THE ADVENT CALENDER – 15TH DECEMBER

Advent 15 – FEAR in the Games Industry?

Topical one here, also wanted to show we aren’t just a lengthy collection of trolls and dick jokes.

Gaming is taking some real flak as of late due to the terrible and horrific events taking place sadly on a more and more regular basis throughout the world. The Oslo shootings, the high school shootings in Connecticut and sadly so many more are all leaving us shocked and asking “why did this happen?”

It’s part of the human condition to ask why terrible things happen as it’s all part of the coping process, looking to assign meaning as to events taking place so we don’t feel everything is so random and out of our control. The shootings where ever they appear, generally end with a lot of people finger pointing out of pure anger and frustration and gaming is taking much of the flak.
The gaming industry is one of multiple software houses that are entitled to produce pretty much what they like, if they feel that creating a game where the player puts blocks down in clever ways, if it will see, then go do it! This extends into the ‘dark’ side of gaming also so games like Manhunt showed a pretty poor taste interface where the wii controller would double as the axe or bat the convict player was holding. Is this wrong? well only society can decide that.

Gaming takes on the image of being a faceless, unrepresented mass when it comes to its attention in the media, seen very much as an art form and quite untouchable by the authorities unless they cross lines of decency and taste, the gaming industry is pretty much free to do as it wishes. Some games companies even market on this line of moral decency such as Call of Duty 4 where you shoot up the entire airport in the guise of a terrorist, morally bankrupt but wrong? no.

Too often the people who are banging the drum for some sort of ‘cull’ on gaming’s free artistic license are the same people who profit from shouting the loudest. Glenn Beck from NBC acts like some sort of ‘Cassandra’ by telling of the age when humanity will fall because they allowed a nipple to be seen in a game. Too often the commentators are not giving their actual opinion but that of the path of highest revenue and this makes all their words as suspect as a turd in my drink.

Terrible things happen in this world and trying to allocate blame can often be counterproductive, gaming does itself no favours by releasing games that celebrate the gore but one must also accept that human beings will want what human beings want, trying to change or restrict that will always end in failure.