We’re pretty lax here in South Africa when it comes to video games. Sure, they’ve got content that the FPB is all too happy to slap a big age rating sticker on when it arrives, but at least our government trusts enough to allow us the option to have that content. And it looks like Thief is going to be a pretty mature game when it launches.
But morons blame games for the actions of those people. This weekend boasted quite a bit of unpleasant, gaming related murder news.
If you haven’t played Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line, you really should. Though it has some grinding, mundane shooting mechanics (by design, I’m convinced), it tells an incredible story – and forces you to think about the very real horrors of war, and its intrinsic violence. It’s writer, Walt Williams told an audience at GDC that violent games are “creatively too easy” and that the industry needs to start thinking of better, more diverse ways of telling stories through videogames.
In the wake of all the recent US shootings, some are happy to chant the ridiculous mantra of “Guns don’t kill people, Games do!” EA head John Riccitiello, however, affirms that there’s no causal link between violence in games, and violence perpetuated in the real world – but does concede that there’s a very real perception that the link exists – and it’s up to industry to address that.
The blame thrower has been on full auto in the past couple of weeks, when it comes to the topic of how violence and guns are portrayed in the media. On one hand, you have lobbyists campaigning to remove the sale of high powered assault rifles and automatic guns from store shelves, while on hand two, you have pro-gun lobbyists arguing that the gun is good, the gun is good! Still, both sides have something to say, and someone to blame at the end of the day. And with video games once again in those cross-hairs, the industry itself is also taking a look at how it represents itself. A move that has the house of mouse wanting to clean up its own image.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the possible link between video games and violence, thanks mostly due to the tragic events that occurred recently in the US. Whether you’re a believer or a defender though, there’s no doubt that gaming has become a tad super-violent, and the reactions towards such content has been apathetic at times. And that’s a reaction that one ex-Dishonored developer believes needs to change.
Remember Me was a game that really stood out for me at GamesCom this year. The concept of altering memories and using them as actual weapons is intriguing, and it certainly helps when the combat looks polished and fluid. In a way, it’s a game that stands out from formats of interactivity, for something new and different. And according to the developers behind Remember Me, that’s because they don’t want this game to pander to those overused stereotypes.
My inner nerd is in a happy place right now. NetherRealm created the best fighting game of 2011, in a revived Mortal Kombat, and they’re staying close to their roots with a new fisticuffs tile that swaps ninjas for comic book superheroes instead. But the previous MK game to star kombatants in spandex left me underwhelmed, with its lack of trademark gore and toned down violence, something that will continue in Injustice: Gods Among Us, which will focus on spectacle instead of bloody brutality.
As South Africans, we have a lot to be thankful for. Fantastic weather, great food and loose liquor laws (Unless you’re in Cape Town). Top of that list, are our video games, as our government trusts us to be responsible, allowing us access to all manner of gory, blood-soaked and mature titles. Usually, our fellow Australian and German gamers don’t have that level of digital freedom, but Borderlands 2 will ensure that everyone gets a taste of midget head-splodey action when it ships next month.
No, PC gamers - don misread that thinking that Kratos’ underworld chain-swinging exploits will be coming to your platform of choice. No, this is the other PC- Politically Correct. Though it’s an undeniably violent franchise, Godof War will be backing down a bit; at least as far as violence against women goes.
There are heroes out there, comic book icons who strive to be a shining example of morality and goody two-shoesiness for the population, selfless vigilantes who are prepared to do the right thing, even if it costs them everything. Deadpool is not one of those heroes. Hell, he doesn’t even classify as a human being most days, as the merc with a mouth has just been revealed as the star of his own upcoming game.
Warren Spector, the legendary designer who brought you Deus Ex has weighed in on E3’s portent of games to come, and expressed a little concern, believing the ultraviolence has “gone too far.”
Back in early March I was lucky enough to be whisked away to London in a silver tube of death to get some hands on time with Max Payne 3.
A funny thing happened while I was there though and I was accidently shown a portion of the game that wasn’t for online consumption and therefore I couldn’t talk about it until early April.
I’m a little addicted to Game of Thrones at the moment and can’t wait for my weekly dose of violence, fantasy, sex and uncomfortable themes and moments. I mean who would have guessed it was his sister on the horse… eish.
Anyway back to the point, there is also a Game of Thrones videogame coming out and while I had little hope that it would be a great game I did expect it to stick to the theme of the tv series.