Level 5!!!!!

The Hero wept, tears never seen nor heeded by his possessor, creator, or exploiter. His possessor, only interested in the ways he can control the hero’s actions, again commanded him to kill. The creator assured he had no will of his own, so kill he did. Israeli soldiers, sitting in comfortable chairs with joysticks in hand, kill Palestinians, blasting them with remote-controlled aerial drones much as one does in some video games. Removed from the experience, there are no cries of pain or terror.
Many games have a gore option, so you can opt to not see any blood after you decapitate someone. They call this “family friendly” – the killing itself is never against family values. It’s like Janet Jackson’s nipple slip at the super bowl – ridiculously provocative dance routines are not against family values, just showing a bit of bare flesh.
It’s interesting to consider a game in which the characters have free will, and may ignore or rebel against the commands of the player. How well has the industry and society trained gamers – would they accept a game where the free will of the people, rather than their own whims, is in control? It’s very difficult to conceive of such a game, since all code passes through the hands and will of the developer, as well as needing a green-light from the publisher.
The industry uses the code word “interactivity” to describe the possessing of the game world by the player. Not domination, control, or possession. So Israelis are “interacting” with Palestinians through their attack drones. A game in which the player is not in control would not be considered a game at all – the point of games is to present a world in which the gamer has control, substituting for the real world over which none of us have control.


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