Friday, May 22, 2009

What's in a Game?

I just read a very interesting article on how violence and gore can get in the way of video games. The original article is titled... "All that Gore Gets in the Way of Gameplay."

In a study done by Andrew Przybylski and Richard Ryan. They looked at users responses to differentiating versions of the game Half-life 2. They had participants play the game in both a "high and low" violence version to see how it effected their game play.

The results showed that regardless of the amount of violence in a game it did not alter their perceptions of game play. The violence in the games added little or no additional favoritism to the games themselves. In some cases it was viewed negatively because it detracted from the cinematic perspective of the game to the players. Some players are interested in the gameplay and fluidity of action than the violence in video games. Now I have to say that I like the blood and guts just as much as the next guy but have to admit that sometimes it does get in the way of how I view and play a game.

The next aspect that the researchers looked at was they "Why?" Why, if it is not necessary to have the violence in games do developers put it in there? The response to the question can be different based on the person you talk to. For me I see it as marketing to what society wants to have. Others may see it differently. The researchers compare it to the movie industry and how they remake original movies with more special effects and action than the original versions to grab in audiences.

Will it change your purchasing choices if a game has more violence than another? Not sure, read the whole article and you may have to rethink your stance. Do I want violence or cinematics or can I have both. That will be a question for the game designers.

Thank you Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach for your "tweet" regarding this article.

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