GTA V Torture Scene Controversy

(image courtesy of http://arstechnica.com)

(image courtesy of http://arstechnica.com)

I’m not really a person who gets offended easily by anything shown in any type of media art form.  I even watched the Human Centipede and for some strange reason the sequel as well, and yes there were gross and seriously disturbing scenes in there but I could get through it, and sleep quite well at night I might add because well it’s just a movie.  I’m not doing those things…

Have you guys heard about the latest controversy?  Well, it’s in a little game called Grand Theft Auto 5

SPOILERS!

OK so there’s a mission where you and your terrible trio of three have to break into some type of federal building to break out this guy who MIGHT have information about a bad guy that needs to be taken out.  I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but this is just the build up anyway.

Once you have gotten this guy, the F.I.B (which is the F.B.I. really) asks Trevor (who is as psychotic as they come BUT at the same times, has his morals?) to torture this man to obtain the information.  So, Michael heads to the location with another F.I.B. agent to find the target but they need the correct information.  Que the controversy scene..

In order to find out what the target looks like, Trevor is contacted and asked to get the info.  You have a couple of tools to choose from in order to get the answers.  You have a wrench, which I think was to break knee caps or testicles, jumper cables hooked up to a battery on one end and the others will go onto the nipples of the tortured and then you would electrocute him,  a tank of gasoline which you can drown your victim in and pliers to pull teeth.  Let me paint you a picture..

OK, so how do you feel?

Now while I was playing that I felt the need to walk away.  My instinct was to not participate in this kind of behavior however in order to progress I had no choice but to play my role as psychotic red neck which I did.  I still remember pausing the game and saying to my wife I wish I could skip this part.  The pulling of the teeth in particular was grueling for me, because as you saw by the video, they really make you work to get that tooth out.  It was a horrible ordeal.  I wasn’t offended by it but I was put off because I don’t like the idea of hurting other people and I didn’t have the option to skip.  Wait a minute, did I just say “I don’t like hurting other people“?  Hmm, interesting, because if I’m truly honest with myself, I’m a fucking hypocrite again.

How many people have I killed in Uncharted, Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, The Last of Us, Resistance, Singularity, etc, etc.  Do I feel bad about killing these people?  No, not really.  So what does that mean?Are we all monsters deep down?  Why was this particular moment in GTA V so different from everything else we’ve played?

My first explanation is that the acting was brilliant, I believed the guy was in pain and I felt bad for him, I heard bones break, and could hear the electricity coursing through him.  I could almost feel that tooth coming out.  And when he was crying and gasping all I wanted to do was let him go.  The sound was excellent which really immersed me in the entire situation.  What I find interesting now is that I’m referring to this guy as a real person and I’m referring to it as a situation and not a mission.   Don’t you think that’s odd?  Because I could see his face, see the damage I was doing and hearing how painful it was. I think on a sub-conscious level my mind thought it was real.   I was the person controlling this character.   That’s why I felt bad and disgusted by it.  I’m not saying Rockstar did a bad thing in fact I think they should be applauded for making so many of us feel so revolted and uncomfortable.  I felt more uncomfortable in this scene alone than I did in the entirety of The Last of Us.

My wife brought up a good point that maybe it was so bad because the guy couldn’t defend himself.  There was no way out and I was in a way the executioner.  Perhaps that’s why its easy to kill thousands of other “enemies” because they are armed.  It’s a fair fight.  But is it?  Is it fair to a roof top guard in Assassins Creed, to get stabbed in the back simply for doing his job?  Is it fair for a henchman to get an arrow in the head simply for patrolling his designated area in Tomb Raider?  Granted these guys would kill you given half the chance but my point is, is that it’s easy to kill “enemies” who are simply obstacles to over come.  But at the same time, I guess we weren’t torturing these enemies, we simply killed them, put them out of their misery, couldn’t look them in the eyes and pull the trigger.  If we were forced to pull the trigger slowly on an enemy in a normal gun fight, hearing him injured from a bullet wound that you caused, would you still be comfortable?

What I think Rockstar did was skip the obstacle and delve straight into our humanity, our moral fabric of what is right or wrong.  Were you offended because you had to torture him in a game or because you had to face him head on and torture him while he expresses the pain?  Or maybe we are all evil bastards that just want to kill but can’t come face to face with the gravity of it or maybe we’ve been programmed to resist?  It’s interesting or at least, it is to me.

What I’m mainly interested in, is why everyone is so upset with Rockstar about it?  Again it came to my article on censorship, that either everything is off limits or you can do what ever you want in a game.  Rockstar is always pushing the envelope.  Have they pushed too far?

What do you guys think?  I know a few of you have got the game, so for those of you who have gotten to that part, what do you think?  Morally grey?  Down right wrong?  Should people Chill?

Advertisements

E3 Is Coming

With E3 looming around the corner, I can’t help but get slightly anxious.  So many questions need to be answered and E3 is the place to get the info.

Biggest stories

 Xbox 720

NOT THE ACTUAL XBOX 720

Will the new Xbox be unveiled at E3?  If it is announced what features will it have?  Will it be strictly online play?  (I doubt it ) Will there be any Demo’s available to play? Although Microsoft has made it clear that there will be no new console this year and will be focusing on support and games for the Xbox 360, they might surprise you because hey, it’s Microsoft.

Sony PS4

NOT THE ACTUAL CONSOLE

Tongues have been wagging for months regarding Sony’s new console.  Rumors have been flying left and right and every time a new rumor surfaces, Sony is quick to dismiss it.  Sony won’t be caught with their pants down again as was the case when Xbox 360 was released giving Microsoft one hell of a lead in the market.  Sony usually has a ten year life span regarding their consoles and the PS3 is no different.

My top 11 games that I hope are included at E3 are as follows

Assassins Creed 3

We’ve all seen the announcement trailer.  We’ve all seen the game play trailer.  Now we actually need to see someone demo the game.  Any new information regarding this game is an absolute welcome.

Hitman:  Absolution

There are mixed opinions on this game.  Truly hardcore fans of the series have been quick to dismiss it saying that I.O. has “dumbed” it down.  While the developers say that there will still be plenty of challenge to the game, it’s just been adapted for new comers and casual gamers.

Tomb Raider

It’s unfortunate for the delay, but hey, I don’t have that much money anyway.  Scheduled now for a 2013 release, Tomb Raider remains on my top 10 list of games to get.

Darksiders 2

I didn’t expect a delay on this one.  Delayed until August 2012, I am especially excited about being Death.  As with AC3 any information regarding this game is worth getting.

Developed by Obsidian, I’m holding thumbs that a trailer will be revealed for this one of a kind RPG.

Resident Evil 6

I’ve never been a huge fan of Resident Evil.  I played Nemesis way back on the PS1 and enjoyed it but since then never really played any other.  I must be the only gamer that actually enjoyed most of the films.  (I am expecting a few horrible comments now, just watch the language guys).  However this game in particular has got my attention.

DmC

The new rebooted Devil May Cry, fans were up in arms over the character change but I’m quiet curious to see how it plays out.  Maybe we’ll get to see how Dante got his white hair.  The game could be a prequel.  Don’t judge this too harshly.

The last of Us

A new IP from Naughty Dog, this survival game is shaping up to maybe being the next game of the year.

The Last Guardian

This poor game has been dragged through the mud these past few years, taking the biggest knock when Fumito Ueda (of ICO and Shadow of Colossus fame) left Sony.  Although all is not lost, Sony Santa Monica (God of War Dev) is assisting the studio.  Team ICO is a small company anyway so let’s all be patient, they’ve never released a crap game before.

The fist Crysis you were in a jungle.  Crysis 2, you were in New York City.  Crysis 3 is a hybrid bringing some greenery into New York City.  Over run with Ceph, Prophet returns to New York City to claim his territory back.

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 has been completely out of the lime light since its announcement trailer last year.  I think it will either come out towards the end of the year or beginning 2013 but hopefully we’ll get to see some new game play, hell even some new art work would be appreciated.

What games would you like to see at E3?  Feel free to comment