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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, 11:48
Gamasutra examines the unkillable children in Fallout 3, finding the decision hollow for various reasons:
Pagliarulo states that killing children using Fallout 3's impressive engine is not something that would have passed ESRB checks anyway. That some violent games have grisly features cut or dulled in order to secure a specific rating is news to no-one, so why the need to elaborate on and justify the decision in the public sphere? Because, says Pagliarulo, the decision to self-moderate was a moral and ethical one.

Problematically, in singling out and self-censoring one particular type of 'crime' in his game, Pagliarulo by implication justifies all the others as being non-gratuitous and necessary. Last night I blew the head from a homeless scavenger girl, one who was barely into her twenties.

The slow motion camera tracked her head's explosion before lingering on the crimson fountain spurting from her neck stump. Is this kind of interaction and feedback socially responsible? And so then what's the difference to killing a minor?

Is the life of a make-believe child really worth more than that of a make-believe adult?
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November 2nd, 2008, 11:48
The difference is that Jack Thompson and every soccer mom will rise in protest over this game, Fallout 3, in which you can kill children. And these soccer and hockey moms will decide to not buy Fallout 3 for their 13-18 year old boys who actually like as much blood & gore as Bethesda have put into Fallout 3.

I have decided against buying Fallout 3 for the violence Dhruin describes - especially since there is no option to turn down the gore. I knew it was coming since Todd and Pete's understanding of the dark humour in the Fallout series seems to be focused on the violence (humour) that comes from when someone with the bloody mess perk scores a critical hit - and people's heads explodes.
Just like in the example, you describe, Dhruin.

A girl, 19 or 21, is seen as an adult, while a girl, 12 or 16, is seen as a minor.
The first one you can kill in a videogame. The second one you can't.

Because it would hurt sales way too much.

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November 2nd, 2008, 14:27
I think it is pretty sad that someone would complain because they could not kill a child in a game. Who in their right mind would want to kill a kid, even in a game.
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November 2nd, 2008, 14:49
Good point. Just as it is socially responsible and appropriate to kill an unborn child, yet once it's delivered it's holy.

Another interesting issue comes to mind: Killing of pregnant adults (females necessarily). Are there pregnant women in this game. Would make the game more realistic.

And are there enough toilets? I meassure the authenticity and atmosphere of a game on the number of restrooms available. They should be destructable, too.

In closing: Making children invincible kills the atmosphere and is hypocritical.
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November 2nd, 2008, 15:06
Yes, there are toilets in this game. You can drink water from toilet bowls to get water that will heal you - for a time.

I don't want to kill children in a game, but I would like to have the option to kill children in a game. The consequences should be dire and harsh, though, just like they are in Fallout 1 and 2 …

Is it more socially and morally accepatable to kill a homeless raider girl, barely not in her twenties, and then watch her heads explode rather than being able to kill children in Fallout 3?

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November 2nd, 2008, 15:15
I think the point is that removing the possibility to kill children makes the choice of not killing children meaningless. I played through FO1 and 2 a number of times, and only once got the Child Killer tag — by accident, as one got caught in the crossfire. It made me feel awful, and I promptly reloaded from a save, and took great care not to do it again. The experience would have been different (and worse) if I could simply ignore any children in the line of fire as I went about my bloody business.
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November 2nd, 2008, 15:15
Originally Posted by Bateman View Post
Good point. Just as it is socially responsible and appropriate to kill an unborn child, yet once it's delivered it's holy.
Please, not abortion wank.
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November 2nd, 2008, 15:23
Based solely on the part that Dhruin quoted here, I can totally understand the writer's point of view. It doesn't make sense to differentiate a child from an adult. A life is a life.

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November 2nd, 2008, 15:29
I think the biggest problem is there are those people, who would take great pleasure and put vidoes on youtube of children dying gruesome deaths in fallout 3. I don't think neither the publishers or most people want to see this kind of fallout 3 videos.
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November 2nd, 2008, 15:44
Totally agree with GG. I don't really care they made the kids unkillable and I get why Beth did this. You know every freak out there would post it and then the soccar moms, reporters, politicians…etc would have a field day talking about the moral corruption of our youth and how video games are the root of all evil. Look at how they ripped Mass Effect a new one for having a "lesbian" scene. Just imagine the fake outrage from the news media and politicians if Beth didn't make the kiddies invincible.

You guys know that after the nude mods are made someone out there will mod it so that you can kill the kids. So Beth can keep their hands clean, keep their ESRB rating and people who actually care about this will be able to play it. But like I said personally I don't care that Beth did this it wouldn't even be a choice and wouldn't break my "immersiveness" (is that a word, lol) that they made the kids indestructable.

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November 2nd, 2008, 16:04
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
It doesn't make sense to differentiate a child from an adult. A life is a life.
I actually agree with that but you have to remember that it is only natural (literally) to care more for children.
It is in the nature of most mammals to care for and to protect their own children and those of others of the same species. In packs of lions or wolves you will find that the puppies have a special status and receive special protection from the whole pack.
It is pure mother nature at work here when we are looking at the preservation of the own species through protecting the young (yes, I know that critters like polar bears eat their own young when in extreme need of food but the majority of mammals is neither into cannibalism nor into killing their own AFAIK).

So in essence it is a very natural reaction to put children under special protection even in video games though from a pure logical standpoint there is indeed no real reason why their life should be valued higher than that of an adult. But pure logic does not apply when our natural primary instincts are involved.
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November 2nd, 2008, 16:47
I think this is a very different age then the one where fallout2 came out. You would not see all the internet sites back then reporting it then, today you know it would be everywhere.
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November 2nd, 2008, 18:39
I strongly with GG as well. No more only school or university massacres, but kindergarten massacres as well.

Some sick people would kill children in games because they are unable to defend themselves.

Like for example some people in real life kill homeless people - and nobody is able to understand why.

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 2nd, 2008, 19:07
Complaining that you can't kill kids in a game (any game) is retarded!
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November 2nd, 2008, 19:18
God this topic is so tired… guess I'm just an old fart anymore… but this topic was boring when it came up after ultima 1 was released…

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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November 2nd, 2008, 19:24
Its really as simple as one, two, three.

If you are going to:

1) Make FO3 a FPS/RPG
2) Over-emphasize blood and guts
3) Market to game to the mainstream audience

There is no way you can make killable children.
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November 2nd, 2008, 19:38
Sometimes it would be nice if people worked a little more like machines, if they were a little more logical and predictable. At the very least it would be much more convenient.

Myself, I have concerns about the the popularity of simulations depicting killing. I wonder if someday in the distant future folks might look back at us the way we look back at others. We think "if only they had known about the importance of sanitation" or "if only they had known about the lead in the pewter."

I suspect there are some people who probably shouldn't be exposed to games where they can imagine themselves murdering people, especially innocents like children.

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November 2nd, 2008, 19:54
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I strongly with GG as well. No more only school or university massacres, but kindergarten massacres as well.
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"?
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November 2nd, 2008, 20:34
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"?
I really don't think thats the overall point…the point is why give all those groups ammunition to start in the press again?
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November 2nd, 2008, 20:47
Once you walk down this road there's no end to it and you will most likely get lost.
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