Feature: Video games need to challenge taboo more often
The games industry is getting too namby pamby and nicey nicey for my liking. It’s becoming more and more apparent that, because younger audiences may play some games that those older and mature enough to play them have to suffer as a result. What’s worse is the fact that because some are offended by the content (when they could easily not play it and ignore it ever existed) they all cry out and petition like fools to have it changed before it is even released.
The latest game to fall fowl of this problem is the upcoming Tomb Raider title which has been shouted down by many because the lead character’s background story of being sexually abused being evident. Now, before anyone gets on their high horse, I am NOT condoning this act at all in the slightest; I am disgusted by it as much as the next guy but I am mature and old enough to play a video game that may have it in its story.
As long as it is included in a tasteful manner and does not belittle the act then I aim 100% happy to have to deal with this in any game that I play in the future. Video games have an age rating for a reason and they are intended for a mature audience, therefore it should be included at the developer’s discretion.
Think about this for a second; how many virtual people have you killed, run over, robbed, murdered, drowned, abused, had sex with and tortured? Far, far too many. And you’re telling me that people out there find these perfectly acceptable but hinting at someone’s past and them being abused is a step too far? Well I do apologise on their behalf for their judgement and moral’s being warped.
Now I know that some out there might have encountered this at some point and again, I will sympathise with them and do NOT mean to make this seem like an acceptable crime. The psychology and trauma attached to this subject is unquestionable but the same can be said for any sort of murder, killing or torture. We’re belittling hideous acts by saying ‘these are more acceptable than this’ when in reality they should not be labelled as such.
But what other forms of media deal with this; films, music and TV all cover this topic so why not in a video game?
Are we really trying to tell those who play games that murdering and killing thousands of people is acceptable? What sort of message are we sending to people if we cannot even keep a level playing field across the board and accept these things happen and they are, horrific and disgusting, but yet cover the topics in a tasteful way?
Videogames are a luxury (that’s another debate altogether) so we have the choice to play the games we want to play and ignore those that we don’t. Therefore those who don’t like the content can easily ignore it. In the current state the industry is in, with a recent obsession with family and casual titles by the masses, I think that it needs a radical shake up before we come to the next generation. We’re in danger of killing the industry before it has already even spread its wings to full length.
Gamers have been given too much power recently through the internet; as soon as something they do not like is even hinted at they all get on a company’s back and it is disgraceful. Unless it is in the case of a crowd-funded project then fair enough, but we need to change the industry on so many levels.
Let it be known that I fully support the upcoming Tomb Raider title and I wish them good luck in the development and whatever happens post release. I will buy the game regardless, but I sincerely hope that we can all accept that a change is needed within the industry so more games such as Heavy Rain and the freshly updated Tomb Raider see the light of day.