News

Question of the Week: Discomforting Content

Posted by: Randy at 4/25/2009 1:08 AM
                                        Discomforting Content

Plenty of our staff opted to plead the 5th to this week's question:

Have you ever played a game that made you uncomfortable due to its content?

Sean Colleli:  I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Manhunt, but then again that game never bothered me. It was more like the perpetually sophomoric guys at Rockstar finally trying to be adult and edgy, but really coming off like angsty "now I'll show them" high school boys. Meh.  Quake 4 was the one that made me feel sick, during the "stroggofication" sequence. I have some issues with torture, and watching my character being dismembered, impaled and drive-thru brainwashed in first person, all completely without anesthetic really got to me. Even worse, I could see the soldier on the conveyor belt ahead of me being assembly-line butchered, so I simultaneously felt pity for the guy and dreadful anticipation for what would happen to me next. You can't even skip the damn thing. Even worse, there's no closure for Corp. Cain; at the end of the game he's a cybernetic freak for life, with fellow marines making comments to that effect.  (Currently playing Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars)

Randy Kalista
:  My lovely wife was cleaning vegetables in the kitchen, and I became thoroughly engaged in some onscreen Saints Row 2 ho-ing.  I stepped into a public restroom at a gas station with a client, then went about the double-analog stick purpose of pleasuring her.  Swivel the right stick to find the sweet spot, swivel the left stick Simon Says-style to seal the deal.  Strangely, I was so focused on simply trying to top out ten levels' worth of this activity that I didn't exactly notice the overly-loud bump n' grind groaning coming from the client behind closed doors.  My wife finally calls out from the kitchen -- in a stern voice reserved only for the most special of occasions -- "What.  Are.  You.  Doing."  It was, in fact, not a question.  It was an instruction to cease and desist whatever activity I was engaged in.  I did not get my pimp outfit for completing ten levels of that activity.  (Currently playing EVE Online: Apocrypha)

Cyril Lachel:  When it comes to video games I'm normally not offended by too many things, I'm fine with the violence of Manhunt, nudity in Grand Theft Auto and sexuality of Night Trap.  What gets me is the unneeded racism and homophobia that permeates through some games and online game culture.  One of the biggest offenders is Homie Rollerz, a game so full of offensive stereotypes that I'm surprised my Nintendo DS didn't have me addressed on hate crime charges.  There are a number of rather offensive stereotypes in Ready 2 Rumble Revolution, as well.  And don't even get me started on Kung Fu Chaos.  And while it's not content in a game, per se, the amount of outright hatred for minorities (be it women, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) in online gaming is enough to keep a lot of people away.  Maybe it's just me, but I would rather witness the grotesque killings in Manhunt than deal with the n-word slinging kids online.  At least when it comes to the video game violence I know it's not real.  (Currently playing The Godfather II, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (DS and Wii), Puzzle Quest Galactrix and Rock Band 2)

Matt Mirkovich
:  So, this is one of my major buttons, and it has to do with dogs. SPOILER WARNING (of sorts), in BioShock when you make it to Andrew Ryan's office you come across a audio tape in a room. This particular audio tape involves Dr. Suchong, and he's speaking to a little boy who is happily playing with his dog. He proceeds to essentially force the boy to kill the dog by power of suggestion, while the kid is basically bawling and you hear what is happening to the dog. Now, demon dogs with their heads splitting open and revealing some maw of hell I can deal with. But when it comes to your normal run of the mill house pet, I simply cannot stomach any harm coming to them. I will mute the game while this tape is playing. And I've yet to get the achievement where I find every audio tape. So I'll continue to play through the game until I do so, and I'll find that tape. And I will mute the game.  (Currently playing Street Fighter 4Henry Hatsworth & The Puzzling Adventure, Ar Tonelico 2, Valkyria Chronicles)

Nathan Murray:  As far as the question of the week goes I'm abstaining this time.  (Currently playing Rock Band 2, BattleForge, Final Fantasy Tactics (PSP), and finally beating Halo 3 on legendary difficulty)