Warren Spector, the game designer behind classics like Deus Ex and System Shock is now working on more family friendly games (see Disney Epic Mickey) so it hardly comes as a surprise to hear the man chastising other game developers for interjecting exhorbitant amounts of violence within their games.
In an interview with GI International, Spector shared his disdain for the current state of the industry. “The ultra-violence has to stop. We have to stop loving it. I just don’t believe in the effects argument at all, but I do believe that we are fetishizing violence, and now in some cases actually combining it with an adolescent approach to sexuality. I just think it’s in bad taste. Ultimately I think it will cause us trouble," he said.
He went on to point out that this was the very reason he decided to leave developer Eidos eight years ago. “I left Eidos in 2004 because I looked around at E3 and saw the new Hitman game where you get to kill with a meat hook, and 25 to Life, the game about kids killing cops, and Crash & Burn the racing game where the idea is to create the fieriest, most amazing explosions, not to win the race… I looked around my own booth and realized I just had one of those ‘which thing is not like the other’ moments. I thought it was bad then, and now I think it’s just beyond bad.”
Spector defends the violence in Deus Ex by saying that while it "had its moments of violence… they were designed to make you uncomfortable, and I don’t see that happening now." What do you think? Do you agree with Spector that "we've gone too far" with violence? Are we at a point where the gaming community at large is simply desensitized to this kind of content? Let us know in the comments below.