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Violent games are “creatively too easy”

2 min read


If you haven’t played Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line, you really should. Though it has some grinding, mundane shooting mechanics (by design, I’m convinced), it tells an incredible story – and forces you to think about the very real horrors of war, and its intrinsic violence. It’s writer, Walt Williams told an audience at GDC that violent games are “creatively too easy” and that the industry needs to start thinking of better, more diverse ways of telling stories through videogames.

“We’re in an industry full of very intelligent, knowledgeable, and progressive people. It’s getting harder and harder for us to play these games and to look at them critically and say, ‘This is OK, this makes sense,’ especially as we get older,” he said (via Gamespot.)

“I would like to see less violent games out there. Not because they’re bad or wrong, but because I think creatively they’re too easy.”

Spec Ops: The Line did thing differently, by actually deconstructing the shooter genre and adding context to the violence – instead of it being violence for violence’s sake; but how else can developers and designers make such games without all that violence and despair?

"Where do you go after doing a game like this? How can you make another shooter…that leaves your characters arguably alive? I think we need to get to a point where we can move back to maybe trying to write characters…that are a bit more hopeful. I think that might be a good first step," he said.

I have to wonder how people are still making tired, generic military shooters after the genre’s been so thoroughly deconstructed by Spec Ops: The Line and shown wanting. I’d love to see more games that really make the player understand why they’re so violent, instead of just being military manshoots.

Last Updated: March 28, 2013

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