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Editorial: “Hatred” and the Evolving Violence Portrayed in Video Games

October 19, 2014

Note from Writer: Watch the linked trailer at your own risk.

 

By: Alex Westphal

 

***Update:  10/20/14: The trailer originally posted in this article has been set to private by the YouTube Channel, and is currently unviewable (presumably because Epic Games demanded that their "Unreal" engine logo be removed from the preview, as it was used without their consent).

There is still a gameplay trailer up on YouTube, and it's unlikely that this will be pulled. I will link to the gameplay trailer, but be aware that this trailer might even top the last one in shock value. It is very, very violent.***

 

The game-play trailer for Destructive Creations’ “Hatred” has hit 1.2 million views on YouTube in the last week, and is getting quite a lot of negative attention from a portion of the gaming community - which, as we all know, is the best advertising a game of this sort can get.

 

If you haven’t heard, the trailer for Hatred is quite a violent 90 seconds full of wanton murder on the streets and indoor settings that resemble malls and schools, complete with people pleading for their lives before being brutally murdered by a guy dressed in a trench coat. The violence is stylized, graphic, and maybe even a bit shocking, given that the violence has no context.

 

The timeless question is now once again invoked, “In a society where we fear mass-shootings which happen on a semi-regular basis, how does this interactive display of violence fit into the bigger picture?” The answer, I feel, is one that many people would disagree with - It doesn’t have to fit into the bigger picture. So often, we struggle to find context for things that are ostensibly and by definition, works of expression, and this appears to be one of those times.

 

(Last Warning, Graphic/Violent Content in the Trailer below)

 

 

It might sound like unintentional reverse-psychology, but the very people who speak out against things like video games, are the exact people who are giving games like “Hatred” context. Hatred doesn’t need context, and it’s clear that, for better or worse, the game’s creators are making a game that will make them a quick buck… and that’s it. That’s the context. This is an Indie game, looking to release into a market that is absolutely, 100% saturated in content, and they want to make lots of money.

 

If you don’t like it, then ignore it. Like every game ever made, this one is just a fantasy. Even Madden Football is fantasy - an adventure into every “what if” scenario that football fans can dream up. If the worry is that some subset of the gaming community will be influenced subversively by a game like Hatred, then the concern is unfounded and pointless. After watching just 90 seconds of Hatred in the trailer, I can assure you that the violence depicted in the game is anything but subversive.

 

 

If content like what Hatred offers is enough to influence you as a gamer (much less as a functioning member of society), then you shouldn’t be playing it, but you also have much bigger problems than what violent video games you may or not be playing. The content may very well be deplorable from an impartial viewpoint, however, to condemn a game that’s not out, yet, on the basis of its apparent content is a one-dimensional view.

 

I will never stand up for a game that has just released and is a broken, unplayable piece of software, but “Hatred” has yet to see its day in the sun. I would like to encourage the community-at-large to simply wait and see what “Hatred” has in store for us - if the developers, engineers and artists at Destructive Creations are good at what they do, they won’t waste this free publicity on a one-off mess that is panned by the critics and the community… and I would encourage them to keep that in mind.

 

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