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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout 3 - I Kill Children Editorial @ Gamasutra

Default Fallout 3 - I Kill Children Editorial @ Gamasutra

November 2nd, 2008, 23:30
Well, if you're playing an evil character you should be able to kill children. I'm not saying I would, I'm neutral. I don't think it's a big deal, it's just a game.

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November 2nd, 2008, 23:44
The rest of the world who do not play video games would think its something more then it really is though.
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November 3rd, 2008, 00:00
I read from the news today that a 13 yeard old girl who was raped and who later filed a report to police was stoned to death in Somalia this week. Charge was adultery.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/…ld-13-20081031

I wish politicans would pay attention whats happening in real world instead of whats happening to fictional characters in video games.
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November 3rd, 2008, 01:36
What do you think should be done about the traditional behaviour of Somalian Moslems? Should they be educated that their course of action was, in fact, wrong?

I always have problems with things like this. What they did was just horrible. But how to stop them from doing such things without fighting them?
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November 3rd, 2008, 05:12
I had a great time killing the children in Fallout, actually had a great time laying waste to anything that moved for the most part. The children were memorable tho, it was surprising that a developer let you really cut loose in such a fashion. Actually quite amusing in a morbid sort of way. Take that, you virtual little shit.. BLAMMMO…

Good times wiping out an entire town, seeing if you can come out unscathed..

That said, i always kinda have to roll my eyes when people play the "what makes children any different than any other life?" card. C'mon, dont play dumb here. There is a difference. Just like when an old geezer kicks the bucket at 98, you say "well at least they lived a full life". Children havent lived at all, theyre still in the tutorial. Plus, theyre just so damn cute! Should have seen all the little ones dressed up, coming to our door this halloween, quite heartwarming.

But those are real children. I do not lament the death of virtual children, for virtual entities are not living beings - theyre targets!
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November 3rd, 2008, 11:06
They probably wouldn't have many bottle caps on them so probably not worth wasting the bullets.

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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November 3rd, 2008, 11:57
Originally Posted by Essaliad View Post
You genuinely believe that video games are responsible for school shootings?

That's hilarious, especially coming from a gamer. Have you been feeling any urge to go "baaaa"?
To blame games on that is imho too much shortsighted. The problem is imho much more complex.

But - just as an theoretical example - in an alien culture that is warrior, war and weapons oriented, the media would cover war and weapons imho much more than in an alien culture that does not have any emphasis on war and on weapons at all.

It's all biased.


If I was living in such a warrior-oriented culture, I would have to strongly defend myself because of ANY arguments I would have against ANY element of the focus on warriors, wars and weapons. People would call me insane, because they would feel themselves being challenged by me and by my criticism. Because the focus on these things is totally NORMAL in this imaginary alien culture.

I would even go so far - I'm biased, too - to say that in such a culture different reasons for killing other members of that culture would be sought than the core of the culture itself - because otherwise the core of the culture itself would be challenged. and especially highly conservative members of that culture wouldn't like the core of the culture to be challenged at all. Now, replace "core" with "focus", and you'll have a similar thing, only not so strong.

On a meta level of all this, it is still unclear to me what the REAL influences of cultures towards killings are. There imho must be some, because we don't live in ageless, timeless capsules, but instead we are living being influenced by our cultures at any time.

Right now, statistics say that the amount of violence here in Germany goes up.
A tale I read this weekend in a newspaper told of a bus ticket inspector who received a broken nose by someone who just didn't want to be inspected.
The ticket inspector is quoted in that article that the quality of violence has increased over the last years. Other ticket inspectors are reported to agree.
Same goes for the destruction of a local park.

Where does this come from ? What are the developments within society which cause all this ?

If the reasons were clear - why, then, is nobody doing anything against it ?

I regard that the reasons are still unclear - and maybe they even never were reason to perform a serious scientific study on that. Or not enough studies.

The rising amount of violent deeds and the rising quality of violence must have reasons. Everything has reasons, it's as simple as that.

But where is the actual source ? What things are there which make people act like this ?

To what things are people exposed that they have such an influence on them that they are doing much more violent deeds than maybe several years ago ?

To me, one VERY important factor is the de-humanization of people. And the ingredients of their culture(s). Through commerce. But this is a different tale …


The bottom line: Yes, I *do* believe that violence in games is ONE of many, many factors. And I also believe that people will defend it as long as they believe it to be perfectly normal.


Have you been feeling any urge to go "baaaa"?
Yes, I have. Honestly. Yesterday evening I was trying if I can still produce my famous "baaa" sound again, to which REAL sheep several times responded.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 3rd, 2008, 12:44
You can wipe out a town in Fallout 3, children included. However, you can't stab them to death with a chainsaw-knife (small chainsaw) and make horrible videos to slap on youtube.

The realistic graphics combined with a first person view, would make such videos absoluttely sick and twisted. The game would get banned worldwide once such videos got out - imagine small kids, with almost video quality, getting their heads chopped off, exploded, incinerated and so on.

Give me a break on the whole "realism" part. Some things are too sick to be shown - a truly evil character would probably be able to rape 10-year girls too, that doesn't mean we want it to be possible in games, including a graphical representation of the actual scene.

Some things add to a good, believable atmosphere in games - other things don't. Molesting kids only adds realism to situations I simply don't want to see in games.
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November 3rd, 2008, 13:41
The game lingers on gore in a slow motion voyeuristic and fetishistic gaze, more so than the originals in most cases (a few special death scenes outstanding). The kids were edited out over here in the originals as well, ELV version was it?
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November 3rd, 2008, 14:11
Who the f*ck cares if you can kill kids in FO3 or not? This is not a homicidal psycho perv sim, ffs.

Working too much could interfere with your drinking.
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November 3rd, 2008, 14:27
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The realistic graphics combined with a first person view, would make such videos absoluttely sick and twisted. The game would get banned worldwide once such videos got out - imagine small kids, with almost video quality, getting their heads chopped off, exploded, incinerated and so on.
This is the best argument against making FO3 as first-person 3D that I've heard.
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November 3rd, 2008, 15:24
The originals are twisted as well it just doesn't suit the humour as well (for me).
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November 3rd, 2008, 16:20
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
To blame games on that is imho too much shortsighted. The problem is imho much more complex.

But - just as an theoretical example - in an alien culture that is warrior, war and weapons oriented, the media would cover war and weapons imho much more than in an alien culture that does not have any emphasis on war and on weapons at all.

It's all biased.

If I was living in such a warrior-oriented culture, I would have to strongly defend myself because of ANY arguments I would have against ANY element of the focus on warriors, wars and weapons. People would call me insane, because they would feel themselves being challenged by me and by my criticism. Because the focus on these things is totally NORMAL in this imaginary alien culture.

I would even go so far - I'm biased, too - to say that in such a culture different reasons for killing other members of that culture would be sought than the core of the culture itself - because otherwise the core of the culture itself would be challenged. and especially highly conservative members of that culture wouldn't like the core of the culture to be challenged at all. Now, replace "core" with "focus", and you'll have a similar thing, only not so strong.

On a meta level of all this, it is still unclear to me what the REAL influences of cultures towards killings are. There imho must be some, because we don't live in ageless, timeless capsules, but instead we are living being influenced by our cultures at any time.

Right now, statistics say that the amount of violence here in Germany goes up.
A tale I read this weekend in a newspaper told of a bus ticket inspector who received a broken nose by someone who just didn't want to be inspected.
The ticket inspector is quoted in that article that the quality of violence has increased over the last years. Other ticket inspectors are reported to agree.
Same goes for the destruction of a local park.

Where does this come from ? What are the developments within society which cause all this ?

If the reasons were clear - why, then, is nobody doing anything against it ?

I regard that the reasons are still unclear - and maybe they even never were reason to perform a serious scientific study on that. Or not enough studies.

The rising amount of violent deeds and the rising quality of violence must have reasons. Everything has reasons, it's as simple as that.

But where is the actual source ? What things are there which make people act like this ?

To what things are people exposed that they have such an influence on them that they are doing much more violent deeds than maybe several years ago ?

To me, one VERY important factor is the de-humanization of people. And the ingredients of their culture(s). Through commerce. But this is a different tale …

The bottom line: Yes, I *do* believe that violence in games is ONE of many, many factors. And I also believe that people will defend it as long as they believe it to be perfectly normal.
I'm sorry, but this mass of text is nothing but gibberish and leaps of illogic. Care to try again and possibly be concise this time? I see a lot of BLAH BLAH BLAH and not much substance; your analogies are bizarre and irrelevant, and in the end you give absolutely no evidence that video games play a role in inspiring real violence. Actually, the entire thing reminds me of highschool-level papers. Lots of waffling, lots of words, but very little point or meaning, and not even one single solitary hint of research.

By the way, I daresay medieval Europe was a lot more violent than twenty-first century Germany. But don't let historical facts get in the way of your non-logic. Or maybe thirteenth-century young men had hitherto-undiscovered access to video games? I mean, if you've found any hints to such, you should notify the nearest archeological department, it'll make you rich and famous!
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November 3rd, 2008, 16:21
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The problem is imho much more complex.
-snip-
The bottom line: Yes, I *do* believe that violence in games is ONE of many, many factors. And I also believe that people will defend it as long as they believe it to be perfectly normal.
And I would say that it's even more complex than that. When we are born we really want to do whatever we like, but we are adaptive and social creatures. Society is by large created (and united) by following role models, ethics and wanted behavior. Each individual will from their birth up create an internal image of how a person should be, how they should behave, what's right and what's wrong.

Thing is, before an individual have learned how to properly behave to fit into their community, they will be pushed by pre-programmed instincts. These instincts might be different from person to person. These instincts are then diminished or boosted by social factors. Thing is, most boys in their younger years, even in a pacifist nation that do almost everything right, will display a hostile and violent behavior, where physic prowess is a positive trait and physic weakness is a negative trait. For most people, this change later in life when these natural impulses are sublimed into what the individual see as proper behavior.

Now there is a stage in a childs life in which they do their best to simply fit in. During this time they will copy eachother, copy teachers, copy their parents and copy anyone who they look up to. When idols in pop culture such as videogame characters etc shows a behavior that is anti-society, youngsters will see that behavior as "how to be". If that child completely lacks positive role models, chances are greater that they will copy that anti-society destructive behavior than they will copy pro-society behavior.

Thing is, I do not believe graphic violence in itself is the problem, but rather what the violence means and what it tries to solve. When violence is shown as "proper behavior" or even "cool", directed against fictive pro-society individuals (aka "innocent"), then we are giving wrong signals. Still, a child that had a good upbringing and have learnt proper behavior will be immune to those signals.

On top of that, a negative role model in it's own isn't enough to make an individual go postal. You also need to build up very strong emotions like hate, anxiousness, frustration, hate etc.
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November 3rd, 2008, 17:41
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I had a great time killing the children in Fallout, actually had a great time laying waste to anything that moved for the most part. The children were memorable tho, it was surprising that a developer let you really cut loose in such a fashion. Actually quite amusing in a morbid sort of way. Take that, you virtual little shit.. BLAMMMO…

Good times wiping out an entire town, seeing if you can come out unscathed..

That said, i always kinda have to roll my eyes when people play the "what makes children any different than any other life?" card. C'mon, dont play dumb here. There is a difference. Just like when an old geezer kicks the bucket at 98, you say "well at least they lived a full life". Children havent lived at all, theyre still in the tutorial. Plus, theyre just so damn cute! Should have seen all the little ones dressed up, coming to our door this halloween, quite heartwarming.

But those are real children. I do not lament the death of virtual children, for virtual entities are not living beings - theyre targets!
Then you are a very different person than I am.

When it comes to "moral" actions in a game, I act the very same way I would in RL.

Regardless of SP or MMO, I never play an evil type character and "try" to put myself in the situation and play/choose how I would act given the situation.

I personally don't understand how anyone can act that way even in a game and call it fun…
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November 3rd, 2008, 18:25
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
I personally don't understand how anyone can act that way even in a game and call it fun…
Having the ability to separate reality from fantasy, I presume. That, or you already answered your own question—

Then you are a very different person than I am.
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November 3rd, 2008, 19:10
I think the real point here is that by making the children devoid from harm the game is enforcing that it is fine to kill adults. There's a conflict of morality here that's not just about being able to kill kids in games.
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November 3rd, 2008, 19:36
I believe Alrik was referring to "rising level of violence" in the context of "within this century". Not when the Vikings were running rampant all across Europe slaughtering people.

And yes, there has been an increase in violent crimes in most of Europe/US, but the reason is extremely complex. However, the (very) simplified version is: We are all the results of the input we get when we grow up. All of it. Every scrap of input. Culture, religion, parents, friends, movies, music, dancing, sex, girlfriends/boyfriends, cats, dogs, sheep, holidays, witnessing something cruel, being the subject of something cruel and so on and so forth. Had a goldfish as a kid? Part of shaping you. Played with LEGO when you were small? Also helped shaping you.

And so on and so forth. Every act, every memory in a humans brain can be represented by a digit in an equation so advanced no human could ever actually figure it out. The result of this equation is, of course, what the human turned out to be (personality, knowledge, career, etc).

This is basically the general idea behind psychology and trying to find out why someone went insane and shot a bunch of people. Noone simply "goes nuts" - there's always a reason, hidden somewhere in all those digits that lead to the end result. Sometimes, that reason is as simple as "he/she was beaten as a kid", but in most cases it's a whole lot more complex than that. Do movies and games play a part? It certainly might, when you start adding it up - violence in every media a child comes across, combined with a troubled childhood which lead to the child constantly trying to escape reality, can actually make it hard for such a child to see the difference between fiction and reality.

My point is: Fiction can, in fact, affect certain people. The problem is, of course, bigger than just fiction, so I simply don't believe in blaming fiction for people getting killed - it's just the easy way out. However, I see nothing wrong in being a little protective of what goes on in games/movies, especially when they are very graphical, as it might just cause disturbing images even for those who are not directly affected by it.
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November 3rd, 2008, 20:21
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
And yes, there has been an increase in violent crimes in most of Europe/US,
Um, actually, the opposite is true. Violent crime is *down* in the US, and more or less flat (and at a pretty low level by historical and international standards) in Western Europe.
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November 3rd, 2008, 20:36
I recomend Steven Pinker's talk on TED "A brief history of violence".
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