The notion that video games are far too violent is not one that is at all new. It’s been going on for years. Video game are progressively getting more violent, that is true but there’s a few things to consider before jumping the gun and screaming for an end to one of the most powerful industries in the world.
Firstly the game to which we shall be discussing, Hatred, like all games that involve blowing a woman’s head off with a shotgun are 18+ or any other high level age rating. That means younger than 18 shouldn’t play it, and cannot purchase without ID. How do under 18s get games like this? Likelihood is, their parents. They should realise what a game entails and think whether they want their child to be playing it. Of course they may be denied but Timmy next door might have more liberal parents; speaking from experience I never had violent games when I was younger but I did play them at my friends houses. However never anything as violent as this, GTA: Vice City is one I remember but by today’s standards that’s nothing.
But the more important thing is the mental state of the player. Video games have been blamed for many styles of shooting (mostly in the USA because of their stupidly easily ability to get a gun) but homicide is not an action of the mentally stable. It’s hard to distinguish who’s going to shoot up a building or not but it’s got to be remembered is everyone else who doesn’t commit such atrocities. GTA shipped some 32.5 million copies, there have not been 32.5 mass-killings. It’s a hesitant point because a murderer could claim to be inspired by a video game, but it’s more logical to look at how few people admit this in comparison to how many buy the game. If there were 32.5 million murderers admitting inspiration from GTA, fair enough. But there aren’t. The majority of people who play these video games are likely highly sociable people, the majority of which probably have families and never let their young children see what they’re playing. But who cares about the people who don’t shoot, it’s all about the headlines.
Anyway, Hatred perhaps has crossed the line. One thing for sure is it hasn’t helped the argument and whilst the developers have given reasons as to why it’s not a game purely for murder, without looking deeper into it it’s a game where you murder civilians and cops for the purpose of the end game.
From the trailer it’s clear to see the high scope of violence exhibited and how there’s probably little else in this game. That’s where games like GTA, Last of Us, even Call of Duty get away with the violence. There’s a coherent storyline not built solely around the violence. Whilst it’s hard to justify violence it’s the same as films like the Godfather, Saving Private Ryan or Troy; there is violence but there’s a story that isn’t about violence.
Let’s be clear however, look at this game. It won’t sell high and the only way it’ll sell more is the way people are talking about it. The gameplay looks insanely repetitive and if you are entertained you probably won’t be spending 30 hours a week on this; it’s lucky it’s not a mobile game. It will not be a game changer and will not revolutionise the game industry, it will only counter any positive movement video game developers have made in batting away those who scorn the violence in video games.
It’s not we shouldn’t worry about it, Hatred may very well have gone too far. But whilst we can slate it all we want, we can defend it all we want, this is a trailer. We have not seen the full game and until we do we cannot possibly know how violent it truly is.
There are plenty of sanctions to prohibit Hatred from garnering any success in particular counties, one only has to look a few years back for the fiasco that surrounded Manhunt. The argument surrounding GTA however more memorable but had less effect, because it generated a substantial profit obviously.
At the root of it regardless of unbiased talks and favouring rational ones it is not the fault of the game that leads people to violence. In relation to the gun debate: if people can keep their guns because it’s the gunman that’s damaging and not the gun itself, then we can keep our games because it’s the gamer that does the damage and not the game itself. There is likely no substantial proof that video games lead to violence (please if you have any let me know) and the more likelihood is that if you are a violent person, you MAY play violent games. I don’t recall Adolf Hitler, Jack the Ripper or Napoleon playing many video games however, how strange.