Religious gamer receives refund for forced Baptism in Bioshock Infinite

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#51 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -
[QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"]

i'd say that even if he came in expecting to shoot just the people that are shooting his character (that's how i played. you don't have to shoot innocent bystanders), it's an inherent part of the genre to make the act of shooting fun. maybe there are a handful of comparable games out there that intentionally make the shooting not fun, but the number would be so small that you could hardly expect that sort of treatment of violence when picking up a shooter. it's a significant draw for the game. yeah, people play the bioshock games for the story too, but the presence of shooting has always been prominent (i haven't played bioshock 2, but you'll forgive my leap of faith in assuming that there is a lot of shooting and it's not meant to be unenjoyable).

even if he was playing games with the treatment of violence, he could have also done so with the baptism. the player character (it's a character with a voice and backstory. he is not meant to be just a shell for the player. these components are made clear even before the baptism) doesn't see the priest and shout "hallelujah!" or anything. he grumbles to himself and begrudgingly lets the priest do his work for sake of getting into the city.

it just really seems like a situation where someone came into the experience looking to be "offended."

Possibly, but surely you see how arbitrary this is. Someone previously brought up games that make you kill kids. Would some people have a problem with that, and have no problem with that same game making them kill adults? Of course lots of people would have a problem with it. You can argue that they're hypocrites, you can argue that since they have a problem with kids getting killed that they should have a problem with ALL of the killing. But that's sort of beside the point. It's pretty ridiculous and pointless to argue over what people should and should not get offended by, they either get offended or they don't. I know there's stuff that I would be offended by, I wouldn't play a game that I thought was promoting a racist agenda (aliens and mutants don't count). As long as there's stuff that would offend me, I don't have any business looking down on someone else for getting offended over other stuff.
#52 Posted by Legolas_Katarn (15592 posts) -

Okay. News to me though. I personally assumed that it'd be more like Bioshock and Bioshock 2, where you're just killing people who are trying to gun you down. It's not exactly all that implausible for someone who buys the game to not know that.

Pretty much everyone was crazy and violent in the first two Bioshocks. The city isn't in the same condition in Infinite, there are a few areas where you aren't in a fight and are just walking around in an area with civilians, which were probably the best parts of the game where you are just learning about the city and taking in the environment. In some of those areas you still have a gun and power use and can kill people, there's no reason to unless you just want to do it or to summon more enemies.
[QUOTE="Legolas_Katarn"]

What does "intense violence" even mean? Is the player running around slaughtering innocent people, or is he defending himself from bad guys?usernamenoway

You can go around killing innocent people. ....The damn kids are still invincible though.

I hope that was a joke......you aren't you saying that you wish you could kill kids in the game are you....b/c i would probably take a game back if you could do that....

Not really, if they are there and in the area of a fight taking place then yes I would prefer them to be able to be killed. There are dozens of games where kids die or can die, some that are usually counted among the best games ever made. I usually play everything as a good character and don't kill innocent people (although there have been games where kids attack you, try to kill you, or steal from you) but because you almost never see children in games or they are in games but are invincible and have weird AI because of it I do always try to kill them the first time just to see if I can.
#53 Posted by HipHopBeats (2863 posts) -

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

Why even have a Mature rating on games at all? Should the fake Baptism be removed to appease all religious gamers? No religious gamer had a problem with having to sell your soul in order to successfully complete the Theives Guild in Skyrim. God Of War, Dark Souls praise the sun, and so on. If dude is that sensitive with religious beliefs, he shouldn't be playing any violent video games or watching any violent movies period. It's nothing more than self entitlement.

MrGeezer

Who said it should be removed? They simply gave one guy a refund. Didn't even cost them anything to do it. This is about as much of an outrage as a restaurant refunding someone's meal because he just didn't like it.

On the contrary. Wanting a refund for a bad meal is one thing. What this guy did is equilvalent to a vegetarian complaining about a cheeseburger deluxe at a fast food restaurant. You have no problem purchasing a fps game with a guy holding a shotgun on the cover and committing digital murder, but a fake Baptisim suddenly makes you feel like a sinner? Hypocrisy at it's finest.

#54 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

On the contrary. Wanting a refund for a bad meal is one thing. What this guy did is equilvalent to a vegetarian complaining about a cheeseburger deluxe at a fast food restaurant. You have no problem purchasing a fps game with a guy holding a shotgun on the cover and committing digital murder, but a fake Baptisim suddenly makes you feel like a sinner? Hypocrisy at it's finest.

HipHopBeats
And surprise: just because you don't like a meal doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. You can try the veal, decide you don't like veal, even though it was an excellent piece of veal. Restaurants sometimes will refund you anyway. They certainly don't have to, but it absolutely happens. It's just basic customer relations. Again, there's absolutely no reason why being fine with "digital murder" means that someone should be fine with "digital blasphemy". Valve doesn't have to refund $***. But when it's only one guy who has a problem with it, it's easier to just give him a refund rather than start telling their customers what they should and should not be offended by. Just a tip: calling your customers hypocrites when they complain is generally not a good way to run a business.
#55 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -
[QUOTE="Legolas_Katarn"] Pretty much everyone was crazy and violent in the first two Bioshocks. The city isn't in the same condition in Infinite, there are a few areas where you aren't in a fight and are just walking around in an area with civilians, which were probably the best parts of the game where you are just learning about the city and taking in the environment. In some of those areas you still have a gun and power use and can kill people, there's no reason to unless you just want to do it or to summon more enemies.

Yeah, see, that's the thing. As far as I understand the situation, his problem wasn't that there's a baptism in the game. His problem was that the baptism part is REQUIRED. You might be able to kill innocent people in the game, but from the sound of things it isn't REQUIRED. Most games are like that. The required "killing" doesn't involve killing innocent people who are minding their own business. Most games I've played, the only enemies that are REQUIRED to be killed are the enemies that are personally attacking you. Whether the act is fun or not, the nature of the killing is still usually more along the lines of "self defense".
#56 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18196 posts) -
I wonder if I could receive compensation from the catholic church for being baptised against my will as a newborn. Hmmm. To the lawyers!
#57 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

[QUOTE="IndianaPwns39"]

I think it's a prime example of religious people picking and choosing, which goes on a lot these days. If you don't like the baptism, that's fine, but you're totally cool with mass amounts of murder? 

More power to Valve for respecting that guy's beliefs, though.

MrGeezer

Just playing devil's advocate here, but "murder" needs to be taken in context. Shooting enemies in one game might not be as offensive as the violence in something like Manhunt. It's entirely reasonable for someone to be okay with the violence in one game and not another. And while I haven't played Bioshock Infinite yet, I'm told that the Baptism sequence happens literally right at the beginning of the game. He might have had a problem with the violence in the game, but apparently he never got to that point since he never made it past the baptism. Accusing him of being a hypocrite is pretty speculative, about the most one can say is that he probably should have researched the game better before buying it.

If the baptism bothered him, the rest of the game would have as well most likely. Dewitt is far from a hero, and there are many, many moments were religion is questioned and considering you basically... well, I won't spoil anything.

However, the Bioshock series involves some pretty intense violence. Big Daddies left you alone, and only fought to protect the little girls, for example. I always felt some sort of remorse killing a Big Daddy. While entirely possible he never played the original Bioshock, I feel that the violence in many games is against religion, be it self defense or not. Speculative, sure, but still a head scratcher nonetheless. 

#58 Posted by JustPlainLucas (73564 posts) -
I... I... just... I CAN'T TAKE THE HYPOCRISY! *jumps out of the window*
#59 Posted by GodModeEnabled (15314 posts) -
This would be like a jewish person getting a refund for the movie ticket he purchased to schindlers list. Ridiculous.
#60 Posted by Ballroompirate (22262 posts) -

A religious, Christian gamer demanded and received a full refund from Valve for forced Baptism in Bioshock Infinite. He has no problem digitally murdering pixelized NPC's but a fake Baptism was apparently more than he could bear. When does the self entitlement stop and companies start standing their ground?

HipHopBeats

This is why religion is full of hypocrites (not saying the religion it's self is, saying the people who choose to nit and pick to suit their needs when it's comes down to whats right and wrong), reminds me of my old roommate who was the same way, I would catch him playing Halo 3 and I would ask him "why are you playing a game with killing and shooting, isn't that against being a Christian?" he would reply "They are Aliens so it's ok"

FML, people these days are so out of reach it's not even funny, in fact it's sad.

#61 Posted by NaveedLife (17175 posts) -

I am very confused.  He is a christian and believes in baptism, but he doesn't want to be baptised in the game?  Am I misunderstanding this?  Sounds like the game is supporting his beliefs rather than making him go against them.  

 

I am a christian, but the only time I have any issue with game (or other media) stories and such is if they blatantly trash God, christianity or so on.  I am open to interpretations and so on and realize it is only a game.  I have yet to play a game that I thought so atrocious I would stop playing.  

#62 Posted by NaveedLife (17175 posts) -

As a Christian, I found the violence to be much more offensive than all the religious symbolism. Still, fantastic game. If that's how he felt though, good on Valve to give his money back, no matter how ridiculous other people may see it. I find it baffling that so many Christian gamers have more problems with sex and language and something that challenges their beliefs than chopping off some dude's neck in Call of Duty. Sheesh.

DenaliStrat1020

Yeah its so messed up how sex and such is an issue with people but violence is ok.  Parents often have this thought process with their kids when it comes to all media.

#63 Posted by MirkoS77 (7005 posts) -

[QUOTE="Jacanuk"][QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

A religious, Christian gamer demanded and received a full refund from Valve for forced Baptism in Bioshock Infinite. He has no problem digitally murdering pixelized NPC's but a fake Baptism was apparently more than he could bear. When does the self entitlement stop and companies start standing their ground?

Ish_basic

What are you on about? are you really this shallow and limited that you cannot understand another persons view and be glad that his views are taken serious, despite how insane they may be from a company like Valve. I think it shows Valve as AAA company.

 

The problem is, it's not about religious views or respecting someone's belief. It's about hypocrisy and the notion that being offended entitles you to some sort of recompense. It doesn't. And Valve isn't being honorable or compassionate here - they're being smart. The sad state is that if Valve handled this in any other way than they did, they'd have an army of idiots knocking on their door tomorrow.

 

Well said.  I find it astonishing that some here believe that people should be given refunds for being offended or having something affront their beliefs.  Can I go into a movie theatre, watch a movie, be offended or bothered (as I have been quite a few times), then go cry to the box office that my fragile sensibilities have been shaken and have conflicted with my beliefs and I want my money back?  Or a book?  Or a song?

How can people even begin to defend this guy?  If he is offended, the ONLY right he has after he has bought something is to stop playing/experiencing it and walk away.  I've walked out of theatres in disgust before, but it never once crossed my mind that I was entitled to a refund.  When I buy something, I take a step into the unknown, and this IS known, or should be.  But no, just like many people believe is his right, he walks around thinking he is exempt because he can lean on his theistic beliefs and know that so many will feel oh so sympathetic to his plight.  This pisses the hell out of me.  Religion should not be used as an excuse to exempt anybody from the rules the rest of us have to abide by.

Valve should be ashamed and as much as I believe them to be an overall decent company, giving a refund to this douche is flat out wrong and sets a poor example, period.  It's just another pathetic display of how P.C. our society has become, not wanting to *gasp* offend anyone in this day and age.  When someone holds any belief, that belief is open to scrutiny, approval, disapproval, contempt, and all that comes along with it.  Even religion.  Most importantly, religion.  But it does not, and should not, give anyone special privileges above others.

#64 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -
[QUOTE="MrGeezer"][QUOTE="LoG-Sacrament"]

i'd say that even if he came in expecting to shoot just the people that are shooting his character (that's how i played. you don't have to shoot innocent bystanders), it's an inherent part of the genre to make the act of shooting fun. maybe there are a handful of comparable games out there that intentionally make the shooting not fun, but the number would be so small that you could hardly expect that sort of treatment of violence when picking up a shooter. it's a significant draw for the game. yeah, people play the bioshock games for the story too, but the presence of shooting has always been prominent (i haven't played bioshock 2, but you'll forgive my leap of faith in assuming that there is a lot of shooting and it's not meant to be unenjoyable).

even if he was playing games with the treatment of violence, he could have also done so with the baptism. the player character (it's a character with a voice and backstory. he is not meant to be just a shell for the player. these components are made clear even before the baptism) doesn't see the priest and shout "hallelujah!" or anything. he grumbles to himself and begrudgingly lets the priest do his work for sake of getting into the city.

it just really seems like a situation where someone came into the experience looking to be "offended."

Possibly, but surely you see how arbitrary this is. Someone previously brought up games that make you kill kids. Would some people have a problem with that, and have no problem with that same game making them kill adults? Of course lots of people would have a problem with it. You can argue that they're hypocrites, you can argue that since they have a problem with kids getting killed that they should have a problem with ALL of the killing. But that's sort of beside the point. It's pretty ridiculous and pointless to argue over what people should and should not get offended by, they either get offended or they don't. I know there's stuff that I would be offended by, I wouldn't play a game that I thought was promoting a racist agenda (aliens and mutants don't count). As long as there's stuff that would offend me, I don't have any business looking down on someone else for getting offended over other stuff.

i certainly wouldn't have been so dismissive if he had a good argument. i've heard some pretty good ones from other people about why they found the game off putting. i guess it also would have been more palpable for me if he said "i just don't like it." that certainly would have been arbitrary but he would have been more upfront about it.

however, this doesn't seem arbitrary because he gives a reason. he says the baptism scene clashes with his christian faith. now i could probably buy that if there weren't a lot of other things a person who is sensitive about their christianity that should have been apparent before he bought the game. maybe he did go into the purchase completely blind, not knowing anything about the genre or series and not even looking at the rating. it just seems very unlikely.

i have nothing against being offended by something and i'm not trying to come off as the manners police, but i like to think that i have a pretty good reason when i'm offended by something.

#65 Posted by HipHopBeats (2863 posts) -

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]Agreed. That concept of not wanting to offend anyone is waters down any form of entertainment.MrGeezer
See, here's the thing...the game hasn't changed AT ALL. ONE GUY got a refund, and that refund was issued by Valve. Not 2K and not Irrational Games. This is like Wal-Mart giving the guy a refund for a game. They didn't make it, they certainly didn't change it, so please explain to me how this is watering anything down. I'm not aware of the game being changed, I'm not aware of it getting pulled from shelves, I'm not aware of Irrational Games or 2K taking any stance on this or promising to make future games less offensive. What exactly is getting watered down here?

Well for one thing, Bioshock Infinite's original ending was changed because of a religious member on the dev team found it offensive and threatened to quit. He was offended by the original ending, but not offended enough to refuse his pay for the work he put in thus far. Maybe that ending was changed for the better but it still would have been cool if the original ending was still left in as an alternative good or bad ending. Instead, we have one ending regardless of how you played the game.

Franchises like Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, God Of War who had prior successful entries, needlessly adding tacked on multiplayer modes. Devs like Arkane Studios dumbing down the party invitation level in Dishonored because game testers (most likely casual gamers) were too impatient to actually figure out where to go.

My point is a line has to be drawn between compromise and self entitlement. Should every dev creating a game based on a solid single player campaign sacrifice quality in hopes of sattracting multiplayer gamers? Why couldn't that dev who felt offended and threatened to quit simply spoke to Ken Levine first instead of whining like a big baby writing a letter of resignation? Catering to people like this only encourages self entitlement rather than helping people understand not every single thing on this planet is going to cater towards any one individual's specific likes and dislikes.

#66 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

if a buddhist bought a shooter and then returned it because of a baptism scene, i'd laugh my ass off.LoG-Sacrament

Such a scene wouldn't offend the religious sensibilities of a Buddhist.

#67 Posted by Bigboi500 (29130 posts) -

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"][QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

Why even have a Mature rating on games at all? Should the fake Baptism be removed to appease all religious gamers? No religious gamer had a problem with having to sell your soul in order to successfully complete the Theives Guild in Skyrim. God Of War, Dark Souls praise the sun, and so on. If dude is that sensitive with religious beliefs, he shouldn't be playing any violent video games or watching any violent movies period. It's nothing more than self entitlement.

HipHopBeats

Who said it should be removed? They simply gave one guy a refund. Didn't even cost them anything to do it. This is about as much of an outrage as a restaurant refunding someone's meal because he just didn't like it.

On the contrary. Wanting a refund for a bad meal is one thing. What this guy did is equilvalent to a vegetarian complaining about a cheeseburger deluxe at a fast food restaurant. You have no problem purchasing a fps game with a guy holding a shotgun on the cover and committing digital murder, but a fake Baptisim suddenly makes you feel like a sinner? Hypocrisy at it's finest.

I think he probably thought he'd just be going around defending himself with a gun, not maliciously murdering innocent people... and I'm guessing that's what happens (not played the game myself yet), but it's safe to assume that in most games with presummed violence, you'd fight for your life but not flat out murder in cold blood. That's a totally acceptable expectation.

#68 Posted by HipHopBeats (2863 posts) -

[QUOTE="Ish_basic"]

[QUOTE="Jacanuk"] What are you on about? are you really this shallow and limited that you cannot understand another persons view and be glad that his views are taken serious, despite how insane they may be from a company like Valve. I think it shows Valve as AAA company.MirkoS77

 

The problem is, it's not about religious views or respecting someone's belief. It's about hypocrisy and the notion that being offended entitles you to some sort of recompense. It doesn't. And Valve isn't being honorable or compassionate here - they're being smart. The sad state is that if Valve handled this in any other way than they did, they'd have an army of idiots knocking on their door tomorrow.

 

Well said.  I find it astonishing that some here believe that people should be given refunds for being offended or having something affront their beliefs.  Can I go into a movie theatre, watch a movie, be offended or bothered (as I have been quite a few times), then go cry to the box office that my fragile sensibilities have been shaken and have conflicted with my beliefs and I want my money back?  Or a book?  Or a song?

How can people even begin to defend this guy?  If he is offended, the ONLY right he has after he has bought something is to stop playing/experiencing it and walk away.  I've walked out of theatres in disgust before, but it never once crossed my mind that I was entitled to a refund.  When I buy something, I take a step into the unknown, and this IS known, or should be.  But no, just like many people believe is his right, he walks around thinking he is exempt because he can lean on his theistic beliefs and know that so many will feel oh so sympathetic to his plight.  This pisses the hell out of me.  Religion should not be used as an excuse to exempt anybody from the rules the rest of us have to abide by.

Valve should be ashamed and as much as I believe them to be an overall decent company, giving a refund to this douche is flat out wrong and sets a poor example, period.  It's just another pathetic display of how P.C. our society has become, not wanting to *gasp* offend anyone in this day and age.  When someone holds any belief, that belief is open to scrutiny, approval, disapproval, contempt, and all that comes along with it.  Even religion.  Most importantly, religion.  But it does not, and should not, give anyone special privileges above others.

Agreed. That concept of not wanting to offend anyone is waters down any form of entertainment. As a heterosexual gamer, I felt the same notion about Cortez in Mass Effect 3. Cool character but overly done in the romance department. Cortez playing recordings of his dead husband almost every time you set foot in the shuttle bay and heterosexual being the renegade option left a sour taste in my mouth.

At least Bioware was a little more subtle with Treynor's sexuality with little hints like 'Edi has a sexy voice'. I respected that more since her sexuality wasn't the main focus and you got to know Treynor as a character first and didn't really know her sexuality unless you pursued romance with her.

Bioware went out of their way with Cortez to appease (what I assume to be) mostly male homosexual fans about having gay love interests. Cortez's character ended up being a cliche fan service character instead of a well written character, gay or not. Did it make me want a refund? No but I felt it was a cheesy attempt to satisfy self entitles gamers.

The internet has so many companies afraid to just create. Instead, they end up catering and needlessly compromising issues that can simply be ignored. If Valve refused to issue a refund, no doubt the nutcases and those sympathetic to his plight would have created an internet petition against Valve and 2K. Should the rage of self entitlement always result in submissive behavior from an established company fearful of backlash? Companies like EA and Capcom have ignored more serious issues for years and people still continue to purchase and play their products.

#69 Posted by HipHopBeats (2863 posts) -

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"] Who said it should be removed? They simply gave one guy a refund. Didn't even cost them anything to do it. This is about as much of an outrage as a restaurant refunding someone's meal because he just didn't like it.Bigboi500

On the contrary. Wanting a refund for a bad meal is one thing. What this guy did is equilvalent to a vegetarian complaining about a cheeseburger deluxe at a fast food restaurant. You have no problem purchasing a fps game with a guy holding a shotgun on the cover and committing digital murder, but a fake Baptisim suddenly makes you feel like a sinner? Hypocrisy at it's finest.

I think he probably thought he'd just be going around defending himself with a gun, not maliciously murdering innocent people... and I'm guessing that's what happens (not played the game myself yet), but it's safe to assume that in most games with presummed violence, you'd fight for your life but not flat out murder in cold blood. That's a totally acceptable expectation.

Lol, and I'm next in line to be president of the United States.

#70 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -
Valve should be ashamed and as much as I believe them to be an overall decent company, giving a refund to this douche is flat out wrong and sets a poor example, period.  It's just another pathetic display of how P.C. our society has become, not wanting to *gasp* offend anyone in this day and age.  When someone holds any belief, that belief is open to scrutiny, approval, disapproval, contempt, and all that comes along with it.  Even religion.  Most importantly, religion.  But it does not, and should not, give anyone special privileges above others.MirkoS77
And see, this is the thing that I find hilarious about all this. It's one thing to think the guy's a p*$$* for getting offended at that particular thing. I don't quite see the problem either. But it's another thing entirely the way people are acting like Valve should have refused to refund the guy just on general principle. Ideas like, Valve should have refused to refund the guy in order to take a stand against political correctness, or Valve refusing to refund the guy in order to stick it to religious hypocrisy. It's exactly like the God of War "Bros before Hos" trophy and how people were bi***ing about how Sony "caved in to political correctness" even though changing the trophy name didn't affect the actual game one bit. Seriously, that kind of $*** is flat out stupid. Valve is a BUSINESS. They determine that it's worth refunding the guy's $60 or that it isn't worth funding the guy's $60, but I'm pretty sure that they have better things to do than waste their time fighting over popular pet causes like political correctness or religious hypocrisy. We're a bunch of @$$holes chatting on the internet, they're running a f***ing business.
#71 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -
Agreed. That concept of not wanting to offend anyone is waters down any form of entertainment.HipHopBeats
See, here's the thing...the game hasn't changed AT ALL. ONE GUY got a refund, and that refund was issued by Valve. Not 2K and not Irrational Games. This is like Wal-Mart giving the guy a refund for a game. They didn't make it, they certainly didn't change it, so please explain to me how this is watering anything down. I'm not aware of the game being changed, I'm not aware of it getting pulled from shelves, I'm not aware of Irrational Games or 2K taking any stance on this or promising to make future games less offensive. What exactly is getting watered down here?
#72 Posted by MirkoS77 (7005 posts) -

What precedent is being set here, exactly? That people don't support that which they have moral and ethical objections to? Sorry, but that ship has sailed a LONG time ago.MrGeezer
What are you talking about?  This is not about PEOPLE not supporting that which they have a moral and ethical objection to, but that a BUSINESS will concede to compensate that person based on that objection.  Stay on topic.

Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that Valve giving one f***ing dude a refund sets a precedent which leads to art being corrupted by political correctness? I mean, SERIOUSLY? GTF out of here.MrGeezer
No, I'm SERIOUSLY telling you that a company giving a dude a refund sets a bad precedent for everyone to show that this type of garbage is acceptable.  Maybe you're unaware, but there exists more than one company in the world.  Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that political correctness that has enabled this bullsh!t has not set precedents in the past which have compromised and corrupted art in the present?  I mean, SERIOUSLY?  What world are you living in?  

I noticed you conveniently ignored this part of my post:

"Can I go into a movie theatre, watch a movie, be offended or bothered (as I have been quite a few times), then go cry to the box office that my fragile sensibilities have been shaken and have conflicted with my beliefs and I want my money back?  Or a book?  Or a song?"

I'm almost positive as to what your response is going to be.  By your logic, hey, I should be given a refund right?  I mean, it's just ONE company giving ONE person a refund.  I think I'll print out your posts and see how well this works out, and I'll let you know.

#73 Posted by Bigboi500 (29130 posts) -

[QUOTE="Bigboi500"]

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

On the contrary. Wanting a refund for a bad meal is one thing. What this guy did is equilvalent to a vegetarian complaining about a cheeseburger deluxe at a fast food restaurant. You have no problem purchasing a fps game with a guy holding a shotgun on the cover and committing digital murder, but a fake Baptisim suddenly makes you feel like a sinner? Hypocrisy at it's finest.

HipHopBeats

I think he probably thought he'd just be going around defending himself with a gun, not maliciously murdering innocent people... and I'm guessing that's what happens (not played the game myself yet), but it's safe to assume that in most games with presumed violence, you'd fight for your life but not flat out murder in cold blood. That's a totally acceptable expectation.

Lol, and I'm next in line to be president of the United States.

I guess you think soldiers who kill on the battlefield are also murderers?

#74 Posted by MirkoS77 (7005 posts) -

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]Agreed. That concept of not wanting to offend anyone is waters down any form of entertainment.MrGeezer
See, here's the thing...the game hasn't changed AT ALL. ONE GUY got a refund, and that refund was issued by Valve. Not 2K and not Irrational Games. This is like Wal-Mart giving the guy a refund for a game. They didn't make it, they certainly didn't change it, so please explain to me how this is watering anything down. I'm not aware of the game being changed, I'm not aware of it getting pulled from shelves, I'm not aware of Irrational Games or 2K taking any stance on this or promising to make future games less offensive. What exactly is getting watered down here?

Nothing has been watered down.....yet.  But this sets a poor precedent for the future.  It is a step in the wrong direction.  Many years ago, when In Living Color made skits mocking and making fun of the handicapped:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEaTFKG4IHs

You know you would be sitting there back then saying the same thing you're saying now, but guess what?  Look where we ARE at now compared to then.

 

#75 Posted by HipHopBeats (2863 posts) -

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

[QUOTE="Bigboi500"]I think he probably thought he'd just be going around defending himself with a gun, not maliciously murdering innocent people... and I'm guessing that's what happens (not played the game myself yet), but it's safe to assume that in most games with presumed violence, you'd fight for your life but not flat out murder in cold blood. That's a totally acceptable expectation.

Bigboi500

Lol, and I'm next in line to be president of the United States.

I guess you think soldiers who kill on the battlefield are also murderers?

No. They are mostly innocent people who happened to be on another continent simply defending themselves with guns against angry civillians who felt they they didn't belong there.

#76 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"][QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]Agreed. That concept of not wanting to offend anyone is waters down any form of entertainment.MirkoS77

See, here's the thing...the game hasn't changed AT ALL. ONE GUY got a refund, and that refund was issued by Valve. Not 2K and not Irrational Games. This is like Wal-Mart giving the guy a refund for a game. They didn't make it, they certainly didn't change it, so please explain to me how this is watering anything down. I'm not aware of the game being changed, I'm not aware of it getting pulled from shelves, I'm not aware of Irrational Games or 2K taking any stance on this or promising to make future games less offensive. What exactly is getting watered down here?

Nothing has been watered down.....yet.  But this sets a poor precedent for the future.  It is a step in the wrong direction.  Many years ago, when In Living Color made skits mocking and making fun of the handicapped:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEaTFKG4IHs

You know you would be sitting there back then saying the same thing you're saying now, but guess what?  Look where we ARE at now compared to then.

 

Bull$***, dude. This is BUSINESS. This "PC" stuff? It's all BUSINESS. There's no law saying that you can't mock the handicapped, it's just that people tend to not do it because audiences see that as cruel and callous and then stop watching. What precedent is being set here, exactly? That people don't support that which they have moral and ethical objections to? Sorry, but that ship has sailed a LONG time ago. Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that Valve giving one f***ing dude a refund sets a precedent which leads to art being corrupted by political correctness? I mean, SERIOUSLY? GTF out of here.
#77 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

Well for one thing, Bioshock Infinite's original ending was changed because of a religious member on the dev team found it offensive and threatened to quit. He was offended by the original ending, but not offended enough to refuse his pay for the work he put in thus far. Maybe that ending was changed for the better but it still would have been cool if the original ending was still left in as an alternative good or bad ending. Instead, we have one ending regardless of how you played the game.

Franchises like Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, God Of War who had prior successful entries, needlessly adding tacked on multiplayer modes. Devs like Arkane Studios dumbing down the party invitation level in Dishonored because game testers (most likely casual gamers) were too impatient to actually figure out where to go.

My point is a line has to be drawn between compromise and self entitlement. Should every dev creating a game based on a solid single player campaign sacrifice quality in hopes of sattracting multiplayer gamers? Why couldn't that dev who felt offended and threatened to quit simply spoke to Ken Levine first instead of whining like a big baby writing a letter of resignation? Catering to people like this only encourages self entitlement rather than helping people understand not every single thing on this planet is going to cater towards any one individual's specific likes and dislikes.

HipHopBeats
I'm sorry, do you work there? Did you see what happened there, who said what to who, or are you just making assumptions based on headlines? Do you know what that developer did or didn't say to Ken Levine, or are you just making assumptions? Secondly, every developer should do whatever the hell they want to, whatever the hell they think is in their best interests. Maybe that involves sticking to their guns, maybe it involves making concessions when people complain, but that isn't our f***ing business. If the game got changed to the point where it affected you, then by all means complain. But you can't say that quality was sacrificed until you have seen a comparison. Have you actually SEEN the changes which resulted from that one developer's objections? Can you make a comparison and say whether or not it made the game better or worse? Regardless, THAT resulted in the game being changed, so complain all day about it. This DOESN'T change a goddamn thing. Giving one dude a refund changes NOTHING. At least his complaint was about stuff that was in the game. What the hell is everyone else complaining about? Solely about giving one dude his goddamn $60 back. Think about that for a minute. Whether right or wrong, stupid or reasonable, this guy was complaining because he felt that the CONTENT of the game clashed with his religious faith. People here are criticizing him for taking offense, and in the very next sentence getting offended at Valve for giving him a refund. Who is REALLY being the bigger crybaby here? Thirdly, the very fact that a goddamn developer with a good job was thinking about quitting on moral grounds due to objectionable content ought to be a sign. I don't know how much money the dude was making, but it probably wasn't chump change (particularly if his opinion was worth enough to actually get the game changed). THAT apparently happened, and yet we're supposed to be shocked and dumbstruck that a gamer with only $60 invested in the game had enough of a problem to risk wasting his $60? The fact that one of the people working on the game was on the verge of quitting his job over the content sort of dispels in my mind the notion that it's unreasonable that a mere gamer would object to content.
#78 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"] What precedent is being set here, exactly? That people don't support that which they have moral and ethical objections to? Sorry, but that ship has sailed a LONG time ago.MirkoS77

What are you talking about?  This is not about PEOPLE not supporting that which they have a moral and ethical objection to, but that a BUSINESS will concede to compensate that person based on that objection.  Stay on topic.

Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that Valve giving one f***ing dude a refund sets a precedent which leads to art being corrupted by political correctness? I mean, SERIOUSLY? GTF out of here.MrGeezer
No, I'm SERIOUSLY telling you that a company giving a dude a refund sets a bad precedent for everyone to show that this type of garbage is acceptable.  Maybe you're unaware, but there exists more than one company in the world.  Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that political correctness that has enabled this bullsh!t has not set precedents in the past which have compromised and corrupted art in the present?  I mean, SERIOUSLY?  What world are you living in?  

I noticed you conveniently ignored this part of my post:

"Can I go into a movie theatre, watch a movie, be offended or bothered (as I have been quite a few times), then go cry to the box office that my fragile sensibilities have been shaken and have conflicted with my beliefs and I want my money back?  Or a book?  Or a song?"

I'm almost positive as to what your response is going to be.  By your logic, hey, I should be given a refund right?  I mean, it's just ONE company giving ONE person a refund.  I think I'll print out your posts and see how well this works out, and I'll let you know.

You do realize, of course, that it's not uncommon for a movie theater to issue a refund to a patron who leaves a movie early because of content they find objectionable.  I suspect there are a significant amount of refunds for games for various mundane reasons that go unpublicized.  This is a customer service issue at its core, and the precedent for that was set a very long time ago.  Ranting about the guy's refund seems to me to be as unreasonable as some believe the subject of this discussion to be.  The only thing worse than an unreasonable person is a group of unreasonable people.

#79 Posted by MirkoS77 (7005 posts) -

You do realize, of course, that it's not uncommon for a movie theater to issue a refund to a patron who leaves a movie early because of content they find objectionable.  I suspect there are a significant amount of refunds for games for various mundane reasons that go unpublicized.  This is a customer service issue at its core, and the precedent for that was set a very long time ago.  Ranting about the guy's refund seems to me to be as unreasonable as some believe the subject of this discussion to be.  The only thing worse than an unreasonable person is a group of unreasonable people.

capaho
The only time I believe anyone is due a refund is when a product is defective, and I do not consider conflicting beliefs to fall under that category. I've gotten refunds in movies before because the projectionist f*cked up right before the Titanic sunk and Leo drowned. I've gotten refunds (or a replacement) because my food was not what I ordered. But I've never gotten (nor have ever felt entitled to) get one because I held different convictions that were present in the product I bought.

By what right does the consumer hold over any company or product? Sure they pay, but it costs money to make what is being bought. The company has just as much right to keep the money as the customer has to get a refund. "The customer is always right" is a crock of sh!t used by entitled people to b!tch and moan when they don't get things exactly their way. Companies only abide by it to retain good customer faith, and that's all good and well, but that doesn't make it true or fair and IMO is used to the point of abuse and entitlement.
#80 Posted by Bigboi500 (29130 posts) -

While I think what the guy did can certainly be seen as shady, or at least incompetent on his part, it's refreshing to see any generosity given in a business that clearly is the most anti-consumer of all the retail markets. Video games are the most expensive of all media, and there is no return policy. And not all games have extensive demos that provide a deep understanding of a game's contents, and drm isn't exactly consumer-friendly either.

#81 Posted by kickingcarpet (440 posts) -

This is part of the reason why there are so many shooters like gears of war etc. they are afraid to branch out and dive into anything new incase of being sued or someone being offended, its people like this who expect all games to be shooters on rails with predictable stories etc. and are technically destroying video games for all of us.

#82 Posted by Articuno76 (18677 posts) -

You should be given a refund if the people running the business think so. You seem to be overlooking that this guy didn't force Valve to give him a refund. Valve didn't have to give him back one cent. They simply chose to give him a refund, something which doesn't have any effect whatsoever on you or me. Should you be able to get your money back if you watch a movie and "your fragile sensibilities have been shaken"? Sure, if the people running the business say so. It's THEIR business, not yours and not mine. MrGeezer
Look at it this way. Do Valve really agree with the practice? On principle it is understood that you do not get refunds for digital purchase (there is a huge TOU that you have to scroll through pre-purchase that probably says something to that effect). Likely they just paid the guy off to get rid of him and avoid attracting a lot of unnecessary negative attention. He did force their hand even if he didn't force them. Valve just happened to have a good hand.
[QUOTE="kickingcarpet"]

This is part of the reason why there are so many shooters like gears of war etc. they are afraid to branch out and dive into anything new incase of being sued or someone being offended, its people like this who expect all games to be shooters on rails with predictable stories etc. and are technically destroying video games for all of us.

MrGeezer

The reason why safe and predictable games tend to dominate is because they sell. It has nothing to do with being sued, and everything to do with the fact that people will be less likely to buy games that they find offensive. Somehow that is "destroying games for all of us"? How do you figure? If the people MAKING games deem risky games to be a poor investment, then by what reasoning can one state that those kinds of games should get made?

It is perfectly possible for a game to sell very well and be a safe (well, safe-ish) investment and at the same time have it risking offending people. In this case these kinds of games are the ones that are at risk of not being made because some developers may make a pre-emptive move to avoid drawing criticism (be it self-censorship or outright scrapping a game design).

I don't agree with Mirko that this is setting a precedent though. It had the potential to but it looks like this is getting swept under the rug. It's not gathering much attention on the internet from any corners of gaming journalism. It could have however if Valve refused to give the refund (and then eventually caved in and refunded it). They played this one well.

People have mentioned the disgruntled movie-goer getting a refund.  Common-sense should tell you that the customer should not get a refund in that case.  It's pretty basic consumer responsibility.  That is like eating a chocolate bar and wanting a refund because you didn't like the taste.  It's ludicrous when you think about it.  The reason these people get refunds is because relative to the number of total consumers it is easier just to refund one person every now and then.  It's good business practice but a questionnable ethical (not sure if that is the right word here) practice if everyone were to do it.  

#83 Posted by Lulekani (2216 posts) -

This is part of the reason why there are so many shooters like gears of war etc. they are afraid to branch out and dive into anything new incase of being sued or someone being offended, its people like this who expect all games to be shooters on rails with predictable stories etc. and are technically destroying video games for all of us.

kickingcarpet
Stranger still, is Religous people deliberately seek out these things and pathologicaly allowed themselves to be offended (I guarentee you, this happens alot). They should reserve their passive agressive tendencies for more important issues and if they don't want any peanutbutter on their chocolate then they better keep their chocolate to themselves.
#84 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

Look at it this way. Do Valve really agree with the practice? On principle it is understood that you do not get refunds for digital purchase (there is a huge TOU that you have to scroll through pre-purchase that probably says something to that effect). Likely they just paid the guy off to get rid of him and avoid attracting a lot of unnecessary negative attention. He did force their hand even if he didn't force them. Valve just happened to have a good hand. [QUOTE="MrGeezer"][QUOTE="kickingcarpet"]

This is part of the reason why there are so many shooters like gears of war etc. they are afraid to branch out and dive into anything new incase of being sued or someone being offended, its people like this who expect all games to be shooters on rails with predictable stories etc. and are technically destroying video games for all of us.

Articuno76

The reason why safe and predictable games tend to dominate is because they sell. It has nothing to do with being sued, and everything to do with the fact that people will be less likely to buy games that they find offensive. Somehow that is "destroying games for all of us"? How do you figure? If the people MAKING games deem risky games to be a poor investment, then by what reasoning can one state that those kinds of games should get made?

It is perfectly possible for a game to sell very well and be a safe (well, safe-ish) investment and at the same time have it risking offending people. In this case these kinds of games are the ones that are at risk of not being made because some developers may make a pre-emptive move to avoid drawing criticism (be it self-censorship or outright scrapping a game design).

I don't agree with Mirko that this is setting a precedent though. It had the potential to but it looks like this is getting swept under the rug. It's not gathering much attention on the internet from any corners of gaming journalism. It could have however if Valve refused to give the refund (and then eventually caved in and refunded it). They played this one well.

People have mentioned the disgruntled movie-goer getting a refund.  Common-sense should tell you that the customer should not get a refund in that case.  It's pretty basic consumer responsibility.  That is like eating a chocolate bar and wanting a refund because you didn't like the taste.  It's ludicrous when you think about it.  The reason these people get refunds is because relative to the number of total consumers it is easier just to refund one person every now and then.  It's good business practice but a questionnable ethical (not sure if that is the right word here) practice if everyone were to do it.  

If everyone were to do it, it would stop being a good business practice. Right now, it IS a good practice. Saying that the customer shouldn't get a refund is nonsense, when giving them a refund is good business. If you were to say that the customer isn't entitled to a refund, then you would be absolutely correct. But if we can agree that it's a good practice, then how can you say that the refunds shouldn't be issued? What, businesses shouldn't engage in good business practices? As far as the company's hand being forced, I disagree. They could have absolutely refused to give a refund and been fine. If it ever got out, all they'd have to do is cite their policy of not giving refunds. Do you know what would be bad for them, though? Refusing to give a refund, and then citing some bull$*** about political correctness or religious hypocrisy, or otherwise telling the dude that they're not giving a refund because he's stupid for getting offended in the first place. That's being flat out dismissive and contemptuous of the customer. The people saying that he shouldn't have received a refund aren't arguing from a company policy standpoint, they're arguing from a "he's a whiny idiot, so f*** him" standpoint. That's simply absurd, because that's a horrible way to get new customers and keep the ones you've got. We can afford to take that stance on forums like this, because we aren't the ones running the business. Valve isn't gonna do that. For every refund they give in order to retain a customer, I'm sure there are plenty of cases in which they flat out deny a refund. But they aren't gonna be treating it as an ethical issue the way people here are doing. They can't afford to be that petty, their business relies on customer satisfaction.
#85 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"] What precedent is being set here, exactly? That people don't support that which they have moral and ethical objections to? Sorry, but that ship has sailed a LONG time ago.MirkoS77

What are you talking about?  This is not about PEOPLE not supporting that which they have a moral and ethical objection to, but that a BUSINESS will concede to compensate that person based on that objection.  Stay on topic.

Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that Valve giving one f***ing dude a refund sets a precedent which leads to art being corrupted by political correctness? I mean, SERIOUSLY? GTF out of here.MrGeezer
No, I'm SERIOUSLY telling you that a company giving a dude a refund sets a bad precedent for everyone to show that this type of garbage is acceptable.  Maybe you're unaware, but there exists more than one company in the world.  Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that political correctness that has enabled this bullsh!t has not set precedents in the past which have compromised and corrupted art in the present?  I mean, SERIOUSLY?  What world are you living in?  

I noticed you conveniently ignored this part of my post:

"Can I go into a movie theatre, watch a movie, be offended or bothered (as I have been quite a few times), then go cry to the box office that my fragile sensibilities have been shaken and have conflicted with my beliefs and I want my money back?  Or a book?  Or a song?"

I'm almost positive as to what your response is going to be.  By your logic, hey, I should be given a refund right?  I mean, it's just ONE company giving ONE person a refund.  I think I'll print out your posts and see how well this works out, and I'll let you know.

You should be given a refund if the people running the business think so. You seem to be overlooking that this guy didn't force Valve to give him a refund. Valve didn't have to give him back one cent. They simply chose to give him a refund, something which doesn't have any effect whatsoever on you or me. Should you be able to get your money back if you watch a movie and "your fragile sensibilities have been shaken"? Sure, if the people running the business say so. It's THEIR business, not yours and not mine.
#86 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

This is part of the reason why there are so many shooters like gears of war etc. they are afraid to branch out and dive into anything new incase of being sued or someone being offended, its people like this who expect all games to be shooters on rails with predictable stories etc. and are technically destroying video games for all of us.

kickingcarpet
The reason why safe and predictable games tend to dominate is because they sell. It has nothing to do with being sued, and everything to do with the fact that people will be less likely to buy games that they find offensive. Somehow that is "destroying games for all of us"? How do you figure? If the people MAKING games deem risky games to be a poor investment, then by what reasoning can one state that those kinds of games should get made?
#87 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

[QUOTE="capaho"]

You do realize, of course, that it's not uncommon for a movie theater to issue a refund to a patron who leaves a movie early because of content they find objectionable.  I suspect there are a significant amount of refunds for games for various mundane reasons that go unpublicized.  This is a customer service issue at its core, and the precedent for that was set a very long time ago.  Ranting about the guy's refund seems to me to be as unreasonable as some believe the subject of this discussion to be.  The only thing worse than an unreasonable person is a group of unreasonable people.

MirkoS77

The only time I believe anyone is due a refund is when a product is defective, and I do not consider conflicting beliefs to fall under that category. I've gotten refunds in movies before because the projectionist f*cked up right before the Titanic sunk and Leo drowned. I've gotten refunds (or a replacement) because my food was not what I ordered. But I've never gotten (nor have ever felt entitled to) get one because I held different convictions that were present in the product I bought.

 

By what right does the consumer hold over any company or product? Sure they pay, but it costs money to make what is being bought. The company has just as much right to keep the money as the customer has to get a refund. "The customer is always right" is a crock of sh!t used by entitled people to b!tch and moan when they don't get things exactly their way. Companies only abide by it to retain good customer faith, and that's all good and well, but that doesn't make it true or fair and IMO is used to the point of abuse and entitlement.

You just don't get it.  While the mantra of business in the US may be Caveat Emptor, the truth of the matter is that turning an unhappy customer into a happy customer is very good for business, and giving a refund to a genuinely unhappy customer is a good way to accomplish that.  You obviously don't own a business or have the responsibility of managing one.  To assume that the person's complaint was not legitimate without any evidence to support that assumption is mere arrogance.  It was Steam's call to make and they made it.  I likely would have made the same decision had it been my place to do so.

#88 Posted by Articuno76 (18677 posts) -

[QUOTE="Articuno76"] but then this particular customer is worthy of contempt, if not Valve's then certainly this forums'. MrGeezer
Why is this customer worthy of contempt, though? 1) Because he got offended? 2) Because of WHAT offended him? 3) Because he didn't just get offended, he also complained? 4) Because he got a refund? Let's go ahead and scratch off number 4 right away. I don't see why getting a refund makes him worthy of contempt. That was beyond his power. That wasn't his call to make, it was Valve's. Why should getting a refund make him worthy of contempt? It's not his fault that Valve actually gave him his money back. Number 1 bothers me a little bit. Is he worthy of contempt because he was able to get offended? Maybe, but I'm not comfortable saying so unless I can say that it's utterly impossible for ME to ever get offended by anything. There are things that absolutely probably would offend me if I encountered them in a video game [spoiler] Case in point, the lottery scene near the beginning of the game. It's pretty disturbing when Booker wins the lottery, then the interracial couple is brought on stage to be attacked. The game gives the OPTION of attacking the announcer instead. Had the game forced me to attack the victims, I would have been offended. Not enough to ask for a refund, but I absolutely would have been offended at being forced to do that in order to progress. [/spoiler] If I know it's possible for me to get offended by a video game, it just seems really hypocritical to think of someone else as being worthy of contempt because they got offended. #2 would imply that it's okay to be offended by some things and not by others. And I'm not going to open that can of worms. I'm not going to start trying to assess what people are and are not allowed to get offended by. Or maybe it's #3. Maybe he just is worthy of contempt not because he got offended, but because he actually complained. If so, then I had better never complain about any in-game content ever.

Because he feels that feeling offended is a valid reason for a refund (feeling that he is above being offended). That's an abuse of consumer responsibility (willingly making purchases). It's a very childish way of looking at things that carries little weight in (most) of the real world. It's one thing to open a dialogue with the developers of the game for creating content that he finds offensive. But he went instead and asked Valve for a refund (as I understand it) as if asserting some right to non-offence that didn't exist.

Now if he had complained to Valve for hosting that content and they offered him a refund without him asking that is quite different but I get the impression that he asked for a refund on the basis of being offended (which no one is entitled to). He's worthy of contempt for abusing consumer responsibility (not taking on the responsibility for not doing his research into both the game content and refund policy) and acting like a child.

Also on point 2 (although this veers away from the point my point but I'll tackle this since I'm here).  It very much is the case that getting offended over some things is less valid than others.  Why?  Well the participation in groups which are the target of potentially offensive material is not always by one's own volition.  I don't see how or why anyone would feel validated in feeling their offence is other people's problem when it is of their own choice.  You could make the argument that other people should see things your way (or that their way of seeing things is wrong) but to feel above being offended is ludicrous.  Religious observance (at least in the US) is an entirely volitional act, completely different from, say, belonging to a certain race.  For that reason content that offends people on the basis of their race is on a completely different level than one that offends people on their religious beliefs or political stance.

#90 Posted by Articuno76 (18677 posts) -
[QUOTE="Articuno76"]

Look at it this way. Do Valve really agree with the practice? On principle it is understood that you do not get refunds for digital purchase (there is a huge TOU that you have to scroll through pre-purchase that probably says something to that effect). Likely they just paid the guy off to get rid of him and avoid attracting a lot of unnecessary negative attention. He did force their hand even if he didn't force them. Valve just happened to have a good hand. [QUOTE="MrGeezer"] The reason why safe and predictable games tend to dominate is because they sell. It has nothing to do with being sued, and everything to do with the fact that people will be less likely to buy games that they find offensive. Somehow that is "destroying games for all of us"? How do you figure? If the people MAKING games deem risky games to be a poor investment, then by what reasoning can one state that those kinds of games should get made?MrGeezer

It is perfectly possible for a game to sell very well and be a safe (well, safe-ish) investment and at the same time have it risking offending people. In this case these kinds of games are the ones that are at risk of not being made because some developers may make a pre-emptive move to avoid drawing criticism (be it self-censorship or outright scrapping a game design).

I don't agree with Mirko that this is setting a precedent though. It had the potential to but it looks like this is getting swept under the rug. It's not gathering much attention on the internet from any corners of gaming journalism. It could have however if Valve refused to give the refund (and then eventually caved in and refunded it). They played this one well.

People have mentioned the disgruntled movie-goer getting a refund.  Common-sense should tell you that the customer should not get a refund in that case.  It's pretty basic consumer responsibility.  That is like eating a chocolate bar and wanting a refund because you didn't like the taste.  It's ludicrous when you think about it.  The reason these people get refunds is because relative to the number of total consumers it is easier just to refund one person every now and then.  It's good business practice but a questionnable ethical (not sure if that is the right word here) practice if everyone were to do it.  

If everyone were to do it, it would stop being a good business practice. Right now, it IS a good practice. Saying that the customer shouldn't get a refund is nonsense, when giving them a refund is good business. If you were to say that the customer isn't entitled to a refund, then you would be absolutely correct. But if we can agree that it's a good practice, then how can you say that the refunds shouldn't be issued? What, businesses shouldn't engage in good business practices? As far as the company's hand being forced, I disagree. They could have absolutely refused to give a refund and been fine. If it ever got out, all they'd have to do is cite their policy of not giving refunds. Do you know what would be bad for them, though? Refusing to give a refund, and then citing some bull$*** about political correctness or religious hypocrisy, or otherwise telling the dude that they're not giving a refund because he's stupid for getting offended in the first place. That's being flat out dismissive and contemptuous of the customer. The people saying that he shouldn't have received a refund aren't arguing from a company policy standpoint, they're arguing from a "he's a whiny idiot, so f*** him" standpoint. That's simply absurd, because that's a horrible way to get new customers and keep the ones you've got. We can afford to take that stance on forums like this, because we aren't the ones running the business. Valve isn't gonna do that. For every refund they give in order to retain a customer, I'm sure there are plenty of cases in which they flat out deny a refund. But they aren't gonna be treating it as an ethical issue the way people here are doing. They can't afford to be that petty, their business relies on customer satisfaction.

You've pretty much said what I wanted. As you said, the people here saying the customer shouldn't get a refund are looking at this from a ethical/consumer point of view rather than a business one. Standing on the consumer side of things It is very irksome to see other customers getting preferential treatment when they paid the same dollar as everyone else (or in this case took it back). I've bought many games that I didn't have positive experiences with, knowing that I could have gotten that money back if I kicked and screamed enough makes me pretty annoyed. You're right that if Valve were to look at the issue this way it would be dismissive and contemptuous but then this particular customer is worthy of contempt, if not Valve's then certainly this forums'.
#91 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -
but then this particular customer is worthy of contempt, if not Valve's then certainly this forums'. Articuno76
Why is this customer worthy of contempt, though? 1) Because he got offended? 2) Because of WHAT offended him? 3) Because he didn't just get offended, he also complained? 4) Because he got a refund? Let's go ahead and scratch off number 4 right away. I don't see why getting a refund makes him worthy of contempt. That was beyond his power. That wasn't his call to make, it was Valve's. Why should getting a refund make him worthy of contempt? It's not his fault that Valve actually gave him his money back. Number 1 bothers me a little bit. Is he worthy of contempt because he was able to get offended? Maybe, but I'm not comfortable saying so unless I can say that it's utterly impossible for ME to ever get offended by anything. There are things that absolutely probably would offend me if I encountered them in a video game [spoiler] Case in point, the lottery scene near the beginning of the game. It's pretty disturbing when Booker wins the lottery, then the interracial couple is brought on stage to be attacked. The game gives the OPTION of attacking the announcer instead. Had the game forced me to attack the victims, I would have been offended. Not enough to ask for a refund, but I absolutely would have been offended at being forced to do that in order to progress. [/spoiler] If I know it's possible for me to get offended by a video game, it just seems really hypocritical to think of someone else as being worthy of contempt because they got offended. #2 would imply that it's okay to be offended by some things and not by others. And I'm not going to open that can of worms. I'm not going to start trying to assess what people are and are not allowed to get offended by. Or maybe it's #3. Maybe he just is worthy of contempt not because he got offended, but because he actually complained. If so, then I had better never complain about any in-game content ever.
#92 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -
Because he feels that feeling offended is a valid reason for a refund (feeling that he is above being offended). That's an abuse of consumer responsibility (willingly making purchases). It's a very childish way of looking at things that carries little weight in (most) of the real world. It's one thing to open a dialogue with the developers of the game for creating content that he finds offensive. But he went instead and asked Valve for a refund (as I understand it) as if asserting some right to non-offence that didn't exist.

Now if he had complained to Valve for hosting that content and they offered him a refund without him asking that is quite different but I get the impression that he asked for a refund on the basis of being offended (which no one is entitled to). He's worthy of contempt for abusing consumer responsibility (not taking on the responsibility for not doing his research into both the game content and refund policy) and acting like a child.

Also on point 2 (although this veers away from the point my point but I'll tackle this since I'm here).  It very much is the case that getting offended over some things is less valid than others.  Why?  Well the participation in groups which are the target of potentially offensive material is not always by one's own volition.  I don't see how or why anyone would feel validated in feeling their offence is other people's problem when it is of their own choice.  You could make the argument that other people should see things your way (or that their way of seeing things is wrong) but to feel above being offended is ludicrous.  Religious observance (at least in the US) is an entirely volitional act, completely different from, say, belonging to a certain race.  For that reason content that offends people on the basis of their race is on a completely different level than one that offends people on their religious beliefs or political stance.

Articuno76
I don't know, Valve apparently thought it was valid enough to be worth actually refunding the guy (I strongly doubt that they give refunds to everyone who requests one). And seeing as how it was their money and their call... Also, religious belief is most certainly NOT volitional. I can't choose to change my religious beliefs any more than I can choose to change the color of my skin. It seems like you were probably closer to the mark when you previously said this was about jealousy. That people's big issue was "it's not fair: I don't get a refund, why does this guy?"
#93 Posted by Deadpool-n (467 posts) -

Don't give him a refund. He wasn't baptized. Stupid.

#94 Posted by HipHopBeats (2863 posts) -

I'm sorry, do you work there? Did you see what happened there, who said what to who, or are you just making assumptions based on headlines? Do you know what that developer did or didn't say to Ken Levine, or are you just making assumptions? Secondly, every developer should do whatever the hell they want to, whatever the hell they think is in their best interests. Maybe that involves sticking to their guns, maybe it involves making concessions when people complain, but that isn't our f***ing business. If the game got changed to the point where it affected you, then by all means complain. But you can't say that quality was sacrificed until you have seen a comparison. Have you actually SEEN the changes which resulted from that one developer's objections? Can you make a comparison and say whether or not it made the game better or worse? Regardless, THAT resulted in the game being changed, so complain all day about it. This DOESN'T change a goddamn thing.

Ken Levine told the story more than once about what happened in many interviews. It isn't our business as consumers what changes devs are making to games we purchase? Check out the endless complaints on 2K forums about the lack of manual saves which was always an option in Bioshock 1 and 2. Misleading trailers showing off things we don't see in the game. Those trailers and what I played are perfect comparisons showing those things cut could have made Infinite a better game. So including the original ending as an ALTERNATE ending would have done more good than bad.

Lol @ 'complain all day about it. This DOESN'T change a thing.' You see how quickly Mass Effect 3 sales plummeted because Bioware thought lies about different endings were none of our business.

Giving one dude a refund changes NOTHING. At least his complaint was about stuff that was in the game. What the hell is everyone else complaining about? Solely about giving one dude his goddamn $60 back. Think about that for a minute. Whether right or wrong, stupid or reasonable, this guy was complaining because he felt that the CONTENT of the game clashed with his religious faith. People here are criticizing him for taking offense, and in the very next sentence getting offended at Valve for giving him a refund. Who is REALLY being the bigger crybaby here?

So giving a self entitled douchbag receiving a refund because a meaningless Baptisim scene hurt his feelings means nothing as opposed to gamers who spend $60+ tax on public betas like Skyrim at launch? Downloading patches to fix problems created by previous patches? Having to wait a year and a half for Skyrim to be playable on PS3? Exclusive DLC? Those are real reasons to complain and demand refunds. What about gamers who purchase Capcom games like Dragon's Dogma and can't even buy the expansion as $10 - $20 add on? Having to spend $40 on the same game with new features? I could go on all day about real reasons for demanding refunds.

The reason everyone is complaining because this guy is reminisent of that one crybaby on the elementary school football team complaining about one player making all the touchdowns. Instead of the coach explaining, not everyone is born with the same talent and encouraging that crybaby to find out where their talents lie, the coach decides to punish the whole team by making a 'no more than 2 touchdowns per teammate' rule. All to make that one self entitled crybaby feel better.

Thirdly, the very fact that a goddamn developer with a good job was thinking about quitting on moral grounds due to objectionable content ought to be a sign. I don't know how much money the dude was making, but it probably wasn't chump change (particularly if his opinion was worth enough to actually get the game changed). THAT apparently happened, and yet we're supposed to be shocked and dumbstruck that a gamer with only $60 invested in the game had enough of a problem to risk wasting his $60? The fact that one of the people working on the game was on the verge of quitting his job over the content sort of dispels in my mind the notion that it's unreasonable that a mere gamer would object to content.

There have been plenty of times I felt indifferent about certain context in a video game. Skyrim for example. I didn't particularly care for being forced to sell your soul to a digital deity in order to successfully complete the Thieves Guild. Did it stop me from enjoying the game when it finally became playable? No. Did I feel like my soul would suffer in real life? No. I never felt the need to write a 'heartfelt' letter demanding a refund because the in game content differs from my personal beliefs. I simply played on and accepted it for what it was. I didn't let my personal beliefs stop from enjoying the overall content.

Certain things do indeed merit a voice  and expressed dislike. Other times you simply learn from your mistakes or accept things for what they are. Not everything should be catered towards making one crybaby feel better because it's a sensitive or touchy issue. MrGeezer

#95 Posted by MrGeezer (56040 posts) -

[QUOTE="MrGeezer"]

I'm sorry, do you work there? Did you see what happened there, who said what to who, or are you just making assumptions based on headlines? Do you know what that developer did or didn't say to Ken Levine, or are you just making assumptions? Secondly, every developer should do whatever the hell they want to, whatever the hell they think is in their best interests. Maybe that involves sticking to their guns, maybe it involves making concessions when people complain, but that isn't our f***ing business. If the game got changed to the point where it affected you, then by all means complain. But you can't say that quality was sacrificed until you have seen a comparison. Have you actually SEEN the changes which resulted from that one developer's objections? Can you make a comparison and say whether or not it made the game better or worse? Regardless, THAT resulted in the game being changed, so complain all day about it. This DOESN'T change a goddamn thing.

Ken Levine told the story more than once about what happened in many interviews. It isn't our business as consumers what changes devs are making to games we purchase? Check out the endless complaints on 2K forums about the lack of manual saves which was always an option in Bioshock 1 and 2. Misleading trailers showing off things we don't see in the game. Those trailers and what I played are perfect comparisons showing those things cut could have made Infinite a better game. So including the original ending as an ALTERNATE ending would have done more good than bad.

Lol @ 'complain all day about it. This DOESN'T change a thing.' You see how quickly Mass Effect 3 sales plummeted because Bioware thought lies about different endings were none of our business.

Giving one dude a refund changes NOTHING. At least his complaint was about stuff that was in the game. What the hell is everyone else complaining about? Solely about giving one dude his goddamn $60 back. Think about that for a minute. Whether right or wrong, stupid or reasonable, this guy was complaining because he felt that the CONTENT of the game clashed with his religious faith. People here are criticizing him for taking offense, and in the very next sentence getting offended at Valve for giving him a refund. Who is REALLY being the bigger crybaby here?

So giving a self entitled douchbag receiving a refund because a meaningless Baptisim scene hurt his feelings means nothing as opposed to gamers who spend $60+ tax on public betas like Skyrim at launch? Downloading patches to fix problems created by previous patches? Having to wait a year and a half for Skyrim to be playable on PS3? Exclusive DLC? Those are real reasons to complain and demand refunds. What about gamers who purchase Capcom games like Dragon's Dogma and can't even buy the expansion as $10 - $20 add on? Having to spend $40 on the same game with new features? I could go on all day about real reasons for demanding refunds.

The reason everyone is complaining because this guy is reminisent of that one crybaby on the elementary school football team complaining about one player making all the touchdowns. Instead of the coach explaining, not everyone is born with the same talent and encouraging that crybaby to find out where their talents lie, the coach decides to punish the whole team by making a 'no more than 2 touchdowns per teammate' rule. All to make that one self entitled crybaby feel better.

Thirdly, the very fact that a goddamn developer with a good job was thinking about quitting on moral grounds due to objectionable content ought to be a sign. I don't know how much money the dude was making, but it probably wasn't chump change (particularly if his opinion was worth enough to actually get the game changed). THAT apparently happened, and yet we're supposed to be shocked and dumbstruck that a gamer with only $60 invested in the game had enough of a problem to risk wasting his $60? The fact that one of the people working on the game was on the verge of quitting his job over the content sort of dispels in my mind the notion that it's unreasonable that a mere gamer would object to content.

There have been plenty of times I felt indifferent about certain context in a video game. Skyrim for example. I didn't particularly care for being forced to sell your soul to a digital deity in order to successfully complete the Thieves Guild. Did it stop me from enjoying the game when it finally became playable? No. Did I feel like my soul would suffer in real life? No. I never felt the need to write a 'heartfelt' letter demanding a refund because the in game content differs from my personal beliefs. I simply played on and accepted it for what it was. I didn't let my personal beliefs stop from enjoying the overall content.

Certain things do indeed merit a voice  and expressed dislike. Other times you simply learn from your mistakes or accept things for what they are. Not everything should be catered towards making one crybaby feel better because it's a sensitive or touchy issue. HipHopBeats

Wait, wait...so you're saying that it IS okay to complain about aspects of the game that you don't like? This guy then does exactly that, and people are acting as if he's a piece of $***.
#96 Posted by Articuno76 (18677 posts) -
[QUOTE="Articuno76"] Because he feels that feeling offended is a valid reason for a refund (feeling that he is above being offended). That's an abuse of consumer responsibility (willingly making purchases). It's a very childish way of looking at things that carries little weight in (most) of the real world. It's one thing to open a dialogue with the developers of the game for creating content that he finds offensive. But he went instead and asked Valve for a refund (as I understand it) as if asserting some right to non-offence that didn't exist.

Now if he had complained to Valve for hosting that content and they offered him a refund without him asking that is quite different but I get the impression that he asked for a refund on the basis of being offended (which no one is entitled to). He's worthy of contempt for abusing consumer responsibility (not taking on the responsibility for not doing his research into both the game content and refund policy) and acting like a child.

Also on point 2 (although this veers away from the point my point but I'll tackle this since I'm here).  It very much is the case that getting offended over some things is less valid than others.  Why?  Well the participation in groups which are the target of potentially offensive material is not always by one's own volition.  I don't see how or why anyone would feel validated in feeling their offence is other people's problem when it is of their own choice.  You could make the argument that other people should see things your way (or that their way of seeing things is wrong) but to feel above being offended is ludicrous.  Religious observance (at least in the US) is an entirely volitional act, completely different from, say, belonging to a certain race.  For that reason content that offends people on the basis of their race is on a completely different level than one that offends people on their religious beliefs or political stance.

MrGeezer
I don't know, Valve apparently thought it was valid enough to be worth actually refunding the guy (I strongly doubt that they give refunds to everyone who requests one). And seeing as how it was their money and their call... Also, religious belief is most certainly NOT volitional. I can't choose to change my religious beliefs any more than I can choose to change the color of my skin. It seems like you were probably closer to the mark when you previously said this was about jealousy. That people's big issue was "it's not fair: I don't get a refund, why does this guy?"

Religious beliefs are based on experiences, things felt and seen, they don't materialise with you upon birth or as part of a chemical process in your body. Which makes it volitional to an extent (sub-concious though). If your beliefs were based on facts they would be even more malleable and change to reflect new information. In any case religious beliefs can and do change and when someone becomes a convert that is an example of a very concious decision. I don't consider this any different from being of a particular political persuasion, and yet you'd be very unlikely to hear someone demand a refund because a game, book or movie because it doesn't stick to their political ideologies.
#97 Posted by Treflis (11427 posts) -
Does this mean I can get a refund because I'm a Non-believer and I was baptised in the game? Of course not, don't be silly. It's a game and I wasn't baptised, the protaganist was.
#98 Posted by JustPlainLucas (73564 posts) -

You do realize, of course, that it's not uncommon for a movie theater to issue a refund to a patron who leaves a movie early because of content they find objectionable.  I suspect there are a significant amount of refunds for games for various mundane reasons that go unpublicized.  This is a customer service issue at its core, and the precedent for that was set a very long time ago.  Ranting about the guy's refund seems to me to be as unreasonable as some believe the subject of this discussion to be.  The only thing worse than an unreasonable person is a group of unreasonable people.

capaho

I believe with entertainment, it falls under buyer beware. If you are unsure of what a movie is like, you read reviews. If you are unsure of what a game is like, you buy a game. Now, if the projector melts down or the speakers don't work in the theater, issue a refund. If a game doesn't work, issue a refund. Don't like the movie or game because you didn't educate yourself? Tough shyte.

#99 Posted by MirkoS77 (7005 posts) -

[QUOTE="MirkoS77"][QUOTE="capaho"]

You do realize, of course, that it's not uncommon for a movie theater to issue a refund to a patron who leaves a movie early because of content they find objectionable.  I suspect there are a significant amount of refunds for games for various mundane reasons that go unpublicized.  This is a customer service issue at its core, and the precedent for that was set a very long time ago.  Ranting about the guy's refund seems to me to be as unreasonable as some believe the subject of this discussion to be.  The only thing worse than an unreasonable person is a group of unreasonable people.

capaho

The only time I believe anyone is due a refund is when a product is defective, and I do not consider conflicting beliefs to fall under that category. I've gotten refunds in movies before because the projectionist f*cked up right before the Titanic sunk and Leo drowned. I've gotten refunds (or a replacement) because my food was not what I ordered. But I've never gotten (nor have ever felt entitled to) get one because I held different convictions that were present in the product I bought.

 By what right does the consumer hold over any company or product? Sure they pay, but it costs money to make what is being bought. The company has just as much right to keep the money as the customer has to get a refund. "The customer is always right" is a crock of sh!t used by entitled people to b!tch and moan when they don't get things exactly their way. Companies only abide by it to retain good customer faith, and that's all good and well, but that doesn't make it true or fair and IMO is used to the point of abuse and entitlement.

You just don't get it.  While the mantra of business in the US may be Caveat Emptor, the truth of the matter is that turning an unhappy customer into a happy customer is very good for business, and giving a refund to a genuinely unhappy customer is a good way to accomplish that.  You obviously don't own a business or have the responsibility of managing one.  To assume that the person's complaint was not legitimate without any evidence to support that assumption is mere arrogance.  It was Steam's call to make and they made it.  I likely would have made the same decision had it been my place to do so.

If you think that I don't get it, then you obviously didn't read my entire post, notably this sentence:

 "Companies only abide by it to retain good customer faith".....

....which keeps the customer happy and in the long term is good for business.  I entirely understand this, and thought the implication would save me from having to state what I meant literally.  I guess not.  And what evidence am I missing here?  He objected to a baptism in game, wished for a refund, and recieved one.  What's to miss exactly?  My opinion in here is no more arrogant than anyone else who is stating their opinion based upon what is known, yours included.  Unless you'd like to enlighten me on something that you're aware of that I'm not.  I don't need any evidence to know that a guy got a refund because he found material in his game that did not agree with his personal beliefs.

#100 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

[QUOTE="capaho"]

You do realize, of course, that it's not uncommon for a movie theater to issue a refund to a patron who leaves a movie early because of content they find objectionable.  I suspect there are a significant amount of refunds for games for various mundane reasons that go unpublicized.  This is a customer service issue at its core, and the precedent for that was set a very long time ago.  Ranting about the guy's refund seems to me to be as unreasonable as some believe the subject of this discussion to be.  The only thing worse than an unreasonable person is a group of unreasonable people.

JustPlainLucas

I believe with entertainment, it falls under buyer beware. If you are unsure of what a movie is like, you read reviews. If you are unsure of what a game is like, you buy a game. Now, if the projector melts down or the speakers don't work in the theater, issue a refund. If a game doesn't work, issue a refund. Don't like the movie or game because you didn't educate yourself? Tough shyte.

I know people who have been given refunds after walking out of a movie early because of objectionable content. I don't think it's a particularly uncommon event.