Can games become too real ?
  • With the PS3 nearly here and promising a much more realistic looking games that the PS2, I wanted to know your views on what happens when games start looking real ?

    I am not one of those people that believes that people who play violent games want to go out and kill people, but I am confused over whether killing people that look real in games is a good thing.

    At low resolutions the PS3 has the power to produce games that look like movies, so people will look like real people.

    How do you feel about this ?
  • Well first off, I, like you, do not believe any of this rubbish about people going on killing sprees because they played GTA: San Anreas 24/7 and whatnot.
    Anyway, in regards to games looking TOO real. I personally welcome it. I can't wait to play my Final Fantasy XIII with graphics that makes the characters look as real as you or me. The way they have managed to blend the CGI movies and the actual gameplay together is amazing. I want to feel apart of a game as brilliant as that is.
    OK, maybe Rockstar may have to think twice about giving THAT MUCH detail to their GTA series. But, knowing Rockstar, they won't give a s*** and so they'll make Samuel L J the lead character alongside Bruce Willis in a GTA version of Die Hard with a Vengeance (er it WAS Sam L J in Die Hard 4 wasn't it? :confused:).
    Anyway, what I'm getting at is realism in games, as if you're playing and controller a movie, will be brilliant.

    Now Virtual Reality is a whole different keddle of fish :eek:
  • yeah I agree that in most games the more real the graphics the better, but I was thinking only about games where you are killing people in a non-fantasy way.

    If its marines killing aliens, then fine, but if its your average Joe hacking off someones head with a carving knife at what point does it become the same as a 'video nasty' ?
  • There is a significant difference between video violence, gaming violence and
    real violence in that that most people are aware whether or not they are actually experiencing the violence.

    Small children, up to 3-4 years, have no distinction between real and imaginary but as they grow older that ability develops. Young teens usually have a hard time rationalizing after having seen a scary movie or witnessed something in real life that scared them. When it comes to games however, the destinction between real and imaginary is much clearer for some reason. (This is my personal opinion, but I also remember watching an interview with a woman who had published a thesis on the subject).

    The ability to understand that it is a game you are interacting with makes the expeience less "harmful". In all it is odd that the only aspect of game influences are so fixed with the violent parts, as if that was the only thing part from real life actions that is featured in a game. As an example, I play alot of football on the PS2 but never once have I gotten into my head that it would be possible for me to do a bicycletas or a Marseille roulette move. Neither have I at any time during a long period of THPS gaming gone out and bought a skate board so that I can grind up and down the local gymnasium. And I didn't walk around clapping my mouth looking for crackers pills and ghosts to eat in my youth.

    I don't think that the level of realism has much to do with the whole inspiration thing either. Or, on second thought, a higher level of realism might actually trigger some common sense an render the gamer less entustiastic about slaying or carring out different actions that a normal sence of right and wrong stops you from doing in real life.
  • Jim B STAFF said:
    yeah I agree that in most games the more real the graphics the better, but I was thinking only about games where you are killing people in a non-fantasy way.

    If its marines killing aliens, then fine, but if its your average Joe hacking off someones head with a carving knife at what point does it become the same as a 'video nasty' ?

    I get what you mean now Jim. But look at it this way. How many games are truly just based around going and killing people?
    There's Hitman and there was that Manhunt.
    Let's take the Hitman series first. These games are done in the way of an actual Hitman. However, they also have a sense of humor to them as well. For example, I haven't played it but, the last Hitman at one point apparently gives you the option of killing someone while wearing a chicken suit. Don't know exactly how that works, but looking at it from a funny point of view it would be hilarious watching it happen because you're wearing a chicken suit. Even if it had the realism of Matt Damon on screen, for example, would it put people off because it was too real? Quite the contrary. Someone like Matt Damon, who is a brilliant actor in my oppinion, but look fantastic as the lead in a realistic Hitman game.

    Anyway, next we take Manhunt. Now even I have to say that this game was rediculous. However, it didn't make me want to go and kill people while filming it (or just kill people in general). Now if a game like this was to made realistic, even I'd agree games companies had gone too far. However, the likelihood of something like that being made for the PS3 so it fully utilises the PS3's power, is unlikely to say the least. Even Rockstar would know that that would be going too far. That game was a one off.

    I'll quickly mention the GTA series of games as well. Now these games are slated for their violence and whatnot. However, just because you can go and kill every single person you see, doesn't mean you have to. You could just do every linear mission and then never play the game again. What about the Taxi, Ambulance and Fire Engine missions? They don't involve violence. Quite the contrary in fact. Personally I can't wait to play GTA4 on the PS3. Not because I want to see how realistic it looks killing people, ok maybe a little, but just the general quality of the game.

    Violence in video games, like in life, is always going to happen. It's not the game that are the problem, but the people who play them. What next? Someone kills someone, blames Buffy the Vampire Slayer stating "well they never went out through the day, they always slept through the day, always worked at night. I thought they were a vampire. I didn't know they worked on constant night shifts. I blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer...". I mean come on people. We'll end up watching reruns and remakes of The Sound Of Music and only play Spongebob games.
    I just wish these busy bodies would get a life!
  • Videogames can get to the point where they seem to realistic. For example, I was watching the Advent Children movie and thought that the CGI were actual actors and actresses simply because they looked so realistic.

    I do not condemn videogames becoming more graphically enhanced, but I can relate to Jim's point here where it may seem hard to distinguish between videogame characters and reality.

    That's all I'm gonna say about that now.:)
  • I disagree. The level of realism has nothing to do with the ability to rationalise. You will, provided you have not undergone massive frontal lobe lobotomy, always be able to make a distinction between real and imaginary as long as you are informed. That is why you can get scared but don't start beating up spook-actors in a ghosthouse at an amusement park for example. They are real, and they scare you, but thanks to rational thinking you are able to understand that the situation you are in is not real.

    The same applies to videogames. You will be able to distinguish between real and game simply because you are able to think rationally. Rational thinking is also part in making sensible decissions as you are able to figure out what consequences your actions will have.
    Come to think of it I once read about a study showing that violent criminals have a less developed frontal lobe (the place in the brain were your rationallity lives, I think). Might be that there is a connection there, ey.
    The reason dreams are experienced as real while you are in them but totally ridiculous once you think about them awake is that during sleep those parts of the brain that employs rational thinking are disabled.

    I don't know were I'm going with this, but can you see my point?
  • As the original question was "how do you feel about this" then right and wrong and in the ins and outs of human psychology don't really come into this.

    Some people will be excited about the prospect of this level of realism, when it comes to horror, or adult themed games whereas others will be dreading it.

    For me, movies are a 'passive' experience, videogames are an 'active' experience. Really good games suck me into the plot, to the point where you are trying to defeat an enemies forces in order to save the day. I quickly forget that its just me against computer AI.

    Add online gaming to the mix and it really gets personal. Getting my head blown off 10 times in a row by a cowardly pre-teen sniper in Halo2 stirs up emotions that I never thought possible from a 'stupid' videogame.

    I wonder how many young gamers have come off a session of Halo2 after getting seriously owned... and then mocked by other players and have gone downstairs and kicked the s**t out of their little brother to release a bit of tension ?

    ...or, on a lesser level just started a huge argument with someone else in the house ?

    I can't remember when a movie made me anything other than happy, sad or scared.

    I played Forza motor sport for months. We had a racing team and I had many scores on the world top100 scoreboards. I can think of over 20 occasions where other online gamers went completely psycho during a game... kids getting screamed at, things being thrown around the room, swearing, death threats, I even heard someone getting hit and screaming, because they walked in front of the TV and a guy lost a race.

    All this is happening now on Xbox Live, with the old Xbox... could the fact that games will be even more realistic on PS3 mean that these instances will become more likely to happen ?
  • I have known people who react pretty badly when they get owned, and many times i have seen a controller hopped of a wall (btw aint that nerf foam covered one cool!)

    but the only time i have ever reacted aggressively when someone walked across the tv was when this person caught the leads for the controllers and dragged the psone of its stand smashing it - it was only 3 weeks old at the time.....

    but I have never hit anyone when I took a pasting, and the only one I might swear at is myself, for screwing up, obviously.
    In fact, shooting the crap out of stuff is my release and since I dont own a gun, but do own a ps2 well there is only one choice.

    No matter how good the game is, until you can put peoples faces in it (yes some can with the eyetoy) and they react properly when you shoot them in the groin with a shotgun, then the game isnt real enough to be anything other than a game.
  • What does the high preformance graphics have to do with people being poor losers. I have gotten hit over the head with an atari joystick after having shot my brothers square/cowboy 10 times in a row and while sniggeringly giving him hints like "Try shooting at the direction of my guy next time".

    I have also completely lost it when my mother pulled the powercord out when I was on my way to make a new record in Pole Position.

    Those games had like 2 pixels per inch and still I got very involved in them and very upset when I lost. I don't think the level of engagement will be effected that much by advanced graphics. While in the game you will be in the game, while outside the game you will be yourself.

    If you are a poor loser you will still take your frustration out on someone else whether you lose and get mocked in a totally realistic racing simulation were $1000 is first price or if you loose a game of rock, paper and scissors over the right to call yourself "King of the Kidergarden".

    Prehaps better looking games will have a higher chance of mezmarizing gamers at a lower level of general game play. I still state that people are intelligent enough to distinguish between real life and a game.
  • For most it is no problem discerning reality from the fiction of gaming. However, some people worry about the higher realism possibly desensitizing players from actual violence, especially with younger gamers. This is where parents have to step in and make sure the child realizes the difference.
  • Honestly, what kind of parent would let their little young'ns get their hands on a game with excessive violent content?!:eek: Excessive violent content games should be reserved for those children whom have the mental capacity to distinguish between reality and gaming. It saves the parents trouble of having to explain everything about distinguishing one and the other to their kids.
  • Melinda S STAFF said:
    Honestly, what kind of parent would let their little young'ns get their hands on a game with excessive violent content?!:eek:


    The kind that doesn't pay attention to what little Johnny is playing, all they know is he wants the game. There is still the misconception that the videogames are a kid's toy and it's very hard to shake that off (which is why we have people like Jack Thompson trying to "protect the children from murder-simulators").:frown:
  • Melinda S STAFF said:
    Honestly, what kind of parent would let their little young'ns get their hands on a game with excessive violent content?!:eek: .


    Usually the sort who start legal proceedings for huge sums of money against Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Rockstar etc...when the nurturing the console has provided (because the parent isnt providing the nurturing) results in the child having difficultly with right and wrong, gaming and reality.

    Playing Game X has resulted in the child having fantastic hand eye coordination, but it was Daddy's "home defense" automatic rifle that resulted in the tears before bedtime......
  • I truly welcome all the realism technology can provide me. While on the other hand with games becoming more and more realistic I am more concerned about little Johnny playing them. Will Johnny be able to tell that it is just a game, I don't know every kid is different.

    Excessive violent content games should be reserved for those children whom have the mental capacity to distinguish between reality and gaming. It saves the parents trouble of having to explain everything about distinguishing one and the other to their kids.

    I think your wording is a little off there Kenny, excessively violent games should be reserved for those adults who have the mental capacity to distinguish reality from fantasy. No child or adult who does not have the mental capacity to distinguish fantasy from reality shouldn't be playing violent games. But what is the industry to do? Have a mandatory psychiatric evaluation when they want to buy or play a violent game?
  • Rex77 said:
    I think your wording is a little off there Kenny, excessively violent games should be reserved for those adults who have the mental capacity to distinguish reality from fantasy. No child or adult who does not have the mental capacity to distinguish fantasy from reality shouldn't be playing violent games. But what is the industry to do? Have a mandatory psychiatric evaluation when they want to buy or play a violent game?


    I can see how you may critique my thoughts here Rex. I said that there should be some regulation on EXCESSIVE VIOLENT games.

    I realize there will always be violence in a game. That's typically how a game is completed, but I don't believe that games where you can see an advance further in the game or raise your score by shooting up a mall or something should be handed to those whom can't distinguish between the two and used as a means to justify shooting up a mall. That is the only area in which realism seems to scare me.

    I'm fine with games becoming more realistic. It makes me glad to see all the advancements. I'm just hoping that parents are wise enough to discern what their child should and should not see.:eek:
  • When we were in Game yesterday - two kids asked Tiff to buy them GTA. They were only 11-12 so he said no (like the stand up citizen he is lol)
    They then went on to ask a woman who bought the game for them.


    Im interested to know mel, how you work out which customers that come into the shop are 'mentally stable' ebough for certain games? Those with an 'im with stupid T-shirt need not apply!?
  • Jane S STAFF said:
    When we were in Game yesterday - two kids asked Tiff to buy them GTA. They were only 11-12 so he said no (like the stand up citizen he is lol)
    They then went on to ask a woman who bought the game for them.


    Im interested to know mel, how you work out which customers that come into the shop are 'mentally stable' ebough for certain games? Those with an 'im with stupid T-shirt need not apply!?


    True they did come up to me with cash in hand asking me to buy GTA:SA, they did look OK, clean skater type kids, but the BBFC system is there for a reason and it wasn't worth the hassle so I nicely said no. Then they asked a woman that would look like she would be there "mother" I stood around to see what the out come would be & the sales person asked "This is an 18 game. Is the content OK for your child?" What a F**kin idiot the guy was. He should have said that he couldn't sell the game knowing it would be played by underaged children but you know they don't really care as it's sales figures for them. I gave the guy a long "WTF have you just done you pr**k" he knew that I was ready to kick off in the shop so he bow down his head and went off into the back of the shop.

    BTW The shop in question was GAME in The Galleries at Washington. It would be nice for myself, Jane & Jim to put them to shame one day! Like popping in asking if they wouldn't mind helping with a piece for a gaming website on genres, blah blah blah ......and have you ever sold a game to a person knowing that an underaged child is playing it? he he he:D
  • Ah washington, The place that time forgot - unfortunatly so, the chav inclination of the north east have not!!

    It really bugs me - i bet if they had asked her to buy alcohol or cigarettes she would have said no.

    If it were my kids i would hope that the general public would think twice before doing this -but unfortutatly not so
  • Jane S STAFF said:
    Im interested to know mel, how you work out which customers that come into the shop are 'mentally stable' ebough for certain games? Those with an 'im with stupid T-shirt need not apply!?


    Precisely Jane.:) Just kidding.

    The job should not be on the sales vendor though. It should be in the responsibility of the parent, seeing as how a parent can discern what their is appropriate and isn't appropriate for their children.

    I know that your and Tiff's anecdote would proove that you don't need a parent to buy the stuff for them, but I suppose no matter how real or violent or what have you a game gets, there's always going to be some little loophole of some kind. There's probably going to be no way to stop it unless the government were to get completely involved.
  • Even if the government did get involved - there is no way you could govern this - the same way that underage kids can still get served with alcohol and cigarettes.

    Like someone mentioned before a majority of parents aren't gonna give a d*** about what the content is of a game as long as its keeping the kids out of the way. And many parents wont sit with their kids whilst they play games to stop them if it becomes to involved.
  • Jane S STAFF said:
    Like someone mentioned before a majority of parents aren't gonna give a d*** about what the content is of a game as long as its keeping the kids out of the way. And many parents wont sit with their kids whilst they play games to stop them if it becomes to involved.


    I would do that:confused:, but I can see your point here Jane. Most parents don't wanna sit and watch their child play for hours. As long as little Johnny's happy then the parents don't have to deal with their child for an hour or so.
  • If they were my kids i would make sure that any Pc/PS2 etc is in full view of an adult - not locked away on a bedroom - that way i could keep an eye on what is being played.
  • video games are no more real than real life. that is, is depends on your level of perception. some people can walk straight into a bad situation and not perceive the danger. others can sniff out a bad situation before they ever become involved. Say the first person gets shot while the other stands up from behind a wall, brushes himself off and goes home.

    Objectively, one could say that the second person's perception of reality was more real than the former's, since they saw the danger and responded appropriately. But to each of those two people what they experienced was real, except that the first person's reality did not jibe with the reality of the situation.

    Same goes for video games. If you are convinced that what you playing is real, that is aliens are coming down to take over earth, than no matter how realistic it looks, you will believe that.

    On the other hand, if you see that the scenario is a ficticious one, no matter how real it looks, you won't be deceived.
  • OK, that was a very complex and well written entry. You're not a Psychiatrist are you? :confused:
  • im only 14 and i realise now my little brother 12, is always talking about maming and distruction and mortal kombat, hes attacked me a couple of times like a rabid dog and every time i threaten him by taking the PS2 on the weekend when he plays untill the wee hours he either goes ape or starts blubbering and crying. But me on the other hand, the first videogame i played was Daytona USA for the computer back in '98, the graphics was primitive compared to today's games, right off the bat that the game was not real because i only played on a small 15inch monitor but i really enjoyed the feel of my Micro$oft sidewinder in my hands, then, i discovered emulation in '99
    i remember when i first got gens 1.10 and i got sonic the hedgehog 1,2,3 and knuckles roms,a step back in sega history, i played em for days and beat all of them. then i stopped playing games from 99-01 because i had better things to do like hang with my chick freind taya, then the phun came when we got a gamecube... we got the one with the free zelda multi-game, my little bro played it and almost beat the 2 n64 games... i won the 2 nes games... then we fought over which game to play, my dad snapped the little disc, in '03 we got a wrestlemania XIX, fun fun, my little bro started to snap every time i pwned him... owch, 04-05 we got LOZ: the windwaker, every time i went into the room he literatly growled. 05-06 our gamecube's sound died in a horrible SCREECH so my dad got the mini ps2 and now im here. luckly in addition to my psone my freind is going to give me his old xbox and a few games when he gets a xbox360 because he wouldnt need it anymore, so we could play halo wars vs eachother when we get ours and i can play halo 2 or gran turismo 2 when i wanna go retro, BUT NOW IM SCARED AT WHAT LITTLE BRO WILL DO WHEN HE PLAY'S '360
  • Technically, your little brother shouldn't be playing the likes of Mortal Kombat and neither should you come to think of it. My nephew, who's just turned 10 in Sep, likes playing the GTA games. He was like forever playing San Andreas on my PS2. I tell him he's not allowed, but dad says to let him just to shut him up. Since I've put my games in a box and out of the way, he can't get to my games now without taking everything off the top of the box, which he can't be bothered to do.
    Now all he plays when he's at my house is WWE Smackdown! vs RAW games. It was 2006 until I got 2007, so he plays on that now. Only time I really play on my PS2 is when he's here. I wup him at Wrestling, although he's started wupping me soemtimes as well, which is seriously frustrating.
    Now I know WWE is like a 15 or something, but I don't get why. It's not really THAT violent. I think it should be like a 9+ or something, maybe a 10 or 11+. Afterall, kids go with their parents to see WWE live and that's actually real. Well not real as such, but I mean it's not a videogame.
  • Jason F Staff said:
    Now I know WWE is like a 15 or something, but I don't get why. It's not really THAT violent. I think it should be like a 9+ or something, maybe a 10 or 11+. Afterall, kids go with their parents to see WWE live and that's actually real. Well not real as such, but I mean it's not a videogame.


    It's that interaction part that they're scared of. They make it a 15 because kids tend to try things out. If you are watching it on TV or in the arena live, there will always be a portion of kids that go out and try the moves despite warnings. I guess there's also that risk that because they can do it in a game, there's an extra percentage that makes them want to try it for real.

    Also, the games sometimes have mild swearing, so I guess the publishers are erring on the side of caution - which is always the better option in my book. I'd rather have the publishers being too strict with their ratings, than having governments enforce ratings like films and getting it wrong.
  • wow tats a great answer made alot of sense :eek: :o :o
  • Jay, u never come online on ur PS3, i want to play SVR09 with u , and of course wup u at it
  • actually , u r online, but on Life with Playstation, like Lyndon :P, UR NOT PLAYING is what im trying to say.
  • I do not agree on the fact that younger kids should not be playing games like GTA or Mortal Kombat. Manhunt, Resident Evil, Silent Hill and all those horror/gore games, no, they're too graphic. But milder titles like GTA are no problem once you get to understand one really simple thing.

    It's just a game. Understand that it's just a form of entertainment and most of all, it's just pics on a screen. Games keep getting more realistic graphics year after year but still... it ain't the real world, you know.
  • I think games can become "too real" for certain age groups, sure - but that's why it's important to communicate with your kids, and not just use the PS3 as a babysitter. As long as parents stay aware of what their kids are doing AND discuss why certain things are and are not appropriate for them, I don't see it as that big of a problem.
  • I think the more games that are real the more interestimg they are
  • Realism of games creates better play period! it's just a game - Games don't create monsters ,games are a release for frustration to-wit you use games to vent frustration on pixels instead of people .......................
  • Games can be taken into so many minds, and some start to see what they play, come alive right before there eyes. Now, no one can see it, but that person (he/she), and some would or will think *Well, we have another crazy on hand* (ive been there before)

    Now, another game that we can take into effect here is the Dungons and Dragons rpg games (paper and pencil). My father has played it for years, since 16 for his age. (he is now almost 40 at this point) When he was young within it, he became his char from the game, and broke into his high school. Now, he could have gone to jail, however, it was ruled out as blaming a game deal.

    In the end, it doesnt matter how much the games will become real over time, I see it becoming so real, that the army has a way to recurit there people (highly doubt it, though, never know) Its the person who decides how to approch it.

    As for young ones plaing the more blood and gore type games, I have a PS3 game, Danta's Inferno. Now, I wont ever play this game in front of my son who is 3. Due to it being WAY over the blood, gore, and showing of, well, just about everything. As a parent and I hope for other parents as well, to check out the game before buing it, it is a good idea to do so, or, you never know what your child or childern will do in some point of there own life. Once they understand the true nature that *Its just a game*, then thats when they have grown up a lot.

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