#1 Edited by Rainbowkisses (472 posts) -

I was looking through Anita Sarkeesian's twitter when I found this tweet.

I can kind of understand where Anita is coming from, but I cannot completely agree with her on this. The violence in the game does serve a purpose. With each death you see the pool of blood, and the horrible aftermath of your dirty deeds. Violence is a dirty thing and not something that is taken lightly in the game. I did however eventually reach a certain point in the game where the level of violence in it had little to no impact on me. While I completely agree with the decision to include the gore it made me realize, no matter how gruesome something is, eventually you will adapt to it. I found this slightly disturbing, but maybe that was the point. Maybe my experiences are supposed to reflect those of Joel and Ellie's need to adapt and survive in an ugly world.

Anita says she thought it was unnecessarily gratuitous (which to me, seems kind of redundant) Yet, if the violence had lost it's impact why would she feel the need to turn it off? If she still found it disturbing wouldn't that be proof that it hadn't lost it's impact? Doesn't turning it off half-way through rob the game of it's intended effect?

Did the violence have any effect on you? Did you ever get used to it? Also, if your comments on Anita Sarkeesian are unrelated to the topic of violence in video games, please take it to the Tropes Vs. Women threads.

Edit: Never mind, I didn't actually put spoilers in here.

#2 Posted by supermonkey122 (811 posts) -

Did she NOT expect for someone's head to explode after being shot by a shotgun in an M rated game?

#3 Posted by bybeach (4725 posts) -

She can do and say whatever she wants. Go Anita go! Once in a while I even agree with her, but has no more import than that.

I haven't played the game. At best reading this gives me another pre-fabbed dimension to judge things. As long as it is never more than that I am content.

#4 Posted by Rainbowkisses (472 posts) -

@bybeach said:

She can do and say whatever she wants. Go Anita go! Once in a while I even agree with her, but has no more import than that.

I never said she couldn't do what she wants to. I am simply giving my own views on the subject. I thought the views of a significantly well-known figure was a good jumping off-point for the subject. This thread isn't about how she's wrong and I'm right.

#5 Edited by Yummylee (21255 posts) -

The violence definitely made me flinch a little here and there, like when Joel puts a bullet in Marlene's head, and of the course the notorious torture scene. Like the OP, I think the violence serves a point beyond the idea of mere violence; it shows the path both Joel and Ellie go down (even if Joel is hardly a stranger to the sort of actions he must commit across the game) and what's necessary to survive in what remains of the world. Plus it never lingers on it, either. I had to actually look at the corpses I left in my wake to realise ''that guy's totally got his entrails hanging out...'', instead of the game constantly shoving that stuff in my face. It all worked so as to enhance the brutality of the world and/or for story purposes, and most importantly of all rarely, if ever, felt exploitative or was put in to give the player a buzz like out of a Gears of War game or Max Payne 3.

#6 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

If i shoot someone with a shotgun, or shoot their head with a high powered handgun, i expect their head to explode in glorious chunky fashion.

If a game is gonna have horrible unnecessary violence i wanna see it. Cus why the fuck not? Animators spent hours if not days on those animations, its insulting to turn it off.

#7 Posted by falserelic (5328 posts) -

If she thinks the last of us is that violent. She should tryout manhunt...

Her mind will be blown....

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#8 Edited by CornBREDX (4806 posts) -

The violence didn't bother me. I've seen some real bad violence in this thing we call life, and while some of it in the game is intense, it's still over the top and unrealistic in most ways. Kind of cartoony at times at the level it goes to - much like a good 80s horror film.

I thought the themes/concepts touched on in the story (what I've played so far, I haven't finished it yet- I think I am near the end) were more difficult than the violence. The violence just serves the narrative. I felt the same way about Bioshock Infinite.

I am not shocked Anita Sarkessian found it to be too much.

#9 Edited by lusence (345 posts) -

not really that bad for a 'zombie' game. look at others like left 4 dead and even the almost comical level of violence in dead rising. to each there own. i for one after going through ND's other game Uncharted really really missed the violence. its just realism, i apreciate it more than anything.

#10 Posted by hollitz (1421 posts) -

I've become much more sensitive to violence the older I've gotten, but aside from a scene or two nothing really grossed me out. Tons of games are so much worse about it. TV Shows too.

#11 Posted by geirr (2476 posts) -

That bunny part was pretty funny.

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#12 Edited by MEATBALL (3070 posts) -

That's a load of bullshit, of any game I think The Last of Us's violence is least "gratuitous" given how well it fits within that world and enhances the bleakness, desperation and terrifying nature of that world. That the gore becomes "meaningless" in any way only speaks to how ingrained it is in that environment and Joel and Ellie's nigh-on day-to-day lives as survivors and across this journey. To turn off the gore is to essentially close your eyes to how completely fucked up Joel and Ellie's ordeal is. Hell, I think it's also an interesting element that Joel/the player are likely to enjoy it on some level - I particularly found it interesting that during winter I found that the combat and violence in general once again became much more harrowing.

But hey, at least the developers gave players the option, but let's condemn them for that too, that's what Anita Sarkeesian is good at, right? I never had an issue with her kickstarter, or that she wanted to create videos on her chosen subject matter, I think it's disgusting some of the things some people on the internet have done with her image and such, but since she has come into the spotlight all I've ever seen from her is a very large amount of bullshit.

#13 Edited by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

Yep. Never bothered me.

#14 Edited by jasonefmonk (350 posts) -

I feel like the combat hits hard, but like any other game it becomes a little less horrible with repetition. I'm starting my fourth play through and I can still be shocked by some of the little details. Watch the emotions some enemies go through as they get choked out or as you hover over them just before the kill.

I think it works even better turned against the player-character. Sneaking up on soldiers is fun, but that one-in-one-thousand time you get grabbed when you thought you were hidden is heart-pounding. The death sequences are brutal, particularly the bloater kill. Playing as Ellie, the deaths feel more horrible even though they have relatively lighter kill animations.

The detailed sounds of suffering and death, and the incredible soundtrack really amp it all up. Most importantly I think all of this same talent was used for some intensely beautiful moments. There are scenes I will never forget. The contrast between violence and peace is necessary and both are executed with equal care and skill. I think that goes a long way when arguing against the game being gratuitous in it's violence.

#15 Posted by bkbroiler (1606 posts) -

I wouldn't say it bothered me, but I think the violence still gets an "ick" from me usually. I think it serves it's purpose. Some scenes in the game are particularly affecting given how brutal they are. And I think I would credit the game for never shying away from violence, but never glorifying it or going out of it's way to show gore just for the sake of it.

#16 Posted by Landon (4130 posts) -

@meatball said:

That's a load of bullshit, of any game I think The Last of Us's violence is least "gratuitous" given how well it fits within that world and enhances the bleakness, desperation and terrifying nature of that world. That the gore becomes "meaningless" in any way only speaks to how ingrained it is in that environment and Joel and Ellie's nigh-on day-to-day lives as survivors and across this journey. To turn off the gore is to essentially close your eyes to how completely fucked up Joel and Ellie's ordeal is. Hell, I think it's also an interesting element that Joel/the player are likely to enjoy it on some level - I particularly found it interesting that during winter I found that the combat and violence in general once again became much more harrowing.

But hey, at least the developers gave players the option, but let's condemn them for that too, that's what Anita Sarkeesian is good at, right? I never had an issue with her kickstarter, or that she wanted to create videos on her chosen subject matter, I think it's disgusting some of the things some people on the internet have done with her image and such, but since she has come into the spotlight all I've ever seen from her is a very large amount of bullshit.

Yeah, I was about to post something but you took the words right out of my mouth. The violence losing it's impact only to turn it off so it has no impact seems like a really bizarre solution to her problem.

#17 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

I'm probably desensitized to violence in general but this game somehow still pulls it off; maybe it's how loud the guns are or the sudden cuts to black in death scenes or hell just a 14 year old girl swearing up a shitstorm but the whole game feels pretty visceral, I doubt turning on or off the gore would change this effect.

#18 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Meh. Video games have been kinda tame gorewise after CoD got popular. I remember the time when shooting off 9 different parts of a man's face was considered impressive(Soldier of Fortune 2)

#19 Posted by bkbroiler (1606 posts) -

@landon said:

@meatball said:

That's a load of bullshit, of any game I think The Last of Us's violence is least "gratuitous" given how well it fits within that world and enhances the bleakness, desperation and terrifying nature of that world. That the gore becomes "meaningless" in any way only speaks to how ingrained it is in that environment and Joel and Ellie's nigh-on day-to-day lives as survivors and across this journey. To turn off the gore is to essentially close your eyes to how completely fucked up Joel and Ellie's ordeal is. Hell, I think it's also an interesting element that Joel/the player are likely to enjoy it on some level - I particularly found it interesting that during winter I found that the combat and violence in general once again became much more harrowing.

But hey, at least the developers gave players the option, but let's condemn them for that too, that's what Anita Sarkeesian is good at, right? I never had an issue with her kickstarter, or that she wanted to create videos on her chosen subject matter, I think it's disgusting some of the things some people on the internet have done with her image and such, but since she has come into the spotlight all I've ever seen from her is a very large amount of bullshit.

Yeah, I was about to post something but you took the words right out of my mouth. The violence losing it's impact only to turn it off so it has no impact seems like a really bizarre solution to her problem.

Not to start some shirt, but this Anita girl doesn't really ever seem to know what the fuck she's talking about.

#20 Posted by Flappy (2129 posts) -

No problems on this front. That Bloater kill is pretty wild, though.

#21 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

It's a game about survival during zombie doomsday scenario. What was she expecting?

#22 Posted by azrailx (242 posts) -

trying to be contentious just to be contentious!

its sooooo cool

#23 Posted by wrecks (2210 posts) -

The violence is part of the narrative. It ups the stakes and defines the world. Turning it off would hobble the game's dramatic tension. Don't like violent games? Don't play them.

#24 Posted by Rafaelfc (1313 posts) -

Nope, it only got awesomer as the game went on. Talk about catharsis when you're desperately hunting for ammo and loading your shotgun in the split second before being killed and blowing some dude's head off... amazing.

#25 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I haven't played the game but it seems like such violence would be necessary if you are trying to tell a serious post-apocalypse story. Because if something like that were to ever really happen, things would become very messy very quickly.

#26 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

It never bothered me as it fit well within the context of the setting and situations the characters were in.

#27 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5806 posts) -

It wasn't something I ever really thought about.

The only time I cringed was when I got killed by a bloater for the first time.

#28 Edited by DukesT3 (1891 posts) -

Probably should stay away from that Evil Dead remake.

#29 Posted by Glottery (1109 posts) -

I think I got more "ugh" vibes from playing Hotline Miami than The Last of Us, really...and I *was* actually expecting it to be very gruesome and detailed in that, after I heard all the talk about the E3 trailer, which I never saw myself. Of course it was rough and violent, but nothing that made me react in a "OHMYGODICANTPLAYANYMORE!" way.

#30 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@jmatrix: Yeah, Hotline Miami pulled off that grimyness especially well.

#31 Posted by Morrow (1828 posts) -

The violence in the game didn't really affect me. It was much more effective in Spec Ops: The Line to me.

#32 Edited by theanticitizen (258 posts) -

I found the violence to be disturbing throughout the whole experience but I never felt I needed to turn off the gore. it's part of the "art" of the game. The violence served a purpose. It wasn't glorified or focused on but rather, as stated before, was used as a tool to show the bleakness and depravity of the world they lived in. I think you were supposed to feel uncomfortable with the level of violence at times but at the same time I think the violence in the main combat scenarios starts to become less horrific because I honestly believe the developers want you to feel like Joel at those times, like "ok here we go again, gotta kill these guys..." because HE has become desensitized to the world and the player has become so also along with him and Ellie. I know I'm not stating anything new here but I'm in agreement the consensus on the violence ha ha I also want to bring up Spec Ops because I feel like the violence serves a similar purpose in LOU as Spec Ops, in terms of player agency. Also, she should never play Spec Ops

#33 Edited by Nardak (463 posts) -

Isnt it a good thing that you are disturbed by the violence shown in the game?

Would it have been better to feel nothing when killing people?

Should we censor all forms of adult entertainment including games because some people have the need to tell us what we should like or not to like. Does Anita Sarkeesian really think that after a zombie apocalypse things wouldnt be grim and violent. Also naughty dog seemingly already censored itself by removing all of the female opponents from the game.

There have been cases of books being removed from libraries because some people tought that they were harmful to the youth or to the common morale. Lets not start a witchhunt of our own. I for one think that we have had far too many of those throughout the history.

#34 Edited by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

The violence never bothered me and rarely bothers me in most media. Which might be a problem. But fuck it.

#35 Edited by SomeJerk (3143 posts) -

They also censored MP in all of Europe, while keeping single-player per-region censored ie Germany gets censored and the rest of us get censored in MP along with them.

(and in a post-apocalyptic situation with only a few survivors it would be unwise to take a fertile woman to battle if a man could take her place, no children without women yaknow. That's the explanation that's in my head, and in my head for the TLOU scenario the gatling-grannies died off quickly, which is a shame.)

#36 Edited by CaLe (3911 posts) -

I enjoyed the violence, the blood, the dismemberment. It was my reward and I did revel in it deliciously.

#37 Edited by Nicked (246 posts) -

It's fair to argue that it's gratuitous, but I wouldn't say the game treats it as fun, which is an important distinction. I also think the game wants to start a conversation about violence and isn't being flip about its brutality. One thing that's really well done is that context is given to the bad guys (with the exceptions of Pittsburgh and the army). Maybe this is more complicated an issue than a single tweet can address.

#38 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Can people stop giving that moron attention? Last of Us is not heavily gore dependant and merely excels by its gore seeming oddly gritty and more disturbing. It's hardly in your face boom ur head is gawn lol.

Did that woman ever play Gears of War? Or is she just bringing up Last of Us because it's topical and wants attention?

#39 Edited by Ghostiet (5225 posts) -

TLoU is one of the few games were violence serves a purpose and isn't used for shock value in the most blatant ways - the game is at its heaviest with its use of violence when it simply focuses on the character expressions. It's not staring into someone's dying eyes for 30 seconds, it's seeing how accustomed every character is to brutality and how undramatic all of it is. Gratuitous it is not, especially with the game's hectic combat and frequent smashing to black. You don't see Dead Space-grade of deaths here, no, the game cuts you off just moments before you see the bad stuff happen and it only makes it a lot heavier to stomach.

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#40 Edited by Live2bRighteous (315 posts) -

Like everyone else, the only thing that was somewhat disturbing was the bloater kill animation. After playing hundreds of hours of L4D/L4D2/Manhunt/Manhunt 2, I think I've been completely desensitized to video game violence in the first place.

#41 Posted by SeanFoster (856 posts) -

I loved the depiction of violence in the game but it's not a game for everybody. I don't want every game to be like The Last of Us.

#42 Posted by StudioErebus (45 posts) -

I've been playing video games for over 20 years and real-world violence still bothers me. Video game violence, on a whole, does not make me uncomfortable. What I never became comfortable with in The Last of Us was coming across locations where violence had already happened. Every time I came across a sheet with little feet sticking out from under it.... fucking christ that's dark. There was one time that I shot a guy and he crumpled against the wall in a way that looked very real, but it just made me think about quality rag doll.

#43 Posted by Galiant (2179 posts) -

It was there for a reason, in service of the overall atmosphere of the game. I was surprised at how brutal it was at first, and it served its purpose. It fits the theme. I feel that it's an incredibly silly thing to complain about or say that it doesn't belong considering the story being told.

#44 Edited by washingmachine (102 posts) -

Most of the replies here are spot on. I can't think of a game that has ever had such an appropriate level of violence, given the world and the narrative events that take place. To call it "gratuitous" is really missing the point; or perhaps an attempt on her behalf to merely be contrarian.

Or, she may not like it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't serve a purpose.

#45 Posted by Jay_Ray (1070 posts) -

With each death you see the pool of blood, and the horrible aftermath of your dirty deeds. Violence is a dirty thing and not something that is taken lightly in the game. I did however eventually reach a certain point in the game where the level of violence in it had little to no impact on me. While I completely agree with the decision to include the gore it made me realize, no matter how gruesome something is, eventually you will adapt to it. I found this slightly disturbing, but maybe that was the point. Maybe my experiences are supposed to reflect those of Joel and Ellie's need to adapt and survive in an ugly world.

I am not disturbed by violence in media anymore, I just kind of gotten used to it. But I think you answered why it can be off putting and why you quickly accept it and move on. The violence is supposed to be realistic and therefore very disturbing and the player has to accept that to survive just like every survivor in the world had/has to.

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#46 Posted by Nightriff (4915 posts) -

Yes because it is a fucked up world and the level of violence makes sense. Still kinda wish the body counts were lower than what it ends up being (still a shit load of dudes). In comparison, I didn't get over the Bio Infinite melee kills, those did feel out of place and "gratuitous" to a degree.

#47 Edited by LackingSaint (1771 posts) -

Oh no, a game about survival portrays violence in a realistic way! What a horrible industry this is.

#48 Posted by erhard (388 posts) -

If it didn't have any impact on her, why did she feel the need to turn it off? I know her shtick consists of making banal statements without substance or intent for discussion, but this is especially comical.

I thought the gushing blood when Ellie kills David combined with the music and the acting added a lot to how well done that scene was. It felt more real than anything I'd seen in a game before.

#49 Edited by Humanity (8811 posts) -

@rainbowkisses: I've been playing videogames my entire life, so nothing in the Last of Us really hit me very hard.