

    Children do imitate, that's how they learn, however, it's the parents responsibility to teach their children right from wrong, fantasy from reality and to ensure unsuitable material is kept from them. e.g. you wouldn't let a 14 year old watch hardcore pornography. Thats why there is a ratings system (which as said above is routinely ignored by pestered parents).

    Zak33 - quality post mate. Saving Private Ryan shows exactly what happened. The MOHAA omaha beach level left me shaking and shocked - quiet possibly the most emotional experience I've ever had from a game. The casual waste of life on the beach is horrendous. I might not want a 10 year old playing it but a 14 year old who has just been taught his first history lesson on the nazis would perhaps get some understanding of the sacrifice made.

    Personally I think that some games are not realistic enough. Put the realism into killing someone and I can guaruntee you wouldn't want to do it for real.

    On a lighter note, Severance was one of my all time favourites, especially the 2 player duel. Getting a combo that left your mate with no limbs and headless was the height of combat, especially with that slow motion setting once you had made the kill so to speak. I'd pay £100 for a Severence 2 - full co-op multiplayer, can you just imagine it!

    Blood thirsty? No more so than J R R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, or Shakespear both of which I read at the age of 14.
    "Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be." Frank Zappa. ----------- "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." Huang Po.----------- "A drowsy line of wasted time bathes my open mind", - Ride.

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    By Devilbod in forum Gaming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-08-2004, 09:44 AM

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