There’s too much violence in games

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Warren Spector, the legendary designer who brought you Deus Ex has weighed in on E3’s portent of games to come, and expressed a little concern, believing the ultraviolence has “gone too far.”

"The ultra-violence has to stop," he said in an interview with GI. "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."

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The excessive violence in games is one of the reason’s Spector left Eidos in the first place.

“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.”

For those who’ll point out that Deus Ex itself was pretty violent, Spector says that the violence in Deus Ex was engineered to make the player feel uncomfortable – but violence in today’s games seems to just be there for the sake of being “mature.”

“We’ve gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat,” he said. “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.”

Do you think our games have become too gratuitously bloody?

Last Updated: June 15, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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