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Murder and Fiction


True_Avery
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This is something I was wondering about a little while back when thinking about right and wrong.

 

Why do the morals of our everyday life disappear while we play Video Games?

 

Reality: I would say the majority of us are not very violent people. We do not run down the street shooting people, we do not run down the street stealing cars, we do not beat people up for the hell of it, we do not do a lot of things because of the morals that our society and our parents have taught us.

 

Fiction: We kill. We kill and violate our morals a sh*it load in Video Games. In Kotor we, or at least the characters we control, kill people, use people, steal from people, and many other various vile deeds. In GTA we steal cars, shoot people, rob stores, break things, drive crazy and murder policeman.

 

Why? Why when we play Video Games our morals completely disappear and we become monsters capable of anything that Video Game world can present us? Why do we find it so horrible to kill someone in reality, but killing stormtroopers is as easy as breathing?

 

Is it the fact we comfort ourselves and justify our killing of fictional people because they are fictional? What if every enemy in a game had an entire back story of children, a spouse, parents, good and bad deeds, and a lot of them turned out to be very similar to you?

 

I am not saying that fiction is real, but why is fiction so un-real to the point we find it amusing to be cruel, find fun ways to kill people, laugh when our characters die in strange ways? Is it truly the comfort that it is fiction, or are human being truly this cruel and society is capable of controlling a part of our mind that we deny exists.

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I think that we find the cruelty fun because murder is one of our basic instincts. Why are there so many serial killers? For that matter, why are there serial killers in the first place? Because humans love the thrill of a kill. How many of you have ever fantasized about killing someone? Maybe not seriously, but to where you were actually thinking about it? And now with these CSI shows out, it almost makes the thrill of killing even funner. Forensics used to be something that the mass public didn't know about until these crime shows came along, and now that they are out, everyone wants to know if they can beat the justice system. No one but the rare few (serial killers) actually would dare to kill anyone, but we've all wondered if we can. I think the reason why we enjoy games such as GTA and KotOR is because it allows us to kill, and if anyone sees the pleasure we get in it, we can claim it was just because of the game.

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This goes the same for humor as well...a great deal of jokes are violent/put-down-ish in nature. I imagine it makes us feel more secure, being able to depict or control (virtual) others in a non-threatening fashion.

 

In media, morals disappear because they have no meaning in that context, save perhaps as they further the story that the creator of the media wanted. For myself, I find that I cannot play as a evil character in any game, but even if I were to "fall to the dark side" it wouldn't make any difference; fiction, interactive or otherwise, is by definition something that has not happened. Why be worried about the moral possibilities of something that hasn't occurred?

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I really don’t see the problem here, as long as the person playing the game can separate the difference between the real world and the game world.

 

Within the game my morals do not disappear, they are just suppressed due to my knowledge that this is not real. I’m not stealing from anyone (the game designers made it so that I can take this property), I’m not killing anyone or hurting anyone that want either respawn or be there the next time I replay that section.

 

Sometimes I do get caught up in the game. In KOTOR even when playing as a DS character I’ve never been able to do anything, but the LS choices when dealing with Sharian Fizark. I just can not steal from a widow.

 

I also really had a problem in Oblivion with the Dark Brotherhood quests. I'v played through it once, but out of my four different characters I’ve only did that line of quests once.

 

In RPG games I usually let the NPC attack me first before going after them. I believe in self-defense in the real world too.

 

I am not saying that fiction is real, but why is fiction so un-real to the point we find it amusing to be cruel, find fun ways to kill people, laugh when our characters die in strange ways? Is it truly the comfort that it is fiction, or are human being truly this cruel and society is capable of controlling a part of our mind that we deny exists.

 

Other than the people within the game being fictional the reason I have no problem killing them is that it is not permanent. When I restart the game next time they will be there until I kill them again. The lack of permanence and the fact that they are fictional shows me that we are not any crueler than Shakespeare for what he did to his fictional characters. We are less so as the games designers and writers are the one that allowed us to steal and murder people with in the game confines.

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To be honest I don't play games like GTA because I think it shows what does happen in real life. Yes people do steal cars and people do shoot people like innocent bystanders and cops. I am aware that we kill in games like KOTOR too. I don't really like killing any more on a video game than I would in reality, as if I would do that. Maybe morals do fly out the window or as mimartin says, they are suppressed because we know they are not real. However as responsible adults, we should make sure that kids know the difference.

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Coming from the guy who has one Pokemon beating the crap out of another one. :xp:

 

That reminded me of this quote:

http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/ds/pokemon_diamond

 

Okay, hang on a sec. Is it just me, or does anyone else find the whole process of catching Pokemon and training them to become your own personal militia slightly disturbing? Everyone in the game acts as though the little beasties should be happy to help us otherwise defenseless humans, but honestly, how could that be? I mean, how would you feel if you were minding your own business, walking through the tall grass, and some kid showed up and beat you to within an inch of your life, then imprisoned you in a tiny sphere and only let you out to fight against his enemies – including your own brothers and sisters?! Sometimes I wonder if the next title in this series will be Pokemon Panthers: The Revolution is at Hand.
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I think that we find the cruelty fun because murder is one of our basic instincts. Why are there so many serial killers? For that matter, why are there serial killers in the first place? Because humans love the thrill of a kill. How many of you have ever fantasized about killing someone?

I have fun killing Nazis in World War II games like: Call of Duty series and Brother in Arms, a bloody and gory one.

 

I get a thrill in those games, but Brother in Arms is the best, because it is more realistic.

I get a thrill, because I hate Nazis and I would enjoy killing them.

If people in the world who would consider me as bad person, then I won't give a damn.

Because I'm a damn good person, who really hate evil. :)

 

If we didn't have games, movies or television, but only plays and books, then plays and books would get criticism for glorifing violence.

People need to stop blaming the media, for glorifing violence, the real world is violent and evil, and people shouldn't try to hide from it, but be aware of it and face it.

Not, coward behind censorship.

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I get a thrill, because I hate Nazis and I would enjoy killing them.

They are people too. In our society, it is a general acceptance that no one has the right to deny another person life. Here in the U.S. homicide is not excuseable. We have a thing called justifiable homicide but it is not excuseable. Here you are saying that you would enjoy homicide. If you think about it, that makes you just as bad as they are.

 

If people in the world who would consider me as bad person, then I won't give a damn.

Because I'm a damn good person, who really hate evil.

Then I suppose you don't believe in the junction that one cannot exist without the other. Again from your previous statement you said you would enjoy killing someone because they are evil. To be honest that makes you no better than those that did the killing. It's like what I said about justifiable homicide, it is still homicide. It is a general rule of thumb that no one has the right to deny another person of their life, at least here in the U.S.

 

People need to stop blaming the media, for glorifing violence, the real world is violent and evil, and people shouldn't try to hide from it, but be aware of it and face it.

And the media should be more responsible in terms of what they broadcast. Also as I said in a previous post, parents should be more mindful of what their children watch and explain the difference between reality and fantasy. True there are some that 'glorify' the violence in our world like GTA but that is where the responsibility of the parent comes in to explain that yeah it may be a game but it is not acceptable behavior.

 

How many of you have ever fantasized about killing someone?

When I write my action sequences, yeah I do have to kill someone. I don't like killing myself but when I write, I shift my mindset to the circumstances and the situation that is being resolved. I do play acting when I figure out dialogue and some of it is pretty damning in terms of saying I am going to kill you but my mind doesn't see it as me. Rather I am the character who is saying it. No I don't have that multple personality stuff, I just detach myself and in a way it sort of protects my nature from it. I know violence is there. I was a participant observer in one case where the store I was at was robbed at gunpoint and I stood toe to toe with the perp and he had the gun pointed. I have no desire to kill him for that. Rather I would like to hold onto the thought that one day the perp will be caught and serve his time.

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When I write my action sequences, yeah I do have to kill someone. I don't like killing myself but when I write, I shift my mindset to the circumstances and the situation that is being resolved. I do play acting when I figure out dialogue and some of it is pretty damning in terms of saying I am going to kill you but my mind doesn't see it as me. Rather I am the character who is saying it. No I don't have that multple personality stuff, I just detach myself and in a way it sort of protects my nature from it. I know violence is there. I was a participant observer in one case where the store I was at was robbed at gunpoint and I stood toe to toe with the perp and he had the gun pointed. I have no desire to kill him for that. Rather I would like to hold onto the thought that one day the perp will be caught and serve his time.

 

I know exactly how you feel, as an amatuer writer myself. But in your normal mindset, you're saying that never once in your entire lifetime you've ever thought I wish that butthole would stop calling me gay. I wish I could kill him!

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They are people too. In our society, it is a general acceptance that no one has the right to deny another person life. Here in the U.S. homicide is not excuseable. We have a thing called justifiable homicide but it is not excuseable. Here you are saying that you would enjoy homicide. If you think about it, that makes you just as bad as they are.

First of all girl, the Nazis aren't around no more, they are all but extinct. :)

 

But tell that to the people who entire families was wipe out in the death camps, they would want to kill the evil who murder their families at the death camps, no doubt about that.

 

 

 

Then I suppose you don't believe in the junction that one cannot exist without the other. Again from your previous statement you said you would enjoy killing someone because they are evil. To be honest that makes you no better than those that did the killing.

Well, that's your opinion, JediMaster12.

I'm not going to argue with you, you already accusing me of being a bad person.

So, forget it! :)

 

Evil must be destroyed, that's all I got to say about it.

If you think I'm a bad person then I don't care, girl, I can't prove to you I'm a

good person, so oh well. :)

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I think there's an element of catharsis involved. Just as some people used to hit a punching bag (or some other type of physical activity) to blow off steam or would go somewhere where thay could be alone and scream out the tension. Now we have video games where we can transfer some of the rage we've sublimated earlier in the day. B/c the entities in question are not real, we don't feel any guilt. If you start the game up, those previously slain characters are there again to kill or ignore depending on your mood. For some people, it can also be bled off by living vicariously through the actions of others (boxers, hockey players, gladiators, etc...). I don't think it's an abandonment of morals, per se, primarily b/c it's fiction. Besides, as evidenced by some posts in these threads, some people can't even bring themselves to inflict pain in a mere game.

 

An interesting aside, I suppose, as relates to the whole nazi issue. Was watching something called Ghost Soldiers about survivor's of the Bataan Death March. One of the guys stated that after having been freed from over 3 years of degrading captivity, he'd actually tried to kill some of his tormentors. However, upon achieving it, decided that he felt quite small indeed. I don't think that given the numbers of people slain in the concentration camps, that it would be unreasonable to say that some wanted revenge. The exact number will never be truly known. I'm guessing here, but figure that other's like Elie Wiesel probably didn't want revenge so much as justice.

 

Just seeking clarification here, True, but what exactly do you mean by accepting in the following statement:

 

Being open-minded means you are capable of accepting and understanding other viewpoints,

 

If you mean accepting that others have a different viewpoint, that's one thing. However, if you mean "agreeing", that would be a bit oxymoronic, given that opposing viewpoints can be mutually exclusive.

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Just seeking clarification here, True, but what exactly do you mean by accepting in the following statement:

 

If you mean accepting that others have a different viewpoint, that's one thing. However, if you mean "agreeing", that would be a bit oxymoronic, given that opposing viewpoints can be mutually exclusive.

I meant accepting as in "accepting that they have that viewpoint and believe it is correct to them". I didn't mean to imply that being open minded means agreeing on all opinions by any means, but that accepting another opinion is accepting it exists and that it is correct in the minds of someone instead of outright saying it is evil. Hope that clears it up, although I feel I have a lot more to answer for than just that.

 

An interesting aside, I suppose, as relates to the whole nazi issue. Was watching something called Ghost Soldiers about survivor's of the Bataan Death March. One of the guys stated that after having been freed from over 3 years of degrading captivity, he'd actually tried to kill some of his tormentors. However, upon achieving it, decided that he felt quite small indeed. I don't think that given the numbers of people slain in the concentration camps, that it would be unreasonable to say that some wanted revenge. The exact number will never be truly known. I'm guessing here, but figure that other's like Elie Wiesel probably didn't want revenge so much as justice.

I think Justice and Murder are two different things. Justice can still be achieved through other means than to simply kill someone, and even killing someone is a far greater issue to some people. As you have said, when some people kill they regret it afterwards because they feel... I dunno... unsatified? regretful? small? I have no real idea of the feeling, but I have heard people explain to be the horrible feeling they get in a fight after they have stabbed someone. When they did it, they weren't thinking, but when it was in the other persons belly a horrible feeling of regret and sorrow came over them at what they just did. Thats how it was explained to me anyway, and thats why we throw people into prison instead of killing them. Realizing what you have done and what your actions do can do so much more than just killing someone when they do not regret what they have done for a second.

 

But as I have said, I really do have no real idea on the matter and am just taking what I have heard from others.

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An interesting article I read earlier here (CNN). Seems at least someone is paying attention to what extremes and direction some of these games are taking. And while I can completely understand that it's 'just a game' I do believe that there is an extent to what the developers should at least keep in mind when designing a game.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/fun.games/06/19/videogames.manhunt.reut/index.html

 

Don't get me wrong, I am way guilty of playing the shoot'em all, kill'em all games. I follow the Dark Brotherhood questlines in Oblivon, Play DS sometimes in KotOR, Evil alignments in NWN, etc. (note that these games are set in fictional/fantasy worlds). True, I can't stave the fact that the act of killing is universal no matter the plane of existence. And in the games I play the most, the Dark Brotherhood quests for instance is probably the most 'real' killings that would relate to what can happen in the real world (murder for hire, innocent victims or not). The fact I'm carrying out the acts with some weapon I just pulled of an otherwordly creature with horns, living in basically "Hell" kinda juxtaposes the reality/fantasy in question. I dunno though, deeprooted, perhaps my underlying morals are in question :giveup:

 

However mimartin poses a viewpoint that I share in most cases:

 

Other than the people within the game being fictional the reason I have no problem killing them is that it is not permanent. When I restart the game next time they will be there until I kill them again. The lack of permanence and the fact that they are fictional shows me that we are not any crueler than Shakespeare for what he did to his fictional characters. We are less so as the games designers and writers are the one that allowed us to steal and murder people with in the game confines.

When games tread on particular subjects though, it's then that I tend to start backing away. Gawds forbid games start 'enabling' players to perform taboo acts (pedophilia, rape, racial/religous genocide to name a few) and actually get past the ESRB.

 

I'm all for the gaming industry. Proud member of VGVN, however I don't think outright abolishing entities such as the ESRB would be beneficial. A ratings system is VERY important, I think, to most of us.. especially to those with parental obligations.

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Hmm, interesting. I'll add another question that popped up while reading Chainz post.

 

If, lets say, reality suddenly took some strange turn and when someone died they would respawn an hour or whatever later... would people treat the world like a video game?

 

An odd and silly question, I know, but if life itself became a video game in the sense that "I have no problem killing them is that it is not permanent. When I restart the game next time they will be there until I kill them again." Would people kill eachother for amusement, kill themselves, do the crazy stuff that some of us do in video games or would we still base reality on reality and video games as video games? Would fiction and reality become one in the sense if the limits of dead were taken from the world we all live in? How far would morals extend when death becomes relative?

 

Haha, that really does sound silly.

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Yeah, ChAiNz, you address a point that I neglected to mention. Basically, if you constantly seek out more and more disturbing material to engage yourself in, it probably does raise red flags re the state of your morality. However, blaming the devs/writers is kinda like blaming God/gods for putting us into a realm of existence where all kinds of evil choices are possible. We still have to make the choice, no matter the circumstances.

 

@True--yeah, I was kind of making that point obliquely, I guess. I've never gotten the sense Wiesel was calling for the death of the people, but rather their ideas. I think one of the things people who attain revenge will say is that it's an empty feeling. Some even wondering if they are now better than the people who did them wrong.

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Would people kill eachother for amusement, kill themselves, do the crazy stuff that some of us do in video games or would we still base reality on reality and video games as video games? Would fiction and reality become one in the sense if the limits of dead were taken from the world we all live in? How far would morals extend when death becomes relative?

I think the "permanency" effect does (and would) hold some sort of "free-er" boundaries. Hell, if I knew for a fact I wouldn't croak, I'd dive off the tallest building I could find for giggles :xp: hehehe...

 

However, there's the other reasoning that depending on what was done to cause said 'moratorium of mortality' do the actual memories of the events still exist? Is morality still attached to an individual's conscious?

 

If I were to temporarily die in a brutal fashion on behalf of some other party other than myself.. what consequences would occur thereafter. Do I seek "revenge" be it in-consequential, am I a stuck in an immortal struggle with the memories of the violent acts that I incurred.. since suicide is out of the question and brainwashing isn't quite my forte'...

 

What if I was the one who committed the act? Granted to have done the act in the first place my moral grounding would be less than par for the course, still though.. how on earth would one atone for such acts?

 

Alot of unanswered questions with almost un-thinkable, perhaps un-bearable, consequences attached to it. Silly hehehe yeah for some of it, but the more I think of it.. man, I think it could be a real nightmare on a case-by-case situation.

 

Definitely some food for thought True_Avery.. bravo for bringing the question to light :thumbsup:

 

However, blaming the devs/writers is kinda like blaming God/gods for putting us into a realm of existence where all kinds of evil choices are possible. We still have to make the choice, no matter the circumstances.
Wise words Totenkopf, VERY wise words. I couldn't agree with you more :thumbsup:

 

Though there's always going to be the 'rallying group' :rolleyes: that wishes to pass blame on someone else. I think we all have experienced this to one extreme or another. ;)

In a grand world, people would accept their own follies and accountabilities, but unfortunately that's a pipe-dream in most cases... hehehe

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With World War Two games, as with most war games, I feel a huge swelling of pride at those who fought and died for what was right. The more respectful the game is to it the better, the best being something along the lines of Band of Brothers or Medal of Honor or Call of Duty where it accurately depicts what happened and doesn't do things like go out of their way to portray who we fight against as evil, just sticking to the facts of war and why we fight. Do I enjoy games like that? When they don't shamelessly come across as being controversial. Do I enjoy killing, games with killing? Sure. Does that make me a bad person? Below is a Christian web site, but it rates various games based on their content of violence, language, ect. It might be worth looking at to get an idea on what may or may not be considered acceptable in terms of killing.

 

http://www.almenconi.com/reviews.php?opt=games&sc_id=131

 

On the other hand, Mercenaries 2 is something I want right now. Mass destruction, hip hop, leave your moralities at the door, this is the biz. The only thing cooler would be if a new Battlefront game was like this.

 

Just on that, what about games that trivialise killing and other immoral acts, or even reward you for them? Especially ones that are unnecessary, something like how many people you can run down as opposed to fighting for survival on the beaches of Normandy?

 

As far as killing in real life goes, I'm not sure if I would go so far as to say that I enjoy the hammer being dropped on some scumbag, I'd probably be more inclined to say that if it comes to having to kill them then kill them, don't think about the morality of it just do it.

 

And just on the Nazis, I would say that the typical German soldier in World War Two didn't enjoy killing anymore or less than anyone else. There would be bad eggs, the same as there are or have been in armies across the world, but would it be fair to class them as deriving enjoyment from killing? The Gestapo on the other hand, the Gestapo were basically thugs that Hitler gave guns to and said 'have fun', them as well as the really anyone who goes beyond the call of duty in doing heinous acts such as the Holocaust.

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If, lets say, reality suddenly took some strange turn and when someone died they would respawn an hour or whatever later... would people treat the world like a video game?

 

An odd and silly question, I know, but if life itself became a video game in the sense that "I have no problem killing them is that it is not permanent. When I restart the game next time they will be there until I kill them again." Would people kill eachother for amusement, kill themselves, do the crazy stuff that some of us do in video games or would we still base reality on reality and video games as video games? Would fiction and reality become one in the sense if the limits of dead were taken from the world we all live in? How far would morals extend when death becomes relative?

For myself, I wouldn't act differently (except to make penalties lighter for murder etc). Even assuming that they did not feel pain, they would still be inconvenienced by the respawn time. Given that I wouldn't like to be stabbed (ow) or have my time stolen from me, I would not do that to others.

 

Video games have no moral dilemmas because there is no moral choices; you have to have real people for that. I'm not going to feel sorry for letting (or purposely :p) jumping Lara Croft off a cliff. I know that the scream was recorded in a sound studio, the damage was created by an artist, the movement created by an animator, the actions made possible by the engine programmer. When Lara dies, there's no one affected, very different from your above 'real life with respawns' idea.

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In order to help out this thread, I did a little experiment:

 

I finished committing mass genocide in a game I was playing (Dynasty Warriors 4), just to see how I would react to the murder of people.

 

Yes, the people were attacking me back, but I was killing them, and my goal was to kill off every last person in that one town, so it was genocide. It is immoral in real life, but in a game, totally tolerated.

 

I think I was actually quite happy when my avatar did die. The train of wreckage he caused, he was really just a monster that was going down a pre-programmed path. I gave the monster directions, but I am not the monster, he was. (It's the same justification people use when saying, "Oh, God is not responsible, you are, because while God gave you the tools, you are the one that used them." Prehaps it is right, prehaps it is wrong...but even so...) And he really was a monster, when he was at very low health, did he surrender, did he run away? No, all he did was continue to massacre everyone, in the vain hope that he would take away a few more lives, find a First Aid Kit and heal himself to do even more mass damage.

 

He killed 310 people, most of them defenseless peasents drafted into the army and not given training at all. And why? He wanted to stay alive for 90 minutes, so that he would be hailed as a hero, and then die a natural death.

 

And I watch on, as one would watch a historical documenatry of a genocide. And I did not make a single reaction.

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And I watch on........ And I did not make a single reaction.

 

Sounds like you did have a reaction, one of inner disgust, which was manifested by your relief at the death of your avatar.

 

Though there's always going to be the 'rallying group' that wishes to pass blame on someone else. I think we all have experienced this to one extreme or another.

In a grand world, people would accept their own follies and accountabilities, but unfortunately that's a pipe-dream in most cases... hehehe

 

Sadly, ChAiNz, truer words have rarely been spoken. :nod:

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