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Graphic Novelist Calls For Better Game Violence 465

eldavojohn writes "Landry Walker (alternative comics creator of X-Ray Studios) has a brief opinion piece at Elder Geek asserting that all he wants for Christmas is more realistic game violence. While he acknowledges the world probably isn't ready for it, he wishes that getting shot in a video game was a bit more like getting shot in real life. From his piece: '... that's my problem with video game violence. Bullets are something we shrug off. Point blank fire with a machine gun is something that a tiny bit of flexible body armor and 20 seconds sitting on a magic invisibility inducing gargoyle can cure. Time and time again, I've heard people claim that they want to see a greater degree of realism in video games. But that's a lie. We don't want realism. We want fantasy. We want unlimited ammo and we want rapid respawns. We want to jump out of second story windows without a scratch. We want to dodge bullets and shake off mortal wounds without pause.' What say you, reader? Would this bring a new level of impossibility to video games or would there be a way to balance this out?"
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Graphic Novelist Calls For Better Game Violence

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  • Re:"Realistic", eh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by arachnoprobe ( 945081 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:21AM (#30580480)
    If you want realistic shooters, try Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon series. Weapon effects and impacts are realistic as it comes, graphics could be more state-of-the-art.
  • Bushido Blade (Score:5, Informative)

    by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:26AM (#30580500) Homepage

    Let me quote Eurogamer on the 1997 Playstation game Bushido Blade:

    Bushido Blade works like this: If somebody scores a glancing blow on you, you're slowed. If somebody hits your arm, you fight on one-handed. If somebody hits your leg, you go down to one knee. If somebody hits you hard, anywhere at all, there is a horrible crunch or spurt of blood and you die.

    Eurogamer's retrospective [] says it all. Imagine if it had caught on.

  • Re:Americas Army (Score:5, Informative)

    by broken_chaos ( 1188549 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:47AM (#30580580)

    All the medics in that game can do is to stop you bleeding -- not even heal you at all. It makes you stop *losing* health (though sometimes you'll stop bleeding on your own, depending on the wound), and I think it restores a bit of your mobility. It's been years since I last played it, though, so the details are hazy. I do remember if you took more than about one or two bullets, you were almost certainly dead, though. Made for interesting strategy requirements at times.

  • Re:Bushido Blade (Score:3, Informative)

    by nkh ( 750837 ) <> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:53AM (#30580616) Journal
    I loved Bushido blade, it was a mix between a fighting game and a technical game with a lot of laughs when you killed your friend's character in one second. You also needed a bit of "psychology" to destabilize your friends, like taunting them or not doing anything for 10 seconds wondering who would go first and try something (and that was a very dangerous thing to do in this game, a bit like in the Aikido martial art). It was definitely a good game, but it was too serious for most people of course: no fireballs, no super powers...
  • Re:FP (Score:3, Informative)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:55AM (#30580634) Homepage Journal

    I think Counter-Strike had it down pretty well. Quite easy to die, and then you have to wait out the rest of the round until everyone else is dead. If the round time is long enough, it encourages you to play as if it's more "real", as there is a real downside to dying.

  • Reality is boring (Score:2, Informative)

    by BradMajors ( 995624 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:18AM (#30580722)

    Speaking as someone who has built combat simulations for the US Army:

    Real combat is boring... it consists of long periods of time where basically nothing happens, mixed with very short periods of combat where a lot happens but the winner of this short period of combat is rarely in doubt.

  • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:47AM (#30580844) Homepage Journal

    From someone who actually writes one of these games you're complaining about...

    In quake1, a direct rocket shot deals 120 damage, or splashes for 80-90. If you have no armor on, that's an instant kill with a direct hit. If you have red (200/100) armor, yeah, it'll take 3-4 hits, but you have to recall the firing rate on a RL is around one per second, which is a lot faster than in real life as well. I've played those CoD style games with realistic rocket launchers, and it's just not very fun being able to get instant killed by someone who has no skill and no need to aim who just fires a panzerfaust in your general direction.

    In designing CustomTF, I've gone back and forth on hitscan weapons. In a certain sense, they're too good. It's simply too easy to headshot someone with a sniper rifle in TF from a half mile away. If there's no cover, then a game simple degenerates into a sniper fest. Which is boring. So I've tweaked sniper damage a half-dozen times, and basically set it at a point where you can one-shot anyone with less than red armor and full health, and two shots will kill anyone. You can buy (expensive) upgrades to your sniper rifle to be able to one-shot 200/100s, but this might leave you weak yourself on speed or armor, which is kinda the point. Defensively, people can pick up kevlar armor to halve damage from snipers, which helps break up sniper domination of games, but again, it's somewhat expensive.

    IRL, bullets don't travel at the speed of light, which is part of the problem - from a half mile away, a bullet takes a bit less than a second to reach the target. So I put in a non-hitscan sniper rifle with just a very very fast projectile (~1000 m/s velocity) which costs half as much, but deals the same damage. So people with skill can be rewarded with having more cash for other purchases in the game, and people that get hit by them from a distance don't feel like they've been cheaply killed. Both options are available in the game.

    Counterstrike, as you said, is incredibly annoying due to the inaccuracy of the bullets. It's like the bullets fly out sideways from the barrel. You can hold a gun to a guy's head and miss with an entire clip.

  • Re:Realism (Score:4, Informative)

    by pehrs ( 690959 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:19AM (#30580998)

    Pretty much all modern conflicts play out according to this pattern, even if the details and tools might differ a little. Balcan, Vietnam, Korea, Congo, Soviet invasion of Afganistan, US invasion of Afganistan, Operation Just Cause etc.

    Conflicts where people line up and shoot each other in large groups in an area without civilians are more or less gone today.

  • by smitty777 ( 1612557 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @09:40AM (#30581416) Journal

    Sorry my friend - you need to touch up on your Aztec history []. The name of the game was tlachli, and it indeed did involve the losing team losing more than the game in some cases. It was actually played as a proxy to war between different tribes. From the article:

    The association between human sacrifice and the ballgame appears rather late in the archaeological record, no earlier than the Classic era.[49] The association was particularly strong within the Classic Veracruz and the Maya cultures, where the most explicit depictions of human sacrifice can be seen on the ballcourt panels – for example at El Tajin (850-1100 CE)[50] and at Chichen Itza (900-1200 CE) – as well as on the well-known decapitated ballplayer stelae from the Classic Veracruz site of Aparicio (700-900 CE). The Postclassic Maya religious and quasi-historical narrative, the Popol Vuh, also links human sacrifice with the ballgame (see below).

  • by Revolver4ever ( 860659 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @09:43AM (#30581430)
    It's more likely that the winning team was sacrificed. Human sacrifice was a way to appease the gods with the best of our own world - thus many in the Aztec culture viewed it as an honor to be sacrificed. So the winners (most fit warriors) were likely to be offered to the gods.
  • by smitty777 ( 1612557 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @09:57AM (#30581524) Journal

    Actually, it was both, AC. I think you need to read the article too. The Aztec version of the game was called "ullamaliztli". From the article

    The Aztec version of the ballgame is called ullamaliztli[63] and is derived from the word lli "rubber" and the verb llama or "to play ball". The ball itself was called llamaloni and the ballcourt was called a tlachtli [tatti].[64] In the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan the largest ballcourt was called Teotlachco ("in the holy ballcourt") – here several important rituals would take place on the festivals of the month Panquetzaliztli, including the sacrifice of four war captives to the honor of Huitzilopochtli and his herald Paynal.

    For the Aztecs the playing of the ballgame also had religious significance, but where the Maya saw the game as a battle between the lords of the underworld and their earthly adversaries, the Aztecs saw it as a battle between the forces of night led by the moon and the stars represented by the goddess Coyolxauhqui and her sons the 400 Huitznahuah, and the sun personified by Huitzilopochtli.[65] But apart from holding important ritual and mythical meaning, the ballgame for the Aztecs was also a sport and a pastime played for fun, although in general the Aztec game was a prerogative of the nobles.[66]

  • Re:FP (Score:3, Informative)

    by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:39AM (#30581826)

    If America's Army had you hold your breath, then they were violating their own marksmanship rules. You actually fire when you get to the end of your exhale. There's a natural pause there, your lungs aren't all bloated with air (making it impossible to line up your sights), and your pulse is normal.

  • Incorrect. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Theoboley ( 1226542 ) <theoboley&hotmail,com> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @03:56PM (#30585630) Homepage
    you had to eat the flower to get the power of throwing projectile fireballs at evil turtles...


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