Yoko Taro: The Reasons Why We Kill in Video Games Shine a Light on What's Broken in Humans

Yoko Taro, the game director of NieR:Automata, expressed a particularly deep thought on killing in video games and what that says about humans as a whole.

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Jackhass1971d ago

This guy always has some interesting insights.

robtion1970d ago

He does. I like that he speaks his mind.

I think some people are misinterpreting what he said. He is not saying there is no difference between real life and virtual killing.

He is basically just pointing out that humans have an inate fascination with violence as a form of entertainment (that is, we have a dark streak).

For example horror movies, action films, most video games, or say the UFC.

abstractel1969d ago (Edited 1969d ago )

For me it's never been about what I am shooting, it could be a non-sentient glob of goo moving around that react in an awesome way when they are shot.

I believe this will become more of an issue when games near photo realism, but I also feel that developers has matured with it and will continue to do so.

I consider the gaming medium relatively new, compared to the other formats that deliver fictional stories like feature films. IMO story isn't that great in most games and does not compared to books and movies etc.. Last of Us is one of the few titles I really felt had a quality script executed really well so I am not saying there aren't exceptions but our industry has a long way to go (as much as I passionately love it!).

-Gespenst-1971d ago (Edited 1971d ago )

Speak for yourself. I don't play super violent games, because I don't enjoy the violence. Moreover, even if you do enjoy violent videogames, that doesn't mean that you'll enjoy real violence. They're two very different experiences, no matter how similar they appear. Yoko Taro himself should know this given that he makes videogames. Exaggerated and ridiculous sound effects and visual effects - you don't get these things in real life. Killing is brutal and traumatic for all involved (especially the victim) unless you're a psychopath. It's far from fun, unlike how it is often portrayed in entertainment. To be honest, the fact that he's saying this sort of betrays his own confusion about the difference between entertainment and reality. That's worrying, because he's a grown-ass man. People like him need to stay grounded in reality and not let entertainment inform them about it.

SixFragz1970d ago

I agree with your comment, but i'm not sure why you got many dislikes, so maybe we are missing something. Maybe those who dislike can tell us something we've missed, because you bring up a clearly valid point.

It is simply intrigue and human nature to sort of be fascinated by action and violence through ENTERTAINMENT. Of course, some people such as yourself don't enjoy violence in video games, and that's completely understandable.

Entertainment and reality should be kept separate, but there are some cases where idiotic people mix the two, and think that some of the things they see in video games would be alright to replicate in real life.

It's quite ironic how someone who is ingrained with video games such as Taro can echo such a thing. I assume he was trying to be enlightening and insightful, but I don't agree with him at all.

Timesplitter141970d ago (Edited 1970d ago )

If you play anything from Chess to Zelda to Fortnite, then the "we enjoy killing in games" comment still applies to those. Graphic/realistic violence is completely superficial and doesn't make much of a difference

I don't think he necessarily means that we'd enjoy killing things at random in the real world, but rather that we enjoy imagining that we'd have some kind of terrible enemy that we could fight and destroy. A bit in the same way that most superhero fantasies involve villains, and they're not just about some person helping others at random. We want to have something to fight, because that sounds more fun to us

I'm not saying that's a good thing, but I think that's how things are right now

Timesplitter141970d ago


...even when it's not technically "killing", like in sports or in superhero stories where the hero never kills, I think it still caters to the same basic instinct as violent games. We want to have stuff to fight against and vanquish, or else we get bored

fr0sty1970d ago

In the beginning, it was the virtual villain that got us to enjoy simulated harm/killing. Now, when given the freedom to, we will mow a taxicab over a street full of virtual pedestrians, blow up a police station, stab a hooker, etc... regardless of what lipstick you put on it to make it morally acceptable, beneath the surface it's all the same thing.

It's the same reason we get off on violence on TV, the news, etc... The song "Vicarious" comes to mind.

rainslacker1970d ago

More often than not, when you kill in games, it's done so from the point of view of being the right thing to do. Or at least, the player has the moral high ground. I don't think that it's people subconsciously enjoy violence, I think it's that people subconsciously want to do the right thing, or be the hero. Our media, in general, has perpetuated the idea that violence is an acceptable way to be such a way, at least when it's done in a fictional sense, and occasionally it's OK when it's not fictional.

Some games attempt to blur that line, like where you play a bad guy, but even in those games, there is often some form of twisted logic which makes it acceptable.

EloquentRooster1970d ago

No you're all getting his message wrong. Hes explaining that we as humans ALLWAYS WANT what we cant have. Always. And hes right. Yes we have a fascination for action that has been adultered through entertainment. But it's more of violence that we have a problem with. Yet we want peace. If we were a peaceful world we would want what we couldnt have. It's a double vortex of sin is in our nature!!! This is what he means philosophically

mogwaii1969d ago

You are completely missing the point, completely.

Omnislashver361969d ago (Edited 1969d ago )

Way to completely misinterpret what he said.

The point is that we enjoy it because we have things to fight for. Whether or not we're conscious of it, everyone has a reason for fighting.

It could be survival, it could be a struggle of ideals, it could be philosophical to some extent, or a combination. It could be to protect those you care about.

And when you have all of this at your disposal you can write an interesting game. It has nothing to do with whether you enjoy violence in real life, most of us aren't under the same circumstances of a videogame so it's easy to differentiate as fantasy.

The point is it's some allegory, a fantasy metaphor for something. And whether it be DOOM taking on hellish monsters(survival) or Kingdom Hearts and friendship(ideals), it reflects something about our personalities. If we had no "fight" we would be NPCs.

The very fact you have a stance against him shows you have the urge to stand for your opinion. That's the EXACT thing he's speaking on and being insightful to the writing of new videogame material.

Cobra9511969d ago

Thank you, EloquentRooster. That's the most thought-provoking interpretation of the short statement that I've seen yet.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1969d ago
PhoenixUp1971d ago

He’s had this message since the first Drakengard

bluefox7551970d ago

While I enjoy his work, I completely disagree with this sentiment.

Captain_J_Sheridan1970d ago

We still carry a lot from our primal age, we like to identify an enemy, kill it and rejoice on our survival and protection of our own

If there's no enemy to be found, we'll create'em

Hungryalpaca1970d ago

He’s not wrong. It’s what people do. Not everyone but it is what happens.