Thursday, 4 November 2010

Dude Huge and the gift of violence

Two things to weigh up if you're considering getting your kids Call of Duty Black Ops for Christmas.

Supemax prisons.  Banned in Britain for their cruelty, they are a type of high security jail designed to control the most inhumanly violent prisoners in US and Australia. They have as their most extreme sanction solitary confinement with guards only permitted to communicate via gesture.  Prisoners who are released from such jails frequently find conversation painfully difficult and find it difficult to cope with large crowds.

The design director of Epic Games, who make Gears of War is a very engaging man called Cliff Bleszinski. He has  been referred to as Dude Huge, perhaps by friends.   He said in an interview last week that visceral violence is important to the satisfaction levels of game play, in particular, the gory afters of an assault.   Teenagers need heads to explode like watermelons after they have thwacked them because they crave a response.  It's evidence that contact has been made.  He made similar reference to the powerful fascination of guns. Making contact so forcibly is rewarded by a death, a jolt,  a spent  cartridge or perhaps the societal acknowledgement of a punishment. 

Withdrawal of communication is violence, violence is a form of communication.  

So I probably will be getting a violent xbox game for my son, if only because it will give us something to talk about. 

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