We haven’t tried a discussion before, but hopefully we’ll get a good response and make this a semi-regular feature… anyway, we’ve got a bit of a tricky one to start with which tackles the issue of violence in video games.
Many media outlets (I’m looking at you, Daily Mail) get in a bit of a huff when it comes to violent games. I’m not really talking about the likes of Street Fighter, or the scuffles you sometimes find in the NHL games, but the more blatant violence. Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, all that lot. You can guarantee that GTA5 will spark a media frenzy about how the developers insist on this meaningless and pointless violence, how we shouldn’t be encouraging kids to play with guns or steal cars.
Look at No Russian, the infamous mission from Modern Warfare 2. That single level got the whole game banned in some countries. Manhunt on the PS2 was banned in more places than it was allowed (probably, I haven’t checked that so don’t shout at me) and Mortal Kombat has had more opposition than a Labour politician.
So let’s consider something for a moment. Media madness takes over, the world’s governments crumble under the pressure of an uptight journalist and violence is banned in video games. Ignore the fact that kids see clips from war zones every day on the news, that’s different. Apparently. No, from this fictional (hopefully) point onwards, there’s to be no games that depict war, no fist fighting or weapon based gameplay, no stealing cars or running over policemen. Think about how many games that would take off the market.
Now think about your own games collection and what you love to play the most. I’ve just finished reviewing Sleeping Dogs, that one’s out, as is Darksiders. But there are plenty of other games left, plenty of untouched genres, and probably clever ways of adjusting FPS games to suit. Activision would take on the Bugsy Malone license, and spud guns will suddenly become popular.
But here’s the big question… would this kill gaming for you? Would banning violence ruin your fun and make you stop gaming completely? And if so, is that a sad indictment on the state of games in the current console generation?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments, it’d be great to get a good debate going!