Miyamoto: Violence is Killing Video Games

During the GDC in San Francisco, the venerable Shigeru Miyamoto said that developers should resist the temptation to rely on shock content such as extreme violence, revenge, or simply just horror, and the sequels which are a direct result of the big sales such games create.
“I always want that first reaction to be emotion, to be positive – to
give a sense of satisfaction, glee,” Miyamoto said. “Certain obstacles
may temporarily raise feelings of suspense, competition, even
frustration. But we always want that final result, that final emotion,
to be a positive one.”

The respected game maker’s comments are seemingly at odds with an industry that seems to sell itself to what would seem to be a niche market, yet the increasingly violent games only gain more popularity as they are villified by the “outsiders:” politicians, pundits, and parents.

I’m not certain what exactly Miyamoto is trying to say, whether violent games are inherently bad (no more Metal Gear Solid?), or whether it’s the proliferation of violence as the medium for which games are to be sold. Certainly, the Metal Gear series is quite violent, but the violence is not rewarded; indeed, the player is chastised later in the game for killing people needlessly. To contrast this, many games designed and developed in the United States tend to reward needless killing: in Mortal Kombat the player is awarded with a gory graphics fest when he performed a Fatality death move, in the Grand Theft Auto series players could kill pedestrians and steal the money they drop. Is this a strictly cultural argument, or is there something a bit deeper to the problem? Or is there a problem at all?

Read on The Australian.