You Can Now Have I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

By John Walker on September 5th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

I wish GOG would stop revealing gaps in my playlist. I never played 1995′s Harlan Ellision horror adventure, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. Unquestionably one of the best game titles of all time (lifted from the 1967 short story), I missed it in a blur of A Levels. But now there’s a way to make up for it, via a $6 release.

All of humanity but for five people are dead by the hands of an evil computer called AM. He’s since kept those five alive for 109 years, to torture them. Happy times. Preying on their weaknesses, AM has created a series of adventures for each of the five, and you must outdo the horrid AI. But in a rather serious way, the game dealing with ethical dilemmas that cover huge topics like genocide and rape.

Right, so, that’s for the weekend then.

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118 Comments »

  1. thekeats1999 says:

    This is one I never played either so will be grabbing this later on today.

    And I have only just gotten the story as well.

    Looking forward to this.

    • virginia_robinson01 says:

      I just got paid $7500 working off my computer this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $8k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do… w­w­w.c­n­n­1­3.c­ℴ­m

  2. Gravy100 says:

    After the posted video, one of the related videos is the BBC radio version of the short story which is very different to the game (the game really could be viewed as a companion piece to the story really) although if you’re extremely sensitive to spoilers then probably best to give it a miss until after the game.

    • frightlever says:

      Story is here, FWIW: http://pub.psi.cc/ihnmaims.txt

      Copyright notice says it’s legit but let your moral compass guide you.

      Never played the game. Heard it wasn’t actually very good.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I’m not sure what the copyright status of it is. I recognize that footer from an old sci-fi site of short stories that fell off of the Internet, and actually made a cleaned-up-markup version of it with the talkfields restored for myself, but I probably can’t redistribute it.

      • phlebas says:

        I’ve played the game. It’s not terrible, and does try to do some interesting things. It’s old school point&click design that doesn’t follow the Lucasarts pattern, so remember to save early and often, in multiple slots.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          Read the story but never played the game. Always found this story to be more akin to horror stories of the early 20th century, than to sci-fi. There’s something very strikingly Lovecraftian about the format and formula (and themes) of the story… As stories about psychotic omnipotent beings go, it’s up there with the Old Testament.

  3. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    The modern equivalent might be something along the lines of “I have no keyboard and I must comment”.

  4. NailBombed says:

    Also AM’s voice narrated in the hammiest way possible by Harlan himself.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    The devil would be a lot less conspicuous if he didn’t always cast those horned shadows. I suppose it would make more sense for him to walk about on a cloudy day where there’s less chance of his terrifying figure projecting onto a nearby surface.

  6. Hodge says:

    I missed it as well, but experienced it vicariously through Cobbett’s Crapshoot from a while back… which also mentions that it’s supported by ScummVM . Yeah, might have to give this one a go.

  7. Pippy says:

    For those who want the full story of this game read Harlan’s shocking exposé “I have a mouth and I will not shut up” about how his groundbreaking story and evocative voice over was ruined by the ham fisted philistines who infest the games industry like fat leeches sucking the blood from the bounteously haemarroging font of his profound genius

  8. bdnnnada says:

    Look like flash game, play long time ago.

  9. RedViv says:

    I Have No Copy Of I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream But I Must Play A Harlan Ellison Horror Game – The John Walker Story The Game The Movie

  10. Tei says:

    This is probably one of the most lame sci-fi stories in the history of sci-fi.

    Is popular probably because can be interpreted in a religious way, and USA is a super-religious and far right country.

    Can we get movies/tv series/games from something a littel more modern, please? Iain M. Banks, Neal Stephenson. …

    If the success of Game of Thrones is any indication, people like actual modern stuff, has opposed something written in f***** 196X.

    This include more movies from Philip K. Dick stories. No more PKD. The author was good, but anything somebody can say about drugs and confusing reality with fiction has already been said. All PKD stories are really the same history, if you read the subtext. No more PKD, until we have at least 2 movies based on I.M.Banks, 1 movie based on Neal Stephenson and another 2 Terry Pratchet movies.

    • jmtd says:

      I don’t recognise what you say at all. IHNMAIMS is a fine short story and it’s age is totally irrelevant. Nor is there any evidence that GoT is popular simply because it was written in a recent decade. I’m enjoying a Wyndham novel from the 50s as I write. I can’t imagine IHNMAIMS’s popularity is in any way related to a religious interpretation since it paints a pretty grim picture of a mighty one if you choose to interpret it that way. I’d personally hate someone to adapt a Banks novel to a game simply because I don’t believe they’d do the great man justice.

    • Gravy100 says:

      I’d be really interested in getting some good sci-fi reading recommendations as I really enjoyed IHNMAIMS and PKD stuff but that’s where my sci-fi explorations have ended, if there’s way better recommendations out there (must reads by I M Banks etc) then it’d be great to hear about em

      • sinister agent says:

        Jeff Noon is one of my favourites. Very strange, surreal, thought-provoking modern science fiction. At the moment I can’t get Nymphomation out of my mind even though it may not be his best – a bizarre story about a lottery game run by a secretive company in Manchester that also rents out “blurbflies” – programmable flying advert things that it’s illegal to capture or injure (it’s speculated that they’re sentient). A handful of mathematics students attempt to figure out the logic behind the game and its odds, and all kinds of weird shit happens.

        I’m not even into maths at all, and it fascinated me.

        Also the Foundation series by Aaaaaasimov are excellent. I’ve only read the first two so far, but they’re eminently readable and full of great ideas. Very short too, they’re basically a handful of short stories set centuries apart charting the decline and rebuilding of a galactic empire. Considering what it’s about, it’s remarkably character-driven, and simple too – you could probably read any one in isolation without getting confused, as it’s not the labyrintine mess that a lot of sci fi series become.

        And there’s Dune, which I re-read every ten years or so. There are about 6 books in that series (plus a load of cash-in fanfic dreck written after the author died), but the first is self-contained, and can be read in isolation. A minority of people seem to really hate Dune, but then that’s probably true of everything.

        • DrMcCoy says:

          Okay, you Ninja’d me with Foundation. :)

          About Dune: I love the first book. The second is meh, the following crap.

          • sinister agent says:

            Yeah, I’ve not bothered re-reading any after the first for about fifteen years, so I can believe it.

          • DrScuttles says:

            There was something about Dune Messiah that appealed to me far more than the original. It’s probably my own self-destructive nature clamouring for narratives in which a powerful figure is taken down with a murky emphasis as to the the nature of their complicity.
            And Heretics Of Dune was rad.

            But I also adore the David Lynch film (while acknowledging its many flaws), so read from that what you will.

          • N'Al says:

            This.

          • gunny1993 says:

            I recently re-watched the David lynch Dune film, and even though it is so full of flaws I can’t not like it.

            I do love how when lynch was filming the film someone must have said “Make the Harkonnens as physically repulsive as possible” … and he clearly took that to mean ” Make them all ginger”

            And lol the scene where he asks the mentat to milk a cat, so weird.

          • DrScuttles says:

            And Sting’s pants.

          • gunny1993 says:

            Oh god yeah, that was clearly sting’s idea.

          • Bhazor says:

            I didn’t notice till now but Sting’s pants are basically Wonder Woman’s boob plate.

      • Jonfon says:

        Must-reads from Iain M Banks = Prepare to have different people list off every books from the entire series. Everyone has a different favourite.

        The Player of Games is my own personal favourite (also the one I started with, it’s relatively self-contained unlike some of the more recent ones), but if you basically start at the beginning and work your way through it’s all good.

        The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi is pretty good too, but prepare to be confused for a bit, he doesn’t do much in the way of infodumps so some of the tech is baffling for the first half of the book.

        • gunny1993 says:

          I’m getting really, really sad that there will never be another culture novel.

          Especially since I found Hydrogen Sonata so depressing in its self declared pointlessness (Although now i can understand why it felt like that,)

        • MichaelGC says:

          Must reads by Iain M. Banks = all of them! Yes indeed – my personal favourite is Excession. However, I’d recommend reading at least one other one first, so that you can get the hang of the universe. Probably can’t go wrong just by reading them all in chronological order of publication. (Just make sure it doesn’t say “Iain Banks” (no “M.”) on the cover – he dropped the middle initial when writing non-science-fiction fiction.)

          Now off to check out this Jeff Noon guy as it’s the first I’ve heard of him…

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

          Funny story. Went to see Iain Banks talk in Waterstones on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow last year with a friend (he was promoting Stonemouth at the time so it would’ve been around April/May/June 2012). Someone asked the ubiquitous question of “What are you reading at the moment” & the 2 books he mentioned were The Quantum Thief & The Windup Girl.

          Also I second your choice of The Player of Games. One of the best stories by any author not just the late great Mr Banks.

          • Jonfon says:

            The Windup Girl is also fantastic, but bleak as a really bleak thing (I’m not a professional writer, obviously).

            This thread just reminded me that I still have to read Hydrogen Sonata and The Fractal Prince (follow up to The Quantum Thief)

          • Bhazor says:

            “Don’t listen to me. I’m just a girl. Tee hee”

        • viverravid says:

          Use of Weapons

          • hungrytales says:

            meh, one of the most-overrated books ever. It’s not bad, mind you. Memorable even. But its overwrought structure where you have two main plots interweaving, one of them going onwards, and the other backwards doesn’t lend itself for a good reading experience no matter how you bend it. The fact that the former is merely decorations, a sort of dull background for the latter to stand out and hit you harder at the end doesn’t help either. Well, it definitely helps with the ending, but you’re gonna have to cross that bridge before you get to it. Maybe there are many who fall for such tricks. I’d rather be entertained or gripped all along the way.

      • DrMcCoy says:

        Here are some recommendations that come to my mind right now, trying to be a bit more on the obscure-ish side. Take these with a grain of salt, though, because I did love IHNM in both story and game form. :P

        - William Gibson, “Neuromancer”. The novel that kicked of cyberpunk. Technically, it’s part one in a trilogy, but the other parts aren’t as good IMHO
        - John Brunner, “The Crucible of Time”. A long view on an alien civilization, how their culture changed over time
        - George R. R. Martin, “Dying of the Light”. Melancholic view of romance and intercultural differences
        - Isaac Asimov, “Foundation” and its sequels. On how to predict and change the future on a very long time scale
        - Richard Matheson, “I Am Legend”. The novel, not the crap Will Smith movie. A tale of generational/cultural shift.

      • iucounu says:

        Another vote for Jeff Noon – start with VURT, it’s terrific – and Iain M Banks. You should definitely read DUNE – don’t bother with any of the sequels. My personal favourite SF author is the late Jack Vance – try the DEMON PRINCES books, five excellent, baroque space operas about interstellar revenge. Ursula Le Guin’s THE DISPOSSESSED is fascinating. Lois McMaster Bujold does cracking adventure fiction in space – sometimes military SF, sometimes mystery, always fun. Dan Simmons’s HYPERION CANTOS are a must-read. LIGHT by M John Harrison. I could go on. Oh, pretty much anything in Gollancz’s SF MASTERWORKS series.

      • Dan Griliopoulos says:

        Okay, here’s a few good oldies from someone who’s read FAR too much SF:
        The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
        The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin
        Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon
        Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick (though his short fiction is often better)
        The Scar – China Mieville
        The Atrocity Exhibition or The Drowned World – JG Ballard
        A Fall of Moondust – Arthur C Clarke
        The Hyperion Omnibus – Dan Simmons
        Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes

      • Edgar the Peaceful says:

        Have you read ‘ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’? Or, better still, get hold of the original early-80s radio plays.

        Ok – this recommendation is obvious, and most have read it, but if you haven’t you’re in for a treat.

        [EDIT: forget the film - it was shit]

    • sinister agent says:

      I think perhaps you should read it again. If there’s a religious angle to it, it’s not the kind of hurrah jesus hurrah that the US bible belt would like. It’s basically “god is a sadistic monster who must die”.

    • Stragman says:

      Stop defecating on your keyboard, please.

    • Bhazor says:

      I am always saddened when nerds gather to discuss sci-fi and no one mentions John Clute’s Appleseed.

      One of the few sci-fi books to really explore a post singularity universe and is both the best written and most incomprehensible acid trip of a sci-fi book I’ve ever read.

      I’d also recommend Greg Egan but only to the type of people who think math jokes are funny. Or you read textbooks for fun. The hardest of the hard sci-fi writers.

      • iucounu says:

        I keep bouncing off Appleseed, though Clute’s criticism is the best in SF.

        I agree on Egan. Amazing ideas, but an awful lot of very cardboard characters just discussing them in rooms.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        APPLESEED that was it. I read it on a trans-Atlantic flight, and I wasn’t sure whether the horror of British Airways had caused me to hallucinate it in its entirety. Reading it again after recovering my equilibrium was equally disorienting. Part of me still insists I dreamed the whole book, but the cover matches my memory.

        • Bhazor says:

          It’s like reading Alice in Wonderland if it was possible to read that without having it spoilt by cultural osmosis. I’ve read it five times and I still only have a vague idea of what its about.

          • GameCat says:

            Alice in Winderland is about dreaming. Random surreal weird shit happens. Lewis Carroll is also making some fun from pop-culture and maths from XIX century. There’s also tons of puns so it should be a Bible of RPS commenter. That’s it, no big deal. No morals, it’s not about drugs (many people think it’s all about drugs, they’re just probably on acid trip, because it’s bullshit) or some other things like that.

            If you can, grab “Annotated Alice” by Martin Gardner. It’s original Alice in Wonderland but annotated as hell, everything should be clear after reading that version.

            TL;DR – Alice in Wonderland is just about dream, don’t try to find some sense in that book. We’re all mad here.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Isn’t appleseed an anime?

        I shall assume they are unrelated and add Clute to my list …

        Maths jokes aren’t funny so i’ll give the other guy a miss for now.

    • Fry says:

      You understand this is a post about a game released almost 20 years ago, right?

  11. TheGameSquid says:

    The game is, like the short story, not particularly good, but it’s still worth playing because of its offbeat nature I think…

  12. DuneTiger says:

    I remember picking this game up when it was brand spanking new. I was not aware of Harlan Ellison, but being a kid, I was attracted the the box with the plastic overlay and funky cover.

    I returned it the next day.

    The game was ridiculously buggy to the point where you could move your cursor to the upper right corner and cycle through all possible inventory items long before you were supposed to have them. There were also glitchy map holes and stuff, and the whole thing was a giant buggy mess.

    It also did not help that Ellison’s hammy acting of “Am” really irritated me. Kudos to those who appreciated this game, but for my money, there are far better adventures to be found on GOG.

  13. sinister agent says:

    Aw, they really should have just played the whole of AM’s opening speech. I never enjoyed point and click games, but I read a let’s play of this a few years back, and enjoyed it thoroughly. AM is an excellent villain, and the story is grim as hell.

    The voice is a bit disappointing though. Sounds like a mad scientist rather than the near omnipotent, malevolent AI.

  14. Bhazor says:

    This article celebrating the bravery of depicting serious issues like graphic rape immediately followed by an article about how ashamed Dennation should be and how he must now defend including off screen rape in his game.

    • sinister agent says:

      Gosh, It’s almost as if it’s possible to explore issues instead of tackily stapling them onto something for no good reason.

      • Champy says:

        Gosh, it’s almost as if it’s possible for random commenters to omnipotently predict how an issue is handled in a yet unreleased game.

        I don’t even know if RPS’ authors genuinely believe the drivel they spout in the outrage-over-allegd-sexism-articles, or if they are just satirising. It IS getting more ridiculous with every new feature however.

        • sinister agent says:

          The purpose of a demo is to indicate the content of your game. If your demo contains x, it is implied that your game contains x.

          But carry on, it’s not like you lot didn’t already know this and ignore it because growing up is hard.

          • Bhazor says:

            The fact is the game is designed and marketed as being dark, shocking and disturbing so the demo fits the game perfectly . Not to mention that demo just got them a ton of publicity about the game which is of course the whole point of going to these trade shows.

          • sinister agent says:

            … which proves precisely why it was different to actually exploring the issue, hence why your original comment was a load of tiresome, obtuse bollocks.

            Bit of an own goal there, eh? Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

          • Bhazor says:

            What issue do you think Hotline Miami’s rape scene is supposed to address? That rape is bad? I think we’ve covered that. I don’t think we really need a game to tell us that.

            From what they’ve said the purpose of the rape scene in Hotline Miami is to disgust the player. Pure and simple. It’s to shake them from the numb stupour and take a fresh look at the violence in the game. Make them question their role in it and generally question themselves.

            If that’s the case that part of the demo was a huge success.
            The rest of the demo? Not so much. Gameplay seems unchanged, music’s nowhere near as good, art style less iconic and the writing seemed much more heavy handed and on the nose than the original.

          • Edgewise says:

            What’s up with the Hotline Miami article, anyway? It looks like they locked down the comments. I didn’t see anything that bad, just a lot of disagreement with the article itself. Maybe they had to delete a lot of offensive comments? I was pretty surprised because it looked tame. I wanted to comment to add my voice to those who think it is absurd to worry about a “near-rape” in a game that is wall-to-wall brutal murder.

        • iucounu says:

          Oh, please would people get it into their heads that sometimes things that aren’t important or significant to you are important and significant to other people? And for good reasons? Perhaps you could just pin your ears back and listen occasionally, assume good faith, and acknowledge the limits of your own judgement and experience?

          “It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.” ― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

          • MasterDex says:

            I like how you mention listening occasionally. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? You know, if there was an article here on RPS every week that prompted people to discuss such heated topics in an environment where no one can get physically hurt.

            Shame that most of those articles end up getting locked down by the very people that start these debates. It’s all rather childish, in my opinion.

            “Hey you! Yeah, you! I want to have a word with you about this controversial topic!”

            “Sure! In my opinion, that controversial topic isn’t half as controversial as it’s made out to be.”

            “Lalala! I can’t hear you!” *locks comment thread*

          • iucounu says:

            I get what you’re saying, but I can’t help but interpret all these cries of “this isn’t really a controversy” and “you’re being over-sensitive” and “you don’t really believe that, you’re just trying to stir up trouble or chase page views” as being the first attempt to shut down these kinds of conversation. Often in ways that directly attack the person who raised it in the first place.

          • MasterDex says:

            There can certainly be an element of that. If we go with the two sides to every story idea, it’s like each controversial topic will have two sides that are staunch in their opposition of the other. But of course, in these situations, the middle-ground is there to balance things out.

            You can’t have a proper discussion or debate on a heated topic if you’re unwilling to hear a different point of view than your own, even if that view is totally against what you, yourself, believe.

            My problem with the way RPS does things is that they force a debate and then stop allowing people to join in on that debate when they’ve had enough. If they were serious about pushing a debate, as they appear to be when it comes to anything female and game related, they’d keep the comment sections of such articles open, put up with the shit they don’t want to hear like everyone that disagrees with them but still visits this site does and perhaps through open and honest discussion of the topics at hand, make some progress – even if said progress is as little as changing one guy’s point of view.

            As it stands, they’re just bleating their opinion and telling anyone that disagrees with them that they’re wrong, or worse: misogynistic. Acting like that only serves to create a greater contempt among the opposing sides.

          • Tagiri says:

            MasterDex, I may be incorrect in assuming that you’re a man, but let me tell you that as a woman ideas like ‘women can’t do all the things that men do’ or ‘a rape scene is a great way to show that this story is Dark and Serious’ or ‘gosh it’s just a rape joke grow up already’ or even ‘my sexism is just an opinion so you can’t get mad at me’ are not “just” opinions. They’re things that can make me feel uncomfortable and/or unsafe in a community, especially irl.

            Like, “la la it’s just an opinion” is great to say when the things being discussed are an intellectual curiosity and not something that actually affects you.

          • iucounu says:

            The conversation tends to go like this:

            RPS: Here’s something we think is problematic and bothersome.
            Really quite a lot of comments: No, it’s not problematic at all. People claiming otherwise are either hysterical or acting in bad faith. It’s been blown up out of all proportion and you should not be talking about this on a games website.
            RPS: Oh for Christ’s sake, I can’t be bothered with this every single time. Comments off.
            Comments: Why do you want to shut down debate on this important issue?

            I mean, the first thing people ask for is basically to stop talking about this stuff. What they really seem to want is the last word.

          • Bhazor says:

            @ tagirl

            There’s a world of difference between “I don’t like this so I won’t support it ” and ” I don’t like this so you have to now apologise and change it”.

            @ iucounu

            ” No, it’s not problematic at all. People claiming otherwise are either hysterical or acting in bad faith. It’s been blown up out of all proportion

            The problem is being the internet that is exactly true nine times out of ten. In the case of Hotline Miami the much touted rape scene is
            Pig man kills bunch of dudes.
            Pig man approaches woman on floor
            Pigman crouches over woman on floor
            Screen pulses darkly red three or four times
            Director yells cut, scene is revealed to be a movie set

            It’s hardly Deliverance or The Last House on the Right.

          • Hahaha says:

            Bhazor seriously, that’s what happens? (try and avoid all spoilers these days) so what the fuck is going on?

          • Tagiri says:

            @Bhazor: Oh, absolutely. But I don’t know if I’d say “apologize and change it” is an invalid response to enough people saying “I don’t like this so I won’t support it” you know?

          • Hahaha says:

            Of course it is, why can “art” do it but games can’t?

            I do wonder what would be going on if it was a male victim

          • MasterDex says:

            @Tagirl:
            You are correct in your assumption that I am a man. Unfortunately, that’s the only part of your comment I can agree with. The “quotes” you offer up as examples of the opinions or ideas of the men on this site are farcical.

            ‘women can’t do all the things that men do’

            While I understand that many games may give that impression, that’s more of a targeting problem. Guys like to believe they can save and protect the girl. Call it an evolutionary advantage or misogyny all you like but a game aimed at young boys/men is likely enough to have a kidnapped princess somewhere in the story.

            That comment prompts me to ask you a few questions. Do you believe men should be entitled to paternity leave? After all, it’s only women that get pregnant, right? Where do you think the father should stand on issues of abortion? Should a mother always be seen as the prime caregiver in custody hearings? Are those billboard-sized adverts for men’s underwear featuring a male crotch any less offensive than a Wonderbra advert?

            or ‘a rape scene is a great way to show that this story is Dark and Serious’

            Or perhaps it’s there to highlight how numb we are to plain, old physical violence and gore; to shake us out of a blunted state where we dismember a body into multiple pieces and watch the limbs fall to the ground. Without batting an eyelid.

            Do you believe rape as a subject has no place in videogames? Also, the way you bring it up, it would seem that you believe that the only victims of rape are women. Would it confound your beliefs to know that many men, sexist pigs that they are, also consider rape to be a serious topic, in spite of retaining the ability to enjoy a piece of entertainment featuring rape or the implication of rape?

            or ‘gosh it’s just a rape joke grow up already’

            Well, if it’s a good rape joke, it’s a good rape joke – just like all those other good jokes that mention [insert controversial topic here]. Or are you going to tell me George Carlin doesn’t know a good joke?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwMukKqx-Os

            or even ‘my sexism is just an opinion so you can’t get mad at me’

            Ya see, the thing about this last one…I’m sure I’ll get labelled sexist for this but that shit there, that’s plain feminazi bullshit. “This MAN disagrees with my opinion! That opinion therefore is sexist and so, therefore, is that MAN!” I see it so often and that sort of pre-programmed diatribe is as offensive to me as I’m sure scantily armoured female avatars are to you.

            Gaming has a long way to go before it offers equal entertainment to men and women. Hell, it’s barely even reached the level of maturity required for grown men to keep interest. However, the way to find that equality isn’t to denounce all men that are fine with some titilation, etc as sexist. The way to finding equal footing is for more women to enter the industry and help change things from the inside. That’s already happening but considering that female gamers are still a minority within the gaming community, it’s still a ways off before it comes true.

          • Hahaha says:

            Can RPS give views on https://www.google.co.uk/#q=rape+scenes+in+films

            “I personally believe that the fact that the “near rape” aspect of this scene receives more attention than the extreme and senseless violence throughout the entire game.”

          • iucounu says:

            @Bhazor

            “The problem is being the internet that is exactly true nine times out of ten. ”

            No, actually, because we don’t get to decide for each other what’s overreaction or oversensitivity or whatever. We don’t have an objective standard of what’s objectively important. As a white male I don’t really have to worry about racism or sexism, because although there’s a certain amount of anti-white racism or anti-male sexism in the world, for all practical purposes it doesn’t exist. I don’t encounter it. If I’m walking home alone at night I tend to worry about getting robbed, not raped. Rape and sexual assault are way down on my list of anxieties. This doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone in the world. What I tend to do when someone brings up a really serious issue like rape and tells me they find some depiction of it troubling is, as I say, to pin my ears back and listen, rather than arrogantly telling them that they are being hysterical (check the etymology, by the way) or acting in bad faith.

            In the case of Hotline Miami, the specific criticism was that invoking rape in this context is simply crass and gratuitous. The violence is the entire theme of the game – it’s about our queasy relationship with it, its seduction and its horror in the same moment. Sexual violence is a different thing. It is not merely a lesser form of violence – a non-fatal form. Think how different HM would be if it was actually *about* rape sprees rather than murder sprees. It would in fact be more shocking, and in a different way.

    • hjd_uk says:

      Yeah, I thought that odd, an article talking about the storm in a teacup over some pixellated implied brutality and then immediatly undre it, two women impaled on butchers hooks – seemingly a-ok.

      *weariest sigh*

      Shows how attitudes have changed and how over-sensitive the whole gaming environment can be now – i guess its just that games are far more mainstream now, with the huge amount of journalism and exposure on games now, no matter what, you will have someone who is ‘apalled’ by something in a game.

      • Tagiri says:

        You’re absolutely right, a story that describes the ways in which a terrible life event can profoundly affect a person forever is the exact same as including an implied rape scene to up the edginess factor. I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier.

        • Bull0 says:

          The game isn’t out yet, so none of us really knows why the scene is or isn’t in there. It’s pointless at best and unfair at worst to be crucifying the developers over it at this stage. Once the game’s released we can make an informed judgement about it. Yes?

          • Tagiri says:

            Are you really going to do that? Argue that the implied rape scene that the characters involved were staging for their ultra violent movie is going to be given serious narrative weight in the game?

            [edited a bit for clarity]

          • Bull0 says:

            I’m going to wait and see, because I rather enjoyed the original and want to give the developers the benefit of the doubt. That’s OK, right?

          • Tagiri says:

            I would say that living in the type of world that we live in, there are no perfect things and we’re all going to like something that’s got some seriously bad elements in it. But in my opinion it’s a bit disingenuous to argue that people who are affected in real life by the trivialization of whatever issue (be it misogyny as in this case, racism, mental illness, violence, etc) are somehow wrong to be upset about it.

            Like, it doesn’t affect you or your opinion of the trailer and that’s fine, but don’t minimize the lived experiences of actual people who don’t like it.

          • Hahaha says:

            torture both mental and physical are fine though because they don’t happen in the real world? basically go fuck yourself

          • Tagiri says:

            @Hahaha: I like that you apparently didn’t read the word “violence” in my last comment. Stay classy.

          • Hahaha says:

            your comment seemed to be as good a place to put it as any as a lot of people do seem to think that is the case.

            I look forward to our new world of only puzzle/adventure and sport games ;s

          • Bull0 says:

            I just think it’s a bit half-cocked – we know about one brief scene in a computer game made up of many scenes. The content of that scene seems pretty questionable; if, however, in the broader context of the game, that scene adds meaningfully to the story, then in my opinion that’s fine. And we don’t know that yet, so I wouldn’t want to judge.

            For another person, regardless of the wider context, the content renders the game unplayable. I sympathise with that; we all have our individual limits and things we will/won’t put up with. But I myself wouldn’t go calling out the content producers publically for including material I personally object to, because I don’t think I have any right to do that. I’d just make a mental note to avoid it.

            Just to be clear though, I do not agree with this crap about “if you’re upset about the rape, you should realise that there’s violence in it too”. That’s stupid. Doesn’t really warrant further analysis.

          • Tagiri says:

            @Hahaha: That’s kind of a silly remark to make on an article about an adventure game with these kinds of elements in it.

            @Bull0: I do agree to an extent, but in the larger cultural context of the game industry minimizing/mocking rape and misogyny specifically (eg. harassment of women in the industry, the treatment of people posting #1reasonwhy stories, the latest nonsense at PAX, etc) and living in a society where rape is only considered “bad” under a fairly specific set of circumstances, why put a scene like that in a game if you’re unwilling to engage with the topic?

            Also to everyone saying “you don’t know what he was going to do he just leaned over her” what do you actually think the scene was trying to imply there? That he was going to cannibalize her or something?

          • Hahaha says:

            For sure, forget that we are replying to “hjd_uk” and I’ve played IHnMaiMS hence my what about the children comment ;)

          • Bhazor says:

            @ tagirl

            Oh I don’t know. I wonder how many people outraged about misogyny in videogames were perfectly happy insulting and belittling the complaints about violence from the likes of Jack Thompson and other far right groups.

            In fact here’s John Walker on Jack Thompson
            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/02/16/because-uh-but-uh-i-wrote-a-book/

            “Sensationalist bullshit” indeed

            As for the Hotline Miami scene in particular. Yeah it’s a rape. Or more precise a movie scene of a reconstruction of a fictional rape in a computer game. A rape exists in Hotline Miami. There is nothing graphic or titillating about it. Its just sitting there doing its narrative job.

  15. Drake Sigar says:

    Yes! I’ve always wanted to experience this story, where dying is practically a victory, and preferable to the eternal horrors AM inflicts on these poor souls. I have never heard this level of utter hatred for humanity.

    • NailBombed says:

      AM – Hate. Let me tell you how much I’ve come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word ‘hate’ was engraved on each nano-angstrom of those hundreds of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant. For you. Hate. HAAAAAAAATE.

      • Bhazor says:

        I’ve always thought there’s the makings for a great madlib in that speech

        Dicks. Let me tell you how much I’ve come to dicks since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed dicks in wafer thin layers that fill New Jersey. If the word “dick” was engraved on each nano-angstrom of those hundreds of dicks it would not equal one one-billionth of dicks I want from humans at this micro-instant. For me. Dicks. DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCKKKKKKSSSS.

  16. The Ultimate Clone of The Ultimate Warrior says:

    I Have No Caps Lock And Must Pretend To Act Like The Ultimate Warrior. Y’know, as you do.

  17. Hahaha says:

    This game is way to fucked up and is dangerous for little minds, WALKER GET ON IT

  18. RProxyOnly says:

    when did they add actual graphics to this? I’m pretty sure the last time I fired this up it was a windowed text adventure with very basic mapping.

    Could be wrong, but that’s how I remember it.

    Anyways…. defo getting this.

  19. Grey_Ghost says:

    Wow, blast from the past. I played this game, came with a holographic-ish mouse pad. I never did complete it though, was crazy difficult IIRC. Lol, I though those people were in hell, as I don’t remember anything about an Evil AI.

  20. F3ck says:

    How in the fuck do you follow “I never played 1995′s Harlan Ellision horror adventure, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.” with “Unquestionably one of the best game titles of all time”?

  21. HungryCats says:

    I liked the original story, and thought the game caught the horror of the setting and the events that occur even better than the written text. Yes, the game is 20 years old, but at the time it really stood out from everything else out there. For the price, I’d say take a spin.

  22. fiendling says:

    I don’t think any sane individual would call a 249 hour work month “a few hours”.

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