Is violence awesome? Why some games go too far for me ...

Is violence awesome? Why some games go too far for me ...

I can already hear the moaning, "Oh man, video game violence? Haven't we had this topic enough?" That's right, but since I now regularly share my thoughts here (every Saturday 9:00 am, tune in!), I am forgiven for wanting to contribute my mustard to the discussion; not to the whole topic as such, that would go too far for a column, but to a partial aspect.

My other columns of the last time

Realism annoys: Why games just play games should be

Achievements, trophies and Co .: Stop doing stupid tasks!

Whistle on creativity: Dear developers, steal ideas!

Well-known on the PS5: Sony has a creativity problem

Remakes, remasters and new editions are a mistake

I also received a very reflective post that I received via email One listener of the Nintendo podcast (every Wednesday 3 p.m., listen in - surreptitious advertising over!) made me think a lot about the topic in the last few days. Patrick, as it is the name of the good man, describes how he watched videos of Bioshock on my advice and colleague Katha's to see if the game was for him. The very excessive depiction of violence in the series prevented him from saying it was too detailed for him. He also has a bigger problem here compared to films, because he perceives the violence as even more intense due to the interactive nature of games.

Table of contents

1 Blood for the blood's sake 2 Everything can, everything must? 3 Violence with added value 4 How is it better? Well, those are traditional points of discussion, but I was impressed that Patrick did not work with general principles here, but simply presented his subjective feelings as such, and that he made this decision for himself as someone who is already involved a lot with games . Thanks for that, dear Patrick!

Recommended editorial content Here you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. The post made me rethink my own perception of violence in games. Two points should be said in advance: As long as everything is within the legal framework and human dignity is not violated, every developer should and may do what he likes and blood and intestines should splash until the room is red, if that is the wish of the makers is, artistic freedom and such. And secondly, I think it's not okay to make such games accessible to children - our youth protection laws may not be perfect, but I feel it is right and important not to expose children who can be influenced significantly compared to adults to brutal and potentially disturbing impressions br>

Blood for the sake of blood

Is violence awesome? Why some games go too far for me ... (1) Source: PC Games Back to topic: I've noticed that I don't question violence enough, and Bioshock is a good example. When I play it, especially the particularly brutal part Bioshock Infinite, pierced bodies, smashed heads and the like do not stand out as something special in my opinion. I don't believe that dulling leads to violent acts in real life, but fictional violence just barely triggers a movement at some point.

And I think I would like to feel that movement again. And that brings me to the core of my thesis, violence should not be a means to an end.

Why do we play games? Often enough, because we want to immerse ourselves in strange worlds and soak up the atmosphere. In my opinion, Bioshock Infinite has one of the most interestingly designed game worlds in the medium's recent history, it tells heartbreaking fates, each place was created in such a way that one understands why it looks the same as it looks and not otherwise, subtle details make you forget that these are all just pixels and polygons.

And then I break the skull of an enemy and the blood splatters against the wall.

Everything can, everything must?

Sure, a contrast program, brutality versus apparently ideal world and so on and so on, but I think this message doesn't work here and is nothing more than an excuse to get things going. The subtle elegance of a hammer drill counteracts what the game draws for great scenes in other moments with a fine pen.

I'll use Bioshock Infinite as an example here, but what I said applies in different forms for so, so many games. As soon as you, as a developer, have a 16 or even 18 sticker on your game, I have the feeling that this goes hand in hand with the urge to turn the violence screw up as well, because apparently, in the opinion of the makers, the players so is required.

If the blood splatters everywhere, then such moments can no longer be anything special, they can no longer shock and no longer trigger emotions. Let's stay with Infinite, and I would like to point out, without spoiling too much, a scene in which an NPC is transported very, very brutally and intensely into the afterlife towards the end of the adventure. A tough, but brilliantly staged scene, which, however, after all the slaughter that has preceded it, can never have the intensity it would have if it stood on its own in its brutality.

At this moment there is violence used to move the story forward, and it's very important in terms of the motivations of the characters involved. In almost all other moments it is a striking accessory.

Violence with added value

Is violence awesome? Why some games go too far for me ... (2) Source: Youtube Sure, there are examples where extreme violence is also important as an ongoing means, see for example Spec Ops: The Line, which criticizes the dulling that I have criticized and that Genre of the stupid third-person war shooter deconstructed by following its structure to the point and comma. Here you can tell that the developers at Yager made a very conscious decision when they opted for the ongoing brutality. Highlights are not set by the fact that it is very brutal, but by the fact that this apparently de-problematized violence falls back on the character and in overtime on the player. Whoever played the title will know what I mean. To everyone else, play Spec Ops: The Line!

And it doesn't even have to be artistically demanding. Mortal Kombat celebrates its violence and is completely exaggerated, but at least I know that the developers have made a very conscious decision and not let the blood fountains rise up according to the motto "just be like that." Doesn't meet my taste, but is also legitimate.

How is it better?

Is violence awesome? Why do some games go too far for me ... (5) Source: PC Games Hardware So what do I want, what is the solution? As mentioned at the beginning, the point is not that developers should not be able to do what they want creatively. If they want to deliver flat butchery, they are free to do so. But I would still wish that the makers of "adult games" should always check out what lurid violence is necessary for their game, or what is good for it and not even harmful. The already slightly cartoon-like Bioshock Infinite would not be a bad game with reduced violence, on the contrary. Do I really have to watch my enemies' heads and limbs fly away in all directions in Assassin's Creed Valhalla? Will the new Tomb Raider trilogy be made more interesting by the fact that I see Lara being staked and trudging through a lake of blood and body parts? For my taste, the things that otherwise make the games atmospherically right in many places lose their value.

Violence is cool? Why some games go too far for me ... (6) Source: PC Games Hardware Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it, which is why I frown at film fans who fall into ecstasy, when a comic book adaptation in the US receives the adult parental rating "R". In many cases, I claim, a movie doesn't really get better if the characters say "Fuck" every now and then and the red juice of life flows. Another topic, similar approach: As in the X-Men adventure Logan, which is also classified as "R", which I otherwise found pretty good and which makes sense of its depiction of violence over long distances, a woman suddenly lifted her shirt and her breasts completely unmotivated showed, the "Because we can" -notation in the script was almost painfully obvious.

So you can see that not only the medium of video games has to grow up, and who knows, with increasing social acceptance maybe that can one day also happen. And until then, I dream of the day when I stare at the screen in an intensely brutal place, pity me and not sip the Coke, pause and go to the toilet, bored.

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