My name is Robert Farago and I’m a video game addict. Back in the day, I’d smoke a joint (without inhaling), down a Diet Coke and hit the arcade. I’d play Battlezone or Bezerk until I ran out of quarters or the munchies enforced Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When shoot-’em-ups migrated to consoles, it was bad. It’s one day at a time now. I fill my time by writing for TTAG, single-parenting a ten-year-old, mentoring a brace of Schnauzers and pressing NFW on a ten match.com profiles per day. OK, I fell off the gaming wagon for a few weeks a while back . . .
Sniper Elite V2. It was a timesuck in the sense that a black hole has a negative effect on gravity. But I’m clean now man, I swear. I can look at new gun game without twitching fingers. I haven’t fired-up the PS3 since my eldest had a major Jones for Red Dead Redemption. Genetics. What are you going to do? What I’m not going to do is play gun games all day. And night.
Some of that lack of temptation’s down to the violence in shooting games. Don’t get me wrong: a shooting game without violence is like dickless porn. (If you don’t know what that is you can thank the Internet.) And I’m all about the First Amendment; it’s not for me to tell a game designer where to draw the line (so to speak) on ballistic gore. And I don’t think violent video games lead to real world violence. Much.
But some of today’s gun games are so nihilistic, so blood-soaked that they give me the creeps. This particular game, Hotline Miami, is one of those. The bit where the guy gets chainsawed to death? It doesn’t strike me as clever or funny or challenging or sick in an ironic, post-modern way. It’s just sick. Period. I know: there’s plenty of plot in the game. For lack of a better term, it’s crazy sh*t. Not that I’d know from playing it.
Which means I’ve got no business criticizing it. So I’ll toss this one to TTAG readers who are still gun game addicts. I mean, aficionados. Are [some of] today’s gun games too violent? Does that question even mean anything anymore?