This week’s poll could be very divisive amongst my readers. “Should anything be taboo in FPS games?” The question doesn’t really have to be specifically about FPS games but since that is what PP is all about it only seems natural. Also it is always the FPS genre that is blamed for effecting the teenage population.
Allow me to give you a graphic example taken from a real game. More observant players may have noticed the complete absence of children in Half-Life 2. An interesting discussion can be found on the HL2 World Forums.
Imagine for a moment that children were present in the game and they had been used by the Combine to infiltrate rebel groups or simply plant bombs in places adults couldn’t reach.
The children had somehow been conditioned to behave like normal children, not like the cliched automatons in sci-fi movies. Currently no method is known to recondition them. Perhaps the Combine were even more sinister and only conditioned 30% of the children.
During the game these children can appear at almost any time; from around corners or behind crates etc. Near the beginning of the game it is possible to see a child walk towards a group of rebels and then suddenly explode, killing everybody is a ten metre radius. The stage has been set.
Now the player has to make a decision every time they see a child. Do you take a chance that this child is innocent? Shooting them in the leg induces a very emotional response from the child “Please help me. My parents have been killed and I haven’t eaten in days. Of course the voice used is straining with despair and the facial expressions are difficult to ignore. Perhaps more importantly they still continue to move towards you. By killing them you may be saving many rebels, by letting them live you may be condemning the rebels. Is killing children taboo for you?
I’ve just used one specific example but they must be many, killing patients in beds is another one that springs to mind. With the world’s current problems it shouldn’t be too hard to think of some others regarding race or religion.
One of the aspects about gaming that interests me is its use as a teaching tool and I don’t just mean facts. No doubt it has a future for teaching history, geography, physics etc but what about subjects like ethics, societal interaction? I didn’t want this poll to become too deep philosophically but perhaps that’s unavoidable with this subject.
If you are the type of person who believes that all subjects and topics should be discussed openly then perhaps you should vote NO, if on the other hand you feel that some topics are too delicate for games then you ought to vote YES.
Maybe the real question is “Are we, as a society, afraid of what happens to some young people who believe that their actions have no consequence?”
- Yes: 53%
- No: 47%
- Total Votes:51
This one was a close one and I would have been interested to compare the vote with the age of the voter.