Minecraft is Unrealistic and Unethical

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Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

Now, I love Minecraft. I love its look, and I've had a ton of fun playing in Hardcore Survival mode since its official release. I also love simply exploring the beautiful, procedurally-generated worlds.

Most importantly, though, I love how well Minecraft illustrates some beliefs I hold about games:

1. All games are educational

2. All games express values

I think that if you look really closely, this is absolutely true. The trouble with most games is simply that they just don't teach anything valuable and they don't express much about the world that we inhabit after turning the game off. Minecraft does, however, have some lessons in it, but they are ones that are unrealistic and, in my opinion, unethical.

When I use the word "realistic" I don't mean as it's used in the typical context of games. Using that word to talk about games will usually be in the context of bleeding-edge, photorealistic graphics and physics engines. The realism I'm concerned with is verisimilitude, how much a game resembles truth and/or reality. Very few games have much to do with the world we live in, even by means of metaphor.

On the other hand, Minecraft, as a simulation, carries a lot of real-world meaning. In the real world, humans mine, craft, build, farm, etc. It is in the specifics that Minecraft becomes unethically unrealistic.

If you consult the Minecraft wiki, you'll see that steak is the most efficient food in the game, now that you can breed animals. You can use three units of wheat to make a loaf of bread which will restore 3 hunger points, or two units to put two cows in (apparently lesbian) love mode, giving you another cow. This cow will later, when you kill it, give you between 1-3 pieces of raw beef or steak, if you kill the cow with fire. Even if you don't set the cow on fire, you can get steak by cooking the raw beef. A steak restores 4 hunger points. The cost between raw beef and steak is negligible.

So, to simplify:

3 wheat -> bread -> 3 hunger points.

2 wheat -> cow -> 1-3 steaks -> 4-12 hunger points.

So based on this, meat in Minecraft is 2-6 times more efficient to produce than (what I believe is) the cheapest vegan food in the game.

In reality, one pound of meat has been shown to be 16 times less efficient than one pound of non-meat food [Edit: Feel free to criticize this figure/source in particular, but the general concept is not that controversial]. Because Minecraft animals don't need food or water to survive, the simulation is flawed and, as someone interested in the real-life abuses of animals, I find the representation disappointing, to say the very least.

I'm a vegan in real life and try to play Minecraft without killing passive mobs like cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. Though I do think the animals in Minecraft are adorable, I'm not so crazy as to think they have some substantive subjectivity like real sentient beings do.

If nothing else, it's a self-imposed challenge. It's not unheard of for people to try to be vegetarians in NetHack, so there's some precedent for this in a pure gameplay sense.

There is also a role-playing component to it, though. Though I won't argue about the ethical weight of digital meat, I will say that it isn't meaningless to make the decision to not kill animals (passive mobs, specifically) in Minecraft.

I'm not saying Minecraft needs to change, though I'd clearly like it to. I'm just using it as an example of how games necessarily express values by their rules. Minecraft expresses that meat is a better food source than plants, and this isn't true in real life. I'm not going to scream that Notch is a bad person for his unrealistically oversimplified model of livestock, but who knows: maybe someday I'll make a Minecraft mod that discourages meat-eating in realistic ways.

I do, however, applaud Notch and Mojang for making it so sheep drop more wool when they're sheared than when they're killed.

Edit: Here's a non-PETA article about the inefficiency of meat for those of you who simply think everything PETA says is a lie.

#1 Edited by DevWil (842 posts) -

Now, I love Minecraft. I love its look, and I've had a ton of fun playing in Hardcore Survival mode since its official release. I also love simply exploring the beautiful, procedurally-generated worlds.

Most importantly, though, I love how well Minecraft illustrates some beliefs I hold about games:

1. All games are educational

2. All games express values

I think that if you look really closely, this is absolutely true. The trouble with most games is simply that they just don't teach anything valuable and they don't express much about the world that we inhabit after turning the game off. Minecraft does, however, have some lessons in it, but they are ones that are unrealistic and, in my opinion, unethical.

When I use the word "realistic" I don't mean as it's used in the typical context of games. Using that word to talk about games will usually be in the context of bleeding-edge, photorealistic graphics and physics engines. The realism I'm concerned with is verisimilitude, how much a game resembles truth and/or reality. Very few games have much to do with the world we live in, even by means of metaphor.

On the other hand, Minecraft, as a simulation, carries a lot of real-world meaning. In the real world, humans mine, craft, build, farm, etc. It is in the specifics that Minecraft becomes unethically unrealistic.

If you consult the Minecraft wiki, you'll see that steak is the most efficient food in the game, now that you can breed animals. You can use three units of wheat to make a loaf of bread which will restore 3 hunger points, or two units to put two cows in (apparently lesbian) love mode, giving you another cow. This cow will later, when you kill it, give you between 1-3 pieces of raw beef or steak, if you kill the cow with fire. Even if you don't set the cow on fire, you can get steak by cooking the raw beef. A steak restores 4 hunger points. The cost between raw beef and steak is negligible.

So, to simplify:

3 wheat -> bread -> 3 hunger points.

2 wheat -> cow -> 1-3 steaks -> 4-12 hunger points.

So based on this, meat in Minecraft is 2-6 times more efficient to produce than (what I believe is) the cheapest vegan food in the game.

In reality, one pound of meat has been shown to be 16 times less efficient than one pound of non-meat food [Edit: Feel free to criticize this figure/source in particular, but the general concept is not that controversial]. Because Minecraft animals don't need food or water to survive, the simulation is flawed and, as someone interested in the real-life abuses of animals, I find the representation disappointing, to say the very least.

I'm a vegan in real life and try to play Minecraft without killing passive mobs like cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. Though I do think the animals in Minecraft are adorable, I'm not so crazy as to think they have some substantive subjectivity like real sentient beings do.

If nothing else, it's a self-imposed challenge. It's not unheard of for people to try to be vegetarians in NetHack, so there's some precedent for this in a pure gameplay sense.

There is also a role-playing component to it, though. Though I won't argue about the ethical weight of digital meat, I will say that it isn't meaningless to make the decision to not kill animals (passive mobs, specifically) in Minecraft.

I'm not saying Minecraft needs to change, though I'd clearly like it to. I'm just using it as an example of how games necessarily express values by their rules. Minecraft expresses that meat is a better food source than plants, and this isn't true in real life. I'm not going to scream that Notch is a bad person for his unrealistically oversimplified model of livestock, but who knows: maybe someday I'll make a Minecraft mod that discourages meat-eating in realistic ways.

I do, however, applaud Notch and Mojang for making it so sheep drop more wool when they're sheared than when they're killed.

Edit: Here's a non-PETA article about the inefficiency of meat for those of you who simply think everything PETA says is a lie.

#2 Posted by MikkaQ (10277 posts) -

Well you just quoted PETA, a near-terrorist organisation, so that kinda invalidates their statistics, they've too biased.

But in Minecraft, efficiency of production is not a factor. It's not a realistic simulation. Plus in real-life factory-farming has made meat production pretty efficient, efficient enough to feed hundreds of millions, so really... even if planting vegetables is MORE efficient, we live in a society of accessible luxury, so meat products are cheap and plentiful, when it was previously a luxury item in the past. Basically we don't need more efficiency right now. It could change with growing populations, but once again that isn't a factor in Minecraft.

#3 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Dude, go outside in real life for a bit.

#4 Posted by BlueStriped (100 posts) -

VIDEO GAMES!!!!!

#5 Edited by mnzy (2914 posts) -

I even heard you don't respawn if you get hit by a bullet. Games be crazy...

#6 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

This is ridiculous.

#7 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

This is satire right?

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9651 posts) -

Good God.

#9 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

You quoted PETA. Your argument is invalid.

#10 Posted by oatz (1103 posts) -

This is the most retarded thing I've read all week.

#11 Posted by Jimbo (9796 posts) -

I heard foie gras restores like 100 hunger points.

#12 Posted by leebmx (2238 posts) -

I have created a huge industrial veal farm in Minecraft.

#13 Posted by Trilogy (2648 posts) -
#14 Edited by DevWil (842 posts) -

@MikkaQ: @TeflonBilly: PETA's site isn't the only place I've read this statistic; it's just the first place I could find someone other than me saying it.

I think PETA goes about things the wrong way a lot of the time, but I don't think they're simply inventing these numbers. I could be mistaken, but I think they're originally from a United Nations study.

Edit: This non-PETA source is even more damning of the inefficiency of meat.

#15 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

@DevWil said:

In reality, one pound of meat has been shown to be 16 times less efficient than one pound of non-meat food. Because Minecraft animals don't need food or water to survive, the simulation is flawed and, as someone interested in the real-life abuses of animals, I find the representation disappointing, to say the very least.

Though, in practical terms you know this doesn't come anywhere near to applying, right? Right?

I mean, you wouldnt try and justify being a vegan, or preach to a non-vegan, with this 'fact', right? Right?

Fuck off.

#16 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -
#17 Posted by Daveyo520 (6676 posts) -
#18 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

@GetEveryone said:

@DevWil said:

In reality, one pound of meat has been shown to be 16 times less efficient than one pound of non-meat food. Because Minecraft animals don't need food or water to survive, the simulation is flawed and, as someone interested in the real-life abuses of animals, I find the representation disappointing, to say the very least.

Though, in practical terms you know this doesn't come anywhere near to applying, right? Right?

I mean, you wouldnt try and justify being a vegan, or preach to a non-vegan, with this 'fact', right? Right?

Fuck off.

i don't know what you're getting at. "in practical terms you know this doesn't come anywhere near to applying, right?" wrong, unless i'm misunderstanding you. come back with a clearer argument, and we'll have this discussion.

i don't understand why this is such a ridiculous position to take. there are any number of other things that i bet the majority of you would be upset about the unrealistic representation of in a game. if a game had unrealistic physics but required that you intuit objects' behaviors based on what you've experienced in the real world, you'd see it as a problem. that's simply the position i'm taking with minecraft's agricultural model. it's certainly a sophisticated enough system that mojang could implement a more agri-realistic model if they wanted to. however, they haven't, and i think it's an expression of their values, even if they didn't deliberately set out to make a pro-steak simulation.

so far, the glib dismissal of my points isn't at all disheartening to me. if any of you have a problem with this and want to prove that you're right, don't just swear at me. come at me with a real argument so we can have a productive conversation.

#19 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka: another completely half-baked anti-vegetarian argument.

"why else would you keep a pig?"

the point is that you don't keep a pig at all. this is the problem with a lot of people's arguments: they somehow believe that, even if NOBODY was purchasing meat, there'd still be people raising and slaughtering animals.

any of the pro-omnivore arguments i've ever heard are based on a totally unreasonable (and, often, arrogant) oversimplification, and that sketch was no exception.

#20 Posted by Vexxan (4618 posts) -

Really?

Online
#21 Posted by Deusx (1903 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

Dude, go outside in real life for a bit.

#22 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

Why haven't you had severe cases of PTSD after killing all those guys in games like Modern Warfare, Just Cause 2 and the Dead Rising series?

After all, I consider killing people to be a quite a bit more unethical than killing a pig for sustenance.

#23 Edited by DevWil (842 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka said:

Why haven't you had severe cases of PTSD after killing all those guys in games like Modern Warfare, Just Cause 2 and the Dead Rising series?

After all, I consider killing people to be a quite a bit more unethical than killing a pig for sustenance.

obviously you really like exaggerating vegetarians' points of view to the point that they're too absurd for you to take seriously.

if you actually read my blog post, you'll see that this is a complete non-sequitur. i'm not arguing about the ethics of killing anything in a game; i'm arguing about the ethics of an unrealistic simulation (which isn't to say that minecraft is a SIM... it just has a certain model of simulation just like any other game does) of livestock and food production.

Modern Warfare is about killing people with guns. if shooting an person in the head with an AK-47 didn't hurt them at all, you'd call this unrealistic. that's the type of thing i'm calling out in this case. i'm not saying its a moral atrocity that you even have the option of killing animals in minecraft. far from it. i think i made that much clear in my original post. when i play Minecraft as a vegetarian, i still kill spiders, zombies, etc because they'll god damn end my game if i don't, and i don't want my game to end. i implied as much by specifying which mobs i don't attack.

and those of you offering one-word or similarly blasé responses aren't helping your side of the argument.

looks like i know how i'll be spending my afternoon: defending this blog against ignorant bacon enthusiasts.

#24 Posted by Aetheldod (3542 posts) -

Meat is delicious , vegies are not / end thread

#25 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

@Aetheldod: being high on addictive, life-ruining narcotics feels good... end... thread?

no, it's not the end of the discussion and your argument is way less reasonable than you've deluded yourself into thinking. "i like it" is not an argument for anything. serial killers and child rapists really like to do what they do, too. i don't think you'll be arguing their case in court, though, will you?

cue people going LOL R U RLY COMPARING KILLRAPIN 2 MEET?

it's more similar than you think. it's imposing your will on an unwilling sentient being in all of these cases, and some people (a lot of people in the case of rape and murder) think it's wrong for people to do so.

i really didn't mean for this to simply provoke an argument about eating meat. i was mostly interested in the issue as proof that games express values through their rulesets, and it just so happens that minecraft does so in a way that is unrealistic, particularly in regards to something that a non-trivial amount of people think has ethical weight.

#26 Posted by gamma_male (69 posts) -

@DevWil said:

i was mostly interested in the issue as proof that games express values through their rulesets, and it just so happens that minecraft does so in a way that is unrealistic, particularly in regards to something that a non-trivial amount of people think has ethical weight.

Why didn't you just say that then? Are you really so naive that you didn't think your example would provoke this level of ridicule on the Giant Bomb message board? Could you not find better examples of games reflecting common ethical values or are you so utterly defined by your diet that you have to shoehorn it into your online discussions no matter how tenuously?

#27 Posted by StalkingTurnip (150 posts) -

Video games typically use how delicious a food is to determine how useful said food is. Using cake as a health pick-up is also unethical but why arent you screaming at Castle Crashers.

#28 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

lol

#29 Edited by Darklight (212 posts) -

I really don't understand why you decide to pick this one aspect of the game to say they're unethical. All the game is based on the same principle, not only for animals.

Some example in Minecraft:

Tree don't grow in one night after cutting them down and putting a sappling back.

You can't have unlimited water resource by putting a 4X4 of bloc of water side by side

In fact, every ressource and production are made 100 times easier in the game to be fore more fun. I would not like to play the game if it took the way of real simulation to create anything. I see your point about the false simulation of production, but I don't it as a way to encourage meat consumption. You see what you want to see.

By the way, not that I'm a stalker, but I went to your profile because a poster talked about random game a little earlier and was wondering if he simply saw them in your profile. Talk about a provocative status. I don't judge people on what they eat and I always treat everyone with respect. But this status is like saying, "yeah people who eat meat know there is no logic reason to do that but they do it anyway". That's one way to generalize everyone, good job on that.

#30 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -
@DevWil said:


i really didn't mean for this to simply provoke an argument about eating meat. i was mostly interested in the issue as proof that games express values through their rulesets, and it just so happens that minecraft does so in a way that is unrealistic, particularly in regards to something that a non-trivial amount of people think has ethical weight.

If you get your values and morals from video games then you seriously need to re-evaluate yourself as a human being.
#31 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

@DevWil said:

@GetEveryone said:

@DevWil said:

In reality, one pound of meat has been shown to be 16 times less efficient than one pound of non-meat food. Because Minecraft animals don't need food or water to survive, the simulation is flawed and, as someone interested in the real-life abuses of animals, I find the representation disappointing, to say the very least.

Though, in practical terms you know this doesn't come anywhere near to applying, right? Right?

I mean, you wouldnt try and justify being a vegan, or preach to a non-vegan, with this 'fact', right? Right?

Fuck off.

i don't know what you're getting at. "in practical terms you know this doesn't come anywhere near to applying, right?" wrong, unless i'm misunderstanding you. come back with a clearer argument, and we'll have this discussion.

http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/660S.full

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/5814

http://www.globalissues.org/article/10/food-aid-as-dumping

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/5895

I took all of these from the criticism section of the wikipedia page on environmental vegetarianism. If you care to scour the web further (which I don't on a saturday evening), you'll find many, many articles more or less disregarding the practical benefits of a crop-based food production over animal based for economic and environmental reasons.

Yes, there are benefits to what you suggested, but in practical terms they aren't worth backing.

You aren't a first-year biology/environmental science student are you? It's like the fucking bar scene in Good Will Hunting all over again.

#32 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

Wow, considering your twitter updates as highlighted by Darklight, I'm out of this discussion. Your rhetoric is the typical "I'm a vegan, worship how ethical I am" I deal with every day. It's pathetic and simply makes you look like an asshole.

Also, I get the impression that you think I eat meat. Which I find interesting as it clearly shows your own prejudices towards those who don't share your viewpoint.

#33 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

@gamma_male: i expected SOME backlash given the subject matter, but– sure– maybe i should've expected what it turned out to be. however, you're ascribing way more forethought to this idea than is at all appropriate. i wasn't going around thinking UM GAMES EXPRESS VALUES LETS SEE IF ANY EXPRESS MEAT IS GOOD...A-HA! MINECRAFT, YOU SON OF A BITCH! GOTCHA!

that's not what happened at all. i was getting more serious about minecraft (hardcore survival, specifically), so i nosed around the minecraft wiki until i found out what the most efficient food source is. and, as i've said, for as sophisticated (but, yes, oversimplified in other areas as well) a system as minecraft is, it has an unrealistic and unethical conclusion regarding meat. if people want to argue that it's meaningless that steak is more efficient than bread, that's one thing (which i completely disagree with). if they want to tell me to fuck off and stop being an idiot, that's entirely different.

@StalkingTurnip: i've never played castle crashers, but cake is a health power-up in minecraft too. i didn't bring it up because that's not what i thought to talk about. sorry? why didn't you bring up rations in metal gear solid? i demand an apology....?

@Darklight: but these are trivial contrivances compared to the agricultural model. speeding things up in a game isn't meaningfully unrealistic. completely unbalancing the ecology compared to real life is, however, a consequence of a system that could have been more realistic. it wouldn't be less fun to be able to craft a loaf of bread out of just two units of wheat.

minecraft is mechanically unrealistic. this is fine. you can't cut down a tree with your bare hands in less than a minute, but modeling the alternative is completely impractical for something that's supposed to be fun. however, i'm arguing that, by making steak more efficient than bread, minecraft is actually communicating something. given people's ignorance on nutrition and agriculture (sorry to put it so bluntly, but it's true), this isn't something most people will disregard as a gameplay contrivance. and, like i said, there's nothing about making bread a more valuable food source than steak that makes the game less fun. i don't think breeding animals is fun, ethics removed from the equation as well; i think it's far more tedious than growing wheat.

minecraft isn't a newsgame about farming, nor should it be. however, it's expressing values (as all games do), the value in question being that steak is a better THING than bread. this doesn't translate to real life at all, though. that's all i'm saying. the other unrealistic aspects of minecraft tend to translate to real life in an abstract way, or at least don't have ethical implications for anybody.

forgive me if i'm hitting the same points over and over, but it'd be trivial for mojang to make steak vs. bread less unrealistic. all they'd have to do is tweak the health recovery numbers, number of beef drops, number of wheats required for bread, etc.

a minecraft tree isn't a meaningful system. the game's ecology, however, is complex and tunable enough that comparing food sources absolutely can be. that's my core argument.

#34 Posted by Poppduder (460 posts) -

Some vegans are a lot like hardcore Christians; you may not share their views or give two fucks about the logic behind it, but they'll sure as shit tell you all about it. Then wear their ideals like a badge of honour... Then shove that badge in your face, possibly poking you in the eye in the process.

#35 Posted by Voidoid (133 posts) -

I know it's quite well established that meat production is wasteful in terms of chemical energy, but that does not stop it from being very practical, and I believe that is what Minecraft attempts to simulate.

A diet of only steak would surely be quite bad for you, but one of only bread would probably be even worse (especially if the bread was made exclusively of flour.) Meat is healthy, that is why humans historically have put the effort into raising livestock and hunting when farming and picking berries has surely been quicker and easier. Today, in the supermarket era, a vegan diet is a feasible option, but in a place where the only edible plants were wheat, sugar canes and melons it wouldn't be, and the higher food-value of steak acknowledges that. I find the effort/reward differences in Minecraft's food items is what encourages me to make all of them, as one would in reality.

#36 Edited by gamma_male (69 posts) -

@DevWil said:

@gamma_male: i expected SOME backlash given the subject matter, but– sure– maybe i should've expected what it turned out to be. however, you're ascribing way more forethought to this idea than is at all appropriate. i wasn't going around thinking UM GAMES EXPRESS VALUES LETS SEE IF ANY EXPRESS MEAT IS GOOD...A-HA! MINECRAFT, YOU SON OF A BITCH! GOTCHA!

that's not what happened at all. i was getting more serious about minecraft (hardcore survival, specifically), so i nosed around the minecraft wiki until i found out what the most efficient food source is. and, as i've said, for as sophisticated (but, yes, oversimplified in other areas as well) a system as minecraft is, it has an unrealistic and unethical conclusion regarding meat. if people want to argue that it's meaningless that steak is more efficient than bread, that's one thing (which i completely disagree with). if they want to tell me to fuck off and stop being an idiot, that's entirely different.

Okay, fine. So let's just agree that Minecraft's system is unrealistic because the amount of grain you need to raise livestock far exceeds the eventual value, nutritional or otherwise, of the slaughtered animal. Why is it unethical to do that or, more importantly, why do you think it's unethical? Do you think it's unethical because it gives the player an unrealistic impression of nutritional values or do you think it's unethical because you believe eating meat is morally wrong?

Since your original post you've compared eating meat with rape and murder. You've complained that people who eat meat are irrational, deluded, arrogant and ignorant. I would posit that you think Minecraft is unethical because you believe that eating meat is morally wrong. Considering that the majority of people reading this eat meat, and are perfectly comfortable with the realities of how that meat got to their table, why do you think you're not being taken seriously?

#37 Posted by MikkaQ (10277 posts) -

@DevWil: PETA came from Ingrid NewkirK's crazy white ass, and nowhere else. They're the villains of the animal rights world. You're thinking of the (fake) WWF which UNESCO gave consultative status.

@DevWil said:

any of the pro-omnivore arguments i've ever heard are based on a totally unreasonable (and, often, arrogant) oversimplification, and that sketch was no exception.

Other than the fact that we're biologically omnivorous? It's like saying sight is stupid, even if we're born with it. I embrace all my humanity.

#38 Posted by VodkaMedia (41 posts) -

I really don't want to get involved in this discussion, I just want to point out that you guys are talking about Minecraft. I think... Wait, this is still about Minecraft, right? I bothered only to skim through everyone's posts, but I think you guys are off track, or stupid enough to continue some discussion that is entirely pointless. Whatever, Minecraft, last time I checked, was not about simulating life, or... whatever the hell you're talking about. It's about building stuff for fun, and/or survival in a landscape made of blocks. A landscape made of blocks. Just wanted to make sure you understood.

Also, vegetables and other "non-meat" foods are usually better for us than meat. And I learned that from my 10th grade Health teacher.

#39 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

@Vinny_Says: all people get all of their values from all of the media they consume. to believe otherwise is totally ignorant, and you're really exaggerating what i've said.

@dekkadekkadekka: and so enters the "you think you're so much better than everybody else" argument. i think i'm happier, more reasonable, and more responsible than people who eat meat, and i'm confused as to why anybody still eats meat, especially when it's as easy is it is not to. that's pretty much the long and short of it. anytime i hear this "you're such an elitist" nonsense, it strikes me as people who know they're in the wrong being very defensive and attacking a straw man.

@GetEveryone: i think we're talking about fairly different things, at this point. this conversation thread is already topically bloated enough without introducing another issue, but i honestly thank you for your input. you seem more interested in a mature discussion than a lot of the people who have responded so far.

@Poppduder: another familiar position. here's the difference, though: you have to eat something. you don't have to subscribe to any religion. there is an appreciable benefit on multiple fronts if you stop eating meat, but ostensibly the only person who benefits from you converting to christianity is you, specifically your soul (which is its own can of worms).

i've never heard a real argument for why eating meat is more sensible than not, and i've been asking people to present me with one for years.

@Voidoid: meat is actually pretty unhealthy, especially compared to non-meat foods. and that's without considering how it's typically prepared. there's no nutrient humans need that can't be derived from non-animal sources, either. so i don't really know where you're coming from with that. and if minecraft had a more nuanced nutritional model than its one-dimensional Hunger meter, i could take you more seriously. however, as the game stands, there is absolutely no reason to have a balanced diet in minecraft.

@gamma_male said:

@DevWil said:

@gamma_male: i expected SOME backlash given the subject matter, but– sure– maybe i should've expected what it turned out to be. however, you're ascribing way more forethought to this idea than is at all appropriate. i wasn't going around thinking UM GAMES EXPRESS VALUES LETS SEE IF ANY EXPRESS MEAT IS GOOD...A-HA! MINECRAFT, YOU SON OF A BITCH! GOTCHA!

that's not what happened at all. i was getting more serious about minecraft (hardcore survival, specifically), so i nosed around the minecraft wiki until i found out what the most efficient food source is. and, as i've said, for as sophisticated (but, yes, oversimplified in other areas as well) a system as minecraft is, it has an unrealistic and unethical conclusion regarding meat. if people want to argue that it's meaningless that steak is more efficient than bread, that's one thing (which i completely disagree with). if they want to tell me to fuck off and stop being an idiot, that's entirely different.

Okay, fine. So let's just agree that Minecraft's system is unrealistic because the amount of grain you need to raise livestock far exceeds the eventual value, nutritional or otherwise, of the slaughtered animal. Why is it unethical to do that or, more importantly, why do you think it's unethical? Do you think it's unethical because it gives the player an unrealistic impression or nutritional values or do you think it's unethical because you believe eating meat is morally wrong?

Since your original post you've compared eating meat with rape and murder. You've complained that people who eat meat are irrational, deluded, arrogant and ignorant. I would posit that you think Minecraft is unethical because you believe that eating meat is morally wrong. Considering that the majority of people reading this eat meat, and are perfectly comfortable with the realities of how that meat got to their table, why do you think you're not being taken seriously?

i think it's unethical because it gives the player an unnecessarily unrealistic impression of agriculture.

and yes: i think people who eat meat are irrational, arrogant, and ignorant. i've never seen anybody demonstrate that eating meat is more rational than not. i think eating meat and defending eating meat is an arrogant way of life, and i think that, when properly educated, there is no excuse for eating meat. so yes, all of these three things ar true.

and no i don't think most people are "perfectly comfortable with the realities of how that meat got to their table". that's where the delusion comes in. i think if everybody in the west had to slaughter animals themselves, you'd see a lot more tofu flying off the shelves. even one of the creators of super meat boy (which i'm not attacking at all, let's not sidetrack this conversation any further) said on a podcast that he fully appreciates how irrational and delusional he is for eating meat. i think people are perfectly comfortable with the fantasy of how that meat got to their table, not the reality of it. if people were actually okay with animal abuse (which is prevalent in meat production, regardless of your views on meat itself), then you wouldn't see people so outraged about michael vick or any other number of cases of inhumane treatment of animals. beating and having sex with animals isn't okay, but killing them is? again, ultimately killing another animal is forcing your will upon it, and any reasonable nutritionist will tell you that it's totally unnecessary (returning to arrogance).

and, since clearly certain users of this website make incredible leaps of crazy logic, i'm not saying we should beat or have sex with animals. the point is that beating a dog is largely considered morally abhorrent, but killing a pig (which has been shown to be at least as smart as a dog, just not quite as interested in humans) is AWESOME LOL BACON AMIRITE PUT IT IN MY ICE CREAM DUDEBRO.

i know that a lot of people would say, "well, we don't beat pigs to death, we try to make it as painless as possible", but i think that's even more cowardly and selfish than just accepting the atrocities that are often enacted upon livestock. i honestly tend to see people who prefer free-range, organic, etc animal products as even worse, because if they were really interested in the animal's welfare, they wouldn't support an industry that treats them like objects.

if you would be upset if a stranger killed one of your pets, for food or just for fun, then you have no right to act like i'm crazy for not eating meat.

#40 Posted by avidwriter (667 posts) -

1. All games are educational

You don't play many games do you?

Trolololo

#41 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

@DevWil said:

@dekkadekkadekka: and so enters the "you think you're so much better than everybody else" argument. i think i'm happier, more reasonable, and more responsible than people who eat meat, and i'm confused as to why anybody still eats meat, especially when it's as easy is it is not to. that's pretty much the long and short of it. anytime i hear this "you're such an elitist" nonsense, it strikes me as people who know they're in the wrong being very defensive and attacking a straw man.

And thus my point is proved. Thank you.

#42 Edited by DevWil (842 posts) -

@MikkaQ: we're biologically naked. hope you don't wear clothes, or you're a hypocrite. humans aren't simply the sum of their biological parts, or did we evolve from apes with the internet in our DNA? i don't remember. -_-

@VodkaMedia: but you're missing my point as much as anybody else is. minecraft IS a simulation. all games are simulations. the enforcement of any ruleset is a simulation of some kind.

@avidwriter: how could you play a game without knowing the rules or controls? see, all games are educational. some games only teach us how to shoot people in the head, but you have to learn that the right trigger or left mouse button does that at some point.

@dekkadekkadekka: oh no i lose :<

okay, sarcasm aside, prove me wrong.

am i less happy for not eating meat? you can't demonstrate that, so let's ignore it.

am i more reasonable? i've yet to hear a reasonable argument for eating meat, so yes i am.

am i more responsible? the best you can do is tell me that it's a bogus responsibility that i've taken upon myself. so i'm certainly not less responsible by not eating meat.

and if i wasn't confused, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

so yeah, i guess you win. enjoy the victory!!!

#43 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -

WHY THE SHIT DID YOU PUT POLITICS INTO MINECRAFT? A GAME ABOUT FUCKING BLOCKS.

#44 Posted by DeeGee (2119 posts) -

Urgh.

People like you are why vegetarians/vegans have such a bad reputation.

"I AM BETTER THEN MEAT EATERS"

Online
#45 Posted by nailerr (198 posts) -

@Sjupp: Sir, I say to you that fucking blocks is unethical! They are not sexual objects!

#46 Posted by Lifestrike (482 posts) -

@Trilogy said:

#47 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

@nailerr: I fuck blocks every day sir and not only do I feel happier for it but fucking blocks is better overall for our wellbeing. Anyone who fucks another human just because it feels good is an asshole.

#48 Edited by DevWil (842 posts) -

@Sjupp: everything is political. somethings more ignorably so than others.

@Lifestrike: i probably like john cleese more than i like the sonic the hedgehog cartoon. so your argument is invalid.

@DeeGee: see my previous post and stop projecting your guilt, please.

#49 Posted by Getz (2995 posts) -

@DevWil said:

Edit: Here's a non-PETA article about the inefficiency of meat for those of you who simply think everything PETA says is a lie.

That article is over 10 years old now, and incredibly misleading. The fact is, grain produced for livestock consumption is nowhere near the quality of grain for human consumption, and therefore much cheaper to produce in large quantities. You cannot simply move the numbers around, you have to account for only the grain that humans are eating. Also, much of the cost of wheat and corn is influenced by subsidies and taxation which makes it impossible to tell at a glance what the "efficiency" of those crops is. I suggest you read up on the facts a little more about this, and check the validity of the articles you reference. Don't just post something to prove your points.

#50 Posted by laserbolts (5317 posts) -

Cows are delicious and you are missing out. I feel bad that you force yourself into not experiencing the amazing tastes of meat because you think it actually saves animals or something but to each his own I guess. Oh yeah and minecraft is digital legos relax minecraft cows don't feel pain.

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