Hatred Rated Adults Only by the ESRB

The Real Sandman

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shirkbot said:
There are entire schools and movements of art that are based on making people angry and/or uncomfortable, so this still gets to go under the highly subjective "art" label, as well as the free speech/expression label. It may be tantamount to trolling, but it's still perfectly within the developer's rights to make an offensive game. There is nothing here that suddenly invalidates their right to free expression, or merits wishing the entire company go under considering it means those people all lose their jobs and with it their income.
You are absolutely right.

It is in Jaroslaw Zielinski and all of Destructive Creations rights to make a game such as a this. I think a game where you play as a mass murderer such as this could be very interesting. There are numerous films and books about this subject matter, I don't see why games should not be allowed to study it as well.

What I am irked about is Zielinski's infantile reasoning for making a game such as this. I'm not going to argue against his right to troll, but it is still trolling.
 

Saltyk

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EvolutionKills said:
Am I the only one who recognizes that context plays a role here?

It's my understanding, and I could be wrong, that the ESRB doesn't actually play games to review them. The developer/publisher seeking a rating submits a video representing 'typical' game play across the spectrum that a player can be expected to experience. This is why GTA: San Andreas got it's original M rating because of course Rockstar wouldn't have submitted footage of the content unearthed with the Hot Coffee mod, because that content is simply not accessible without modding the game (and breaching the EULA if I'm not mistaken). I still think that the ESRB re-labeling GTA:SA as an AO game after the fact over a user created mod was bullshit, so take it for what you will.

So in context, a game where you play a street thug going on crazy adventures that involves gunfights with cops (who are armed antagonists trying to stop you) and the possibility of civilian casualties? Now compare that against a game whose sole purpose appears to be recreating a hate filled psychotic killing spree where the slaughtering of innocent civilians is the goal. In games like GTA it is a possibility, but I never remember a story mission that tasked me with slaughtering civilians on purpose for the sake of killing civilians. Saints Row is just balls to the walls crazy, and comes off as so over the top and cartoony; it's almost satire it's tongue is so firmly planed in it's cheek. Compare either of those two to HATRED? Especially with the wave of mass shootings that have struck the United States in recent years? That might be enough to push a borderline game over the edge into AO territory. Especially if the footage they were supplied is far more graphic and visceral than what we have access to. But that's another thing to remember, as of yet all we have is screenshots and trailers, none of us have seen the footage the ESRB was given to evaluate; none of us have played the finished game. There simply could be more than we are not aware of. Or the ESRB could arguably be overacting, both are possibilities.

Now I'm all for freedom of expression, to let the developer make the game they want. If you don't like it, vote with your wallet and don't buy it; simple as that. Will an AO rating stop me from purchasing it? No. Will I buy it just because it has an AO rating? Nope. It will depend on whether or not it's a good game. You can make a compelling game experience out of almost anything, but without playing the game itself I cannot make that call for myself. That being said, I'm not terribly impressed with what I've seen so far.
Pretty much this.

Also, to clarify, it's my understanding that developers pay a small fee and send in a video containing all the major content a game has. It has to include all the worst content to allow the ESRB to properly rate the game. After watching the video, they apply a rating. They also randomly choose to play certain games to ensure that the rating was appropriate.

If they discover that a developer were to hide content from them, they will fine said developer. Even worse, they can choose to no longer review games from that developer basically crippling their ability to sell their games. The ESRB is a private organization and has that right.
 

KazeAizen

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shirkbot said:
There are entire schools and movements of art that are based on making people angry and/or uncomfortable, so this still gets to go under the highly subjective "art" label, as well as the free speech/expression label. It may be tantamount to trolling, but it's still perfectly within the developer's rights to make an offensive game. There is nothing here that suddenly invalidates their right to free expression, or merits wishing the entire company go under considering it means those people all lose their jobs and with it their income.

I'm not interested in the game, but that's my decision with or without the rating. My problem isn't even with the rating itself because the ESRB is perfectly entitled to its recommendation, as that's all their ratings amount to. The problem is that what is intended to be a recommendation is used to kill a product that has every right to exist. I'm actually kind of happy this came up now though since it gives a good excuse to compare the ESRB and Australian ratings board and note that they're not so different. The only real difference is that as long as it's rated in Australia it can be sold, where the ESRB's AO is basically a punishment.
I know they are well within their rights to make their stupid game. Still they've proven to be reprehensible people, who've made a reprehensible game, just to be reprehensible. Their right to free expression and wanting to virtually murder me are fine I guess. Then its well within my right to shout for joy that it gets an AO rating because that rating is a death sentence. Good freaking riddance.

And yes I am sour at them and their supporters for wanting to make "feminists and SJWs" killable NPCs in their game. They want to poke the bear? Fine. Just hope they are ready for it to bite back.
 

Dr. Crawver

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Lunar Templar said:
Context people, context.

There's no satire, or parody here, nor is 'killing innocents' up to player digression like GTA, or the much better Saints Row games, or any sort of justification for it past 'the world is shit so I'm gonna kill every one'.

It is literally, just an ultra violent mass murder simulator. It deserves the AO rating.
Yeah, really this. I'm not quite getting why people don't see this.

Killing innocents is the sole purpose of this game, nothing else. That context is pretty dripping with "give me an AO rating please".
 

Lono Shrugged

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SmapdyAge8 said:
So I wonder.... if your in-game victims make smart ass quips while you beat them to death (GTA, Saint's Row) it get's you an M rating. If your victims beg and plead for their lives while you do it that ups things to AO. That appears to be the only difference between the two games. What am I not seeing here?
Context, they take that stuff into account at ESRB. I would be on the game creators side if it were not so obvious that this game is courting controversy for sales. As it stands, it's all a very cynical circus that is being put on. Of course this game should be very clearly available only to adults. And the thing people forget is that it will be as available as any other game and no one is being censored. Valve can sell whatever they want and have whatever double standards they like.

The point is the game will be on sale and you can get it if you want. People are seriously missing the wood for the trees here
 

DarkhoIlow

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As if the rating ever stopped kids from playing these games..making it AO will only encourage them to get their hands on it even more..I know I would if I would be underage. Same thing was with getting hands on porn back in the day.
 

Major_Tom

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This is actually the first time I saw that trailer. When I first heard of the game, I imagined it was going to be about school shootings with planning à la GTA V heists (I would play that). This just looks like shit, the only thing it has going for it is this rating and controversy. Also @0:23, who the fuck chambers an AK like that?
 

Poetic Nova

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Sounds like the Manhunt/Carmageddon controversy all over again. Which were blown out of proportions aswell.
 
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I have a question. This is a serious question, as I have not played either game I'm about to mention, only heard about them and seen some gameplay. How would Hatred, in-context, compare to Postal? Both games have about the same goal of "killing spree", right? Is the tone totally different in Postal?

I can't say whether the ESRB was right or wrong, just because of how important context and tone are to stuff. Look at how many people were shocked that The Dark Knight was PG-13. It wasn't because it was any more violent than any of the other Batman movies, or any more gruesome (well, with the possible exception of Two-Face). The issue was that it was much darker than even Batman Begins, and what it implied was sometimes far worse than what was shown. Rating isn't a black-and-white, "You need this much blood to have an M rating, and this much more to have an AO", thing. What one person sees as overly violent, another could see as totally fine. The ones at the far ends of the spectrum? Sure, that's easy enough to decide. The tricky part is the borderline stuff. What's the difference between a hard M and "soft" AO? What's the difference between a soft M and a hard T?
 

Gatlank

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EvolutionKills said:
I still think that the ESRB re-labeling GTA:SA as an AO game after the fact over a user created mod was bullshit, so take it for what you will.
It would blow the ESBR minds if they ever knew about the adult mods for TES games.
Still the AO rating might only end up causing an issue with Steam other than that the ratings are usually a joke that barely anyone pays attention to.
 

RJ 17

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In order to understand why this game got an AO rating, you needn't look to the actual violence. You can effectively do the exact same thing - granted not nearly in as much detail - in any given GTA. No, to understand why they slapped this with an AO you need to look at the subject matter in the context of today's society. It's a Shooting Rampage Simulator being made during times when random acts of MASSIVE violence seem to be occurring every other week. That kinda bumps the "offensive scale" up a few levels beyond just being a horrendously violent game. I'm not offended by such material and I get the feeling a lot of gamers will take such a game in the context of our society with a grain of salt...but what about everyone that's NOT in the gaming community? This game seems specifically designed to draw even more flak and allegations from politicians and the like about how terrible games are. That's why I believe that such a concept for a game is a horrendously bad idea. It's almost as if the developers are intentionally trolling society by putting this out, and like with all trolls in the end it's just fucking stupid bullshit.

So yeah, I hope you're all ready to be assailed by another string of "VIDEOGAMES LEAD TO VIOLENCE!!!!!" stories being thrown at us by the media. This is Columbine: The Game we're talking about here, the pointless slaughter of countless unarmed civilians. And that is most likely why this game is getting an AO rating.

I fully support the right of the developers to make any kind of game they want, they just need to be prepared for the backlash that society is going to have against this game. Every politician is going to point to it as a scape-goat against gamers. Countless parental organizations are going to let their outrage be known. And honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of lawsuits end up being filed...in fact I kinda expect it.
 

Geo Da Sponge

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Hey, you want controversy, you get controversy. I don't have any sympathy for people who specifically design a game to piss people off as much as possible and then get in trouble with the organisation for dealing with games that might piss people off.

As for the "It's art" defence, the developers specifically say it's not art, and that they're fighting against the idea of games as art. Now, it's true that some art was never originally intended to be art. It's also true that some art is purposefully controversial. But the idea that something is both purposefully controversial and denied to be art by the creators is a new one.

lacktheknack said:
You wanna ruffle feathers, Destructive Creations? Here you go, you ruffled feathers.

Not quite what you wanted? Awwwww.
Yeah, agreeing with this basically.
 

Erttheking

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thebobmaster said:
I have a question. This is a serious question, as I have not played either game I'm about to mention, only heard about them and seen some gameplay. How would Hatred, in-context, compare to Postal? Both games have about the same goal of "killing spree", right? Is the tone totally different in Postal?
Let me put it this way...in Postal 2 you go to work at a video game company, where you're fired on your first day. At that point, a bunch of protestors who had been chanting "games are bad, they make you bad" has one of their members "Let's do this! Come on everybody, I'LL KILL YOU!" and storm the building with pistols. You then kill all of them and it is then possible to unzip your fly and run through the pile of corpses pissing everywhere while you do. You can also get an item that's a petition (to get stupid congressmen to play video games) and just about everyone I've seen play the game likes to murderer all the NPCs that refuse to sign it.

It's...nothing like Hatred.
 

Prime_Hunter_H01

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Gatlank said:
EvolutionKills said:
I still think that the ESRB re-labeling GTA:SA as an AO game after the fact over a user created mod was bullshit, so take it for what you will.
It would blow the ESBR minds if they ever knew about the adult mods for TES games.
Still the AO rating might only end up causing an issue with Steam other than that the ratings are usually a joke that barely anyone pays attention to.
The Hot Coffee mod is only a mod in the sense that is re activates dummied out content on the original print of San Andreas, other wise it was there made by Rockstar, but unavaliable without hacking. It's because it was still in the game even unaccessable that the ESRB rerated it after it was found.

Also they did rerate TES IV from T to M when a modder found that the standard female models had nipples under the default underwear. Their rules do state that they base their rating off all content and even normally unacessable content must be considered if its still on the shipped game.
 

Ichiro Oogami

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Geo Da Sponge said:
Hey, you want controversy, you get controversy. I don't have any sympathy for people who specifically design a game to piss people off as much as possible and then get in trouble with the organisation for dealing with games that might piss people off.
lacktheknack said:
You wanna ruffle feathers, Destructive Creations? Here you go, you ruffled feathers.

Not quite what you wanted? Awwwww.
That's where I disagree; I have a lot of sympathy for them. If anyone designs a game that goes beyond what self-appointed cultural mavens (SJWs, political organizations, etc.) find acceptable, you are "pissing people off" - the very people that seek to restrict the art you're allowed to make. It doesn't have to be an ultra-violent murder simulator; it can be a game about a particular battle in the Iraq War. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Interview_(2014_film)] Go beyond the constricting lines they set, and you will "piss people off" because they want everything to pass through only with their approval. Whatever is not expressly permitted is forbidden, and you're only allowed to talk about that which they permit you to talk about because they say so.

As this article [http://techlick.com/index.php/tech-lick/verge/27779-gamergate-?-an-issue-with-two-sides] says (bolded emphasis is mine):

Critics will argue that someone banned on Reddit or neoGAF can simply go elsewhere on the Internet rather miss the point. Censorship is about denying certain views of an audience. Giving someone the freedom to speak in a deserted forest (or an unvisited website) doesn?t actually mean a great deal.
While that was a reference to #Gamergate, it applies here as well. We shouldn't be quick to celebrate the suppression of a game just because you find the subject matter disagreeable. Remember, Australia gave Hotline Miami 2 a "Refused Classification" to suppress it as well since it featured a rape (showing rape at all is a no-no regardless of context, but depicting other forms of assault is okay so long as it isn't too gory), and two stores in Australia stopped selling GTA V due to an organized campaign explicitly intended to censor the game since it hurt the petitioners' feelings. Both games went beyond what cultural mavens found acceptable, but that doesn't mean that their suppression was something to be celebrated.
 
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Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
Gatlank said:
EvolutionKills said:
I still think that the ESRB re-labeling GTA:SA as an AO game after the fact over a user created mod was bullshit, so take it for what you will.
It would blow the ESBR minds if they ever knew about the adult mods for TES games.
Still the AO rating might only end up causing an issue with Steam other than that the ratings are usually a joke that barely anyone pays attention to.
The Hot Coffee mod is only a mod in the sense that is re activates dummied out content on the original print of San Andreas, other wise it was there made by Rockstar, but unavaliable without hacking. It's because it was still in the game even unaccessable that the ESRB rerated it after it was found.

Also they did rerate TES IV from T to M when a modder found that the standard female models had nipples under the default underwear. Their rules do state that they base their rating off all content and even normally unacessable content must be considered if its still on the shipped game.
Actually, with Oblivion, that was only part of the reason for the rerating of TES IV. There was also the fact that the game developers had certain gory screenshots concealed by darkness. For example, in the version Bethesda sent the ESRB, the body of The Dread Father was in shadows, hiding a lot of the detail. It wasn't until the game came out that they saw screenshots of the body after it was illuminated by a torch.

What you said did play into increasing the rating, but it wasn't the sole reason.

erttheking said:
thebobmaster said:
I have a question. This is a serious question, as I have not played either game I'm about to mention, only heard about them and seen some gameplay. How would Hatred, in-context, compare to Postal? Both games have about the same goal of "killing spree", right? Is the tone totally different in Postal?
Let me put it this way...in Postal 2 you go to work at a video game company, where you're fired on your first day. At that point, a bunch of protestors who had been chanting "games are bad, they make you bad" has one of their members "Let's do this! Come on everybody, I'LL KILL YOU!" and storm the building with pistols. You then kill all of them and it is then possible to unzip your fly and run through the pile of corpses pissing everywhere while you do. You can also get an item that's a petition (to get stupid congressmen to play video games) and just about everyone I've seen play the game likes to murderer all the NPCs that refuse to sign it.

It's...nothing like Hatred.
OK, thanks for clarifying. With that knowledge, I actually agree with the ESRB, for reasons I mention in my initial post.
 

tilmoph

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major_chaos said:
Well well well, this leaves steam with an interesting choice: either start letting AO rated games on the store, or re-remove Hatred. I really hope they go for the later, but if they go for the former I eagerly await the storefront being flooded with page after page of Eroge. Or to be fair they could take a immensely stupid third option and say AO for torturing people to death is a-OK but sex is still bad and scary and not allowed.
Actually, they have a non-stupid third option; AO allowable only by greenlight vote. Use Hatred's support level as the threshold for approval. Less than that, no go. Reach it, and Steam sells. Seems like a reasonable position to me.
 

Geo Da Sponge

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tilmoph said:
major_chaos said:
Well well well, this leaves steam with an interesting choice: either start letting AO rated games on the store, or re-remove Hatred. I really hope they go for the later, but if they go for the former I eagerly await the storefront being flooded with page after page of Eroge. Or to be fair they could take a immensely stupid third option and say AO for torturing people to death is a-OK but sex is still bad and scary and not allowed.
Actually, they have a non-stupid third option; AO allowable only by greenlight vote. Use Hatred's support level as the threshold for approval. Less than that, no go. Reach it, and Steam sells. Seems like a reasonable position to me.
Oh boy, if you think that's a good option you haven't seen much of Greenlight. For instance, the games that have succeeded on there by offering free copies of the game to those who vote for it.

Ichiro Oogami said:
Okay, but we're literally talking about the ESRB here, the people who's entire job it is to look at this stuff and judge how extreme it is in comparison to other games. Complaining about "cultural mavens" is irrelevant when what we're discussing is the decision made by the official organisation that is presumably judging this game on its own content and context. If they were easily swayed by popular opinion, I think things like GTA would take a lot more flak. Unless you're suggesting that the ESRB is in fact an SJW sleeper cell or something...
 

Lunar Templar

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Dr. Crawver said:
Lunar Templar said:
Context people, context.

There's no satire, or parody here, nor is 'killing innocents' up to player digression like GTA, or the much better Saints Row games, or any sort of justification for it past 'the world is shit so I'm gonna kill every one'.

It is literally, just an ultra violent mass murder simulator. It deserves the AO rating.
Yeah, really this. I'm not quite getting why people don't see this.

Killing innocents is the sole purpose of this game, nothing else. That context is pretty dripping with "give me an AO rating please".
Yeah, and just how much people aren't seeing that shows just how desensitized to violent games we all really are.

LostGryphon said:
Yeeeah, not an AO level of violence.
Yeeeah ... it is.

The key difference between this bit of controversy bait, and that's all it is, something made specifically to piss people off, and God of War or GTA or Gears of War or what ever other ultra violent game out there you want to try and use as a counter point is.

Context in relation to the situation.

God/Gears of War; the enemys you fight and brutalize are monsters, not human. The few 'humans' you face are ether undead or gods. More or less the same for Gears, what you fight isn't human, so it gets a free pass to an M rating. That, and no one begs you to stop before you kill them, or execute them rather.

GTA/SR; So what about the 'stable mates' this piece of shit ... >.> er lemme try that again, pandering waste of space, damn it ... this 'unique little butter fly' ... likely will be compared to as both allow you to murder passers by. First, and most important. Killing civilians is optional and completely up to the player in both these, and not only do they not beg for they're lives, some will even fight back given the chance. Then there's how the police react, IE sending an entire fucking army after you. Saints Row takes it a step further with the weapons, like the Tentacle Bat, The Penetrater, Dubstep Gun and all the other wacky weapons Saints Row is now famous for.

Again, all the violence is really aimed at armed party's, or in GTA's case, there's some justification given in relation to the context of the game for violence against an unarmed person beyond, 'because I can and I hate every one'

TLDR; It's not the violence it self that got this game an AO rating, it's the context those violent acts are being carried out.
 

Phrozenflame500

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Yeah I don't really have a problem with this in principle, it more then deserves the rating. I do think that the weird space that AO games currently exist in needs to be reevaluated though.