Why do shooters suffer the same moral stereotypes? Part I

Iain Howe explores why video game shooters tread the same moral boundaries and present stereotyped enemies and protagonists.

Ever wondered why video game shooters generally enjoy a similar plot to its predecessors?

Iain Howe, who you may know as an ex-Guerrilla Games developer who worked on Killzone 2, argues that the recurring themes and stereotypes in shooters actually create moral extremes that are essential to not only the enjoyment of the game, but also the delivery of an intelligible plot.

In his three part feature, Howe hopes to explain why many shooter video games reflect each other's moral decisions and tread the same roads release after release.

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Anon19743342d ago

But that was the first thing that popped into my mind. Haze tried to challenge the whole "good guy versus bad guy" angle you find in every other shooter and was rejected for it. What was merely an OK shooter that should have sold half decently suddenly was getting trounced in every review it had.

And here's the issue, it's no fun to have those grey areas. When I take down the bad guy in a shooter, I want him to go down in flames, screaming about the day he'll return and take his vengeance. That's fun. I don't want my bad guy crying and asking for his mom as I send him to meet his maker. That is no fun, and rather kills the whole experience, if you ask me. I appreciate what the game makers tried to do with Haze, but why would a play a game that tried to make me feel bad?

cmrbe3342d ago

In the real world nothing is black and white no matter how some people might want you to believe so. So as an adult I do want more of those type of games that looks into grey areas. I am tired of game plots that revolve around you being the absolute good guy killing all the absolute bad guys. It was nice when i was young but i want something more.

Colony wars was the first game i remember playing that dwell into this area with the struggle between the colonist and Earth where you got to see both side of the conflict in part 1 and part 2 when you play as a rebel in the first and Earth Navy in the second. In the first part you were fighting for your freedom from Earth oppression and in the second part you were fighting for the right of those on Earth to survive by having access to resources on colony planets.

KZ actually goes further which is why i like the KZ story. It basically tells how the Helgast became so vicious and ruthless. It paralles very much with early 20th century European history. If you guys have time have a read.

techie3342d ago

Yep, be interesting to see what he says about Haze.

Mr Tretton3342d ago

I don't really care who I'm shooting in a video game, as long as they die good.

I'd be fine playing as the Helghast. In fact, that would be down right interesting.

ChozenWoan3342d ago

When you think about it, No one Cos plays as a Vectan (ISA solder). Everyone wants to be a Helgan.

Then again, I've been mocked by so many of them, after they killed me, during the campain that I still want to give em a peice of my rifle. Right there between their beady little glowing eyes. >:)

That reminds me... time to get the map pack bundle. =)

techie3342d ago

I think you'll be playing as the Helghast in Killzone 3 :)

Dead_Cell3342d ago (Edited 3342d ago )

I had a Helghast stood over me with his arms in the air doing the "Mister Universe" pose as my screen faded to black.
I loaded that level up so bloody fast in an effort to find him,my friend was mocking me so badly for it.
"I DON'T ********* CARE THAT ****** GOING ****** DOWN".

ChozenWoan3341d ago

Been there, got the tshirt... now I'm going back for the whole suit.

MegaMohsi3341d ago

Bioshock never really had villains, it just had misguided/deceived people who turned into something they weren't, the game itself was brilliant because there was no set evil you had to fight against and the moral choices in the game made it that much better. Bioshock is probably the best shooter I've ever played.