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Croal vs. Totilo - The Manhunt 2 Letters

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the putting-your-press-hat-on dept.

The Media 42

N'Gai Croal (of Newsweek) and Stephen Totilo (of MTV) once again match wits in a textual format, this time over the Manhunt 2 controversy. In Round One, the two reporters discuss the process of playing the game for the first time, and wonder what the experience must have been like for the ESRB raters. Round Two sees them take things up a notch, discussing what exactly it is about the game that's so violent. Round Three ... has them questioning the nature of gaming itself. As always, these are two smart guys with some interesting insights into the medium. Well worth your time. From N'Gai's final letter: "It's difficult to 'read' or derive much meaning from a game. That's why in our three Vs. Modes, we ultimately don't spend very much time talking about or analyzing the experience of playing a game, because it's hard to do so without turning our emails into "I went here. I did this. I picked that up." Which is, after all, what games are. So if the essence of a game is located in what we do, is a walkthrough--go here, do this, pick up that--the most truthful way to write about the experience of playing a game? I hope not. But it's something we should consider. Once again, if the essence of any game is located in its action, reaction, interaction, and the rules which circumscribe those three elements, what does the narrative do?"

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42 comments

Obvious... (3, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690263)

Once again, if the essence of any game is located in its action, reaction, interaction, and the rules which circumscribe those three elements, what does the narrative do?

Here's an example of a writer trying to sound smart by taking something obvious and "deconstructing" it to make it look not obvious. ("Deconstructing" is in quotes because that's not actually what deconstruction is, but it's how some writers define it if they don't know any better.)

The answer is the narrative guides your action, reaction and interaction, and it describes the rules which circumscribe those three elements.

There - happy? It really is that simple. The narrative exists for the purposes of guiding you to various places to do various things, and to tell you what you are and aren't allowed to do in those places and with those things with which you can interact.

Which is just a fancy way of saying what we've all known narratives do since time began. Questioning it now doesn't make it any less true.

(You can question anything - is the sun hot? Is ice cold? Does gravity = 9.8? But those questions don't in themselves form indictments or arguments against tradition or fact, which means they really have no point.)

Environment matters (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690351)

From TFA:
I wonder how the people rating the game played it. I wonder if their room was well lit or if they locked the door. I wonder if that matters. For that matter, I wonder how the people who made the game played it. What were all those people thinking? Did they absorb what it would be like to be an average "Manhunt 2" gamer? Does it make a difference? It does matter. It does make a difference. Playing Doom 3 at 1 in the morning with no lights on and headphones is a helluva lot different than playing it at noon on a sunny day with all the windows open. The scary thing is, I bet that the raters, if they played the game at all, played it in an office with a bunch of people around them. And the game disturbed them like that. Imagine if they played it under the "optimal" conditions. That said, I don't think that this game should be "banned". As a 29 year old gamer, I should be able to decide what I want to play. I hope that if the rating is upheld, Rockstar will sell it directly, because I'd buy it without a second thought.

Re:Environment matters (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690683)

I don't believe that the ESRB plays the games that they rate at all. They are sent video footage by the developer of what is the most objectionable content in-game and base their opinions on that. Furthermore, their opinion is probably entirely politically motivated in this case, as Manhunt 2 has already been made out as a poster child of video games that influence mass murders.

Re:Environment matters (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690869)

I don't believe that the ESRB plays the games that they rate at all. They are sent video footage by the developer of what is the most objectionable content in-game and base their opinions on that.

Who decides what footage to send? Could they get a rating based on "weaker" footage so the game gets out? What happens then? Can the ESRB change their rating after the fact?

Re:Environment matters (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690877)

From what I've heard before, you are correct about them not playing the game. It is up to the developer to give them a sample of the game (in video format) that they could expect the user to see. The rating is based on that.

As for the 'political' motivation... What political motivation is needed to rate a game? They didn't sit down and say 'Well, we hate them, and AO will basically ban their game, so let's do that.' They watched the video, it was beyond M rating, and they rated it appropriately.

Without seeing what they saw, or at least playing the game, none of us could possibly argue that they rating it improperly. We don't -know- what's in the game and how it compares to other games in existance.

What we -do- now is that the first game was extremely violent, and that second games usually try to out-do the first one. Why is it so hard to believe that this is more violent than the first?

As for the AO rating itself: What point is there in having that rating exist if they aren't allowed to use it when warranted? I seriously doubt they are flippant with their ratings. They don't just watch video while eating popcorn and say 'Oh, hmm.... AO.' and go for a beer at the pub.

Re:Environment matters (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690953)

As for the AO rating itself: What point is there in having that rating exist if they aren't allowed to use it when warranted? I seriously doubt they are flippant with their ratings. They don't just watch video while eating popcorn and say 'Oh, hmm.... AO.' and go for a beer at the pub.

I think the point is the question of what is the difference between M and AO? Why is AO even needed? It is the kiss of death for videogames, as most retailers won't even stock a game rated AO, let alone MS, Sony and Nintendo all saying that they won't put a game on their console with an AO rating.

Re:Environment matters (1)

commander_gallium (906728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691239)

You've answered your own question. AO is the kiss of death. That's what it's for.

Re:Environment matters (1)

Talgrath (1061686) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693445)

Wrong. AO is for essentially the NC-17 of the video game ratings board; extreme violence or nudity are what will get you this rating. It's also worth noting that an AO rating is only the "kiss of death" for CONSOLES. There's nothing to prevent you from releasing a game on the PC with an AO rating, and in fact there are quite a few games that are rated AO released for the PC; most of which are porn games, mind you, but some of which are simply too violent for a mere Mature rating. If you ask me, Rockstar should just release Manhunt 2 as-is on the PC, and be free of the console's clamp down.

Re:Environment matters (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#19694053)

I believe ANY nudity at all will automatically bump it up to AO... If you recall the nipple textures found on the Oblivion disc got it bumped up to AO temporarily after it was release...

Re:Environment matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19695911)

What a load of crap. Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy had a full-blown (no pun intended) sex scene in it, and it got rated M by the ESRB and 15 by the BBFC.

Not that it deserved a worse rating, that scene was awful. That's beside the point though.

Re:Environment matters (1)

hidannik (1085061) | about 7 years ago | (#19699739)

I haven't gotten that far in the game yet and so cannot speak from direct experience, but several reports online have it that the sex scene was removed from the North American version to get the M rating. European censors are more tolerant of sex in entertainment.

Re:Environment matters (1)

Nevyn (5505) | about 7 years ago | (#19702783)

And as counter argument I give you God of War 1 and 2, both of which have naked breasts at multiple points. And both have "sex games" to earn experience.

Let's face it video game ratings are just done using a bag of popcorn a 10 sided die factoring in the phase of the moon, just Film ratings.

Re:Environment matters (1)

joerdie (816174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690983)

AO does NOT mean that the game cannot be released. It means that most retailers will not sell it in the store. This kills the profit of the game if it can only be sold in porn shops and mom and pop's who wish to seel it. Also, and I may not be 100% correct here but, I think that I read that neither Sony nor Nintendo will allow an AO game on their platform.

Re:Environment matters (1)

joystickgenie (913297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692719)

Actually, Sony Nintendo and Microsoft have stated that they will not allow Ao games to be licensed for their consoles. So if you get an Ao rating in essence you are banned from all the major consoles.

Re:Environment matters (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691457)

As for the 'political' motivation... What political motivation is needed to rate a game? They didn't sit down and say 'Well, we hate them, and AO will basically ban their game, so let's do that.' They watched the video, it was beyond M rating, and they rated it appropriately.
You're correct, without having played it myself I can't say for sure. However, my point was that the controversy that had already erupted over the game prior to even being finished or rated very well may have resulted in clouded judgments. Raters go into work with "this game is sick and disgusting" already repeating in the back of their mind because of the reputation that it may have already developed from not only being what it is (a sequel to a controversial game) but also coming from a company that seems to make a habit of releasing seemingly questionable content.

Re:Environment matters (1)

Sly-Ry (1121577) | about 7 years ago | (#19732461)

"As for the 'political' motivation... What political motivation is needed to rate a game? They didn't sit down and say 'Well, we hate them, and AO will basically ban their game, so let's do that.' They watched the video, it was beyond M rating, and they rated it appropriately...

"...As for the AO rating itself: What point is there in having that rating exist if they aren't allowed to use it when warranted? I seriously doubt they are flippant with their ratings. They don't just watch video while eating popcorn and say 'Oh, hmm.... AO.' and go for a beer at the pub."

They don't go for a beer at the pub? Really? How do you know that? Wonderful speculation, the point being that we don't really know if there were any motivations to rate the game beyond just content. This is America after all, where corruption, personal and political favors, and the good ol' boy system simply don't exist. Moral of the story, to assume makes an ass out of u and me.

"Without seeing what they saw, or at least playing the game, none of us could possibly argue that they rating it improperly. We don't -know-..."

Now there I'm in agreeance with you. But we can't know that they're rating the game properly either. Let's not be naive. How many games get an AO rating that aren't porn games. None? I don't really know but the only exception I know of is the hot coffee incident. All I'm really saying is I would bet a few dollars that if Manhunt 2 just got an M rating no one would be begging for an AO rating. I mean it's too late now, there's already controversy, but if there hadn't been this "scandal" I bet Manhunt 2 would have been just another game. But hey, I could be wrong.

Re:Environment matters (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19695027)

Word has it that they didn't play Manhunt 2 but just watched the video trailers. That's usually how it works, right? They try to shoehorn video games into the same ratings mechanic as movies just because they have graphics and then boost the rating 2 or 3 levels because it must be worse because you're "interacting" with it.

You know, I'd do a better job than the ESRB just by looking at the cover art and back of the box. Sure there'd be a few titles rated AO just so they wouldn't get released (like if they're stupid enough to put out another Tenchu) but over all the quality of the ratings would be a lot more consistent and would serve as a better guide for parents.

Re:Obvious... (1)

ravyne (858869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691303)

("Deconstructing" is in quotes because that's not actually what deconstruction is, but it's how some writers define it if they don't know any better.)

Here's an example of a writer trying to sound smart by taking something obvious and "deconstructing" it to make it look not obvious.

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Re:Obvious... (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691441)

I think you miss several points to be made about this.

It's "obvious" but at the same time it's obfuscated. How often when playing games, or at any time for that matter, do gamers stop and consider the "obvious" in full detail? Despite the fact that the repetitiveness of many games is clear to the player and any viewers nearby, how often does anyone bring this up?

Despite being "obvious", or perhaps because it is, no one stops to actually talk or discuss these things. Decomposing the essence of video games into its self-evident parts and beginning a conversation about them isn't an attempt to look smart, it's an attempt to become smarter.

Certainly, it's entirely possible that it leads nowhere. Maybe the person or persons you're attempting to converse with are uninterested, unknowledgable or unhelpful. However, the reward for increasing one's understanding of the subject is just that, wisdom and knowledge.

Challenging our assumptions with absurd questions such as "Could 1 + 1 = 3?" or more practical questions such as "Why does 1 + 1 = 2?" leads to better understanding and is in no way pointless. We wouldn't have non-Euclidean geometry or quantum physics without questions like these.

It's not about changing tradition or fact, though that sometimes occurs, it's about understanding both more thoroughly.

Re:Obvious... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693391)

Here's an example of a writer trying to sound smart by taking something obvious and "deconstructing" it to make it look not obvious. ("Deconstructing" is in quotes because that's not actually what deconstruction is, but it's how some writers define it if they don't know any better.)

Here is an example of a slashdot poster trying to sound smart by taking a snippet of someone's work and "pwning" it to make him look superior. ("Pwning" in quotes because that's not actually a word used in association with Slashdot posts, but I've heard some people say it before and thought it sounded cute). Fact is...if your writing is superior...why aren't you writing articles instead of posting here? :)

Re:Obvious... (2, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#19694323)

I read and re-read the gp, and nowhere did it imply that its writing was somehow "superior" to the article in question's. ("superior" in quotes because I'm quoting you). The poster seems annoyed by assholes, and doesn't at all bring up whether or not /he/ may be an asshole, as it is not strictly relevant to his annoyance.

I defend because I can sympathize.

Wit? MTV? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690623)

They allow wit on MTV? o_O

Re:Wit? MTV? (3, Insightful)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19690835)

They allow wit on MTV? o_O

Sure. After all, it's not music...

Ouch... (2, Insightful)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691087)

Anybody see anything wrong with this? It's a quote from Croal in the article:

It's hard to argue that games have anything approaching the depth of theater, novels, movies or television given the medium's newness; its requirement of repetitive action, reaction and interaction to maintain the player's interest; the thinness of its characters; the perfunctoriness of its plots; the lack of complex or even complicated psychology. It would be like arguing that an activity--a mountain hike, laps in a pool or a game of chess--is profound.

Re:Ouch... (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691253)

That makes me unsure whether or not I actually want to RTFA. I haven't read much of what Croal or Totilo have said in the past, but I had the impression Croal wrote some good stuff.
Please tell me that the rest of his words don't come off as an uninformed diatribe to those of us who are able to appreciate gaming..

Re:Ouch... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691435)

Only read "Round 1" so far, but the article is, dubious quotes that really don't give a fair impression of the article aside, pretty much one of the most interesting things I've read in a while. I do recommend RTFAing.

Re:Ouch... (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19691543)

The quote is missing context. I'm not sure I can do his position justice through a summary and highly recommend you RTFAs. It's probably the best set of articles on Video Games I've read in ages.

That said, here's my limited understanding.

Croal's position is not that video games, hiking mountains, etc. can't be profound or deep. It's that they are not analogous or similar to movies, books, theatre etc. in that regard. In movies and books, we are merely viewers who are plunging the depths of someone else's content. While the setting may have been created by someone else, video games, hiking and chess put us in the position of players. We are creating the content, and the depths of it are our own.

Video games are not, and can not be by definition, the same as books and "viewer" media. They can share elements such as stories, narratives, characters, musical scores etc. But the ways in which they are deep and profound are fundamentally different.

Re:Ouch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19733725)

I just had to point out two things:

(1) It's Thunderdome, not coliseum.
(2) Either way, your sig is fucking hilarious.

Re:Ouch... (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693931)

I've only had time to get through part of Round 1 so far, but it's quite good. I agree with the siblings that I should read the rest.. thanks guys.

Re:Ouch... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692779)

Anybody see anything wrong with this?

No. Croal is pretty much straight on the mark with his assessment of the current artistic value of video games for two reasons:

1. Video games have only been around in any meaningful form for about 30 years. Television has been around for over 60 (disregarding the fact that it's a fairly natural extension of cinema anyway), cinema for over 100, theatre since centuries before the birth of Christ, and prose (whether spoken or written) since the dawn of civilization. In addition to the added maturity that comes from age and standing upon the shoulders of giants, the older media are much cheaper and easier to produce than the newer, allowing for a greater infusion of ideas unfettered by commercial considerations. Any literate person can write a novel or a play, and most people can make their own movies with little training. You can't say the same for video games.

2. An activity, such as playing a video game, can never be as profound and thought-provoking as a passive form of art can be. It's much easier to be circumspect over a movie or a book, where you can easily stop, think, and review what you've seen, pondering what the creator was trying to say. You can't do that with a video game because it's always changing, never progressing the same way every time. And if you tried to make a game that did progress the same way every time--well, then it wouldn't be a game anymore, would it?

There's nothing wrong with being honest about the limitations of your favored form of art.

Rob

Re:Ouch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19698437)

It's much easier to be circumspect over a movie or a book, where you can easily stop, think, and review what you've seen, pondering what the creator was trying to say. You can't do that with a video game because it's always changing, never progressing the same way every time. And if you tried to make a game that did progress the same way every time--well, then it wouldn't be a game anymore, would it?


Have you ever played any RPGs(especially Japanese/console RPGs) or advendure games? There is plenty of time to "stop, think, and review." The storyline also pans out identically in every playthrough. If you honestly believe that tripe you posted, then your definition of a "game" is unnecessarily narrow. Not every game is a Tetris or Morrowind.

(FWIW, I've heard plenty of people argue that jRPGs are "role watching games." I don't believe for one second that makes them less of a game)

Re:Ouch... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | about 7 years ago | (#19700485)

Have you ever played any RPGs(especially Japanese/console RPGs) or advendure games?

Yes. A lot of people would argue that those are closer to movies than games. Certainly the literary aspects of both generally require little to no interactivity (offering a "choose your own adventure" style of plot branching at most), while (for example) the plot elements of FPSes tend to progress during gameplay with few cutscenes breaking up the action.

In other words, the fact that most of the games that have strong literary aspects are also games that are more like more passive forms of media just goes to prove my point.

Rob

I know what the raters were thinking! (0, Flamebait)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692657)

the article discusses what the raters "were thinking as they played the game." and i know exactly what they were thinking: nothing! the ESRB raters don't actually sit down and play, instead, they watch a several-minutes long reel featuring the most violent stuff from the game. does anyone else see a problem with this method?

Re:I know what the raters were thinking! (1)

OoZz (997149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693327)

Out of curioisty where did you come across this information?

Re:I know what the raters were thinking! (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693499)

its fairly common knowledge. do a bit of research on the ESRB ratings system, you'll find it. this is how things like Oblivion got re-rated after release: the video may not have shown the rotting zombies with the bones and meat sticking out of them, but rather, just the basic up-fronts of the combat system.

Re:I know what the raters were thinking! (1)

OoZz (997149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693917)

Yeah after doing my research I found that you are correct. Which really disturbs me. Because although the game may be gory and violent, how are a group of video game raters supposed to come to a conclusion of whether or not it is acceptable amount or not if they don't even see the true context of what they are rating.

If the people rating games decide to give a game a rating of AO there needs to be some sort of appeal process that forces the raters to actually play the game and work through the levels, rather than basing their opinion on "videotaped footage of the game's most graphic and extreme content." [wikipedia.org]

Actually... (2, Informative)

Omeger (939765) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693205)

" In Round One, the two reporters discuss the process of playing the game for the first time, and wonder what the experience must have been like for the ESRB raters." Actually, the ESRB rarely, if ever, actually plays the games it rates. They look at footage sent to them by the publisher.

interesting read, makes me want to play it (2, Interesting)

Tol Dantom (1114605) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693995)

These letters were a surprisingly broad look at the issues surrounding video games. What I thought was especially nice was some discussion of implications on the gamer who chooses to play the game, which is rare since most of the time these are just defense or attack pieces. It's funny because this sort of discussion is what actually makes me interested in the game. When the previews came out it always centered on action and mechanics which were quite frankly droll in the first game. In Manhunt the killing is just mechanical. You creep around and want to see all the animations, but after that the execution scene could just be a bop on the head rendering them unconscious and it would have the same visceral effect on the goal oriented player. But when we look at the similarities between the Director, the game designer, and our selves sitting there guiding Cash to and then passively watching the gruesome offings, that makes me genuinely interested in Manhunt 2.

The only thing I thought was missing was a better comparison between manhunt 1 and 2. They talk about some things like the tone and and narrative structure which doubtlessly had the largest impact on the ratings board, but I'm still unsure whether 2 plays the same pretty much (ignoring the Wii) with the same structure. This seems like a strange omission considering all the talk of repetition in gaming and how that makes up the core. I would like to have known how Manhunt's core compared to Manhunt 2's.

speculation (1)

Sly-Ry (1121577) | about 7 years ago | (#19721615)

Just finished reading round 1, I'll get to the other rounds soon. Something I am in complete agreement with though was this statement...


"Unless they have good reason to believe that this game is an imminent threat to the public order, or that it will in and of itself incite adults to violence, their decision seems to me to be based on taste, and I will never believe in substituting anyone else's tastes for my own."



As far as I know, there is no true scientific evidence that videogames are indeed the cause of violence. Unless it's proven that a game like Manhunt 2 will in fact make you act out violently against another person, it seems to me that the best we have is speculation. Any evidence that such a game is the cause of detrimental behaviour would be empirical at best. I actually have yet to hear of any evidence that proves entertainment like movies and games is the root of evil. I've heard opinions and unfounded claims only. Indeed, I have heard such arguments on Slashdot that kids played GTA and then went out and stole cars, thus GTA is the cause of felonies. Hardly scientific.


"In the U.S., where many retailers would likely refuse to stock an AO-rated title, the game hasn't been banned. But that doesn't mean that gamers will ever be able to play it in the form that you and I are experiencing. Here, it's ultimately Nintendo and Sony's whose judgment is being substituted for ours, because they, along with Microsoft, don't allow AO-rated games to be published on their systems."



I don't believe a game should be banned, or, in the case of the U.S., effectively banned based on speculation. Does the game deserve it's rating, is it really necessary for Sony and Nintendo to ban AO games, etc. etc. none of that really matters because the bottom line is that the game has been banned in its current form in the U.S. and a couple European countries. I'm well aware of the technicalities about how ESRB doesn't ban games they just rate them yadda yadda, the game is still banned, in its current form. I don't want someone else telling me what is in poor taste. I know what I can handle. Personally I don't think Manhunt 2 would phase me; I could be wrong since I've not played it but the point is I don't want someone else telling me it's too offensive so we won't allow the game to be released unless it's been censored.



I'm not an authority I'm just a dude who doesn't need his hand held. If something shocks and offends me, I'll steer clear of it.

Re:speculation (1)

Sly-Ry (1121577) | about 7 years ago | (#19732161)

"And when you think about the amount of clinical death and destruction in real-time strategy games like "Supreme Commander" and "Command & Conquer Generals 3," perhaps Stalin was right: one death is a tragedy, 200 gruesome deaths is ban-worthy, and a million clinical deaths is E10+ for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language."

Perhaps the most entertaining and also most insightful comment in round 3. Enough said.

I was disappointed to hear that N'Gai found Manhunt 1 a more engaging experience. I've never played Manhunt but for some reason I've been really looking forward to Manhunt 2. I hope it's an entertaining game, if it ever gets released.

Evil vs. Good (1)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | about 7 years ago | (#19736147)

The problem with games like Manhunt 2 is that you are a playing a person of questionable/evil morality. It's all about your perspective. I've seen so many games where you fight the obviously evil Nazis, Aliens, or Hellspawn. There's no moral ambiguity there, just obvious good versus obvious evil.

Lets say I'm making 2 games which are almost identical, which would you guess would garner more controversy?
A. A tactical shooter where you must prevent terrorist acts from being committed in America.
B. A tactical shooter where you must plan and execute terrorist acts on America.

I recall a recent article in PCGamer about how it is actually impossible to role-play an evil character in any RPG. Sure, you are granted a few evil choices, but you are not actually allowed to do truly evil things.

I guess my point is, violence in games is OK so long as you're on the "good side," but playing evil or amoral characters is a whole other story. This, in my opinion, is a large load of crap. Who decides what's moral and what's not? The ESRB? Again, crap. I hate it when people try to push their morals and values on others, and I consider myself a Christian. The great thing about being an American (or at least it used to be) was my ability to believe whatever I wanted, without being bullied into someone else's beliefs. Why is it I'm only allowed the see, hear, and experience that which the government deems "safe?" Life is supposed to be dangerous. It's what makes being alive worthwhile.

Re:Evil vs. Good (1)

Sly-Ry (1121577) | about 7 years ago | (#19790941)

I applaud your post sir. Indeed, your point about you playing the good guy vs the obvious bad guys means it's ok, but it's wrong the other way around is indeed a load of crap because, when is it ever ok to carry out vigilante justice? Even if you're the "good guy" in a first person shooter, you're still killing hundreds of people. I cannot agree more when you ask, rhetorically, who can decide what's moral. Freedom to think, to decide, to choose, and to act, these are what make America great. What may me moral for you may not be moral for me. I will never force my beliefs on you, and you shouldn't force yours on me. It's really as simple as that. People will argue till they are blue in the face about Sony and Nintendo have the right to forbid AO games on their systems (they do) and the ESRB has the authority to rate games as they see fit (they do) and it's not really censorship because the ESRB isn't directly tied to the government (to the best of my knowledge) but somehow, in between the middlemen, companies wanting to maintain a friendly public image, people sitting on boards evaluating the content of games, we've come up with a system that allows games to be censored or even banned. Somehow, admist all the confusing mess of who's right it is to do what, freedom of speech is being infringed upon. The point is that there is no one person to point a finger at, but that everyone has done some wrong. I don't want the government telling me what I can or can't play, I don't want Nintendo telling me what I can or can't play, and I don't want slashdot users telling me what I can or can't play, we should all be allowed to play what we want to play and not catch hell for it.
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