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Violence

Spec Ops: The Line Writer - "Violence Is Creatively Too Easy"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Spec Ops: The Line, Violence, Walt Williams, Yager Development

Spec Ops: The Line Writer - "Violence Is Creatively Too Easy"

Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams has suggested that violent video games are creatively "too easy", and that he'd like to see more developers push the boat out and take risks.

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Dishonored Dev Houston: Developers and Players "Blinded By Fear Of Censorship"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Arkane Studios, Dishonored, Joe Houston, Roxlou Games, Violence

Dishonored Dev Houston: Developers and Players "Blinded By Fear Of Censorship"

Ex-Arkane developer Joe Houston has suggested in a recent editorial that the relationship between real world violence and game violence, and the kneejerk reactions that have arisen in conversation in the aftermath of events such as the recent gun violence in the United States, too often has a stultifying effect on creativity.

As well as highlighting the importance of context and player choice when it comes to providing colour around the issue of violence in video games, Houston suggests that it is a "fear of censorship" that leads developers and players to avoiding engaging in a dialogue about personal responsibility, and using such a  conversation to perhaps deliver games that approach violence in a different fashion.

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RANT | How "Mature Games" Are Usually Anything But These Days

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, Comment, Dark Mature Gritty Games, Deus Ex, Heavy Rain, Mature games, Rant, Spec Ops: The Line, Violence

RANT | How "Mature Games" Are Usually Anything But These Days

I want to talk about three buzzwords today, and I'll have to ask for your indulgence as I get slightly angry about the semantics of marketing doublespeak and the damage it's doing to our industry. So many of the press releases we get these days, usually pertaining to shooters or hack and slash titles, come bearing emphatic statements supposedly to do with quality. But a trend has arisen wherein, perhaps in attempt to move away from the somewhat childish connotations associated with the word "game", titles bearing 18-certificates now have to come with a blurb that spells things out. Just in case you weren't aware, folks, these are "mature" games, with "dark" subject matter, told in a "gritty" way.

This is all bollocks, of course, because nine times out of ten, what this actually means (and this is a direct translation) is "We've filled this game with guns, violence, and maybe some boobs, you'll shoot a lot of people in the face, and everyone will speak in a gravely voice and act like The World is at stake."

RANT | How "Mature Games" Are Usually Anything But These Days

To be honest, I think  the game that first started to really make mme angry about this was Kane & Lynch 2: Dog  Days, the insinuation being that a bit of wobbly-cam and buckets of grime would make for an intense, dark, and gritty adventure. Except it didn't. It made for a nausea-inducing standard third-person shooter. There was talk of Inversion featuring a relatively gritty and mature storyline. Of course, it had about as much bearing on the action as an ant might have on a football match. The  obvious current talking point is Visceral's take on Army of Two, which is literally described as "intense, mature and grittier" by EA.

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Byron: Responsibility Regarding Children And Violent Games Cannot Be "Subcontracted" To The Industry

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
PEGI, Tanya Byron, Violence, Violent games

Tanya Byron, author of the 2008 report that called for a unified and detailed classification for video games, has echoed her words in that report once more, saying that parents must be responsible for their children's gaming habits, and that such responsibility cannot be "subcontracted" to the industry itself.

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NSW Police Commissioner: Violent Games "Concerning"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Andrew Scipione, Violence, Violent games

NSW Police Commissioner: Violent Games "Concerning"

An Australian police commissioner has spoken out against violent video games and a culture that praises and revels in violence, acknowledging that the vast majority are unlikely to be affected, but saying that "it's only got to affect one or two" to be "concerning".

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Ubisoft: "Violence And Artistic Value Aren't Mututally Exclusive"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Far Cry 3, FPS games, Mark Thompson, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal, Violence

Ubisoft: "Violence And Artistic Value Aren't Mututally Exclusive"

Far Cry 3's lead game designer Mark Thompson has hit back against the accusations of gratuitous violence that were aimed at the game following a blood-soaked E3, saying that violence and artistic merit are not mutually exclusive, and that it's important for violent games to justify their own core mechanics.

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SCE Santa Monica Draw The Line At Violence Against Women

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, God Of War: Ascension, Kratos, SCE Santa Monica Studio, Violence, Violence against women

SCE Santa Monica Draw The Line At Violence Against Women

Ever wanted to know how to kill a mythological bald man with a penchant for gutting people like a fish? It's simple. Just become a woman.

Joking aside, SCE Santa Monica have opened up about their stance of violence in the God of War series, responding to questions over where they choose to draw the line in their latest game following a bloodthirsty E3.

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Games And Porn Addiction Responsible For The "Demise" Of American Men

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
ADHD, Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Games destroying society, Nikita Duncan, Porn, Psychology, Study, The Demise of Men, Violence

Games And Porn Addiction Responsible For The "Demise" Of American Men

A new book, commissioned by TED, and written by the creator of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, and personal assistant Nikita Duncan, has suggested that the "misuse of technology", and the addictive qualities of video games and pornography are responsible for the "demise" of young men in North America.

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Teachers Call For "Stringent Legislation" To Counter-Act Negative Effects Of Violent Games On Children

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Bad parenting, parents, Teachers, Video game violence, Violence, Why are children playing these games in the first place?

Teachers Call For "Stringent Legislation" To Counter-Act Negative Effects Of Violent Games On Children

Teachers have been warned of a growing tendency amongst young children, to act out "violent scenes from adult computer games in the playground".

According to the Guardian, "pupils as young as four and five are simulating car crashes and graphic injuries as a result of playing games unsupervised in their bedrooms", a assembled meeting of education workers was told at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference.

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Keith Vaz Urges Paliament To Debate Game's "Harmful Effects"

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
Censorship, Christmas, Keith Vaz, Violence

Keith Vaz Urges Paliament To Debate Game's "Harmful Effects"

"It Is About Protecting Our Children"

Is Keith Vaz really a politician? I'm not sure. While I don't doubt he has an impressive academic track record, his walls lined with degrees and diplomas, he seems to waste a lot of this ostensible intelligence crusading against fictional violence represented on a screen by a collection of multicolored pixels. Vaz is back at it again today, urging MPs to hold a Parliamentary debate to discuss the "harmful effects" of videogames on our children. In time for Christmas, of course. Seriously.

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Activision: Games Unfairly Treated In Comparison To Film

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Keith V, Violence

Activision: Games Unfairly Treated In Comparison To Film

"Video Games Are Fictitious Popular Culture"

Another year, another Call of Duty, and yet another tabloid headline condemning our poor old videogame industry. You can't expect to be the biggest entertainment launch in history and not attract some controversy, of course, but criticism from the press and certain politicians targeted at Activision's Modern Warfare 3 felt a little... repeated? And according to Acti's Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg, treatment of our burgeoning industry is very unfair in comparison to other violent mediums such as film.

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Carmack: Violent Games Can Be Cathartic

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Doom, id Software, John Carmack, Violence

John Carmack, id Software's technical genius, has suggested that violent games can actually reduce aggression and violence. Chatting to IndustryGamers, the man behind Doom maintained that the cathartic effects of gaming made for a more peaceful crowd than you'd find in other sections of society.

I really think, if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it’s cathartic. If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you’re probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think it’s at worst neutral and potentially positive. - John Carmack

Carmack's not alone either. Earlier this year in a preview presentation for Prototype 2, developers Radical Entertainment noted that catharsis was a big reason behind the success of the original game. Empowerment fantasy has been a mainstay of gaming for years. We'd like to see some comprehensive studies undertaken, though...if only to keep Fox News off the industry's back for a little while.

A History of Violence | Is Gaming Obsessed With Gore?

Author:
Josh Clark
Category:
Features
Tags:
Ancel, Controversy, Features, GTA, Modern Warfare, Violence

Blood_Spatter

Back in 1997, a small British-based developer named DMA Design created Grand Theft Auto, and in doing so kick-started a golden age in sandbox gaming. It also drew a hell of a lot of attention from tabloid newspapers at the time, thanks mostly to its controversial ability to let players mow down pedestrians in carjacked vehicles. It wasn't the first of its kind to do so, with the bloodthirsty Carmageddon pulling off a similar feat some months earlier.

By the time Grand Theft Auto 3 hit store shelves in 2001, DMA (now working under their new 'Rockstar' monicker) knew exactly what to expect from the world's journalists, and had included everything from drug deals to prostitution in an effort to ramp up the controversy factor. It was a watershed moment, not just in terms of gameplay, but also that of media reaction to violence in video games.

How did this ultraviolence and the reaction to it shape the future of video games?

Ancel Attacks FPS Violence

Author:
Josh Clark
Category:
News
Tags:
FPS, Games news, Michel Ancel, Violence

beyondgoodevilhd-thumb-640xauto-18833

Respected game designer and Beyond Good & Evil helmer Michel Ancel was not impressed by the games on display at this year's E3, calling out big name titles like Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 and Modern Warfare 3 on their use of needlessly gratuitous violence.  He even went so far as to imply that Furious 4 would inadvertently cast players as the bad guy; "If you kill Nazis with the same methods as the Nazis themselves then you are Nazis too, no?"

Click here to find out what got Mr. Ancel so aggravated...

New Study 'Links' Sports Games With Aggressive Behaviour

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Daily Mail, Faily Fail, Games news, Scientific study, Sports Games, Violence

fifa 11 foul

The Daily Fail Mail has published the results of a tenuous new study that purports to link (once again) violent games with violent behavior... but this time around, it's sports titles that have come under the pseudoscientific spotlight. According to new research set for presentation today at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Glasgow, analysis of 40 male and female players has led to the sensational conclusion that conceding goals can make people angry.

Click here for the full 'story' >>

The Dishwasher 2: Vampire Smile Review | Best. Combat. EVER.

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Games reviews, Ska Studios, The Dishwasher 2: Vampire Smile, Violence, XBLA, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Xbox 360

dishwasher vs 1

Platform: XBLA (Get Demo/Buy)

Developer: Ska Studios

Publisher: Xbox Live Arcade

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai was a breakout Indie side-scroller that made the jump from the Xbox Live Indie scene into fully fledged XBLA territory. It was sick. It was horrifying. It was graphic. And it was truly fantastic. However, veteran coder Jason Silva has dredged through his deeply disturbing mind to produce a follow-up that fixes the few faults of the original to create one of the best downloadable games you'll play this year.

The juicy core is still intact. You'll explore sprawling 2D stages, do a little platforming and splatter hordes of ravening opponents across the scenery - accompanied by a gritty, nasty and intentionally raw art style. Rather than just resting on his laurels, though, Silva has punched absolutely everything up to obscene, wondrous levels.

dishwasher vs 2

The Dishwasher 2 introduces a new character, Yuki, who's a violent psychopath defeated by The Dishwasher in the original game. She's subsequently framed for destroying the Earth and shipped off to a brutal lunar prison colony to serve out the rest of her days. Naturally you'll soon escape after an orgy of destruction and head to the lunar surface to wreak vengeance against a selection of fatcats and industrialists - which provides a convenient vehicle for the violence. Sharp, referential writing, slick comic book panels and horrifying hallucination scenes make the story much easier to invest in this time around - and the ability to play as The Dishwasher himself allows us to experience the narrative from another perspective. But at the end of the day, the plot is just an excuse.

An excuse for the best, most sickening and flat-out wonderful melee combat that has ever graced a console.

Click here to continue reading our Dishwasher 2: Vampire Smile review >>

Warp Hands-On Preview | Wait, Did I Just MURDER That Guy?!!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA Partners, gore, Puzzle games, Teleport, Trapdoor, Violence, Warp

warp logo

One of the most interesting titles at the recent EA showcase was also one of the most undersung. EA Partners have teamed up with indie studio Trapdoor to produce an odd and anarchic experience that blurs the line between cute, cuddly characters and psychopathic, bloodsoaked violence. Since little was known about this quirky puzzler before last November, we were naturally itching to try it out for ourselves.

As it turns out, Warp is looking good even at this early stage.

Players take control of a truly adorable little lab experiment/monstrosity who has the power to teleport a short distance. Players use the twinstick formula to amble around and rotate a small reticle that indicates the destination of your warp. A quick button press later and you'll instantly appear at your target - teleporting through walls or behind enemies in the process.

warp screen

Ah, yes. Enemies. As soon as you escape the first laboratory testing chamber, you'll have to contend with roving patrols of armed guards and panicky, helpless scientists (who can still raise the alarm if more powerful antagonists happen to be around). My first instinct was to use the unique teleportation mechanic to manoeuver around behind them; keeping out of sight by hiding in their blind spot and warping through walls before they reached the end of their patrol route. Stealth is incredibly important as a single enemy bullet will kill you stone dead, putting the emphasis on working out the best route through any given selection of rooms.

However, the Trapdoor rep was keen for me to try something else. When the reticle is centred on an enemy soldier or scientist, you can warp inside them, causing them to convulse in paroxysms of horrible agony as you occupied. I was instantly surprised at the sudden gritty realism of the source material and the odd juxtaposition with the cutesy character... and then, with a smile on her face, the rep told me to waggle the thumbstick. So obligingly, I did. And the hapless scientist erupted into a gory fountain of blood, bones and gibs.

It was awesome.

Click here to continue reading our Warp preview >>

Ninja Gaiden III Will Feature "Deeper" Violence & Complex Multiplayer

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Games news, Ninja Gaiden III, Team Ninja, Violence

Ninja-Gaiden-3-Teaser-Screengrab

We've already outlined what we'd like to see from Ninja Gaiden III (as well as what we don't want), but some juicy new details have slipped out from project lead Yosuke Hayashi. Apparently NGIII will feature a "darker" Ryu, "deep" violence and a complex set of multiplayer modes. More details below.

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Rise Of Nightmares Features Bloody Violence, Filthy Language And Sexy Pasties

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Games news, Kinect, Pasties, Rise of Nightmares, Violence, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Xbox 360

ESRB Lets New Details Slip

rise of nightmares

Back in September, Microsoft delighted us by announcing a number of 'hardcore' Kinect titles. Amongst them was Rise Of Nightmares; billed as a horror title from the team behind House Of The Dead. SEGA have been playing their cards close to their chest since then, but new information from the ESRB rating has revealed some exciting new details about the project.

Namely: impaling, profanity and pasty-covered boobs.

Oh my. Click here for more details...

Call Of Duty Can Help Soldiers Overcome Mental Trauma

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
Call Of Duty, Games news, Violence

s32387_pc_24

Back in February of 2007, a car-bomb in Baghdad claimed the lives of sixty men and women and left a number of American soldiers, upon returning home, with severe mental and emotional trauma. American soldiers report a much higher rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than British troops, and as a result the US military began trialling radical new methods to help deal with the rising rates of PTSD, which included subjecting soldiers to virtual simulations of war-zones to help them face their fears. Early tests were promising, and now we have news that playing Call of Duty can help, too.

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