Hatred Rated Adults Only by the ESRB

CaitSeith

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Ichiro Oogami said:
Geo Da Sponge said:
Unless you're suggesting that the ESRB is in fact an SJW sleeper cell or something...
I'm not going to make an accusation that extreme without evidence. I only suspect political motivation since this comes on the heels of the anti-GTA petition and Hotline Miami 2's Refused Classification rating, both of which were applied for content deemed politically incorrect.

I am open to any evidence to the contrary, however.
Both of those games involved accusations of women abuse. This one hasn't been accused of that.
 

Winnosh

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It is a rating people. And the rating fits the subject matter. I see no reason to be upset, as it would be similar to a movie like this getting an NC-17 rating for graphic violence and subject matter. Ratings exist for a reason and anyone who wants it can still get it.
 

CaitSeith

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LostGryphon said:
Lunar Templar said:
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.
All righty. So now we're arguing for ratings to give more weight to context (which can be interpreted in a few different ways here, regardless of the developer's stated intent, and can vary greatly in terms of how 'bad' people view it) rather than content.

Cool. I do hope ya get how slippery that particular slope is.

Allow me to be a bit hyperbolic here to illustrate a point:

Plague Inc. - The goal is to create a super virus to wipe out man kind. Violence isn't illustrated, but the implication of a virus/disease or what have you with the killing potential to take out humanity is horrific in and of itself. Even the word "plague" conjures images of Black Death or Ebola and their associated results.

Under the current ESRB system, it'd receive an E or E 10+ due to the lack of violence actually being depicted. Context is irrelevant without content, it seems.

As for a more pertinent example:

The Manhunts - Both 1 and 2 are rated M. Both feature violent murders. The point of them, or at least the first, is to murder your way through a conga-line of enemies for the delight of a snuff film producer, in an effort to escape.

That's the context. To me? That's just as bad as what Hatred's swinging around.

So we've got a precedent set. Horrific violence with an equally horrific context is A-Okay...but just not this context, because it's apparently been "unilaterally" decided that said context is just too far beyond the pale.

What you're doing by rating from a point of context is making a value judgment that not everyone shares. The trailer for this game and the idea behind it does not sit right with me. It made me kind of ill to see it, with respect to the context...but then, I have similar feelings about Dead Space and any other ultra violent title where vivisection and jiggling organic bits flopping about, ruining the upholstery, is the norm.

TL;DR - Arguing from a point of context, while helpful in some circumstances, is not at all the direction a ratings system needs to head in. It opens them up to a bit too much subjectivity, whereas, basing it purely on content provides at least some modicum of objectivity.

(A reminder: I don't like the game. I don't like violence for violence's sake, and I don't like the stigma associated with an AO rating. That said? Most games, including Hatred, are just not realistic enough for me to genuinely interpret them as "adult's only."

Now...the Saw/Hostel movies? God yes. Those are some convincing make-up effects, damn it...I still get a flash of that one guy's legs snapping and getting crushed, in gory detail, by a fuckin' trash compactor. Ugh. Not even sure how I stumbled on that. Channel surfing can be a terrible thing.

It was rated R, by the way.)


The fun thing here is that, despite all of the controversy that engulfed Postal and Manhunt at the time of their creation...they look downright tame now, because the graphics just haven't aged well and, even at the time, weren't very good.

Hatred is the same damned thing. It doesn't look realistic. It's got a damned filter over it, for fuck sakes, and the premise is so over the top as to be teetering on parody.

In 5 years, this will just be another blip on the controversy radar that we'll all look back on, shrug, and issue a collective "Meh."
It seems the ESRB didn't see any hints of parody at all...
 

Lieju

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Strazdas said:
The Real Sandman said:
I'm all for developers trying to make video games that tackle tabu themes and concepts, but when your ultimate reason for spiking controversy is "I just want to piss people off", then you don't deserve to call yourself an artist, or an adult for that matter.
but "i just want to piss people off" is exactly what people need now. people are way too oversensitive nowadays - as evident by response to this game. if overlysensitive people werent a problem this game would have been ignored and never got greenlit.
'Overly sensitive' people didn't get this game greenlit.
Well, not the kind of overly sensitive people who'd yell at people how offended they are by this game. No, the people who like to pretend gaming is under attack and can't just ignore people who have no real power got this game greenlit and want to throw money at it, not because they think they'll enjoy it, but because they care too much about what some people on Tumblr or whereever people who hate this game blog about it.

The only place I heard about this game was here on this site. This is all just so childish and all it's going to do is make gamers and their screams of free speech look even more childish.
 

UberPubert

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Lieju said:
'Overly sensitive' people didn't get this game greenlit.
Well, not the kind of overly sensitive people who'd yell at people how offended they are by this game. No, the people who like to pretend gaming is under attack and can't just ignore people who have no real power got this game greenlit and want to throw money at it, not because they think they'll enjoy it, but because they care too much about what some people on Tumblr or whereever people who hate this game blog about it.
The implication is that oversensitive people are the ones who started the controversy that gave Hatred the publicity it needed to attract the followers it did in order to get Greenlit. If no one had raised a fuss about the game, it likely would have passed in obscurity, seeing as how it is an indie-developed and self-published title.

And in spite of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community it was briefly pulled from Steam:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/16/hatred-shooter-removed-from-steam-gaming-site

Lieju said:
The only place I heard about this game was here on this site. This is all just so childish and all it's going to do is make gamers and their screams of free speech look even more childish.
I don't think it's a matter of free speech but I believe Strazdas is perfectly right in stating Hatred (and it's current status in the gaming blogosphere) is ultimately the product of the kinds of people whose sensitivities it offends.

EDIT: Here, I think this is something people criticizing Hatred should read, straight from the destructive creations website
[http://s361.photobucket.com/user/UberPubert/media/actualhatred_zps59e37efc.png.html]

"don't take it too seriously, it's just a game. :)"
 

Lieju

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UberPubert said:
I don't think it's a matter of free speech but I believe Strazdas is perfectly right in stating Hatred (and it's current status in the gaming blogosphere) is ultimately the product of the kinds of people whose sensitivities it offends.
It's ultimately the product of the designers setting out to make a game they knew would draw in controversy and then market this as offensive.

A studio makes a game to draw in controversy
-> there are people who take the bait and make a fuss
-> The people defending the game come in.

One of those groups is giving the devs publicity, one money. Just like planned by the devs.
But blaming just one group of this seems a bit weird, especially when in the end they're not the ones actually giving money to the devs.
 

UberPubert

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Lieju said:
It's ultimately the product of the designers setting out to make a game they knew would draw in controversy and then market this as offensive.
And how did they know it would be controversial? Because the people who gave it free advertising with "this is wrong! #stophatred2014!" are as predictable as the click-bait websites that immediately picked up on it for easy ad revenue.

Hatred exists because the developers took advantage of an environment made by people who could make it flourish by giving it free publicity through fake internet outrage.

Lieju said:
One of those groups is giving the devs publicity, one money. Just like planned by the devs.
But blaming just one group of this seems a bit weird, especially when in the end they're not the ones actually giving money to the devs.
To be clear, I don't think it's necessary to "blame" anyone for this. Hatred is a valid if crude game with subject matter that's not new to anyone familiar with Postal and it's ilk. And I don't buy that it isn't at least a little tongue-in-cheek, I can't keep a straight face during the dialogue in the trailer, I can't believe that isn't intentional.
 

Winnosh

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UberPubert said:
Lieju said:
'Overly sensitive' people didn't get this game greenlit.
Well, not the kind of overly sensitive people who'd yell at people how offended they are by this game. No, the people who like to pretend gaming is under attack and can't just ignore people who have no real power got this game greenlit and want to throw money at it, not because they think they'll enjoy it, but because they care too much about what some people on Tumblr or whereever people who hate this game blog about it.
The implication is that oversensitive people are the ones who started the controversy that gave Hatred the publicity it needed to attract the followers it did in order to get Greenlit. If no one had raised a fuss about the game, it likely would have passed in obscurity, seeing as how it is an indie-developed and self-published title.

And in spite of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community it was briefly pulled from Steam:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/16/hatred-shooter-removed-from-steam-gaming-site

Lieju said:
The only place I heard about this game was here on this site. This is all just so childish and all it's going to do is make gamers and their screams of free speech look even more childish.
I don't think it's a matter of free speech but I believe Strazdas is perfectly right in stating Hatred (and it's current status in the gaming blogosphere) is ultimately the product of the kinds of people whose sensitivities it offends.

EDIT: Here, I think this is something people criticizing Hatred should read, straight from the destructive creations website
[http://s361.photobucket.com/user/UberPubert/media/actualhatred_zps59e37efc.png.html]

"don't take it too seriously, it's just a game :)"
Yes it's just a game, it's a game that tackles extreem subject matter and should be rated as such. No one is saying it shouldn't be made, just that people should be informed as to what the game is, That's what ratings are for. Not to ban games but to alert people as to what a game contains.
 

UberPubert

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Winnosh said:
Yes it's just a game, it's a game that tackles extreem subject matter and should be rated as such. No one is saying it shouldn't be made, just that people should be informed as to what the game is, That's what ratings are for. Not to ban games but to alert people as to what a game contains.
As I state in the original post, I don't think the AO rating is a matter of free speech, I don't feel it's being censored and the developers have basically stated as much. I think the separation between MA and AO is kind of bullshit, but if any game would deserve an AO rating, Hatred probably qualifies.

What I do disagree with is how people are reacting to this, even if it's utterly predictable at this point.
 

Lieju

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UberPubert said:
Lieju said:
It's ultimately the product of the designers setting out to make a game they knew would draw in controversy and then market this as offensive.
And how did they know it would be controversial? Because the people who gave it free advertising with "this is wrong! #stophatred2014!" are as predictable as the click-bait websites that immediately picked up on it for easy ad revenue.

Hatred exists because the developers took advantage of an environment made by people who could make it flourish by giving it free publicity through fake internet outrage.
And yet none of that Internet outrage actually directly brings money to their pocket. They also knew people would then, as predictably, flock to defend the game either because FREE SPEECH, and ART or to annoy them SJWs.

And be the people they need to actually make money.

I'm just annoyed to see people being rewarded for making controversy-bait. I'm not saying they should be banned from doing it, I just would not like to see people supporting this kind of business model.
 

WhiteNachos

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martyrdrebel27 said:
there's a few different topics to be discussed here...

1. the game absolutely does not deserve the AO rating. everything you see in this game has been done elsewhere, including the brutal point blank executions. this game is essentially isometric gta without any pretense. if gta 5 gets an M, this deserves an M as well.

2. let them keep the AO! i hate the fact that we have this whole rating that exists that functionally doesn't exist. if a game goes AO, it dies, which shouldn't be the case. i wish Rockstar would have made GTA 5 AO worthy, because that would finally force the industry's hand. we need a big enough title that the consoles HAVE to allow the game to be published with an AO to finally break the stigma. and if AO wasn't so taboo, we could have better control over game sales. a game like mortal kombat that is just mindless violence, rated M. but a game like gta 5 that has simulated sex acts, simulated torture, AND wanton violence? i could see why that would deserve an AO. again, only if AO is actually a reasonable rating.

GTA VI or any other big name could be the one to do it. Get an Ao rating, release the Ao rated version on PC, release the censored M version on consoles, then advertise the fact that PC gets the "complete uncensored version"
 

UberPubert

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Lieju said:
And yet none of that Internet outrage actually directly brings money to their pocket.
Not in the most literal sense, no - most people have to pay to have their games marketed. The internet outrage machine does it for free, and is just as effective if not more so considering the oversaturation of ads and blockers these days.

Lieju said:
They also knew people would then, as predictably, flock to defend the game either because FREE SPEECH, and ART or to annoy them SJWs.
All noble reasons as far as I'm concerned. If there wasn't a parallel group antagonizing these "defenders" they would have nothing to defend, because it wouldn't be under attack in the first place.

Lieju said:
I'm just annoyed to see people being rewarded for making controversy-bait.
I'm annoyed Goat Simulator is a success when games I'm interested in struggle to survive on Kickstarter, yet Goat Simulator was created as Letsplayer bait and it totally worked. But I'm not annoyed at the people who made Goat Simulator, it's not their fault, even if their exploitation of the system was intentional.
 

WhiteNachos

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Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
I think the context was considered over at the ESRB. While on a pure level of violence there are similar and worse games, unlike a many the actual context of that violence is senseless killing of innocent people as the objective not a possibility.
Payday 1 and 2. The whole game is the murder of police officers. And it is murder not self defense, because if a bank robber surrenders the police would cease fire and arrest them peacefully.

And I don't think the ESRB SHOULD care if it's a possibility vs. the objective. For one it's inconsistent. They gave San Andreas an Ao after people found a deleted sex scene that could only be accessed through hacking the game. For two, the main draw of some games is mindless rampages and the like, for three if a parent wants to keep kids away from violent games do you think they'd care about that distinction?
 

WhiteNachos

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Frezzato said:
Sigmund Av Volsung said:
That one year gap is amazing. Like some sort of divine revelation will be bestowed upon in that interim.

OP:MorelikeIMforimmatureHUHEUHUEHHEUHUEHUEHUHEUHEUUEHUHEUHUEHUH

No, serious business. This is very serious. Like that bit where the dude in the trench coat calls people "maggots". It's very serious and very mature.

Honestly, this situation is hilarious. Hilarious cause the game is so terrible, and hilarious because of how people will respond to it(in the community and in the mainstream press).

I'd better grab me some popcorn >.>
I'm curious to see how this turns out. I think it's about time that the ESRB finally puts in writing, why they rate what they rate.

But as far as the AO rating goes, I say let it stand. Better to self-regulate than have governments step in and spoonfeed us.
Since the ESRB the Supreme Court has ruled that video games are free speech and (IIRC) laws that restrict violent speech from minors are unconstitutional. So I don't think that possibility is a viable threat.
 

WhiteNachos

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K12 said:
Looks to be about as disturbingly violent as Manhunt 2 to me so it seems pretty appropriate.
It is less violent than God of War or Manhunt from the looks of it. Sure it's more disturbing but why should that factor into it? More importantly why should being disturbing give a game an Ao or a kiss of death? Are we now admitting that gamers can't handle disturbing games or that games should not be about disturbing subject matter?

Or are we all admitting that the ESRB is rating games at least partially based off their tastes now?

K12 said:
I have no sympathy for the makers of Hatred. It was made deliberately to get free publicity through controversy. Apparently they overdid it, whoops.
Over did it? Look at the gory scenes in the God of War or Mortal Kombat series. All of them are enough to stay at an M rating. Hatred from the looks of it has nothing CLOSE to that level. So you should have sympathy not because you like thme but because they're getting a raw deal.

SmapdyAge8 said:
Playing Gears of War with the Locust replaced by unarmed crying schoolchildren would be much more violent, even with all the same animations and splatter effects. Or take Left 4 Dead and replace all the Zombies with people wearing concentration camp uniforms and star of David armbands and you'd have a game that would never be sold in mainstream stores.
That's not a fair comparison, you're replacing fictional creatures with human beings.

SmapdyAge8 said:
I definitely don't think a game like this should be banned outright but being marginalized to the point of obscurity is something I'm basically fine with, especially since Hatred has been designed to wear the "controversy" label as a badge of pride.
It's not marginalized by being unwanted it's marginalized by an unelected committee with power being inconsistent. Would you be OK if that happened to a game you were looking forward to? Anything that needlessly complicates the process of adults making the games they want to maek and selling them to adults who want to buy them should be looked at with distaste. That includes having an 18 kiss-of-death rating when we already have a 17 rating and having the console makers refusing to it allow it on their consoles.
 

WhiteNachos

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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 unlike GTA V which also has an ultra violent 'mass murder simulator' (quick question when the hell did people that are not Jack Thompson start using that phrase unironically) AND a tennis mini game. It's totally different because you don't have to do it.
 

WhiteNachos

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KazeAizen said:
This game deserves it. The devs seem to be the most reprehensible kind of people. Also when your express purpose of making something is to literally tick people off you don't get to call "free speech" and such.
So speech that tries to piss people you don't like is not free speech? What arbitrary nonsense. How exactly is this different from 'any speech that deliberately offends people is not free speech' in a practical sense?

Charlie Hebdo published another magazine cover with Muhammad as a middle finger to the people who shot up their office. I guess you don't consider that free speech now (and if your response is that it's OK to piss off one group of people but not another you're a hypocrite).

KazeAizen said:
This is just being made because it knows its controversial and just wants to get under people's skin.
So?

KazeAizen said:
This game deserves the death sentence of AO. Hopefully the company goes under because of this.
Why does it deserve to be Ao? Couldn't you just ignore the game and go on with your life?
 

WhiteNachos

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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.
But I can still go on said killing sprees in GTA, Saint's Row, hell even Skyrim.

EvolutionKills said:
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.
There were missions where you had to kill civilians in GTA. In San Andreas one mission had you piloting a remote control plane killing deliverymen on bikes, another mission had you lock a construction worker in a porta potty, moving it into a hole and then filling the hole with cement with the guy still inside. M rating ladies and gentlemen.

EvolutionKills said:
Especially with the wave of mass shootings that have struck the United States in recent years?
Why should that factor into it?

EvolutionKills said:
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.
Technically neither have they.

EvolutionKills said:
There simply could be more than we are not aware of. Or the ESRB could arguably be overacting, both are possibilities.
It's a possibility, but I doubt it. If they put rape or nudity or sex in their game and then pretended they had no idea why their game was AO, then it would just blow back into their face when people found out.
 

Lunar Templar

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TheRoleplayingGamer said:
I just made an account to share this, thought you might like it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrmgwK5oPFM
I admit it, I snickered at the 'I hate whores ... who don't take VISA'

also, Welcome to the Escapist ^^

WhiteNachos said:
Yeah unlike GTA V which also has an ultra violent 'mass murder simulator' (quick question when the hell did people that are not Jack Thompson start using that phrase unironically) AND a tennis mini game. It's totally different because you don't have to do it.
Well ... if the shoe fits ...

LostGryphon said:
But we'll have to disagree here.
that pretty much sums up our stances on this ....
 

WhiteNachos

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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".
The ESRB is supposed to rate things based off the worst parts of the game IIRC. So if the worst parts of two games are being able to slaughter civilians they should be rated equally.