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Char Aznable's blog

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Char Aznable avatar 7:49 AM on 07.11.2008  (server time)
The Torture Game

The crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the Spanish Inquisition, Abu Ghraib, and What do all of these things have in common? Torture.

My reason for writing this blog is because I stumbled upon The Torture Game 2. In this "game," you are given an androgynous, bound ragdoll and several implements of destruction, and the goal is to kill the person through any means possible. There is even an option to upload a custom face onto the person, which has limitless potential for laughs. For the record, I immediately tried to get that picture of Jack Thompson with the crazy eyes on there, but I couldn't get it wouldn't work.

The weapons you are given include your bare hands (for ripping off body parts), rope (used to tie limbs to the walls in positions only dreamed of in Japanese porn), a pistol, a shotgun, an AK-47, a razor, a chainsaw, spikes, and umm...a paintbrush. You can paint on the corpse to further degrade the person, I suppose, if you're so inclined.

Violence has been an essential part of countless games in recent years, with the release of Mortal Kombat marking one of the first times when the level of violence and brutality overshadowed the actual gameplay (which kinda sucks compared to Street Fighter). However, The Torture Game 2 takes that concept to a whole new level, where there is nothing left to the experience BUT the violence.

Here's one way to relieve boredom while you're at work: death by a billion spikes.

I gave it a shot, and I found it to be an adequate time killer (puns definitely intended). But that led me to the following questions: Have I become that desensitized to violence over the years? Does flaying the skin off of a body with a razor cause no reaction in me whatsoever? Would other human beings feel guilty for having discussions with their co-workers while simultaneously ramming metal spikes into this character's nether regions?

I'm still not sure of how I feel about this game. I would feel like an enormous hypocrite for jumping on the soapbox here and then going home to decapitate ninjas and score headshots on some aliens. Some people may argue that it's a stress reliever or that it's a safe way to vent their anger. In that case, god damn, I'd hate to see what lurks in the deep recesses of your soul. Others have turned the game into a form of expression and art through creative use of the blood splatters and paintbrush tool, which inspired me to do this:

It almost felt like sacrilege doing this, but I couldn't resist.

So what do you guys think? Has this game gone too far, or is it just a harmless diversion? Or was your immediate reaction "OMG BLOOD AND GUTS!!!!"?

Note: I initially came across this game thanks to an article on called "Should you take 'Torture' seriously?" by Winda Benedetti. It's actually a well-written and researched article on an inflammatory subject in gaming, from a mainstream media outlet, that doesn't browbeat the reader into thinking all games are evil.

And for those keeping score, I did indeed make a direct comparison between the Spanish Inquisition and the content on in this blog.

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