Started by BrunoB, 16 October 2014, 23:53:58
QuoteSo yesterday a new trailer was released for a game named Hatred, which caused a bit of a stir on /r/games. If you haven't seen it, you can watch the trailer here, and read about the developers on their website and Facebook page.People reacted in a lot of ways. People called it immature, bait, needless provocative, unoriginal, a brilliant satire, and an undercover art piece. Personally, having read the website and Facebook pages, I don't find the 'brilliant satire' argument particularly persuasive. These guys don't profess to have much of an agenda beyond being controversial as far as I can see, but that's not what I'd like to discuss. A large number of comments compared Hatred to GTA or Prototype and essentially said they were exactly the same thing. For example, near the top someone quotes a Neogaf post which argues:QuoteThis is the sort of game most of you will have been playing your entire gaming lives and as many have pointed out, a small reskin, a justifying objective or the dishonest pretense of 'satire' would make it all OK in everyone's eyes. No matter how it turns out, this game looks to be offering exactly what so many other games do but without any excuses to hide behind: murdering people as an accomplishment and source of pleasure. Anyone who has ever played and enjoyed a Rockstar game in particular has absolutely no justification in getting high and mighty over thisHowever, what this argument and others like it seem to be suggesting is that aesthetics and representation are irrelevant. This position seems to me patently absurd, and I submit that in fact the way in which we choose to represent something is an important and meaningful rhetorical choice. To suggest that making changes to representation as a meaningless 'reskin' flies in the face of our every day experiences.Let's take cinema for instance. All of the following links are NSFW by the bye.Sir LancelotPatrick BatemanCaptain VidalAll three scenes contain excessive violence, but there's a world of difference between the first and the last. In the first, it's entirely played for laughs, and frankly it's hilarious. The second scene (American Psycho for those who haven't seen it) is more ambiguous, there's a dark comedy element, but also a deeper and more disturbing tone present underneath. Finally the last scene is deeply confronting and disturbing, in the callousness and casualness of the killing and the fully realised sense of humanity in the victim. Now, there are a huge amount of choices that go into every film (and every game) that creates these sensibilities. Choices in lighting, visuals, framing, acting, sound and music, timing, colour and so forth are all crucial to evoking a particular reaction in the audience, from laughter to disgust and horror. This is why we can laugh when innocent, defenceless civilians are stabbed to death in the first scene and be horrified by the killing of innocent civilians in the final scene. Just for laughs, look what happens when someone who has no fucking clue how to make a film attempts to deal with tragedy.These choices of representation and aesthetics are just as important and fulfil exactly the same kind of functions within the medium of video games. So while you kill people in GTA, and countless other games, I feel like it's essential to take into account the ways in which those games represent the killing as much as the actual action itself. To be fair, GTA inhabits a space not too far off from American Psycho, there's a dark humour, but also a self aware sense of horror at the violence, and Trevor pretty much embodies that ironic self awareness of the violent, impulsiveness that the game indulges. Hatred, by contrast, seems to have made a series of choices that make it something different entirely. Indeed, it seems like one of the things that is supposed to be appealing about the game is the way it represents the killings. The developers themselves appeal to this:QuoteWe provoke this question using new Unreal Engine 4, pushing its physics (or rather PhysX) systems to the limits and trying to make the visuals as good as possible.To be frank, if the appeal of the game is in how it takes violence and makes it more realistic, more sadistic and to cast the player not as Sir Lancelot, but as Captain Vidal, then it's not the same thing. So, what are your thoughts on the importance of representation in video games?TL;DR - A lot of people have argued that the killing Hatred and the killing GTA V are basically the same. I think this ignores the tremendous importance of representational choices in the two games and that the difference is hugely important. What do you think?
QuoteThis is the sort of game most of you will have been playing your entire gaming lives and as many have pointed out, a small reskin, a justifying objective or the dishonest pretense of 'satire' would make it all OK in everyone's eyes. No matter how it turns out, this game looks to be offering exactly what so many other games do but without any excuses to hide behind: murdering people as an accomplishment and source of pleasure. Anyone who has ever played and enjoyed a Rockstar game in particular has absolutely no justification in getting high and mighty over this
QuoteWe provoke this question using new Unreal Engine 4, pushing its physics (or rather PhysX) systems to the limits and trying to make the visuals as good as possible.
QuoteHeadlines include: The worst trailer of the year revels in slaughtering innocentsEpic Games distances itself from ultraviolent mass-murder game Hatred (update)Shock culture is dead, making the Hatred trailer powerless and nearly comicalThe man who made that Hatred trailer says the game is all about honestyNow, I'm personally in agreement with pretty much everything Polygon has to say on the game: it's tacky, pathetic, and antiquated. But is this too much coverage for a game that is intentionally trolling the gaming media? Is there another way that gamers who are disgusted by this game can express disapproval without providing so much free coverage? There are so many deserving indie games out there, and it pains me to see this making headlines over legitimate devs struggling to make a splash in the market. The fact that this shock PR blitz has worked so successfully for Hatred I fear will only reinforce the efficacy of this boring angle for future tacky devs.