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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhazor View Post
    "You can be shocking, just don't hurt anyone's feelings."
    You can't praise a game for its shocking violence and then complain when the violence shocks someone.
    The reaction wasn't shock, or at least it wasn't the 'shock' part the author had a problem with.

    Again, it's okay to do stuff like this but you need to have some sort of authorial intent in mind if you're going to use that as a defence. There's three possibilities here:

    1) The developers intended for the player to identify with the victim, and feel uncomfortable about that.
    2) The developers intended for the player to identify with the rapist, and feel uncomfortable about that.
    3) The developers wanted to shock for the sake of being shocking, without the player identifying strongly with either character.

    These are all different types of reaction and you can't just bunch them all in under 'shock'. If the argument is that the game was meant to do 1) and Cara's reaction was exactly what they wanted, then it failed because it didn't create that reaction in you or loads of other people. If the intention was 3), as seems likely, then perhaps it has been successful, as most people seem to be reacting that way. But that doesn't invalidate Cara's experience and does mean that you can't tell her she's wrong because "that was the point of the game" because it wasn't. She had experience 1), the intent was experience 3).

    I also take serious exception to Cara's implication that a guy would be completely unaffected by the rape.
    I don't think she implied that. Again, maybe the intention of the developers was 2), that we identify with the rapist, and hence feel pretty uncomfortable. And that's also fine (and the approach Super Columbine RPG took), and perhaps the game also works on that level for most people. But by going to cut-scene and not making the player "Press A to rape" will weaken that argument.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Believe what you want, but I don't concede that agency lies at the crux of this problem. Cara's problem is ultimately that the game has a rape sequence. You've never had any choice in the matter when it comes to Hotline Miami as anyone who's played the game would know. Her discomfort stems directly from the fact that the context suddenly changes from physical violence to sexual violence. That's the crux of the issue.
    Partly, but the agency thing does factor in. She is playing through the game identifying (to some degree) with the player-controlled character. And then that gets flipped.

    Thought experiment?

    We give you a third person shooter like Gears of War. You're playing the generic muscle man, going around the level shooting things. You're trying to chase down and kill an enemy that's modelled on your, and motioned captured from you. This virtual you is the 'boss' of the level, and you chase him down, keep putting bullets in him and he keeps running off, you keep chasing.

    You're identifying with the generic muscle man right? Maybe it's slightly weird, but at no point are you thinking "I'm being shot". You're thinking "I'm shooting a guy".

    But then at the end of the level the game zooms out and we get a non-interactive cutscene. You watch as the generic muscle man tortures then kills the avatar of 'you'. Try and envisage those situations. They feel slightly different right? Because in that cut-scene, there's a good chance you're going to identify more with the guy that looks, walks and talks like you than the generic soldier bloke. Especially if the game has done little to that point to make you connect with generic soldier bloke as a character, or given any reason or justification for that guy hunting down avatar-you.

    But that switch in who you identify with is tied very closely to that loss in... I won't even say 'agency' but simple 'control'. Because it's really, really hard to identify with a character you are doing things to in a game. It's a lot easier to identify with a character that is having things done to them by the AI, even if just seconds ago you were controlling the character now managed by the AI.

    Does that make sense? It is a subtle point but I can see exactly where the author was coming from. And it's counter-intuitive because it actually means in this particular case that had the game launched into a rape mini-game at that point, the author would have had a very different reaction. Obviously, that would lead to plenty of other questions and potential ethical issues, but they'd be different ones.

  3. #203
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    I can happily watch a Let's Play of Tomb Raider, in which a woman shoots many men without identifying with any of them.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordcooper View Post
    I can happily watch a Let's Play of Tomb Raider, in which a woman shoots many men without identifying with any of them.
    Me too. But then, neither me nor anyone close to me has never been hunted in the woods by a huge-breasted woman in tiny shorts with a big gun.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkasaurusmex View Post
    If you press up your character moves up. That is agency in a game like HLM. In the "not-rape" scene in HLM2's demo that agency is taken away, you cannot control the character.
    Then don't approach the character? If agency is simply "movement" then the player is free to reject not to move. It just means the game goes nowhere... and thus you're just making a decision not to play.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Gunman View Post
    How is it going to get mature enough if people can not experiment, get things wrong, learn form mistakes and then improve?
    Maturity is not gained through immature attempts at shock, for much the same reasons as why 15 crappy and confused "art games" do not mean the industry is progressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Gunman View Post
    This game is harming no one. It has an 18 certificate (I assume). You don't like it don't buy it. Think it gives a bad message, then complain about. But you can't stop people making it or people buying it.
    Well Cara didn't like it and it made her feel uncomfortable. The complaints of one person of course is not enough to enforce a ban, neither did anyone suggest that HLM2 should be banned. The question was whether rape should be part of games, my suggestion is not right now because the best people can come up with (apparently) are shock sequences. Ooh, we're so edgy, including rape.

    Again, if the best we can do for 'art' games are things like Gone Home, we're laughably behind.
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  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Then don't approach the character? If agency is simply "movement" then the player is free to reject not to move. It just means the game goes nowhere... and thus you're just making a decision not to play.
    That would require prior awareness (in Ellison's case precognition) of the rape scene.

    Again, what meaning or lesson is to be found in this fixation on agency?
    Is not a leg.
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  7. #207
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Well Cara didn't like it and it made her feel uncomfortable. The complaints of one person of course is not enough to enforce a ban, neither did anyone suggest that HLM2 should be banned. The question was whether rape should be part of games, my suggestion is not right now because the best people can come up with (apparently) are shock sequences. Ooh, we're so edgy, including rape.
    How do you know that the scene in question is merely thrown in to be edgy or just thrown in for shock value? We know from reading the article that all she played of it was the demo and that it would seem the scene in question is being recorded and that the girl is an actress playing out a role. It could be that she's not and that the director and "Pig Man" are holding her hostage but we all wont know until the full game is out and we play it.

    In terms of the game from what we do know, it's about a gang who get obsessed with the story of Jacket and want to try recreate it and "improve" on it and record it all. It sounds like a game about sick individuals mimic-ing another sick individual and something like a rape to me, wouldn't seem out of place in such a horrible story.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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