Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hitman: Blood Money advertisements

"Shockingly Executed" A naked woman, having been electrocuted by a toaster in her bathtub, presumably yet another way for the Hitman to murder his victims.

So there's this young lady gamer's take and Joystiq's open-ended blog which encouraged it's readers to make some unusually insightful remarks (see the large block of italicized text).

My take on the whole issue? Should it be banned? Are people luddites? Is it evocative of sexual power over women? Is it just meant to be sensational? Even so, does it change our culture, bit by bit? Does it matter?

All I can say is the world ceased to be the kind of place I enjoy living in a long time ago. That doesn't mean I expect anything to change, nor that becoming St. Paul's next defender is going to help anything. Discussions usually go like this: Everyone sits at a table, and takes turns getting up on the table, shoes and all, and waving their baggage around madly while yelling, and sitting down again. Nothing much gets done - it's like folks have forgotten how to learn, and instead focus on feeling right (not being right, which often involves being corrected).

I have three daughters, so of course I'm different. But if I am a defender of anything - it is of them. Until the world gets up and announces that it wants David Beoulve to be its Paladin, I'm not interested in trying to "save" it from anything. It doesn't want saving. It doesn't need saving. And it will stab your eyes out if you try. Moreover, folks who try to push what is right and wrong on others run the risk of becoming the wrong themselves.

While there are definite rights and wrongs in the world, most of them have to do with treatment of other human beings. If half the world wants to make a religion out of murder porn, it's only an issue when they gain power over part of the rest of the world. This is, ultimately, everyone's fear. "If enough of the world changes, it will change against me." People who want to take up that torch will do so. For me...

Charity and ethics start at home. If folks want to join you, let them. You can't stop people from being stupid, nor train them out of insensitivity.

I think this advertisement line is merely deliberately sensational, which doesn't say much about the game. Look at Postal 2, which I enjoyed maiming and burninating the civilian population in, but there just really wasn't much game there. That said, I could only watch my burn victims writh and whimper and curl up with the realization that they are dying, and give up about 5 times before it lost its mystique, appeal and became something stomach churning. Death is not glory, either in dying or killing. The game hit a little too close to home with that one aspect (burning deaths). The AI was attrocious which meant the world felt more disconnected at all times - other than the burning animations, I never felt like I was killing real people.

Brutality in today's world comes from a disconnect from feeling for other human beings. What games we play might affect the weaker among us, but not the rest of us. If you're already disconnected from the rest of humanity and fantasize about killing them, a videogame isn't your biggest issue.

Topics like this dance around the real underlying themes in life.

EDIT: Actually, I've got a great idea! Why not just ask Old Grandma HardCore? This post actually touches on this overall topic.


whiskthecat said...

Ahhh Postal 2. I have had many a good time peeing on things in that game. And of course lighting stuff on fire and then peeing it out. =P

David said...

Yes. And I never peed on a burning person. Wait - that might be bad - uhhh...

whiskthecat said...

Its also fun to take a high end system and purposly try to lagg it up by covering the floor in keroseen, leaving grenades everywhere with the pins still in them, and laying three mov cocktails on the ground. Oh yeah and dont forget to run. =P