When a piece of art or entertainment is the recipient of a ban, one can't help but begin to build up a grisly mental picture of what it holds in store for its audience. Usually, this perception is far worse than the reality.
"When the games industry become the subject of a mainstream news story, it's usually for one of two reasons – when a manufacturer or publisher posts record high or low earnings, or when the subject of violence in video games is once again thrust into the spotlight. A lot of the moral hand-wringing that takes place on this latter issue comes from a desire to defend the innocence of children. While this is a noble motive in itself, it stems from a generally held ignorance of the video game industry. It's a position that doesn't take into account that the age of the average gamer has risen dramatically over the years and the content of some games has become vastly more mature." This is why the people claiming they are looking out for the kids are ridiculous. They know nothing about gaming and just go on a knee jerk reaction and follow the rest of the zealots in demonizing the industry.
R*'s quote at the end of the article, which is a repeat from their letter, "...a ban is punishment for deviating from tradition..." While I see what R* was trying to say, the implied totality of this statement is erroneous. Tradition is not the only reason to ban material and in R*'s case, tradition had only a small part of it. A ban is also a way to say that we will not condone the distribution of such material. The next line, "...A ban denies everyone the chance to consider, experience, or discuss the actual game..." How so? Are we not in discussion of your material now? I am able to consider it as well, even after the ban. The only consumer action that should be in this sentence is 'experience'. I cannot experience this game unless I am able to import or bootleg it in some way. The final statement, "...The only obvious victor is the status quo..." I didn't realize R* was in a battle with the status quo. Is this really the major reason why they would make such a game? Was their sole purpose to try to shock and desensitive mainstream society in order to permanantly degrade the status quo so that more vicious and extreme subject matter would slip by and into the homes of consumers? Honestly, I think that's looking way to far into things. Although R* may be irresponsible, I seriously don't think they'd have that much time or intelligence to concoct such a plot.
To part 1 about "...a ban is punishment for deviating from tradition..." I say this is a fine statement, after all people did throw Galileo in jail for suggesting and stating that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Now don't get me wrong I am not comparing the two, just stating that without deviating from tradition things grow stale and eventually become accepted. Even when wrong. "...A ban denies everyone the chance to consider, experience, or discuss the actual game..." Yes we are in discussion about the material. But it is all based on hear-say. By banning it, The government is effectivly taking away YOUR right to decide if the material is unsuitable for YOU. (See the theme, SELF RESPONSIBILITY) "...The only obvious victor is the status quo..." Sadly this is true, While I might come off as a radical, I just don't feel that grown adults wouldn't be able to handle this game. While of course there would be a select few might not handle it as well as others. If you think video games can inspire one to kill, I think you are missing the big picture. Like I have said before I have a 3yo Son and under no circumstance would I play this type of game around him or let him play it till he was mature enough(about 16+ to clarify) to understand the dark tones of the game. But in no way should I be denied the chance to play it because the Governments of the world are not my parents, Therefore have 0 right to block a media from my house. Especially when movies are 20x more graphic when it comes to Nudity and Violence. On top of all that this whole playing vs. watching argument holds very little weight with me. If there is that big a difference for you then the problems extend beyond video games, You know what I mean.
Half of it just disappeared and now it's back... wtf? Anyway, good counter-points, especially when referring to Galileo and his struggle. I know what you mean and I'm sure you were only drawing a parallel to the principle behind the analogy but I must say, Galileo's plight was far more honorable and significant to the betterment of mankind by introducing an observational truth to the world. By no means is R*'s struggle with a ban equivalent to the struggle and punishment that Galileo endured. But using the principle behind the struggle as your argument was a good choice. Touche, I concede to your first argument. I disagree with your next point about that all our info on the matter is hearsay. I would say about half of it it hearsay but we have been given several facts, images, and articles that include R*'s comments and answers concerning the game. So I wouldn't say that it's all hearsay but your argument is not meritless. On the status quo, well, I am a part of the status quo. I have voted, protested, petitioned, purchased, and persuaded in the name of ideals and what I believe is right. I'm guessing most of you do. While I do not agree with many regulations and laws that the United States enforces, I do obey them yet argue against them when necessary. But for me to feel disappointed for R* because they feel "unpopular" in the light of this ban, hell no. I'm all for the status quo in this case. There will be other games that similarily push or try to push the limits of tolerance within our system. Over the years, these limits will erode because of the slow desensitization that is occurring now with Manhunt, Postal, Postal 2, other video games with a similar nature, movies, music, etc. If it continues, not much will be regulated for the entertainment medium and our future society (our children) will be the ones dealing with the consequences. P.S. I gave you an agree because you b*tched me in your first argument.
This game would have disappeared if it wasn't for this ban. To much fuss over nothing. I never had any interest in it at all.
In the end for me it is not about Manhunt but more so the principle of what is at stake. The movie industry today sees movies that would have once received the NC-17 rating that now today are barely an R rating. While I don't want the game industry flooded with over the top violence, and pseudo porn games I feel the media needs to quit demonizing games to scared parents. In all fairness this game could be crap and totally pointless garbage. But I want to defend the principle of the matter, not so much the game. *** LOL, and in no way was I comparing Galileo with R*....LMAO. Just the principle as you said *** I don't think we are to far off on this issue just different opinions on where that invisible line in the sand is supposed to be drawn.
The need to stop tripping. Hunters and fishermen really do kill.
Perhaps the human animal needs an outlet such as this genre of game in order to compensate for the continued dissolution of "the hunt" that modern society has brought upon us. Hunting and fishing have been slowly eroded away or turned into sport by the introduction of urban life (i.e. we get our meat/fish at the store, no hunting involved). Could this be an argument against the banning and censorship of horror/gore games? Well, I think yes and no. For one, the gamer isn't usually hunting an animal. In Manhunt 2, as the title implies, the gamer hunts other people, which is pretty sick and demented when one thinks about it. But the lack of "the hunt" may be one reason why violence is so rampant in society, apart from the pyschos. Video games may be an outlet to counter the primal response within us without hurting others.
This is a comment I wrote for another article. I'm going to reprint (re-edit) it here since it has more relevance. I think it's time we moved the industry forward to the next level of social acceptance and STOP referring to software as "games". It has a juvenile connotation to it which only serves to downplay their importance. They are what they are, simulations. Not just flight simulations or racing simulations but also, simulations for world economies, life, dating, caring for pets, space exploration, hand to hand/martial combat, crime, gang life, shooting, war, etc... We even have software which effectively simulates murder and assassinations. This is where the problem lies since NO publisher wants their product to be known as a Murder Simulation. With that label the "game" suddenly seems more sinister and threatening with very serious implications, as well it should. I feel, however, this is the road we need to take since it forces us to ponder and potentially re-examine the industry in a more mature and responsible light.
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