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Nov 02 2013
By: bob-maul Welcoming Committee 14612 posts
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Harming Children in Video Games

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87 replies 260 views Edited Nov 2, 2013

After reading about how an indie developer was not going to fall to consumer pressure and remove undead childfen from his zombie game, I felt a discussion on this topic would be interesting and thought-provoking.

 

(http://kotaku.com/zombie-game-creator-defends-allowing-players-to-kill-un-1457086109)

 

I have conflicting thoughts on the subject. On one hand, I fully believe developers are within their artistic freedom to make what is part of their vision. I fully support this guy saying his team's vision is not going to be changed by the opposition. I believe that it fits under freedom of speech and that it should be protected. 

 

The conflicting idea comes from the fact I hate child harm in any medium and in real life. Children are symbols of innocence and children being harmed in forms of media are looked down upon. We have juvenile systems made for them where we do not just lock them up, but try and allow them to redeem themselves. We often will sympathize more with a child who kills someone than an adult that does so because kids are not as rational. It is human nature to protect children and I think most people share this idea of childhood innocence. So when I see children die in movies, I turn off the movie right away. What made Star Wars Episode 3 the worst Star Wars film for me was not the acting or story. It was the fact they showed Anakin killing the children. They could have left that bit of the plot open-ended. Or they could have dealt with the idea a lot more subtly if it was essential to leave no hole in the plot (and we all know they had plenty of those anyway). 

 

I do not feel I could play a game that kills a child in a meaningless away. If GTA decided to add children to the next title, I would not even watch a trailer for it. I can rationalize some child harm in games that are very story-driven and emotional, but the game needs to handle it very carefully for me to be able to work through it. I just have an emotional problem with harm done to children. It is, to me, the most despicable thing someone could do. 

 

The other argument for the inclusion is that it makes the world more believable. Having no children (GTA) is bad. As is having invincible children (Elder Scrolls, Fallout). I agree that a lack of children in a world is odd, but I would say one of those options is better than allowing the death of children in games. 

 

I am not a parent, so I am not certain how parenthood affects the decision.. But I have a feeling that killing children in games is frowned upon by parents on these boards. Please chime in if that plays a role. 

 

For me, I try and harmonize my two beliefs by thinking that people should be able to allow the killing of children, but I think it is unnecessary in most cases and should be avoided by developers. My way to fight it? Don't buy it. 

 

So what do you guys think of the issue? Believability or preserving innocence? Or what is another argument for your stance?


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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013

It's Just a game, kill em all. 

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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013
I feel like this is one of those subjects that make me appreciate the fact the NSA is spying on Americans. Then again, atrocities happen anyways which mean they aren't doing their job correctly.
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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

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Nov 2, 2013

Ikit-Klaw wrote:

It's Just a game, kill em all. 


I see the broader argument behind the cynicism Smiley LOL

 

It is a game, but I think that it is still a value that is near and dear to people. It is not harming a virtual person that matters. It is the fact you are going after children. While they are virtual, I think the symbolism associated with children is very real in most of our minds and that killing a virtual child is still just not a good thing. It assaults a value that we all hold dear to us and I think it is one that should not be touched for the sake of the story.


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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013

rengle598 wrote:
I feel like this is one of those subjects that make me appreciate the fact the NSA is spying on Americans. Then again, atrocities happen anyways which mean they aren't doing their job correctly.

The NSA does not care about the harm done to children. 


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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

[ Edited ]
Nov 2, 2013

bob-maul wrote:

Ikit-Klaw wrote:

It's Just a game, kill em all. 


I see the broader argument behind the cynicism Smiley LOL

 

It is a game, but I think that it is still a value that is ner and dear to people. It is not harming a virtual person that matters. It is the fact you are going after children. While they are virtual, I think the symbolism associated with children is very real in most of our minds and that killing a virtual child is still just not a good thing. It assaults a value that we all hold dear to us and I think it is one that should not be touched for the sake of the story.


I don't see it as any different than running around killing anyone, games like GTA have you killing people indiscriminately. I personally beleive killing is wrong, and even try my best not to kill anything even bugs. But in the end it is just a game and I have to problem laying waste to anyone or thing that gets in my way. 

 

 

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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013
People use the "Remove child violence" from games as an excuse because they keep blaming school shootings on games.

But what about teenagers and adults? So should people be taken out of... well, every single game just because someone might snap and kill someone?

People need to stop blaming games. Violence like this has been around since before video games. Thats just my opinion on it.
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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013

ccrogers15 wrote:
People use the "Remove child violence" from games as an excuse because they keep blaming school shootings on games.

But what about teenagers and adults? So should people be taken out of... well, every single game just because someone might snap and kill someone?

People need to stop blaming games. Violence like this has been around since before video games. Thats just my opinion on it.
Exactly, My friends and I grew up watching Loony Toons and not once did we try hitting each other in the head with frying pans, shoot each other with a shotgun, or drop various thing on someone's head. Why? Because our parents took the time to make sure we understood the difference between make believe and reality.  

 

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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013

Excellent thread bob thanks for making it.

 

I also use the Capcom forum and there was a discussion a long time ago there why there are not zombie kids on the game.And the reason they gave why they don't put kids are zombies in the game is because of the backlash of angry people they would receive by putting zombie kids in the game you can kill.People are sensitive these days they will take any opportunity to complain about something and killing children's would obviously draw a lot of attention.People don't get the idea that in the game the kids are no longer alive and are monsters without feelings.If they want to make the games more real i don't oppose the idea of including kids in the game as long as you don't have to kill their human form.

 

Also Capcom will not take a chance of including a kid in the game after the negativity they got with Resident Evil 5.As you know Resident Evil 5 is set in Africa and you kill people of color.Even though the game is not racist people still complained which shows how sensitive the people are these days.So yes i agree if you don't like don't buy it.

KANE-FIRE

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Re: Harming Children in Video Games

Nov 2, 2013

Ikit-Klaw wrote:

bob-maul wrote:

Ikit-Klaw wrote:

It's Just a game, kill em all. 


I see the broader argument behind the cynicism Smiley LOL

 

It is a game, but I think that it is still a value that is ner and dear to people. It is not harming a virtual person that matters. It is the fact you are going after children. While they are virtual, I think the symbolism associated with children is very real in most of our minds and that killing a virtual child is still just not a good thing. It assaults a value that we all hold dear to us and I think it is one that should not be touched for the sake of the story.


I don't see it as any different than running around killing anyone, games like GTA have you killing people indiscriminately. I personally beleive killing is wrong, and even try my best not to kill anything even bugs. But end the end it is just a game and I have to problem laying waste to anyone or thing that gets in my way. 

 

 


I would say there is a difference between bugs and self-aware beings, but I see your point! 

 

The issue I have is not with them being real or not. It is like people getting mad over book burnings. It is the destruction of a value or of an idea. Symbolism is very real in this regard and the killing of children is just terrible. 

 

Movies, games, music, etc desensitize us to things. Someone going around and murdering adults is nothing new. You turn on the news and you hear about a guy was killed in his suburban home. And you turn on the television the next morning and they are talking about how an old woman was stabbed to death. 100 years ago, a murder was met with a different response. But one thing that has not changed is death of children. Just look at the Casey Anthony case. If she had killed a boyfriend, there would have been much less press. Children carry a different meaning.


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