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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

FPS Gaming and the 'Just-World Hypothesis' 366

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-worlds-ills-can-be-solved-with-a-rocket-launcher dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "When people witness someone subjected to some misfortune, they're susceptible to suggestions that the person deserved it and thus see the misfortune as evidence of karma or justice – hence the 'just' in 'just-world hypothesis.' Now consider the controversial new first-person shooter Homefront, which has you play as a freedom fighter in an America occupied by a North Korean superpower. The introduction to the game goes to great lengths to relieve you of any moral misgivings you might have about plugging away at the enemies it's getting ready to throw at you. 'You see enemy soldiers not only brutalizing American civilians, but outright murdering a mother in front of her children and callously tossing corpses around,' writes James Madigan, a gamer with a Ph.D. in psychology. 'The message is clear: Hey, these guys are evil. When we give you a gun, shoot them and feel good about it.' Madigan says the interesting thing about Homefront is that it's not leaving any blanks to be filled, which robs the game of some narrative depth."
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FPS Gaming and the 'Just-World Hypothesis'

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  • Kill the Invaders (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't matter if it's the North Korean army invading the United States or the American army invading Iraq.

    Protect your nation. Kill the invaders.

    Make them pay for the theft of your national resources with rivers of blood.

    • by Kelbear (870538) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:10PM (#35859720)

      Shooters are rooted in well, shooting. Whatever moral conflict you may have about the taking of a life is quickly resolved and cast aside as you blast your way through hundreds, even thousands of enemies over the course of the game. Any hesitation must necessarily have been overcome in the first few minutes in these games.

      This is largely due to the power fantasies that accompany the shooter genre. Players are powerful, and their "shooting" ability must be sufficient to overcome all obstacles thrown at them. Justification is needed to resolve the dissonance stemming from gunning down so many enemies. Uncharted is one example of a (great) game that has received some criticism for failing to address this point. Charming off-the-cuff quips are jarringly out of place after slaughtering hundreds of men. Even after the protagonist is himself shocked at the prospect of shooting museum security guards, and is instead offered tranquilizer darts, these guards are sedated right off walkways to fall several stories down. Or off the edge of rooftops where the fall is almost certainly fatal. The justification for shooting is made necessary by the nature of shooters.

      So here's an interesting idea from the "Extra Credits" guys at www.escapistmagazine.com .

      How about a game where you're a widowed mother trying to get your children to safety across war-torn Europe? The objective is clear, the motivation even more so. The focus would not be on charging into violence, but avoiding it where possible, or using it as an ugly means to a necessary end. A challenging premise for game design, and for game writers. It offers the potential to challenge the players with things like:

      -Dialogue of a mother trying to raise children to be good people in an awful environment.
      -Deciding what taboos may need to be broken to get the children to safety. Perhaps she will need to kill a man to protect them...and then explain to them why it was right (or wrong?) for her to do that. Perhaps she will need to sleep with a guard so the kids can slip past...but burdened with the memory of what happened.
      -Being asked to risk your safety and that of your children on behalf of someone else, or even someone else's children. (and again, having to justify your choices to your children later).***
      -Comforting a child.

      Extra Credits offered this idea up as part of a discussion on what it takes to create a "good female character". They posited that a good /female/ character is not simply a gender-neutral character that would be good regardless of gender (which would simply be a "good character"). Rather, a good female character is a character whose femininity is innately tied to who she is. This would be an opportunity for a strong female character to flourish as a result of her femininity, rather than a lack of the same. And sex appeal would not have to factor in anywhere either.

      P.S:
      ***An interesting dilemma came up for me in Fable 2 *minor spoiler ahead*:
      Once of the quests involves being tricked by a villain, and finding yourself and an innocent woman, placed in front of a demon demanding life force from one of you. This meant that one of you would be instantly aged into a shriveled husk. In the end, I gave the demon the girl. After all, it was just an AI character, whereas I was a real human being who would feel some regret at having my avatar tarnished for the rest of the game.

      But I had a twinge of regret, I had been playing virtuous hero throughout the game until this point, rescuing others, and refusing reward whenever it was offered. But now I was not being asked to be the hero, I was asked to be the martyr. Being defaced was a purely visual effect, but a significant one because this was the first time the player is asked to actually give up something irreplaceable. This was the one time where I was asked to make a real sacrifice, however small it was. I was surprised to find myself a bit ashamed at my selfishness, and the event sparked some brief introspection. Great stuff for a videogame.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:21PM (#35859832)
        Off topic, but it seems that you've found the precise length of a slashdot comment that causes the "Read the rest of this comment..." link to appear. Your comment is the first that I see that is not abbreviated but still has it.
      • I've never actually talked to anyone playing the "evil" way in Fallout 3 - it seems that even though everything is purely fictional, some rules of society still apply. Perhaps its also just an experience from past games that "noble" conduct usually was rewarded later on. But I even sometimes felt bad when the game did not offer a "common sense" solution and I had to resort to deadly force (Why do I have to kill the Overseer?).
      • And I'm sure the target audience will love it. Both of them.
      • I liked that game when it was called "Oregon Trail".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hatta (162192)

        Justification is needed to resolve the dissonance stemming from gunning down so many enemies.

        The only justification you need is that they are not real people. If you give any more thought to massacring civilians in an FPS than you would munching on ghosts in Pac-Man, you may not have a great handle on this whole fantasy vs reality distinction.

        • Most people are disturbed when watching a movie about severely violent or unjust acts, even when they're entirely fictional.

          Its normal. People who can completely disassociate actually have possible social issues.

      • I considered giving them the girl, but I was playing the hero, so of course I chose the martyr route, as I did the whole game.

        Then they asked me to choose between the lives of 10,000 people I had been enslaved alongside, or my dog.

        THAT was a moral dilemma.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Monday April 18, 2011 @08:14PM (#35862342) Homepage Journal

        By contrast Arkham Asylum never justifies the main character's pacifism. Batman walks around KOing homocidal maniacs while telling the asylum guards to "stay put". When you walk back through all these areas later, you find the inmates have woken up and then brutally tortured and murdered the guards you just saved an hour before.

          It's a damming condemnation of Batman's pacifism, but it never gets a critical treatment in the game. Batman himself always carries on as if he's doing the ethical thing. I'm sure it's cold comfort to the families of the guards that Batman would rather have their husbands tortured than Batman get his hands dirty.

        Homefront, by contrast, shows the evils of pacifism from the other side. Who will protect your family when bad men are trying to do them harm?

    • Chingers!

      An enemy race of seven-foot-tall lizards!

      This is how they teach you to hate...

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Heh right out of the French National Anthem....

      "Let's March! Let's March! Until their impure blood, waters our fields"
      (it flows a lot better in french)

      But its true, I always point out to people when they talk of wikileaks possibly outing people who worked with the US troops.... those people are the ones that, if we were in the same situation as Afghanistan or Iraq, would be the ones we are calling enemy collaborators. Would a german troop cry over outing of french resistance? Its all relative, but, the pers

      • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

        But its true, I always point out to people when they talk of wikileaks possibly outing people who worked with the US troops.... those people are the ones that, if we were in the same situation as Afghanistan or Iraq, would be the ones we are calling enemy collaborators. Would a german troop cry over outing of french resistance? Its all relative, but, the person working against his own people to help foreign invaders deserves what he gets.

        Of course, situations are rarely as simple as a pithy comment makes them. As long as an oppressive government can paint a malcontent as "working against his own people to help foreign invaders", then they have a moral justification for atrocity. Right?

  • by Hartree (191324) on Monday April 18, 2011 @03:59PM (#35859586)

    Good heavens. We have to make this right by making it be the US soldiers we're shooting.

    • I use a bit of irony to swap roles for our normal protaganists, and I'm modded troll. Yay.

      The mods need to read Mark Twains "The War Prayer". Perhaps that will be blatant enough for getting through heads.

      In an FPS, you're usually going to have someone who is portrayed negatively. It's nearly a given in the genre. If it was a game being aimed at a Moslem audience concerning the Crusades, you wouldn't expect it to portray the forces of Richard the LionHeart as nifty neato keen guys.

      I do find it odd that peopl

  • Why would you rob a game of narrative depth?

    • by bareman (60518)

      They'll get their karmic reward for the narrative depth theft by no one buying the game.

  • by Tei (520358) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:02PM (#35859610) Journal

    Homefront - Thrilling Gameplay Experience

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFVz6-A75Fc [youtube.com]

    Homefront tells the tale of one nation's struggle against the tyranny of locked doors.
    ----------------

    I don't think Slashdot sould dignify some things with a article. This game, probably don't deserve one, has is just another COD clone.

    • by Seumas (6865) on Monday April 18, 2011 @05:20PM (#35860508)

      Homefront is an awful game with a couple of very exciting set-piece moments, like a confrontation on the Golden Gate Bridge that is kind of mind-blowing.

      Unfortunately, it was touted for being story-driven (written by the guy from Red Dawn and apparently Apocolypse Now), while there is nearly no story at all. Here's the story: The resistance needs pilots. You are a pilot. They need to get you from Colorado to San Francisco. That's it. You do fly a helicopter once, for a brief time. But despite being a pilot, you're actually spending the whole time doing the "go from point A to point B while blowing the shit out of everything along the way". Because, of course, if a pilot is such a precious resource, the one thing you're going to do is throw him on the front line with a machine gun. That's it. There is no story other than "You are pilot going from point A to point B . . . on foot".

      It looks fairly dated. Has a very "Half Life 2" feel to the presentation. And the whole "this is something new and you'll be amazed by the deep and thoughtful experience!" thing that they tried to push with their advertising campaign was betrayed by the first couple of minutes of game play, where the guy who fights along side you for awhile hands you a gun and says "shoot everything in the head". Oh, wow. Golly. That's new. I don't do that in EVERY OTHER FPS.

      There's no survival aspect to it. No gripping story. The best thing about Homefront is the potential of what it *could* have been. That's pretty meaningless, since the finished product achieves none of that aspiration, at all.

      Also, the article is making it up. There is no "controversy" over Homefront. That's just ridiculous.

  • All FPS do this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justconnected . n et> on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:02PM (#35859614)

    Half Life 2 jumps to mind. You kill a guard with your crowbar; they're beating up this guy while his wife scream "please, somebody help". Tha'ts how you get your pistol.

    Games aren't the real world. A World War I game that forces you to ask "wait, why am I shooting them again?" just isn't any fun. I think that's why people like WWII so much - by war standards, it was morally unambiguous.

    Moral ambiguity bothers people. It's not enjoyable. It shouldn't be enjoyable, and it's good that it bothers us. Is it surprising that we don't like it in games?

    • by glwtta (532858)
      Moral ambiguity bothers people. It's not enjoyable. It shouldn't be enjoyable, and it's good that it bothers us. Is it surprising that we don't like it in games?

      Well, except for those of us that do like it in games; because it does bother us - that's what games are for, playing with things that bother us in real life.
    • Re:All FPS do this (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blair1q (305137) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:11PM (#35859742) Journal

      WW2 was morally ambiguous.

      Not for America, maybe, certainly not for the UK or Russia.

      But for the Germans, who should have been asking why they were shooting us instead of Hitler, it was a psychological minefield. Italy and Austria, too.

      And then there's France...and Switzerland...

      • by toastar (573882)
        Weren't the German soldiers told Poland invaded them first?
        • by hitmark (640295)

          Something like that, i recall reading that the SS sent some troops across the Polish border disguised as Polish soldiers and opened fire on the German troops stationed on the German side.

          And it is easy to say in hindsight that the Germans should have shot Hitler, but at the time he and the National-Socialist party had managed to restore order and meaning to a broken nation.

      • by lymond01 (314120)

        But for the Germans...Italy...Austria...France...Switzerland....

        Hello. Welcome to Earth. U.S.-Centric planet next to the Moon which, obviously, the U.S. arrived at first.

        (Cue electric guitar riff and fade out...)

      • Re:All FPS do this (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PraiseBob (1923958) on Monday April 18, 2011 @05:28PM (#35860608)
        It wasn't morally ambiguous to: Drop a nuke on Hiroshima killing 80,000 civilians? (USA)
        Firebomb Dresden and kill 50,000 civilians? (UK, USA)
        Conduct the largest mass rape in history? (Russia)
        Ship 200,000 civilians to work camps in Siberia where almost all of them died? (Russia)

        It must be nice to see the world in black and white where only the "other side" should have any doubts about the actions of its leadership.
    • Moral ambiguity bothers people. It's not enjoyable. It shouldn't be enjoyable, and it's good that it bothers us. Is it surprising that we don't like it in games?

      If games are indeed art, as many have argued in recent times, then moral ambiguity is an important component. It's not necessary of every game ever made, but a game without moral ambiguity is more akin to the art you put up on the fridge because your kid in preschool made it.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        If games are indeed art, as many have argued in recent times, then moral ambiguity is an important component.

        Monet's world famous landscape paintings are definitely art, and not remotely "morally ambiguous". Just one example, of countless...

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Wolfenstien 3d (original).... you start out in a cell, with a dead gaurds body at your feet, and a knife and pistol in your hands.... as if the fact that they wear uniforms with swastikas and yell at you in german wasn't enough.... they also already captured you and you killed a gaurd to escape.. you need more justification to leave a trail of kraut bodies?

    • by lxt (724570)

      I'm not entirely sure I agree with you when you say "we don't like [moral ambiguity] in games".

      I'd argue the problem is more moral ambiguity is difficult to write in games. It is hard to create characters and situations that are both morally ambiguous and rewarding to play, but when it's done right it can be extremely effective. The problem is it's extremely easy for a writer or game designer to take the easy way out and just state "this man is bad" versus "this man is driven by a series of complex emotions

    • I'm not sure that there would be any part of a WWI video game that would be even remotely enjoyable. You'd spend months crouching in the mud behind some barbed wire, losing 1HP per hour to trench foot, occasionally getting insta-gibbed by artillery fire or coughing out your lungs from poison gas, until you were ordered over the top and killed by either machine guns or land mines.

      Come to think of it, though, MMORPGs have proven that people are suckers for ghastly, relentless grinding...
      • Red Baron was an enjoyable WW1 video game...

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        Thats the Western Front.

        The Italian Front, Balkans, Eastern Front, Africa, Middle East in the First World War were all different experiences.

        Watch Lawrence of Arabia for a gameable First World War theatre.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:24PM (#35859870)

      Most FPSes are not big on stories and choices. They are big on shooting things. There are games that focus more on story, but shooties are not them.

      Heck some of the really popular shooties, the story is completely ignored by most players. Like Battlefield Bad Company 2. It is the online shooty I currently like. I have no idea what the story is, never tried the single player. It is US vs Russia but it doesn't really matter. It is people I am supposed to shoot vs people I am supposed to help. Heck, you swap sides each round.

      People need to stop wanting games to be "perfectly real" or any of that shit. No, games need to be fun. Now for some games, that means a deep story, and maybe it means some hard choices. However for others, it means a bunch of baddies of some variety to shoot. Both are ok.

    • by _xeno_ (155264)

      It's actually kind of hilarious when they screw it up, though.

      Take Just Cause 2. From the title alone you can tell that they're trying to invoke the "just-world hypothesis." But they don't really succeed at it. (And based on the plot twist at the end, this may be intentional.)

      Essentially you're playing as an American spy whose job it is to cause chaos and disrupt the despotic regime on the island you're on. The reason is never clearly states (see plot twist) but you're intended to assume it's for the common

      • Haha you know I just assumed that JC2 had multiple endings depending on whether you chose to help the religious fundies, the mobsters or the communists on the final mission? I thought I got that ending from choosing the communists and planned to re-play it to see the other endings. But after doing some research, nope, one ending.

        Also I saw JC2 as a game where the protagonist and plot are morally ambiguous (with the title helping to point this out) rather than the opposite as you saw.

    • I guess I agree in a different way. 'Play' that involves the fulfillment of violent revenge fantasies isn't morally ambiguous. Morally vacant is closer to the mark.

      Morally ambiguous or conflicted, to me, means interesting.

      The publisher could have at least had the shred of decency to call them insurgents.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fudoniten (918077)

      I disagree. I suppose it depends why you're playing. If it's a 3D version of Pac-Man or whatever, and you're just playing for the action, then sure, you don't want any moral ambiguity thrown in. But that gets boring fast, to me at least.

      I'm playing Red Dead Redemption these days, and there are a lot of moments where you're riding across the prairie and come across a shootout. What's going on? Should you intervene? Is it lawmen chasing a bandit? Bandits attacking a family? Just gangsters having a sho

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I remember Half Life (1) was similar. You start off and you're killing extraterrestrials. Then soon you're fighting US soldiers. It just felt... off... The game didn't give you a reason for this. I certainly made it a point to not shoot until they shot first. In a sequel you get to play one of the soldiers. Now in Half Life 2 (not done yet) I'm still not sure if the Combine are humans or not, and so far the game refuses to pause and give any narrative about what's going on. Though there is a good bi

      • I don't know if you heard the bit of dialog in HL1, but there's a bit where you can overhear the soldiers saying something like "I know we're all gonna die here, but I'm wanna kill that Gordon Freeman. He's killed all of my buddies..."

        In HL2 ep1 as well, you have to kill a few "Stalkers", which are modified humans. Alyx, your AI friend, feels pretty terrible about this - but the situation demands it, because it's keeping the door locked that you need to go through.

        I'd say they address and highlight moral am

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Half Life makes it a point to introduce you to the soldiers by showing the soldiers gunning down unarmed scientists.

        Furthermore, the exact nature of the combine soldiers is irrelevant; they may have once been human, but they act completely without humanity. The number of allusions to nazi SS troopers or similar is kind of absurd.

    • Half Life 2 doesn't have a emotionally deep backstory anyway - you get dropped into a situation and you kill monsters. Your character doesn't even get to say a word about all the crazy things happening around him. A "Please, somebody help" in Half Life 2 doesn't give the same kind of feeling as in the real world - all it does is telling you that something dangerous is approaching, ready your crowbar.
    • I should have been more clear. The games that exploit moral ambiguity, and do it well, often turn out fantastically. A game like Bioshock, where you need to either kill the Little Sisters for a payoff now, or save them for a future payoff, forces you to evaluate - how far will you go for your morals, even when nobody's watching and the only judgement comes from a computer?

      But it's not escapist. The obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com] lays this out pretty well. We don't want to humanize the people we're killing. This has been s

  • No matter what choice a developer makes, someone is going to complain about it. If the North Koreans weren't unmistakably evil, critics would be complaining about a lack of motivation and calling the game racist for allowing non-whites to be shot.

    Uncharted was called racist for having some Asian soldiers to shoot. So Uncharted 2 made all the enemies white (specifically Russian).

    Cartoon worlds have cartoon enemies. Critics complain. And there's always someone around to label anything and everything racis

  • On Babylon 5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by david_thornley (598059) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:10PM (#35859730)
    On Babylon 5, one of Marcus's lines was that he took great comfort in the basic unfairness of the Universe. If it were basically fair, that would mean he deserved everything that happened to him.
  • Assassin's Creed (Score:4, Informative)

    by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@nOsPaM.digitalfreaks.org> on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:11PM (#35859748)
    I noticed the same thing playing the (original) Assassins' Creed. Just before you assassinate someone, they are invariably shown performing some terrible crime; either the commission or ordering of brutal murder, the threat thereof, slave trading, or human mutilation.
  • by Aldenissin (976329) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:15PM (#35859784)

    We fail to realize how much power we control over our lives. I once had a friend go on about this woman who was robbed. I was like she's the victim. He said yes, but she went un-escorted, at dusk, at a place that was known to have several robberies in the last couple of months, and was a known place to avoid for the last several years, when everyone knows there is a good chance you are coming out within 20 minutes, stepping out of a SUV with pearls on.

    I don't think his point was that she deserved it, but that she was careless, and I agree. You can't "justify" the robber pointing a gun at her. You just can't. But she could have done some things differently. She is the victim, but she also put herself out there. Some would blame her, and that is perhaps where the "just" part comes in. I try not to pass judgment until I know all of the facts. Maybe she didn't know, but then she was still careless in not making it a point to know. And some therefore might not "feel sorry" for her. I do, she was ignorant more than likely. I mean really, who likes to play with fire unless they don't "really" understand how bad they can get burnt? Only the mentally ill, or someone who wants to get burnt...

    As far as the game, I don't play them anymore, but if I did, I'd likely go along with it unless it made me uncomfortable, or just pretend there were different circumstances, as surely others will. I don't have reservations about harming someone to protect an innocent, but I do have reservations about killing someone unarmed, "enemy" or not. Again, we don't know all of the facts. And pushing hate/anger on someone in the form of a bullet is not going to make friends.

    “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.”

                                                                            -- Abraham Lincoln

  • by Jyunga (2040832) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:16PM (#35859788)
    bind "mouse1" "hug"
  • Other character has a gun and is shooting at me? Light that sucker up. Moral considerations are for later when you're cleaning your weapon, something that always seems to be left out of these games.
  • CoD: World at War (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:23PM (#35859858)
    You know, in CoD: World at War, whenever I would play the Soviet campaign missions taking place in Berlin, all I could think about was the fact that, historically, most of the defenders of Berlin were either young teenage boys or men of middle age or older. Some volunteered, others were forcibly conscripted. No military training, with simple weapons that could be mass-produced quickly(google the VK 98 and the VG series of rifles). Conversely, the heroically portrayed Red Army was made up of conscripts and murdered and raped civilians as it crossed Eastern Europe(yes, the Germans murdered civilians as well-mostly Jews and suspected Communists). And you know what? To me, knowing this historical background actually makes these levels a lot more emotional and significant for me. Moral ambiguity has a lot more power to it and makes shooting games more, not less, fun. Read any soldier's memoirs. There is always this watershed moment, where the soldier pauses and realizes he is being told to, encouraged to, and rewarded for killing another person. It is a turning point for them, one that usually becomes a defining moment in their life. War is always at some point morally ambiguous, down to the individual level. If a game can actually accept this and embrace it, it will find itself being labelled as not simply another cookie cutter FPS, but as a legitimate and hard-hitting experience.
    • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

      The Soviet Shock Armies and Guards Armies that were the spearheads of the advance were not, by most accounts the rapists, thieves and murderers. In fact there are many instances in Warsaw and Berlin of Shock and Guards members hiding civilians, telling them to lay low or protecting buildings from the follow on units who did the rape, murder and steal.

      But as a whole, the Soviet armies did a whole lot of raping, especially in Germany.

  • My favorite multiplayer FPS has two teams of mercenaries who work for two different holding corporations and are fighting each other over various objectives, such as control points or intelligence briefcases.

    Both holding corporations are run by the same person, known only as The Administrator.

    The mercenaries appear to be clones of the same 9 people, but they wear different hats.

    In case you're wondering, I'm describing Team Fortress 2. :P

  • by eepok (545733) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:25PM (#35859888) Homepage

    The Just World hypothesis is appropriately explained in the summary, but I don't think the excerpt describing the game actually works with the phenomenon.

    (1) You see people of a certain uniform brutalizing people you assume are innocent.
    (2) When you harm the brutalizers, your justification is "eye for an eye" on a national level.

    There is no issue there and such judgments are not noteworthy.

    What the "Just World Hypothesis" (better referred to as the "Just World Fallacy") actually describes is that pattern of humans seeking a means to place blame on victims while ignoring the free will of the offender.

    So, if we're going to actually use the Just World Fallacy appropriately in the context of this game, we would have to personally make the assumption that the dominated did something to deserve their plight.

    "Wow, NK is dominating USA in the game. Well, the USA probably had it coming... just look at American Idol." --- Just World Fallacy

    Other, more pertinent places we see the Just World Fallacy:

    "Ya, you were robbed, but you left your door unlocked. You deserve what you got."

    "Ya, she was sexually assaulted, but she was dressed like a whore..."

    "The boy was killed while legally crossing a street in a crosswalk. But he was dressed in black, so he had it coming."

    "Her car was stolen, but it was her fault-- she left her keys in car."

    • by Kjella (173770)

      What the "Just World Hypothesis" (better referred to as the "Just World Fallacy") actually describes is that pattern of humans seeking a means to place blame on victims while ignoring the free will of the offender.

      Other, more pertinent places we see the Just World Fallacy:
      "Ya, you were robbed, but you left your door unlocked. You deserve what you got."
      "Ya, she was sexually assaulted, but she was dressed like a whore..."
      "The boy was killed while legally crossing a street in a crosswalk. But he was dressed in black, so he had it coming."
      "Her car was stolen, but it was her fault-- she left her keys in car."

      Crimes are always the fault of the criminal, but I can't defend complete and utter ignorance of living in the real world. It's got absolutely nothing to do with a "Just World" fallacy, it's because I know the world is an unjust place and you need to look out for yourself and those you care about. If you didn't teach your kids not to play on the freeway and not get in a car with a stranger I'd say you've failed at parenting and eventually if you don't learn yourself you've failed at growing up.

  • great, first the VA shooter, and now this anti-korean game.

    hope there's at least some south korean protagnoists in the game or else i'm pretty sure i'm gonna get capped in the face by some idiot for being korean.
  • by Normal Dan (1053064) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:37PM (#35860004)
    I find it funny when I play multi player FPS's I will get all fired up and yell at the enemy at how horrible and disgusting they are and how our team is so awesome and flawless, etc.

    But when it comes time to balance teams and I get automatically switched, I'll start snubbing the team I was just on and start rooting for my new team.

    I'm exaggerating a bit, but I do notice the whole us verses them attitude that can change in an instant when I switch teams. Always thought it was interesting.
  • by brit74 (831798) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:38PM (#35860016)
    This is why enemies like zombies and Nazis are so popular in games - because they're unequivocally bad, and therefore, you shouldn't feel bad about shooting them. There are a few exceptions, of course: some games will let you do bad things and those games tend to be controversial (example: Grand Theft Auto and the Call of Duty scene where you're walking through a Russian airport killing civilians). Another common thing games and movies do is not showing you the face of the enemy - showing someone's face humanizes them, which makes killing them seem bad. Examples: Half-Life 2 soldiers have masks over their faces, storm troopers and a whole bunch of other Star Wars baddies have masks, Killzone enemies wear masks. In many cases, even Nazis wear masks (http://ui07.gamespot.com/806/returntocastlewolfenstein_2.jpg). In general, if you're supposed to like someone, they won't have a mask, and if they have a mask, they're probably bad.

    (P.S. The Spy and Pyro in Team Fortess are always bad.)
  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:48PM (#35860158) Journal

    Right on topic [xkcd.com]: if there's ambiguity, or if you suddenly start realizing that the opposition is human and can be sympathetic, it changes the whole FPS experience. And people know this, too, which is why we engage in demonization of our enemies in the run-up to a war: so we can less badly about killing them because we've already justified it to ourselves. We probably have to do that in order to survive, but propaganda is the least attractive form of advertising.

  • It's quite simple really.
    Do you want to make games educational or do you want them to be entertainment?

    Yes, both of these are in stark contrast when it comes to replicating real life.
    No one will have fun playing a game where falling a bit too far makes you limp for the rest of the game (or the remainder of the mission), where you slowly bleed to death and lose accuracy based on how close to death you are and so on and so forth.
    Likewise, living a normal day life, or, heck, living the life of an actual soldie

  • Those guys haven't even figured out how to feed themselves. By what conceivable quirk of fate would North Korea become a super power?

    • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

      Short version from the game...

      Korea reunifies after the DPRK gives up nuclear weapons under Kim Jung Un.
      Worldwide economy gets bad, gets worse as Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war.
      Unified Korea dominate the region, take over Taiwan and Japan in sort of a Pac Rim EU.
      China has problems as the world economy gets worse.
      Korea pulls the nukes back out.

      Korea EMPs the US with a 50 MT nuke as they invade Alaska, Hawaii and then the western US.

  • Sometimes the bad guys are exactly that..bad guys. In these cases, there is no moral dilemma.

  • Orcs = Evil
    Zombies = Evil
    Morgoth, once Melkor, most powerful of the Valar, wasn't evil outright, just envious. Then the whole cat plus curiosity issue arose and he went crazy. Like a fox.

    It's all well and good to create a morally unambiguous killing experience. The Witcher went the other way -- you pretty much couldn't make a 100% win-win decision. It wears on you. Even life isn't that bad. It was like becoming Valedictorian (Yay!) and finding out that there's a kid in your class who would have not on

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