By Kerstin Hall
I recently stumbled across a clip of a game vlogger discussing the upcoming release of Hatred.
Watch with extreme caution.
Prior to this, I had never heard of Hatred. To be fair, it doesn’t really fall within my range of interests, as I have zero desire to play shooters. Or shooters, in general, really. As a rule, I find such games to be kak boring, requiring about the same level of brain power as mashing potatoes. Press x, move joystick, press x, move joystick. Level complete, everyone is dead. Woot.
I’m sure there are wonderful exceptions to this rule, and I’m not trying to write a piece about the tedium of playing a white American male shooting villainous not-white, not-Americans.
My question regarding Hatred is why. Why? What is the point?
The game seems to work as follows. You are a goth man with a girly haircut and a fetish for leather trench coats. For some unexplained reason, you are very angry with the world and have access to a lot of ammunition (then again, set in America, so I guess the readily available machine guns aren’t such a stretch). You run around and brutally slaughter innocent people for fun. The end.
And when I say, brutally slaughter, I mean brutally slaughter. I won’t bother to describe the ways in which you can torture and maim in this game. There are plenty of videos on the internet that could demonstrate my point more than adequately and I find this all a bit sickening.
The game developers say that they are all about honesty. That’s their core principal, cos they are down with their audience.
“We wanted to create something contrary to prevailing standards of forcing games to be more polite or nice than they really are or even should be,” said developer Jarosław Zieliński.
Indeed, because having a reason to shoot someone is completely disingenuous, right? Storylines are so last century. Let’s get right on to blowing people’s faces off. We shouldn’t have to abide by any kind of morals. Viva freedom of expression! Viva exploding intestines!
The sad thing is that it actually appears that they are down with their audience. That’s right, peoples of the interwebs, some gamers are actually calling for Hatred to be made MORE violent. Because the developers overlooked the great potential for murdering Muslims, feminists and small children.
There is a gaming community, as exemplified by the Gamergate furor, that sees itself as the brave defenders of freedom against the terrible evils of “political correctness”.
According to their decrees, there should be no limit to what may be done in a gaming universe. And everyone who has a problem with that idea is immediately likened to female genitalia, which seems to be the ultimate insult in the male-dominated industry.
I don’t see the point of Hatred. I don’t think there is anything redeemable about it. It lays bare the very worst aspects of humanity and the ugliest amongst us revel in the pain it depicts. The developers are not calling it art, they are unequivocally aligning it with entertainment. Killing is fun, killing is what real gamers (real men?) should relish.
And anyone who says otherwise is a pussy.