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Submitted by Grateful Ghoul 1113d ago | opinion piece

Far Cry 3: Why Does Killing Digital Animals Feel Morally Wrong?

When playing the totally fabulous and life-consuming Far Cry 3, TV Presenter OJ Borg has come to a strange conclusion about himself and his values. Whilst gaming he can butcher humans in a variety of interesting, entertaining and masochistic ways, but he finds killing digital animals morally wrong.

As soon as computer games became more real, evolving from platform games to, amongst other things, hyper real First Person Shooters, a large proportion of the world has blamed a lot of its violent problems on computer games, and you can see why. We play games in which you do things that are insanely visceral.

From stomping your money out of a prostitute post-transaction on GTA, to killing all the innocent hostages on CoD, we have done this and more; sometimes with a (guilty?) gurgle of delight.

However when playing the new Far Cry and having to shoot dogs that are attacking you, kill tigers with a bow and arrow, skin black panthers and more, there is a palpable revulsion that he can’t totally explain. (Culture, Far Cry 3, PS3, Xbox 360)

VerbalKint27  +   1113d ago
Ha, you're not alone there OJ! While playing FC3, I shot a sea turtle last night and felt terrible..
Nitrowolf2  +   1113d ago
They don't move!! They just sit there and go not their shells, I've bothered not even killing them.
Andthe Beavers in AC3, even if they make a lot of money, the sound they make every single time you slay one :(

I like the sound rocks make though when you throw it at an animal :D
DasTier  +   1113d ago
Pussys! Become real men and strap those critters with C4!
dboyc310  +   1113d ago
It doesn't feel wrong. Just like it doesn't feel wrong shooting and beating up prostitutes or civilians in GTA. It's all FAKE!!
grailly  +   1113d ago
totally agree, most animals I didn't care for (didn't adore killing tapirs though), but those turtles... I killed one just because I wanted to know what I could loot from it, knowing it wouldn't be a useful object. I felt a bit bad. Then I got killed by a selection of katowari and dingos, made me hate all animals all over again.
GuyThatPlaysGames  +   1112d ago
I LOVEEEEE killing animals in games. Even in AC3, I just got a rush from jumping out of a tree to stab a deer in the neck lol
Hellsvacancy  +   1113d ago
A didnt get any pleasure from shooting the town dog in Red Dead Redemption
Broburger  +   1113d ago
I thought I was the only one. I try to avoid games that require me to hurt innocent animals.
FlameBaitGod  +   1113d ago
Well being a dog is never easy and seeing ur people killed, not fun
gillri  +   1113d ago
I only felt guilty when I detonated 2 C4's underneath a Galapagos turtle
#4 (Edited 1113d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
stage88  +   1113d ago
It's never really phased me. I never go out my way to do so unless the game requires it. Eg RDR and the Bison trophy.
deafdani  +   1113d ago
Yeah, not sharing the sentiment at all here. I feel as much guilt about killing a virtual animal in a videogame as I do about killing a virtual human being in a videogame - that is, zero.

That's why I found it funny to kill dogs and horses and skin animals in Red Dead Redemption; just as fun as shooting and ramming over innocent civilians in any given Grand Theft Auto game. I didn't feel bad about killing many beautiful and innocent animals in Xenoblade Chronicles. And that's why I don't think I will feel the slightest sense of guilt when I go slaying tigers in Far Cry 3 (a game that's still on my to-buy list).

And in real life, I LOVE animals. My girlfriend is vegetarian, and I don't eat too much meat, myself... and I can't even harm a cockroach. Seriously... if I happen to see a cockroach in my house, I just scoop it up and throw it out of my house. XD

But there's a big difference between real life and videogames, and that's why I will do all kinds of atrocities in those virtual worlds, as much as they let me, without any bad feelings. Those "living" beings in those virtual worlds are just ones and zeroes, so I don't really care about it too much unless the actual STORY makes me care (Mass Effect, for example... losing any of my squadmates on any of the ME games hurt like hell). :(
DasTier  +   1113d ago
God that takes me back. On free roam one of my mates befriended the village dog in Armadillo on RDR, after about 20 miniutes of this little dog following him around the desert we heard this shot ring over the desert. Me and him were fine, but some bastard had hit his dog! That was genuinely one of the first times i've seen him, a grown man look upset playing a video game.
deafdani  +   1113d ago
LOL. I could see why your mate got upset, though. He chose to befriend the dog, and it must've been cute to have the little dude follow him around. It becomes a little part of the experience.
SeanScythe  +   1113d ago
Geez people are such girls, you're ok with killing other digital humans but get all mushy when you have to kill a digital animal. Oh I know the animals never hurt anyone and the humans are trying to kill me blah blah, grow a set it's a game. Try having to put down your pet when it's crying in pain because a neighbors pitbull crushed it's throat.
Psychotica  +   1113d ago
Yeah but I feel better when I introduce my 12 gauge to the pitbull after...
isyourhouseonfire  +   1113d ago
Even more morally wrong is releasing a graphical update of the first game and calling it #3.
Stoppokingme  +   1113d ago
When i first killed a tiger i died a little inside.
Froakie  +   1113d ago
Why do people feel guilty about killing anything in a game? I just can't understand these people at all.
ApolloTheBoss  +   1113d ago
Maybe when moral systems are involved, Like in Fallout 3. That eerie music that plays when you kill an innocent person or animal...Makes you feel guilty.
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Psychotica  +   1113d ago
I don't feel bad at all. I might if they were laying there in agony and making all kinds of noise or if you could shoot them and they limped off into the woods.
Tzuno  +   1113d ago
Developers put them there just to add diversity to their game in reality animals run or attack depends on situation.
e-p-ayeaH  +   1113d ago
most animals actually run away in the game if you shoot a firearm.
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mamotte  +   1113d ago
Because killing digital humans in many other games is morally correct.
DivineAssault  +   1113d ago
i love killing them bastards that attack me anyway.. I dont kill herbivores unless i have no choice & need to for survival & gear..

Carnivores & omnivores get a shotgun to the head cuz those bastards always interrupt my stealth tactics.. They hurt pretty damn bad too
#14 (Edited 1113d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
e-p-ayeaH  +   1113d ago
I blow them all into pieces when i feel like it.

No regrets im a good person in real life fiction isn't reality.
#15 (Edited 1113d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
TotalHitman  +   1113d ago
I felt something for the defenseless turtle. Then I shot it with a SPAS and moved on after a few seconds. It's just a game.
RuperttheBear  +   1113d ago
I love killing dogs and cats in The Witcher 2, the sound of their pathetic dying whimpers is music to my ears. But then I reload again after and they come back to life, and all is right in the world.

I'm God in my gaming world, and if I want those virtual animals to suffer, then they will! Until I press the F9 key.
#17 (Edited 1113d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
smashcrashbash  +   1113d ago
I don't see why.If you have no problem killing everything else digital why should you feel morally wrong about killing digital animals? Then you should feel morally wrong about everything you kill. People don't seem to get it.If you claim to be sensitive about something you can't just pick and choose what to be sensitive about.You either hate to kill living things or you don't.
-Gespenst-  +   1113d ago
Exactly. I think the reason is that most gamers are secretly misanthropic hypocrites.
-Gespenst-  +   1113d ago
I felt the same in AC3, especially when they forced you to kill them.

I don't see why people shouldn't feel bad about killing people in games. Obviously none of this is real, but what it represents is awful: Another conscious person with a life, a history, that you're callously gunning down. That to me is wilful ignorance. How can you so easily extinguish something that represents something as complex as a human life? I've honestly reached a point where I have trouble playing violent games. It just doesn't feel right to me. Any hero who murders scores of people is not a hero, they're a murdering tyrant who thinks they somehow have the right to kill people- as if they're so righteous.

Games and blockbuster films are stupid for this reason.
smashcrashbash  +   1113d ago
So you don't see soldiers as heroes? Or policemen? Or secret agents? Just because people kill others doesn't necessarily mean that you yourself are evil for doing so.People always assume because you do what is necessary means that you don't feel bad or are affected by it later.Do you think that people who execute people necessarily love killing people? Or the people that have to make the hard decisions that involve taking lives. Some heroes kill people in self defense or because it is their job to do it or because they are trying to right a wrong.In some aspects I understand what you mean with people seeming to enjoy their killing jobs a little too much but what type of game or movie would it be if the person stopped and cried every time they had to kill someone? And let's not forget that they are killing the bad people which in of itself is still being good.

I agree that violence in games and movies can get out of control but let's not fool ourselves like people do with sexuality.There is violence out there, evil people that do it and people who fight back with violence to defeat them not necessarily because they love violence but because it needs to be done. Hiding that fact doesn't do anything for us.

Like in Django people were outraged about how violent the treatment of the slaves was.Well that is just how it was no matter how much you complain about it. You can't expect everyone to hide reality from you just because you can't stomach it. Like when people complain about how callous and cruel and violent Kratos behaved.Well that is a Spartan warrior for you or most barbarian people from around that time. You can look away if you want but that is how they behaved. You don't like AC3 because of the fact that he assassinated people? Well assassins existed and many times served a cause to revolutions and changing the course of history. You don't have to love the things that you see or do in games and movies but you need to accept that sometimes that is just how it was and the people who make them prefer not to censor it
-Gespenst-  +   1112d ago
Assassin's Creed 3, Django Unchained, and God of War aren't exactly models for history, and basing your moral outlook on them is pretty baffling.

I hate your fatalistic attitude. It's the same shit I always hear "Oh violence has always been around there's nothing we can do about it". Violence is as much a reality as we make it. Maybe they did horrendous shit in the past, but #1. It was nothing like our movies / games describe and #2. We can learn from the past.

Supporting the idea of a military or of an aggressive and oppressive police force is just antiquated. Violence shouldn't be institutionalized like this- made to seem like an unavoidable reality. The impulse to kill has been transformed into something pragmatic- legitimised by aggressive foreign policies among other things- the animal aspect of it papered over. There are obviously elements of our animal sides that are good, but our impulse to violence needs stop. We have the ability to conceive beyond it and so we should.

Most soldiers are just overly-nationalistic, dysfunctional people with a lust for blood instilled in them by their greedy government. Being a soldier is surrendering to regimentation- sacrificing your agency and killing at the command of higher powers.

If you can kill someone, you've either been brainwashed (I consider the rationale of "it's my job" as brainwashed) or are a latent maniac who needs to be reformed- that or society and culture needs to change.

Your view is a completely naive and juvenile one that ignores complexity.

Also just because someone changed the course of history doesn't instantly make them laudable. It's often the case that there's two sides to supposed heroes.

That said I don't agree with censorship. What I do advocate is responsible and intelligent treatment of themes, not the fetishization of violence and not sexual and racial stereotypes.

Most of our assumptions in modern society are completely backwards and only recently are we really starting to see some change.
ziggurcat  +   1113d ago
well, the cougars in RDR are ***holes, so... i really don't feel all that bad shooting them in the face.
InTheLab  +   1113d ago
I do feel bad using an RPG to hunt Dingos...but taking down a tiger with a bow is sweet justice.
csreynolds  +   1112d ago
It's just a game people...

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