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Posted by Mirado (951 posts) 2 months, 28 days ago

Would You Play a Well Crafted, Morally Reprehensible Game? (292 votes)

Yep! If the gameplay holds up, I'd play as Hitler gunning down Mother Teresa. 62%
Nope! Even if the game handles well, I'd be too put off to enjoy it. 38%

This came up in a discussion I had earlier, and I'm wondering what the GB audience makes of it.

Take a game that you love, primarily because it is enjoyable to play. Doesn't matter if it's Devil May Cry, DOTA 2, Street FIghter 4, Starcraft 2, whatever. As long as you love it for the gameplay (and the story is a minor positive at best), it qualifies. Now, replace its story/characters with something you'd find offensive. Everyone is bothered by different things at different levels, so pick whatever fits. Could you still see yourself enjoying that mechanical aspects of that game, or would the ideas and themes present torpedo any joy you could have? Could you play through it? Could you enjoy playing through it?

If the characters of Street Fighter were rapists and child abusers, if you played as Hitler in Call of Duty and the game was structured around causing the Holocaust, if Mario was going from castle to castle, torturing animals at the end of each, could you still play? Could you put up with ugly, disgusting themes if it handled like Geometry Wars, or Company of Heroes? If it played like Super Meat Boy or Super Mario Galaxy?

Assume the themes aren't used in parody or positively, either. If the next Assassin's Creed game is set in WW2 and you play a SS officer hunting down Jews, for the purposes of this discussion assume it's because Ubisoft has a real Neo-Nazi thing going on.

Finally, don't be a jerk, I guess. This turned out to be a bit of a time bomb between some friends, so let's not get this thing locked.

#1 Posted by Video_Game_King (34642 posts) -

Yes, I've played DuckTales Remastered.

#2 Posted by FancyMan (2 posts) -

Yes, because its just a video game.

#3 Edited by Crembaw (240 posts) -

I dunno, it depends. I've never really decided whether I want to play Liberal Crime Squad, for example.

You could make a substantial argument that the actions of characters in modern OORAHDEBBADAW FPS games are morally reprehensible, and I play plenty of those, so, yeah I guess. Hell that's pretty much the point of Spec Ops: The Line.

#4 Posted by BeachThunder (11274 posts) -

Spelunky is all about animal torture!

#5 Posted by Sammo21 (3037 posts) -

Let's say a developer made a very polished, mechanically sound game about playing as a rapist where the graphics were amazing and it was the most lifelike open world game ever. No, I would not play it.

One of my friends made a comment in a similar discussion where he would want a fully lifelike game based on "I Spit On Your Grave". No coincidence that we really don't spend that much time around each other anymore.

#6 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1273 posts) -

@crembaw said:

I dunno, it depends. I've never really decided whether I want to play Liberal Crime Squad, for example.

You could make a substantial argument that the actions of characters in modern OORAHDEBBADAW FPS games are morally reprehensible, and I play plenty of those, so, yeah I guess. Hell that's pretty much the point of Spec Ops: The Line.

Well, in the case of Spec Ops: The Line, the game is using those themes and making you engage in reprehensible acts to make a point against them. The game doesn't advocate war crimes simply because it portrays them.

#7 Posted by postnothing (65 posts) -

If there is a meaningful underlying purpose for the distasteful content, then I might give it a try; otherwise, no. For instance, I didn't think Lars von Trier's Antichrist was aimlessly misogynistic.

#8 Edited by joshwent (1780 posts) -

@mirado Not exactly sure what you're getting at. Maybe if you describe the sides and their arguing points we could have a better conversation?

In almost every game the thing/person you're controlling is trying to accomplish something which serves as the motivation to see the game through. If that motivation is unappealing to you, I don't see how you would want to keep playing, no matter how good the mechanics. It already happens with games where the motivation is traditionally altruous but just not engaging. So this sort of seems like a non-question to me.

#9 Posted by Mirado (951 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll: Yeah, that's one of the things I had to point out; if the game features something reprehensible, it isn't to be thought provoking. @sammo21 has it, a game that's well polished, plays well, looks great, and is about raping people. No upside to the theme's inclusion.

@fancyman said:

Yes, because its just a video game.

Heard a lot of this, too.

#10 Posted by Kraznor (1573 posts) -

@sammo21: Did you play last year's Tomb Raider? It isn't as extreme, obviously, but I still found a parallel in that the triggering moment where you start killing everyone is right after Lara is sexually assaulted (more or less, a creepy dude feels her up and fights with her resulting in you shooting him). I haven't seen I Spit on Your Grave but as I understand it, a woman who was raped seeks revenge on the people who attacked her and kills them horribly. In terms of sheer body count, Tomb Raider is actually more insane.

#11 Posted by FancyMan (2 posts) -

@mirado: At the same time as Sammo said, if the game is specifically about raping someone I probably wouldn't be interested. Since that doesn't really seem that fun to me. Not to say that I would find doing reprehensible things as exclusively fun, but when its a video game, personally I can separate it very clearly.

#12 Edited by bybeach (4614 posts) -

Mother Teresa, at least in my book, has serious shortcomings as a saint. And to her credit, she thought so too. She questioned the existence of God. Damming in my eyes, some of her nuns would only treat those with aids willing to be catholic. So I read many years ago.

As for the question, this is the juggle I thought Rockstar has done quite well with the GTA series. For example, to advance the story and game line, they would get you at some point to have to kill some woman, or commit some other act that was just beyond the pale. She may have been a Rich bitch, but her real sin was she was an inconvenience to her gangster Hubby. Trevor seemed to provide the focus for much of that in the last GTA game, that ole torturer him. (Though apparently he treats some lady quite well! Maybe Rockstar saw the issue) And of course they were covered by him (Trevor) being so whack. That episode of him with his mother, wow!

#13 Edited by Sammo21 (3037 posts) -

@kraznor: You do not see her being graphically raped. You don't see her cutting a man's penis off. This is no debate as they are not really similar at all.

#14 Edited by Crembaw (240 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll That's what I was sort of getting at, but I guess I may have cut off too abruptly. But yes, you're completely right about The Line.

I think at the core of the question is if and how the implicit interaction of player and game changes the nature of the event being portrayed. If I were asked whether someone who read Lolita were complicit in the events which happened in the text, I would obviously say 'no', but in the video game the player has to have a direct, physical input in order for the event to at least progress further. But then, even if this relationship is changed, does it even matter, since the video game is, of course, fiction? The immediate answer would be no, of course not, because it isn't real. These things didn't happen. But there's still the question of how fiction affects the viewer/player/participant. Do we seek out fiction that will affirm our perceptions, or does fiction alter our perceptions? Does it do both in varying amounts? Who even knows, really. I'm dumb, nevermind.

#15 Posted by Sinusoidal (1156 posts) -

Why not? Loads of video game protagonists are already morally reprehensible. To quote a common example, look at good ol' jovial Nathan Drake. Hunting treasures and mowing down hoards of living, breathing people with a panoply of firearms while cracking jokes with Sully. Even the modern Tomb Raider which supposedly made a more human Lara Croft. Sure, she gets upset the first time she has to kill someone to survive. Mere moments later, look at her askance and she'll put a broadhead in your eye-socket. Hell, Mario roams the Mushroom Kingdom curb-stomping helpless goombas - who we learn in other Mario games are sentient and even have families and a complex society - into the dirt. Were any GTA protagonists ever NOT morally reprehensible? Fucking Kratos either remorselessly and brutally murders or fucks everyone in his path because he's angry and obviously has some pent-up sexual energy. I could go on...

#16 Edited by ripelivejam (2817 posts) -

so essentially Breaking Bad: The Game

#17 Edited by Kraznor (1573 posts) -

@sammo21: Alright, think volume of violence versus how graphic the instances of it are is still a worthwhile observation. Does it make it worse that the murder of hundreds is so trivialized its kind of cartoonish?

As far as violent rape revenge films go I have seen Irreversible, and it is fairly extreme in both its depiction of rape and the vengeful acts around it. I would still raise an eyebrow as to whether how games depict these things is a better or much worse way of handling it. The inciting incidents are less horrifying so the carnage and bloodshed that follows seems far more gratuitous in a way. The punishment outweighs the crime in Tomb Raider where as the films we're talking about make both sides awful. The Last House on the Left also comes to mind as an example of a film that tries to do that, I just found it grossly comical about it. Maybe tone is everything in this, if a film or game is appropriately grave about its darker subject matter it can justify it. If I Spit On Your Grave has a really questionable tone that might tip the scale.

Though now I feel like I only know half the story and may need to watch the movie. But I know its one of those films Ebert called a complete waste and gave zero stars so I'm hesitant.

#18 Edited by Mirado (951 posts) -

@joshwent: Well, it came about from discussing music, oddly enough. Someone brought up Rage Against the Machine and how much they enjoyed their first album, and another friend, from Philly, mentioned how he couldn't enjoy their music because of Zach de la Rocha's stance on Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted Philadelphia cop killer. This bounced around until we turned to games, and if the same principle could apply with some minor modification, except with the themes in a game rather than outside of it.

To your point, let's use an example. If the career mode in Forza was based around you, the driver, trying to gain enough money for something you personally found distasteful (an abortion, to buy a mail order bride, to funnel out of the country to fund terrorism, etc), could you still enjoy the mechanical act of driving that car, with all the work they put into the modeling and physics? When I play a racing game, I'm not worried about the reason why I'm racing; I just want to race. But would I still want to do that if the game was actively shoving something in my face that I didn't agree with? Hmm.

I'm sure you can drum up a game in which your main reason for playing it revolved around it being fun to play, and not much more. The motivation for "why" you are playing it could very well be unappealing or uninteresting; why do I care if Donkey Kong wants to get some bananas back? That's a one note plot. I'll still hop on those platforms and stomp the kremlings, because it's fun as hell. Would it still be fun if you played as a poacher, tagging and bagging animals along the way? I guess that depends on how much you are bothered by that (or if you're a card carrying PETA member).

That's where my question is.

#19 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4493 posts) -

Yeah, it's called the Last of Us.

#20 Edited by Mirado (951 posts) -

@sinusoidal said:

Why not? Loads of video game protagonists are already morally reprehensible. To quote a common example, look at good ol' jovial Nathan Drake. Hunting treasures and mowing down hoards of living, breathing people with a panoply of firearms while cracking jokes with Sully. Even the modern Tomb Raider which supposedly made a more human Lara Croft. Sure, she gets upset the first time she has to kill someone to survive. Mere moments later, look at her askance and she'll put a broadhead in your eye-socket. Hell, Mario roams the Mushroom Kingdom curb-stomping helpless goombas - who we learn in other Mario games are sentient and even have families and a complex society - into the dirt. Were any GTA protagonists ever NOT morally reprehensible? Fucking Kratos either remorselessly and brutally murders or fucks everyone in his path because he's angry and obviously has some pent-up sexual energy. I could go on...

I don't think Kratos ever tried to rape anyone, though. Largely in part that it wouldn't pass the ESRB, but whatever.

So, I guess my question would be if there was a line in the sand that you wouldn't cross. Is it possible that something could be put into a game that'd make you go "Oh hell no!" and shut it off? I don't need examples (if you don't want to provide) and I'm not trying to vilify you as a person that'd say "Mass murder? I'd play through it. But puppy tickling? Never!" but I'm genuinely curious if there's something that could be put into a game that you'd just have to shut it off, no matter how well made it was.

#21 Posted by Brendan (7522 posts) -

If someone made a really well crafted game where I traveled an open world raping small children then no I would not feel comfortable playing it. Cus, y'know, I find the idea of kid raping horribly reprehensible.

#22 Posted by Sinusoidal (1156 posts) -

@mirado said:

@sinusoidal said:

Why not? Loads of video game protagonists are already morally reprehensible. To quote a common example, look at good ol' jovial Nathan Drake. Hunting treasures and mowing down hoards of living, breathing people with a panoply of firearms while cracking jokes with Sully. Even the modern Tomb Raider which supposedly made a more human Lara Croft. Sure, she gets upset the first time she has to kill someone to survive. Mere moments later, look at her askance and she'll put a broadhead in your eye-socket. Hell, Mario roams the Mushroom Kingdom curb-stomping helpless goombas - who we learn in other Mario games are sentient and even have families and a complex society - into the dirt. Were any GTA protagonists ever NOT morally reprehensible? Fucking Kratos either remorselessly and brutally murders or fucks everyone in his path because he's angry and obviously has some pent-up sexual energy. I could go on...

I don't think Kratos ever tried to rape anyone, though. Largely in part that it wouldn't pass the ESRB, but whatever.

So, I guess my question would be if there was a line in the sand that you wouldn't cross. Is it possible that something could be put into a game that'd make you go "Oh hell no!" and shut it off? I don't need examples (if you don't want to provide) and I'm not trying to vilify you as a person that'd say "Mass murder? I'd play through it. But puppy tickling! Never!" but I'm genuinely curious if there's something that could be put into a game that you'd just have to shut it off, no matter how well made it was.

Well, yeah, it's pretty easy to say that if someone made a child rape simulator, there's no way the game play could be engaging enough to warrant actually getting past the subject matter to play it. Anyone who says otherwise is a fucking sicko.

#23 Edited by audioBusting (1315 posts) -

I don't know, I think something I find morally reprehensible would just be bad to me. I mean, no matter how well a Postal game can be crafted, I think I still wouldn't find it enjoyable. I guess the closest it ever gets for me is Borderlands 2, where I know the game is fairly well-crafted but my problems with the writing and game systems made me hate playing it. On the other hand, Edmund McMillen made some pointlessly super gross games (Cunt comes to mind) and I love them all anyways, so I guess it depends on how it's handled per game.

#24 Posted by Sammo21 (3037 posts) -

@kraznor: Tomb Raider is also a story of her surviving and if I am not mistaken everything in the game was self defense. I Spit On Your Grave was a revenge fantasy about a woman seeking revenge against those who raped her.

Murder is morally reprehensible, but I suppose I am thinking of things on the line of engaging in rape, pedophilia, mass genocide, serial murder, etc. Some games have taken an approach to have you do something and then deal with the fallout, like Spec Ops (even though it was a poor way to do it). I would say there is no way to commit an act like rape "accidentally" and then deal with it. I suppose my assumption of what it is morally reprehensible is different. In games like Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, or most modern games you aren't killing innocent civilians for the "thrill" of it but engaging in combat either in self defense, as a warrior on a battlefield, or against other enemies who would kill you in an instant.

The Last of Us even handles things on an "us or them" instance as being a true, evil dirt bag is only ever mentioned as being part of one of the character's past. Had you ever engaged in setting up ambushes to kill women and children for their supplies then it would be a different conversation. I don't view killing in self defense or playing a soldier fighting other soldiers as engaging in morally reprehensible behavior.

#25 Posted by TruthTellah (7674 posts) -

I'd probably abstain, sure. It'd likely have to be something really reprehensible, but sure, I can imagine a scenario where the content is reprehensible enough for me to decide to not play it.

I mean, if you want to make an amazing shooter where I'm focusing on killing jews during the Holocaust, there's a decent chance I'm not going to appreciate it. Or if you have an adventure game where the main focus is on raping little girls. I would say there is content that can ruin even a structurally-sound game, because a game is everything together, not just gameplay. Every element is part of making the total package.

#26 Posted by Mirado (951 posts) -

@sinusoidal: I think that's where we wound up bottoming out. At that point it becomes a fight about semantics: can you even call the mechanics in the game enjoyable at that point? We sort of hit a wall. It became a matter of how involved the story was in the actual game; one said if it was Splinter Cell but for stalking kids, it was a no go, but if it was Forza where the winnings were for buying them, maybe he could skip through the cutscenes (which elected a wonderful groan as that was processed), since the actual act of racing wouldn't involve anything distasteful.

It becomes hard to keep this from sort of devolving into a mess, so I guess you need to keep it framed as "a game you enjoy with something awful bolted on or replacing the story" rather than "a game revolving around something awful" if that makes any sense, because I'm not sure you can angle a child rape simulator's mechanics as fun while still sticking with the spirit of the question, i.e. do mechanics trump all else.

#27 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11034 posts) -

I feel like you can do a lot of stuff that seems pretty reprehensible in video games, so... yes? There are already plenty of games full of murder and antiheroic protagonists without many redeeming qualities. Our perspectives of what is permissible in a video game are already pretty skewed, and while there are murmurs of discontent whenever stuff like that torture scene in GTA V happens, it takes a lot for any sort of widespread outrage to happen. No one is going to defend the merits of Rapelay, after all.

#28 Posted by Danteveli (1084 posts) -

Yes since its like every other game. I dont see much difference in Playing as someone killing Jews and someone killing Templars ( In game context). You kill people (in the game) because someone decided they are bad and killing them is ok. Using different name changes nothing in my opinion. Plus its not like i will do that stuff in real life.

Can't imagine playing some kind rape simulator since I can't imagine gameplay that would make it something playable.

#29 Edited by joshwent (1780 posts) -

@mirado said:

I'm sure you can drum up a game in which your main reason for playing it revolved around it being fun to play, and not much more. The motivation for "why" you are playing it could very well be unappealing or uninteresting; why do I care if Donkey Kong wants to get some bananas back? That's a one note plot. I'll still hop on those platforms and stomp the kremlings, because it's fun as hell. Would it still be fun if you played as a poacher, tagging and bagging animals along the way? I guess that depends on how much you are bothered by that (or if you're a card carrying PETA member).

Sure, but the odd thing is that in a platformer like that, the motivation to get from one level to the next is just the gameplay. I would wager that 100% of people playing DKC weren't doing so primarily to stop the nefarious deeds of King. K. Rool, even if that was ostensibly DK's motivation. So if you turn that character into a pedo who's trying to get Diddy in a compromising situation, its nature of being something distasteful makes the motivation noticeable to the player, and therefore maybe something you can't ignore.

This is why so many game "plots" are generically virtuous. Peach has been kidnapped and you have to save her. Instantly recognisable as a good thing, so you can sort of stop caring and just go jump around, because you know when you've jumped your last jump, some positive situation reinforcing your accomplishments will happen. If there's a clearly negative end game, it takes focus away from the gameplay and on to the characters. And I'd probably argue, that a morrally reprehensable motivation would take almost all of the focus from the game, and place it on what you're actually doing. Making anyone opposed to those acts want to stop playing. Or at least, go find the other Forza game where you're just a blank slate driving for the fun of it, rather than driving to save up money to donate to the KKK.

#30 Posted by Superkenon (1198 posts) -

In this hypothetical situation where a video game is offending me? No, I would not play it.

Because it's offending me. Math??

#31 Edited by Mirado (951 posts) -

@danteveli: @arbitrarywater: So if Ryu went back to the dojo and molested his students after each match, or if Mario was actually abusing Peach and her "kidnappings" were attempts to get her out of a destructive relationship, you'd still KO fools or hop on Goombas? If Jet Set Radio was all about spreading Neo-Nazi propoganda or defacing Qurans and posting pictures of Muhammad, no problem?

Again, I don't mean to have this sound like I'm pointing fingers, but I'm honestly curious if those games would still be fun to play if some distasteful shit happened in them. Also, if none the above bother you, replace it with something that does.

#32 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4289 posts) -

I've played and thoroughly enjoyed the following;

  • Manhunt
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
  • Hotline Miami

All of these games revolve "morally reprehensible" (whatever that means) themes, people, and actions. All of them attracted me because of that. Coincidentally, all of them had a point behind the "morally reprehensible" actions/themes/people the developers used in those games. So I guess my answer is yes; a game that is "morally reprehensible" has the same chance at getting my money as any other game on the market; I just have to find the subject interesting the same as anything else.

#33 Posted by Mirado (951 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@mirado said:

I'm sure you can drum up a game in which your main reason for playing it revolved around it being fun to play, and not much more. The motivation for "why" you are playing it could very well be unappealing or uninteresting; why do I care if Donkey Kong wants to get some bananas back? That's a one note plot. I'll still hop on those platforms and stomp the kremlings, because it's fun as hell. Would it still be fun if you played as a poacher, tagging and bagging animals along the way? I guess that depends on how much you are bothered by that (or if you're a card carrying PETA member).

Sure, but the odd thing is that in a platformer like that, the motivation to get from one level to the next is just the gameplay. I would wager that 100% of people playing DKC weren't doing so primarily to stop the nefarious deeds of King. K. Rool, even if that was ostensibly DK's motivation. So if you turn that character into a pedo who's trying to get Diddy in a compromising situation, its nature of being something distasteful makes the motivation noticeable to the player, and therefore maybe something you can't ignore.

This is why so many game "plots" are generically virtuous. Peach has been kidnapped and you have to save her. Instantly recognisable as a good thing, so you can sort of stop caring and just go jump around, because you know when you've jumped your last jump, some positive situation reinforcing your accomplishments will happen. If there's a clearly negative end game, it takes focus away from the gameplay and on to the characters. And I'd probably argue, that a morrally reprehensable motivation would take almost all of the focus from the game, and place it on what you're actually doing. Making anyone opposed to those acts want to stop playing. Or at least, go find the other Forza game where you're just a blank slate driving for the fun of it, rather than driving to save up money to donate to the KKK.

Right, and that's what I'm asking. Could you ignore it? Would the inclusion of those actions be enough to shift the focus from the gameplay to the characters for you? Is that a function of how fun you find the gameplay, or how distasteful the actions? Or both? Can a game get away with some level of ick if it's fun enough? Is there a line you aren't willing to cross? Do some games cross that line already? Have you let any slide because they were just so damn fun? Any you could say you enjoyed less because of their themes? Do you need positive reinforcement from the story to keep going, or would a mechanical one (levels, points, achievements, etc) suffice?

Honestly, I think the only answer that I would 100% reject is a simple one.

(I couldn't jam all these questions in the OP, but was hoping the discussion would tease them out.)

Just food for thought, after all. :D

#34 Posted by Flappy (2035 posts) -
Take a game that you love, primarily because it is enjoyable to play. Doesn't matter if it's Devil May Cry, DOTA 2, Street FIghter 4, Starcraft 2, whatever. As long as you love it for the gameplay (and the story is a minor positive at best), it qualifies.

OlliOlli

Now, replace its story/characters with something you'd find offensive.

The Skateboard is possessed by the spirit of a raging 13 year-old from XBL circa 2007; it never stops screaming.

Could you still see yourself enjoying that mechanical aspects of that game, or would the ideas and themes present torpedo any joy you could have? Could you play through it? Could you enjoy playing through it?

No. I can't support something so evil.

#35 Posted by crithon (2582 posts) -

this is ridiculous, They use Ozzy Osbourne music to sell cars.

#36 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4658 posts) -

No.

#37 Posted by joshwent (1780 posts) -

What I was trying to get at is that those mechanics, no matter how perfect and satisfying, are all in service of the end goal. So if you find that distasteful, it has a direct effect on your enjoyment of the entire experience.

In the Forza example you described, skipping the gross cutscenes wouldn't be enough, because knowing that was why the character was motivated to drive well would make me not want him to succeed at his goal. I don't want people to molest children. I don't want to murder people based on their religion. So even if my character's controls are great, I don't want them to beat the game and do those things with my help.

#38 Edited by aceofspudz (877 posts) -

I've played plenty of video games where the protagonist was either intentionally or unintentionally a scumbag. It doesn't bother me that much.

I think most people who have played through a game with a moral choice system are familiar with how much fun it is to be ridiculously, over-the-top, cartoonishly evil.

Concentration Camp Tycoon

#39 Edited by BisonHero (5679 posts) -

@sammo21: That friend of yours sounds kind of fucked up.

Anyway, yeah, I guess OP is talking about a game that isn't really like Hotline Miami or Spec Ops: The Line, because both of those games have something to say about all the violence and whether there was any point to it all. If there was some game that is just about murdering and torturing innocents with no particular commentary or satire about it, then yeah, I don't think I'd be down with it.

Even Hotline Miami gets pretty excessive at times, but they're Russian mobsters at least, and the game is making a point about players mindlessly following orders to kill without a second thought.

#40 Edited by Hunter5024 (5177 posts) -

The idea of playing a game about like pedophilia or something makes my skin crawl. I don't even like thinking about it hypothetically. So I guess no? The weird thing is I do things I'd consider reprehensible in games all the time. I've murdered, tortured, deceived, robbed, manipulated, and betrayed tons of innocent people. So I guess you can get used to anything? Exploring murky moral situations is something I've always been interested in. I guess you've just gotta know which lines you are unwilling to cross so you don't end up exploring in territory you're uncomfortable with. There are some things it's best not to be desensitized to.

#41 Edited by Sammo21 (3037 posts) -

@bisonhero: I also think the presentation of Hotline Miami makes a difference as if it were a 3D, fully realized world then it would be a different thing.

#42 Posted by Mirado (951 posts) -

@joshwent: I think that's a perfectly valid line of reasoning, and I understood your original point; I was just wondering if, in your case, that the experience would be compromised enough to destroy all enjoyment you could have. As you point out, it seems so. Thanks for sticking with me.

As an aside, I love how even the poll is. It's a very small sample size, sure, but 52/48 makes me think I'm not missing something vital that wraps this up one way or another.

#43 Posted by Slag (3365 posts) -

Depends on how reprehensible, the reprehensible content is. I've got limits.

#44 Posted by audioBusting (1315 posts) -

Oh wait, I just remembered that RapeLay exists. Hmm...

#45 Posted by l4wd0g (1819 posts) -

Something like Custer's Revenge rehensible? Hell no.

#46 Edited by ViciousReiven (793 posts) -

There's practically nothing morally that can really deter me from anything, not that I can think of, I'd probably play all the things you mentioned assuming they were well made/interested me as a game.

For an example, I still really want to play this despite it being fake:

Serial Killer Roguelike

#47 Posted by Gamer_152 (13976 posts) -

I can play video games that are offensive or morally reprehensible up to a point, but the kind of thing you're talking about where the game would be putting me in the place of a child abuser or rapist, if they actually depicted it graphically and explicitly then there's no way I'd play the game. At most I'd play some of it so I had enough of an idea why the game was controversial and the potential problems it was causing and then put it down.

Moderator
#48 Edited by aceofspudz (877 posts) -

Oh wait, I just remembered that RapeLay exists. Hmm...

I actually played some of that a couple days ago. Even though it's a bete noir for the Kotaku set, it's really just outlandish. For example, one of the first things you can do is pray for a wind to come and blow a girl's skirt up. And it happens.

God is real and he is on your side.

Ultimately it's no different from the dozens of H-anime that get released every year involving rape fantasies, except you move your mouse around to invoke some exceptionally poorly animated cutscenes. They let you move the camera around in spite of the fact that your guy misses the target way more often than he hits it. The game really should have been called attempted rapelay.

#49 Posted by BambamCZ (110 posts) -

Spec Ops: The Line was a game I can't say I enjoyed but it was very interesting idea wrapped in a "state of the art" third person shooter. Hotline Miami in a way is that way too, and I've played that one like a mofo. So I think there is definitely place and market for such games. Almost forgot Manhunt, another game that is just plain evil but also "fun" (for the lack of a better word) to play.

#50 Edited by Milkman (16232 posts) -

It really depends. Most things that the player does in Grand Theft Auto would definitely be described as morally reprehensible but I have no problem playing those. But if a game was like Nazi propaganda or something, then no I wouldn't play it.