Skip to main content

"The ultraviolence" in video games "has to stop," says Spector

Warren Spector has said one of the things which stood out for him at E3 this year was how "the ultra-violence has to stop," along with "combining it with an adolescent approach to sexuality."

Speaking with GI International, Spector believes it's all in "bad taste," and will ultimately "cause us trouble."

"This is the year where there were two things that stood out for me," he said. "One was: The ultraviolence has to stop. We have to stop loving it. I just don't believe in the effects argument at all, but I do believe that we are fetishizing violence, and now in some cases actually combining it with an adolescent approach to sexuality. I just think it's in bad taste. Ultimately I think it will cause us trouble.

"I left Eidos in 2004 because I looked around at E3 and saw the new Hitman game where you get to kill with a meat hook, and 25 to Life, the game about kids killing cops, and Crash & Burn the racing game where the idea is to create the fieriest, most amazing explosions, not to win the race... I looked around my own booth and realized I just had one of those 'which thing is not like the other' moments. I thought it was bad then, and now I think it's just beyond bad."

Spector said when he was working on Deus Ex, the "spreading blood pools under innocent dogs when you kill them," was meant to make the player feel "disturbed," when they pulled the trigger. Now, with the carnage induced on in-game beings disappearing along with the body, it erases the aftermath of said carnage from the gamer's thoughts.

"We've gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat," he said. "You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed - whether they succeeded or not I can't say - but they were designed to make you uncomfortable, and I don't see that happening now.

"I think we're just appealing to an adolescent mindset and calling it mature. It's time to stop. I'm just glad I work for a company like Disney, where not only is that not something that's encouraged, you can't even do it, and I'm fine with it."

Read this next