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"HATRED" Back on Steam Greenlight: Video Game Violence, Real World Empathy

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"HATRED" Back on Steam Greenlight: Video Game Violence, Real World Empathy | CCS After Hours Podcast "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire. Ah, freedom of speech. Who doesn't love it? That is, until someone says something we strongly disagree with it. That's when very few people are willing to follow Voltaire's example. Instead, they start making concessions. "Look: I'm all for free speech and all, but..." Some even go as far as to hypothesize about the potential repercussions of the innocent populous being exposed to such heretic thought. "Don't you realize what would happen if innocent people saw this?!" Unfortunately, video games are no exception to this distressing double standard. For the past couple of years, we've read numerous articles urging both game developers and the gaming community to take the medium more seriously; for it has the potential to explore a plethora of complex and thought-provoking themes in a way we've never seen before. However, as we've asserted in our Yellow Gaming Journalism video podcast: they say that, but the moment a game developer decides to step out of some people's comfort zone and try something a bit risqué — the very same people are quick to label said developer's game offensive and attempt to censor it. We here at Cheshire Cat studios recognize people's right to dislike something or even be offended by it. But when people decide they have the moral authority to dictate others what works of fiction they can expose themselves to — that's where we draw the line. Such was the case with the latest controversial shoot-em-up game: Hatred. A game that garnered plenty of negative publicity for its over the top violence and a nihilistic, mentally distraught protagonist who seems to execute his victims with no particular rhyme or reason. LaughingMan and CineMax sit down to discuss Hatred being reinstated on Steam's Greenlight service (with a personal apology from Gabe Newell, no less!) and debate whether such a controversial concept — that, to be fair, isn't all that different from the first Postal game, for example — is almost necessary to curbstomp some empathy back into gamers after years of ultra violent video games that have let you commit all sorts of unspeakable acts of violence under the banner of: "Don't worry about killing those people. They're the bad guys!" Related links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatred_%28video_game%29 http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/12/15/controversial-video-game-hatred-pulled-from-steam-greenlight/ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-10-21-valve-pulls-game-from-steam-following-devs-tweet-threatening-gabe-newell — — — Like our stuff? Support CCS on Patreon: www.patreon.com/cheshirecatstudios Website: http://cheshirecatstudios.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/cheshirecatstudio Twitter: http://twitter.com/cheshirecatstud iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/ccsitunes InvertedMind's DA Page: http://invertedmind-inc.deviantart.com
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Text Comments (74)
brad fin (2 years ago)
I think you guys are over thinking a dumb game that simply courted controversy to increase sales.
nikko validor (4 years ago)
for some reason, views-wise, the longer videos are somewhat less popular than the shorter ones for some reason.
Myes (4 years ago)
Yeah! Because being childish on Twitter should cause your entire game to be taken out! Because DEATH THREATS! You dumb fucks.
Steven Brawley (4 years ago)
The Film that Laughing Man was talking about is Irréversible If anyone wants to know.
Rahaan the Barbarian (4 years ago)
This whole Hatred thing is the best guerilla marketing campaign since Tropes vs. Women.
Dubious Fizzgig (4 years ago)
Regarding anything - in this case a "rape simulator" is mentioned - it is not incumbent upon the busybodies of the world to understand what value others may see in a game, song, film, etc. There is simulated rape pornography as well as bondage services in which people would have themselves treated (and treat others) in ways that I might not prefer myself or even understand - none of which matters. Personally, I've had it with people trying to force their opinions on others, trying to 'defend' the 'helpless', trying to control what other people wish to do with their spare time and expendable income. Until you can prove that something is tangibly, undeniably hurting you, you may speak your opinion, but any actions to follow through on limiting others' freedom to hate, freedom to offend, freedom to do whatever, needs to be met with lawyer, fist, cudgel, or firearm as necessary.
En' Peacee Shekelstein (4 years ago)
Woot, you guys are back! Hey have you seen this yet? http://www.gameinformer.com/blogs/members/b/codenamecrono_blog/archive/2015/01/09/but-at-what-cost-the-integrity-of-intel-and-selling-out-to-the-hate-mob.aspx Please forgive the extra long link, it's worth a gander.
machariel00 (4 years ago)
It's not real and probably will be a bad game so who the hell cares.
Henny Zhi (4 years ago)
Glad to see your back. Sometimes the news week is slow.
Elicit game saleman (4 years ago)
I have one question to the csspodcast what is in Kenny's cup
kalajel (4 years ago)
The people at Extra Credits are massive SJWs, so no surprise that Daniel Floyd was offended by stick figures... I'm ashamed of having the same first name as that piece of shit...
IchbinX (4 years ago)
The argument that it goes too far, when you the victims are civilians, is bullshit nowadays. We're faced with a social and fascist world where the average person is causing censorship & bullying on a daily basis. If you ask me, shooting down random civilians is better than gunning down "bad guys". At least bad guys actually do something with their lives. Here's these lazy, hipster, fascist fucks sitting in front of their laptops, ruining peoples lives. They get people fired, they start false rumors, and censor anything they dont personally like. So yeah, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of killing these "innocent" civilians...
DanceGameGuy (4 years ago)
Wow.  1 of the only video games that is art is Hatred.  
Hatersjs84 (4 years ago)
The French movie with the rape scene is called irreversible.
TheJadeFist (4 years ago)
Since the Clint Eastwood movies came out, there have been millions of people shot, ban movies.
aaronbig1 (4 years ago)
pre-packaged the least offensive most appealing alternative. but if's  when video game is  offensive that we need it most. game should provoke it should pass through prejudices challenge preconceptions.  game should always leave you different than when it found you. shore it can hertz even alienate but the risk is better than the alternative. at steady diet of an innocuous child-proof flavourless marsh. demand to be challenged to be offended to be treated like thinking reasoning adults and raise your children to be the same and don't let a anyone take away your  freedom to play whatever you want.
zeeluzz14 (4 years ago)
I think the extra credit episode your talking about was the propaganda games one
fwwaller (4 years ago)
Laughing man, I Spit On Your Grave was the movie you were thinking of with the rape scene.
Dasgath (4 years ago)
Been so long since i heard about it, but wasn't sandy hook a hoax? Has somebody explained the missing noses, the 5 days before memorial in Facebook and the rifle that never left the trunk? I really want to know! (i'm not from the states)
webkilla (4 years ago)
The point that Hatred is simply showing you the same violence that you get in other games - merely stripped of any in-game moral justification - is a great point.
webkilla (4 years ago)
@Thanatos388 I dunno - I tried eating at a Hooters once. I wasn't impressed. But I get your point
Thanatos388 (4 years ago)
Like eating at the strip club instead of Hooters.  
Nacht Physik (4 years ago)
Regarding the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. A girl suggested that movie (seemingly without having read the book) on a first date. So I went with her into the movie and felt so awkward during that scene. I really had to hold my self back not putting my arm around her and seeing how she would react to that during the rape scene :D
MonochromeTrouble (4 years ago)
I watched it with my mother.
BTCAmerica (4 years ago)
The truth of it is, I will confirm myself that video games can desensitize you. If you see blood and guts so many times, it stops freaking you out. But, while I have never tried to or been tempted to kill anyone, I can honestly say I have seen people have accidents where they ended up bleeding. And, doctors confirm that many deaths caused by accidents could have been easily prevented, IF people don't panic and think rationally. All things considered, I logically believe that more lives would have been saved, for the reason above, then lost due to bloody and gory games. Its more likely that a random individual has seen or been in an accident, than that they are a serial killer.
Mr.13 (4 years ago)
@BTCAmerica  agreed
BTCAmerica (4 years ago)
I agree completely. While my medical knowledge is extremely limited (CPR class, unofficial), it was pressed on us the entire time that panicking in an emergency should be avoided at all costs.  While in the case of Children, I can understand being extremely sensitive, it still doesn't cause any harm if they aren't. I support empathy, and you can feel sorry for someone without freaking out. Therefore, as I said, I dare say more lives would be saved from video games than ever endangered by them, on the grounds that desensitizing people would reduce their chance of panicking. Would you confirm?
Mr.13 (4 years ago)
I grew up on a farm, I was exposed to Hunting, the slaughter and butchering of livestock and the death of family pets via wild predators...I can say that the sight of blood and physical trauma does not make me panic, however I am also trained in First Aid and I am able to make logical choices when exposed to human injury. The Idea that one needs to "panic" in order to save the life of another is pure BS, the first thing that every Doctor, Nurse and First Aid teacher I have ever spoken to has told me to do, when confronted with such an event is to not Panic and fallow the training I have been given. Furthermore, the Idea that we should be hyper-sensitive to human suffering is absurd, we can empathize and choose to give aid but an emotional reaction serves no real purpose. That said, there are still no studies that prove any long term effect of exposure to violence in video games if there were I would expect Dark souls players to show signs of PTSD!
RenThraysk (4 years ago)
The movie referenced at 29:20 sounds like it's Irreversible. 
BTCAmerica (4 years ago)
Ah, its good to see you guys again. Do you have any thoughts on the Deadpool Movie Announcement, and could we perhaps have a follow up video on it?
javis88h (4 years ago)
"This offends me!" K.... ".......Don't you want to know why?" No not really, I can see why you're offended by this and it's your right to feel that way. "......YOU'RE JUST AS BAD AS THE DEVELOPERS, YOU FATUOUS PIG!!"
thalamay (4 years ago)
I think the movie you talked about is "Baise Moi" ("Fuck Me"). Very drastic indeed.
Wistful HERBz (4 years ago)
"People are so soft these days" -My Grandfather
jacksrumgone (4 years ago)
I have to ask, what do you guys think of what happened in the charity incident with total biscuit, where TB got a ton of death wishes all because the charity driver over reacted after he retweeted their charity movement?
archfriend (4 years ago)
One thing I'm reminded of is the book American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, where I remember reading a review describing it as "unflinching, he doesn't turn away". Bret Easton Ellis prides himself on not playing the moral arbiter who tells you how you should feel, and I think one can really strengthen their own character and moral compass if they experience this kind of transgressive material. The violence in American Psycho made me feel queezy, even more so by Ellis' direct writing style, and I feel glad that I get queezy from it. Transgressive art is always important, yet this debate has been fought since Marquee De Sade over and over again. Hatred was pulled off steam but some Steam admin, who I don't think even needed to bow under pressure from the SJW crowd, but was an SJW himself.
FearTheEyes (4 years ago)
G (- Fc.
Dickie Dangling (4 years ago)
One comment that sticks out in my mind about this whole HATRED business was one I saw on my Facebook. A friend of a friend was making the point that, and these are his words, "a game like HATRED releasing now can only be detrimental to this 'young art form'". It just made my mind spin. Surely, if video games are an art form, they are supposed to enflame or spur some sort of reaction? Art is not safe. Art is not comfortable. Where are all those folks who were arguing video games legitimacy as art a few short years ago? Gone to get offended I assume.
KiwifruitPixie (4 years ago)
@robokill387 Except the 80s teen romance novel has more of a soul than Gone Home ever did.
Robot killer (4 years ago)
because they have a very narrow, very outdated view of what art "is". they think art is always beautiful, that it is always to be taken at face value, and that it always takes itself seriously. look at gone home - a boring, angsty "experience" where you are spoonfed the ideas the developers want to convey in pre-digested form so that you don't have to actually think about it. It's a game where characters who are genuinely going through oppression come across as whiny and entitled because the game is so preachy and safe that you never get to actually empathize with them, resulting in a story which comes across as being like an 80s teen romance novel. *that* game is given tons of awards by the gaming press, while one that actually challenges you and makes you feel something in a genuine way, should prove my point.
Dickie Dangling (4 years ago)
Ha! Very good comparison with Uwe Bol Films and Fifty Shades! It's par for the course though isn't it? Every relatively new art/media form has to have a ceremonial baptism of fire. Give it 10/20 years. When our children's children are having fun with their 5D Hologram experiences, there will be another generation (possibly even us!) calling for it to be destroyed!
Thanatos388 (4 years ago)
Also those defenders of art are too busy trying to get you play their friends games to care about defending other games that compete with them.  Yeah, cause one shit game will hold back an entire art form.  Remember when Uwe Boll released those shit movies and nobody made any really good movies after him ever again?  Or how 50 Shades of Grey just stopped good literature from ever being produced?  How can people think like this?
ARN (4 years ago)
The salt coming out from the press when Gabe himself sent the studio an apology e-mail was fucking glorious. You could feed one hundred thousand mountain goats with the amount of salt that was produced within a 48 hour time period after that e-mail was made public. So much salt that the stock for Morton dropped by 50%. I have nothing productive to add other than this: holy fucking shit this ride was entertaining as all fuck.
Jossa81 (4 years ago)
Any rapists that actually regrets what they did, immediately afterwards, could have benefited from sitting through that 15 minute uncomfortable rape scene you mentioned. Seeing something like that could have changed their mind about rape, instead of it happening after they already forced themselves on someone.
Artemis Wyrm (4 years ago)
As the fan who asked this question, this was a very satisfying answer.
EmperorOfLols (4 years ago)
The episode of Extra Credits you refer is the "Propaganda Games" I suggest a video deconstructing it. The "Call of Juarez: The Cartel" video is a follow up that one. Note: The running time of the "Propaganda Games" video is 9:11. That video triggered my PTSD from 9/11 and it should be taken down. BAN THAT SICK FILTH! #ForYourOwnGood
DynastyStar (4 years ago)
Didn't whats-his-name say that Adam Orthell or whatever the balls his name is(the "DealWithIt" guy who got fired from Microsoft) shouldn't have got fired from Microsoft and that an apology would've sufficed? does he like apologies from companies or not?
DynastyStar (4 years ago)
@Cheshire Cat Studios ahh I see, thanks for answering :)
Cheshire Cat Studios (4 years ago)
"Does he like apologies from companies or not?"    For the most part, no. And I suspect that the only reason why Adam Orth got the axe was 'cos he refused to publicly apologize for his actions.     But it really depends on what the company apologizes for. If they'd legitimately screwed the pooch and, say, lost their customers' credit card data — then yeah, it'd be nice to hear 'Sorry.' However, say a company wants to release a product (like a game). Some vocal minority doesn't like said product (or a part of it, like a character) and accuses them of racism/sexism/worst offense de jour. The company panics, retracts said product, and issues an apology and promises to do better next time. You know there's nothing genuine about this apology and they're just trying to cover their asses.     That's the kind of apologies I'm not a huge fan of. 'Cos it's just people not having enough moral courage to stand behind their product. :/
deboshadow (4 years ago)
Good to see ya'll are still around. Hope you both get better soon. 
wooo weee (4 years ago)
Just search google news for "hatred greenlit", all the shady games websites all mysteriously failed to report just how big a win the hatred greenlight was, we're talking 105k yes votes vs 16k no.  Gamers showed how small a group these trouble makers are, which is inconvenient for these sites so they buried the news.
Ruben Bañuelos (4 years ago)
If I had to place a bet, I'd say Hatred creators know exactly the environment they were releasing their game into, i.e. click driven media that thrives on controversy. Releasing a game like that with the sort of trailer they chose to put together granted them a bunch of free publicity, which is great for a small studio with no access to the sort of marketing budgets that other games kind of need to be successful.  So they get a lot of media attention basically for free, which will of course drive their sales, because people who are outraged at the game would have never bought it anyway, and there are a bunch of jackasses willing to pay for a crappy game just to enrage all those bleeding hearts. And of course, Hatred is never going to sell in the same numbers as, let's say Super MeatBoy, but they never going to anyway; instead, the creators get to have a small, but almost guaranteed amount of sales it can with cheap marketing. And gaming sites also benefited from that getting a buch of clicks and their precious ad revenue just by shitting on a game that was never meant to be any good or of any value and wasn't really worth writing about. It is a win-win situation. The developers get free publicity, notoriety and a decent amout of sales for a crap game, which will probably help them push other projects that are going to be more and more controlversial until they run out of steam.
Sigitta (4 years ago)
Censoring violence is another example of massive hypocrisy. No one ever said those gore videos damn PETA makes cause violence against animals but do the same thing in a video game and it´s "Most people won´t get that message!" or "The developers just say this to sell the game. There is no message" I´m not saying every shitty game has a message and I´m also not supporting PETA in anyway - it´s so sad that I feel the need to explain all this because people WANT to be offended - all I´m saying is just that people decide what it means based on who says it. Regarding playing the bad guy or making movies from Nazi site: I think that´s fine because it reminds people that no one in a war or conflict ever thought he is the bad guy. And again that does not mean they might be right it means "Maybe you´re wrong more often than you think and remember that next time when you think you have reasons and are the good guy" You have to understand and get exposed to what all kinds of people think so you can form your own opinion and notice early enough when your own development goes into a certain direction.
Thanatos388 (4 years ago)
The most frustrating thing is that not many people are actually getting offended, they just know they are "supposed" to be offended and are above such things.  Hard to take them seriously then.
Basedjeffdunam 22 (4 years ago)
One thing i wish would change in the modern world is the oversensitive ban everything nature because it goes past their comfort zones, its really pathetic and shows just how hypocritical people can be. Free speech except for anything that offends me, my race, other races, my genders, my multiple personalities, my weight, etc. GROW UP     
john smith (4 years ago)
Hatred reminds me of a Uwe Boll movie titled Rampage. Like him or not, Jim Sterling gave a great defense for the kind of violence Rampage shows. Sterling comments on how we are not meant to empathize with the deranged young man, but are merely spectators to his breakdown and rampage. I think the same defense can be applied to this game. We are not meant to empathize with or condone the actions of the main character. This can go much deeper with the issues of playing to the character vs merely controlling them. When I play a full developed character, I tend to keep my actions ingame to something they would do. I won't go killing innocent people if I am playing a straight-laced cop and I will play like a madman if the character is one. I will probably buy this game just to check it out. As the larger debate about violence in game goes, violent games do cause an increase in levels of aggression. Just as watching pron arouses you and watching Food Network makes you hungry, consuming violent media(games//music/movies) leads to an increase in aggression. Anyone who suggests differently is wrong. Many opponents seem to think an aggression leads to violent actions. They can, but that is for a small minority of people. Increased levels of aggression =/= increased levels of violence.
Dm Gray (4 years ago)
@divinull Indeed, "Renegade" :D Ta for the correction. As you say, a choice between practicality and just being a jerk. I prefer a little more moral ambiguity, even if it makes me squirm.
Thanatos388 (4 years ago)
@Pepsi Man There was a recent study that found people would get more aggressive when playing games with shittier controls.  So basically the hidden link between aggression and games can be found in most AVGN videos.  
Pepsi Man (4 years ago)
I thought that study that said that games raise aggression was specifically linked to frustration in games, not violent games in general. However, games still can't be linked directly to violence. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/gaming/longterm-us-study-finds-no-links-between-violent-video-games-and-youth-violence-9851613.html
CimpyOvy (4 years ago)
@Dm Gray I think you mean you can't do the Renegade story in Mass Effect (by the by me neither I fined the whole thing like a choice between practical and antisocial). But yes one should not force culture to conform to one standard because that will cause outrage in the ranks of content creators. There are plenty of violent and graphic movies out there like "A Serbian movie", "Salo", "Old boy", "Headhunters" etc that are called by art critics as some of the most important movies ever maid, but pop culture critics would dismiss them as nothing but smut and exploitation.
HentaiSenpai (4 years ago)
Holy shit you guys are back! Did you miss Senpai?
Knechtor (4 years ago)
colpul2 (4 years ago)
Ted Lavine was praised for his courage and skill playing James Gumm, aka Buffalo Bill, in Silence of the Lambes yet I'm going to be condemed for playing an as dark, if actually less disturbed, character in Hatred? Isn't that supposed to be the artistic power of video games, that we're given the script and we become the actor? That the art needs us to fulfill the expression. That the art is corlaboration between the dev, writer, programmer and the player like a film is between the writer, director, producer and actor?
tommy Long (4 years ago)
I missed you guys.
Woohoo! Another After Hours!
Slaughterrific (4 years ago)
well see the reason violence is so prevalent in games is because it's a simple interaction to use something to destroy another something. You can apply that to many things and most of those turn into anything from a war campaign to pvp experiences
tylalikesfood (4 years ago)
Oh what was that french movie called? Unreturnable? Unfixable? Un-something... I hate when things are on the top of your tongue.
tylalikesfood (4 years ago)
Nailed it, thanks.
ArchHippy (4 years ago)
Slaughterrific (4 years ago)
ayyyyyyyyy lmao. Missed you guys. Where's shit mask? 
Y2KNW (4 years ago)
Holy crap guys, where have ya been?

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