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Regarding 'The Hypocrisy of Gamers'

This started off as comment to Yojimbo's post regarding the controversy over the header pic on this front page story. Obviously it was much too long for a comment, and I doubt few will read through it even as a blog. But I hope that you'll read it through to the end before throwing in comments on either side of the debate.

I want to point out a couple of things. First, Rev. Anthony's avatar had nothing to do with this photo. It was a cap of Takeshi Kitano (a Japanese man not Vietnamese, and one of my biggest heroes, incidentally) from the film Sonatine. (I had incorrectly put Hana-Bi originally, which Takeshi corrected me on. Whoops. The bizarre bit being that Sonatine is my favorite Takeshi film. Director idol fail!) Also he was shooting himself in the head.

Second, the guy in the photo isn't about to be shot. It's not about violence looming in the future. He is dying as that shutter is closing. There's no exit wound yet because the bullet hasn't exited his skull yet. It's much more disturbing than simply a man about to die or even being dead. We've seen dead bodies. But it's rare to see an actual person losing his/her life.

I'm actually a little shocked by some of these comments. The ones referencing the offended as whiners/sissies/babies. It really shows how far towards desensitization we have come in this world. What these people are saying is that violent death happens, so we should be subjected to it at every part of our lives, and if someone resists then they are in denial. If a person gets offended by that image it is because some people put a value on human life. That photo was not from a videogame. That is a person who was alive when the button on the camera's button was pressed and was lifeless before the shutter reopened. Not everyone is so terribly desensitized/unempathetic.

But, I haven't heard from any offended people in this forum. So, you're not even speaking to the people commenting here. The dissenters are those who are saying that the use of the photo was in bad taste. The argument has been made that killing and death will be portrayed in the game. But fake deaths by data and computer generated images.

And just because an event is portrayed in a game, is it a good idea to display it's real-life equivalent when talking about the game? I'm currently replaying God of War. This topic reminds me that I had to kill hundreds of little puppies before they transformed into giant demon dogs. As such, would it have been okay to show real photos of puppies that were abused and beaten to death; broken and torn apart? Is that not bad taste?

Those that are claiming the use of the header photo was in bad taste, are saying that it's use serves no purpose other than to shock. The article does not discuss the horrors of war. It does not touch upon violence at all. Nothing about it was relevent at all to subject matter. The point of the article was to talk about the rumor of a videogame's setting and that there was a casting call. There was no specific relation that would warrant the use of such a affecting photo.

A few have said since that the point of it must have been to promote discussion about the horrors of war. That's a weak argument considering that it was never brought up in the text. If we're to applaud someone for being so bold as to talk about these issues, than those to be applauded should be the "sissies/whiners/babies" who brought to the attention that this photo's use was controversial.

Finally, the bitterness toward Destructoid over what is being portrayed as "censorship", I also wish to tackle that. The photo was changed. That wasn't censorship. It was a judgement call. I'm sure that the editors discussed this matter and took the views of all involved into view. They did what they thought was responsible. I know for a fact that if that photo were relevent the context of the article it would still be attached to it as we speak. The Destructoid editorial crew are amazing when it concerns the free-speech of the editors and the community. I've talked to the head robot himself about his concerns regarding free speech and the community. I know that it is not a matter he takes lightly. That Yojimbo's article still stands untouched at this very moment, every photo intact, is a testament to that very fact. I'm sure that the question was reaised, the community's arguments on both sides were taken into account, and that Matt had the deciding vote on what to do with photo in the end. The offended people were able to have their say. It was taken into consideration. A decision was made based upon the facts of the event. This was true Freedon of Speech at work. Not censorship at all.

Since I've long since crossed the tl;dr divide, I'll put this comment (now blog) out of it's misery. I'll leave simply reaffirming that I was not offended by the pic. My initial thoughts were "Really?!" and I would have just left them there and moved on. The only thin that I was offended by was the cries of a few desensitized people who feel the need to push their views of the value of a human life onto others and insult them while doing it. I've never been a fan of intolerance. And in this case, it really makes you wonder what a life playing games can do to you.
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About Haxanone of us since 11:13 AM on 10.23.2007

Occasional contributer to Tomopop.com.

Random gaming facts about Haxan

Legitimately beat Mike Tyson and went through Another World Circuit undefeated.

Beat the original Contra without dying. Twice.

Can land the damn plane in Top Gun and can also refuel in midair.

Can't beat Ghost & Goblins without the level select code and has never lied about it.

Thinks Friday the 13th is a great game even if the physics, controls and weapons are garbage.

Mario Paint caused him to buy a Super Nintendo and largely leave his Sega Genesis behind. He has played it more than most video games and wore down the mouse pad so that the grid only shows around the corners.

Has beaten Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers on the SNES on the hardest difficulty without losing a single round. Multiple times.

Is still friends with the girl who worked at a local game store and sold him Street Fighter II nearly 17 years ago.

Beat Final Fantasy 2 in a weekend when he was a kid, yet can't get through a role-playing game these days if his life depended on it.

Has never beaten Final Fantasy VII.

Prefers pads to sticks.

Likes the N64 controller.

Prefers the Duke to the S-controller.

Doesn't think that Super Mario 64 is all that great.

Got an Xbox mostly for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. And thinks it's a damn good game. Really.

Swore he would never buy a Game Boy Advanced SP, but immediately broke down once the NES edition came out. (And regarding the NES Classics series, true in-store dialogue: "Dude, are you serious?! They seriously expect people to pay 20 dollars a piece for games they can just downlo...Ooh! Zelda!")

Really liked the first Halo. (Well, there goes my dtoid cred.)

Can rock out Dynamite Rave in Dance Dance Revolution like it's nobody's business.

Played the hell out of Animal Crossing: Wild World and hid that fact from nobody.

Stomped Brad Nicholson at Street Fighter IV, but had to resort to the cheapest of tactics in order to do so. ;)

Thinks you're really, really, really smart. And pretty.

Top ten favorite games (in no particular order):

The Legend of Zelda (NES)
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (NES)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
Phantom 2040 (SNES)
Street Fighter II (any version)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
Final Fantasy 3/6 (SNES)
Ico (PS2)
Sin and Punishment (N64)
Picross (DS)


I love drawing, though I realize that I'm not very good. I figured early on that drawing my own header art would help my blogs stand out. Thanks to Destructoid, and to the scanner that Carollelogram got me for my birthday last year, I feel like I've developed a unique style that's distinctly my own.

Outside of games I've got a DVD collection that is exploding out of a 5'x6' shelf (over 400 titles). So suffice it to say that I love movies. I'm a huge horror fan and I host an annual Dusk Till Dawn Horror Movie Marathon nearly every October. My top ten favorite films in order are as follows:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cativo, 1966)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
3. Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai, 1954)
4. The City of Lost Children (La Cit� des enfants perdus, 1995)
5. The Apartment (1960)
6. Strings (2004)
7. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
8. The Big Lebowski (1998)
9. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Music-wise, my top 3 bands are The Pixies, The Velvet Underground and Radiohead. I listen to damn near every genre of music (except modern country. I yearn for the days of Hank Williams, Sr. and Tammy Wynette). Hit random on my mp3 player and you'll get everything from darkwave to hip hop to 80's synthpop. I karaoke pretty regularly. I can't sing, but I surround myself with people who can. Still, you've not experienced all there is in life until you've seen me proper butcher True by Spandau Ballet.

Then, as for the literary interests, my love lies with pulp detective novels of the thirties and forties. Raymond Chandler is simply the greatest ever. And Dashiell Hammett is just fantastic. Lately, I've been reading through Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles at Carollelogram's recommendation. Two books in and I have to say they're astonishing.

If you do the Twitter thing, Haxan1 is my handle should you want to follow me.

Feel free to friend me to your console of choice should you ever want to play a game of Street Fighter. Just be sure to let me know that you're from Destructoid and you'll get the royal treatment.

Blogs I writed:

Virtual Console Review- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Review- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

Front Page
Other Worlds Than These: The citizens of the land of Termina
Community spotlight: Haxan goes above and beyond for the community

Monthly Musings
Instant Replay: Street Fighter II
The Start of the Affair: Solomon's Key

Editorials and assorted articles
Does the Wii have RROD-type issues of its own?
Okay, Nintendo. I guess that we can be friends again.
Niero, do you have any idea what in the lobster milkshake you have done?! (dtoid 3rd anniversary post)
10 things you might not have known about Haxan (but really only 8)
Why Destructoid is awesome: Nilcam is the greatest edition (I honestly can't give Nilcam enough props for this.)
Christmas shopping: Non-gaming, priest dad-style
Bad Dye Job: A Darius Pickman Story
"Congraturation" RetroforceGO!
Nintendon't what?! Now you tell me just what the %#@$ Nintendon't do!

Neat stuff I played a bit part in
The Destructoid children's alphabet book


Xbox LIVE:haxan1
PSN ID:Haxan
Mii code:8490 3559 2301 7665


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