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No, it's okay...


Alright, so this news popped up on the FP just about now. Telling us how gross and fucked up the game is (sorry, how "f*cked up" it is - mom might be reading, after all) didn't stop anyone from posting the news, it was oh so offensive and not okay and the moral soapbox was getting larger with every sentence. As a little note here: I like to read editorials, but I dislike when the headline already shoves down an opinion down my throat. I read editorials for opinions, not news. I'm an adult, I decide for myself what is "fucked up" and what's "not okay". The german censors already treat me like a baby. Okay? Cool.

But you know what? No. That game, HATRED, IS okay.

First off: we already commited multiple genocides in dozens of games. And aside from Spec Ops: The Line, most don't try to make you feel bad over it. How many times have we already run amok in Grand Theft Auto and just killed cops, hookers and civlians alike to let god sort them out? I'm pretty sure we all did that already. And we had fun. We did tried to reach the maximum stars, we did the Kill Frenzies - we did it all. We slaughtered them like cattle and not a second was wasted on how "fucked up" that is (except by Jack Thompson and his peers). This game seems to be that, only in condensed form. Postal 1 wasn't anything else but a "running amok and killing people"-simulator. It had basically no story and you just went around killing people. Postal 2 was again not much else, under a sloppy guise of satire (and you know what, I'm fine with satire). "It's satire" doesn't change the fact that you put a fucking cat, asshole first, on the barrel of your assault rifle and then mowed over a dozen peaceful protestants or mall goers.

Pop pop pop, watch motherfuckers drop

Now people might argue that context is important. But really, what content was there in GTA? Oh, right, you play basically the almost worst kind of criminal every time. In the older GTAs you even didn't have a real story, just getting mysterious phone calls and doing the bidding of strangers. Someone tells you "Go kill that chump" and you go and kill that chump. In Postal you were simply running amok. Again: games like Spec Ops: The Line are very rare, as they give a lot of context and development.
You can even spin this though further, going into most shooters, and see that you are rarely more than a glorified walking genocide. Unless you completely ignore action games, we already are virtual mass murderers and we had mostly fun becoming them. Trying to swing the big moral flag NOW seems a bit hypocritic. Having stuff in games that would be highly questionable in regarsd to real life ethics is something that has always been done.

Remembering Postal 1 leads me to the next point: apparently it doesn't even do anything new. All we get to see is some bloody finishers. Really, that's it? It's not RapeLay. The main character doesn't shoot a pregnant woman in the stomach to watch the unborn child well out of the wound. The original Evil Dead movie had more explicit gore in it than this trailer so far. Of course, you don't have to like the Gore genre or bloody/gory games, but saying something is "not okay" just because of that is treating into the topic of censorship. And I think we all know how I think about that.
The only thing this games does so far is that it's upfront and puts the player in the shoes of someone who isn't even slightly a good guy. Even the ethical dubious characters like the GTA "heroes" had some scenes in them to redeem themselves to the player - be it by their actions or by humour. This game is upfront. You're a maniac who is sick of life and goes out to get shot down during his rampage. That's it. It's an unusual attempt, that is certain. But being this upfront is another thing that the game shouldn't be ACCUSED with. 

Remember Postal 1? Where you only went out and murdered stuff dead? A lot?

And last but not least, lest we forget: games are art. Art may offend you. Art may even insult you. It's allowed to do that because it is Art. But it's important to fathom all the borders and even overstepping them. That is what development needs. Nothing was EVER achieved but just sitting with your thumbs up your ass in your little comfort zone. If some people want to create something just to shit on the political correctness, then that is as fine as it is with people not liking it. I think it might have come at a better time, but that is a different topic.
The thing is: this game won't take anything away from you. Stupid gory action movies are a staple of the cinema for ages already. Stupid bloody action games were tried to held back often, but they are coming and they will become a staple too. Just as much as excessive, dialogue heavy RPGs or deep Strategy games. And if anything especially the outlets should encourage the creation of a game. Let the gamers decide after release if they accept it or not. It's basically our equivalent to natural selection. But you know what's not okay? Trying to rile people up like this from the get go.

The only thing I'm going to agree with is that I'm embarrassed over this - but not over the existence of the game. 


As a closing line: art is varied, that what makes it lively and valuable. Variation is trump. You might not like the result and that is fine too. But that doesn't mean the step of creation should not be undertaken. Creative endeavor is pretty much always worth the effort, because it helps to develop the medium. And that's not only okay, that's what we need. Because otherwise the artform will stagnate, and that will mean it will die. And nobody would want games dead, right? The game is okay. You liking the game is okay. You not liking the game is okay. You not wanting to play a bad guy withtout the context of a GTA is okay.

We will all be okay.

That said: if you really WANT to put yourself on Jack Thompson level, by all means, it's your right. But I think you're wrong here then.

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About OpiumHerzone of us since 3:54 AM on 04.10.2013

German Blogger, writing the series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " (go check it out!) since I like to write about that topic and am invested in it a whole lot. Also writes some other stuff sometimes. Likes to listen to very strange bands and has the ultimate goal in life to taste every soft drink there is at least once.
Pure Gonzo - and while I thank god for Jim Sterling sometimes, I thank god for Hunter S. Thompson every day.

I'm a bastard. Don't trust me. Always keep asking, don let yourself get fed bullshit - not even by me.

I like good games. Yes, that's quite general, but I don't really like confining myself to certain genres. I like interesting approaches, invention and creativity. But I can enjoy a straight-up shooter as much as a "Bastion". It just has to be done well and appeal to me on some level.

Want to know anything else? Just leave a comment under a blog or write a message. Same goes for corrections (please), as English isn't my native language and thus isn't nearly perfect.

Censorship Blogs so far:
001: The System (Part 1)
002: The System (Part 2)
003: The stupid publishers
004: How Germans get uncensored games
005: Bioshock Infinite
006: Call Of Duty
007: Grand Theft Auto
008: Dead Space
009: Manhunt
010: Sniper Elite V2 (again)
011: Fallout
012: Various Games #1
013: Nazis
014: Mortal Kombat 9 on Steam
015: Contra
016: Halo
017: Saints Row
018: All the other stuff
019: Command & Conquer
020: The Lanzarote Convention
021: Various Games #2
022: Half-Life
023: The Legend Of Zelda
024: Various Games #3
025: Various Games #4

026: What system would you prefer
027: South Park - The Stick Of Truth
028: South Park - The Stick Of Truth (Part 2)
029: Various Games #5
030: Wolfenstein
031: Resident Evil (main series)
032: Resident Evil (spin offs)
033: Various Games #6
034: Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty
035: Blacks and women
036: Pokemon
037: Left 4 Dead
038: Left 4 Dead 2

039: 2015 Predictions
040: Dying Light
041: Coca-Cola
042: Pillars of Eternity
043: The Order: 1886
044: Mortal Kombat X

Stuff I also wrote and you should read:

~ Punish the individuals - not the scene they move in
~ My consoles don't fight each other - what's your excuse?
~ But what about the men?
~ Fake gamer girls and the damage they do
~ The Raid On Castle DToid
~ My little guide to german music (NVGR)
~ You should buy Goat Simulator - no, seriously...
~ Gravelord Nito, I love you more than Vanilla Coke
~ Let's clear up the console wars, shall we?

... und Pan spielt die Fl�te.