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Beyond Will Be Useful In Combating The GTAV-Fueled Hate

By the time Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls releases, the industry will have been inundated with negative headlines and general outcry due to Grand Theft Auto V.

The mainstream media will cover every last one of those headlines, because it's what they do. Beyond will never once be mentioned but then again, neither was Heavy Rain, or Journey, or any other game that proves that not all video games are about violence and offensive content. But that doesn't mean those in-the-know can't use titles like Beyond as ammunition against those who ignorantly accuse gaming of being the root cause of countless human tragedies. They have to point the finger somewhere, obviously.

As far as the press outside of gaming is concerned, the only games that exist include guns. This is despite the fact that Quantic Dream boss David Cage has said dozens of times that in fact, he doesn't believe games need guns to be entertaining. He's been running counter to that idea for years now. Of course, he won't be featured on CNN any time soon; all we'll see are so-called experts who sound so out-of-touch, it's shockingly embarrassing. That doesn't mean we don't have our ambassadors. We just have to politely remind the haters and accusers that in fact, they probably shouldn't lecture anyone on an industry about which they know absolutely nothing. They're embarrassing themselves on a daily basis.

Beyond should feature great drama, with fantastic acting performances, top-notch writing, complex themes, and even moral dilemmas. Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe head the cast, and everyone is looking forward to a singular, defining experience. And yes, this might include many of the same people who are currently enjoying GTAV. Believe it or not, members of the obscenely biased mainstream press, video games are art. And that art doesn't have to involve bullets and dead bodies; in fact, very often, it doesn't involve any such thing. So, when Beyond gets here, let's remember that it'll be useful in combating the rising tide of game haters who see no need to be educated on the issues.

Related Game(s): Beyond: Two Souls

Tags: beyond two souls, grand theft auto v, video game violence, gaming industry

9/23/2013 9:41:09 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

newchef
Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 10:08:50 PM
Reply

we need to send someone like you, Ben, to some of the major media outlets to show that gamers enjoy the whole gamut of genres and that one specific game or series dont define the entire industry

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Bonampak
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 3:03:16 PM

Well if Ben decides to go at them, I think he needs to tell them a few things.

Like the real problem is not the amount of violence in games. Is actually the perception by the media and politicians that videogames are mostly played by children.

That is the main reason why the media and politicians make a big deal out of it. Because they're so disconnected with the gaming world, that they still think that mostly 8 year olds are playing videogames. So they're trying to "protect" kids from violent games.

But they're ignoring a very important detail: And its the fact that there is a rating system in place designed to prevent M rated games ending up with kids.

They also overlook the fact that PARENTS are not acting as parents at all. Because when little Timmy asks them for GTA, they go out of their way to buy it for him. They wouldn't buy liquor or porn for their kids. But they sure as hell do buy them M rated videogames.

So the media, parents and politicians need to be educated on all that.

But who's gonna do it? Who's gonna take them on and set things straight?

Unfortunately, game companies or people in the industry are not going out of their way to fix any of that. And the reason is obvious: why would they even try to do away with an important demographic (kids) that brings in the millions (with their parents doing most of the buying for them)? Kid's money is just as good as that from an adult.

So they are quick to throw the ball at parents. And they do that knowing perfectly well that parents are not equipped to deal with the current rating system.

And because their not educated on it, they can't tell the difference between an E rated game and an M rated game - all they know is that their kid wants a specific game and that's all they know. They don't know any better.

And here we are with these same issues with M rated games once again. It will never go away as long as no one does a thing about it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 10:20:12 PM
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I think Beyond will include bullets and dead bodies but obviously the high drama will be the actual draw, though nobody would pay attention to that even if it were mentioned.

While I'm not perfectly keen on Cage's ideas about bringing Hollywood actors into games it's a little reassuring to think that in the future we might have high-profile respected people out in the world who are available to say some good things about gaming or even defend it. That will be more likely if Page and Dafoe get any honors for their performances. I really don't see how these high-tech acting jobs can be ignored forever.

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PC_Max
Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 10:52:08 PM
Reply

Art today has little meaning anymore. Many of my "artist" friends who refer to themselves as "artists" agree with this thought. Anything and everything is art, and therefore has no base. Granted my friends are illustrators, painters and such, both digitally and traditional. Elitists? Maybe.. but makes sense. I stopped calling myself an artist years ago when I discovered everyone was one. Now I am just... a designer. :)

Labelling something as "Art" today is all about trying to give something credibility. Its over used and abused. And its applied to everything, cooking, fashion, cars, even the design of the PS4 console (as nice as it looks).

I really take issue when the term "art" is used. Its based on when someone, in my business usually a producer, has to pull out there resume to show you they worked at Ubisoft or Bethesda to prove their experience, they MUST know what they are doing. BUT it does not prove anything and in a number of cases with me, has been proven to me as to why they no longer work there. Its all about credibility. Using a label or tag or in the above case a company to say you are credible.

Maybe art was elitist at one time, not sure Van Gogh thought himself that way, but at least then it meant something. I have the upmost respect for David Cage. He is truly a storyteller. And that is ... dare I say it...an art form. OR a skill. Beyond Two Souls is on pre-order.

I once joked about taking a picture of a cow patty with a red rose sticking out of it and make thousands of dollars selling and calling it art. But its not. It would be about money.... and not about being art. Would be nice to have the money though. :)

Keep playing. Peace.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 10:59:19 PM

Well there's art and there's nihilism about art.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 1:01:42 AM

The only reason art doesn't mean anything is because of the phrase, "anything and everything is art."

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 3:00:15 AM

That was a good post, PC_Max.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2013 3:00:25 AM

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 4:46:43 AM

I look upon the argument that nothing is art because everything is art the same way as I look at the mantra, "You can do anything." - It's a load of tosh. The problem is that so many people actually adhere to the idea that anything that was created by a person can be considered art. It's patently untrue. Art is about moving a person, or giving them the opportunity to think about something in a way that they would not normally.

I wouldn't call art elitist. It's just... overly commercialised in the modern age. Sure, guys like Van Gogh and Michelangelo and Titian and Vergil would have had some idea of recompense in mind when embarking on their greatest works - whether it came in the form of financial gain or a rise in social standing hardly matters - but it was more to express themselves and challenge people. These days, those aren't even secondary considerations.

To me, art is something that isn't created with the intention of making money, but saying something and it doesn't matter about whether it comes in photography or illustration, sculpture, literature, film or even gaming.

See, this is why I love this community. Where else in gaming forums would you happen across a guy musing on the modern idea of art, even if it was a topic broached in the article. Wish I could give you more than just one up-thumb Max.

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Gordo
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 7:53:07 AM

I believe that anything that can provoke emotion can be defined as "art". This however doesn't mean that anyone can produce art.

Heavy Rain and Journey had me swept away emotionally as great as with any painting, book or piece of music.

The majority of great artists however have learnt their trades traditionally by progressing through the ranks and learning the basics first. They stand on the shoulders of giants and improve and innovate on what has gone before.

We need to support the visionaries in this medium and thankfully Sony seems to have given us some truly great classics this generation.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 8:22:41 AM

But isn't the correct phrase, "anything and everything *CAN* be art"? At least that makes the phrase make sense, cause it's true. Anything can.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 9:03:04 AM

I agree with you Beam, that captures what I've learned about art over the years.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 10:18:25 AM

Yes, it's unfortunate that what they're teaching in schools (and what World learned) is completely untrue. Lawless is right.

It's just more of the same insidious, damaging "anyone can do anything" and "everyone is the same" philosophy that is crippling us. The doodle I did on a napkin isn't art. The day we started believing that is the day real art, and real artistic talent, started to die.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 11:01:38 AM

haha, I got to disagree on that one we can have different opinions on what is art but we can't have different facts about the philosophies behind it.

One, as Beam said, is that you can use anything to create art so in that sense anything CAN be art because it can be transformed by the unique human animal into something with more meaning. That's my 2 cents, take it or leave it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 11:25:00 AM

Anything CAN be art. That does not mean that everything IS.

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PC_Max
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 9:10:54 PM

True enough Ben. I would go as far as saying that there are some things that should not be art. lol.

Keep playing people!

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 1:05:10 AM
Reply

yeah i definately think that i'll be gud to counter the bad flack from GTA thats games will be getting.

happy gaming =)

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 3:30:23 AM
Reply

I don't know what that will prove at all. It doesn't make the violent games any less violent, or the immorality any less immoral.

I don't think anyone believe there are *only* violent games. Who in the mainstream press doesn't know about Mario or Angry Birds or Bejeweled or whatnot? Come on, we're in 2013 now.
Their point is that the games who *do* feature violence and immorality have a bad impact on the youth. And not one hundred thousand Marios can change that.

It's like the critisism that Tarantinos movies typically receive, about violent content. What should he do, just point at Disney? Sorry bro', it doesn't work like that. :)

Nope, violent and immoral games must forever expect to be met like this, just like extreme lyrics in music, vulgar painitings or violent movies.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2013 3:43:39 AM

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 4:59:53 AM

This I agree with, with the caveat that the creation of games like Journey, Deadly Premonition, or Beyond, which put the artistic ability of interactive entertainment before the violent, can be used as a counterbalance. It isn't so much about simply pointing at such games in an attempt to claim legitimacy, but guiding those that would lambast the hobby/industry for being a bad influence on society as a whole to the realisation that it isn't so clear cut. That there is an artistic side to gaming, just as there is to film and literature, rather than just the violent aspects that serve so well as entertainment.

But no, you can't use Beyond to defend GTA V. If the latter is criticised for going beyond the realm of decency, then that argument cannot be invalidated by pointing at another game and going "but, but...". It doesn't work that way.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 6:19:43 AM

I do understand the noble intentions. But gaming today is not just something that children do in the basement, it's long ago surpassed that state. Game reviews are, at least here in Norway, a part of mainstream press and has been so for years.

So while not all games are about mindless violence it's those who indeed are that is of interest to the media and analysts in the context of bad influences.

Take other publications with a very hateful message. It kinda serves no purpose to say that "there are other books too, you know. It's not all bad". It is irrelevant.

It's not unreasonable to expect GTA5 to sell 20 mill pretty fast. Then it's time for the next COD who will sell even more.
How many copies will Beyond sell? A couple of mill, if lucky? It just serves to no purpose other than to perhaps illustrate that in comparison almost no gamer wants what Beyond offers.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2013 6:44:42 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 10:20:15 AM

"Their point is that the games who *do* feature violence and immorality have a bad impact on the youth."

Their point is critically flawed because those games aren't made for children in the first place, so it's entirely irrelevant.

Furthermore, many, if not most, members of the mainstream press all believe that most every video game is extremely violent. Yes, they do. I really don't think you get just how out-of-touch they are in this country. If they knew of games like Beyond and Heavy Rain and Journey, it'd be a different story. But they don't. And here's the kicker: They have no desire to, because it isn't "newsworthy." Journalism is a joke right about now and it's because of reasons like this; Journey has no shock value, despite other real newsworthy aspects; hence, it will never be in the news.

What you're not getting is that video games remain in the dark ages in terms of mainstream attention in this country. It's not like books or movies or music or anything else.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 9/24/2013 10:32:10 AM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 10:47:50 AM

It's not irrelevant as long as children do play those games, Ben. That would be like saying it's irrelevant if cocaine does something to your aggression level cause it's illegal anyway.

For a journalist the question is obvious: Could it be that there is a correlation between violent games and anti-social behaviour? It's a lead worth investigating from a journalistic standpoint.

And that is their focus. And from *that* perspective it doesn't really matter if there's other games out there too, with other content. It just isn't of any relevance to the story.

But it's unfortunate to hear that the media in the states is this behind the times. In the UK (BBC) video games are even covered in their culture programs, like "Saturday Review" who mostly reviews movies, books, theater and art exhibits - but also the major game releases. They had a rather large slot covering GTA5 last week.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 10:58:18 AM

It's irrelevant. There's no point in assessing any damage done by something that isn't made for children. At that point, it should be common sense that it should be kept away from kids, and the only blame can be placed at the feet of the parents.

The only reason we don't accept this is because it's sacrilege to blame a parent for anything these days. It's always, ALWAYS someone else's fault.

And you made my point. Journalism today is about having an agenda; i.e., a story angle that they just spin out again and again for a quarter-century because they know it gets attention. That's exactly what their focus has been. It's not like there aren't OTHER things to cover in this industry; you and I both know there are. But they never touch it. They only - and I mean ONLY - report on video games when it's negative.

And yes, the dark ages. You will never hear video games spoken about on any TV show, news or otherwise, unless it's G4TV. And if you do hear anything, it'll be about how another video game caused someone to perpetrate some vicious crime. We're all really, really sick of it over here.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 9/24/2013 10:58:46 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 @ 3:26:12 AM

I understand your frustration but I think you are being a bit unfair to the mainstream press now.

Gaming news are generally not interesting to anyone but gamers. The mainstream press have to relate to that. How often do we read about other hobbies in the mainstream press/broadcasts? When did we last hear about the latest RC-car nitro buggy World Champion, or the latest trends in cupboard collections? :D

Think about this: There's a lot of tremendously exciting things happening in the gaming world that you do not cover here at PSXE. Why not? Naturally because you consider it to be irrelevant to the profile of this site (Playstation focus), and not considered relevant/interesting to a majority of your target audience (Playstation gamers).
The editors of the mainstream press have to do that exact same consideration for their publications.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/25/2013 3:36:12 AM

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DarthNemesis
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 10:35:58 AM
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I found most of the content in GTA5 to be uneccessary but I have not played it since San Andreas when I was 20 years old.9 years later and I understand the criticism.Some things just should not be in videogames and my brother who is a huge GTA fan agrees.Especially with the use of the N word.Sex was used within context in games like Mass Effect and felt more mature instead of juvenile.Beyond 2 Souls should get attention not just becausr of its artistic vision, but becauseit will be the superior game though the masses would rather play as a bank robber with family issued.I will be selling GTA5 for Beyond 2 Souls and cannot wait to wash the stain of the dreadful game off of my hands.

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 10:50:01 AM
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It's truly sad that I preordered GTA from Amazon and received it today, a week late U_U.

First and last time I preorder anything from anywhere.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 11:06:22 AM

You know you have to select the proper shipping option to get it on release day right?

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 12:42:19 PM

I must have missed that. Which shipping option is that? I had 3-4 business days Amazon Locker shipping. Since they took so long to ship it, they waived my shipping fee.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 2:31:48 PM

Ah, well it sounds like they DID make a mistake, but when you pre-order there's this odd thing they make you do. You usually have to change your shipping time to the 2 day option to get it on release day. I don't know why they don't just add a release day option but that's how it has been for me for a long time. Bummer you had to wait though I know how aggravating that is.

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Kokushi
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 @ 4:29:19 PM
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MRSUCCESS, that happened to me with Amazon, i ordered GTA V September 7 and tomorrow is going to be shipped to Miami (i use a Currier) and then i have to wait two more days to arrive here.

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