Violent video games has become a controversial topic over the past several months, and Irrational Games' Ken Levine recently addressed the hot-button issue on NPR's radio program On Point.
According to the mastermind behind the highly acclaimed BioShock Infinite, violence is a fundamental piece in crafting a narrative. "Violence, for better or for worse, is…going back to the dawn of narrative, is a part of the story teller's toolkit," he explained.
Levine then shared a bit about his own childhood, citing how other forms of entertainment have been blamed in the past for violent acts.
I think there’s a couple questions here. I remember when I was a kid; I was not a very popular kid. I was a nerdy, little kid. And I didn’t have friends because I wasn’t very good at socializing, and I found Dungeons & Dragons.
If you remember, back in the 70s there was this big human cry about Dungeons and Dragons; kids were going off and killing themselves and disappearing into caves. And that happened with comic books and that happened with rock and roll music.
My point is, for me personally, games were a way around being ‘that kid.’ I’m not speaking as a scientist here; we can argue the science, but I’m… not the best guy to do that.
With regard to the first-person shooter genre itself, the Irrational boss brought up an interesting point. “I think the other point is they call them first-person shooters; F-P-S. There’s the F-P, the first-person aspect of being, inhabiting a character’s role, and then there’s the S part, which is the shooter part. And I’m not sure that they’re necessarily one in the same.”
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