The Weird Art Of The Video Game Massacre

The Weird Art Of The Video Game Massacre

We’ve all done it. Anyone who’s played an open-world game, from Grand Theft Auto III to Fallout 3 to Red Dead Redemption, has gone on a murderous rampage.

Those civilians. They’re all just… sitting there. You know what else is sitting there? Your dark, murderous id. Time to go to town.

The number of video game “massacre” is simultaniously troubling, fascinating and entertaining. Seriously. Just go to YouTube, type in the game’s name along with the word “Massacre”.

Red Dead Redemption: “Dastardly Massacre”

This first one comes from a gamer who decided to go all out in pursuit of the “Dastardly” achievement, which is given for tying a woman up and letting a train run her down (presumably while twirling your mustache and acting like a silent-film villain.)

But it’s one thing to let a woman get killed by a train (yes, I have “earned” this achievement, and yes, I felt really weird about it afterwards), but it’s another entirely to go as far as this guy goes — watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.


GTA 4: “Hospital Shootout”

This one falls under the category of the weirdly artful video, as it’s been artfully cut together with music to depict the weird hospital slaughter more… creatively? These types of videos are both more interesting and more messed-up than the standard videos.


Fallout 3: “Massacre At Tenpenny’s”

Now, the massacre at Tenpenny’s was part of the story, depending on the choices you made. But all the same, I don’t think… it really went down quite like this. For a guy in a furry hat wearing sexy sleepwear, this guy sure has a good plan of attack.


“Let The Bodies Hit The Floor”

Man, creepiest beginning to a massacre video ever? Maybe.


GTA San Andreas: “Minigun Massacre”

The title says it all, really. One of the most memorable games in which to go on a rampage, especially with the hilariously overpowered minigun. Gimp suit is optional, but recommended.


Saints Row The Third: Chainsaw Massacre”

Considering the fact that Saints Row: The Third is basically just one huge massacre all the time, it’s fitting that there are a ton of massacre videos from the game. This one seems most worth sharing, mostly because of all the games that allow chainsaws, the Saints Row one looks coolest.

There are so many more — that’s but a sampling. And of course, it’s not just Rockstar games — plenty of people have gone on killing sprees in other games, from Fallout 3 to Saints Row.

I’m not quite sure what it is that compels people to make massacre videos and upload them — no more than I am sure what it is that inspires us to go on virtual killing sprees in general. It was certainly much easier in older GTA games than it was in later games, mostly because the cops in GTA IV or Red Dead Redemption were much more lethal to your character.

For my part, one of my favourite things to do in Grand Theft Auto IV is do my whole no minimap thing, attract the attention of the cops, and then… just run. I run as long as I can, and try to stay alive (and moving) as long as possible.

Usually it involves alleyways — the alleys in GTA IV almost never dead-end, so as long as you can get into one, you’ll never be truly cornered. You’d be surprised how long you can stay alive, even with the highest wanted level.

Think of it as sort of a reverse-massacre… it’s a whole lot of fun, though I doubt it’d make for a particularly entertaining YouTube video.


  • If there’s a reason why gamers struggle to convince the rest of society that their hobby is a meaningful artform, this article encapsulates it.

      • Gaming already is an art form, as is music, film, painting and literacy, because art is something that brings up emotions. If video games are not to be an art form, then they should not be made because a video game without emotion is a video game without cause, and a game without cause is not very entertaining.

      • It doesn’t. But it does need to be seen as something other than juvenile power fantasies or murder simulators.

        • Movies, TV, books, comics etc are all full of juvenile things or their versions of ‘murder simulators’ and people are fine with that. Yeah you’ll get some people kicking up a stink about something being too violent or too adult or too immature and not worthy of their time but that never impacts someones views of the art form as a whole. Why should video games be any different? To try and deny that these sorts of things exist within video games and to demonise people for enjoying them because video games should somehow be above it is, I feel, doing a great diservice to gaming as a whole and is actually a step away from this hobby becoming accepted as a legitimate hobby and art form that offers a variety of content to be enjoyed by all people.

  • I was hoping for an essay on the topic, discussing why people might do it. I was a little disappointed. :/

  • Nothin wrong with a virtual massacre, just remember the simple math formula.
    Video Games + Killing = Fine, It’s a game calm your shit
    Real Life + Killing = Bad, Kinda self-explanatory

  • I’m not quite sure what it is that compels people to upload a good 80-90% of all YouTube content…

  • Didn’t the earlier GTA games have massacre missons?I remember you there was a skull icon that started a killing spree or something.

  • The massacres in those games I only found appropriate from a, “This latest mission is pissing me off I need to let off some steam then reload my game” sort of way.

    • It’s to prove that you’re a manly man, just like those manly men who hunt small furry animals with semi-automatic weaponry.

    • Yeah I’m usually not too set on it, although in Prototype after your powers are mostly taken away I went on a bit of a spree consuming all the peoples in sight…

      The whole try to stay alive as long as possible thing in GTA is pretty damn fun though, that’s something I’ve done in all the GTA games I’ve played.

  • I like to poison the guards in the Assassins Creed games so they wildly swing their swords into anyone nearby. The more guards poisoned at once the better!

  • I really don’t understand the dislike for this article. I do this all the time. I never save it though, which means it didn’t happen. The general pattern is I’m about to quit, so I save, have a massacre until I die then I quit. I’ve done this a lot in Oblivion, GTA IV, Fallout 3, and RDR. I don’t do it at all in Skyrim though. That’s odd.

    • Skyrim doesn’t have the unlimited amount of NPCs to get through. I discovered this recently when I stood my ground against the guards and after a while the town simply ran out of guards. It makes the towns much quieter and there’s less talk about arrows and knees. Actually I think that comment started it…

      Similarly It’s also fun to steal the clothes off every guard in town. They never seem to notice, even in the snow.

  • I have to say I have never had the urge to go on rampages in games like these, I also have a problem of even if I try to play an evil character it never stays evil for long.

  • I think you guys are all over thinking it.

    Video games are make believe, like playing with toys. Have you ever just destroyed a huge Lego creation you’ve been working on? Have you ever kicked down your own sandcastle? It’s that fun moment when you set fire to your make believe world. There’s nothing dangerous or murderous about it.

  • THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!! There I said it. When did half you people lose sight of what games are…fun pass-times. We take joy out of controlling our own environments whilst baulking at people that prefer to be spoonfed MSM and CSI Wollongong daily! I question anyone that has played a game like GTA and hasn’t had a sly smile appear in the corner of their mouth as they’ve ploughed over a few pedestrians, hell I know one of the top NSW cops who’s done years of traffic and he laughs like a madman after ploughing people down in an ice cream truck. He doesn’t have flashbacks, he see’s it as it is, a game! Seriously why are you even bothered about MSM and their views of “gaming”, they will never grow up, they don’t want to, they need a whipping boy, heavy metal had it’s fair shame of blame from unimaginative MSM, now it’s games and has been for the last 20 years! Hell, wasn’t VHS meant to be the downfall of civilization as we know it!!!

  • Video games are fiction. Its fun, who cares. So are movies, music and books. Get off the moral high horse and grow up, folks. People like violence, its in our nature. Simple as that. We do in games what we cant do in real life.

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