Sign in to follow this  
maddot

Question on game story content.

Recommended Posts

maddot    122
Hi, i'm a game design student doing a paper on what are the implications of doing a game based on real world issues. My question here is, if let's say we make a game story based on a terrorist's point of view, or a rebel, or whatever that's on the opposing side, what are the consequences, such as social impact or an outcry. This question excludes racial or objectionable content such as a anti-religious sort of thing, but the view of an opposite conventional view. For example, A game that let's you play on the IRA side including bombing, showing their side of the story, or the germans, or well to sum it up, the opposing force. Also, i noticed most games use films cut from the game itself or live action CGI, i.e Red alert. Why can't games in this view use real live footage, say bush's speech on the war on terror in the game itself. It's real, and within context of say, a game about the war in middle east. so it's not presumably inflammatory.(is it?) Any view would be most welcomed. Not sure if i'm posting in the right section though, most of the sections seems to be too specific, this question is more or less quite general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Delphinus    200
I'd say it could result in two different responses. The first could be horror or disgust, mostly if the game seems to condone torture, the killing of innocent people, or any other act generally regarded as inhumane. On the other hand, it could be very well-received as an original glance at that conflict.

For example, the companion pieces Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima were both produced in a similar way, both by the same leading director - yet Flags of Our Fathers was slated - probably because it was made out to be preachy and stale. On the other hand, Letters from Iwo Jima was lauded. This is probably because it shows a non-anti viewpoint in much the same way American films don't show the concentration camps in England (England had them too, Germany just used them in a different manner). This would be because the USA and England were (and still are) allies. On the other hand, USA films often show brutal acts by the Japanese, but none by themselves. This is pure hippocracy. The reason Letters from Iwo Jima was lauded is because it showed a different viewpoint to the norm.

To conclude, I think a game's execution of a particular viewpoint is far more important than the viewpoint itself in the consequences of its publishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maddot    122
Thanks for sharing. Yes, previously i was referring to a side of the story that seems humane and even emotional i.e like the examples you gave.

I mean, ( I'll try to make this sound generalized but not sounding too political or something) from a stand point, say a Iraqi terrorist, his parents say died from a bomb blast due to the Americans bombing, his relatives were shot during the crossfire, his kid dies when a tank shot a shell at the house, he was a civilian, but faced with such an overwhelming loss, he feels the need for revenge, i.e that's why he joined up in the militia.

Here's another example, for my jewish friends incase that would make you biased :X. Say the sri lanka conflict. Hopefully you know about that.

There was a peaceful protest, however when the majority rubuffed that with riots and violence, the minority was threatened in so many ways, life was horrible. the only way to counter that was to use violence(sadly that's in every game...). So if we take on the view of the minority, would it be wrong to just tell the truth?

I mean this could be a game concept idea... i might use this idea for future game projects in class... but nevermind that, this is a thought. We hear the plight from the "Propaganda" stand point, the crazy infidel screaming guy shooting blindlessly, which sadly is portrayed in many shows/games/news, but they too have a story to share, they have a humane plight as well, actually this is an interesting back story for a game.

Thing is, if such a game is produced it's whether people can accept such truths. If people cannot accept or will not accept themselves being portrayed as bad guys, then who is good? lol. The whole good guy and bad guy thing is something the uneducated will believe. players nowadays are educated so they should be able to have the capacity to adapt to it yes? This post only cited the terrorist thingy as an example, i'm not glorifying it in anyway, i'm showing the humane essence of it. I'm not inciting anything here, propaganda or anything, but the question here is if a game about real world conflicts is used, what are the side-effects from the populace?

[Edited by - maddot on February 20, 2008 8:20:37 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tom Sloper    16062
Quote:
Original post by maddot
let's say we make a game story based on a terrorist's point of view, or a rebel, or whatever that's on the opposing side, what are the consequences, such as social impact or an outcry.

In this question, you're asking about the potential for the game to become controversial. That's primarily a marketing concern, and marketing people tend to think that controversy helps a game get attention, which is usually a good thing since it can increase sales. Somewhere, though, there's a line that must not be crossed. The location of that line varies per project and per current historical/sociological environment.

Quote:
Why can't games in this view use real live footage, say bush's speech on the war on terror in the game itself.... Not sure if i'm posting in the right section though, most of the sections seems to be too specific, this question is more or less quite general.

In this second question, you're just asking about reproduction rights. (This would be more of a business/legal question than a game design question per se.) The best way to go about getting reproduction rights for film footage is to go through a reproduction rights researcher. You have to negotiate the cost with the film footage's owner, then process the footage into the format used by the game. This sort of thing is done all the time.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Calabi    124
I dont know, there may reasons as to why this sort of game could be taboo, or very uncomfortable for a lot of people.

With movies or books, people are not an active participant. Over here we have bestellers which could be only termed as Abuse books which are true stories of abuse, I can only guess at the popularity of them, but one, must be the observer point of view, they are able to distance themselves from it.

With a game that is stepping over the line, you are asking people to be an active participant in an unsavoury act,I doubt very many people would like that. Even though it is hippocritical for people to think they arent participating if they just observe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maddot    122
Quote:
Somewhere, though, there's a line that must not be crossed.

Ah, so it's all about drawing the line during the storyboarding phase.

I thought it might be interesting to add that perspective is also important. As long as the view is not biased, it should be fine and not be mistaken as a propaganda tool.

Hey thanks for the replies again, dateline for my paper is next friday :X. thanks for all the help with your views.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MSW    151
Just some observations.

If you are developing a game where the player is a skinhead neck deep in a race war. Does that mean you, the developer, are a racist?

If you are developing a game where the player is a 45 year old Paedophile in the hunt for love. Does that mean you, the developer, are promoteing paedophillia?

But if you are developing a game where the player is a Iraqi insurgent out for revenge against America. Does that mean the developer is a traitor to his country; or just trying to promote a deeper understanding of the issues at hand?

The Iraq war and even terrorisam are safe and even hip subjects. We get bombarded by debate over the issue day and night through news, radio and even on public forums. At best such a game simply continues the debate, at worst it just cashes in on popular subject. This is the bubblegum of controversy, that even publishers unafraid to face the music of public opinion will gladly cash in on.

But racisam and paedophillia are taboo subjects with much social stigma attached. No respectable publisher is going to touch them with a ten foot pole. Some will even question why I brought it up in this thread. As a society we hide such taboo subjects away...out of sight, out of mind. But of course they are still real and effecting people everyday. But we would rather cast stones at the messanger reminding us they are there; rather than societaly invest in a deeper understanding.

However, you no doubt have a lot to say about the Iraq war. Many people do. Some would consider such a game to be treasonous. And others may find the idea the insurgent player is simply out for revenge to be insulting to the intellect of Iraqi people everywhere. Akin to calling them animals, unable of higher reasoning. Right or wrong, agree or not. In the end the game is just a new coat of bubblegum controversy flavored paint on tried and true gameplay concepts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most people are insanely biased, and don't know it. Personally, I support the right of Palestinians to launch attacks against Israeli occupied territory and IDF forces more than I support the Israeli's attempts at retaliation, often using collective punishment.

As for Iraq...we're propping up a government which doesn't really have the support of the people, and with no real legitmacy there. By most objective moralities, we're considerably less moral than insurgents (dealing with those who launch attacks on Nato forces; not those responsible for attacks on civilians).

Both of these views could well be seen as supporting terrorists. In actuallity, Israel has invaded Palestine, giving the Palestinians full right of retaliation (note especially that Hamas are the elected government). Most people foolishly believe that Western democracy is some ordained god given gift that the West must give to the rest of the world, even where it won't work due to a lack of education and the presence of very high ethnic tension, and that isn't true if you take the objective view.

Basically it comes down to two points. What is controvertial to some won't be to others. And what should be controversial often isn't, while what shouldn't often is.

Example from Michael Moore - he had trouble publishing something because it showed a woman beating a small animal to death, something which she did so that she could get by from day to day with the food to live (reality, but I can't remember the exact circumstances), and yet a black man being shot dead in the previous scene was no problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this