Learning to love mass murder


People need to stop pretending Postal 2 is representative of video games in general. If you want to raise the same issues about GTA or Unreal 2K4, that’s fine. But don’t hold up a crappy game that nobody plays as if it’s somehow symptomatic of a larger problem.

Dude. I hate the game. I am just posting it as a point of discussion. Dont assume any kind of view attached to my post of a URL.

I think shadarr was referring to the media’s current use of Postal 2 in a good number of op-ed pieces about gaming violence, much in the same way that they hung onto Doom as their videogame buzzward for years after most people had stopped playing the game.

Mind you, the article does bring up Grand Theft Auto as well, but seems to make a mistake in it’s assumptions in lines like “It’s only in the last few years that we’ve seen a steady flow of games, like the “Thief” series, that allow the player to sneak past them.” in reference to “nearly all” games forcing you to kill enemies to progress in levels.

Don’t think he was directing that at you.

Good point GM! Apologies! :oops:

The media is idiotic, but the media does have a point. I made this point 2+ years ago… here is a partial repost (last less relevant section deleted)…

Its ironic that I should make a post like this, just another of life’s bizarre moments (I won’t go into why its ironic, that’s a tale for another time).

FPS (interpersonal killing)
RTS (or turn-based) (group killing)
RPG (“monster” killing (derived from heathen killing))

The three most popular and most developed for gaming genres, ALL revolving around killing as the PRIMARY activity (even in RTSs base building is pointless without killing).

Now, I won’t delve into the dark side of this. Needless to say, psychologists could have a field day. That’s another tale for another time.

I’ll simply request a more mature approach to gaming. A more SOCIAL approach to gaming. Imagine an enjoyable game (simple puzzle games don’t qualify, sorry) where every question isn’t answered with “kill it/her/him/the alien/the monster/your mom/that hampster who offended you”.

Its a good thing games AREN’T real, otherwise the world would have been depopulated long ago. Even now in MMORPGs there is so much killing that monsters have to respawn from thin air just so there will be a few things running around!

It doesn’t even make much sense. You mean ANOTHER alien horde is invading earth? What… the 170th alien horde? You mean the other 169 alien hordes vanquished weren’t enough? Why are all of these alien hordes targeting earth? Did transmissions of “Small Wonder” enrage them into a frenzy?

I have nothing against a game in which you have to save the world one corpse at a time. But after the 2 billionth “save the world” game I for one am ready for something different.

Speaking of irony… MMOGs which inherently CANNOT have “save the world” mentality (at least not easily given the concurrent theme of Individualism) STILL have people killing monsters.

Its idiotic. Kill monster. Monster respawns out of thin air (does anyone ever say… WTF! to that?). Kill monster. Rinse and repeat.

WHY? WHY? WHY? The laws of reproduction (have you ever thought that the air is horny today? The air gets more action than I do! I wonder if those Hydrogen babes give good head) entirely revoked for no good reason whatsoever.

Its an exercise in Nihilism. The only point is to get more “powerful”, but as in Nihilism (and if anyone asks, this is the only true meaning of it) getting more powerful is pointless.

You get more gold, better weapons (which in turn only help you kill more EASILY, but since killing itself has no point…).

Is there a random Koontz argument generator out there, somewhere? They all seem rather similar after a while.

When you remove the emotional, ethical and practical problems that come with killing living creatures, be they humans or animals, you will find that killing things is fun. It needs no purpose or reason beyond the fact that people take pleasure in the act.

I do agree with the author that it would be somewhat nice if there was a bit more variety in how one succeeds in games. And he does make the point that he really enjoyed the freedom to see what would happen when he was allowed to experiment with his nefarious schemes. The major complaint he’s trying to make seems to be he’d like the freedom in games to do other stuff. Can’t say as I disagree with that.

In recent years, I’ve had several lengthy phone conversations and even lengthier email exchanges with Salon technology editor Andrew Leonard, all in hopes of understanding Salon articles like Peter’s.

Andrew Leonard doesn’t know much about videogames, but he is a big fan of shellshocked introspection on the part of videogame writers. For years now, Wagner James Au has been his most reliable abyss-gazer. But others are welcomed to probe the videogame landscape for some absurd spot from which to ponder the impact of games on man’s ever-fragile psyche.

The benchmark of the Salon form remains Wagner’s thesis on Black & White, which opened with this unforgettable lead:

The long-awaited game Black & White is everything fans hoped it would be: A state-of-the-art excursion into our own souls.

And so on. It’s been going on for years.

Andrew seems to be trying to establish videogame journalism as a genre parallel to and the equivalent of the war correspondence of books like My War Gone By, I Miss It So and War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. This is journalism in which haunted, gentle spirits document their self-loathing at having found themselves thrilled by the violence that surrounded them. Soon now I expect Salon to press for its videogame writers to be eligible for the Robert Capa Prize in Journalism, for so poetically enduring the existential crucible of games-playing.

P.S. Peter is a former colleague and a guy I think very highly of. No disrespect meant, brother. I’m very much looking forward to “A Gaming Life.”