In a fascinating interview over at GamesIndustry International, Warren Spector talks about his new game Epic Mickey 2, but also discussed his top level impressions of E3 2012. According to him, "the ultraviolence has to stop".
"I just don't believe in the effects argument at all," said Spector, "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."
Apparently it was a previous E3 in 2004 that convinced Spector to leave Eidos, after working at an Eidos booth featuring multiple violent games. He believes it may have gotten worse since then.
"I left Eidos in 2004," said Spector, "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.
"We've gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat. 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."
It's a really fascinating interview, with one of the most interesting people in the video games industry. Definitely a must read.
Warren Spector: "The ultraviolence has to stop" [GamesIndustry International]