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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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  • He is correct. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B5_geek ( 638928 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:05AM (#30580424)

    Reality isn't fun. If it was we wouldn't play games.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:32AM (#30580518)

      Reality isn't fun.

      Yeah it is, once you get good at it, level up some of your abilities, stop worrying about screwing up, and start building or making things happen the way you want them to.

      There are tons of different ways to have fun playing in reality. Maybe you're just a n00b.

    • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:42AM (#30580816) Homepage

      Reality isn't fun. If it was we wouldn't play games.

      There's this thing called "sex". I highly recommend trying it. It can be awkward at the beginning, but once you find a suitable partner I'm confident you'll find that some kinds of real life play are quite fun.

      There are some requirements though... You need to get your partner into "the mood", which at times is very challenging. "Protection" is also important, otherwise you might get a nasty infection or possibly spawn unwanted processes.

    • by Jaysyn ( 203771 )

      I agree, I personally do not like realistic war-games. The Battlefield & Call of Duty games hold exactly 0 interest to me. Give me an unrealistic Unreal Tournament or Quake or Advent Rising any day.

    • "Reality isn't fun. If it was we wouldn't play games."

      I'll second this and say that those people who want realistic games are a stupid minority who don't understand game design. I also think the person in the article is taking random internet comments about "wanting more realism" in games way too seriously, I think most people want good art and immersion and they call that art and animation "realism". i.e. when a character animates badly we associate it with a "lack of realism" rather then a lack of good

      • So I was going to make a funny and/or sarcastic comment regarding your comment

        More realistic violence/damage models would be insanely boring, in fact the more photo realistic games get the less I am enthralled by them.

        and how you would probably prefer Combat [] to today's wargames.

        Then I realized that I probably spent more time playing Combat with my brother way back when then I do playing many of today's photorealistic games(although my current obsession with Bioshock could be considered unhealthy by some).

        Congrats. You responded to my comment without even hitting the reply. I hope you are happy. Now where did I put that Atari...

    • But more reality isn't necessarily a bad thing.

      For instance, I prefer playing realistic racing simulators to more arcade style ones like NFS. Of course, full reality would be having to live with the damages to a car, or physical damage to yourself in a car crash. Obviously, we don't want realism to go that far...but to a point, realism can add to games. Even if it makes it more challenging.

    • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:47AM (#30581906)

      Im not so sure about that. Ive been beta testing Life 2010 for a while now. Some highlights:

      1. Get born.
      2. Realize that school really just teaches you to work within a system and provides structure as your parents have no idea what else to do with you.
      3. Realize your parents dont know what they are doing and many of the things they expose you to are wrong or at least unhealthy (religion, quack medicines, conspiracy theories, political biases).
      4. Have some first embarrassing and demoralizing attempts at mating.
      5. Goto college, go in debt, to hopefully learn something and maybe land a job that pays entry-level wages.
      6. Advance in life a bit, fail a few times, consider suicide and marriage a few times.
      7. Avoid drafts, wars, and extreme ideologies. Worry about getting diseases or dying in a car crash.
      8. Complain about things - especially the government. Being factual is optional and somewhat frowned upon.
      9. Have you own children - goto step 1 or continue to retirement.

  • "Realistic", eh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sparton ( 1358159 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:07AM (#30580438)

    I'm fairly certain actually realistic shooters exist. It's just that realistic mechanics, from a player perspective, are extremely boring, except for in a few limited cases (only one I can think of that is fun and isn't at least a bit fantastic or sci-fi is Counter Strike).

    With the whole rise of casual gamer shenanigans going on, making games realistically punishing isn't lucrative in the slightest. Even the most successful hardcore/brutally evil game that has come out recently, Demon's Souls, has a lot of unrealistic elements in it (such as excessive hit points, predictable AI, magic, etc).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      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.
    • Re:"Realistic", eh? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by loutr ( 626763 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:26AM (#30580502)

      I'm fairly certain actually realistic shooters exist. It's just that realistic mechanics, from a player perspective, are extremely boring, except for in a few limited cases

      Canard PC [] (French PC gaming magazine) recently published an article written by a professional soldier about ARMA II, which is regarded as one of the most realistic shooters available. His conclusions were that ARMA was (very) far from being realistic, but that it was OK because it would have been boring and tedious to act exactly like a real soldier in a real war. So no, I don't think realistic shooters exist, and for good reasons.

    • Operation Flashpoint was another good one. I'd say it's still number one on my games "experiences" list to this day..

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:09AM (#30580440)

    A n00b gets shot at the beginning of the game. That means he would be out for the remainder of the game. Would you play a game where the playtime is about 1 minute for every 30 or so? I know I wouldn't.

    And also it would be boring as hell. Very rarely do you have situations where you are shooting all the time.

  • There are a few titles that try to give the combat experience in a realistic way. Theres always room for more realism, but these games are much more real than your typical shotter.

    Ok, I get it. Hes out to make a point, he probably know the existence of these games. But is a moot point, only people that want that exact experience buy and play these games. Most other people want different degrees of realism.
    From high realism to e-sport:
    - ????
    - ArmA
    - Red Orchestra
    - Battlefield 1942
    - Modern War 2 and Batman: A

    • by vrmlguy ( 120854 )

      So, where does America's Army ( []) fit into your list?

      • by Tei ( 520358 )

        No idea, I have not played it.
        Anyway my list is wrong. Batman is less real than counter-strike. In batman there are magic life regen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

      wow, really, you haven't heard of Codemasters' master piece Operation Flashpoint? The default setting is "get shot and you die".

      • Well sort of anyway, but Arma2 is the same kind of game.

      • by Tei ( 520358 )

        I love OF. But the same people has moved to ArmA.

        Anyway, theres much more room for realism. People don't die just because are shot, or get unconscient. I would model a real game with a type of adrenalin simulation, so If you get a wound in combat, in a non letal area, you are crippled (aim, vision, speed.. ) but you can still combat, but If you stop and relax, the crippling become severe .A more real game could use some biometrics sensors on your body, so if you are scared, the character is scared too (and

  • Simple solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vrmlguy ( 120854 ) <(samwyse) (at) (> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:12AM (#30580450) Homepage Journal

    I want an accessory that is worn on your torso (as a vest) and delivers a paintball-like punch when an in-game bullet strikes your avatar. That would teach stealth tactics better than anything.

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:14AM (#30580458)

    This reminds me of the old discussions about realism in pen&paper RPGs.

    We got a medievalist on our group, let him prepare a short demonstration game and quickly confirmed that it was, essentially, annoying.

    He wants more real violence? There's no need to create a game for that, mod L4D2 or MW2 to multiply damage by a hundred.

    It's one of those arguments that end as soon as someone actually does the little effort of trying the argued point.

    • by VikingBerserker ( 546589 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:40AM (#30581840)

      This reminds me of the old discussions about realism in pen&paper RPGs.

      It can work as a system incorporated into RPGs. There is a James Bond RPG that uses a damage system with about five stages to it, from uninjured, through moderate wounds, to outright killed. Depending on the weapon used, you may take one additional level of damage (say, by being hit with a rock), to five (rocket to the head). Your general effectivenes drops as your damage accrues, and the likelihood of scarring increases, making you a less effective spy in later missions.

      Of course, there are advantages to paper-based gaming; the GM may alter the game accordingly to help players saddled with too many problems to be effective. If a computer game could effectively substitute for a human GM, then I might be more easily persuaded to try a game with such a realistic damage system.

  • Americas Army (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LaLLi ( 844692 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:19AM (#30580476)
    Americas Army has always focused on realism. You can't run too fast, you can't jump too high or continously. If you fall too far you'll break a leg and bleed to death. And yes you usually die after the first hit from AK47. It's possible to have a medic bind your wounds, but you won't get to 100% stay slow and weak. I used to play it a lot and loved it. Too bad they stopped making linux ports.
    • 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.

    • One that comes to mind that I used to play is Action Quake 2. It was a bit more forgiving than America's Army, but not much. A shot to the head from any weapon and you were done for the round. This was years ago. As the "Quake 2" part indicates, it was a mode for the Quake 2 engine.

      So games like this exist, and have existed for some time. However they are in the minority. Why? Well two reasons:

      1) Only some people find this kind of thing fun. Some people want realism like that. More people don't. As such the

  • It's called nethack. The graphics aren't great, but he's said he doesn't mind that.
  • Bushido Blade (Score:5, Informative)

    by slim ( 1652 ) <john@h a r t n u p . 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nkh ( 750837 )
      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 fireb
    • Re:Bushido Blade (Score:4, Interesting)

      by plasticsquirrel ( 637166 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:55AM (#30580628)
      Bushido Blade was awesome, and it is still among the most, if not the most, realistic deadly fighting game ever made. Its simplicity came from its realism, so the complexity that it had was all related to how you were actually fighting. For instance, which stance you were in, or the way you swing your blade. The realistic simplicity also let it break out into three dimensions, so it was one of the very first fighting games to really allow you to run wherever you wanted (not just the lame side-stepping that fighting games still often use). It's still certainly worth a spin for those of you who (for some reason) still play PS1. Just a simple fight between two players in the bamboo forest is tense. There are only a few (sometimes one) unblocked swings between your character and its death.

      Of course, most people were more interested in playing Tekken and Mortal Kombat with their fireballs and snap-your-neck-to-take-away-20%-of-your-health type moves. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with that, but Bushido Blade showed that the simplicity of realism can give developers room for real substance in the gameplay.
    • It can be taken further. Hideo Kojima started dropping ideas about a "raw game" to journos about a year later. His idea was that the game would self-destruct when your character died, simulating the fact that you don't get a second attempt if you die in real life. Steel Battalion implimented a similar concept - if your character is killed because you failed to eject from a wankered mech, then it deletes your save games.

  • by lxs ( 131946 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:37AM (#30580538)

    ...Walker was highly critical on the realism of Road Runner cartoons, claiming that both Coyote thought processes and the laws of physics were grossly misrepresented.

  • Typical mistake... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zwei2stein ( 782480 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:39AM (#30580544) Homepage

    Adding more realism does not equal to making game better.

    Especially when it is "mind jerk" where you use realism to make game harder to play - it feels and sounds awesome because person who suggests it also imagines himself pwning in that game and getting to top of things using his innate "realistic combat skills".

    It is somewhat similar to, say, people wanting hardcore pvp in mmos with full loot. You only suggest something like this if you can imagine yourself always on the winning side. Because otherwise, theese mechanics suck.

    In some rare idealistic cases, people want challenge to be added to game (and of course, imagine themselves besting challenge while being awesome enough to get style points). That is, however, not something you automatically get if you make game harder and leargning curve steeper that eve.

    Give him realistic fps with one-hit-kill bullet and he will not play it for long. You do not keep playing game you suck at, and adding some mechanics means that pretty much everyone ends up sucking.

    • by mcvos ( 645701 )

      Harder is not the same as more realistic injuries. America's Army has reasonably realistic injuries. A single bullet can kill or cripple you. Yet the game is pretty easy to play. I found it a lot easier than Counter Strike, where everybody's insane running speed made it hard to figure out what the hell was going on. That kind of speed is probably fun if you're a master FPSer with lightning reflexes, but for a newbie it's not.

  • more better violence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:39AM (#30580546)
    I've been wanting more realistic violence since forever. I don't want great big clouds of blood shooting out from someone unless it's called for. I don't want NPC's to fly back when you shoot them. I don't want NPC's to insta-die unless you hit them in the head or central nervous system. But more realistic violence doesn't necessarily imply more realism for the player. The player character can be genetically modified, enhanced by nanotech or whatever handwavy technology you want to use.

    Say you shoot someone in the general torso area, you obviously miss the spine since he doesn't ragdoll and you take cover as he returns fire. When you pop out of cover the target is nowhere to be seen. When you find him he's on the ground aspirating blood and generally bleeding out. Or when you finish a firefight there is not silence but lots of poor fuckers screaming from their pain as they bleed out. If nothing else that might make you want to take the more stealthy route or make sure you aim better.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcvos ( 645701 )

      Say you shoot someone in the general torso area, you obviously miss the spine since he doesn't ragdoll and you take cover as he returns fire. When you pop out of cover the target is nowhere to be seen. When you find him he's on the ground aspirating blood and generally bleeding out. Or when you finish a firefight there is not silence but lots of poor fuckers screaming from their pain as they bleed out. If nothing else that might make you want to take the more stealthy route or make sure you aim better.

      This would be awesome. It might almost get me to try a FPS for once.

  • Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GF678 ( 1453005 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:40AM (#30580552)

    So why are games like Operation Flashpoint, ArmA, the Rainbow Six series and so on available? They're there because people DO want realism, they want one-shot kills where stupid rambo behavior action will get you killed. Sure they're not for everyone, but for people who want a challenge, they exist.

    This novelist asks for something that already exist.

    • That ain't realism (Score:3, Interesting)

      by syousef ( 465911 )

      Operation Flashpoint, ArmA, the Rainbow Six aren't realism. The game mechanics are slightly more realistic, but that is it.

      Realism would mean you play once for 10 minutes, get shot, possibly through no fault of your own, and are permanently out of the game because in that game you are dead. No one wants that. Reality sucks. War is not fun. Sometimes skill counts but just as often dumb luck or being born on the right side does. War's not meant to be fun. Playing warrior is.

  • The last time I played a computer game was in 95, and after that, I lost passion for games. That was called, fairly enough, Virtual World. It's a game where you sit in a cage modeled like a car, and you drove it in the mining tunnel on Mars. Obviously, the car is not really moving, but it had enough hydraulic system to simulate certain action to give some realism, like a flight simulator. It was expensive to play, $15 per 15 minutes. It's a multi-player game in which you tried to shoot each other while raci

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thanshin ( 1188877 )

      That's nothing. When I was younger we played Poker. It was a strange game where, if you lost, you could lose real money.

      Losing often enough could end with you losing your wife, kids and house; leaving you on a homeless shelter for the rest of your life. After that, all other games seemed too unrealistic, so I stopped playing.

      They say there's a funnier game community going on in certain countries of Africa. In those, when your character gets hit by a bullet, you receive a bullet wound yourself. I might consi

  • FTFA - a footnote; "*I have no doubt that there are many games available that come closer to achieving a realistic setting than what I describe. I don't care. I'm making sweeping generalizations here. It's what I do." . So the whole-big-thing-point of TFA is arguing that there should be games which are more realistic, then the author acknowledges that actually well gosh you know, there are, but their existence is not relevant because he's only interested in sweeping generalisations. Errr....yep....ok....
  • Finally! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bertok ( 226922 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:42AM (#30580564)

    I definitely agree with the article, unrealistic games are terrible. I've found myself gravitating towards games with realistic damage rates and weapon accuracies.

    For example:

    - Counter Strike: Used to be really good in the early betas, then went to hell once the whiners in the forums resulted in every weapon being nerfed. I stopped playing it after I emptied a clip at point blank into a guy's head, missed with every bullet, and then had him turn around and knife me. Over 90% of players had never played CS when it was good, and have no idea just what they're missing...
    - Day of Defeat: started off awesome, then slowly went downhill, but never to the same extent as CS. Players who thought they were 'l33t' at CS got massacred when they joined DoD games.
    - Team Fortress / TF2: feels like you're using nerfbats at first, but there's lots of instant-deaths, more then you'd expect, which makes up for it. (snipers, spies, crits, etc...)
    - Left 4 Dead 1 & 2: I love the way that one bullet from most guns will kill a dozen zombies in a row. Not only that, but Valve made the guns in #2 better, not worse! Someone at Valve is clearly learning!

    Contrast these games with the likes of Quake, Unreal Tournament, Tribes, or the like. In those games, three or four direct hits with a rocket weapon is not enough. It's like using nerfbats. What's worse, Tribes basically had no hitscan [] weapons, so at range, you couldn't even hit anything moving, and even if you did get a lucky shot in, it would do no significant damage.

    I've found that the games with accurate, lethal weapons result in very different game play. People jump around like rabbits less, stick to cover more, crouch, avoid open spaces, etc... Basically, they play just like you see soldiers or SWAT behave in real life. It's also gives me a much bigger adrenaline rush. Periods of quiet stalking interspersed with real terror, ending with either sudden death or a panicked getaway make for great tension. Jumping around like idiots in glowing neon green armor is just boring after a few hours.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ShakaUVM ( 157947 )

      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

    • for the record, bullets in real life are not hitscan. also, hitting a moving target is quite a bit harder when you have to take into account things like wind speed and, probably, your inability to aim as well as you think.
    • I definitely agree with the article, unrealistic games are terrible. I've found myself gravitating towards games with realistic damage rates and weapon accuracies.

      For example:

      - Counter Strike: Used to be really good in the early betas, then went to hell once the whiners in the forums resulted in every weapon being nerfed. I stopped playing it after I emptied a clip at point blank into a guy's head, missed with every bullet, and then had him turn around and knife me. Over 90% of players had never played CS when it was good, and have no idea just what they're missing...

      Try Cod4 on Hardcore servers. Usually One bullet is enough for a kill. Funny thing is CS lamers took over "professional gaming" side of things and forced community to play so called ProMod. ProMod turns Cod4 into a CS clone where you need HALF AK47 clip to kill someone ... recoil is reduced, no gun sway, and sniper rifles are 100% accurate. Not to mention it removes all tactical perks. Its like "pro" players cant handle hard game so they made it lamer friendly.

  • by nkh ( 750837 ) <exochicken&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:43AM (#30580566) Journal
    There already are 2 very realistic games that should have been mentioned: Close Range [] and Modern Warfare 3 [].
  • Codemasters master piece. []

    winner of:

    * PC ZONE Classic Award
    * IGN Editors Choice Award
    * Simulation Headquarters Best of E3 2001
    * Gamespy: Best of 2001 (PC Action)
    * Computer Gaming World's Editors Choice Award
    * The Adrenaline Vault: Seal of Excellence Award

    • by janek78 ( 861508 )

      Codemasters did not make the first one either. They published it. It was made by BIS, who now made ARMA and ARMA2. I loved Operation Flashpoint, the suspense and fear (and eventual reward) was unlike any other game. ARMA2 seems to be more of the same, but plagued with bugs that make it too annoying to play. Shame.

  • by Cbs228 ( 596164 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:48AM (#30580584)

    Urban Terror [] is a good example of a game that makes an effort to have "realistic" weapon damage effects. In the game—a free, open-source FPS—players square off using modern weapons and equipment. When you spray machine gun fire at your opponents, your accuracy degrades. When you get hit, you start bleeding, and you must bandage your wounds quickly before you bleed out. If you are shot in the leg, your movement speed decreases, and you also take damage to your legs if you fall from heights greater than one story. If you are shot in the arm, your accuracy decreases. Reloading your weapons takes time, and in the middle of combat it is usually more expedient to draw your trusty sidearm, rather than reload.

    Unlike most FPSs, where players engage in running gunfights that can last for tens of seconds, the typical Urban Terror engagement is very short; players frequently die before they realize they are under attack. This turns the game into an unending quest for the perfect ambush—attacking with surprise, from behind, almost always ensures victory. Many players tend to be snipers or campers, since the gameplay mechanics make very difficult to "run and gun" effectively. With that being said, it is still possible to power-slide down a hallway, turn, and take out two alert enemies with well-placed bursts—it's just very, very difficult.

    Nonetheless, UrT distinguishes itself for its reliance on teamwork. There are almost no plain Deathmatch servers, since UrT Deathmatches simply aren't interesting. Instead, it is all about the team-based gameplay: team-DM, CTF, and bombing run missions. A lone man is easy prey, but squad of two or three players can take and hold an enemy base for some time, provided they know what they're doing. In UrT, working with others is the key to victory, and your ability to score frags can increase exponentially if your team-mates are nearby. If you like teamwork, and don't mind the occasional insta-gib, then you should consider checking out UrT. The game is based on ioquake3 and will run on almost any Windows/Linux/Mac system that's less than ten years old.

    • That sounds interesting.

      Is the player community mature (in spirit, I mean) and intent on team work, or are players more likely to be childish nuisances by repeatedly spawn-killing noobs and such? Is it a pain to get up and running in a non-Ubuntu Linux flavour (say, PCLinux)?

      I ask because, years ago when Half Life (1) was in, I was a big fan of Day of Defeat. But then I switched away from Windows, and DoD got bought up and rolled into Steam, and that was more or less the end of that for me. The community th

  • by RichardJenkins ( 1362463 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:50AM (#30580596)
    I don't like the idea of desensitising my children to realistic violence. If I wanted that I'd just let them watch the news!
  • Realism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pehrs ( 690959 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:09AM (#30580684)

    I have yet to see any computer-game outside some adventure game that even loosely reflects what violence is like. And the war-games are probably the worst of the bunch. If a military simulator resembled what a soldier has to do in a real war it would play like this.

    1: Get up, brush teeth, polish equipment.
    2: Drive 10 km on a congested road looking out for bombs.
    4: Walk to the observation post
    5: Spend 8 hours looking out over a field with peasants, trying to figure out if any of them is a resistance fighter.
    6: Walk back to the truck
    7: Catch your buddy when the sniper shoots him in the hip
    8: Spend 3 hours trying to keep pressure on the wound and wait for medivac
    9: Listen to your buddy beg for his life while he is medivaced
    10: Fire blindly at a few bushes where the sniper might still be
    11: Get tinitus when they bomb the bushes and the nearby houses
    12: Spend 4 hours sorting out the remains of the families in the houses, trying to figure out if any of them was the sniper
    13: Go to truck again, looking out for snipers this time.
    14: Drive home, looking out for road bombs.
    15: Wash blood from cloths, eat dinner, go to bed.
    16: Repeat...

    War is not fun. War does not make a good game. Any "realistic" game still removes 99.95% of what it means to be in a war-zone. You don't get bored, watching a field for hours. You don't police bodies. You don't dig through bloody cloths looking for clues if the guy you just shoot was a resistance fighter or a civilian. You don't have to stop everything and arrange a medivac if anybody in your group is hit. You don't have to write letters home to the family, explaining what happened. You rarely have any rules of engagement. It's clear who is an enemy and who is not...

    I wonder when we will see a game where the punishment for sticking your head out at the wrong time is 60 years in a wheelchair with no control over your body... If you are lucky.

    • Is Afghanistan the definition of "real war" these days?

      • 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.

  • No thanks (Score:3, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @07:12AM (#30580692)

    Any sufficiently realistic video game will heal your character via virtual health insurance forms.

    Thanks, but I'll take my crowbar any day.

  • Reality is boring (Score:2, Informative)

    by BradMajors ( 995624 )

    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.

  • And it's made in flash.

    You Only Live Once []

  • Games can provide realistic damage, but they need to provide -something- that makes the effects less permanent than in real life.
    Games of the old provided "multiple lives". You could try again, repeating some of the work. But that's cheap, you live or you die but you won't be anywhere halfway.

    Later games provided savegame, you pick a point in time where you can go back no matter how badly it goes. Very cheap again, there is no challenge if you can repeat each step as many times as needed.

    There are these gam

  • I'm a big fan of (pseudo-) "realistic" FPS like OFP, ArmA, OFP2, and Arma2. Many people claim they want realism, but for most gamers these simulations are too boring or too hard. Personally, I'm missing real realism as opposed to the fake realism of ArmA 2. I might be mistaken but as far as I know in a real war wounded soldiers sometimes scream like crazy without stopping, and I've also read accounts of WW2 where soldiers were walking around with their guts (literally) in their hands. For real realism my "s

  • "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.'" Disagreed strongly. He may want such, you may want such, THEY may want such...but I don't. If I wanted that I'd be playing with God mode on or I'd go for My Little Pony Online. I want challenge. I want realism. I want to have to use some skill and smarts to get the job done, not just mindlessly run around s
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Renraku ( 518261 )

      At first, he speaks of we as gamers. Then he speaks of he, the gamer. You, the gamer. They, the gamers. He separates himself from the gamers by saying he doesn't want the fantasy. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to realize that plenty of shooters are hard when played as they were meant to be played. The Call of Duty games are very challenging on the hardest modes. So are many games. Many shooters.

      But many games are hard for the wrong reasons. Modern Warfare 2, for example, features enemies that kill

  • by smitty777 ( 1612557 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @08:07AM (#30580934) Journal

    When the ancient Aztecs played basketball, the rules were simple - the first team that made a shot through the basket got to live. The other team was...well...beheaded. Now, if you want to make video games that are realistic, why not go all the way? Have some sort of controller that provides an electric shock or poison if you really die. That will make you think twice about going into that room full of zombies.
    The bottom line is that video games are for fun and "practice". You go to a new level of realism and it just gets boring. I love flight simulators, but the ones that are completely realistic are the most boring. Who wants to spend 4 hours in combat air patrol with a 1 in 1000 chance of actually getting to splash a bogie?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )

      I don't remember the game's name, but I remember an air combat game that went too far on the realism. It wasn't in terms of "Do a patrol where you do nothing." No, there was always something to be done. The problem was that you, as the pilot, did precious little most of the time. Your mission might have you bomb a couple targets. Well ok, your plane had the whole mission route in its computer. You'd have it fly on auto pilot to the destination, it'd give you a countdown until you should signal for bomb rele

  • Feh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @09:43AM (#30581432) Homepage

    Ever play Rainbow Six Vegas 1 or 2 at Realistic difficulty? Try it, then cry as it makes you its bitch.

  • by grrowl ( 953625 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @09:43AM (#30581436) Homepage Journal
    More realism in consequences will only come with greater realism in controls. Once you're truly "in the game" can you deal with "in the game" realism.
  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:53AM (#30581962) Homepage

    I would also love to have more realistic violence in video games, but the thing to realize is that is that it just wouldn't work in current day games, as those games are from their in their very core extremely unrealistic, not just what the violence is concerned. On average you kill like what, 200-300 people in a single play through of a shooter, maybe even more in some games. Reality just doesn't work that way, unless you drop bombs from a plane you just don't get to kill that many people without getting yourself killed, a lot.

    I think a sensible way to introduce realistic violence would be to tackle it in a basically non-violent game. See Mirrors Edge for example, that style of game has some huge potential in that area, as its core is not about killing people but about traversing terrain. You don't shoot people, but instead you get shot. Of course the game kind of butchers its own core mechanic by introducing level design that basically forces you to shoot at other people and its extremely terrible at presenting the shooting in a realistic manner (everybody is a clone, small girl survives more bullets then armored police man, etc.), but its a type of game where you could introduce realistic violence and get away with it. In fact it would even make the game better when you for example had a choice between shooting somebody in the leg, along with consequences, instead of just having him rackdoll himself to the ground. I would much prefer it to have the game show realistically that death of the opponent is something that should be avoided, not something that should be done on a casual basis. Another thing the game misses is in-game character interaction, you get kind of a glimpse at it here and there, but you don't really see much of it in the game, which is again kind of a bummer, as realism doesn't start with violence and death, but with having non-violent ways to interact with NPCs.

    The one big issue of course remains player death. It is really hard to get away from rapid respawn. You could Sands-Of-Time your way out of it, but even that is just a cheat to avoid consequences of player death. Another issue is that such instant-kill kind of gameplay leads to lots of trial&error gameplay, which doesn't seem to be all that popular with todays audiences.

    Another way to do realistic violence is of course to make it all story based, like in an adventure game, where its not something the player does, but something done by other people to the player or friends of him. Heavy Rain might have some interesting stuff to show in that area, but if it really works or will be panned as a series of QTEs we have to wait and see.

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