As video games have increased their visual fidelity over the years, they’ve also upped the ante on making excessive and brutal violence more stomach-churning than the thought of winning free tickets to a Leon Schuster movie. What began as an amusingly gory way to finish opponents in the likes of games such as Mortal Kombat evolved into a blood and guts free-for-all in numerous titles where the crimson ran rampant and people from your church were pleading for us to think about the children.
Well good news overprotective mothers of the world! Because at least one game that allows you to bathe yourself in the spewing blood of an enemy as you run a chainsaw through them with colourful language to boot, is going to be safe for your kids. Yep, Gears of War 4 is keeping tradition alive by allowing parents to turn off all of that naughty content, much like it did in the original trilogy and prequel.
“Gore is important for obvious reasons and swearing too. I think the tricky part for us is, and it’s been one of the funny things about the mature language flag, is that there’s no standard, so we’ve had to set the bar,” Coalition head Rod Fergusson said to Game Informer in a video interview, highlighting how figuring out which bad launguage to filter out was the real challenge.
There’s no George Carlin seven words or whatever and there’s no radio standard that changes or that we can look to and say ‘Hey, from a video game perspective how do we go from whatever mature language to non-mature language.’ There is no standard, so we’ve had to make the call.
So instead of simply removing them, the Coalition has proceeded to bleep those words out instead. Again, like a Leon Schuster movie from the 1980s when dealing with panel-beaters. “Generally what we tend to do is take the hardest of the hard off because we just didn’t want to over-bleepify our game. I tend to look at radio and go a little bit further than that, so generally anything around the word f**k tends to stay turned off,” Fergusson said.
I tend to keep the s**ts. I tend to keep the b**ch, I tend to keep the goddammits just because it speaks to the characters and the thing they’re in. We just sort of focus on the hardest of the hard. So when you turn the mature language off, you’re basically not going to hear the word f**k anymore.
And it’s all for the benefit of kids who might not even be playing, lest they walk past their parents playing and overhear a Locust trooper explicitly detailing how he’s going to play hopscotch in a COG chest cavity. “One of the things I got was a person playing and there’s a kid in the room. It wasn’t that the kid was playing, just walking by and daddy was playing the game or mommy is and hears, you know, ‘motherf**ker, oh damn.’ We tend to be a hypocritical lot for language and sex and violence. I’m 100 percent that way,” Fergusson explained.
My son is now 14 but when he was 12 I would see there’s a PG-13 movie and look up what it was for, is it sex, language, or violence? Oh it’s for language and violence, let’s go watch it. But if a boob is shown once, ‘Oh hell no’ you’re not watching that. It’s that kind of thing.
Which might be better in the long-run, seeing as how our fathers subjected us all to hours of rampant violence with hyper-violent action flicks of a bygone era that had lots of naughty language. I mean, just look at what I’ve become. Still think violence is cool? Gears of War 4 is out later this year, with a beta kicking off on April 24.
Last Updated: April 6, 2016
April 6, 2016 at 08:04
I am so disappointed that most developers haven’t implemented this yet.. being a father and a gamer it drives me insane that some games are so over the top with language with no option to tone it down.