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July 10th, 2008, 02:04
again what has been discussed is not the portrayal of 'sick' or 'cruel' events in games, movies, or even novels, but the simulation of it in games.

my opinion is that games, movies, novels, etc. have and will show horrific events, even towards children. but it is not the act or simulation of the act whether user controlled or simulated on screen that has the effect to have an 'enjoyable' experience or glean some insight into who causes those events to happen. no, it is the idea itself which is more powerful. adjectives are not needy, or in the case of 'dark' or 'horror' violence in movies, slashing maiming etc. doesn't provoke the fear or the remorse, it is the fear of it happening, and or hearing that it has happened as in the case of keyser soze. this transletes into games as well. seeing a burnt out orphange and hearing stories, through a journal or npc can have an impact. do we need to see the children burning to death? and more importantly do we need to play the arsonist, or in a more fitting example, a nurse in the hospital that is trying to escape but along the way can kick a child back into a burning room instead of helping them. again what would that simulation provide. if we all can agree that is wrong, by doing something we know we should and probably would never do in reality, do we 'win' by getting to do whatever we please?

i'm all for meaningful choices ala the witcher, especially since you can't just go back and redo a choice 5 minutes later to get the 'right' response. but criminal acts in games have never really 'punished' the gamer in a way even close to what would happen so by saying the simulation is almost perfect is beyond innacuratte. if you steal in a game the worst that happens is you might not be able to talk to some npcs, or they could attack, but they will soon forget, even if they are distitue npcs who would surely need what you steal more than you do. its ingrained as the status quo though in games, and most of the time, its so common to not even think about a 'chest' as someones belongings. even if you get thrown in jail, no game is going to actually give you a true 'punishing' sentence where you can't just click a button to serve your term; escape; or reload and find a method to steal without being caught. stealing in games though, is not making a statement, which i've done in plenty of games, unlike commiting violence against an accurately simulated child.

sick and twisted can be funny, but again why should children be part of the equation?
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