...do you really want to be able to kill children

slit said:
only they (Black Isle) decided to do it by making a damn good game...
... rather than milking the franchise for what it's worth.

That clear enough for you, chumps?
Back to the original topic:

Yes, children should be killable. Making children not killable in a game where living things are generally killable is an active decision, so it requires justification.

Making kids killable, OTOH, would be a consequence, as has been explained in this thread.

Therefore, Beth would be in the defence if they were to make the children non-killable. That is why the question "Do you really want to be able to kill children?" is ridiculous -- it's shifting the blame by playing the morals card.

The counter-question is "Do you really want to be able to kill innocent adults?", which would prove the point Beth is trying to make moot.

The obvious mistake is that the implied question is "Do you really want to kill children?", i.e. "Are you sociopathic?". This question is rendered null and void by the fact we're talking about the availability of an option, rather than the actual use of that option.

Who says the only way for children to die in the game would be player wickedness anyway?

Let's say an NPC is going around killing people, like the Enclave executing peasants in FO2. There's no reason for them not to be able to kill children as they have an obvious motive to make use of that ability (i.e. the same motive they have for killing anybody else).

Or what about stray bullets? Try grenading an evil guy in a crowd of innocent bystanders and tell me what happens. It'd be retarded if the result would be different because all the bystanders happen to be below the age of consent.
There doesn't seem to be such a problem in the case of Megaton, except that the mass murder is abstracted because you are too far away to hear the screams.

Point being, there are enough opportunities for children to die that do not require involvement from a sadist player. Making children non-killable when everybody else can be exploded into squishy giblets is self-censorship, nothing else.

If Bethesda already feels the need to walk down the road of mass murder and eyeballs-sent-flying, it's idiotic to play the morality card when it comes to the apparently unpleasant conclusions.

Don't want people to kill children in your game? Don't put them in.
Ashmo said:
The obvious mistake is that the implied question is "Do you really want to kill children?", i.e. "Are you sociopathic?". This question is rendered null and void by the fact we're talking about the availability of an option, rather than the actual use of that option.

Who says the only way for children to die in the game would be player wickedness anyway?
Not to mention that players morality has nothing to do with doing or not doing anything in game.
Role Playing Games are abou playing a role of someone else.

One doesn't have to be sociopathic to play a sociopathic character. Just as giving an ability to play a vide range of character types is a mark of a good RPG, being able to play a vide range of character types is a mark of a good player.

If you think of roleplaying as a variant of creative writing, it should be even clearer: Stephen King is not a sociopath and murderer, even though he writes about them.

And if someone doesn't see that distinction, they are a danger to society and should be locked up in a safe place.
Actually, that'd probably solve most of the US's problems with the fanatic Christian right and the stupidly liberal left.
slit said:
Wow. Tabloids? Politics? Mass-media? Quit being a bunch of dopey anarchist-wannabes you twats, that has nothing to do with the lack of child slaughter anyway. Bethesda can implement child killing and get away with it if they want to. Only they don't, cos it will probably cost 'em some effort, and some effort is not profitable enought. And frankly, we can't really blame them for that, I mean, Black Isle wanted to make some profit from Fallout too, only they decided to do it by making a damn good game.

Are you being serious? You seriously think the mainstream media and politics has nothing to do with whether or not Bethsoft put kids in the game? Get fucking real and pull your opionated, obstinate head out of your arse. Next time some teen goes on a killing rampage, pick up a tabloid newspaper and read some of their opinions on what caused it. Then take a look at the public outrage, the resultant political pressure to pick a scapegoat and punish it in a vain effort to curb such incidents, and then come back here and say that politics and the media don't have an influence on what devs can and can't do.
We should make more public outrage against lies of filthy animals that plot against our glorious culture.
The problem is that Beth hypes Fallout 3 (in part) for its ultra-violence. Most games allowing childkilling went under the radar because they treated violence more as a consequence of the gameplay or storyline rather than a distinguishing feature. Deus Ex 2 (though bombing for having deviated too far from the design of the first part) went absolutely unnoticed because while you could go on a killing spree against innocents and light children on fire, it was never defined by those features.

I agree that the media does tend to use absurd examples (e.g. Counter Strike as a "murder simulator" even though it doesn't depict much violence apart from split-second blood spurts and underwhelmingly dropping dead with a bored grunt), but the vast majority of games it picks on are easily picked on for trying to put the player in a "real world" situation.

Hit Man or Manhunt or even GTA are easy choices because they all depict worlds that are very similar to the world western players live in. GTA in particular makes no fuss of the sociopathic behaviour the main character tends to show.

The main mistake of such games is that they use "real world" situations and then hype the aspect of, say, just running over that hooker to get your money back or blowing up police cars and consecutively beating up the medics in order to steal their car.

There's nothing morally wrong with games that put you in the position of a sociopath. Games are about escapism, so it makes sense to put the player in a position they are unlikely to experience in reality and which may make them feel a bit uncomfortable.

Neither is it immoral to let the player use a game as a way to build up adrenaline (which is a very nice feeling and the main reason people like sports) or release their aggression against innocent pixels. Choking unarmed bystanders to death with plastic bags may not be in everybody's taste, but it hardly justifies the outrage it produces.

The only reason the media uses video games for target practice as opposed to films or books as it used to (the phenomenon is hardly new -- books used to be criticised for poisoning the mind ages ago) -- is that for the first time the "user" is put in control of the situation. To run over a hooker in a video game you need to actively decide to do so (or at the very least, let it happen without intervening). From personal experience video games can seem more horrifying for an observer than the player himself, though, as the observer is unable to intervene even if he wanted to -- possibly the reason some films I saw shocked and horrified me more than any game I ever played or heard mentioned.

The point, however, is moot. The actions of people in games have no relation whatsoever to the actions of the same people in the real world, just as porn doesn't make rapists (actually, a study found that the advent of the internet in poor regions decreased the prevalence of violent crimes and rapes -- possibly because the would-be criminals can act out their fantasies without making them real) and war movies don't make soldiers.

The real shocker is that players might acquire a taste for whatever it is that the game depicts. This is the same logic the US Army used when developing its own war game, which, IMO, is far more dangerous because it does its best at masking the brutality of war with the intent to romantify the life of a soldier. The logic does seem to have a major flaw, however: most people need more to convince them into a life of fragging the other team's toons and capturing their flags than a simple game. The game is certainly promotional in nature, but advertisements can't force people into actions -- they merely show them their options, so that potential customers are directed towards the preferable action.

Most humans are neither impressionable enough, nor do they already have a growing taste for massacring innocents or raping poor sods that wouldn't escalate without games acting as "advertisement" of that same behaviour. If the army game is the tiny shove some recruits needed in order to decide to throw their lives away to be pawns in an international game of multiplayer chess, that hardly goes to show that those people otherwise never would have done so -- it might just have taken them a little bit longer without the ads.

The reason the media likes to kick games around as the Evil of the 21st century is that they are an easy victim (film makers have a lobby and Hollywood is accepted as a major source of income, real porn has become too widespread to make any kind of target at all), easily generalisable (because most targets of these "reports" don't understand them good enough to see the nuances) and, in conjunction with murderous children, a nearly endless supply of fear: and fear sells best, especially in the USA (don't believe it? Just watch the local news and tell me whether you think the reports on murders and violent crimes are proportional).

Nobody wants to see children play Manhunt or chat about their fun experiences of shooting and killing policemen or stealing cars. That's why these games are NOT for children. If children have easy access to these games and their parents don't understand enough and don't care enough to find out, then that's a very bad thing, but hardly the developer's fault. There were some games (a minority that would be statistically uninteresting if their plans had failed) that lived off the drama-turned-hype the media produced around them and were targeted at minors way under the recommended age, but these games are not a disease, they're merely a symptom. So are finds of Wolfenstein or Doom in the hands of eight year olds who happened to be mentally unstable (which nobody ever noticed because nobody ever cared or dared to think about it) and decided to shoot their school bully in the head.

All this poses one major problem: if the citizenship is not mature enough to be expected to be able to play games without acting like robots and mimicking the actions they portray, how can said citizenship be expected to be mature enough to decide who should lead them and write their laws, or whether invading that middle eastern country is really the best idea when the middle east already hates their guts and only needs a little more proof that they are the big Satan their texts warned them about?

In short, how is democracy supposed to work if the demos (citizenship, for the linguistically impaired) is too stupid to function as generally expected?

Humans are easily manipulated, yes, but that is why humans need to be aware of how they can be manipulated in order to prevent being manipulated. But who'd want citizens that can't be manipulated? It'd kinda defeat the purpose of election-related hype and politician's promises, not to mention: advertisements, boot-licking previews and FOX News.
I just want to kill little kids. I don't see anything wrong with it. We can murder, fuck, and generally wreck havok in lots of games, but god forbid doing anthing to a small child. Fuck children. What have they ever done for society?

Edit: I think psych meds fucked me up around this timeframe.
TorontRayne said:
I just want to kill little kids.I don't see anything wrong with it.We can murder,fuck,and generally wreck havok in lots of games,but god forbid doing anthing to a small child.Fuck children.What have they ever done for society?
Children are evil and need special protection to not be killed off before they'll become real humans :P .
As for killing kids... I say leave it. If you ever played any of the Fallout games (which you should have), you know there was no quest except that one in Fallout 1 for Decker that required the taking of a brats life. Hey, he was a witness.

No one said go out on a killing spree, though I'd leave that up to the characters choice. You know what! Fuck it. We fans will just find a way around the system and make a mod that allows the brats to die by the thousands.
Hello all,

I wasn't much interested in adding a response to this topic but as I am starting to get sick and tired of Bethesda's Political Correctness and Wacky Weapons here's my entry;

Yes I want to shoot kids, from tykes to young adult, I want to blast their brains out and use those as a sponge to paint the walls of my apartment in my favorite colour; crimson red.

Serious, what is the point in making a game in a series in which one of the themes is lawlessness and the player's own decision to be good or bad in which the worst thing you can do so far is insult the sheriff and blow up a town of faceless NPCs with an atomic bomb none of them have tried to disarm in the years before the player's arrival.

"But those are people." Some might say. Well I have been killing 'people' in games before and the best I got was some pre programmed NPC shocks before they acted as usual again and went their merry way.
Not at all any tendency to start killing people in real life.
Carib FMJ said:
As for killing kids... I say leave it. If you ever played any of the Fallout games (which you should have), you know there was no quest except that one in Fallout 1 for Decker that required the taking of a brats life. Hey, he was a witness.
No, it wasn't necessary to complete the quest. I'm not sure if actually killing anyone except the priest and her guard was necessary...
Solution: have children killable, but counter it with something, as F2 did. Just discourage the act with penalties, people hating you and unwilling to do business with you, and bounty hunters trying to kill you (F2). It really does have all the answers.
Except that there should be an improvement over F1 - no living witnesses - no reputation penalty.
Definitely, just like stealth kills.

Say you kill a family of farmers on the road to steal their wonderful goods...

Situation 1: You sucessfully kill the family, and take their goods/weapons/gold teeth and go about your business, nobody the wiser.

Situation 2: You kill all family members, but A. someone hiding close by saw you, B: There was a family member that got away or you did not see. Hiding person/family member reports you/hires bounty hunters/tracks you down.
It would be a situation that would make killing children actually profitable :) . After all they are witnesses too :) .
On the flip side, you could see someone in the wastes killing/molesting/taking gold teeth from a child or children. You could get a karma bonus from killing the guy(s) and saving the day.