I had forgotten about Syndicate and Kain, excellent point. In Kain wasn't there another way of healing, though? I can't remember.
I'm glad to hear you are being open-minded, as I can appreciate that this is a difficult quagmire to wade into with young and old alike. I think what is most interesting to me is the flexibility of the lines we draw between acceptable military conduct and unacceptable, and what constitutes a legitimate target that also contains civilians and a civilian target primarily that one would be wrong to attack. As I've argued in other threads, I am fascinated by the distinctions along these lines that people draw and feel are obvious, particularly when it comes to entertainment.About "terrorist" as a label, I agree. It is tossed around far too casually and is sometimes associated with "anti-American". My son asked me if Iraqis were terrorists. I said of course not. Even those that disagree with the U.S. being there? Again, of course not, provided they don't target non-combatants. I stressed to him that what defines a terrorist isn't what they are fighting for but their approach. America is just as capable of engaging in terrorism as anyone else, and has in the past.
I think I voiced my opinion of you somewhere in page three, I didn't type it personally but why rehash over and over and over again the same old point missing, knee jerking crap?Good thing you don't know what we're talking about at this point then. Go back to page 1.
Sorry do I have to read every single moronic post to cast an opinion about the topic at hand?
My name's Ralphie Reader and it's time for Seattle local television's best daily populist fictional flash - the Ralphie Reader Amazon Kindle KXYZ Literary Buzz Minute powered by Starbucks.
Big news that's gonna wake a lot of you up - it's opposite time for the sixth and latest edition of the Activision's annual collection of Tom Clancy fan-fiction, Let's Shoot Non-Americans.
Earlier this morning, an excerpt of what appears from the French translation of Infinity Ward's heavily anticipated tome Let's Shoot Non-Americans 6 appeared on the obscure French book blog La lecture est pour Mother****ers Badass, detailing a scene where Russian Communists hoping to take power in that country go on a murderous rampage in a Russian airport - suggesting a stark departure from past volumes, where the only people shooting non-Americans were Americans themselves.
Though the excerpt was quickly removed, eagled-eye fans of the series still noticed it and spread it virally and set the internet - from the forums to the Twitter - ablaze with vociferous argument.
What do you think? Hit me up at [email protected] or Tweet me at kyxzreader, and I'll blog the most stimulating responses along with my thoughts on the Ralphieblog this afternoon.
Last edited by alexlitel; 10-27-2009 at 07:28 PM.
Dang it, I was already boycotting MW 2 due to lack of dedi servers! This is overkill!
Also: holy crap, the other trailers for this game are impressive.
As I was watched the leak video, all I could think about was this scene from FMJ.
I won't cast final judgement yet, I don't know the full context of the scene in the overall story, but the Activision spin doctors are going to be earning their pay this week.
On CoD4, they told Activision they would make no changes that Activision requested. At one point, Activision felt the helicopter evac mission was too difficult on hard mode, and that the 1:30 limit was impossible to do.
IW tested, and found they were able to do the mission in 45 seconds. So they replied to Activision that 1:30 was too easy, and the new limit was 60 seconds.
That seems to be just how IW does things.
Saw the title of this thread and thought someone found cut footage from MechWarrior 2's intro.
None of that stuff happens, and that's not the fundamental way in which our brains learn.
So don't worry, there is special pixie juice in games that mean they do not affect us, although magically every other sort of input we have does...
I know its popular to immediately jump to the defence of games and gaming against a hysterical media, but to deny that spending hours shooting civilians in a game affects our thoughts and actions is just silly.
People who say "I played game X and didn't become a terrorist!" are just riffing on the concept of "I watched an advert and didn't buy a big mac!".
Methinks big mac ads make more people buy big macs though. And if they could encourage you to mime the eating of a big mac during the ad, I'm sure they would be more effective.
You can love games, support games, and play games, even make them for a living and still accept that they can influence behaviour.
The question is, how do you balance the necessity of that assumption against the reality that it's flawed in many ways. Ultimately, I think we should draw lines where there are measurable outcomes.
It's one thing to say people seeing something or acting out in a virtual space has an effect. It's another thing to show and predict the effect in such a way that you can determine whatever deterrent you put in place is actually working and not just restricting people's liberty with no significant benefit (where the benefit obviously outweighs the restriction of liberty). Let alone, if the effect turns out to be what you thought it was.
Edit: In this case, people could walk away from that sequence having received very different effects including being disgusted, to being contemplative, to being exhilarated, or maybe one person experiences, disgust, contemplation, and exhilaration together. Ultimately, what responsibility does the maker something have for what people take away from it (we're talking about speech)? It's an important question, but complicated and deserving of more than inevitably crude ratings or knee jerk moral outrage.
Last edited by Mordrak; 10-28-2009 at 03:04 AM.
I think you have a big responsibility, and generally society agrees, which is why we have laws such as incitement to violence or racial hatred. (at least in the UK)
Personally, I would not work on a game like GTA or a game that had you as protagonist deliberately mowing down civilians. I think there is a risk that you are encouraging the normalizing of that behaviour.
I think there are far better ways to provoke honest intellectual debate about terrorism than this. It reminds me of people trying desperately to make the argument that strip clubs are empowering women. I can see how you can twist the argument that way, but it just seems more likely that its a way to justify something that's distasteful because you don't want to feel bad about enjoying it.
What percentage of MW2 players do we think will sit down with buddies and a beer after the game and discuss how it made them reflect on the horror of war or the political definition of terrorist?
The point of marketing and public advertising is to associate a product with a condition in a person's mind so that, when the person is in that condition, he will think of that product. McDonald's ads aren't training you to eat the Big Breakfast - you already know how to do that. McDonald's ads are trying to get you, when you're driving in to work and realize that you haven't had anything to eat yet, to see the McDonald's and think, "Aw, hell - why don't I just get a Big Breakfast?"
That bears absolutely no relationship toward conditioning a person to accept and tolerate violence, or even participate in it. Lemme tell you a little anecdotal evidence. When my mother was young, she had a family that was maybe not the greatest in the world to grow up with. She had a stepfather who maybe was a lot rougher than he needed to be sometimes, particularly when he was drunk, which was most of the time. She had the wonderful experience of seeing one of her neighbors shoot his wife to death and then blow his own brains out in the street. She's been around violence, and the result has been that she doesn't like violence. Being exposed to the thing didn't condition her to engage in it or enjoy it - seeing the real consequences of violent action indelibly marked in her mind the fact that VIOLENCE IS BAD and not a thing you should ever engage in.
There's just no equivalence between the two situations. Compare that scene to Riff Action Gorilla. Both are games where, at some point, you play a terrorist, but Modern Warfare made you uncomfortable with the situation, whereas Gorilla actively encourages you to go out and break people's shit. We're okay with RFG - I mean, that's a great game; I bought it sight unseen on the basis of every human in the universe loving it so hard it needs surgery - but we're not okay with this because....?
Here's a cite (no idea how reliable the website is -- just something that showed up on a quick Google, but a second Google search shows that the Strauss, Gelles, Steinmetz, 1980 study cited is indeed a real study on violence in the family):
Children who are exposed to abuse have an increased chance of being abused and/or being abusive as an adult. Boys whose fathers abused their mothers have 1000% greater likelihood of abusing their partners as adults, than sons of non-violent fathers. (Strauss, Gelles, Steinmetz, 1980).
Last edited by ydejin; 10-28-2009 at 07:14 AM.
I think a big factor in the way this scene is digested by the player is that the average guy firing up Infinity Ward's latest and greatest gun porn action title does so specifically to mow down people with ballistic weapons. No one starts a CoD game to ponder the philosophical question of right and wrong or man's inhumanity to man. They play these games to shoot guns and see stuff blow up.
I highly doubt that most players will participate in this set-piece and come away sickened or rethinking their stance on violence. I think most players will think it's cool as Hell, high-five each other, and yell "Fuck, yeah DAWG! I terrorized those bitches!" People don't watch the Saw movies to ponder existential questions. They watch them to see people torn up in implausible ways.
A spoiler I read put the scene in context, and it's not as controversial for me now. A thread about unforeseen consequences of marketing a video clip out of context would be apt mind you.