On Murderous Video Games

    There was a interesting discussion on the the IGDA‘s Game Design Special Interest Group
    about the necessity of gore in games. In any other genres but action,
    horror and war, I would say no, gore is not needed. That said, I do not
    believe in the “gore-wars” to one-up the “real” nature of violence in
    games. To me this is a childish enterprise for a grail which is never
    realized. Do you remember when the Mortal Kombat arcade game
    series seemed truly violent? Watching it now reveals it’s almost comic
    interpretation of gore.

    of horror
    is to become, for a while, wired to your
    subconscious mind. I’m subscribed to the “life is scary enough without
    horror” group, but for the player whom is engaged in a violent game, he
    is experiencing in himself as a human being,
    what is often buried in the subconscious, now in the conscious. It’s a
    rush of identification with
    great power, with the life-force. We live in a society which chooses to
    ignore the “elimnation of life” our tax dollars pay for in the day, and glamorize
    brutality in the night, amongst the shadows of the 10 o’clock news. We bring real horror to the door
    steps of our unwilling global neighbors, but we seek to regulate the
    fantasies of adults though censorship of the arts. I ask why? We cleary have bigger issues.

    There is a reason most horror and war games are rated M, or 18+, they are not for children. I watched Friday the 13th
    when I was way too young, and I wish I hadn’t, it scared the living
    crap out of me. Parents need to do their best to regulate the content
    their kid ingest, and I realize this is no small task. With that in
    mind, gore in the arts, and the desire to inflict harm in human beings,
    are two natural phenomena. It’s when overt suppression of these desires leads
    to a breakdown in social order that problems arise.

    The life-force which is buried with your mind is a force
    of great power, it is ruthless, and only seeks to survive. The
    conscious mind put a lid on that and allows us to live in the “real
    world”. The desire to harm, the action to harm, and
    the pleasure in the suffering of other, these are the three steps of
    evil. Studying the Horror genre in one of Robert Mckee’s seminars
    recently, I adapated his philosophy to video games and am presenting it

    Sadism is rooted in dread, the fear of death, a sadist with a sadistic
    impulse, feels powerless and that dread builds, to cope with that fear
    they cause death in another living thing. The power of taking life
    allows the killer to feel the power of life and death, this sadist
    tendencies are in all human beings. That moment of suffering empowers
    us, it makes us feel good. The desire to harm, the action to harm, and
    the pleasure in the suffering of other, these are the three steps of
    evil. From cutting off heads, to fragging strangers in Halo 3, to cutting of cars in traffic, it’s a
    matter of degrees. The masochist is someone whom acutely feels dread. They seek out
    powerful people to live in their shadow, and through them they feel
    safe. Naturally the person in power demonstrates their power over the
    masochistic individual, and so beings the cycle of safety and power of
    the sadomasochistic.
    The player firstly seeks to identify with the victim, and puts us in a
    masochistic point of view. Secondly we then seek for the player to
    identify with the predator in a sadistic fashion, and it is through
    this contrast of masochism and sadism that we bring our audience
    to horror. I would agree that children should not engage in such play, or that
    gore belongs in certain genres. But Horror, and in so gore, is mentally healthy.

    Horror games here becomes an emotional therapy whereby players
    excersice thier own unspoken sadomasochistic desires. The catharsis of
    feeling these desires makes us feel
    alive, and hopefully prevents someone from doing evil acts in real
    life. It’s dark, sort of Fruedian, but I think this relativley cold and
    clinical perspective holds a lot of

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