Friday, April 30, 2010

Games & Violence with Brian

Hey gang. FYI, Brian Schmoyer - late of the infamous "The Only Thing I Know" video, has turned a conversation he and I had into a nifty podcasty thing on ScrewAttack. Have a gander:


HiPhish said...

Nice Podcast, but you are both missing the real point. It's fear. When you control people's fear, you control pretty much all their behaviour.

See, the point is not, wheter videogames make people violent, or whatever. They don't. And yes, it can be proven. I will prove it later on in this comment.

The real deal is to make people afraid of videogames. It's not really hard to pull off, consdering that gamers, praising the industry's monoculturistic servings, have made sure nobody enters gaming any more. Parents aren't allowed, chidren aren't allowed, girls aren't allowed. If you can't grasp the controls of a Dualshock, then you aren't allowed. What's that, you want offline multiplayer? Bad luck, offline gamers not allowed.
This is extremly bad. Gamers have become something like a parallel culture (can you say that in English?). A gaming culture should not even exist in the first place. gaming should be part of everybody's life. Gaming should be as normal as reding, listening to music or watching TV. The simple notion of gaming culture is pure poison to all of gaming. Gaming culture must e destroyed.

OK, back to the original topic. The point is, the only reason why someone like Jack Thompson can run around proclaiming gaming as evil is because people are scared. They don't know about gaming. And whatever they see is just repelling. I really can't blame them. I know how it feels. I wanted to get into Pen&Paper RPGs, but it is so confusing. Everything is closed, there is no place for me. The prices are just horrendous, it's played in weird basement rooms or special game shops. The most prominent people are dressing up as elves and wielding plastic swords shouting "lightning bolt!". Of course I know there must be normal people, but how to spot them? How do you get your friends into it? Well, I don't know, i just lost interest. And that's how a form of entertainment can die out.
I'm not very familiar with comic books (hey, a history of comic books, along with alle the controvercies and so, that might make a nice episode), but isn't that exactly how comics were destroyed?

Now seeing all these creepy young men, unwashed, unshaved, fat, in front of a TV in the dark, sitting there in their underwear sorrounded by old pizza leftovers motionlessly staring at a blood-stained TV screen, whatching people die, would you not be scared? Of course, such stereotypical gamers are a minority. But if a 40-year old who studied, has a title and is wearing a suit, tells you about the evil of gaming, how could you not believe it? He just confrmed, what you saw.
Your "building a better gamer" video nailed it pretty much. But the next step is to break the shell, gamers have created around them. Building a better gamer will just make sure people don't recognise you as a gamer, the moment they see you or you say something. The next step is to build better gaming.

HiPhish said...

Now to prove what I promised:

Take a look at the following link:
44% of school shootings are from Germany. The country that has most censorship in Europe. And I mean real censorship. Just as an exaple, Left 4 Dead 2 just got banned recently, meaning it must not be sold to anyone, of any age, in any way. if you sell Left 4 Dead 2 in Germany you are a crimminal.
If there was ANY correlation between violent behaviur and videogames, then it would be the other way around. Germany proves every gaming conspiracy theory wrong.

HiPhish said...

just to add some things:

-How is any of this controversial? The oxford dictionary defines controversial as "giving rise or likely to give rise to public disagreement". Now, I may sound snobbish, but anyone who disagrees with building a better gamer is an idiot, a nerd and simply a waste of a person.

-there is nothing wrong with enjoying simulated violence. Every human should be mentally stable enough to differentiate. And if someone isn't then there is a problem. A big problem, that needs professional treatment, and just taking away one form of entertainment and caling it a day will make things only worse. So enjoying to kill bad guys in Double Dragon is fine. Desiring to perform the acts of Double Dragon in real life is sick. Such a person needs help. Real help.

-Where do you guys get that characters like Nathan Drake or Kratos are supposed to be popular? Their only reson why they are rememberd is, or rather was, the lack of alternatives. Did you miss the New Super Mario Bros. Wii sales? Nathan and Kratos are part of a dying core. Core gaming is dying. It would have been dying even if Nintendo did not come up with the Wii and DS. You explained it already. It's just a matter of time until nobody cares any more about those two. Everbody loves characters like Mario. The only reason why there is less of their kind arond is simply because the developers themselves do not want to make such games.

-You want the rating wo be more visible? Do you really want this to happen?
Yes, that's real. It's an insult to ever person. "Oh, you're too stupid to turn around a DVD case, we must put it on the front", or more like "See, we are doing something against violence! Now vote for us!". Seriously, there is no reason the rating shoud be on the front cover. This looks great, doesn't it?
Put it on the back, that's wehre all the other stuff like system requirements are, so people are going to see it anyway.

-I absolutly agree that gaming must at all cost be kept away from legislation. Once politicans get their hands on games, they will start opressing all of gaming until a game lobby is formed, so our beloved elected politicans can be properly bribed, in order to return with full wallets after their legislation persiod is over. Disgusting.

Dave said...


I'm sorry to say that I'm not going to debate any of the points that both you and Brian made (would it be possible to get a link to his show, btw? Or did he just do 'The Only Thing I know'?)

What I am going to ask is that you please please please please please please please please PLEASE do more conversations like this. Usually when I'm on a gaming forum, I just get bombarded with images of whinyness and stupidity. Your (and Brians') productions are such a blast of fresh air. If you made these talks with Brian - or other gaming community leaders (maybe even prominent but interested non-gamers) - a regular occurrence, the internet would certainly be a much better place.

Jeff said...

I liked this conversation.

But I think Bob and Brian severely underrepresent "kid-friendly" (I hate that label, but whatever) characters prominence in today's video games.

Mario is still the most popular video game character, followed immediately by Pokemon. (Which isn't a TV license, just in case you were thinking that.)
Guys like Nathan Drake and whoever are similar to the way Sonic the Hedgehog was in the 90's. They're popular now as representations of our culture, but, like you said in your Sonic in Crisis video, "cool" has a shelf life. He probably won't last the generation (especially is Sony keeps losing money at the rate they are. Something's gotta get cut.)

And you are correct in that we'll never see Zelda get ridiculously violent in the way God of War is, mainly due to Miyamoto's influence over his own series, and for market-based reasons, one beign that none of the M-rated knockoffs has ever really sold better.

I hate to say this, because I loathe digital distribution, but one thing it WILL do is put a big clamp on sales of M-rated games to children. You won't see kids running around with credit cards. They'll basically require their parent's approval for everything. That's a good idea, though I don't know if it will help market wise.

"they will start opressing all of gaming until a game lobby is formed, "

HiPhish, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, buddy, but there already IS a games lobby. It's called the ESA. Maybe one day the nation will have so few problems that violent video games will be one of our big issues. I'll be relatively happy when that day comes.

Nim said...

Voluntary regulation rarely works. Why would game stop not sell these restricted games to kids unless they're are legally obliged not to?

In Australia most people aged 18+ need some sort of ID. Even most 16 year olds have a learners permit, so you could easily require 18+ and 16+ games to have proof of age, just like alcohol or cigarettes do.

I think making it a legal requirement to see proof of age before selling 16+ and 18+(21+? I dunno) would be a good thing. It'd help show critics of gaming that we're doing due diligence to protect kids from the more violent games. The blame for kids getting their hands on them could then be squarely planted on the parents, and you could make the argument that it's really up to them how they want to bring up their children.

FMGX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FMGX said...

Nim said "you could easily require 18+ and 16+ games to have proof of age, just like alcohol or cigarettes do." game stop already dose that. well here it's 18+ and 17+ but you get the idea, anyways.

HiPhish said "How is any of this controversial?" well you disagree with them that this isn't controversial and I do agree with them, so that right there is controversial :)

"anyone who disagrees with building a better gamer is an idiot, a nerd and simply a waste of a person." well that's a little harsh, you make it sound like being an nerd is a bad thing and "a waste of a person" dude have some fucking respect. just because someone disagrees with you doesn't give you the right to be a dick head.

Dave said "(would it be possible to get a link to his show, btw? Or did he just do 'The Only Thing I know'?)" google it, come on, do a little investigating, what you want him to hold your hand while he wipes your ass.

"please please please please please please please please PLEASE do more conversations like this" yes, please please do, that was a pretty cool vid.

Kinema said...

Okay, I gotta ask this one... Why do you always say that Nathan Drake is a douchebag? I played both games through in their entirety, and I didn't ever really see him as a douchebag.

I think of him more as a Tony Stark-type character (from the two recent movies). He's quick-witted, sarcastic, and human. He even goes out of his way and risks his own life to save others (on quite a few occasions).

No, I don't think you've actually completely gone through either of the 2 games. Maybe if you did, you'd realize how refreshing a character like Nathan Drake is to the gaming world. Not like most of the cookie-cut heroes that games have to offer nowadays. said...

This can't have effect in reality, that's what I think.