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Dreaming of a New Day: Heavy Rain's David Cage
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Dreaming of a New Day: Heavy Rain's David Cage

July 25, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 6 of 7 Next

That's also true of the words "cinema" and "film", because you don't necessarily watch it at a cinema shot on film. But that's still accepted as a wide breadth of meaning, so I think it may potentially just be a question of the term just being assigned too narrow, and there's perhaps semantics in it, too.

Like with the downloadable stuff, there's also on the other side things like Cave Story or even Facade that are downloadable and playable on PC, and have the potential to actually go in that direction of involvement. I think that some of the companies out there making really casual MMO-type experiences or are building things for social networks... that kind of stuff has the potential to really get people to understand, "Okay, games are a thing that I can play." This is kind of a gateway to bigger experiences.

DC: Whatever helps to educate people about video games is fine, but I think also there are two sides to this thing. The first thing is that our industry needs to stop making games that have no interest - that are just pure violence in the excess, all the time, with too much violence and too much this and that, because it promotes the vision outside our industry that games are not serious. They're just a bunch of kids having fun together and making these programs.

But you know, in the industry, we believe that everyone plays and everyone thinks that video games are cool, but that's not true. Outside of our industry and outside players, people think that games are about violence, pornography, and this is the image we have in the media in general. There are reasons for that. For sure, it's very convenient for television networks to promote this image because we are their competitor. We take time away from them, so of course they have interest in promoting this. But we shouldn't lend ourselves to that.

I was very pleased, to give you a concrete example, of what happened with Mass Effect. I'm incredibly pleased with what happened, because of course television tried to use a part of the game and make it controversial and say, "Look, this is video games. They're pornography! Look what they show to your kids!" This was the message to the parents not playing - "Look what we give to your kids. When you buy video games, potentially, you give them porn and violence."

And I was pleased by the reaction of EA, and for once, I thought that the reaction was good. Because usually, you hear the problem, but you never hear the response, and in fact there is nothing. Think about Rule of Rose in Europe. I don't know if you heard about that.

I interviewed the developers about that.

DC: It was a big thing in France. French deputies and Italians and whatever... in every country in Europe, someone came out and said, "It's a scandal! Look at this game! We should ban games! Blah blah blah." We heard that. It was in headlines and all the news in France and probably all through Europe.

But in fact, when people and journalists really played the game, it was like, "I don't understand where the problem is. There's nothing here." So the deputies had to make excuses, but this was not the top of the headlines. It was very small, two lines at the end of the newspaper. This is what we got.

So what remains in the mind of people who don't understand video games is always the bad thing. So we should really fight and promote a vision of video games that are not for teenagers, and we should stop the Hot Coffee thing. All of this is ridiculous.

In that particular case with Mass Effect, there was a combination of EA's response and also the Internet, because that initial broadcast that was talking about it, they had this woman who had written this book -- she was some kind of psychologist, maybe. She was speaking against the game, and someone asked if she had played it, and she said, "Well, of course not."

Then people started voting her books on Amazon as one-star, and writing these scathing comments, and she realized this was actually a huge problem. As a result of that, she had someone play up to that point, and she actually came back to speak on TV again about it and said, "I've seen more scandalous things on television," because she was worried about her career at this point, so she actively had to come back and say, "No, actually, that was wrong, and I apologize."

DC: It was so ridiculous. And it's true. I don't fully understand why, but the constant things we have from rating and censorship are absolutely insane. I mean, in a game, you can't show tits. You can't show anything. It's okay to cut the head of someone and have a bucket of blood, but if you show tits, that's a scandal, and your game can be banned in the U.S.

It's because nobody has those.

DC: No! And you can be shocked if work sometimes on games that are 18+, and you see what you can't show and say in a game that is 18+. It's like... oh my god. You turn on your television at any time of the day and you see these things.

Especially in France.

DC: Well, in France, and even in the U.S. It's just more hypocritical, I think, in the U.S., but I've seen some shows about the porn industry that pretended to be information about the porn industry and how they work and "We're going to tell you about the porn industry."

Basically, it was a way to show naked women. There was no information in this thing. It was not a documentary. It's just a sexy show. And you see that, and it's honestly ridiculous. I don't see why, for any reason, that video games should be treated differently than any other medium, like cinema or television.

Article Start Previous Page 6 of 7 Next

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