Spector On Violence In Games: "We've Gone Too Far"
Violence and video games go hand in hand. Some see this as unnecessary and unfortunate, at least in regards to extreme, unnecessary violence.
One of those people is industry design icon Warren Spector, who will help deliver Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two to the PlayStation 3 later this year. In speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Spector said the "ultraviolence has to stop," and he worries that things have just gone too far.
"I left Eidos in 2004 because I looked around at E3 and saw the new Hitman game where you get to kill with a meat hook, and 25 to Life, the game about kids killing cops, and Crash & Burn the racing game where the idea is to create the fieriest, most amazing explosions, not to win the race... I looked around my own booth and realized I just had one of those 'which thing is not like the other' moments. I thought it was bad then, and now I think it's just beyond bad.
We've gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat. You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed - whether they succeeded or not I can't say - but they were designed to make you uncomfortable, and I don't see that happening now. I think we're just appealing to an adolescent mindset and calling it mature. It's time to stop. I'm just glad I work for a company like Disney, where not only is that not something that's encouraged, you can't even do it, and I'm fine with it."
Perhaps this is the most important part of Spector's statement; where he says we're basically only pandering to an adolescent mindset and calling that "mature." We touched on this when we spoke to Dr. Bruce Bartholow, although it didn't make it into the published interview. This idea that extreme violence somehow passes for maturity is something that has infected the entire society; it goes well beyond video games.
That being said, action will have to remain a part of a genre that is primarily interactive. The only question is whether or not there is a line, or if there should be a line...and yes, there probably should. But who draws it?
6/14/2012 8:58:26 PM Ben Dutka