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55 comments

  • Rok - March 19, 2013 10:51 p.m.

    Regarding the Uncharted series, where did the “mass-murdering” part come from? Isn't Nathan simply trying to survive? After all, those he shoots [are] murderous gangsters who started shooting at him with the full intention of killing him [and] his friends; you want him to not fight for his life? So, no, Nathan is not a mass-murderer, but yes, he [is] a grave-robber, an immoral thief. So why not just say that? Why add 'mass-murdering' to the mix? Do you see what I mean? I'm [not] trying to defend the series or Nathan; I actually agree that the message in the game is morally questionable, and that Nathan is a thief made to look really cool, handsome, lovely, funny, etc., but at the same time, I find the addition of “mass-murdering” a bit confusing, and actually makes the mind refuse the claim, and thus refuse the whole sentence. And maybe covert or dodgy agendas like Transhumanism are not considered “morally dubious” by everyone, but they are certainly very creepy and ominous to some people, and they certainly lead to morally dubious results with legalization after public acceptance or public desensitization toward them. So I'd personally add the Mass Effect series to that mix with a line like, “It is perfectly normal and logical to believe that the created can become more powerful than the creator and even rebel effectively against the creator (read: it is ok & logical to be a theophobic or God-hating atheist); and it is perfectly fine to not believe in the soul yet claim that artificial intelligence has a soul, actually...it has life, actually...it [is] life; and finally, it is the most beautiful thing ever to electromagnetically butcher human bodies and genetically mess with humans to turn them into half-machines, actually...that's just the inevitable ultimatum of evolution. As long as we stick the 'evolution', 'posthuman', and 'enhancement' labels on it, it is fine.” And, on the other hand, in defense of the article (if it is actually a serious one!), for the people who are asking, “Who said Saints Row / <insert any other game here> is an innocent game??”, of course 99% of the games out there are seemingly innocent, just as the author said, because they all hide behind a mask of humor, or fiction, or entertainment, and so on. I mean, come on, how many times have you heard the line, “Chill...it's just a game” from every airheaded gamer out there! Every game hides behind that mask of “It's just a game”, but it is never...“just” a game, or just a song, or just a movie, or whatever; it always shapes you somehow, teaches you something, inspires you of something. It is always a piece of culture, and it contributes to your own individual culture. And the more you play it (like Mass Effect serious or Call of Duty series), the more it contributes to your individual culture. Don't take my word for it; read up on the subconscious. Your subconscious is very, very bad at telling reality from fiction.
  • avantguardian - March 19, 2013 11:19 p.m.

    some serious generalizations going on in that last paragraph...
  • Rok - March 20, 2013 10:52 p.m.

    Specify and clarify, or save your breath. That goes for all criticism and everyone really.
  • avantguardian - March 20, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    "99% of games are seemingly innocent"- made up statistic. "they all hide behind a mask." all of them? so much hyperbole. "every airheaded gamer" -smh...so pretentious. "but it is never...“just” a game, or just a song, or just a movie, or whatever; it always shapes you somehow, teaches you something, inspires you of something. It is always a piece of culture, and it contributes to your own individual culture." as if you have any idea whatsoever what you're talking about. again with the hyperbole. "your subconscious is very, very bad at telling reality from fiction." again, you have no idea what you're talking about. and saying that you read it somewhere doesn't mean anything. not a single thing. you know nothing of my subconscious, let alone the other millions of people in the world. no amount of education that you think you have is going to change that. "save your breath." again, pretentious as hell.
  • The_Ouroboros - April 13, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    *claps* Simply beautiful.
  • avantguardian - April 20, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    *silent nod* ;)
  • brickman409 - March 19, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    how is saints row seemingly innocent???
  • winner2 - March 19, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    When in doubt, shoot everything speaking in another language - every CoD game ever
  • Elgyem - March 19, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    Property damage and wanton wildlife abuse are perfectly permittable if you wish to stop an evil wizard. In fact, they are a good idea. When a stranger offers you something, take it. It will always be beneficial. Bombs are a perfectly safe way of clearing whatever is in your way. -Zelda
  • ljrivarola - March 19, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Mass Effect: Even if the entire universe is in imminent danger, there will ALWAYS be time for shopping, dancing, parties and sex.
  • jack-hentschell - March 19, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Though, to be fair, much of that can be applied to the entire genre.
  • shawksta - March 19, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    IM COMMANDER SHEPARD AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE STORE IN THE CITIDEL
  • RedHarlow - March 19, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    The Warhammer 40k games tell you that fascism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and murdering anyone who has (or you think has) a different belief system than you, is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
  • Rowdie - March 19, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    Seems to me that they pitch it as a bit of dystopia not a utopia. Saying 40K supports that thing is like saying 1984 is about how wonderful a big brother government can be.
  • RedHarlow - March 19, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Of course it's a dystopia, but when you play the game you very easily get into the "Murder all the [insert race here] scum!" mindset without giving it much thought at all.
  • Rok - March 20, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    Totally agreed. And not just that, guys; Rowdie and RedHarlow, remember that even if the fictional world you're playing within is a dystopia, the emotional state in your own mind is "pleasure & fun". And remember that your subconscious is very, very bad at telling reality from fiction (your subconscious, I say, not your conscious! And that's what immersion is about; it's your subconscious that gives you that immersion). Thus, the subtle, sinister brainwashing happening to us every minute while living in that fictional dystopia (and again our subconscious isn't concerned whether it's reality or fiction) is that "it is fun"! No, that won't make us wake up the following morning and go like, "Hey, let's make some political effort to turn our country into a fascist one; it's fun!", but...it certainly [desensitizes] us, at least a little, regarding subtle and covert fascist justifications of war. And no need to take my word for it; let's all just remember that almost half the US was sympathetic or agreeing with the war, not just in Afghanistan, but also in Iraq. And only the other half (the good one) was opposing it. So yes, the brainwashing doesn't make people fascist or dumb in an obvious or glaring way, but it certainly desensitizes them just enough to accept hogwash and bull manure as valid justifications of war, xenophobia, religious intolerance, humiliation in airports, police state, or simply...covert fascism. And if enough of a population is desensitized just enough to accept all that, then...what else does a largely corrupt political body and corporate hegemony need from the people to prosper!
  • lmaocarrots - March 19, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Calling God of War an Innocent Video Game is a HUGE stretch
  • BladedFalcon - March 19, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    On the heavy rain one: "If not absolutely everything goes your way, suicide is a perfectly acceptable response. " Um... if I remember correctly, Ethan only ends up committing suicide if he fails to rescue his one remaining son. At which point, that's two sons he has lost, and in both cases he feels he is to blame. He also no longer has a wife, he lost his job. Basically, his life is destroyed and he just lost the one thing he had left.... I think that's more than just a few things that didn't go your way :P Bear in mind, I don't think suicide is justifiable even then, but at least at that point it's understandable, considering that thousands of people have committed suicide for far, far less than that.
  • BladedFalcon - March 19, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Huh.. I hadn't noticed that this was a Houghton article. Well, that explains why he HAD to find a way to work Heavy Rain into it, even if he really has fuck all a valid reason to do so.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - March 19, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    There are at least three different suicide endings for Ethan in Heavy Rain. And at least one of those certainly doesn't involve EVERYTHING going wrong for him. At least two of them though, are unintentionally ridiculous.
  • BladedFalcon - March 19, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    You completely sidestepped my argument though. Yes, there are three scenarios in which he kills himself, and yes, in one he's with Madison, but even still, like I said, in all of them his only remaining son dies. And both of their deaths could be partially blamed on him, which he certainly does. Forget for a second that we're talking about heavy rain, forget everything else in the story, and try to be fair for a second. Would you seriously consider a man committing suicide because he lost and feels responsible for the death of both of his children unwarranted? Even if he still had a woman he just met and possibly cared for him? is that notion really so ridiculous? Or is it just that you're just hellbent on hating on David Cage and his work and bringing it up whenever possible? I know there's no way I can possibly change your mind, but at least try to be objective? You're a professional editor/writer, you SHOULD be above letting your personal bias overcome your objectivity.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - March 19, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    A a professional critic, my personal feelings towards any work are a result of my objective appraisal, not the other way around.
  • BladedFalcon - March 19, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    Are you then saying that, objectively speaking, losing your family and your only two children is a flimsy reason to commit suicide?
  • Rub3z - March 19, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    I've dealt with suicide before, Falcon (I'm obviously not going to go into details), and I think the main problem with your argument is that objectivity is every bit as relevant to the decision to commit suicide as quantum mechanics might be relevant to a chimpanzee. Either way, that's an incredibly dubious and loaded question to ask of anybody, let alone Mr. Houghton. I will offer you this, though, as a person that has dealt with the very real decision to end his own life (a decision I could not possibly wish on anybody), and have thankfully made the better decision: there is only one good reason to commit suicide (to save others). Barring that, every reason is a flimsy one, or there simply isn't another good one that exists. And please don't try to come up with hypothetical life-or-death situations, it really is as simple as that really. In cases where you are in any way forced or coerced by someone else, that isn't suicide, that's called murder.

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