GO3: Make less-violent games: PaRappa creator

PaRappa the Rapper creator says game industry needs to move away from violent games; urges developers to work more closely with musicians.

Rhythm-based games are now more popular than ever, thanks to franchises like Guitar Hero and the recently announced Rock Band from Harmonix. But they can all be traced back to a game released on the PlayStation more than 10 years ago--PaRappa the Rapper, widely considered to be the first modern rhythm game. PaRappa creator Masaya Matsuura from NanaOn-sha says he is excited that games like Guitar Hero are finally making it big in the West but says too many violent games are still being made.

Matsuura, one of the keynote speakers at last weekend's GO3 Conference held in Perth, Australia, says the future of the game industry is dependent on developers creating more accessible games, like the Guitar Hero series. The Japanese developer says violent games will not attract new entrants to gaming and praised companies like Nintendo for targeting nontraditional gamers.

"Making good games that everybody can play is a very high priority for the game industry, because if we make games like X-rated videos, the industry won't grow," Matsuura said in an interview with GameSpot AU. "Nintendo is very smart to appeal to a much wider group of people because it is what's required now."

Matsuura said that while rhythm games are all the rage in Western nations like the US and Australia, the genre was becoming stale in his homeland of Japan. Matsuura said a lack of new rhythm game concepts and the widespread use of flat display screens in Japan were the root causes behind the decline.

"It's very difficult to make brand-new systems for music-based games that involve more than just pressing buttons according to rhythm. Of course, we've tried several already, but unfortunately some of them are not successful," he said. "Another reason--it's a tiny reason but an important one--in Japan, everyone is buying flat displays. Flat displays have a delay, but sound doesn't delay. I have had the chance to speak with several LCD companies like Sharp, and they say that very expensive displays are quick. but if you buy a cheaper one the display is a little delayed when it comes to audio."

Matsuura said the onus was on both musicians and developers to work more closely with each other to produce the next generation of rhythm games.

"Contemporary musicians have to think about various alternatives to audio. Many smart musicians unfortunately are not aware--yet--of these kinds of possibilities to collaborate with game creators or the game industry. On the other hand, musicians are also very conservative--they want to do things themselves. So the game industry should approach them--it might be easier," he said.

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Discussion

124 comments
Raiko101
Raiko101

I dont think the message here is "Eradicate violent video games". I think it's about expanding the video games market. For the last 10 years people have been playing the same violent games over and over, with various graphical updates and online features. If Nintendo are able to release games for other markets and make such profits, than perhaps the rest of the gaming industry can stop churning out the same stuff and focus on originality for a change.

Cypher_VR
Cypher_VR

how bout' making another game that dosen't suck....*Stares at Parappa the Rapper 2* i like violent games as much as the next person ready to decapitate something, but after killing i'd want to relax and play something like parappa/umjammer lammy or play my midway arcade treasures 1, 2 or some old school games

SquareRocks
SquareRocks

I hate rhythm games with a burning passion...I didn't shell out 600$ for a frickin ps3 so I could play some stupid puzzle type game. I agree that violence doesnt define a game as good, but there'es no point in trying to eradicate it. Most people don't run outside after playing GTA with a chainsaw and go nuts on pedestrians...I don' t like games that just have a bunch of gore for the sake of it...but if theres a good reason then so be it...A lot of violent games are suppose to be where we can do stuff we can't always do in real life anyway...That distinction is huge and often forgotten by idiots like this guy. I don't really care what he has to say because he's just trying to take away from that market and put it in stupid puzzle games. And anyway it's the individual's choice what game he plays...not some stupid whiny adult's. Instead of complaining about violence, complain about crappy games(too many fps not enough rpgs imo :()...

Hedfix
Hedfix

How about games where you can be violent but don't always have to be like Deus Ex and WoW where you can be a gold farmer if you want or go and lop some heads off!? :D

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

I dunno...The industry seems to be growing quite nicely with violence in games. Does it make a rather telling statement on us, the gaming consumers, that the top selling games of the last few generations have more often then not been fairly violent? Maybe, maybe not...Whatever the case, Matsuura's call for less violent games from more developers will more then likely fall upon deaf ears when the biggest expected cash cows in the videogaming business this year (Halo 3 & GTA 4) will be quite violent, indeed. -=x

GrimBee
GrimBee

HUH?? I remember clearly from parappa the rapper "punch, kick, chop!". lol

KillerWhale1992
KillerWhale1992

Almsot everygame has violence, even E games like Ty the Tasmanian Tiger and Super Mario, the players always kill someone. I'm not really a fan of music games, i'm more of a "violence" gamer. But i don't see muh violence in video games, violence is like blood and heads cut off, people stabbed and stuff, but most agmes usually have bad words or a bit of blood,

Tencteri
Tencteri

Even if 90% of video games are violent, you all have to realize that only 4% of people that buy and play violent video games are under the age of 17. The politicians and activists are complaining about something that shouldn't even be an issue. They should care about kids being persecuted in countries like Sudan and North Korea instead of complaning about violent video games which not many kids play.

GhostyMcboo
GhostyMcboo

..or just keep making games in general and let the good ones shine through -- God of War or Parappa.

Tenjikuronin
Tenjikuronin

Its good to hear someone other than Nintendo finally saying this.

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

Violence is found in about 90% of games. wether its actually blowing someones face off, or cartoon like violence. It will awlays be there. and it will never go away.

fanboy_killa
fanboy_killa

what is it about human nature that feels violence is ok? why do we enjoy violent games? yeah it sells, but sometimes i wonder what does it say about us as ppl? God of War and RE4 for example are fun as hell!! for me it's because of the gameplay...the violence adds to it i admit, but ask yourselves, would you play these 2 games if the violence weren't there? i agree with SYNAPTICFLOW....violence alone doesnt make a game. i got tired of the MK series because the gameplay for me got stale. something fascinates us about violence to another person or thing. and each of us has our reasons why we are fascinated with violence if we're honest with ourselves. but as i get older, violent games dont appeal to me like it did when i was younger....but i dig GEARS OF WAR.....go figure. im not into censorship, and im not here to judge what ppl play, but i do wonder what it is about our society that enjoys violence. as far as musical games....ummm my wife can have those.

-Ronin-_basic
-Ronin-_basic

DrKill09 "I'd rather play a "violent" game than PaCrappa the Crapper" -------- Is anyone else as astounded as I was by how clever this play on words is?

synapticflow
synapticflow

I agree. Violence alone doesn't make a good game. Thank goodness we have Nintendo; although the Metroid series are my favorite games. hmm...

GrgSpunk
GrgSpunk

Not enough rhythm games? I'd say there's too much violence and NOT ENOUGH sex in video games!

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

Most people hear what they want to hear. Matsuura says that violent games won't expand the industry, and they won't. All the blood-lusting angst ridden teenagers on this website would love nothing more than to have the violent-est disembowelingest games in the world spinning in their consoles, but to appeal to those who like games (remember games?) it's smart to branch off into something else.

fritigoerd
fritigoerd

Nintendo will flop , casual gamers are not comited to videogaming , it doesnt matter if the games are violent or not. I m tired of this clowns in trying to change all the videogame industry for their $ake. Just stick to your games and leave the rest of us alone.

joejoe160
joejoe160

Noobs - violence and another 3 letter word I can't type here sell not only games, but movies, cars, clothes, jewelry, food, and so on. It is pretty pathetic for the creator of a game to try and move the industry away from what sells things in almost every flavor of life. I think he or she mainly said this as a means to prompting their type of game and so on. I can say honestly that dance games are not for me and the majority of the gaming community.

DisPimpin
DisPimpin

Violent games are the best. Why should they make less of the best games?

GonzoGuy
GonzoGuy

As an aside, of all the unconventional games (especially sim games), we definintely do not need another tycoon. I think they already have it all covered.

Bloodcore77
Bloodcore77

Okay, might as well say,"People, we need to kill the gaming world so lets' stop making good games."

DrKill09
DrKill09

I'd rather play a "violent" game than PaCrappa the Crapper

GonzoGuy
GonzoGuy

He's right, I enjoy playing a really immersive music game just as much as a really immersive bloody game but things have been slowly balancing out over the past couple of years thanks mostly to the handheld market and now it looks like the Wii will be showcasing allot of unconventionl games. These comments were really needed a few years ago but there's still room for more music games and more specific sim games like Trauma Center and Cooking Mama. Why can't they completely remake Beertapper for the 21st century. I want to see sim games based on journalism, Insurance investigation, hairdressing, dentistry (one that really gets into the sadism), mechanics, and hey how about a simgame based on game development where you can make your own mini-games. Why hasn't that been done yet? It's funny when you first think about it but I'm totally serious. And as much as I like disembowling creatures in God of War it does seem as if they have saturated the market with violent games. Should they stop making them? Of course not! But they can be a bit more selective on what is produced. We still see way too many FPS games. Just talking about WWII shooters can take forever. One thing he's dead wrong on: I don't think (at least here in the states) we have nearly enough games that are like "X-rated videos." In fact all the ones know of are imported from Japan and honestly, my wife likes them more than I do. The US market for such games (and by then of course they would HAVE to regulate who's being sold what more effectively because you KNOW more puritanical parents would be way more upset about their child seeing two people making love than two people trying to kill each other) is a gold vein just waiting to be mined.

MrSickVisionz
MrSickVisionz

Ehh, I disagree. I think there should be less M rated games, but I wouldn't say no violence. Alot of T games are really good and aren't over the top with blood and guts. Games like the first Prince of Persia on X-Box were mildly violent, but still a breath of fresh air for platform games. "1. You could maybe suggest programming a customizable audio delay into the game options" I was gonna say that. How much time would it really take to make a system update for PS3, 360 lets you set an audio delay?

jarrodt
jarrodt

I think we should shred guitar to the death....no but seriously a good balance of both would be good.

zsc4
zsc4

It would be nice to add less violent games to the games collection, I have to he honest with that.

zeigzero
zeigzero

So it's a bit of a limited view, but with the proper sentiment. I don't care for rhythm games personally - people should be learning to play REAL instruments, not pretending - but they're much better for the development of our perception of interactive entertainment. But, I guess I'm not really one to talk... I'm playing Gears of War right now:)

ChitoKiryoku
ChitoKiryoku

I don't agree that there need to be more music based games, but it's definitely true there need to be less violent games. Not necessarily because it has bad effects on players (that discussion's been done by now) but because there's really A LOT of people on this planet who prefer games which aren't violent, and if you sell mostly violent games the industry will suffer for it. For example: Motor Storm, an awesome game for the PS3. I think it's awesome, but the rest of the house... not so much. The cars flipping upside down and the motor drivers being violently flung from their vehicles disgusts them. But when I play less violent racing games, like Need For Speed (or even Mariokart) they really want to play it too.

Rhaxdric
Rhaxdric

Uhh, no. I'd stop playing games if the majority of them where music based games. I for one hate Guitar Hero for I think that playing a real guitar makes more sense than playing that game.

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

This is a pointless article. The developer says more companies should work with musicians, yet most musicians sing about violence. Specifically rappers!

Paxil_Boy
Paxil_Boy

Games don't have to be violent to be fun. Of course, that's not to say that violent games aren't fun. If i'm not in the mood to blow something up I'll play Viva Pinata, a Tycoon game, or something like Sim City. What the industry needs more then anything is originality and imagination.

LordLeckie
LordLeckie

As a gamer who dosnet touch "kid friendly" games with a ten foot stick i like the industry just the way it is, with kids you dont exactly have to perpetually churn out games because the kids dont have the ability to buy them only the parents do. As such flooding the market with even more of these games seems strange as kid gamers dont demand their parents buy them libraries that could fill a warehouse. Lets just keep our attention to more mature games as older gamers demand more attention and innovation than kid games which only demand fun and engaging experiences.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Kravyn81 Matsuura knows exactly what he is talking about. I am all for people posting opinions on here but posting made up facts like you have is just ridiculous.

wenbin09
wenbin09

i believe games should have a wide range to cater to different needs

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

His analogy is flawed. If anything the "X-video" market has INCREASED exponentially, and continues to grow each year.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

LEGIONS - Nice to see you're being objective... Nevermind that most games that sell well aren't M-rated...

_LEGIONS_
_LEGIONS_

with this generation of filthy kids today: non-violent games=non-profitable revenues

SpareJesus
SpareJesus

I want a new Parappa Game..or Um Jammer Lammy..

cjg0621
cjg0621

with all due respect, after all, this guy pretty much pioneered rhythm games, i think that there is a great balance of games. the amount of casual family friendly and high quality games is almost the same as high qualty and more mature games. on a side note, i think that the wii is really helping to broaden the amount of casual family friendly games.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

ffmusicdj - This doesn't seem to be affecting Guitar Hero much, though...

ralphikari
ralphikari

PaRappa is not my cup of tea though I had a lot of fun playing Umjammer Lammy. Music games are a genre. Don't make the video game industry another music industry or vice versa. Thank you.

vaejas
vaejas

Okay... 1. You could maybe suggest programming a customizable audio delay into the game options. Dork. 2. 50 years ago, "the man" used to say rock 'n roll caused violence and indecency. Kinda like video games do now.

Gigatron
Gigatron

I love violent games, but I love PaRappa more. So... conflicted....

Merl57
Merl57

wow no bias here.......(sarcasm)

OtterX
OtterX

Some of us don't give a crap about music games. I'm glad my friends enjoy Guitar Hero, but it's not my thing.