Gary Cutlack writes…
Hello, murder-crazed video gamers! Are you all angry from the hot, sticky weather, and ready to snap into violence at any second? Jesus, I am. I could literally pick up a baseball bat, walk out of the door and…
No I couldn’t. I was brought up in a polite world where people didn’t copy the violence they saw in films and on TV, and where there were no brutal murders related to video games at all.
Whatever happened to that world?
Nothing happened to it. It’s still here. We’re all fully aware that games are games and not the real world, so we usually tend not to copy things we see in pretend land out there in the real world.
And it’d be pretty hard for me to kill someone by copying a game I played as a child – I don’t think I could jump up high enough to land bottom-first on someone’s head. Not with these knees.
Fortunately, being significantly over 18, I have a wide range of graphic nastiness already sitting on my combined DVD/game storage space (a bit of carpet near the TV).
The first Manhunt game is one of them. It was OK. Although, being a game, this meant I judged it on game-judging criteria. Instead of playing and thinking about how real the murder looks, you play it wondering where the next checkpoint is. Or trying to remember what the buttons are. Or trying to work the camera.
Games shouldn’t be treated like films at all, they’re for different bits of your brain.
Good old Grand Theft Auto’s main way of making money was to baseball bat pedestrians to death and take their cash. I’ve never seen that happen in real life. You’d think it would be commonplace if people really did learn things from games, what with the huge number of copies the GTA series has sold.
All the crazy “Sick PlayStation Murder” headlines are utter nonsense. Read the words of the story and the facts are usually this – yes, there was a robbery and someone was shot. His whole house was ransacked and one of the items nicked was a PlayStation.
It seems the British Board of Film Classification has just decided it’s time to get angry about games. It says Manhunt 2 has an “unrelenting focus on brutal slaying” which is does – but then so does half my BBFC-approved DVD collection.
It also sports an “unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone” which is the other half of my DVD collection, and also pretty much everything I’ve written on the internet over the last ten years.
The BBFC also reckons Manhunt 2 contains “unrelenting focus on stalking” which is my weekends taken care of, too.
It’s all very unnecessary, because as games have become more violent and realistic over the years, we’ve become used to them. Go back in time to 1986 and show us Manhunt 2 and we’ll be puking up in horror – but now it’s just what video games are like.
So you shrug, pick up the claw hammer, and get back to completing level three.