Watch this head explode. That's hilarious! - hist Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Watch this head explode. That's hilarious!

How many of you who play some of the more, shall we say, violent video games said something like that to a friend, a spouse, a girl/boyfriend, or maybe the dog if you don't have any of those other things? (and if you don't have *any* of those things, then what the hell are you doing playing video games? Go find at least one of them!)

It's amazing the antisocial behaviour that some of us gamers truly enjoy that we would never even consider doing or reveling in during the other 16 hours a day that we don't play video games (what, you don't play 8 hours a day? Loser.). Going around gunning down soldier after soldier, mercenary after mercenary, robot after robot (hey, robots are people too), we get a lot of enjoyment out of doing all of those things. And game companies know that we love that stuff. Why else create "bullet-cam" or "slow motion replay" for that last head shot, watching the guy's head turn into a bloody red mist?

Now, before I go any further, I'm not going to get into the discussion about video game violence and how it can affect young people, or people with other mental issues. That's a controversy for another time. Others have said much more relevant things about the issue.

And besides. That's not any fun. And that's what this blog is supposed to be. Fun.

What I want to examine is what it says about us "normal" people who don't get all aggressive in real life because of a game. Those of us who don't have games feed our inability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

No, we can distinguish just fine, thank you. It's just, for some reason, seeing a guy get shot in the crotch (and earning an achievement for doing it multiple times!) in Saint's Row 3 is hilarious, but we would be horrified to see it for real.

Hilarious!!!!!

Not hilarious...ok, kinda funny, but only because we know he's wearing a cup, but I'm sure it still hurt

I just finished Bioshock 2, and one of my favourite things to do once I received the spear gun was to shoot Splicers and watch them go flying, often getting stuck in the wall. I would go up and examine them afterward, and (other than a few graphical glitches where the spear didn't even appear to be going through the body) really enjoy my handiwork. "Oh wow, that one was right through the head! Excellent!" And when you retrieve your spear, there's kind of a sick "Splut" sound as you're pulling it out and the body falls to the floor.

If I saw something like this in real life? I would want to beat the a-hole who did this to a bloody pulp, but in the meantime I'd do whatever I can to help the person and I'd be horrified by the whole thing.

Watch a slow-motion video of some guy in Call of Duty getting his head blown off? Awesome!

See that same movie of something happening in any war zone (or anywhere else)? If you enjoy that, you're a sick puppy and I don't want to know you.

There is something about the fact that these are pixelated sprites and what have you, and thus we know it's not real. So we can get enthusiastic about doing it because we know that nobody *really* died in such a horrific fashion.

Those of you who know me know that I'm a very compassionate person. I simply ooze compassion (I have to see my doctor about that). I'm also very sensitive, and if one of my friends is hurting, I do kind of feel that pain too. Even if you don't know me that well, I think some of that comes out in my blog posts.

But get me in a video game where there can be head shots, nutshots, exploding limbs (yes, I supported the new Carmageddon game on Kickstarter) and all of that? I'm in heaven.

So what is it about us that causes that disconnect? Is that one reason why some of us don't want graphics to become *too* close to realistic? Because then we'll start seeing these video game cannon fodder as real people instead?

It's weird how the mind works sometimes. Some people hate war movies because of the real people who die in those movies. And when I say "real," I mean that real people died in World War II (for example) and this movie about something that happened in World War II (like The Longest Day, for example), so these people could very well be real (even if they are just made-up characters). It's what it represents.

Yet some of the bloodiest action movies, like Inglourious Basterds (yes, that is how the movie is spelled), don't bother them at all. Yes, this particular one takes place in World War II, but it is so obviously not about something real that it's not the same thing.

We're all well-adjusted people here. I think. Let me know if you're not and I'll exclude you.

What do you think of this? Do you glory in the kill shot in one of your games? And if you do, do you even think about how different that is from how you would react in real life?

 

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