Chalk Talk - Rated M for Murder

This weeks Chalk Talk we're talking about blood, violence, and even rape as we discuss the impact violent video games has on the gaming community.

For this week's Chalk Talk assignment we discussed violence in video games. As we are all aware, video games are no stranger to graphic depictions of blood, gore, and other forms of violence. For years violent games have been targeted by political figures, censorship laws, and various groups (such as BCTF and MAVAV) in an attempt to purge gaming from these blood soaked pixels. Here's what GameSpotters had to say….


UniversalSigh: The ongoing debate surrounding the affect of violence on young people still echoes to this day. Before video games were brought into the equation it was television that suffered the blame, now it's video games that are falling under the scrutiny. …. read more.


Starshine_M2A2:There are some films and games whose message is nothing more complicated than to generate an emotional response. French cinema has been doing this for a long time with its extreme horror genre which includes seemingly pointless violence in films like Martyrs but when looked at closer, reveals a startlingly powerful message - in Martyrs' case it was the theory that violence can be a window into the afterlife.…. read more.


Gelugon_baat: Everything that happens in a video game, even if it is "inspired" by real-world occurrences, is ultimately not real. It is little more than a digital manifestation of the imagination of game designers, either completely fictitious, or described to them by their consultants. …. read more.


danny_dm_moore: Game creators need to take risks with the violence in games, there is room for it. The medium is growing so fast and so many people are wanting more mature stories within the titles being created that by necessity the violence must also mature.…. read more.


g1rldraco7: It's bad enough people think gamers are weird for wanting to be inside rather than outside and the fact that no one wants to be judged by what they play. I really hate it when they ask me these things and they're like 'really you must a disturbed person since you're buying this violent game …. read more.

The Peanut Gallery

In addtion to the fantastic blogs on GameSpot we also took a quick Community Poll via Facebook and Twitter to find out what others had to say on the subject.

A very special thanks to everyone who contributed to this week's Chalk Talk! To read all of the entrants, you can check out this link here.

Extra Credit

Sometimes a good blog is simply a good blog, and these GameSpot members deserve recognition for their efforts and contributions:
- Us and Them By: Pierst179
- Borderlands 2: Better Than The First Game? By: CamoBullo
- Not so fast, Sonic! By: Ryagan

Next Week's Assignment - Big in Japan

"The 21st century is a complex and unforeseeable epoch. Our thinking habits and our values, which until now looked settled, are being challenged." - Hayao Miyazaki
It is difficult to argue that Japanese game development has had a large impact on gaming culture as a whole. This weeks Chalk Talk in honor of the Tokyo Game Show we will be focusing on the contributions of these developers. How have their works helped to mold the games we play. Perhaps you will want to write on how Japanese console game development has been slipping over the years? However you choose to touch on this topic be sure to mark your blog as editorial and to sound off in the roll call thread here with your awesome Chalk Talk entry! Roll-Call.


Last week on Chalk Talk - Video Game Music: In Perfect Harmony

← Check here for more editions of Chalk Talk.

Written By

Community Producer for GameSpot. Fan of all things gaming, 2nd generation gamer, social butterfly, a lover of bacon, Mag

Discussion

0 comments
Mentao
Mentao

Nice articles and nice pics, too.

Shinobi-Neo
Shinobi-Neo

the problem is that not all people are sane. and games get sold to everyone. so even those who might be dangerous get to buy cruel games and start to do similiar stuff in real life. just like that incident when a guy thought he was squall and killed his little sister and parents with a gunblade. that´s something we cannot know, because we have no clue who might run amok or not.

what I don´t like is when women represented like little girls half naked get killed and shot with the excuse that they´re soldiers or cyborgs, that´s the sadistic fantasy of game makers. they should keep women, girls and children out of their dirty ideas.

Falru
Falru

In the Middle Ages, people didn't have video games.

 

That must be why they were so peaceable.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

In 25 years of gaming I have killed millions of enemies, wiped out civilisations, even sent a star supernova to wipe out a galaxy, yet the games that wind me up the most?  Racing games - trying to shave that 0.001 second off a rival laptime in Forza 4 :P

Ferrets_one
Ferrets_one

Hmmmmm, didnt think of all those thing they said, so I get the points now!!

Hey_Jay
Hey_Jay

It's simple. If anything, playing violent video games relieves stress. You watch a racing movie, you want to get in a car and race. You watch a war movie, you want to pick up a gun and run through the trenches. You PLAY a video game, you know what you are? Satisfied.

 

Violent video games are technology's nicotine patch for human nature.

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

video games are a form of expression, unloading and creativity. violence is all around us, heck i see it every day but it always been there..it did not rise or influenced the younger crowed through videogames, movies that showed people being shot while the hero claiming the girl and leaving in the most absurd fashion has always been there. violence displayed in a virtual world works only in that world... M-rated games usually give the player the ability to unleash all anger upon the pixels that feel no pain nor are real, to some video games are a relaxing tool that prevent said person to "snap" during any of his day today routines. blaming a form of entertainment is the easiest way for the media to publish an "interesting story", video games are here to stay regardless of that, there is almost no way to restrict young gamers from getting their hands on M-rated games but there should be preciousness taken. 

tgwolf
tgwolf

As much as I agree, and that heartily, that M-games are bad, and in a way that is really categorical, it's for that reason that I feel that this subject which was touched on here, is far more distressing than what we can cover in a simple creativity workshop. M-rated games ARE bad by nature, and if you or we can't see or understand it now, it will become painfully apparent when we at last reach a point of societal epiphany regarding our actions and just exactly why the bad things we do, as embodied among other things, in this 'calibre' of game, are SO BAD. I don't understand everything, and there are some things I have yet to understand about what makes this rating category of game so bad, but I DO know what is right and wrong, and the content that finds it's sleezy way into M-games always offends me, and, let's be honest with ourselves for a moment: why play a game if YOU CAN'T ENJOY IT??

endorbr
endorbr

I've always said it's the industries job to inform the consumer and the consumers job to do the research to know what they're buying. Despite what people want to think or claim or even show research studies to support, media does not influence people to act aggressively. People are inherently agressive by nature. Ultimately we are still animals no matter how much societal trappings we want to drape about ourselves. It is the intellect that man possesses that can overcome our animal tendencies and there is really never a good excuse (outside self defense) for actual violence. Being exposed to violent media does not MAKE one violent or desensitized. People know the difference between reality and fiction. Commiting acts of violence in real life is quite different than playing it out in a video game. Media can only hold the blame for giving those likely to already commit violent behavior ideas, but then the person is still ultimately responsible for their actions regardless of where they got the idea.

lim_ak
lim_ak

I would've written something if I thought I wouldn't devolve into a discussion on the stereotypical view of how the US views violence as okay but sex not so much. But really cool stuff from the folk that wrote for the feature!

 

LegendofNerd
LegendofNerd moderator

Great stuff all around. Might try to get in on this one of these days.

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

Always great to see new faces on Chalk Talk! It's a tired subject, yet I never get tired of reading about it.

 

And closing with a Miyazaki quote just as I'm watching The Secret World of Arrietty; it's Kismit.

commando1992
commando1992

Video game ratings and government censorship are no excuse for parenting (if the gamer is under 18). 

 

If the gamer is over 18, it's no excuse for psychological and family support if they still think that it's okay to do horrible things because they saw it in a video game. 

 

And besides, people have been doing crazy and violent things since...forever.  

Allicrombie
Allicrombie moderator moderator

Good stuff here!  Great Reading!  I'm hoping to get in on one of these soon.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

Another great Chalk Talk guys, keep it up! 

 

Anyways, to me I see video games like any form of expression, if the person playing it has some personal problems and/or a disturbed mind they might find refugee in games but could be any other form of entertainment, take that psychopath that killed John Lennon, he was so obsessed with the book ''Catcher in the rye'' that he thought killing him was the right thing to do, but this is the work of a twisted mind that's easily influenced by the silliest of things like that Batman: Dark Knight Rises incident in Colorado this year. And  a case happened in my Country also this year where a ex-school student started to get obsessed with some sort of religion and decided to go to his former school to kill people with a gun and them commit suicide, what's the logic in here? None, he was weak-minded and was simply influenced by that religion, it was his scape-goat so to speak, like he's saying: ''Hey not my fault,blame that religion!''

 

In the end we see that there are people easily influenced by books, movies, religion and much more. Games are just one more form of expression/entertainment/art like any other.

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

In The Witcher 2 I witnessed a character break one of the villains' arms.  Then he cut his balls off, shoved into down the guy's throat and slit his throat.

 

Under normal circumstances that's a horrendous act.  But in The Witcher 2 it's a moment of vengeful justice for a character who deserved that painful death.  It's something that can only be understood and appreciated as you play the game.  Much like a decapitation is a horrible thing in any normal circumstances.  Yet I still remember the entire audience clapping and cheering when Aragorn cut off the Uruk-hai's head.  Because it was a moment that was well deserved.

 

I suppose my point is that if violence is necessary to further the story than let it be there.  Don't criticize any more harshly than you would other elements.  In the case of The Witcher 2, that graphic sequence made me clap my hands and pump my fists into the air.

zyxe
zyxe moderator

darnit, i REALLY wanted to get in on this one but i just didn't have time this work week, especially since you have to get them in before friday :( it usually takes me a few days to think about exactly what i want to say before writing. good job to everyone who participated. i haven't had a chance to read the submissions thoroughly, but i am disappointed that it seems to be completely sided towards the "violence in video games has no impact on your real life". i am hoping that i read some variance of opinion within these submissions, we'll see this weekend.

GeminiEntity
GeminiEntity

Danny and Draco get thumbs up from me. Good reading all around though. Cheers!

Pierst179
Pierst179 moderator

I haven't had time to read all the entries yet, but the first two are fantastic!

I am under the impression the quality of the blogs is getting better every week, which tells me more people are starting to try their hand at writing for Chalk Talk, which is great!

 

I loved the addition of the FB and Twitter comments! I am not sure if it is the first time they show up, but it is the first time I see them!

 

And thanks for the mention! =D

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Whoop Whoop my blog made it on here!!! I will fight to keep violent video games from being banned or censored due to people who think it's real!

Willy105
Willy105

Videogame violence is generally violent, but for some reason people think videogame violence is worse than movie and TV violence, when they are both just as deplorable.

SuperMassive20
SuperMassive20

great stuff! I really don't like this whole violence and games argument and I tend to just get flustered and and irritated by stupid arguments that it causes. I'm looking forward to writing a piece for next weeks CT, awesome stuff again people!

Super-Poke-Bros
Super-Poke-Bros

 @lim_ak I find it somewhat odd that you're saying sex in video games is taken too seriously/negatively as opposed to violence, which is taken lightly (?). Sexual content in video games and violence in games are too separate topics anyway, and while I dislike the heavy use of either in any form of media...I have a lot to say about their prevalence in pop culture, but sticking to the topic...I don't believe people should ever criticize such M-rated games for negatively affecting people's behaviors. Again, I blame the irresponsible, unaware, or neglectful parents.

DigitalDame
DigitalDame moderator moderatorstaff

 @zyxe You could always still write on the topic to be featured in the Extra Credit round in the following week ;) 

UniversalSigh
UniversalSigh

 @Willy105 I think it's because you take an active role in the aggression when playing a game whereas in TV or any other media vessel, the violence you are subjected to is merely passive.

lim_ak
lim_ak

 @Super-Poke-Bros Absolutely it comes down to parents actually being responsible parents but how things are rated also matters. A lot of it is cultural where in Europe a game will be rated more harshly for it's depictions of violence and I feel that the ESRB rates sex more harshly than they should. In fairness games haven't explored sex, sexuality and relationships in a broad way whereas we have quite a history of different degrees of blood, gore and decapitation so the line for violence is quite a bit more clear.

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

 @Gelugon_baat 

In The Witcher 2 I witnessed a character break one of the villains' arms.  Then he cut his balls off, shoved them down the guy's throat and slit his throat.

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

 @Gelugon_baat 

Why would you need to see the cut testicles?  It would only take away from the scene.  There's nothing worse than being spoonfed information that you can infer on your own.  The brutality of the action is what catches the player by surprise, not the presence of bloody dangly bits.