Tom Bissel from Epic Games talks about how violent games are giving gaming a bad rep with the media.
The Gears of War series is famed for it’s visceral content, but is that a good thing? Whilst many gamers think that violent games don’t create violent individuals, there are ongoing studies to see if that is the case. When traumatic events happen it’s not uncommon to see the media pointing an accusing finger at violent video games.
Well, Tom Bissel definitely has something to say about this. He spoke with The New Yorker to talk about violence in video games and the ongoing debates surrounding them.
I’ve been asked a few times to weigh in on the ‘violent video games’ debate, but I hesitate to because I feel like the N.R.A. set a trap by shining a spotlight on video games. Which isn’t to say that I think that games are entirely blameless. Games, generally speaking, are probably way too violent.
The storytelling possibilities of the shooter are fascinating but they’re also very, very constraining,” Bissell said. A shooter story, just by virtue of the fact that you the character, you the player, spend 99 percent of the game looking down the barrel of a gun, there’s really only so much stuff you can do.
Bissel also thinks that developers seem to underestimate their players and how intelligent those players might be.
Being completely mindful that there’s this mysterious person called the player sitting out there, who you’re trying to give context to, is the really addictively fun part. But it’s also the really, really challenging part. I think game developers right now consistently underestimate the intelligence of their audience.