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When Does Gore Get In the Way of Gameplay?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the when-i-need-to-break-out-the-windex dept.

Games 141

Wired is running a story inspired by the level of gore in the recent Wolverine game that wonders: how much is too much? It mentions a study we discussed in February which indicated that violence tended to interest gamers less than other characteristics. "... the longer you play a 'twitch' action game, the less you notice the cultural content — the gushing blood, the shrieks of agony. You're too busy focusing on the gameplay. I noticed this with Wolverine. For the first hour, I found the deranged bloodshed both shocking and exciting; it made me feel like I 'was' Logan, the grunting, killing-machine character from Marvel Comics' X-Men universe. But as I became more expert, the cultural shell of the game boiled away. In a sort of staring-into-the-cascading-numbers-of-the-Matrix way, I found myself looking past the visible aspects of the game and savoring the underlying, invisible mechanics of play. ... The game became pure physics and algorithms: Vectors, speed and collision detection. The gore had become mostly irrelevant."

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141 comments

can't you turn Gore off? (5, Funny)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051357)

I hated an inconvenient truth. all i want him to do is shut up.

but really in most violent video games can't you turn the blood and gore off?

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

PetriBORG (518266) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051451)

In some games you can turn it off, others you can't, but in this game it doesn't matter because there isn't any. Check out these images from the game [gamespy.com]. I searched, I couldn't find any that had any blood even. If we were talking about COD5 which has lots and lots of blood plus blown of arms and legs and torsos even - you would have something to talk about, but this game doesn't even have any that I can see.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052297)

And then there's Fallout 3 that has a perk where all enemies have 20k Gallons of blood under high pressure.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

hymie (115402) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054903)

Even without the perk, the heads-coming-off bit gets pretty tedious after a while.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053137)

I don't know about COD5 but I would say that SoF:Payback [gamershell.com] probably topped it. Sadly I can't really find any good screens to convey how over the top it was. It was actually SO over the top I thought it was funny. I mean you expected a fountain of blood if somebody stubbed their toe in this game. I thought SoF 1&2 had some rough stuff going on, but when I picked this up for a whole $7.99 along with Quake Wars I was amazed that someone spent that much time going overboard on the gore level. You can literally blow someone's hand off at the wrist to disarm them and a "Kill Bill" sized fountain of blood will go blasting out of them. Blow off limbs, when you do a head shot you REALLY do a head shot, as in the head is over here and the rest is over there, just crazy with the gore.

But for those that didn't want the gore there was a simple "no gore" button right there at the front of the game, if you don't want it, switch it off. But I as an adult should be able to play a splatterfest if I want to. I am so tired of somebody picking up a GTA style game for their kid and then being shocked at the gore and sex. Well duh! It is not FOR kids! Git your kid Mario and shut up already! I don't want every damned game to be kid friendly just because some parents refuse to do their job and actually take an interest in their kids lives. I am so damned tired if all these nanny state types that want to kid proof the world because some lazy ass parents refuse to take responsibility for their kids. Blame the parents for being failures and quit trying to child proof the planet.

Yes SoF:Payback was lame with the AI, but the gore added a level of Bruce Campbell over the top cheese that it made it fun for me. Sometimes when done to extreme overkill you can reach that Evil Dead level of campy BS fun. And sorry if I got a little ranty, but I'm getting tired of the "we know what is best for you" nanny state types. If a bunch of parents refuse to do their jobs raising their kids that is not the game designers fault, it is nobodies fault but the parents. Don't take away my right to cheesy gorey fun because some parents refuse to read a warning label or ESRB rating.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (3, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054177)

The best feature of Soldier of Fortune was the gore. You aim for the shoulder and blow the guy's arm off and he can't shoot you anymore, voila. You can tell, just by looking, whether you hit the guy critically or not. If his neck is spurting blood, you know you don't need to put another bullet in him.

The game's big selling feature was accurate weapons and dismemberment, so if you don't like those things, play something else.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28054519)

I only played the Linux demo of the first Soldier of Fortune game, but I actually thought the game became more disturbing when you turned off the gore. You were still running around shooting at human beings, except now you could do so without most of the unpleasant consequences. With the gore turned on, I often found myself trying to avoid killing my opponents. At least on the first demo map, where you could often just shoot at their weapons to disarm them, Lucky Luke style.

One of my co-workers back then told me that I was clearly playing the game the wrong way. :-)

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

einar2 (784078) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054541)

SoF Payback was a class on its own. The gore was beyond the pale and it was highly politically incorrect. There was one setting were the streets were littered with body parts of Arabs.
The SoF series always had an unbelievable image of the world. I remember one game which started in Praha. Rainy streets, MG nests and everybody is your enemy. I gave them the benefit of doubt and I assumed that they intentionally went over the top.
I do hope that even cellar dwellers in Texas know that Czechia is different...

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

slarrg (931336) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051657)

I thought they meant Tipper Gore had started trying to get game ratings again.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051959)

I hated an inconvenient truth. all i want him to do is shut up.

Ah yes, the obligatory joke about Al Gore. Personally, I've grown quite an appreciation for Gore after hearing the stuff coming out of Cheney's mouth.

Same with video games. Gore used for effect is far better than nervous self-censorship of anything that could be considered slightly provocative. Being able to turn the gore off is mainly for Puritans, and doesn't allow fine adjustment of which gore is necessary for the mood and which is not. When you disable Gore you usually end up with Bush. ;)

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052203)

Being able to turn the gore off is mainly for Puritans

... or those with weaker graphics cards.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053831)

Yeah, it'd be nice if there was a slider, rather than a toggle. Full up would be normal, full down, none, but some actual degrees in the middle. I don't want to play with none, but some games, it just gets distracting from the game itself, which is a problem.

sigh (2, Insightful)

taniwha (70410) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051973)

that's the thing about inconvenient truths, they're inconvenient, you can't turn them off, even of you ignore them they don't go away ....

Re:sigh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28054479)

that's the thing about inconvenient truths, they're inconvenient, you can't turn them off, even of you ignore them they don't go away ....

Only if their TRUE.

How many major revisions to our knowledge of deep ocean currents have occurred since Gore's propaganda came out?

Yet, we're supposed to believe decade-old computer models using data from before we made those discoveries are accurate enough to predict Earth's future climate to within a tenth of a degree or so?

That's fundamentally BULLSHIT, and it sure as hell isn't cause to spend trillions of dollars remaking the bulk of the world's economies when we still have millions of people starving or dying of disease every damn year.

Global warming hysteria is more about feeding sheltered-Western-twit SMUG than it is about saving the world.

Re:can't you turn Gore off? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28054381)

Turning off the blood isn't enough. There should also be an option to replace all guns with walkie-talkies.

Does violence actually matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051375)

I'd be suprised if even a significant minority of people past their early teens would ever be put off a game for not being violent enough.
Its gameplay; enjoyable mechanics and repeatability, that count. For me, at least.

Re:Does violence actually matter? (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053237)

So you would have bought Carmageddon even if they removed the possibilities to run over old ladies?

Re:Does violence actually matter? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053865)

That's different. I think what he's saying is he'd still have bought Carmageddon if there wasn't a fount of blood when those old ladies were run over.

Silent Hill 2 (4, Informative)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051379)

For me, gore doesn't add anything at all, save for when it's used sparingly, to the point where it is so unexpected that it shocks. However, if ever there was an example of a game which didn't need gore to shock and terrify then, for me, nothing can beat Silent Hill 2. Such were the psychological shocks that there were points when I would be playing this alone, at night, and decide I'm better off playing something a little more fluffy to wipe the images from my mind. Sure, it had gore, but it was delivered to compliment the terror I was already experiencing from the suggests the game was making.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (3, Insightful)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051487)

I don't think this phenomenon of the gore melting out of mind has anything to do with the gore. It's a natural function of playing a game. You can play a "pretty game" (The one that comes to mind is that flat mario brothers game). After an hour even the prettiness melts away and you are just focused on the gameplay.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051491)

So basically you just said that the game wouldn't be complete without augmented gore. So true!

Many games would be "compelete" without the gore, ala any FPS where you can turn off the blood and gibbs (Quakes, Counter-strike, Duke Nukem 3D, and many more). You can usually play these games unimpeded with gore off, and if you never saw the gore before you wouldn't know any difference. Many people think the gore&blood on/off setting is for kids, but it's primarily used by the best of the best in the Quake world (as they say it is distracting and can block views at inconvenient times).

However, /my/ argument is the opposite. When I shoot someone in the forehead, I expect some blood (at least). I'm sorry, but when a game model simply falls down after a headshot it makes the gameplay cartoonish. Nothing wrong with that, but it does cause me to begin to think about the game instead of just enjoying the immersion of the game. I like to be able to "get into" the game, feel like I'm the main character, and for a few hours pretend I have a different life (at least in the case of single players -- HL2, Doom3, Fall Out 3). In short, You can take my video game blood and gibbs away from my cold dead hands. And if you want your kids to enjoy a proclaimed adult game, petition the company to include a "Blood&gore off" option, but don't go down the path that I have to live without it because some kid might see it. Sorry, I don't care about your kid -- you keep him/her from playing the game.

Just imagine the Mortal Kombat series censored (see Mortal Kombat 1 for SNES and Genesis consoles). Let's just say they didn't sell, and were completely destroyed by loss of gore.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (3, Interesting)

MadMatr07 (1278450) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051731)

I agree, games with no visible damage to a character really takes me out of the experience and makes me think "Yep you are playing a video game." However, games such as Left 4 Dead are so great in my opinion because weapons have the effects you would expect them to and that immerses you in the game so much more.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051793)

However, /my/ argument is the opposite. When I shoot someone in the forehead, I expect some blood (at least). I'm sorry, but when a game model simply falls down after a headshot it makes the gameplay cartoonish.

I guess the question how much blood and gore would happen in real life from these things. I mean some of these games it would seem to me that you don't need to shoot them as they would die from hyper tension in a few minutes. As the human body isn't really design to explode when it suffers an injury even a big one. Even if you get shot in an artery you will have a little stream of blood squirting up a few feet. Not a splatter of blood that consists of gallons of blood.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053163)

Even if you get shot in an artery you will have a little stream of blood squirting up a few feet. Not a splatter of blood that consists of gallons of blood.

It's quite amazing how much blood can come out of someone and they not die. And it's also quite amazing how many square feet just a pint of blood can cover if it's smeared around. Finally, how many people have you shot with a .50 cal or explosive ammunition?

Re:Silent Hill 2 (4, Informative)

einar2 (784078) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054611)

Actually, you learn this in a hospital. If you hit the artery of the patient you can repaint the ceiling. There is enough pressure to squirt up to the ceiling.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052625)

Personally, cartoonish or not, I've never really found that gore added anything to the gameplay.
It's an eyecandy that after a while fades into the background. If the story has me gripped, I'm wondering where things are going, and casting the brain into the bigger picture. The fights are incidental; they actively get in the way of where I want to be (which is a highly valid story device; after all, you opponents are all about stopping you being where you want to be).
If I'm playing a game, and still notice the gore after an hour or so, then it's either so intrusive that it's actively turning me off playing the game, or there's not enough story to hold my attention (which means I'll likely have another 30 minutes of play time until I consign it to the 'history' pile to gather dust).

I'm all for a graduated gore level. There are always those who want to see lots of it (hey, I work in a hospital, so virtual gore.. No thanks..).. There are those (like me) who don't mind the odd little streak of red to indicate a well placed shot, or make a story point, but subtle and tasteful please. Adds a touch of 'realism'. It won't draw attention, but it's not like the final category that point blank wants nothing to do with gore at all (all off, sterile and sanitised).

I'm all for the psychological horror.. Something that gets under your skin and makes it crawl without a spot of blood having to be shown. That's all in the story and directing..
In a nutshell, I think in general games, there is such a thing as too much gore; it can distract your core market, and make them think of it more negatively.
However, there are always the games that are catering for the pure gore hounds. Long as you pitch a game at the market you're after and advertise at that market, then all's good. One size does not fit all.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053103)

A game where the blood added something was Onslaught for the Wii, you fight alien bugs that have acidic blood, if you shoot a bug that's too close to you it splatters all over the screen, you have to wipe it off (which leaves you unable to shoot for a moment) if you don't want to take damage.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051499)

Well, you are obviously not the norm. Research has shown that people play games just for the violence, which is the motivator behind the latest blockbuster [youtube.com].

Of course, if you ask me, no violence is too much [youtube.com].

Re:Silent Hill 2 (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051781)

What research? Citation needed there.

Could it be that people prefer games with violence because without it, something is obviously missing. It's also condescending to the player, implying a person isn't mature enough to see a more realistic portrayal of a violent act.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051593)

It's the "Psycho" effect. No horror you can see can be worse than the horror your mind makes up itself. Suspense is often much more terrifying than a shocking display.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052387)

So much this

I really noticed it a lot when I was watching the movie Punisher: Warzone, it just shows everything and it was kinda funny because of it.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054233)

You've got to admit that a few of those scenes were just incredibly well done though, from the exploding mid-air jumper to the snapped neck when the impaled body's head was used as a stepping stone.

I watched that movie back-to-back with Sin City with a friend to compare the first to the stylized fake gore and extremely suggestive dialogue of the second.

Re:Silent Hill 2 (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051653)

I agree. If a game's using gore only in small amounts (think about the shock value of accidentally shooting a guard in a hold-up in MGS2) then it's an important part of the art. If the game's got so much gore that you mentally filter out, then there's no real need for it to be in there in the first place. If the game's working in the abstract, then it should be abstract to begin with.

When he comes in bitching and moaning... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051389)

...about all the energy your souped-up overclocked PC is using.

Invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051393)

Well, he did INVENT the Internet after all. I say we give the guy a break. Maybe just ask him to stand next to the screen instead of in front of it? (first post, btw)

Re:Invented (0)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052445)

Well, he did INVENT the Internet after all. I say we give the guy a break.

No [huffingtonpost.com]

(first post, btw)

And no. You failed twice. Try again?

Exactly (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051409)

If you're properly focused on a game you don't really notice the extras. For example when playing guitar hero my friends occasionally point out something that's happening with the band in the background (even when they're playing), but I don't notice anything but the notes (even when I'm not playing). Those that focus on stuff like blood flying around probably aren't actually focused on beating the game. Still, it's better to have some gore than none at all otherwise how will you know that you've scored a hit? Likewise for realistic graphics, it does add to the immersion to have realistic lighting even if you're not paying much attention to it, and sometimes it is nice just to kick back and admire the scenery (the sunrise and sunsets in GTA IV were pretty awesome).

Re:Exactly (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054263)

I hear that from a lot of people, but I usually call them unobservant.

If you have to focus so hard on what you're doing that you don't notice what's going on around you, then you're way more intense than me. I beat several games on the hardest difficulties all while enjoying the scenery and replaying sequences on purpose just to get the full effect of them.

Oh, That's Easy! (4, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051411)

When he shows up at my house and makes me turn off my Xbox because it's carbon footprint is too large.

When (4, Insightful)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051415)

the developers decide to write a "screenwiper" package that wipes the blood and guts off of the user's screen so they can see well enough to shoot?

When you stop noticing it, it's too much. (4, Insightful)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051417)

You eat vindaloo, you know it's going to be hot. You expect it, you get used to it.

If you really want to shock somebody, put a scotch bonnet in their chocolate cake.

Hitchcock knew this perfectly well. A whole movie of rising tension, and then suddenly, WHAM, a shocker image.

Same for gore in video games.

Re:When you stop noticing it, it's too much. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051515)

If you really want to shock somebody, put a scotch bonnet in their chocolate cake.

Just curious, but is the chocolate cake a new fangled term for the stink?

*ducks*

Hitchcock knew this perfectly well. A whole movie of rising tension, and then suddenly, WHAM, a shocker image.

Yeah, I never understood why he always had someone throw up three fingers at the climax of his movies...

Re:When you stop noticing it, it's too much. (2, Funny)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052609)

If you really want to shock somebody, put a scotch bonnet in their chocolate cake.

Um, we're talking about food, right? Right?

Re:When you stop noticing it, it's too much. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053125)

That's pretty much how I felt about Phantasmagoria. You spend a bunch of time wandering around an old house nonchalantly, and then you get a cutscene of being raped or watching a woman get a bunch of entrails stuffed down her throat. The game wasn't all that fantastic, but it perfectly got that horror-movie suspense-and-stab routine.

Gore is semi-irrelevent but still has a place... (5, Interesting)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051431)

Gore is pretty much irrelevent however I do think it has a place. For example I like the Hitman series. In the 1st one there was bullet holes/decals on the bodies I liked this as it allowed me to see where I hit as opposed to yes i hit or no i missed. I was rather annoyed at the future hitman installments removing this, for me it was all about the perfect head shot in the 1st one, right between the eyes.

I did think the manhunt series was boring mainly due to the limited number of death animations and the excessive gore.

I do prefer games that have some gore over those that have none, for example when a rpg shell blows someone to pieces it is more realistic than them just falling over. It's all about the realism the game creates the more realistic the more I enjoy the game (assuming the gameplay is there).

Graphics don't last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051483)

Now he's knows why nethack is still going strong. The gore is a bore.

Re:Bore! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051557)

"Ga Ga Ga Gore ... Gore .. The Gore is a Bore
  Ga Ga Ga Gore ... Gore .. The Gore is a Bore
  EveryGamer knows it ain't the Gore anymore!"

whua-whao-blua-blao....

About the content value of this story.
Is Seth MacFarlane a gamer?

lonesome al interfering with corepirate nazi games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051503)

had to happen some day? speaking of dicks; instead of being caged & put on display for crimes against US/humanity, our big dick is clogging the media(hhaha) with the same old 'nuke 'em 'till it hurts' 'defense policy'.

most of it is losing relevance as we continue to fail to care for each other, which is our only purpose here. the illusions of man'kind' are dissolving as we continue to pretend.

Just a nuissance (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051541)

I don't find what is euphemistically called "graphical content" exciting or scary - it just annoys me. To me the entertaiment value is in the actual content of the game, movie or whatever, not in whether there is a lot of internal organs draped over items in the vicinity; I realised how much it actually irritates me when I watched the "Watchmen" movie. The story line is not too bad for a superhero movie, but why do we need to spend that much time on Hefty Smurf splatting people's guts around?

It's just graphics. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051575)

It's essentially the same eye candy as the pretty lensflares and shiny reflections: They're cool for the moment, but they get old quickly.

When the fluff is off, what's left is gameplay. Gore or no gore. It doesn't "get in the way" more than other graphics elements do. One could argue that high resolution and better blending/shading made it harder to make out the enemies against the background, because they blended better. Did that get "in the way" of gameplay? No, it was just another graphics element. You enjoyed it for a while, but after you got used to it, what's left is whether the game is interesting or plain boring.

It's the same for gore. Blood and guts will excite you for an hour or two, then you get used to it, and what's left is whether the game is fun to play or not.

The sound of one hand dragon punching (2, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051655)

This is a nice zen aspect to gaming, one I've found myself often experiencing as I crunch numbers while speccing and gearing in world of warcraft.

It's also sort of similar to something I call the Zen of gaming difficulty - The hardest setting to learn on any game is "easy", while "impossible" is the simplest to master. While playing through Easy mode for the first time, you have no ide what you're up against, you face bosses for the first time, get surprised by twists and turns and keep having to look at your manual because you forget how to do your special moves. As you get better and tackle the hardest setting, you only have the tiny variations and subtle nuances to overcome, at which point you are pretty much a master of this game.

Re:The sound of one hand dragon punching (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051777)

Why would you play a single player game on anything other than the hardest difficulty? I've long wondered this as almost no game has any form of challenge outside of the hardest setting.

Re:The sound of one hand dragon punching (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051997)

Depends on the game and the gamer.

I played Gears of War 2 through with a friend over a Christmas holiday. Once we were done I decided to replay it alone to get the full-screen cinematic experience. As we'd already completed it on the second hardest setting I thought I'd bump it up to "Insane" and be a real man. I stopped playing after a day or two. Some of the set pieces were just ridiculously difficult, and a lack of checkpoints meant you had to play for 5 minutes before you even got back to the point where you'd die.

Yeah, yeah, I should have known it was going to be hard. I work for a living and don't get a lot of time to play games, so I want it to be fun as well as hard. Sadly it was just hard.

Gore is Necessary (5, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051685)

Without it, a game comes off as a cartoon. I don't notice it so much when it's there and have never found it a bother, but when it's not there, it's noticeable. If you shoot somebody in the head with a shotgun and they just fall down without a drop of blood, something is wrong. It's just plain not realistic.

Re:Gore is Necessary (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052377)

It also trivialises violence.

Re:Gore is Necessary (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052803)

And you could argue that so does not showing a realistic depiction of violence. You could also argue it teaches kids that people just fall down after shooting them in the face.

Re:Gore is Necessary (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052697)

Without it, a game comes off as a cartoon. I don't notice it so much when it's there and have never found it a bother, but when it's not there, it's noticeable. If you shoot somebody in the head with a shotgun and they just fall down without a drop of blood, something is wrong. It's just plain not realistic.

There is a threshold when there's too much, and that comes down to personal preference, and depends on the presentation in the game.

  • Contra: Kill the bad guy, they simply fall over, no blood, only explosions.
  • Metal Slug: Same as above, only you can set it so bad guys either sweat or bleed.
  • Resident Evil 4: More or less a shooting game, more gore, but still had a story to follow. Normal enemies had head explosions, bosses generally were more gruesome. Cutscenes also had a slasher-movie sort of gore.
  • Fear: More first person shooter and very violent. Cutscenes had some very graphic images.

There is also a Midway game whose name I can't remember (you start in prison, some gate to hell opened or whatever, you have to fight your way out) that just had too much gore for me. I also didn't play FEAR too much, since it was beyond my threshold for violence. To me, Resident Evil is about the limit in terms of overall violence, I just don't see the need for more graphic violence *cough* manhunt *cough*. I also personally think to add lots of blood/gore to Contra would actually destroy some of the entertainment value. It's whole intent is to swarm the player, to have lots of little blood clouds would only serve to blur the screen and hide enemies.

Re:Gore is Necessary (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054661)

Should a game not ever come off as a cartoon, though?

Game = Juvenile distraction

Ditto cartoon...

Not that there's anything WRONG with that, per se, but if you're looking for a real-to-life experience, you might want to put the controller down and go find one.

Games and cartoons are intended to distract us from the drudgery, and are quite good at what they do.

And I say this as someone totally addicted to WoW...

That reminds me... (2, Insightful)

Hitman_Frost (798840) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051687)

"The game became pure physics and algorithms: Vectors, speed and collision detection."

This is just how I feel about Hunt The Wumpus!

Or perhaps "Rogue" would have been a better example?

Game Physics and game (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051691)

Gore in games are great but it does not make a great game for me; personally i prefer good game play and innovative physics of the characters and environments for example the new Red Faction game

Gore is like spice- (2, Insightful)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051703)

that is used in food. Enough to accentuate the flavour, but too much and you overwhelm what you are trying to improve.

All of which overshadows the basic premise: If your game sucks, then no amount of T&A, or gore, will help improve that.

Gore free movie (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051707)

But the lack of gore was one of the many problems the movie had. Until the girlfriend was "killed" there was basically no blood. Sad for a movie where a guy with a bad temper and knives for hands is the star. So I suspect that the creative control is not very centralized; thus any blanket statements about gore shows that each game is separate from all the others in decision making. Either that or they stole all the gore from the movie.

It depends on the game. (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051761)

When I play fighters like MvC2 and 3s I don't think about the lack of gore despite them being aggressive fighting games.

But then in Typing of the Dead, if the gore of the zombies blowing to pieces wasn't there, I think it would lose something. In that game I never ignore the gore, its part of the game itself and belongs there.

If the gore in Wolverine starts to feel irrelevant, its probably just poorly done. Its a game pushed out to coincide with a movie release. I know it has a different storyline to it, but people should be grateful it doesn't make them vomit just looking at it.

Re:It depends on the game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28052027)

I played Rise of the Triad back in the 90s; it was an FPS that had a "normal" amount of gore...but every so often at random, there would be 10x the blood splattering out of an enemy when you kill him, and a bulletin at the bottom of the screen read "Ludicrious Gibs!"

It happened sparingly; maybe 2-3 times per level with my luck...but it was just the right balance where I didn't get tired of it. In fact, I usually got a laugh out of it.

Epilepsy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051921)

I grew up with a mild seizure disorder and noticed that the introduction of visually stimulating 3D content in games gave me headaches (probably what the medical community calls auras) for the first couple of hours/days. This applied to new games, new maps, etc.. However, once I grew accustomed to the graphics I noticed that my headaches went away. As an example, I can play Counterstrike Source for hours without a problem (other than guilt for wasting that much time), yet I get a headache within 15 minutes of playing Half Life 2.

It's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28052015)

...desensitization when such "gore" goes unnoticed. It's not a good thing either. It means a person is no longer bothered by such things. I'd only hope such things still bother them in real life but at that point probably not. A person like that can do something bad to another person without even a second thought and no conscience. Don't want to be around that person in real life either at that point.

Re:It's called... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28052789)

video games does not desensitize from real-life gore much. Real-life, on the other hand, desensitize from real-life quite effectively. After gutting a few dozen chickens, you do not notice the gore much: it is just a question of physics, sharpening your knife, handling the feathers.... After killing a few enemies, you do not notice the gore anymore, it is just a question of physics, hand-eye coordination, handling the weapon and re-filling the chargers. After raiding a few villages, you do not notice the gore anymore. It is just a question of keeping your machete clean, building arm strength and cleaning your clothes from the blood afterward. Ask any farmer/butcher/sniper/rwanda hutu ...

It depends on the game. (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052115)

This is one of those questions that's impossible to answer in a generic context.

If you look at something like Dead Rising, it just wouldn't work well without gore. Compare to something like Viva Pinata and it'd be pretty fucking stupid with gore.

You can't blame Al Gore! (3, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052151)

All those violent games are full of explosions!! Explosions that emit tons of greenhouses gases. Do the frakkin math! If there are 700,000,000 explosions in video games today (a conservative number) and each explosion emits 300 tons of CO2 . . . JESUS H CHRIST!!! We're all dead. Now. By 2 pm if we don't stop it. NOW!!

Gore gets in the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28052233)

When he won't leave me alone with the intern I want to play with.

I think (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052467)

Al gets in the way anytime he's in the room. Have you seen the size of that guy lately?

Answer (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052673)

When Does Gore Get In the Way of Gameplay?

When I'm in a total brawl on Team Fortress 2, and there is so much blood and body parts spraying all over the place that I can't even see, let alone hit the target's I'm going after. Yea, then, it's "in the way".

??? AÃâ- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28053455)

Umm, some of you have limited tolerance for gore. It's OK. You don't have to write articles suggesting that there's an objective level of gore that is too much. That would be a false implication, Mr. Thompson.

Skin it and Find Out (2, Interesting)

PMuse (320639) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053689)

...as I became more expert, the cultural shell of the game boiled away. In a sort of staring-into-the-cascading-numbers-of-the-Matrix way, I found myself looking past the visible aspects of the game and savoring the underlying, invisible mechanics of play. ... The game became pure physics and algorithms: Vectors, speed and collision detection.

The interesting experiment would be to remove the gory skin from those underlying, invisible mechanics and replace it with some sweetness-light-and-OMG!-ponies!! skin. I'm talking about the exact same mechanics with different art.

Would we still enjoy the game as much? I'd like to find out.

Depends on what you're trying to accomplish. (2)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 4 years ago | (#28053817)

If you're playing a shooter, gore might make sense. If you're playing Tetris, not so much.

Violence, like anything, loses its effect when it's overused. If the blood is repetitive and gratuitous, the brain is ultimately just going to edit it out, and for entertainment purposes the player is left to deal with whatever underlying gameplay mechanics or story remains. I think gore tends to be used to try to compensate for a lack of these bedrock elements, which is unfortunate.

Horror is a genre where gore is almost criminally overused. Gore in horror is like sex in comedy--it's what you tend fall back on when you run out of real material.

Mortal Kombat, anyone? (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054109)

Yeah, Mortal Kombat.

I can't think of a single game that was successful to such a high degree based only upon the amount of violence in it. Not only that, but for the first 3 or so titles the only differences between characters were their 2-6 special moves and their finshers. They were still wallowing in awful, shallow gameplay and raking in millions while 3D fighters were coming in, and didn't even get things right on the 3D front for a long time.

Oddly enough, the only place (apart from gore) that Mortal Kombat shines is in the story department. Those guys at Midway actually try to make a decent comic-book-ish plot out of things.

Exposure to violence. (2, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054335)

I believe many, if not most, gamers are desensitized to violence. So there's already an exaggerated expectation of how violence should be depicted, mainly that there should be gushes of blood everywhere and bodies torn apart. Even, myself, who is not keen on gore finds any game with bloodless violence to be quite tame.

Your average non-gamer, however, is likely to have a very different reaction. The simple act of pointing a gun at a character and shooting them is troubling to a lot of people. I'm not suggesting that gamers are going to resort to real life violence or anything as absurd as that. But certainly there is a thrill they get out excessive violence.

I personally have no problem with gore in a game if it's an integral part of the story. The problem I have is when developers get gratuitous with it for no clear reason other than, I suppose, to sell more games. It's not all that dissimilar to developers constantly objectifying and over-sexualizing women. I like watching hot girls as much as the next guy, but when it becomes the rule, not the exception I think there's a problem. In some ways I see all this as appealing to the more immature attitudes although I'm sure some people will disagree.

Gore only gets in the way... (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054473)

...if it impacts FPS. If there are so many gore effects that the game starts to chunk, then there is too much gore. Other than that, who cares? I'd like to see FPS's get to the point where there are blood splatters on walls. Why you ask? When you come across a dead body in a hallway for example, especially if it is on a new map, the blood splatters could give you a hint about where the person got shot from. I'd like to see bloody footprints and other visual cues about where wounded enemies went. Would that be too much gore?
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