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Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4435 posts) 1 year, 8 months ago

Poll: Don't Analyze: Actions Against Orcs Make You Feel Uncomfortable? (773 votes)

Yes 22%
No 78%

This week's podcast, the staff talked about how the main characters are sadistic against the orcs. Some of the actions may feel "gross." Ben says there was a camp that disliked the previous game because of that. (I've heard people use the word "gross," in context of the setting but not in this way.) They also talk about the humanizing of orcs, a bit. My interest is players' emotional reactions as they're playing, not when you analyze the situation.

So my question to you, just based off your inert reaction to playing the game, did your actions against the orcs make you feel uncomfortable?

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#1 Edited by Captain_Insano (3513 posts) -

Personally no, but I can see the case for why it would make someone feel uncomfortable.

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#2 Edited by alternate (2913 posts) -

Nope, it is just a game. I never seem to be able to make a mental connection between game characters and real people. Why those "murder simulator" claims always seemed so silly.

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#3 Posted by Zefpunk (808 posts) -
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#4 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4407 posts) -

no. Thought Dungeon Keeper / Messiah were really cool for their possession spells as well.

To be honest, games like Black & White & Dungeon Keeper had me more often think that it was kinda fucked up what i was doing. Slapping friendly imps in the face until they die, sacrifice them, or deny creatures from getting paid, while showering others in gold. And don't forget the torture room. Or slapping my beast in black & white to shape his behavior. Throwing a citizen away probably doesn't deserve 50 punches to the face, but i did it anyways :D

To be fair, those games were heavily revolving around the idea that you can be a ruthless evil person, so from the get go you are thinking about the morality behind your actions.

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#5 Edited by Dray2k (884 posts) -
@captain_insano said:

Personally no, but I can see the case for why it would make someone feel uncomfortable.

Thats my exact same reasoning, too. Though I haven't played it yet, just began watching streamers, youtubes etc. I know myself well enough that even when I play the game I won't care as much about the "unconfortable content" it may offer, but its fine if others think differently.

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#6 Posted by xanadu (2045 posts) -

Just from games like GTA V alone, Ive done much worse things to other humans in video games than I have with Orcs in SOM/SOW.

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#7 Posted by Qrowdyy (366 posts) -

I'm gonna go a little in-depth here on lore.

In order to appreciate Tokien's works, you have to accept the premise that Orcs aren't people. Orcs aren't even animals. They're something lesser. This is how Tolkien has written them. There are many occasions where wholesale genocide is committed by the good guys against the orcs and no one bats an eye.

But, anybody who observes Orcs in the movies can see that they are sentient, sapient beings. This is further complicated in Shadow of War because the game shows that the Orcs have personalities and you start relating to them. And of course in the books, Orcs are descended from elves. So from all this you can draw the obvious conclusion that Orcs are indeed people. Therefore it's not ok to slaughter them wholesale or make them into mindslaves.

Tolkien was aware of this conundrum and in his twilight years it was his intention to fix it by making the origin of Orcs to be more like the origin of Trolls. Trolls were shaped from stone and given purpose by the first dark lord. They're like golems or automatons and the key thing here is that they are not truly alive. Sadly, Tolkien never got around to it before he passed away.

For me, knowing Tolkien's intentions regarding Orcs makes it easier to swallow the stuff you do to them in Shadow of War.

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#8 Posted by Teddie (2145 posts) -

If the troll that's been in all the marketing as your guide/buddy (in the quick look too) is mind-controlled then... well I wouldn't say it makes me uncomfortable, more just kinda sad that your buddy actually hates your guts and the connection there is all false. As far as I know the mind-controlled orcs are just the guys you direct around and don't really interact on a personal level like in the first game, so on that level it doesn't bother me.

I definitely get that "I'm kinda rooting for the bad guys because they're more entertaining" feeling though. All the humans are boring as fuck. Maybe that's fixed in the sequel.

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#9 Edited by Redhotchilimist (2963 posts) -

I remember feeling bad about killing humans in games for a long time. I basically didn't do it until Assassin's Creed 2, at which point I realized they weren't actually functionally different from Goombas. But I still thought of games like Hitman where the whole point is murdering specific people as kind of messed up until Hitman GO's take on the franchise reminded me that it's no more realistic than a game of Mafia. Still, if given the option like in an MGS game, I will just naturally play games killing as few people as possible.

Having not played Mordor, I feel like it's maybe a little creepy, but I'm sure that if I had played it it would just be like stomping on Goombas again in seconds.

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#10 Posted by TheHT (15859 posts) -

Ehh, not quite the way you're asking. It wasn't my initial gut reaction.

Only when I thought about did I begin to feel unnerved by it. At that point it wasn't a constant thing, but occasionally I'd feel a little gross brainwashing a bunch of people, even if they were LotR orcs. The part where orcs are unredeemable creatures that revel in torture and destruction has always weirded me out a bit in LotR lore, so that might have something to do with it. I mean, I always got a little sad when the Troll gets shot in the head by Legolas in Khazad-dum, even though it clearly needed to die. So yeah.

It didn't make me dislike the previous game though, or the new one for that matter.

Never cared much about killing enemies in games. Killing orcs isn't a problem either. It's the brainwashing that weirds me out sometimes. Feels less whimsical than charming enemies in other games. All that said, this is still fuckin rad:

Loading Video...

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#13 Edited by hnke (189 posts) -

Orcs don’t have rights, nor should they. Ben’s concern is silly as it gets. Orcs are not the equivalent of black people which is what he was implying. And the language he used to describe the subject makes it really obvious exactly which hypersensitive arena of ”thought” he got the idea from. On Twitter appearances matter and everything is super gross and, like, totally problematic.

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#14 Edited by Xdeser2 (371 posts) -
@captain_insano said:

Personally no, but I can see the case for why it would make someone feel uncomfortable.

This is pretty much my take on all of this. Dont see why other people get volatile to it.

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#15 Posted by TheHT (15859 posts) -

@hnke said:

Orcs don’t have rights, nor should they. Ben’s concern is silly as it gets. Orcs are not the equivalent of black people which is what he was implying. And the language he used to describe the subject makes it really obvious exactly which hypersensitive arena of ”thought” he got the idea from. On Twitter appearances matter and everything is super gross and, like, totally problematic.

Ehhh, yeah no. I'd hope no one would actually think orcs are like dark-skinned humans, and I'd be surprised if that was the angle Ben was coming at it from.

I think it's more that the orcs in the game feel like people, and our understanding of people allows for good and bad. Orcs however, are all bad by their written nature, and that can run coarsely against their depictions as sometimes quirky or even almost-charming entities (in the Mordor games anyways, not elsewhere). They're humanized in the game, but the lore still justifies treating them with far less regard than a human, and it can feel odd at times when you're bending these creatures to your will like playthings.

Maybe it's some kind of ludonarrative chumbawamba.

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#16 Posted by Genxalo (62 posts) -

The only reason I started kind of feeling bad about some of the awful stuff you can do is because of how boring and two dimensional the human characters are (I mean all the humans you rescue are literally the same character model too), but then the orcs are given so much personality and they're pretty diverse and the game tells you they're all the same evil monsters. (A little bit of what Nier: Automata touched on)

Maybe it just feels worse because the player personally wrecks a lot of the orc characters (decapitation, maiming, etc.), but you never SEE what awful shit the orcs do to other races. You're kind of just told about the awful things they do and all you see is them tie people up to posts and throw them into the fight pits, while you're free to do all this extreme violence to the orcs. That brutalize prompt doesn't lie!

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#17 Edited by Ares42 (4359 posts) -

I have murdered, robbed, tortured, mentally abused and eaten people in games. I have performed genocide, driven species to extinction and participated in nuclear and chemical warfare. The list goes on and on. If subtle hints of slavery is where it got too uncomfortable for you I don't really know what to think of your morals. Hell, I've played several games with actual slavery in them as well.

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#18 Edited by dgtlty (1229 posts) -

Do those who voted yes also feel guilt about murdering or shooting people in video games?

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#19 Posted by DanishingAct (414 posts) -

Goomba's get jumped on. Orcs get it a lot worse. Games are dumb, just have fun and be nice to people.

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#20 Posted by mellotronrules (2610 posts) -

it doesn't pull me out of the game, but i 100% understand why it might for some.

everyone has their sensitive spots- areas or subjects that might distress you where for others it's not even a blip. for me, its Prison Architect. i can see where for some it might be Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

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#21 Edited by Lazyimperial (486 posts) -

@theht said:
@hnke said:

Orcs don’t have rights, nor should they. Ben’s concern is silly as it gets. Orcs are not the equivalent of black people which is what he was implying. And the language he used to describe the subject makes it really obvious exactly which hypersensitive arena of ”thought” he got the idea from. On Twitter appearances matter and everything is super gross and, like, totally problematic.

Ehhh, yeah no. I'd hope no one would actually think orcs are like dark-skinned humans, and I'd be surprised if that was the angle Ben was coming at it from.

I think it's more that the orcs in the game feel like people, and our understanding of people allows for good and bad. Orcs however, are all bad by their written nature, and that can run coarsely against their depictions as sometimes quirky or even almost-charming entities (in the Mordor games anyways, not elsewhere). They're humanized in the game, but the lore still justifies treating them with far less regard than a human, and it can feel odd at times when you're bending these creatures to your will like playthings.

Maybe it's some kind of ludonarrative chumbawamba.

I wouldn't be surprised, really. Ever read Austin Walker's essay about Shadows of Mordor? Post-colonial theorists eat up the "orcs as Tolkien's take on minorities" stuff. *shrug* Edit addition: in case you meant it a different way than I interpreted your sentence... it's not that post-colonials think "orcs are like dark-skinned humans" so much as that they view them as Tolkien's other for the noble races that fight for the light. And since post-colonial conflates "the light" with Europe and white people, then "the dark" must be other and therefore African and black. With Sauron being a dark lord clad in black ruling a dark kingdom of soot and ash peopled by a dark race of evil, dark creatures facing an army led by Aragorn, a white bloke with a white tree of purity on his armor who is backed by Gandalf the WHITE and an army of fair-skinned elves sent by Lady Galadriel who wears a gown of pure WHITE (a lady who also gifted Frodo with a vial that emitted pure WHITE light to scare off the DARK)... well, with all that, a person conflating that stuff would perceive quite a racist tome of evil when looking upon The Lord of the Rings. It'd be an absurdist take, but absurd goes over quite well in academia. From that perspective, Talion mind controlling orcs is him mind controlling stand-ins for Africans and people of color, the terrible Gondorian monster. *shrug*

Anyhoots, nope. As @qrowdyy noted, Tolkien wrote the orcs as embodiments of the evil within the heart of mankind. Physical embodiments of the evil exhibited by mankind during World War 2, so to speak. They're not his stand-ins for people of color... though good luck convincing any post-colonial theorist of that.

Of course, it doesn't help that other games and IPs like World of Warcraft take a lazy writing route and base their myriad Tolkien-rooted fantasy factions on real world cultures. In WOW's case, Trolls are Haitians, Stormwind humans are Medieval Germanic, Tauren are Native American minotaurs, and orcs? They hunt zebra and giraffes on a giant savannah as they embody every stereotype of "old Africa" and exemplify every facet of the lazy noble savage trope. See enough things like that and "orcs as people of color" gets cemented in your cerebrum, which would certainly leave you frowning at Shadows of War. You'd be judging apples and oranges, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

As to mind controlling inherently evil but nevertheless sentient beings as an objection in of itself, irrespective of the "post-colonial theory" angle... eh. I've done and seen enough strange things in videogames that this stuff doesn't phase me. You're playing a morally bankrupt ringwraith /undead ranger who mind controls and dominates an army of amoral, evil monsters, all in the pursuit of usurping a great Satan figure. Not necessarily any worse than being a brutal despot in Overlord or an immortal emperor of war that annihilates entire civilizations in Civilization IV. Heck, I've summoned immortal Daedric beings from Oblivion for the sole point of using their labor as warriors before harvesting their souls to put a little more magic juice in my longsword. It's all good in the hood, at this point.

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#22 Posted by Junkerman (530 posts) -

I can see the faint outline of the sentiment... but orcs are vile evil creatures that dont have a real life counterpart. Good and evil dont truly exist in our reality, its just a spectrum neutrality colored by our tribe. In DnD and LOTR and other fantasy there exists demons and devils and Undead and Orcs that are EVIL and exist only to cause pain and horror beyond redemption or relation. So I think its pretty over the top and perhaps a little insipid to otherwise.

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#23 Posted by ZombiePie (7424 posts) -

I am going to err toward the "yes" camp, and I feel this is largely the fault of Monolith. They spent years creating a distinctiveness to the orcs. Each looks and sounds different, and there's a true sense of the orcs having their own culture and way of life. But because this is an open-world action-adventure game the orcs are used as a resource for world domination. Having the orcs be so "alive" makes your actions harder to justify. And if we are honest, most of your activities in the game amount to genocide.

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#24 Posted by doctordonkey (1827 posts) -

I feel like any one who feels this way isn't much of a LotR consumer. Orcs only know how to hate and destroy, they are horrific beings of destruction that serve no other purpose than to partake in violence and death. If the developers didn't give them personality outside of this, the Nemesis System would fail because the orcs would be one-note and boring. Over all, you are not suppose to feel anything for them. They are violent uncaring creatures who deserve no empathy whatsoever.

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#25 Edited by CrazyBagMan (1660 posts) -

It's a bunch of nonsense.

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#26 Posted by ThatOneDudeNick (1570 posts) -

Nope. Orcs aren't real.

I get where they're coming from, but I feel not even a hint of that.

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#27 Posted by csl316 (14968 posts) -

Nah, but I can separate myself from a game completely. They're brutal monsters trying to kill you, so it's not like I'm shooting a civilian in GTA or something.

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#28 Posted by Pezen (2381 posts) -

I'm curious what the conversation would have looked like if this wasn't a lord of the rings game but a WW2 game and you mind control nazis instead of orcs to take down the third reich. Would it still be gross?

But to answer the question; no it doesn't bother me. It's one dimensional combat fodder in a fantasy world of pure good and pure evil, I feel like the distinction is pretty clear. People are free to overanalyze to their heart's content, but I fail to really see the point or end goal of the whole thing.

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#29 Posted by Noobsmog (147 posts) -

The reason you see so many kids trying to be edgy these days is a reaction to dumb shit like this. But hey, here I am, clicking and posting in this thread. These kind of things get the most clicks so you see more and more of it.

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#30 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4435 posts) -

@zombiepie: How would you reframe the game's system or humans' strategy in the war against the Orcs' onslaught so that it were perceived as genocide?

I wouldn't be surprised, really. Ever read Austin Walker's essay about Shadows of Mordor? Post-colonial theorists eat up the "orcs as Tolkien's take on minorities" stuff. *shrug* Edit addition: in case you meant it a different way than I interpreted your sentence... it's not that post-colonials think "orcs are like dark-skinned humans" so much as that they view them as Tolkien's other for the noble races that fight for the light. And since post-colonial conflates "the light" with Europe and white people, then "the dark" must be other and therefore African and black. With Sauron being a dark lord clad in black ruling a dark kingdom of soot and ash peopled by a dark race of evil, dark creatures facing an army led by Aragorn, a white bloke with a white tree of purity on his armor who is backed by Gandalf the WHITE and an army of fair-skinned elves sent by Lady Galadriel who wears a gown of pure WHITE (a lady who also gifted Frodo with a vial that emitted pure WHITE light to scare off the DARK)... well, with all that, a person conflating that stuff would perceive quite a racist tome of evil when looking upon The Lord of the Rings. It'd be an absurdist take, but absurd goes over quite well in academia. From that perspective, Talion mind controlling orcs is him mind controlling stand-ins for Africans and people of color, the terrible Gondorian monster. *shrug*

Anyhoots, nope. As @qrowdyy noted, Tolkien wrote the orcs as embodiments of the evil within the heart of mankind. Physical embodiments of the evil exhibited by mankind during World War 2, so to speak. They're not his stand-ins for people of color... though good luck convincing any post-colonial theorist of that.

Of course, it doesn't help that other games and IPs like World of Warcraft take a lazy writing route and base their myriad Tolkien-rooted fantasy factions on real world cultures. In WOW's case, Trolls are Haitians, Stormwind humans are Medieval Germanic, Tauren are Native American minotaurs, and orcs? They hunt zebra and giraffes on a giant savannah as they embody every stereotype of "old Africa" and exemplify every facet of the lazy noble savage trope. See enough things like that and "orcs as people of color" gets cemented in your cerebrum, which would certainly leave you frowning at Shadows of War. You'd be judging apples and oranges, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

As to mind controlling inherently evil but nevertheless sentient beings as an objection in of itself, irrespective of the "post-colonial theory" angle... eh. I've done and seen enough strange things in videogames that this stuff doesn't phase me. You're playing a morally bankrupt ringwraith /undead ranger who mind controls and dominates an army of amoral, evil monsters, all in the pursuit of usurping a great Satan figure. Not necessarily any worse than being a brutal despot in Overlord or an immortal emperor of war that annihilates entire civilizations in Civilization IV. Heck, I've summoned immortal Daedric beings from Oblivion for the sole point of using their labor as warriors before harvesting their souls to put a little more magic juice in my longsword. It's all good in the hood, at this point.

I think the humbrage there should be taken with the foundation set in history of black being the color of evil and darkness and white being the color of all that is good. Most sources in all of history pull from that trope. And it's understandable why: Humans are not nocturnal and they feel more comfortable in the light, and less so in the dark. Therefore creatures of the night have always naturally been a threat to them. That's where the dark/light division comes from. I personally find the connection between that and skin color silly but also don't walk in the shoes of those that may feel discomfort from feeling like they're being pooled into the evil camp, simply because of their skin color being comparable to the dark/light-evil/good connection.

That's a whole other discussion, though, and I don't think many people here actually relate the Orcs in these games to a specific human race. I also don't feel like that was what Ben was getting at.

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#31 Posted by stinger061 (476 posts) -

As I mentioned in the podcast comments I'm not one to draw deeper connections between games and what they say about the real world. I can see why some would be put off by it but for me I prefer to just enjoy games at a more surface level. For me life is too short to spend a lot of time deeply analysing the themes of what is supposed to be a fun escape.

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#32 Posted by Qrowdyy (366 posts) -

Some people can disassociate themselves from what's happening on screen. Some people feel empathy for these characters. Both of those are positive traits. I think this issue is just a matter of people being different.

I'm gonna risk a tangent and disagree with you there. For an example, I'm gonna look outside of the USA and western civilization. Specifically the hot topic of fairness creams in India. Being darker skinned has been stigmatized throughout Indian history. So much so that fairness creams(think whitening strips for your face) is a billion dollar industry. I'm fairly confident that origin of this is the dark/light, day/night division you mentioned.

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#33 Posted by mems1224 (2505 posts) -

lol no. I don't even have issues doing fucked up things to humans in video games so doing fucked up things to a made up species doesn't bother me at all. people can feel how they want to feel but its pretty silly to me.

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#34 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4435 posts) -

@qrowdyy: Is it stigmatized because of the existing dark/light distinction, or is it stigmatized for other historical stuff? Actually, don't answer. I think this discussion is beyond the purpose of this thread and could get dicey.

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#35 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

Well you Subjugate and enslave them right? That's pretty disturbing conceptually however you want to rationalize it.

frankly it bothered me a bit in Metal Gear Solid V too...

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#36 Edited by citizencoffeecake (1544 posts) -

The thought never crossed my mind until they mentioned it on the podcast. It's just too "video gamey" for me to give a second thought about any moral undertones. Couldn't you make a similar argument about any game that requires you to kill a large amount of anything? Maybe I'm missing the bigger point that is being made but this game doesn't seem to justify that much concern or analysis.

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#37 Edited by Brackstone (910 posts) -

The trouble for me comes from the fact that orcs are far more lively and interesting than everyone else. One of the best things Peter Jackson's films is that his orcs were sometimes unique individuals, not always just a mindless horde of evil. They were just interesting enough to be memorable.

The Mordor games work because they expound upon that, but they double down on making everyone else as dull as dishwater. On top of that, the games is based around poking and prodding a system without actually participating in it. Talion is outside of the orcs society, and forcibly acts upon it. Sure it's fun having ghost abilities and going on this power trip, but it really highlights the weird racial divisions of tolkien's world.

Basically these games would be more interesting if you were an orc yourself, and it avoids the weird situation of the well spoken white people dominating and subjugating the largely uneducated masses. It's a problem because if the orcs weren't individually interesting, the nemesis system wouldn't be interesting, but once they are, the fact that you are an outside force exerting your will upon them makes it kind of icky in away that stands out.

Also, I feel like the next step for the nemesis system should be ditching the mind control thing entirely. Make it more about persuading/intimidating/coercing people to join you and help you. Again, almost as though you are actually part of the system instead of exterior to it.

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#38 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

Protagonist is evil, therefore it doesn't matter; but you can very easily do much much worse things in various other games to actual human beings and the vast majority of games involve you murdering at least a few dozen people along the way; often hundreds if not thousands. If you have an issue with the central crux of video games that's fine, but otherwise who gives a fuck.

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#39 Posted by Ungodly (449 posts) -

I'm more bothered by it, in the since that it makes all of the interactions with the orcs false. In the last game you didn't really interact with them on a buddy level, so I didn't really think about it. Now though, since they upped the playful factor it's disingenuous. With that said I'm not bothered by it on a moral level, but I can understand why some people may be. As others have said though, we have all done some morally ambiguous shit in games, (or at least most of us have).

Some times you hit a saturation point with what you can get away with in video games. To me it happened with Nathan Drake coming across to me as a psychopath, by being a goof when he had just killed a unit of soldiers/mercenaries/pirates/cultists/whatever. It didn't make me stop playing the game, but it took me out of the narrative. I don't have a problem with killing in games, but I do have a problem with characters being ignorantly oblivious to his actions. I feel like the people complaining about Shadow of War, are more or less looking at it like me with Uncahrted.

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#40 Edited by Redhotchilimist (2963 posts) -

@slag said:

Well you Subjugate and enslave them right? That's pretty disturbing conceptually however you want to rationalize it.

frankly it bothered me a bit in Metal Gear Solid V too...

I think it's pretty evident that while the developers of both games primarily wanted to make games where the violence is great fun and you can recruit enemy soldiers to your side for a management aspect, they're both aware that the main characters are villainous. You might not be the baddest guy around, but you're not doing good things. That makes it check out in the narrative, but it does mean you have to be fine playing a jerk.

@fredchuckdave said:

Protagonist is evil, therefore it doesn't matter; but you can very easily do much much worse things in various other games to actual human beings and the vast majority of games involve you murdering at least a few dozen people along the way; often hundreds if not thousands. If you have an issue with the central crux of video games that's fine, but otherwise who gives a fuck.

I mean, the reason I could play video games for like twenty years without ever killing a human is that there are a looooot of games where you don't kill any humans at all. Everyone's gonna have a different line where they feel bad, naturally. I just laugh when Vinny shoots dogs in open world games, but I shake my head when Dan says he had a great time going through Undertale once just killing everyone. I never thought MK Fatalities were any fun, but MKX crossed a line into yuckiness for me with some of those animations combined with being able to do it to your family members.

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#41 Posted by IVDAMKE (1824 posts) -

Nope, it's fantasy I'm an adult I can detach fantasy Orcs from reality people.

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#42 Posted by Busto1299 (251 posts) -

Guys, Orcs are huge assholes

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#43 Posted by Hayt (1683 posts) -

What an emotionally exhausting life some people must lead.

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#44 Posted by glots (4331 posts) -

Mnah. I don’t get bothered by backing up over some granny with my car in GTA V, so mindcontrolling orcs doesn’t make it to the list either.

That’s not to say that I’d somehow find either of those things gleeful, but they’re definitely not gross either.

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#45 Edited by optimalpower (264 posts) -

No, and to be frank I have a lesser opinion of Ben after hearing that come out of his mouth. It's fiction, you and nobody else needs to justify real life actions in a video game. If hitting that button to enslave fictional characters is negatively affecting you, maybe take a few steps back.

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#46 Edited by Nodima (2614 posts) -

I feel like it's taking identity politics too far, and I feel like if you're going to feel bad about enslaving orcs, but not feel bad about murdering them as viciously as Talion is designed to do, then you're just looking to pick a fight. If the enslavement of the orcs bothers someone that badly, the murder should bother them just as much if not moreso and the game should be considered unplayable, as should just about anything that features death or the end of some sentient being's agency in any fashion.

It's casting too wide a net; I get what Ben was trying to do there (and would rather use it as an educational moment than a reason to think less of him as a person; we all say flagrant shit from time to time), but this is not the game/scenario for that because enslavement is not the worst thing you can do to those orcs, and at the end of the day I get the impression those orcs are pretty damn cheery about it because they still get to do orc shit, they just aren't working for Sauron any longer. Maybe the designers should've chosen a better set of words than enslave/dominate/whatever it is (haven't played the second game so the terminology is lost on me at the moment) but I'm not sure what set of synonyms are all that much softer...I suppose govern, command, perhaps even reign. There's a light discussion to be had around the terminology, but ultimately these are orcs, and they are designed to be disliked and destroyed.

Humanizing them makes about as much sense as the VP of Creative Direction for Monolith trying to walk people through the Lord of the Rings story to the point that Gollum was really the hero all along. That's just blatantly ignoring the setting that you're in, and so is trying to humanize these orcs.

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#47 Edited by JJBSterling (585 posts) -

Nothing in any of the LOTR fiction I've consumed (not that that's a whole lot, though) has convinced me that Orcs aren't uncompromisingly evil and literally bred for nothing but war.

Maybe in other fiction this argument could make some sense but It just doesn't bother me in relation to the LOTR universe as I know it.

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#48 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8893 posts) -

@thatonedudenick: That's pretty much my take in a nutshell. I did not like torturing people in GTA V because it felt a little real, but orcs make for a much easier mental disconnect.

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#49 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4435 posts) -

@nodima: @optimalpower: I'm not sure if Ben was passing it off as his sentiment or just that of the camp of people who disliked the first game; even after re-listening to that part of the Bombcast. @benpack, care to elaborate on this? I'm curious where you, and the rest of the staff, actually stand on it.

In any case, I don't look down on anyone that feels uncomfortable in engaging with the mechanics so long as aren't arguing for the exclusion of such elements.

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#50 Posted by Sahalarious (774 posts) -

they're Nazis. wolfenstein em