WiseAss Thinkers


Gore? Hmmm… but what about the kids?

Author: dexjackson
Date: 29/08/2009
WiseAss Thinkers

KABOOM! BOOM! KASPOW! DUH-DUH-DUH! EERRGGHH! Mission Complete… For days when games were as simple as example above. However, they aren’t and that makes me *weep*- which of course it doesn’t, but on to the main point. Right, away from me sobbing over the lost quality of games over the last half-decade or so, I have come to realise that there is one thing that will remain and will still remain to be more comedic and explicit as ever. That thing is: gore. Why gore? Well, why not?

Now that's what I call "EYE CANDY!" Oh, that really sucked... Image taken from http://gaygamer.net/

Now that's what I call "EYE CANDY!" Oh, that really sucked... Image taken from http://gaygamer.net/

I mean, the days of DOOM and early Quake games were full of the stuff, with Quake giving rise to the gibs while DOOM brought about loads of monsters to continually and indiscriminately kill with lots of rocket and plasma ridden deaths with sprite-fulls of blood being spilt all over the place. Fast-forward half-a-dozen years or so and nothing had much changed except that deaths and the resulting violent nature of them had become much more coarse. Again, fast-forward another half-a-dozen years or so and gore had become so much more realistic, what with the whole popular emphasis placed on “target zones” of a monster’s or NPC’s body. ‘Splody deaths were, not so much as more common in games – certainly not, but that they were more graphic rather than bits of gibs all over the place. If was to shoot em’ in the head, I would not see not a flat surface with a lick of red paint, but a caved in, devastated neck/”blood canyon”. Pretty nasty.

These were the days of pixelated, bloodied glory. Image taken from http://www.btinternet.com/

These were the days of pixelated, bloodied glory. Image taken from http://www.btinternet.com/

Of course, as time has gone on, the games that makes this feature part of their brand or image or even an important part of the gameplay have developed the features ever further, so that when you start pulling the big guns out, the body of your enemy is obliterated whereas a smaller gun will only rip it apart. Fitting, yes? Sometimes, though, you have to think is some games really do need to have the levels of gore that they do. A horror game is an obvious and backed-up case for it, but do we really need it in our platformers or strategy games? By no means I’m I a “game violence hater”, I leave that to the neo-conservatives, but sometimes I do find myself thinking, “well, if it’s not taking the miff with the gibs and such and it’s not a serious game to horrify you with the details or to show the realism of what happens when metal hits flesh at high speed, then why do I need to see all the red glory of the kill I made?” Remembering a much recently written about game, called Fallout 3, I see that gore as comedic, whereas games like Soldier of Fortune try for that comedic but it ends up being a little bit unnecessary…

Ah, before I forget, I have to say something about the kids, don’t I? Well, I could say that they’re all little so-and-sos’ but that would be too easy. No, the kids these days are a lucky bunch in a way. The stuff they see in their games – this being the gore, of course – is pretty shocking and would certainly not been allowed in my day- I sound so old here, it’s terrible. On the one hand, the shooty ‘splody deaths that they see are like, well, “second-nature” to them. On the other, though, it’s not particularly brilliant that they are accustomed to violence on that kind of ridiculous scale. Sure, Serious Sam was seen as quite nasty back then – even though the graphics of the time turned a few heads – and now it seems like something a 7 yr old could easily play without supervision, but then again Half-Life was about the same level of indiscriminate “waste-laying” gibberage and yet that seems worse? A lot of the new daddies who were Gamers and have now retired their title in place of raising the next – so adorable and cute – generation of em’ probably would say that themselves now, wouldn’t they?

This is just ridiculous... Image taken from http://www.gameshop.at/

This is just ridiculous... Image taken from http://www.gameshop.at/

Strangely, it might seem as though I’m a bit mad for going about what might seem to be a minor – if not trivial – element of a computer game- and I am, don’t forget. The thing is, though – as you can probably well guess, gibs and gore and blood and all that encompass a fair amount of the games we play. It’s true that it brings much needed satisfaction in making that supremely brilliant headshot you made on that soldier last night on Delta Squadron 5 worth every second of lining it up. It’s also true that John Romero did deserve to have his head on the pike in DOOM for that abomination – although passable – game Daikatana- but that’s a little off the way. It’s just that gore is becoming quite the force in a game; even so far as to be one of the main selling points of new release, as we all know that it was for Fallout 3- don’t forget. But before you play a game, just think for a second: “Is that bit of cavation of skull bone necessary in this game or should it be reserved for something else?”. And also: “Why should we have to sit and play through a gorefest for our entertainment when a nice story and some intriguing puzzles would carry the same effect?” And finally: “Where’s the pike for Peter Molyneux’s noggin’ for that abysmal game Fable II, hmm?”…

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