The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
many other gamers, I recently picked up Saints
Row: The Third
for PC in the THQ Humble Bundle. THQ put a bunch of great PC games
on a pay-what-you-want sale with the proceeds going to them and
charity. I couldn't resist getting Saints Row and Metro 2033 cheaply.
far, Saints Row: The Third has been immensely amusing. The game
provides great over-the-top action. Where Grand Theft Auto IV was
serious and gritty and realistic, Saints Row is silly and bombastic
and absurd. It's like if Michael Bay had a sense of humor. One scene
at a BDSM club left me in tears of laughter.
Saints Row: The Third started to get creepy. Not just weird, but
downright unnerving. And not in a good way like in Dead Space.
weirdness started when I picked up a new homie for my crew named
Zimos. He's a pimp who uses an autotune synthesizer for a voice. So
far, so funny, right?
you go on a mission with Zimos to intercept a shipment of prostitutes
being shipped to a rival gang, the Morningstar. Stealing these hookers
robs the Syndicate of income and (more importantly) gives you the
chance to blow up helicopters on a boat. So far, so fun, right?
Skip to about 2.38 for the start of the mission. WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE, NOT SAFE FOR WORK
creepy part was when I went around the boat freeing the hookers. My
character would tell the ladies to go to Zimos, who took care of them
while I killed bad guys. As my character sent him newly freed
prostitutes, I could hear him talking to them. He would say he'd take
care of them and make unsubtle requests to sleep with them. He also
referred to the prostitutes by unflattering terms which are
unpublishable on Game Informer Online.
mission crossed the line for me. Blowing up cars and stuff was fine.
I enjoyed shooting bad guys and destroying buildings. Even the BDSM
club was funny. But the mission with the hookers got uncomfortable.
Your character was rescuing those girls so he could send them right
back into prostitution... just with a new owner. Zimos stopped
looking funny and started looking like a lecherous weirdo.
know this sounds silly. Saints Row is a parody. It's not serious. The
hookers aren't real. The Saints are criminals, not saints. It
wouldn't fit with the story if the Saints released the girls. It was
necessary to provide some income for Zimos. There are plenty of
reasons why that mission was written the way it was.
all that, it was just enough to make me feel uncomfortable in a way
that few other games do. Zimos is meant to be humorous. He's got an
autotune synthesizer for a voice. That's as silly as it gets. But all
I can hear is his voice telling the "rescued" hookers that he'd
like to spend some quality time with them later.
video games don't disgust me. At this point, violence is normal.
Chainsawing a dude in half in Gears of War is a regular Tuesday.
Swearing is no big deal. I hear worse on South
Even balloon-breasted Barbie-doll female characters in gaming fail to
elicit anything other than annoyance at the lazy writing and
Saints Row incident was unique because it wasn't OK. It made me
wonder: What makes you uncomfortable in a game? What crosses the line
from crude to offensive? Swearing? Violence? Sexualization? How much
is too much?
a serious question that developers need to consider as games mature.
Not everyone is okay with the same level of questionable content.
Saints Row showed me exactly where my personal boundaries lie. Parody
or not, the game crossed the line into lechery. That's not OK.
what about you? What makes you uncomfortable? I'm curious to know if
I'm the only one who feels this way.