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Video Games Under Fire
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Video Games Under Fire

June 7, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 5 Next

 I feel like, at least on the marketing side, there's some kind of responsibility there when you're saying "this is a real gun that you can actually shoot, and then we're going to put you into this world where you will realistically shoot people in it." That gives me, even as a person that wants to defend the industry, some pause. This specifically could be a bit of a negative thing here.

RP: I don't know. I think that's a risk that is part of that decision. I mean, I'm not sure what specific case you're talking about. We can create a hypothetical case and figure out where the line is.

If someone were to say, "Hey, here's a needle. It's a syringe, and it's got poison in it. If you injected this into another person, it would kill them. I want you to read a book over and over about someone who does that, or watch a movie where that's done and it's made to look awesome and cool, or a video game where you actually press the button or whatever."

You move into a position, press the button, and then it does... You use all the media to enforce that. That's a hypothetical. There's a certain case where it's like, "Wow, the creator is really interested in trying to..." Imagine the creator who is interested in using real-world product in every medium, everything he has in order to encourage another human being to commit violence. That's a problem, I think.

But what we actually have is something very different. I don't know of any game makers that believe that the world would be better off with more violence. In fact, I think most game makers, especially people that are making games that have violence in them, see the opposite, that when we simulate things than no one has to get hurt.

It's kind of an interesting way to explore a premise without having to deal with the real-world ramifications, the real-world consequences. In fact, simulating things are what our brains are equipped to do.

Medal of Honor

I agree with that. It's just that when we've got M16s in tons of games. And we try to make them realistic. It strikes me that there's a fine line between aspiring toward realism and showing people how easy it would be. That kind of thing. I keep feeling like I'm actually arguing against what I actually think, here. I don't think that games cause people to commit violence. The gun fetishism just makes me feel a little gross when it's put in this context.

RP: I don't think people do or do not commit violence based on how easy it is. We're terribly fragile. Any one of us could kill another one of us very easily in a lot of different ways if you're really motivated. If you're really motivated, you don't even need a knife.

Yeah, of course.

RP: We can really kill one another if we're really motivated. It's not how easy it is that is why some people break.

No, it's certainly not why they break. But when I went to a gun range for the first time, I was shocked... I knew conceptually what firing a gun would be like. Then when I actually did... My first shot, I didn't know how to anticipate when it would fire, and it happened before I expected it to. And I hit the target with it, and that thing would be dead if it had been alive before, and I had barely made the decision to squeeze the trigger.

RP: I tell you, when I take myself back, there's a weird thrill that comes with the feeling and the power, but there's also the acknowledgment of that power. Jeez, with one motion, I could just end someone. 

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