Evil Avatar

Evil Avatar (http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/index.php)
-   News Items (http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   Warren Spector: "The Ultraviolence Has to Stop" (http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=172253)

randir14 06-14-2012 07:14 PM

Warren Spector: "The Ultraviolence Has to Stop"
 

In an interview with Games Industry International, Warren Spector (famous for such games as System Shock, Deus Ex and Thief) states that he was disappointed in the amount of violent games at this year's E3.

Quote:

Q: Your high-level sense, your spider-sense, that's important; it's been finely tuned over a number of years.

Warren Spector: Well, my spider-sense is sure tingling danger, danger, Peter Parker! This is the year where there were two things that stood out for me. One was: The ultraviolence has to stop. We have to stop loving it. I just don't believe in the effects argument at all, but I do believe that we are fetishizing violence, and now in some cases actually combining it with an adolescent approach to sexuality. I just think it's in bad taste. Ultimately I think it will cause us trouble.

Q: Are you telling me you didn't like the Hitman: Absolution trailer?

Warren Spector: I left Eidos in 2004 because I looked around at E3 and saw the new Hitman game where you get to kill with a meat hook, and 25 to Life, the game about kids killing cops, and Crash & Burn the racing game where the idea is to create the fieriest, most amazing explosions, not to win the race... I looked around my own booth and realized I just had one of those 'which thing is not like the other' moments. I thought it was bad then, and now I think it's just beyond bad.

We've gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat. You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed - whether they succeeded or not I can't say - but they were designed to make you uncomfortable, and I don't see that happening now. I think we're just appealing to an adolescent mindset and calling it mature. It's time to stop. I'm just glad I work for a company like Disney, where not only is that not something that's encouraged, you can't even do it, and I'm fine with it.
Read the entire interview here.

stalazon 06-14-2012 07:21 PM

How about you guys create non "Ultraviolent" games that are excellent (looking at your meh mickey game) before complaining about competitors products that are selling well for a reason, Mr. Spector?

Testcase 06-14-2012 08:07 PM

I don't think I ever once felt uncomfortable slaughtering that night club in Deus Ex... Over and over. Boobytrapping the doors with tear gas pre-shooting was very rewarding.

wastedyears 06-14-2012 08:07 PM

Mr. Spector has gone from being an industry legend to a man who makes mediocre Mickey Mouse games. I wouldn't put too much stock into what he has to say about the game industry these days. Not to mention him being more than a little hypocritical here. He made Crusader: No Remorse which was very violent (and awesome!) in its day, not to mention there being more than a little graphic violence in System Shock, the Thief series as well as the Deus Ex series.
That Spector went from making the amazing System Shock to Mickey Mouse is more than a little sad, especially when considering that Ken Levine (who also worked on SS) has gone on to great fame with the Bioshock series, which is very heavily inspired by System Shock, to say the least.

OmegaVader 06-14-2012 08:23 PM

How quick we are to criticize a legend! I replayed Deus Ex last year, and it's still better than any game in recent memory, including Bioshock. So quell your tongue, naysayers; the man has a point to make and he's far more qualified than you. His point is extremely fair: he stated that he did not 'believe in the effects' of violence, and neither do I, but spoke only to the taste, and that's a perfectly legitimate opinion. What's more, I think he may be right. That's not to say I don't enjoy my super violent games, I just finished playing through Uncharted 3, so there goes a body count that numbers in the hundreds. But it does make video games a decidedly single-note song, a one-trick pony. And, especialyl when you look at sexuality in video games as well, it is indeed immature. It pales horribly in comparison, at least. to other mediums that are able to deal with issues in a serious and adult manner. I think we should still have our fun, but it would be nice and definitely in the way of progress to widen the scope of games so that it can be taken as seriously as film, literature, so on and so forht.

Reverend Meta 06-14-2012 08:46 PM

I feel like video games are definitely immature in the way they handle sexuality and saying they "fetishize" is fairly accurate.

At the same time, I think it is more irresponsible of developers to have games where characters perform acts of aggression without graphic consequences, and I feel like anyone who wants mature, nuanced sexuality in their video games is looking at the wrong hobby for the wrong fix.

To argue against humanity's innate lust for conflict is absurd--in my opinion, video games do a really great job of giving us ways to indulge our inner beast without actually causing grief or suffering, the odd tea-baggings and facerapings notwithstanding.

Also, it has never bothered me that many of the dudes in video games had excellent bodies and odd or scanty clothing--women should STFU if they really want equal treatment and regard.

My motto has always been "video games can be art, science, and/or entertainment" but I strongly feel that when we start demanding constraints and regulations on our escapist fantasies, they will lose their power.

Noone makes you watch a movie like Hostel, noone makes you play a game like God of War--I believe we can and should take action to keep media like this out of the hands of minors but to go beyond that and say it just shouldn't exist is absolutely absurd, naive even.

Anenome 06-14-2012 08:52 PM

I can't believe a guy like Specter is unable to draw a distinction between moral and immoral violence.

It's not violence that's the problem, it's immoral or meaningless violence, or violence without a supplied moral context.

One of the most violent games I ever played was on the Nintendo DS and has you constantly cutting people to bits in various hideous ways, stabbing, cutting, ripping body parts out, blood everywhere, spurting all over the place, people dying left and right, etc...

http://s15.postimage.org/j10zixbyh/2...uma_Center.jpg

So you see, context is important.

The things he cites as giving him pause are all things where the violence portrayed is inherently wrong or at least meaningless, such as trying to create explosions in the racing game.

The modern attempt to demonize violence is a foolish thing to do, because there are many very good and ethical uses of violence, such as my surgery example. You wanna see violence, watch video of a molar being removed, or a hip being replaced, where the doctor's sawing off bone and then takes a chisel to what's left, pieces of bone and gristle flying all over the room. But that's good violence.

What we should deplore is not violence but
rather aggressive-coercion, which is violence used to force someone to do something against their will. That is the root of all evil in the world, not violence.

Windsong 06-14-2012 09:25 PM

Just wait till you see simulated child pron in games. Its coming.

Venkman 06-14-2012 09:28 PM

If it gets us in trouble, it's only because muck-raking "gaming" sites like Kotaku contribute to it. They have a couple of writers there that just can't wait to be offended, and must turn everything they can into a controversy. I wish video games companies would just blacklist them.

Ah well, gotta keep those page views up.

Azzy 06-14-2012 09:49 PM

I agree with him.
Just because you can pull an eyeball out and shove it up your ass where you perform a sphincter burst doesn't make a game good. It doesn't matter who's making the point, Spec or the ghost of Andy Rooney.
Games that are good and have violence, ok cool. Ultra violence? If it's done well, ok. It just has to be done right, and a lot of times, it's done just to be done.

Take the recent Sniper Elite. I shot a guy and it went into a slow mo under skin view of my bullet busting a leg bone and then bursting both testes. It was done well, it was a real effect, and I believe it made a game better. Had I snuck up behind that soldier and in slow mo close up shoved my finger in his eyesocket and wiggled my hang nail around in his brain...that would be wrong.

Rommel 06-14-2012 10:49 PM

I am against ultra-violence in games as well. The Watch Dogs trailer made me uncomfortable when the main character caused innocent civilians to first get into a massive accident, then be caught in the cross fire. Actually no, I was bothered when the main character pulled the husband who was hysterical over his dead wife behind cover. It felt as though the developers were presenting him as a hero for saving someone he put in danger in the first place, and not an amoral fuck who just ended lives and ruined others. An amoral fuck is a fine story protagonist, but I do not think Ubisoft's team made the distinction.

On the other hand, that a legend like Spector is working with strict boundaries on how far down the rabbit hole one can venture into artistic expression is not a good thing. Birds need to be uncaged to fly, and no matter what Warren claims in the hype trailers, Epic Mickey is not some grand masterpiece that befits the efforts of a man with a GDCA Lifetime Achievement award. Its too pedestrian, too simple--its the McDonald's of culinary art. I love me some McDonald's, it kept me alive after the second time someone offered me duck tongue, but its not cuisine. If Spector and his hand picked teams do not want to embrace torture-porn, fine! After all, its called porn because it lacks redeeming social importance. But his studio should have cart blanche on exploring the next experiences in this medium.

gawaintheblind 06-14-2012 11:29 PM

I sure would like to see less Call of Medal of Modern Duty Warfare Honor games. Not because of the violence but because i've played that game about 20 times now and its time to move on.

I don't have an issue with "Ultra-Violence" but all the E3 games this year just seemed kind of .. samey to me. Like stuff i've played before many many times. yes, its great that I can now do bullet-time while shooting somebody directly in the scrotum, but I would rather play something new and unique and different. I think the Indie studios are big because with the budgetary limitations they have to innovate in order to compete with "waist-high-wall-manshoot VI" and that is what I want to see more of. Innovation.

Evil Avatar 06-14-2012 11:53 PM

Don't care. More violence is good. More sex is good. Games are games, real life is real life.

I'm an adult and I can decide for myself which games are "too violent" or which games have too much sexuality and for me personally the answer will probably never be enough of either. If my main character was one of the Texas Chainsaw Hookers the game would probably work just fine for me, because that is who I am and I'm not ashamed of loving a little bit of the ultraviolence.

What is missing from his comments is quality. Who cares if the game is violent? I only care if it is a damn fine game and it is fun to play.

His more recent games aren't fun to play. As gamers why should we listen to developers who make mediocre kids games???

If the people who made Super Mario Sunshine want to look at some violent shooter and say, "The gameplay wasn't very good." and give some reasons why, then you might want to listen to them.

The developers of Epic Mickey? Not so much.

Syl 06-15-2012 01:09 AM

I would LOVE to hear miyamoto's thoughts on call of duty. I would pay money for that interview.

PSPfreak 06-15-2012 01:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evil Avatar (Post 2129379)
Don't care. More violence is good. More sex is good. Games are games, real life is real life.

I'm an adult and I can decide for myself which games are "too violent" or which games have too much sexuality and for me personally the answer will probably never be enough of either. If my main character was one of the Texas Chainsaw Hookers the game would probably work just fine for me, because that is who I am and I'm not ashamed of loving a little bit of the ultraviolence.

What is missing from his comments is quality. Who cares if the game is violent? I only care if it is a damn fine game and it is fun to play.

His more recent games aren't fun to play. As gamers why should we listen to developers who make mediocre kids games???

If the people who made Super Mario Sunshine want to look at some violent shooter and say, "The gameplay wasn't very good." and give some reasons why, then you might want to listen to them.

The developers of Epic Mickey? Not so much.

Leave it to you to take a subject and turn it into another. The interview was ABOUT violence, not quality. Quality and violence are obviously two different subjects. By your logic if you're not good at your job you have no right to discuss things that DON'T involve your job.

He's talking about effects of violence on people and it being excessive in this day and age. You're trying to use an entirely different subject to negate his argument. Not very "adult-like" behavior for someone emphasizing that he's an adult. :rolleyes:

Azzy 06-15-2012 02:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PSPfreak (Post 2129394)
Leave it to you to take a subject and turn it into another. The interview was ABOUT violence, not quality. Quality and violence are obviously two different subjects. By your logic if you're not good at your job you have no right to discuss things that DON'T involve your job.

He's talking about effects of violence on people and it being excessive in this day and age. You're trying to use an entirely different subject to negate his argument. Not very "adult-like" behavior for someone emphasizing that he's an adult. :rolleyes:

i was about to say this with less words and more colors.

nulmas 06-15-2012 04:26 AM

I've got no problem with ultra-violence (as long as it's done right) but I must admit that we've been having a bit too much of it.

Not every game (hyperbole, I know) has to me a gory, violent mess. I miss hyper-violence as a joke, though. Hell, I miss humorous video-games in general, ā lá Earthworm Jim or MDK2.

The Radical Cleric 06-15-2012 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OmegaVader (Post 2129349)
How quick we are to criticize a legend! I replayed Deus Ex last year, and it's still better than any game in recent memory, including Bioshock. So quell your tongue, naysayers; the man has a point to make and he's far more qualified than you. His point is extremely fair: he stated that he did not 'believe in the effects' of violence, and neither do I, but spoke only to the taste, and that's a perfectly legitimate opinion. What's more, I think he may be right. That's not to say I don't enjoy my super violent games, I just finished playing through Uncharted 3, so there goes a body count that numbers in the hundreds. But it does make video games a decidedly single-note song, a one-trick pony. And, especialyl when you look at sexuality in video games as well, it is indeed immature. It pales horribly in comparison, at least. to other mediums that are able to deal with issues in a serious and adult manner. I think we should still have our fun, but it would be nice and definitely in the way of progress to widen the scope of games so that it can be taken as seriously as film, literature, so on and so forht.

Agreed. Further, I would have to agree with Mr. Spector as well, this E3 was a blood soaked mess.

Nosfaratus_ 06-15-2012 08:37 AM

What i think is trying to say is that some game are more about violence then game. I donīt think violence should be tuned down, but violence as an end may take credit from an industry that is very creative. I think good creators just use the violence they need (ultraviolence also), its like a good Viking movie, i want some heads to roll, but not all the time. I donīt agree with prohibition, but there is a limit in everything...even if the limit is just good taste.

Venkman 06-15-2012 08:37 AM

I am mixed on the levels of violence I saw at E3. The violence in "The Last of us", I think, finally did a good job of making violence seem truly terrible. Do I want to play that? Perhaps not, but as a functioning adult, I can always choose to not play it. I applaud Naughty Dog for going in that direction. I think they've been aware of their balancing act on violence for some time. From Uncharted 2:

Quote:

You think I am a monster. But you're no different from me, Drake. How many men have you killed? How many... just today?
I like being able to choose not to play something, rather than it never have been created at all.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.