I was doing a little weekend cleaning when, while hoovering and mulling over the idea of getting some time with my ps3 that evening, a conversation crept into my head that i usually have with my GF and possibly future wife. In my thinking, i tried to play devils advocate with myself, and did some brainstorming.
By no means do i think my kids will never play grand theft auto, i believe in parenting
being the first and foremost factor in the development of a child's conscience. No game in my opinion, will push my child to do things deemed wrong by society, so long as i am given the chance to teach and explain the difference and importance of separating games from Real Life. the question she asks:
Why do all games have to be about shooting and killing? (what she asked)
Why don't they make more games like mario? (she follows with as she is oldskool mario like that)
Paraphrased, i interpreted the questions as follows:
[b]WHY are the current themes of games mostly war based, or conflict based?
Much the current topic, why is there so much mature (gore/sex/violence) in games today?
I decided to write this up tonight coz i would rather do this than study, but more so because i would love to hear what the mature contributers (not age related) of the community see as the major influences on what is becoming a major media to the future.
This would have been nice to write up properly with a lot of research but i am gonna wing it and write it on the fly so......
Do you feel like there are way too many war based games out there? Is it a good/bad thing. What is with all the blood and guts and why is there so much?
IS it because of exposure to higher and higher levels of Blood/Sex/Violence (BSV) that game developers are seeking to push the envelope only to sell more games? Is too little blood too little fun? I see much of the other media doing much the same. Movies are now being pushed out in the form of "gore porn" (SAW, HOSTEL etc) as well as many other movies going the extra length to deliver a little more edge to the scenes... Much like the addiction to certain narcotics the staple becomes boring and suddenly people need to find the next high. This unfortunately is the nature of the BEAST, this being us.... In some crazy way the extreme nature of Japans culture, the super hyper compression exudes some of the most crazy shit, as is evident in much Hentai...
In result of our desensitizing we are pushing games to go further beyond our imagination, but unfortunately in the narrow corridor of BSV because it also seems to be the mainstay theme of many games.
THE GAMERS ARE GETTING OLDER
Seen at this angle i realize the peeps that played nintendo back in the day still play today, and the ones that are just starting out have a need to see the realism in it. (or some badly adapted interpretation) But basically the old school gamers have seen it all and well how do you get there attention. Well, introduce BSV and they already know it aint for kids... its a game for the older.... and so the more there is, the more a "mature" audience its asking for..... But i realise this is assuming a very small growth so i now see that this is not the case.
A SIGN OF THE TIMES
Post World WARS, GULF WARS, NAM, and any other great loss of life involving mass mobilisation of military force. This is unfortunately the very fabric of our economy. And why should it not be reflected in games. The Risk vs Reward model. The POWER trip. The survivalist strategy. All this is seen today in everything from Economics and Buisness, to the power play of nations. Who do you know jumps from platform to platform that shakes the earth on a national scale (in RL i mean)? And so what is running like static in the background of people lives, whether they want to get involved or not, WAR is the basis of life in some twisted way. And so we reinact it and roleplay and pretend, in our games that we are soldiers, commanders, and even decideing factors of wars.
ITS WHAT's IN
Maybe its just a phase? We saw the phases of platforming games, the fighting game clones of STREET FIGHTER, and the many other shooter types that emerged from the original arcade versions. All bloomed and wilted in the small vein that was electronic gaming. And now in this NEXT-GEN era we have the tech to deliver a near simulation of being in the thick of it! Case in point FPS games. and what are FPS primarily known to relate to ? Guns and sights...... well maybe it will blow over. .......maybe not.......
Simulation is by some considered a good way of subduing urges... and the basic instincts to man are to procreate and to procreate you need to compete with others to win the best mate. Nature in its most basic form. So we are highly developed creatures and think beyond nature's primitive commands... but hey , we all need to fight the urge... so why not take it out in a virtual form? you hook up to a simulation, hunt kill, earn respect/some form of acknowledgment and suddenly being alpha male is possible. hmmmm far fetched.. ok maybe but hell it aint 1=1 ... this is obviously the digression of a idea.....
I personally just tossed the ideas around in my head and really made some SUPER generalisations.... but if you do have specifics or opinions that stem from these ideas, or simply ideas that blow these out the water, please share...
I would be the first to tell my girlfriend i am having my kids play mortal combat. But not leave them to it and hear that next week my kid managed to reenact scorpions finisher with a lighter. I think that gaming has its place in our society and even if GTA4 has bitches and bazookas, if they want to play it, my only concern is that they discern the difference between the game and real life.... But i am curious of all the above why we have this string of rehashed war/conflict scenarios and see fewer intelligent puzzle/platform/all together new style games out there? Is it my view is skewed because only these big releases are what attract so far?
why dont you tell me? read