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NEWS: Yo Dude: Let the Games Begin

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posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:15 AM
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Postal was the first game that let the player be the bad guy - the Dude, a trailer park denizen - creating a fantastical world where players could work out their aggressions on the screen. Now, violence in games covers everything from chopping up victims with butter knives to setting off nuclear explosions. But there's a problem. Violence is getting boring. The fans want something new.

 



www.msnbc.msn.com
Postal, which first came out in 1997, has been denounced by some game reviewers as a "murder simulator" and has been outlawed by the governments of at least 14 countries. ...In the original Postal video game, you play a man gone berserk, beating up innocent bystanders just because you've had a bad day. In the second version, you attack a Middle Eastern shop owner, dancers at a gay club and a marching band. In the latest iteration, due out this spring, you mistakenly set off a nuclear explosion, killing everyone in town.

Violence has always been key to the game's success, turning it into a profitable franchise for the company behind it, Running With Scissors Inc. That success has bred lots of imitators and helped establish a whole genre, but like many in their industry, the game's developers are now confronting a new question. Is it wise -- or even feasible -- to push the scenarios to further extremes?

Steve Wik, 39, the company's lead creative director, says he feels too many games have become dependent on violence for violence's sake and that has made violence, well, boring. His colleague Bill Kunkel, 54, adds that some games are too dark for even his taste. He's seen one scene in which the main character is "chopping people up with a butter knife in an alley." Mike Jaret, 23, points out that game review sites on the Web recently have become filled with similar criticism about games from the people you'd least expect -- fans.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



Postal's success created a whole new genre of games whose goal is "to basically be a sociopath," according to psychology researcher Douglas Gentile. The new generation, and all the competition, cut into Postal's profits and finally, made violence boring. Now Running With Scissors Inc. is looking for a new hook.

The answer is a violent game about non-violence, say creators Steve Wik, Bill Kunkel and Mike Jaret. In a new twist, players will be rewarded for playing peacefully. It's a kind of morality play with three possible paths, reflecting the choices made. As the Dude, players will end up being a serial killer, an eco-terrorist - or the new presidential candidate.



Seeking new twists on violence

You'll still have access to a slew of weapons, but you'll be rewarded with a better outcome if you play peacefully. For instance, while driving around one day the Dude will encounter a wounded person on the street. The player can either run over the guy, ignore him or give him a lift to the nearest hospital.

"The three scenes represent three moral paths," Wik says. Depending on the choices the player makes, he'll end up either as a serial killer, an eco-terrorist - or ...the new presidential candidate.




So who says video games aren't realistic?




posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 07:26 AM
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I don't doubt that Postal's success opened the flood gates, but it wasn't the first such game. I remember back in middle school somebody smuggled a floppy disk into the computer lab and put this one game on several computers. The hero of the game was a sociopath. The point of the game was to break out of the mental hospital and along the way, rape (yes RAPE), assault, and murder everyone in the way; doctors, nurses, cops, and citizens, all targets. It was a pretty messed up game.

Desensitization is real, but I'm not entirely sure it's a bad thing. A lot of my friends played these games all the time they were growing up, and none of them are in prison on a murder rap so far as I know. I myself have rocked many a first person shooter, I used to play them for money at this place I hung out, and I haven't gotten arrested or tried for murder yet.

I think there is a corrolation between very small children seeing violence and imitating it, because they are imitators by nature. Adults and teenagers on the other hand, are largely done with that 'see-it, do-it' phase of their lives, and you can't get them to kill people just by showing them examples of it.

I do think in the end it's the parent's responsibility to keep their children safe and teach them well. If the video game company can make vast sums of money by selling these games, they have to be allowed to do so in a capitalist society. In totalitarian and communist dictatorships, these sorts of games are outlawed and I'm not sure they've seen any positive effects resulting from that action.

And in the end, remember: Art imitates life, not the other way around. If we lived in a utopia, our art and our games, our schools and our places of business would reflect that. We live in hell, so this is what you get...



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne

Desensitization is real, but I'm not entirely sure it's a bad thing.





Didn't say it was - and didn't mean to imply it. ...I actually think it's quite interesting that it's the FANS who are initiating the shift away from pure sociopathic violence.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 09:22 AM
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It is sort of interesting, I myself was weaned on those games, but I find them enormously boring now...

I much prefer strategy to mass murder, I'm sure I'm not alone in that. There is a certain appeal to blowing away wave after wave of critters that explode in showers of multi-coloured goo, but the thrill does wear off after a few hours...

For a while things like story and character development took a back seat to gore and mayhem. That trend is reversing, and I'm sure it will reverse again in the not too distant future. Constant flux is the only constant...



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 09:30 AM
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My son has played games for years, he has the ones he find childish to the wants that are boring like role playing.

He sticks with on line group playing now, battler simulations are on his favorite.

I have to say that for my experiences with my son through the years, I never seen any change on his behavior (beside the teenagers years woes) and he has never been in any kind of problems.

I feel that a children to turn violent from playing video games it has to do more with their surrounding environment, situation at home and mental stability.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 10:49 AM
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I got my first M rated game when I was 9 years old, it was called Ultima Online. It really wasn't very gorey, but it was full of people on the internet playing aswell and well, that can always be somewhat... interesting. Shortly after that I got Half-Life, wich was definitly more gorey. I killed soldiers attacking me, Black Ops, and of course aliens. Oh zombies too.

I defintly don't think that those games made me any more violent, and in fact I prefer Role Playing Games wich tend to be more fantasy then reality. I still enjoy First Person Shooters however, and this new story leads me to wonder why. I suppose it's the action, the sounds, the explosions. But I do wonder if I could play a game like Postal. Even in GTA3 killing innocints just never was my thing. So I guess the sales of the game will tell you if people really do enjoy violence like this. (Or not, he did say you could be a good guy)



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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I don't believe these games will make you a sociopath, but I don't play them. I do play golf and it makes me want to kill sometimes--usually myself.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 11:04 AM
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Oh Sofi,

This one is right up my ally


I have been a gamer since I got my first Atari 2600 for christmass when I was a 'Kid'. That was 24 or 25 years ago. I have been hooked ever since. Nothing relaxes me more than jumping on my PC and booting up Half Life 2 DM, making a few good kills and somone telling me: GG, or GK. (That means Good Game, or Good Kill for those uninitiated
)

We are a society that thrives on violence in our entertainment and media. With out violence, what is peace? I would much rather have the next Jeffery Dhamer carry out his fantasy on the screen than in real life. Im not making excuses for physical violence, but rather the exact opposite. Someone allowed to vent their rage in the nether reality of video games is less likely to go'Postal" and shoot up a McDonalds.

Kids that do stupid stuff and then blame it on the game instead of owning up to the fact that they are responsible for their actions, is a big part of why Games are in the bad light they are being portraied in today. The parents of these kids would rather believe that their kids are incapable of such acts and they find the closest scapgoat for their disbelief. Usually Grand Theft Auto. Remember when it was Ozzy and Judas Priest that got this kind of attention?



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:12 PM
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There are a few thins that, in hind sight, seem a little dangerous about games I used to play often like Grand Theft Auto, Doom, etc.

First and foremost actually isn't the violence itself. It's the repetition.
In most cases, a person would have to be tweaked out on meth to spend several hours compulsively repeating the same strange task, but if you are even mildly compulsive, videogames will bring that out in you as well.

Secondly, although games never created a psychological tendency to ward violence for me, they did put a very peculiar notion in my head that I was good at killing. Almost everyone enjoys doing things they excel at. That's a problem. To this day I am convinced that guerrilla warfare would be a lot of fun, because I'd probably be good at it. See the problem?

I don't believe in the nanny-state, I believe in personal responsibility. I'm free to choose any recreation I like, and I'm responsible for making healthy choices. That responsibility obviously extends into parenting as well. If somebody can't handle that freedom we have a prison system that will gladly relieve them of the burden.


As for smart choices in violent video-games, I recommend carefully selected Role Playing Games. Many have a mixture of violent and non-violent objectives, as well as a system of karma whereby your path is altered whenever you kill innocents (usually in a way that yields reduced interaction and far less stimulating game play).

One more idea I've got, and this ones really out there but I think it would be a great idea. Put a time limit on your video-gaming and buy yourself a basketball hoop. Games are a lot of fun, but like many in my generation I cheated myself out of a lot of stuff sitting in front of these hyper-modern idiot boxes, and I didn't even know it until I tried something different. Go run a couple miles or play a sport or something- you might really like it.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 01:28 PM
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I remember back in middle school somebody smuggled a floppy disk into the computer lab and put this one game on several computers. The hero of the game was a sociopath. The point of the game was to break out of the mental hospital and along the way, rape (yes RAPE), assault, and murder everyone in the way; doctors, nurses, cops, and citizens, all targets. It was a pretty messed up game.



Do you know or can you remember the name of the game? I would like to look it up on the internet.

To be honest I have never seen any game that had rape in it. Nudity yes but rape frankly I have serious doubts any legal game has that.


Edit....
Ops forgot to mention I like FarCry and the Medal of Honor series and Call of Duty. Have not tried the latest Medal of Honor Battle of the Pacific or whatever they call it. As I understand it the game sucks according to reviews. I also do not care for the Battlefield series by EA, I am strictly a FP player myself, I do not like playing online because there are too many cheaters.

[edit on 3/17/2005 by shots]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:01 PM
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To be honest I have never seen any game that had rape in it. Nudity yes but rape frankly I have serious doubts any legal game has that.


I believe the Japanese made a game out of a popular Japanamie comic series called "Rape Man" I am not joking btw. I'm sure there are other more depraved videogames out there.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000




I believe the Japanese made a game out of a popular Japanamie comic series called "Rape Man" I am not joking btw. I'm sure there are other more depraved videogames out there.


I agree there may be games like that, however as I stated I doubt any mainstream game exists that is why I asked WyrdeOne, for the name of the game. Surely if it exists he would know the name of the game since he claims he saw it. Until I see the proof I have my doubts.



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 02:31 PM
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Well the game is mainstream in Japan, is that good enough? The most masochistic game I even seen in the "Mainstream" was Manhunt and that game was crappola, so you're probably right when you say no game like that exists in Mainstream videogames, he might be talking about an obscure oldass game, but who knows.

I do not see why you are doubting it, programmers back in the day can be just as sick and twisted as the next guy. *shrug* He didn't even say it was a mainstream game
And it was in middle school so it was probably a long time ago. Trust me games like these exist, they are mostly banned(yes some video games get banned from time to time, cannot remember the last ones name but it was a very violent fighter 10x worse then mortal kombat.

[edit on 17-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

I do not see why you are doubting it, programmers back in the day can be just as sick and twisted as the next guy. *shrug* He didn't even say it was a mainstream game
And it was in middle school so it was probably a long time ago. Trust me games like these exist, they are mostly banned(yes some video games get banned from time to time, cannot remember the last ones name but it was a very violent fighter 10x worse then mortal kombat.

[edit on 17-3-2005 by sardion2000]


Well if the games do in fact exist, why then are you unable to name the name of the game?

My point is without a specific name all we have is hearsay and that does not count



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 02:21 AM
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I don't make # up shots. I remember playing the game, why does that guarantee I would remember the name of the game? It was more than a dozen years ago, probably 14 or 15 to be exact. I didn't even own the game, like I said, it was put on the school computers by someone using a disk. If it helps, the computer labs used macinosh computers, and I think one of the other games we played was marathon, and this network game with little tanks that shot black circles.

As far as the other game, I remember you could use a stolen syringe as a weapon, and hold one of the nurses hostage to engage in a somewhat graphic rape scene. Then, if you made it out of the hospital perimeter you were in a wooded area, and if you went in a certain direction you stumbled across a cabin in the woods. There was a man inside, I think he had a shotgun, and I always died at that point.

One of the highest grossing mangas of all time was a story called "Ogre Rape." I can't remember the author, but I know the series was wildly popular in Japan.

There are also dozens of H-Games that focus on seducing and having sex with various females, again, you don't have to take my word for it, you can do a search.

Question my credibility? Get tossed. What reason would I have to make this up?



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:11 AM
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"yes some video games get banned from time to time, cannot remember the last ones name but it was a very violent fighter 10x worse then mortal kombat"

It was not banned, it's name was and is "Thrill Kill" for the playstation 1.It was simply never relesed because THQ(the game maker) didnt want a bad rep from it at the time(lieberman was going crazy about doom and quake at the time and games like that were being frowned upon at the time, it was around the time of the 2 kids shooting up thier school mates).However it was stolen by a few people at E3 that year and released on the internet so you could burn it and play it in a "modded" PS1.I played it at a friends house who made a burned copy off the internet.Grand Theft Auto is far more violent...trust me.The game wasnt really that bad, it was just hype.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:34 AM
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Neither Violence Nor Oppression Are New

Violence is not caused by TV or electronic simulations of it, but propagandists pushing an agenda like to say it is.

Usually this is in conjunction with some new legislation or regulation granting a special interest group and/or government agency more money and power.

Note that 14 countries have outlawed “Postal”. I'm sure their citizens are much safer as a consequence.


It's kind of refreshing to see someone who's dogmatically accused of “promoting violence” see that yes, once you get down to it, even violence gets old after a while.

The Real Sociopaths

So where is the real danger in all this? The politicians who advocate “crackdowns” and “zero tolerance”.

Unlike a computer game, these people are real, and unlike computer games, political attitudes such as theirs have led to the imprisonment and murders of tens of millions of people. Well over 100 million in just the last century alone, the bloodiest and most murderous century in recorded human history.

Hmm, maybe the Running with Scissors team should consider a game in which the Dude gets elected to the Senate, then leads a crusade against violence, followed eventually by his appointment as the Supreme Chancellor of the World who orders all “violent” people rounded up and sent off to camps for “re-education”, never to be seen again.

Unfortunately, the demographics for such a game would limit sales mainly to Capitol Hill and government agencies, most likely rendering it unprofitable.

That is, unless they succeed in getting legislation passed to pay for the game with taxpayers' money.

Then it would be a record-breaking financial success, like so many other bogus programs Americans are forced to pay for.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 04:36 AM
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Baskett
That's certainly the case with a lot of games coming out these days. They get hyped up, draw protesters, which increases the hype, and so on. What the protesters don't realize is that they're positively affecting the company's bottom line with all their ranting and raving. I mean, you can't buy that sort of publicity. As they say, there's no such thing as bad press.

There have been a few games that used extreme violence in interesting ways, there was one game that had detailed physics algorithms to simulate breaking bones and spraying blood. Mortal Kombat was all about the fatalities, the actual fighting engine was sub-standard. It survived and flourished because of creative use of extreme violence (ripping your opponents head off, spine attacked). I would take Tekken over MK any day, for precisely that reason.

I prefer authentic to grandiose, and the engine makes all the difference in fighting games. One of my all time favorites is Bushido Blade, because of the simplicity and and honesty in the damage system. Real people don't have life meters, they get hit hard they fall down, simple.

There have also been games that embrace the anti-hero, which I am a big fan of, and use extensively in my fiction. Those sort of games get a lot of bad press because they supposedly encourage anti-social behavior, but I frankly don't buy it. I've played so many damn games it's ridiculous, and I'm not a psychopath or a danger to my neighbors. I suppose if you start out crazy, these kinds of games aren't going to help you get well, but that's not what they were designed for. They were designed to entertain, and they accomplish that. Otherwise, we wouldn't be buying them.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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Originally posted by Majic

Note that 14 countries have outlawed “Postal”. I'm sure their citizens are much safer as a consequence.


The Real Sociopaths

So where is the real danger in all this? The politicians who advocate “crackdowns” and “zero tolerance”.





Hmmm. As I said above, I find it most interesting that it's the fans who want something different.

FYI - I support free speech, Open Access and Open Source. I fight against censorship in all it's forms.

IMO - The political focus on violence, including glaring headlines like "3 Year Old Raped Live on the Internet" are manipulating public perceptions - and paving the road for net controls and more stringent copyright and intellectual property rights protections through inappropriate criminalization - which I don't support. ...I advocate vigilance, and working to protect internet freedoms.

...IMO - The existent criminal justice system can deal with criminals.

...To be honest - As a parent, I've sometimes vacillated on what I think about media violence and exposing my kid to same - and recognize that watching Bambi is one of the most truamatizing events in a child's life (mother death, abandonment etc). ...So where I draw the line is on films that link sex and violence - otherwise, I promote dialogue and discussion for debriefing.



.



posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Question my credibility? Get tossed. What reason would I have to make this up?


Gee am I to take the above as some kind of vague threat or something
If so you are trying to pick a fight with the wrong guy. I do not bash others nor do I degrade them that is not right and not my style.

Now back OT.

I was not questioning your credibility I was questioning the existance of the game. I am sure that you would do the very same if I made a statement that you questioned wouldn't you? Of course you would it is human nature to ask for proof. If you doubt what I say go back and re-read my original post.
You can clearly see in that post I made to reference to you at all, just the game

As I stated I had never heard of any game that had rape in it. Sex yes but rape no. I had planned to look the game up and see what it had to say about it, is that so hard to understand?


I even tried to look information up, however; all searches lead to porn sites and that is not by bag of tea. One would think that if this game did in fact exist one could find a referance to it right? I have no doubt that that type of game exists in Japan they tend to go for more violence then US game makers.

[edit on 3/18/2005 by shots]



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