Submitted by gamerlive 1002d ago | interview

With PS4 And Next Gen Opening Up More Realism, Researcher Explores Violence In Games

Forbes -- While the anticipation builds for the new Sony PlayStation 4 and rumors swirl around and April unveiling of the new Microsoft Xbox 720, or Durango, there’s still a huge undercurrent of anti-gaming from the mainstream media. The recent revelation that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza played video games as preparation for his massacre – something that Oslo mass murderer Anders Breivik also admitted to; has continued to paint all video games in a negative light. The National Rifle Association (NRA) coming out and blaming games for tragedies like Newtown also put games front and center in the current debate around violence in media, the accessibility of semi-automatic weapons and mental health in the United States. (Grand Theft Auto V, Kevin Williams, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Microsoft, PS3, PS4, Sony, Xbox One)

jagiii  +   1002d ago
More research like this needs to be shown to battle the ridiculous games cause murders mainstream media idiots.
Septic  +   1002d ago
As gaming technology progresses more and more, this debate will be come incresingly relevant.

We might even reach a stage in this generation where, due to the ultra-realistic nature of the visuals and physics, developers will have to really make a conscious effort to put restrictions on the 'freedom' gamers have so that they don't abuse it.
zebramocha  +   1002d ago
Not really,I believe most dev have a point where the level of violence is either done to illustrate something or excessive where it becomes unrealistic.
Septic  +   1002d ago
Well what constitutes 'excessive' violence is a matter of opinion. And you yourself make reference to 'most developers'. It is inevitable that some developers may take the level of violence to a degree most might find unacceptable but they may feel is perfectly justified.
zebramocha  +   1002d ago
In gow 3 where kratos ripped helio's head off,there's no way that's possible with human hands or the brutalities from mk,the curb stomp from gears, some of the ways people die in game are some times exaggerated.

Misread your comment,just giving examples of exaggerated violence.
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aLucidMind  +   1002d ago
Actually, it is possible to do with just your body (use of your entire arm). Definitely not just your bare hands though; I think a lot of the ways that look exaggerated actually aren't, but are put there a little too gratuitously at times. I think maybe a form of censorship is best if done right, but it would have to be a voluntary form chosen by the user.

If you don't want to see a guy's head ripped off, fine; there's an on/off switch in the game's options for gore. Switch it off and you just get a basic neck-snap scene replacing Helios' decapitation. Or instead of the head exploding from gunfire in Fallout, it remains intact.

Don't like blood? On/Off switch for that.

Don't like swearing? I personally say "too bad". But I do agree some developers need to tone down at times; I don't need to hear "fuck" every sentence to get the point that the guy is angry.

These should be easy fixes that everyone should be fine with.
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ATi_Elite  +   1002d ago
More realism more violence in Video Games!

Same crap when when movies had better special effects and became more violent!

Art imitates real life and there was violence before electricity and there will surely be violence after electricity!
Games4ever  +   1002d ago
If violence in games is a problem? Then just show more porn instead of. Better realism = better porn :)
DigitalSmoke  +   1002d ago
Lets forget about movies and Cap In You Ass music and just go for gameing, yeah! that will get me to hold my job...
Tonester925  +   1002d ago
I can't wait for next gen Zombie games where every part of the body can be blown off with real time physics. Or real human limb severing.
ApolloTheBoss  +   1002d ago
Fallout 4 FTW.
dcbronco  +   1002d ago
Everyone should have seen this coming. Movies and music already are regulated. Movies to the greatest extent. But games are unique and bring the experience to the person more so than movies. We may start to see games listed at some sort of NC-17 level. Or they will self sensor and cut back on the realism. It might be better that they do it then to leave it to a government working on behalf of other industries looking for a scapegoat.
aLucidMind  +   1002d ago
Unlike movies, video games can be censored by user discretion. Perfect example is the on/off switch for blood. They could go one step further and make a gore switch so that, instead of seeing a character's head blown off by a sniper rifle, the head remains intact. Or a basic neck-snap instead of literally ripping their head off when the switch is off.

Developers have far more flexibility here and are far more able to cater to both sides of the fence. However, there are just some games that this wouldn't be a smart idea to do on due to reputation or simply the game itself. God of War being one, as it is MEANT to be a "slaughter everything" kind of game. GTA is another because, let's face it, Rockstar is not exactly known for being (and shouldn't be forced to become) politically correct.
dcbronco  +   1002d ago
That is all true. But we already have the ability to limit the ratings of games played on a console or gamertag and other features like you mentioned. But the problem is we're dealing with scapegoating here. So the facts will be ignored in order to sell peoples political position.
Brucis  +   1002d ago
>violence in video games

People did the same shit with books, movies and comics. Guess what? They didn't end up causing jack shit.
OptimisticPrime  +   1002d ago
They can't touch artistic expression.

That's really what games are. Interactive art. Have you seen the Saw movies? They are far more gruesome than games have been yet. Games are relatively tame in comparison to some film.

They may complain about games but they are safe
nirwanda  +   1002d ago
And they are the bits that get through the censorship clearly people accept movies for what they are not real just like games should be.
SkullBlade169  +   1002d ago
Here we go again...
Sketchy_Galore  +   1002d ago
Surely more realistic violence is a good thing? Surely it's more mentally damaging to slice a guy with a sword and have him flash in and out of existence for a second or two then explode, leaving behind a nice roast turkey you can eat and feel instantly healthier?

Look at the way it happened with the movies, back in the old days audiences would cheer on massacres as cowboys slaughtered dozens upon dozens of 'savages' who would die by letting out a high pitched yell and gripping their bloodless chest. This at the very least helped keep the general public believing that War and violence could be romantic and fun. Then when the restrictions relaxed a little on what kind of thing could be shown in movies you started to see real depictions of the ugly and messy truth of taking another human life. We moved from the fun bloodless killing of the old Westerns to something like Hitchcock's Torn curtain, which contains a famously (and intentionally) ugly killing that, while technically completely justified, leaves any normal person feeling slightly sick.

Now look at where we are today. We still have the cheesy old school hero flicks about mowing down brown people who do cool flips before they die but the many many realistic depictions of violence we see in other movies always serve a deeper message that the taking of human lives is an ugly business and its the audiences of these kinds of movies that speak out against Wars and all other kinds of violence, because they know what an ugly thing it really is.

So basically what I'm saying is, realistic head explosions are cool.
thehitman  +   1002d ago
I do believe more realistic games isnt good for us overall and that esrb ratings are there for a reason and more parents should abide by them or monitor what their kids are playing. I dont believe in censorship of games though or believe that games are the root cause for violence/killings either. They may be the catalyst however for people who aren't already mentally stable/weak.
Games4ever  +   1002d ago
It's so stupid, this debate. Movies are the most realistic, and there are lots of violence,nudity,sex in most movies. And not many complains about it, but in games? Lots of bitching all the time.
-Gespenst-  +   1002d ago
As games become more realistic visually, they become more convincing. It's all well and good to say that games aren't real, but when you're playing them, if they're doing their job right, you're immersed. For the more impressionable, this isn't exactly a good thing. There's a connection between when you press the button and the gun fires on screen, and there are definitely those who are disconnected from reality enough to think this is like the real thing. Not only this, but most games fetishize the violence they depict - they make you want that violence, give you all sorts of means to inflict that violence and reward you for that violence. That's not reality, but games seem to want to suggest, even if they don't realise they're doing it, that that is reality.

The advancement of graphics technology has the discreet aim of achieving realism and visual fidelity to match the real world, but why? Why should I want to feel and experience a high fidelity representation of murdering someone brutally? That's just psychopathic. Games need to more attuned to the complex morality of killing another person or thing. Most videogame "heroes" are mass murderers. They kill hundreds of “foes” and yet those foes are representations of people, and we all know that in reality, people’s lives are so much more complex and beautiful than the faceless fodder we mow down in videogames. It’s just wilful ignorance and misanthropic to suggest that foes in videogames are somehow subhuman and are therefore okay to slaughter and the “hero” is somehow justified in this. I’m not saying that such foes are actually humans, they’re obviously not real, but it’s what they represent. They represent enemies to the hero of the game, and inscribe all enemies as subhuman and fine to kill. That’s just fascist.

Think about how ubiquitous games are now. They've entered the mainstream, and when things do that they start impacting on society and culture. Games need to treat violence more appropriately, which means not portraying it as satisfying or rewarding. People think they're so aloof, but they don't realise how much the weight of culture and society effects them and influences their worldview and how they think. If games, with their juvenile, immature and dare I say it misanthropic treatment of violence enter the culture I can't see that being positive. I’m not saying at all that videogames cause violence. When somebody does something atrocious and it’s pinned on videogames, those videogames are usually part of a larger cultural, social, economical and psychological puzzle.

I mean, think about a game developer sitting down and working overtime in front of his computer developing and creating an extremely violent animation. Is that not weird to any of you? Actually sitting there, deep in concentration, and trying to make the most detailed mutilation possible, it's just strange behaviour. I mean think of the fatalities in Mortal Kombat 9, or the stealth kills in Manhunt, and think of someone actually sitting down and spending hours trying to make those. Shit is creepy.

Violence should be deeply unpleasant and not at all fun to do if it's going to be in a videogame, otherwise it's just fetishized. As well as this, as games become more realistic, they become more convincing, and the last thing we want is for people to become convinced that violence is as “fun” and “satisfying” as their videogames suggest.
KillrateOmega  +   1002d ago
Great. This old debate again...

If there is a problem with the kid, quit blaming the games and movies that he watches, and take a look at his parents and how they raised him/her.

You can make the argument for how the increased realism in games and potential detachment from reality they create are at fault, but it's ultimately the parents' responsibility to monitor their children. The ESRB ratings are there for a reason and if the parents decide to just go ahead and overlook them completely and proceed to hand the M-rated game to their 11yo to appease them, then they are at fault.

Good parenting skills. Look 'em up sometime.
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Magnagamer222  +   1002d ago
I couldn't have said it better myself. Just because it's a digital age, it doesn't mean you raise your kids without social interaction. It's easy to put your kid in front of a TV, Computer or Videogame and place blame because you trusted the values of the entertainment industry over your own. No one complains until the $H!T hits the fan.

Related video
ohcatrina  +   1002d ago
Yes, because parents are absolutely forced to take 60+ bucks out of their pockets to buy violent games for their kids.

Except... they aren't. wtf
creHEARTive  +   1002d ago
Games are going to become more violent, that is a given. When is the focus going to shift to the responsibility of the parents?
YoureINMYWay85  +   1002d ago
I hope the ps4 will have a better launch than wii-u or ps3
awkwardhamster  +   1002d ago
The good Dr. brings up a good point with, "frustration with gameplay leading to hostility". I can see young Timmy lashing out at society after playing Aliens Colonial Marines.
gamerlive  +   1002d ago
Remember, video games don't kill people, guns do.
csreynolds  +   1002d ago
Oh good - THIS again.

When will these so-called academics realise that videogames are NOT the problem?

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