Thursday, 1 May 2008

Computer Game Pitch.

I've come up with an idea for a new game. It's called "Cunt", and in it you have to be the most despicable person possible. You work your way up from small things like swearing at strangers and pissing on sleeping tramps, to bigger and badder things as the game progresses. This would include things like hitting the children of passers by, stealing things from shops, groping strangers, getting drunk and starting fights, setting fire to animals and date rape. You could be in a gang and do things like intimidate women by gawping brainlessly at them and saying things like "phwoarrrr" and "wa-hey", pin a man down in the street and do a poo in his mouth, kick the crap out of someone coz they looked at you funny, and gang rape. Eventually you work up to the level of such atrocities that you're doing things like that guy in Austria just got arrested for. The possibilities are endless. Think about the worst thing you could possibly do to someone and it would be in there. Followed by about a dozen things that are even worse that hadn't even occurred to you.

Would any game companies be interested? Who knows. If however they were and it got made and released, the press would have a fucking field day with it. "Ban this sick filth!!" they would cry from the front pages. They would print so much bad press that shops would be cautious of displaying or even selling it. Look what happened with "Manhunt" and "Bully", games that got so much bad press, retailers were practically scared to stock it.

So why the fuck has no-one said anything about "Grand Theft Auto IV"?!? Now, I remember when the first one came out. The tabloids pretty much labelled it the thing that would destroy modern society, not realising the simple facts that (a): It wasn't very realistic at all, and (b): Although it was a bit of timewasting fun, it wasn't actually that good. Certainly not something you would ever take seriously.

Thing is though that now, we have much better technology. The makers of the GTA games have managed to enhance all aspects of the game, making it incredibly involving, varied, exciting and in a way, a lot more realistic. The modifications to gameplay since that first game are incredible, and because it's lasted and succeeded as a series, the general press & public have become conditioned to it.

A hell of a lot of people have been very excited about GTAIV coming out. Now it's come out, everyone's going on about how bloody great it is. Talking about it in detail. Excitedly recounting all the things you can do. A work mate of mine was talking to me about it, telling me about how you play a guy who joins a gang and you do jobs for the head of the gang, intimidate people for money they owe, kill enemies or people who've crossed him, get a girlfriend, drink, drive, rape...

Sorry, RAPE?!?

Yep. That's right. Rape. In Grand Theft Auto IV, you rape women. There's even a mission for it. Some guy has crossed the head of your gang, so you teach him a lesson by going to his house with a couple of other gang members, gang rape his wife.


Sorry, have I actually become an old codger, or is there something really quite fundamentally wrong here? Men are getting excited about being able to rape. Talking about how great it is that you can. I cannot even find the words to describe how wrong that is to me. I find it quite scary that people get this excited over being able to perform the worlds most despicable acts on a virtual platform.

Am I missing the point? Is this in some way ensuring that these things don't happen in real life, because people get to live out their sick fantasies in a fantasy world? Hmmm, seems tenuous to me.

Maybe I'm taking it too seriously, but I can't help thinking that this is just a step too far. And where are the tabloids? Sniffing the arse of some celebrity, chasing the next famous love-rat story. They've gotten used to GTA now, they don't care how offensive it is anymore. They're probably all playing it now ask I type, thinking how fucking great it is. Never mind that it's pretty fucking despicable. It's all well and good rallying against "Manhunt" & "Bully", but the fact is that while the former was pretty brutal, it was put in a fantasy setting and therefore bore no "threat" whatsoever, because the chances of it actually happening are virtually zero. Also, if I remember correctly, the reviews for it were rather luke warm, so it was never going to be very popular anyway. "Bully" meanwhile, was an odd game, in that I have no idea who they thought it would appeal to. Essentially, the tabloids were the only people who ever actually paid it any attention. The game buying public were never that fussed. Probably coz it got shit reviews across the board.

GTAIV on the other hand is an extremely well made game. Absorbing, exciting, with incredible attention to detail. Yes, of course it's fantasy and not real. However, they have deliberately set out to make it as realistic as possible, and the scary thing is that things in this game actually happen in real life.

Now, I'm not someone who thinks these sort of things should be overly regulated or censored, but I'm sorry, rape in a computer game is one step too far. If that opinion comes with slippers, arthritis and a warm mug of cocoa, then so be it.


stevie said...

i totally agree, my dude. i think because we are generally liberal, open-minded individuals it seems almost ironically controversial, but these games are one step too far, surely? i've written essays about violence in films, and always concluded that (apart from the one or two obvious exceptions) they cannot be held responsible for real-life violence or crime. however, surely it's gone too far when you are actually role-playng committing these awful crimes?

i realise most of the people playing this game are never going to go out and commit rape, murder, drink driving, armed robbery or anything of the sort, but i do disagree with a format which encourages people to enjoy these acts. with film you can argue that in most cases people are not taking actual enjoyment from seeing someone raped and murdered, but feeling a whole spectrum of emotions which probably makes them a better human being, but these games... surely the whole point is to enjoy committing these crimes?

gah, i don't even know what i'm saying. i know that it looks like i'm some terrible conservative, but anyone who knows me knows i'm not. i just think, like axl, that it's important that people realise that this liberal, anything-goes attitude, can go too far and we shouldn't be afraid to stand up and say it.

anyway, here's a related news story, which turns the tale on its head somewhat:

schmemma said...

i also completely (and perhaps unsurprisingly)'s another article on it which i read the other day:

Fat Chan said...

I have to agree with you my man, but has anyone actually got REAL proof that there is a rape scene in GTA4. Personally I somewhat doubt there is, surely it would have had a MUCH bigger outlet about it. Plus GTA games have always been satirical and never grotesque, I am playing through it currently, if there is a rape scene I will let you know, but I don't hold out any hope (hope for a rape scene? I think I got my words confuseled).

Plus, times are always changing and peoples attitudes to external stimuli are always evoliving. don't forget that films like driller killer etc were banned from screens in the 70's, it's a shit, poorly made and not very violent film. Think of Hostel or the Saw films in comparison, we can tolerate a lot more nowadays.

Still saying this, I've always been level headed and am most likely to get more so now working in a job that I have to witness indecent images of children to nail the sick bastards that thrive off it.

I'm never for censorship, we should make up our own minds, but people are WAY too quick to judge a game based on hearsay. Come on peeps, aren't the days of witchtrials over??