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Ken Levine: Real-World Violence In Video Games Is One Of The “Responsibilities Of Art”

In a recent interview with Boston Magazine, Irrational Games Co-Founder Ken Levine discussed the important role of violence in video games, implying that it needs to be much stronger, as its depiction in mass-media is “really obfuscated”.

Ken Levine, Irrational Games Co-Founder and creator of the Bioshock franchise, certainly has an outspoken history regarding the much-debated depiction of violence in video games. Levine was recently featured in an interview with Boston Magazine regarding his early years in the industry, reception from fans and critics, and the upcoming Logan’s Run remake. In regards to the depiction of violence within video games, Levine claims that as video games are a form of art, “one of the responsibilities of art is to actually show this is what it looks like when someone gets shot…”, as compared to media coverage of war, terrorist acts, and other destructive acts against other individuals, where violence is often “really obfuscated”.

Even with titles from the Call of Duty, Battlefield and Tom Clancy franchises, violence is stylized and “watered down” compared to a real-world military encounter. [Disclaimer: I have never served in any branch of the military.] Newer titles are beginning to push the boundaries of violence both visually and emotionally- GTA V‘s torture-scene, Heavy Rain‘s “finger-chop”, and the “abdominal search” from the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to name a few- but perhaps the ante needs to be raised even more, as according to Levine, “War is about sending pieces of metal very fast at people and tearing them to bits on the most primal level.”

…The “M” and “AO” ratings exist for a reason, guys.

Source: Boston Magazine
Image courtesy of Irrational Games, 2K Games

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