Videogames and moral standarts

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by JingooJ, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. JingooJ

    JingooJ Member

    As some may know Cabela's African Adventures was just released on Steam. Knowing how bad the other Cabela games were, I visited the community page to see what the new game is like. Here comes the problem:
    A majority of posts contain nothing about the actual game, but are complaints about animal abuse, immorality, how great animals are, how bad humans suck etc.
    Remember the sexism complaints about GTA V? How can somebody complain about sexism in a game that shows all kind of violence and let you commit multiple crimes?
    My theory on this is, that violence complains are decades old and people have learned to accept it, still it is kinda bothersome to be called a terrible person for playing certain games.

    What has this to do with Skullgirls?
    On the Super Best Friendcast No. 9, Woolie and Pat talked a lot about Skullgirls and the difficulties in playing a game that has an all female roster. Pat doesn't like Skullgirls and Woolie can't play Arcana Hearts even though they both agree on those being good games.

    Personally, I can't play GTA because I hate organised crime. I do understand people who dislike some piece of media because of moral reasons. However i don't think people who play those games are bad people.

    What do you think?
    Do games have an effect on moral standarts? Why is violence so much more accepted then anything else?
     
  2. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    Wait what?
    You're putting killing endangered species, organized crime and having to play as a woman on the same level? How does the latter even have anything to do with morals? Did Pat say he can't play skullgirls because he finds its portrayal of women sexist? Because that would be very different than not playing because he doesn't want to play as a girl, which is definitely what it sounded like (I don't follow two best friends play, so I haven't listened to the podcast.)
     
  3. JingooJ

    JingooJ Member

    He think it's creepy and I'm definatly not putting it at a same level. I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with an all female cast. I'm just putting it there because some people apparently do.
     
  4. Kiwiantay

    Kiwiantay Mind Eater

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    I know, or at least, think I know how you feel. I think people are entitled to play whatever games they choose. Personally, I am not into GTA either, and for the same reason. But, I'm sure it'll receive some type of an award or something.

    I do believe games have an effect on moral standards, my 8 year old nephew was recently in a car accident, and he wasn't bothered at all. When asked about it, he basically explained how people re-spawn, and thought of it as a joke.

    Violence is so excepted because it's literally ALL around us. In games, commercials, movies, tv shows, schools, just about anything. But games themselves only play a part in the morality of people.

    What makes up the rest is how people were raised, taught a sense of right and wrong, and basically having a nurturing enviornment.

    please excuse any grammatical errors. I'm horrible in english.
     
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  5. ragnorok64

    ragnorok64 Active Member

    Do standarts share any similarities with lawn darts? Those things can be dangerous.
     
  6. Kiwiantay

    Kiwiantay Mind Eater

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    I... erm... guess.. lol xD
     
  7. PureYeti

    PureYeti Living in poverty cave

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    Off-topic Haha I didn't expect this kind of outburst on the steam discussion. I enjoy playing the cabela games even on the arcade release
     
  8. SanoBaron

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    I think they were more focused on the artstyle, and I can see where they're coming from on there. I'm not gonna go into detail, but I can see why some people wouldnt be comfrotable with the skullgirls artstyle. At least neither of them said the game is bad..... but Wolie kinda did give off that "I only want fighters to look the way I want them to" vibe.
     
  9. Denizen

    Denizen Retired Member

    Well, Woolie is a monster and a pie stealing liar so we can't expect anything more from him.

    I haven't listened to the 9th podcast yet but if I know those two as well as I think I do, Matt and Pat are probably bugged by the moral issue of anything being all male/female. Like, if something is sexist towards men or women, it's not morally justifiable to be just as sexist in return.
    That's what bugged me about SkullGirls at first until I learned that the roster was originally intended to be a 3:4 male to female ratio, which is great. Now that we are crawling towards that ratio with the addition of Big Band and Beowulf, the Zaibatsu will probably warm up to the game again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  10. ragnorok64

    ragnorok64 Active Member

    I always felt it's dumb when people hate on games for the more superficial reasons like an all girl roster or "cutesy" art style. Then I realized pretty much all the complaints they have with games like Skullgirls and "anime" fighters are pretty much the same for why I don't like Mortal Kombat and NRS games in general. I don't like their style, presentation, how they animate, hyper violence, or their character designs.

    At the end of the day some people just can't get into certain styles of game. You'll be hard pressed to change their minds.

    As for the main topic at hand. Never take anything on a Steam community hub seriously. Considering the time the Skullheart was down during the beta, they seen to be terribly administrated.
     
  11. ReluctantZombie

    ReluctantZombie World's saltiest Squigly

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    I think in Woolie's top 10 of 2012 video he showed a picture of Big Band and was like "THIS DUDE LOOKS SICK" so I figure he'll come around to it when Big Band shows up.

    Gripes with Skullgirls in regards to its character designs or art style are legitimate and I can understand where they're coming from, but this Cabela animal abuse thing just looks like people starting shit for the sake of starting shit. They're not real animals, Christ.
     
  12. SanoBaron

    SanoBaron Delicious chewable Hubba-Bella

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    honestly, the whole concept of hunting is no big deal. Mankind has always had to hunt for food, so as long as the animal population isnt dwindling and you use most of their bodies for sustenance and resources, I dont see what the big deal is. big game hunting =/= poaching.
     
  13. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Are you sure it's not just because they play really differently mechanically from every other 2d fighter?

    I'm good at compartmentalizing, so I could easily ignore the art style in MK and whatnot, but the gameplay just really doesn't appeal to me.

    There is some truth in this, but still, I do feel that people should respect games that are well designed even if it doesn't personally resonate with them. I don't like Super Meat Boy (because of the gameplay, not the shitty aesthetic), but I can respect that it's a pretty well designed game.

    Like I said, I'm good at compartmentalizing so the art style of a game rarely matters to me, I'm pretty sure I could get into just about anything more or less. I think that kind of compartmentalization is a good skill to cultivate.
     
  14. Vladislav_Paizis

    Vladislav_Paizis On hiatus from SG

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    People think that games with all female casts are for perverted virgins who still live in their parents' basement. At least those are the opinions I get from reading comments to SRK articles or Stream Chats.
     
  15. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    There are a lot of streammonsters on those things though.
     
  16. Zombies8MyLeg

    Zombies8MyLeg When in doubt mash it out!

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    Wait people are complaining about animal abuse in a video game? If I'm correct you could kill and skin a animal in Red Dead Redemption and nobody was complaining then.....people complain about the weirdest things.
     
  17. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    I think it's hunting endangered species that bothers them, not just hunting in general... and if you feel really passionate about that stuff, I can understand how you would dislike that. I'm not saying there were no overreactions, and especially not that you can't make a game where you shoot a white tiger because gosh darnit some people really like white tigers. But they're still welcome to dislike, complain, boycott, etc.
     
  18. cyberninja95

    cyberninja95 Member

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    I think the reason why people think is all female cast is a problem is because of the sexism sorry if i am not wording this correctly.
     
  19. iLoli

    iLoli Speed Kills

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    Damn, I'm a recently turned vegetarian and I don't really give two shits about hunting.

    Plants are also alive, I'm killing SOMETHING either way.

    I don't really give two shits what I do in my video games, especially ones centered on fantastic escapism?

    I don't care that I'm a cheerleader killing Assassin or a terrible David Cage character or I'm a man dressed in a skirt throwing a yo-yo full of lethal gadgets or a little girl dressed as a fairy tale that kills any monster, bad or good on the low.

    Those aren't really moral standards, moral standards are "I won't support Orson Scott Card's books because he's a crazy gay bashing silly man" or "I won't play Earth Worm Jim because the guy who made them is despicable", not "This game depicts rape and I'm against rape so fuck it".
     
  20. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    So if Orson Scott Card wrote a gay character into Ender's Game that's clearly meant to make fun of homosexuality using ridiculous stereotypes, you're not allowed to condemn the book for it? Or you are, but for some reason it has nothing to do with moral standards despite you setting a standard of morality in the depiction of gay characters in books that was subsequently broken by a bigotry biased character?
    If anything, the creator should have the least impact on your moral opinion of a video game. Orson Scott Card might be a dick, but if that didn't rub off on the actual content of his literature it's kind of silly to, say, have a fit about Ender's Game getting a movie. You just need to separate the art from the artist. Walt Disney was a racist, but that doesn't change the fact that he made some fantastic cartoons.
     
  21. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    IIRC I'm pretty sure Walt Disney WASN'T a racist, and that those claims about anti semitism and whatnot have been heavily refuted as unfounded rumors/complete bogus/hear-say/made up/bad family guy jokes. Not to mention one of his closest partners and friend was jewish IIRC.

    Than again I'm no Disney scholar.

    But yeah, otherwise I agree. Taking a stand against a piece of art because you don't like the artist or don't agree with him is dumb. HEY BRO I JUST FOUND OUT THE CREATOR OF YOUR FAVORITE ANYTHING EVER WAS A BAD GUY, NOW YOU GOTTA HATE IT NOW RIGHT? RIGHT?

    Death of the Author ftw. Did Shakespear really intend Shylock to be a sympathetic character or not? Was the play a commentary on the hypocrisy of Elizibethan era Christians? Who the fuck cares, it's sure as hell more interesting to read that way.

    Also I'm not fammiliar with the subject, but who made Earth Worm Jim and why is he dispecable?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  22. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    Not the antisemitism thing.
    He attended nazi meetings and if you've seen the unedited original fantasia, or peter pan, or song of the south... Yeah, he wasn't a KKK member, but he had his fair share of racist bullshit.

    This asshole.
     
  23. lightskintwin

    lightskintwin Active Member

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    Games are art, art shouldn't be censored; but should be up for any type of analysis, criticism, or praise as any other art medium.
     
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  24. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I see, I was not familiar with that.

    That doesn't sound so bad. I mean it's bad and I don't agree with it, but I've heard worse. I know a lot of good people who share similar beliefs, and they're not assholes.

    That toilet analogy pissed me off though.
     
  25. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    He also made this delightful little joke in the comments:
     
  26. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    How charming.

    But yeah, back on topic: Death of the author. Honestly, it's less absurd in my eyes to reject a game because you don't like the morality of the main character than it is to reject it because you don't like the morality of the author. At least the former actually has bearing on the story and isn't from another fucking universe altogether.
     
  27. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    I believe games are a complex work that gets more intricate the more the player immerse himself/herself in the game. Eventually you will dig deep enough to get info on who made it, and that makes part of the game for you.

    Part of the reason we love Skullgirls is because lab zero team is amazing. When you get that deep into the game and what is around it, it becomes very hard to separate things again.

    There are works that as good as they could be, I refuse to buy it so I would not support something I don't agree.

    Death to the author n' all, but if you knew him/her enough to know what he/she thinks, could you actually forget what would be written on his/her tombstone?
     
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  28. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Yes.

    You can interpret or read anything anyway that makes sense to you. If a story essentially says "all life is meaningless, all human beings are evil, you should kill yourself, and hear are my reasons for saying that:" and you find yourself reading it as a satire of a Nihilist world view, than there's nothing wrong with that interpretation of the story. And whether the author agrees with you or not is besides the point.

    I mean, look at all the people who read God as the bad guy in Paradise Lost. There are many who find it to be an even more fascinating and deep story when viewed through that perspective. To be sure, John Milton is probably rolling in his grave, but that shouldn't really be a consideration imo.

    Death of the author becomes especially true with video games, where we might not even be dealing with something thematic or story telling based, but instead it might just be a game with good and unique design (which is art too, ya know!). A particular set of jumping physics and combat mechanics can have no political or ethical standpoints, regardless of who made them. They could have come from anybody, at any place, in any time, with any viewpoints, and they would still be what they are.

    Perhaps to a lesser degree, but the same can be said about any story really. What's important is what it says, and it doesn't say any more than what is in it.



    Ps: Mvc2 was intended to be a balanced game that removed the broken things from previous chapters of the series. Yet it's one of the most beloved games in the world because of its brokenness. What does that say about the creators impact on the creation?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  29. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Learning to not give a fuck about aesthetics (when they aren't a big part of the game or if they just aren't to your liking) and play with only an eye for pure gameplay and design is one of the most important things you can have for video games in general.

    I feel my view of many good games would be extremely skewed if I had not developed that eye.
     
  30. TheRealMrBean

    TheRealMrBean Ave, True to Caesar.

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    I think Violence is a lot more accepted than sexism because it is basically human nature by now. Humanity wouldn't have gotten itself where it is now without several hundred wars and millions of deaths. Violence in games is sort of like an outlet to blow off some steam by blowing a man's face off with a 12 Gauge.

    Some games like Hotline Miami and Spec-Ops the Line make you get lost in violent fun then grab you by the scruff and make you look at all the carnage, the men wringing on the floor trying to gather bits of his escaped brain and make you feel like a psychotic. Games like these come to grips that violence is often a bad thing.

    Sexism on the other hand is relatively new as women only started to stand up for themselves en masse by the 50's (citation needed). Since it's quite new, it tends to be brought up more often when a game like Skullgirls or Dead or Alive Comes out. Give humanity a few hundred years and they will then accept it as Human Nature adapts to it's surroundings.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  31. iLoli

    iLoli Speed Kills

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    "Won't support" and "won't like" are two different things.

    I still read Orson Scott Card novels, just never bought them as new, always used, so he never sees the money.

    Same thing I do with everything like that.
     
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  32. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    That, and not all violence is inherently wrong. Unlike sexism/racism/whateverism which is an inherently fucked up way of thinking.
     
  33. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    I dunno... i STILL think the context and the author (be it seen as a single person or a company) makes part of your view in a work of art.

    Let's take THAT example: No matter how fun SFxTekken could be, i already see the game with bad eyes for all the stupidity Capcom made with it. Add that sad megaman joke that was in the game in the same time Capcom killed everything relevant to the series, and the joke itself became pretty horrible for me too.

    It isn't easy to like a game just by what the game is when you have enough information to understand who made it and what it represents.
     
  34. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I'm sorry, I can't agree personally.

    I don't like SfXT because I don't like the design of the game. If it was more something that I could agree with, I'd have no problem enjoying it. Same thing with Mvc3. I played it for 5 monthes, and than dropped it when I realized how shallow and poorly designed it was, not because of any offense I took at Capcoms methods.

    Skullgirls I just like the design of the game. I don't really care what Mike Z's politics are. How he handles fans is great, but a bonus at best. What I like is the way he designed the game.

    I don't like that the new Dodonpachi games didn't bother to rehire the fantastic original series artist (Joker Jun) and instead opted to try and shamelessly ensnare the Otaku crowd with fanservice and anime cliches, but it's still one of the best shmup series in existence to me, and the decent if generic character art doesn't really bother me when I'm busy dodging bullets and shooting lasers.
     
  35. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    To get off topic for a moment... If a game doesn't want to draw focus to its art or music or story elements, that's part of game design- get them to stop paying attention to your art or music or story by putting emphasis on something else. The idea that you can make a game with only terrible art assets and get off scott free because you put a lot of work into your gameplay or whatever is entirely false; games like Thomas Was Alone don't have bad art, they have simplistic art, and the difference between those two things should never be understated.

    First thing's first, you aren't honestly suggesting that brutal wars have advanced our civilization more than peace would, are you? Because I'm kind of in disbelief that someone would make that argument here. If you are, broken window fallacy, look it up.
    But the big reason that violence is different than sexism is that it's not selective in its hatred. It doesn't take a specific group and make only them suffer. There's a reason that genocidal villains tend to be much more evil and intimidating than those that simply want to kill or control all of humanity, despite the latter clearly having much worse connotations.
    Another point is that you're pinpointing very broad problems that, logically, would affect all humans when it's not human nature that has made us more sensitive to sexuality than violence. It's not as though there aren't cultures that censor them equally. There are plenty of cultures that don't adhere to that, it's just that the north american, european, etc. think that way.
    Also, feminism was around WAY before the 1950's. Seriously. Basic research. I mean gender equality can be traced way back, but I at least thought the women's suffrage movement of the early 20th century was common knowledge...

    I think you're confused here.
    Death of the author doesn't mean that the creator(s) of a work have left no footprint on the work. Of course they did. They made it.
    It means that, one, the artist's identity doesn't have any relevance when you analyze the work (I.E. "Skullgirls isn't sexist! The lead animator is a girl!" which is by far the worst argument you could make for SG's legitimacy to neighsayers) and, two, the artist's intentions can't be used to invalidate your interpretations of the work.

    Also, extremely relevant:
    Show Spoiler



    The bit that talks about civilization and simcity would essentially be my response to that thing @Squire Grooktook said about game mechanics and death of the author.
     
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  36. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Wrong. Undeniably wrong. Maybe right for you but absolutely wrong for me.

    There are plenty of games I like where the art assets don't speak to me, are obviously the result of a lack of budget, or just outright suck.

    They Bleed Pixels is probably one of, if not my absolute favorite action platformers right now, and the character sprites look like something that came out of the Atari age. Yes, they cover it up by saying it's intentionally retro, but the aesthetic still fails to add anything to the game, positive or negative. I'm not contemplating the art when I play though, I'm contemplating the next jump I have to make.

    Another good example is Cho Ren Sha 68k. Amazing game (especially on hard mode, which strikes a perfect balance between twitch reflexes and strategy), which recycles the same one screen background for the entire game. Still better than Jamestown IMO despite that games fantastic aesthetic. I'm not contemplating the art when I play Cho Ren Sha, I'm contemplating the next purple laser I have to dodge.
     
  37. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    I think you misinterpreted what I was saying. It's not the idea that you can't make a decent game with bad art assets. It's that a game with art assets is sloppy. If you can't make good art or don't want to invest time towards making good art assets, there are options available to you. Think for a moment. Use deductive logic. Don't go into MS paint and drum up some art in ten minutes and go "it's okay, the gameplay's gonna be great!" The game will suffer because of it.
    I'm not saying that every game needs to look like bastion, I'm saying that if your gameplay is that good then your art direction should be to make sure that the players doesn't notice that your art budget was ten bucks. Thomas Was Alone and VVVVVV are good examples of this. You don't make your art better, you draw their attention away from your terrible art.
    On a side note, They Bleed Pixels actually might be too pretty to be a good example of this. The sprites were old castlevania style "who cares about drawing faces?" quality, but the animation was pretty good honestly.
     
  38. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Yeah, the animation is smooth. But I still can't imagine how the game would be with more detailed art. Also the fact that every environmental object is essentially a black square can be pretty jarring at times.

    Anyway, I understand that, but that's still something of an over-generalization. I mean yeah, there's kickstarter and blah blah blah, but not everyone has artistic talent or the funds or notoriety needed to hook up with someone with artistic talent.

    Also, bad decision making in the art department doesn't invalidate a game either. Plenty of fans were pissed off by the loli fanservice (well, only 2 of the 4 characters are loli's, but their still pretty ugh) in the aforementioned Dodonpachi example, but Sai-Ou-Jou is still considered one of the best shooters on 360 right now in spite of it.
     
  39. Horseman

    Horseman This place ain't how it used to be

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    Yet again, I'm not saying that every game needs to look better, I'm saying that if your game doesn't look good you shouldn't simply ignore it. You should embrace it. The idea is that, if you make a game with bad art, and most people playing your game stop and notice how atrocious your art is, you've made a mistake. Not because the art there wasn't bastion or braid quality, but because the player noticed and was put off by the fact that your art is terrible. Artistic talent and budget have nothing to do with it, it's game design on a budget.
    And, as with most broad things I say about games, I don't mean to say that any game that doesn't follow these ideas is automatically terrible. I'm saying it would be better off if it were doing this stuff, not that this is some sort of boolean deal breaker that dictates which games are fantastic and which games should never be played.
     
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  40. SanoBaron

    SanoBaron Delicious chewable Hubba-Bella

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    Eliza
    Robo Fortune
    so you're saying skullgirls would be doing better if it had a more "appealing" style? preference is subjective, you cant judge everything through a one sided viewpoint. just because a game's design is off-putting doesn't mean it should immediately be put down and ultimately be criticized and deemed unsuccessful for it. you can have games where the one of the bosses is a pile of shit, and people will still enjoy the game. design choices should be secondary thoughts. icing on an already delicious cake. who cares if it looks unappealing if it plays great?
     

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