Friday, August 7, 2009

Every Kill Is Clean And Pure

It would seem like a game made for me. A game built on snuff film culture. Manhunt. I bought it new at full price. There was some buzz about it when its arrival neared. Too gory. Glorified violence. You know, the usual stuff politicos like to target when drawing attention away from illegal wars, pork barrel spending, and sex scandals.

I enjoyed the game well enough, though I found it a bit tedious. The storyline was okay, but the stealth, kill, run, kill got to be a bit too much of the same thing after some time (though the villains were pretty neat). I didn't buy the sequel, and that's because it sounded like they developers tried to quell the controversy that time around.

Let's face it, video games are a lot like comic books when it comes to the eyes of the uninformed. These wanna-be censors, the morality polygon police, think that video games are the domain of children. To think that adults play just doesn't computer. Hence the Manhunt controversy.

This is not a video game for little kids, and I doubt any little kid would want to play it. My daughter, who loves video games, has not even looked at it when she's digging through the stacks. Now, thirteen-year-olds might want to play it, and I don't think that is all that horrible. There's nothing in the game that is going to cause a sane teen to question their world as they know it. Most kids I've met know the difference between fact and fantasy, and this game would be no different.

I'll admit that killing people in this game is therapeutic. I brings a smile to my face not because I'm a psycho, but because I'm not. I get stressed and I don't do typical stress-relief actions like drinking, drugs, or shooting up an LA Fitness. I play video games, and if I can play one where I am the psycho that does mean, horrible things, then so be it. People don't apologize for reading murder mysteries, and I won't apologize for liking violent video games. They aren't the only thing I play (or even the majority), but I do play them, and I do like them.

For all you well-meaning folks concerned about the content of games: If you have kids, monitor what they play. If you don't have kids, stop trying to dictate what others can play. If the games make you uncomfortable, don't play them. It's that easy. Don't spend the money. Don't play the game. You can't cry about the imaginery children that may or may not be affected because that's the parent's job. As a parent, I can tell you I don't trust you to do my job. And thanks for screwing up the sequel.

I'd much rather you turn your concern to healthcare or the economy and leave the game playing up to the people who know what they are talking about -- the players themselves.

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