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Getting squeamish about realistic butchery in videogames

Curratum

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I would agree the ultraviolent death scenes in TR were unnecessary. I wouldn't have liked it in a game with a male protag either.

I am not squeamish at all when it comes to this in games, but then again, what game has particularly realistic gore and super in-yo-face first-person violence which is THAT detailed?

I wonder what OP is most disturbed by? Like, even Witcher 3 has some spectacularly violent and gory finishing moves. You can take whole arms clean off in a lot of shooters with human enemies and powerful weapons. Is that kind of thing bothersome? Never was for me, for a couple of reasons - those things happen quickly and you almost get like a freeze-frame of it for a brief moment and then it's gone, and they don't look particularly realistic, definitely not in a third-person camera.

Sounds like a pretty unstable psyche, on some level, to me if you can't kill "evil-bad" dudes in a video game while playing a "righteous" or "badass" character, and dissociate this well enough from who you are and what you do and how you treat people in real life. I was never a fan of violence for the sake of gore and violence and edgy games like Manhunt and Hatred, where the whole point is the violence, but I never had issues with more traditionally presented violence-heavy games like modern shooters and the like.
 

Zlaja

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By far the most shocking thing mentioned in this thread is the fact that some of you have actually played The Last Of Us 2.
 

Pound Meat

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The last of us 2 is a good example of this. For a game that preaches "revenge is bad, muh circle of violence", it's so edgy and grotesquely realistic, it feels like a borderline torture porn.
The scene where you fight as Abby against the big brute woman with the hammer (while escaping with the two kids) has a couple of death animations that forced me to divert my eyes. They were so brutal I couldn't watch them without feeling something in my stomach. I don't think this ever happened to me with any other game.

The people who made TLOTU2 are legit sociopathic. It probably amuses them to preach about non-violence while sadistically forcing you to watch it. It's like the lefties obsessed with covering women up and stopping the male gaze while advocating for pedophiles and library trannies.
 
Vatnik Wumao
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Only vidya scene that I got outright sickened by was killing that dog in Telltale's Walking Dead adaptation. Then again, I viscerally detest animal cruelty.
 
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By far the most shocking thing mentioned in this thread is the fact that some of you have actually played The Last Of Us 2.

Disclaimer: I did not play TLOU2, merely watched others do so and sifted through the discourse when it came out.

Sounds like a pretty unstable psyche, on some level, to me if you can't kill "evil-bad" dudes in a video game while playing a "righteous" or "badass" character, and dissociate this well enough from who you are and what you do and how you treat people in real life.

I dunno, a more realistic image in of and of itself naturally pulls more readily at the subconscious even though conscious dissocation from the media you engage with is easy enough. I think some guy called Daniel Koppaberg made a movie about it. Can't remember the title, maybe Televisionstadium?


(N.B. not throwing shade Curratum, thread just got me thinking how much I love said movie and the ideas it explores)
 
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Ismaul

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Realistically violent games are conditioning. They prepare people for the coming horror IRL.

Desentization is required for you to butcher your neighbour for his "wrong" opinion. Or, more likely, vice versa, you disgusting wrongthinker, I'll chop your face off with a bone saw. For empathy and human rights!
 

Lemming42

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I'm not a fan of violence in media in general. I do notice that as I get older I have less and less tolerance for being asked to commit acts in videogames that would essentially amount to war crimes in real life. I also can't play action games set during real-world conflicts much anymore, it's just too bizarre and unpleasant to be running around shooting people with heroic music blasting out in WW2 or Iraq or whatever.

Having said that though, I disagree about realistic violence being worse. Sanitised, stylised violence is the worse option by far. Soldier of Fortune made people uncomfortable, but people were only uncomfortable because it was one of the first action games that actually confronted you with even a fraction of the reality of what you were doing. Yes, I know Soldier of Fortune ends up being almost comical thanks to the implementation, but it's still leagues ahead of, say, Medal of Honor's bloodless carnage, in which people would grab parts of their body that were hit and then just fall over dead. This was always distinctly creepy - the animation acknowledges that someone's just been shot in the eyes or groin or stomach and that something horrible is happening, but there's no blood, no screaming, no pain, no horror, just near-instant death. Clean and safe. Might as well be shooting each other with water pistols. Needless to say, this is not a good way to represent something like violence, that in actuality is horrifying and to be avoided at all costs. It's absolute cowardice on the part of the devs, honestly - let's use World War fucking 2 as a setting for our game, but make it into a fun Disney-esque action romp where we're all pew-pewing at each other and nobody really gets hurt. Violence with all the horror taken out, you can play it all day and never feel sick.

At least in SoF when the enemy is lying on the ground screaming and takes several minutes to die, you start to get the idea that running around with a shotgun blasting people in the stomach isn't actually that great a thing to be doing.
 

Lemming42

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Never played it, although I think I know the general idea behind it. Is it any good? I've seen some people say it's great and other people say it's a big pretentious mess.
 
Vatnik Wumao
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Never played it, although I think I know the general idea behind it. Is it any good? I've seen some people say it's great and other people say it's a big pretentious mess.
It's somewhat pretentious, but I personally like it. And it has a particularly edgy scene where you can...
unwittingly drop napalm on hiding non-combatants (that you assumed were combatants when doing it) which you then get to see, with a carbonized mother with her child in her arms being in the middle of the group.
 

Ismaul

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Also, when you think about it, it's just like porn. Everything is getting harder and harder. Vanilla anal sex? Pffff, give me double, give me triple, give me life goddamn it why can't I feel anything!!?

The product is the answer to a need that keeps being unfulfilled.

Porn watchers are sexually deprived, and obviously when they get the porn and jack off to it for a while, it's still not enough. It's never actual sex and intimacy. It's a substitute that doesn't alleviate the need long term, because that level of porn becomes the baseline level at which they are sexually and emotionally deprived. The need for a deeper relationship is transferred into deeper penetration, so people start looking for harder and harder stuff.

Maybe it's the same for violence and gore. But what unfulfilled need would it answer to? Anger, likely. People are angry and want to express it, but our culture prevents it. And so it festers. And the games get gorier as an answer to this need. Unlike what Jack Thompson and co. thought, it's not violent games that make us violent, it's angry humans that create increasingly violent games.

It's a plausible hypothesis, anyway.
 

Modron

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Haven't played anything too gory myself but one avenue you guys haven't touched on is the audio component. Hearing all the whaling, screaming, begging, crying and death rattles around you in Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm was impressive.
 
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Never played it, although I think I know the general idea behind it. Is it any good? I've seen some people say it's great and other people say it's a big pretentious mess.
It's somewhat pretentious, but I personally like it. And it has a particularly edgy scene where you can...
unwittingly drop napalm on hiding non-combatants (that you assumed were combatants when doing it) which you then get to see, with a carbonized mother with her child in her arms being in the middle of the group.
To be fair to Spec Ops the big rug pull & reveal is fun the first time round and
it does give you actual choices sometimes e.g. you can disperse the crowd that lynches Lugo by firing above it instead of into it or you can (finally) choose peace at the very end.
Mediocre gameplay though, which I remember some players attempting to lionize as further evidence of Yager's profound genius at the time. "Of course the mechanics are flat and uninspired, don't you realise this game doesn't want you to enjoy playing it?" was a relatively common opinion.
 

Modron

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Mediocre gameplay though, which I remember some players attempting to lionize as further evidence of Yager's profound genius at the time. "Of course the mechanics are flat and uninspired, don't you realise this game doesn't want you to enjoy playing it?" was a relatively common opinion.
Anytime someone recommends trying Spec Ops The Line I suggest that they would be better off playing Binary Domain.
 

AscendedFlames

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It's a plausible hypothesis, anyway.
Yeah nah.

And a more serious take,




When you watch a Martin Scorsese movie, you can tell he grew up in Little Italy around mobsters. When you watch a Quentin Tarantino movie, you can tell he grew up watching Martin Scorsese movies.

And that’s Tarantino’s main problem—he’s empty. Hopelessly postmodern. Incurably ironic. And entirely safe. He’s a slobbering, drooling, film-school nerd who stuffs his movies full of bloodshed and curse words, apparently hoping no one will notice the Uber-geek behind the camera who’s likely wearing either panties or diapers. He bears the unmistakably soft air of someone who’s never been punched in the face.

For all of his films’ alleged danger and violence, it’s always seemed barkingly obvious to me that he’s a twerpy fake who’d burst into tears if he chipped a fingernail. He’s an emblem of a generation which truly knows nothing beyond pop culture and gets nearly all of its “life experiences” from a screen.

I rented Reservoir Dogs on VHS back in the early 90s after feeling compelled to do so by the massive hype the low-budget film had generated. I fell asleep roughly a half-hour in. When I awoke, I didn’t bother to watch what I’d missed. Whatever aesthetic the movie was desperately trying to capture, I was sure that Frank and Dino had done it better in the early 60s.

“He’s an emblem of a generation which truly knows nothing beyond pop culture and gets nearly all of its ‘life experiences’ from a screen.”
Not having learned my lesson, I went to see Pulp Fiction in a Hollywood theater in 1994. It was a howlingly vacuous pomo mess of winking pop-culture references and staged violence that wouldn’t fool anyone who’s actually been in a violent situation. By the time they got to the scene at the diner with the Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe servers, I walked out of the theater. There was no substance here, only the half-digested waste material of someone who’d cannibalized countless other films but brought nothing new to any of them.


About ten years later, a girlfriend tried forcing me to watch the two Kill Bill movies, which repackage and regurgitate far superior Hong Kong action movies for four hours with the only apparent message being “girls, like, totally kick ass.”


Kill Bill? No, Bill’s not the one I wish had been killed. Tarantino’s films are basically The Simpsons with bloodshed and the word “nigger” tacked on to make them appear edgy. They are Fifty Shades of Grey for fat nerds who grew up watching Star Wars and wouldn’t know the difference between a plastic lightsaber and an AK-47. His movies couldn’t possibly be more devoid of substance. If you prick them with a needle, the only thing that leaks out is air.

Around the year 2000, I happened to catch Tarantino on Jay Leno’s show. What a meeting of the chins that was! At one point Leno announced that he had a surprise prepared for Li’l Quentin, and out from the wings marched Florence Henderson with a mint-condition version of a Brady Bunch board game she handed to the impossibly nerdy and twitchy Tarantino. It was then that I realized that not only wasn’t he someone who could endure one of his movies’ endless gun battles, he’d probably die of a heart attack if a car in his neighborhood backfired.

A couple years later I met comedienne Margaret Cho, who had dated Tarantino back in the early 90s when I was producing a violent magazine that had gained some notoriety due to the fact that my first wife and I posed with guns and cultivated an image as a Starkweather and Fugate duo ready to go postal at any moment. Cho told me she’d given Tarantino an anthology of my magazine and that he’d used me and my first wife as the character templates for his screenplay to the film Natural Born Killers, which was another ultra-violent film that seemed to have zero visceral understanding of violence.


Whereas I struggled to understand violence because I’d been exposed to it since infancy and because my deaf brother had been brutally murdered, Tarantino seemed to fetishize violence because he’d watched a lot of violent movies and thought it was awesome.

Tarantino went on to do a fake blaxploitation film called Jackie Brown. Like most Goodwhites—maybe a better term is Weak Whites—Tarantino worships blackness and even tries to talk black. He once said that abolitionist John Brown was his favorite American because Brown saw the righteous necessity of “spilling white blood.”


More white blood was spilled in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012), Tarantino’s two most commercially successful films. What were the edgy and subversive ideas these films foisted upon the world? Why, the dangerous and radical notion that both Nazis and slavery were, like, totally uncool, man.

Is there any risk this man won’t take? Imagine walking into a Hollywood meeting and having the chutzpah to say, “Gents, I know this isn’t going to go over well, but I’d like to do a film that proposes the radical idea that Nazis were the bad guys.” Imagine being so cluelessly disconnected from reality that you think you’re making a dangerous statement by doing a “revenge” film against the side that LOST a war….and then following it up with a movie that drives home the point that slavery was a cruel and brutal institution.

Tarantino is such a trend-setter and rule-breaker that the main villains in his films tend to be deranged rednecks, which is remarkable when one considers that deranged rednecks have been the main villains in Hollywood films since the mid-1960s.
 

Alex

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This is something I've often thought to mention, but keep forgetting. I've finally remembered and am doing it! (Or I may have mentioned it in a long ago post buried somewhere, but here it is for a thread.)

It speaks to the theme of the double-edged sword of realistic rendering and representation in videogames that's been a developing theme for me over the past couple of years.

As graphics have been getting more and more realistic, I've found myself getting more and more squeamish about the mass murder one often engages in in videogames.

Back when it was just pixels, no problem. But when you start seeing realistically rendered blood and guts, decapitation, etc., of human beings (as opposed to "monsters") one starts to wonder what one is (virtually) doing.

That sets the bar higher for in-game justification - so often the poor, overworked Nazis, or Nazi-a-likes, or even just White men generally bear the brunt of it. But then that starts to make game stories more samey, as education is getting so terrible that nobody seems to have any concept of justifiably-killable human bad guys before the Nazis and North American slavery.

The other oddity is that because of feminism, ironically, one finds oneself realistically butchering females quite often in modern videogames too. That in itself starts to get pretty weird.

The answer is simple; don't play anything with modern graphics. You get to avoid a whole lot of crummy videogames that way...
 
Vatnik Wumao
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I personally like Tarantino's work, but that's neither here nor there. That whole critique of Tarantino has nothing to do with whether violent media begets real life violence. To me, to claim such a thing is as silly as the whole Satanic panic with people claiming that D&D was a gateway to devil worshipping and ritual sacrifices.
 

Lemming42

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My favourite Tarantino story is how Denzel Washington cornered him on the set of mid-tier submarine thriller "Crimson Tide" and asked him to explain the prevalence of racial slurs in his films. Can't remember the details but I'm pretty sure young Quentin hauled ass and hid in a corner, and spent the next half a decade checking under his bed for Denzel every night.
 

Pound Meat

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My favourite Tarantino story is how Denzel Washington cornered him on the set of mid-tier submarine thriller "Crimson Tide" and asked him to explain the prevalence of racial slurs in his films. Can't remember the details but I'm pretty sure young Quentin hauled ass and hid in a corner, and spent the next half a decade checking under his bed for Denzel every night.

Should have asked him about this bullshit:



Why'd you change the line, Quentin? Why'd you change the line?
 

The Decline

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I dunno, game gore seems pretty tame. It isn't nearly realistic enough make me think it's real instead of just 3d graphics. And I'm not desensitized to it since photos and videos of real gore makes me very sick.
 

Falksi

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Just pretend the gruesome deaths are those of the shitty devs making these toss games.
 

gurugeorge

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Strap Yourselves In
When you watch a Martin Scorsese movie, you can tell he grew up in Little Italy around mobsters. When you watch a Quentin Tarantino movie, you can tell he grew up watching Martin Scorsese movies.

And that’s Tarantino’s main problem—he’s empty. Hopelessly postmodern. Incurably ironic. And entirely safe. He’s a slobbering, drooling, film-school nerd who stuffs his movies full of bloodshed and curse words, apparently hoping no one will notice the Uber-geek behind the camera who’s likely wearing either panties or diapers. He bears the unmistakably soft air of someone who’s never been punched in the face.

For all of his films’ alleged danger and violence, it’s always seemed barkingly obvious to me that he’s a twerpy fake who’d burst into tears if he chipped a fingernail. He’s an emblem of a generation which truly knows nothing beyond pop culture and gets nearly all of its “life experiences” from a screen.

I rented Reservoir Dogs on VHS back in the early 90s after feeling compelled to do so by the massive hype the low-budget film had generated. I fell asleep roughly a half-hour in. When I awoke, I didn’t bother to watch what I’d missed. Whatever aesthetic the movie was desperately trying to capture, I was sure that Frank and Dino had done it better in the early 60s.

“He’s an emblem of a generation which truly knows nothing beyond pop culture and gets nearly all of its ‘life experiences’ from a screen.”
Not having learned my lesson, I went to see Pulp Fiction in a Hollywood theater in 1994. It was a howlingly vacuous pomo mess of winking pop-culture references and staged violence that wouldn’t fool anyone who’s actually been in a violent situation. By the time they got to the scene at the diner with the Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe servers, I walked out of the theater. There was no substance here, only the half-digested waste material of someone who’d cannibalized countless other films but brought nothing new to any of them.


About ten years later, a girlfriend tried forcing me to watch the two Kill Bill movies, which repackage and regurgitate far superior Hong Kong action movies for four hours with the only apparent message being “girls, like, totally kick ass.”


Kill Bill? No, Bill’s not the one I wish had been killed. Tarantino’s films are basically The Simpsons with bloodshed and the word “nigger” tacked on to make them appear edgy. They are Fifty Shades of Grey for fat nerds who grew up watching Star Wars and wouldn’t know the difference between a plastic lightsaber and an AK-47. His movies couldn’t possibly be more devoid of substance. If you prick them with a needle, the only thing that leaks out is air.

Around the year 2000, I happened to catch Tarantino on Jay Leno’s show. What a meeting of the chins that was! At one point Leno announced that he had a surprise prepared for Li’l Quentin, and out from the wings marched Florence Henderson with a mint-condition version of a Brady Bunch board game she handed to the impossibly nerdy and twitchy Tarantino. It was then that I realized that not only wasn’t he someone who could endure one of his movies’ endless gun battles, he’d probably die of a heart attack if a car in his neighborhood backfired.

A couple years later I met comedienne Margaret Cho, who had dated Tarantino back in the early 90s when I was producing a violent magazine that had gained some notoriety due to the fact that my first wife and I posed with guns and cultivated an image as a Starkweather and Fugate duo ready to go postal at any moment. Cho told me she’d given Tarantino an anthology of my magazine and that he’d used me and my first wife as the character templates for his screenplay to the film Natural Born Killers, which was another ultra-violent film that seemed to have zero visceral understanding of violence.


Whereas I struggled to understand violence because I’d been exposed to it since infancy and because my deaf brother had been brutally murdered, Tarantino seemed to fetishize violence because he’d watched a lot of violent movies and thought it was awesome.

Tarantino went on to do a fake blaxploitation film called Jackie Brown. Like most Goodwhites—maybe a better term is Weak Whites—Tarantino worships blackness and even tries to talk black. He once said that abolitionist John Brown was his favorite American because Brown saw the righteous necessity of “spilling white blood.”


More white blood was spilled in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012), Tarantino’s two most commercially successful films. What were the edgy and subversive ideas these films foisted upon the world? Why, the dangerous and radical notion that both Nazis and slavery were, like, totally uncool, man.

Is there any risk this man won’t take? Imagine walking into a Hollywood meeting and having the chutzpah to say, “Gents, I know this isn’t going to go over well, but I’d like to do a film that proposes the radical idea that Nazis were the bad guys.” Imagine being so cluelessly disconnected from reality that you think you’re making a dangerous statement by doing a “revenge” film against the side that LOST a war….and then following it up with a movie that drives home the point that slavery was a cruel and brutal institution.

Tarantino is such a trend-setter and rule-breaker that the main villains in his films tend to be deranged rednecks, which is remarkable when one considers that deranged rednecks have been the main villains in Hollywood films since the mid-1960s.

lol, that review is really on-point for Tarantino. I enjoy his movies too - but then I'm the same kind of sick product of a sick generation.

I was always struck by the fact that the music and movies preferred by the generation that had actually been through the bloody horror of WW2 - the movies and imagery, music, etc., of the late 40s and 50s - were mild, even milquetoast, about pleasant home life, genteel courtship, family, etc.

Another thing that all this reminds me of (particularly Ismaul's speculation above) is the point made by de Sade in 120 Days of Sodom (perhaps the most extreme thing ever penned by anyone) - the point that without God or at least the widely-believed idea of God, the more rationalistic and materialistic the tenor of culture gets, people will just keep getting more and more extreme in their preferences, and there will be no limits. That really does seem to be borne out by the way pornography is going, violence in various media, and general culture.

But then that gets into the territory of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor. Are we really faced with an exclusive choice between the naked truth leading to hell, and a big lie leading to peaceful, stable societies? That would be really depressing.

But then I suppose the counter-weight, the governor, is that things can only go in that direction for so long before people get surfeited and sickened, and there's a backlash. The nervous system is just incapable of sustaining fever pitch for so long, the excitement wears off, and the bleak, bloody landscape is revealed ...
 
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