Zomie children?


So this trailer for Dead Island came out yesterday and is clearly intended to be very emotive. It has already sparked debate and hate over its content.

Clearly a jaded bunch, many my colleagues found it more humorous than shocking. This led to a polarizing debate which saw two distinct and obvious views on whether or not kids are "fair game" for violence in entertainment. Certainly when it is done in movies, I can only think of scenes where it is done for character development in a "what would you do" guise.The most common setting for this is the done and done, zombie invasion. It is normally the case however that the protagonist is faced with a child who is already evil, dead and hungry for braaaaaains and in only a very few examples do you ever see violence committed against said child.

This trailer certainly breaks this convention and kicks it into touch with not only the child being turned into a zombie but graphically shows her termination by her own father; and if that was not enough, the child being hunted down by the encroaching horde. All of this is played out in an extremely interesting way, in regards to direction while using the semi-realistic animation we have become accustomed to in higher end games. In a word, it is chilling.

Our debate moved on and we quickly found ourselves discussing children in first person shooters akin to to Battlefield - modern settings similar to those we see in war-torn areas of the world today.
The question was raised, asking if the goal was to make these game more and more realistic, what is the next step. With graphics pretty much being as good as they can be, what else can be done to increase the experience and make is more like the real thing. One thing that can be said for most of these games is that the environments are often too sterile, there is no life in them. From a story point of view this is often explained away by the fighting taking place in remote locations where some terrorist base is being attacked.
In the real world, this is not the case; where are all the people? All of the life?

If the fight is against insurgents, would it not be logical for them to be among other normal people as is often the case in the real world. If every target area is filled with unambiguously evil guys, surely something a tad more tactical than a mish-mash of armed troops knocking on the door is in order. The result is that you have a very unrealistic game, rendering advances in one aspect of realism redundant. You may as well stick with something more like Team Fortress which is all game play and no fluff - the game is arguably better for it too.

If realism is the intention then the situation should be just as realistic. There should be children along with a host of other non-combatants in our games; and they should be a dynamic part of the environment. - This means they should want to fight to defend themselves in some cases and ultimately have a danger of being killed with the repercussions that follow.

Clearly some thought would have to go into such an endeavor and it should never be seen that killing non-combatants is "ok". If we just added a bunch of civilians running around like headless chickens I honestly believe you have people shooting them for sport or at the least shits and giggles. Major penalties would have to be enforced, something which encourages careful play and endangers the quality of the game-play itself being affected - not just some black mark against you name, a negative score or an auto-ban from a server.

Its certainly tricky and would not be easy to get right. The best suggestion I have is to de-level the character (given that xp and levels is becoming the standard) but I don't think this does enough. At the same time, you don't want to prevent someone from playing because as it is you are already limiting the people who will buy the game and you are doing all of this in the end to sell a product.

One upshot I would see though is a change in the use of nondiscriminatory weapons such as so-called "noob tubing". I hate when playing a server and they have rules up preventing those weapons because I happen to be very good at using them in the way they should be but never end up using them. The risk of spray-and-pray would be too great.


Kit Reviewer
So you managed to turn the trailer for the next big release into an argument against UGLs in COD? Strange. How can you argue for more realism by promoting the removal of what is, on a real battlefield, a vital piece of kit?

Fact is, genuine realism makes games boring. The masses don't WANT to have to worry about civilian kills, ROEs or disciplinaries - especially if they ruin your progress by terminating a mission, docking levels, or getting you banned. Where's the fun?

Look at Project Reality. That's almost as niche, appealing to a very narrow band of gamers, and even they accept that fun still has to come first.

On another note, graphics are not even close to peaking yet. The current technology may well be maxed out, but the next few years will see a shift to real-time ray tracing powered by banks of GPUs. I've had the honour of sponsoring some research into it, and I promise you it's ******* sexy.

Sent from my X10i, probably from the loo, using Tapatalk.
Do you really want to increase the experience and make is more like the real thing?

If you have ever seen "the real thing" then I would guess not.
Isn't this is pretty much the whole 'No Russian' outrage from Modern Warfare 2? Where if your so inclined you can mow down dozens of civilians, men and women.
Isn't this is pretty much the whole 'No Russian' outrage from Modern Warfare 2? Where if your so inclined you can mow down dozens of civilians, men and women.

Not here you can't.

Well not without a hell of a lot of messing about with proxies and steam etc etc Pissed me right off.
think any game company that produces a game the allows the realistic death of kiddies better like dating lawyers as they will be spending a lot of time in court.
I think a game that invovles 6 months of boredom and 5 minutes of bowl loosening terror is going to sell like hot cakes not.


Kit Reviewer
Its a Game, aimed at Adults... if you're not happy with the content, don't buy/play it.​

Sage advice indeed. Unfortunately, it's the type of advice that the professionally-outraged couldn't possibly follow.


Its a Game, aimed at Adults... if you're not happy with the content, don't buy/play it.
Sage advice indeed. Unfortunately, it's the type of advice that the professionally-outraged couldn't possibly follow.

Very true.
Cut forward to when this game is released and outraged mother from skipville complains that her little 13yr old darling is traumatised from playing this game. Completely ignoring the fact that they bought the 18 Certified game for him in the first place.


ok.. apparently I came off all anti-game etc or what I wrote was taken way the wrong way. I am not advocating "realism" in game nor am I saying anything against it. The games are bad thing would really be quite critical against what I do for a living in actuality. I was only recanting the conversation I had in my office with few colleagues.

As we work in the game industry everyone-one there has an opinion on just about every release and for us who are saturated, this is something pretty much unheard of and so a topic I felt others here may find of equal interest.

What I wrote above was pretty much a summing up of our conversation and my only opinion I shared in was in the logistics of implementing such a system; not the rights and wrongs of doing so.

The increase I suggested in realism will come at some point if only because "technical" limitations have for the moment peaked meaning innovation to sell game when that happens typically shows itself in the "game mode" or perhaps in the way the story evolves. For those of you watching the censorship debate over game in the US right now, this point is clear and so-called indie tend to test the water of popular acceptance.

Part of the reason many violent games actually exist in revenue terms is because horrific violence is frequently masked be it by killing aliens, robots or the thing of the moment in pop-culture, zombies. This is also why some movies with violence often get relatively low age ratings - the violence it not against people.

It just doesn't seem long before some developer will take the leap I discussed.

If I were to voice an opinion on the realism, it would be that I find it detracts from the game play. I hinted at this before and this come fact is why games(across the genres) like WoW, CounterStrike and Starcraft are like crack to some people. Starcraft being the best example of the lot, the graphics are crappy but its the gameplay that has kept it as the number 1 selling game in Korea for the last 10 years; its also the game that has generated more prize money in competitions than any other. When they made SC2, they could have totally updated the game but they pretty much glossed up the old one and it has already beaten WoW launch month in sales numbers.

Its game play that interests me and specifically the game modes in the newer shooters. I likely play more BlOps on any given day and am normally found in the wager matches as the game play in them is unique. Yes I play the BF games but there is a direct correlation between realism and suckiness.

I'm sorry if people thought I sounded the start of a rage parade so early in the day. I think I was taken out of context somehow.
Ok, I think I see your point.

Well, films are very realistic and we don't seem to have a problem there yet... and I can see that games will eventually converge on film-like levels of realism. As long as games are sold to the right age groups and those people are well balanced enough to know the difference between CGI and reality it shouldn't be a problem.

Its not like we're at 'Inception' levels of difficultly in telling the game from reality, is it? And if we were I doubt people would play those games... the only person I can see who would want a '100% realistic' experience of murder would evidently be a real life psychotic murdering bastard.


Kit Reviewer
I've seen much worse in movies, and probably even worse than that in books. So what's the difference?

People that grew up with books feared the moving picture, and blamed it for all the world's evils. Music fans who grew up with classical and jazz saw the devil in rock and roll, and people who grew up with (now classic) rock saw him in the hip-hop and metal that their kids picked up. Now we have a generation of "leaders" with no experience of gaming, trying to define what constitutes moral acceptability in an artistic medium that means nothing to them. Just like their parents before them, they jerk their knees in fear of the unknown. Couple that with a gradual slide into the politically-correct dross of the modern world, in which it seems most of the world's superpowers are pushing socialist, nanny-state agendas, and such narrow views of gaming are probably to be expected.

Luckily, history has shown that it's only a matter of time before these people die off, to be replaced by people of the new generation who can understand the situation for what it is, and react accordingly. At which point, my generation will find some whole new medium to vilify (fullly-immersive Virtual Reality, anyone?) and the cycle can start again.
Anyone played Dead Space 2 yet ? In the primary school main hall you get rushed by what's left of the pupils (tiny crawling exploding babies and weeny little necromorphs) - pretty damned horrible. But then that's kind of the point, what with it being a horror game and all. Certainly one for adults only.

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