Warning: long post incoming
I know it's not popular to say, but it's not usually a big mystery to figure out what the general tone and attitude is towards a game on this site at any given moment. Nobody goes back and dissects a thread looking for each specific commenter that posted so they can cross-reference it just to make a point about a video game. The hate that this site has felt towards this game is pretty well known.
"General tone and attitude" is a nice euphemism for "hive mind." If the people saying the first thing are not the same as the people saying the supposedly contradictory thing, there is no hypocrisy. This isn't hard.
What Lara is showing in the new TR is survival, and I think that's strength. I think the transition from being near death multiple times, to then being the death dealer is very powerful. Revenge, survival, instinct. These are primal emotions that we all feel. It doesn't mean that the game is sadistic, or that she's a serial killer. It doesn't mean the fans of this new game are.
This really has nothing to do with my point. Literally no one is complaining that the new Lara is "strong." That's a straw man (and not your only one). Do you think that type of character arc, depicted in that way, is the only
way to create a "strong" character in fiction? If not, then can you see how simplifying the argument to being about a "strong" character is disingenuous?
Again, I just think it's solid fight choreography. You're really trying to inflate your point's significance by abusing words like "sadism" and "serial killer" when they really have no place here.
She (apparently) takes pleasure in the kills. That's sadism. She kills many people unnecessarily. That's a serial killer.
Totally disagree. Seems like pretty clear cut hypocrisy to me.
What you call "hypocrisy" is a feeling felt by almost every person on the planet when exposed to objectionable content beyond what they are accustomed to. By this logic, someone who's OK with the level of violence seen in Star Wars
, but who is uncomfortable by the level of violence in Saw
--which, I would hazard a guess, constitutes the majority of the moviegoing public--is a "hypocrite," just because they have a mental barometer for what kind of violence is tolerable and what kind of violence is positively disturbing to them that sits somewhere in the middle. Are you saying you don't have such a barometer? That there is literally no depiction of violence in any form of media that could make you flinch and feel uncomfortable, and that everyone who ever does feel disturbed by some violence anywhere is a hypocrite? Because that's the only way you are not yourself a hypocrite as well, by your own logic.
Different degrees of content elicit different reactions. Mario is not as violent as Zelda is not as violent as Grand Theft Auto is not as violent as Gears of War is not as violent as Dead Space. Which is to say nothing about how even the same act of violence, depending on its depiction, inspires radically different reactions (seeing people get shot in Pulp Fiction
feels very different than seeing people get shot in Schindler's List
). If you're saying that anyone who enjoys the first thing on that list but has a hard time with the last thing is a hypocrite, then not only are you rendering the term meaningless by including almost everyone in the world in it, you're demonstrating an inability to engage with aesthetics and context I can only describe as robotic.
And again, you try and cover this game with meaningless buzz words like "fetishistic" or "sadistic"
If you can't even agree that these words have meanings then I'm not sure we can even have a discussion.
when all it's really doing is glossing over the reality that it's the same shit that we see in countless other games. Being okay with it in some games, then radically opposed to it in others won't keep me up nights, but it seems hypocritical and borderline sexist.
Please identify these people who are OK with such gruesome, fetishized violence in certain games and are radically opposed to it here. For the record, I belong to neither group.
You also don't seem to understand (yet again) the motives behind the criticism: there are many who are criticizing the violence not because they're personally opposed to it, but because they they see it as wildly incongruous with what they think the character Lara Croft should be. A lot of the complaints have said, in so many words, "That might be OK in another game, but it's not Lara." I'm not endorsing that argument (I don't care about the character one way or the other)--but if you're unable to distinguish that line of criticism from criticism of violence in general then you're just being dishonest.
Again, I disagree completely. People cared about Splinter Cell: Blacklist, because Sam is literally just torturing people. But no one cared about Sam snapping necks, or slitting throats. People cared about Drake being a joker that didn't even seem to acknowledge that anyone is getting killed.
I haven't seen any broad outcry against violence in video games though. Actually, during the recent string of school shootings, most people were going out of their way to defend violence in gaming. I acknowledged that someone did complain about Watch Dogs, but it's really just one lone voice that does not represent the mainstream view, and will not be a factor in any reviews for the game - mark my words. One person on Gamasutra wrote an article saying that people cheering for The Last of Us after the shotgun headshot made him upset. That doesn't represent the majority view either - the people cheering do.
You're demonstrating a remarkable inability to grasp the fact that different groups of people react differently to different things differently. Is the whole human race one big hive mind to you?
1) Yes, there has been a broad outcry against violence in video games, especially after Newtown. The Vice President asked several major gaming executives to meet with him about the topic. There have been laws (since struck down) to outlaw selling violent games to minors. If you don't think the media and lawmakers are watching the games industry very closely at this point to determine if government action is necessary, and that such content is considered extremely controversial and possibly warranting oversight, then you simply aren't paying attention to the greater media landscape. Sadly, many gamers tend to be ignorant of how people outside the industry view it.
2) You've changed the goalpost to now saying that criticizing violence in games is not a "majority view." Great, no one claimed it was. I'm well aware that the majority of what we could consider "core" gamers have no problem with this kind of violence, and that any resistance to it is coming from a much smaller group. If that weren't the case (if the majority were opposed to violence), then these games wouldn't even be made in the first place. So I don't know why you think anyone is arguing this.
3) Based on what we've seen, there isn't anything as Watch Dogs that's as gruesome or disturbing as what's in Tomb Raider. I know this concept is foreign to you, but different degrees of content, especially violence, elicit different reactions. The comparison doesn't make sense except in your simplified "all violence is equally violent" view. Same with Splinter Cell: Killing terrorists in the name of stopping an attack, and literally torturing a person for information are not the same thing, no matter how much you try to pretend they are, which is why they elicited different reactions. Torture, is in fact, categorically different from murder. To be unaware of this is to have a moral compass that honestly scares me.
4) You seem to be making a thing out of how some people only make noise after they've been exposed to something specific. This is not hypocrisy. Sometimes people are persuaded by argument. Sometimes people tolerate something up to a certain point, until it reaches a tipping point or reaches an extreme, and then they react differently. This is just part of being human, and it happens with everything. If that's hypocrisy to only care about something until after it becomes particularly noticeable, then everyone on the planet is a hypocrite to some degree.
There were really no substantial complaints about even the "No Russian" level in Call of Duty,
(I see someone else has already posted this.)
To piggy-back on your later reply, you seem to think that the fact that CoD is "mainstream" is an argument in your favor. I honestly don't see how. The fact that one work enjoys a great deal of mainstream attention does not preclude it from also generating controversy. The people who enjoy "mainstream" games, and the people who criticized it, are probably different people. You, once again, seem to have a staggering inability to understand that one large group of people (mainstream gamers) can say one thing, and another large group (lawmakers and parents) can say the opposite.
Again, I think it's a question of proportion. One person getting angry at Watch Dogs, one person getting angry at Last of Us are not really equivalent to the sexism-related shitstorm this game has been in the midst of since E3 of last year. Really not even remotely close to equivalent, in any way. I think you're entirely missing the point.
Well, you've just muddied the waters by conflating two separate lines of criticism (stop doing that!). The sexism-related complaints ("Protect her" "she's weak") were not the same complaints as the violence complaints, and my perception is that the former was more prevalent than the latter. In some cases, they may have been made by the same people, but that doesn't change the fact that -- once again -- you're just combining a bunch of arguments into one big messy stew, picking out what you see as some overly simplified contradiction and holding it up as something that people need to reckon with. You have this odd fixation with holding up things someone has said -- or, in this case, things that people have not
said -- and expecting somebody else to be account for it. I will not play that game.
In any case, I never said that the two controversies were equivalent
. However, that's because such a thing is impossible to measure, and frankly a distraction. I have no interest in "Where's the outrage?" type of arguments because they hinge on a faulty premise: that the "level of outrage" against something can be quantified, and that it must be absolutely proportional in all respects. We're talking about large groups of people here. Sometimes one of those groups will be larger than another. Sometimes one member of that group will be more vocal or aggressive than a member of another. There's no way to properly gauge which group has "more" outrage, or whether that outrage is proportional to another.
It won't be the last either.
...Wow. OK, I just want to make this clear. I said "This isn't the first time I've seen you try to be absurdly reductionist
about describing characterization and aesthetic properties." To which you say the above.
I thought I was being just a little harsh to describe you as refusing to understand context and nuance. But if you readily admit that's what you do, and in fact embrace such a naive and disingenuous way of looking at media, there really is no point here.