Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
34 Cliches of Christmas
Blood & Guts
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 14, 2007   |   Episode 23 (Show Archive)  


It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!

Forget this disturbing cover art, why does Splatterhouse have a Tipper Sticker?
As Seen In: Mortal Kombat series, Killer Instinct, Time Killers, Gears of War, Splatterhouse, Manhunt, Resident Evil series, Silent Hill series, House of the Dead, and just about every other M-Rated game you can think of!

What Is It? It's gallons and gallons of virtual blood and guts splattered all across your video game screen. Although it didn't originate in the 1990s, it was the 16-bit generation that introduced the entire world to how vile and disgusting the games industry could be. It was games like Mortal Kombat and Time Killers that prompted the government to try and get involved with how the industry rated games. But beyond the controversy, there's no denying that most M-Rated games are filled with buckets of blood and more gore than you can stomach. This is not a new phenomenon, but even to this day blood and carnage is a big selling point for some gamers. With the invent of high definition TVs and more powerful consoles, there is more gore than ever before. Games like Gears of War recreate the bloody details of chopping somebody in half with a chainsaw. And while Manhunt isn't the best looking game on the planet, the sick and twisted things your "hero" is forced to do makes the carnage of Mortal Kombat look like another happy Mario game. The point is that today's games are not only violent, but full of blood and guts. I suppose I didn't need to tell you that, but it's a good reminder in case your mind has become complete desensitized to the look of blood and gore.

Here Kano recreates his favorite moment in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom!
Is It Realistic? People bleed, that's just how it works. If you get shot or stabbed with a knife you're expected to bleed. In fact, most people would be extremely worried if you were shot and didn't bleed. They would form a prayer circle around you and burn you at the stake. But I digress; the concept of bleeding when you're injured isn't completely unrealistic. It's not the idea of the blood that is over-the-top; it's the amount of blood that crosses the line. If you were to go by video game logic then every time you got a paper cut a large fountain of blood would erupt from that cut. In a video game people don't run out of blood, so that frees the developer to make each character bleed gallons and gallons of blood. That isn't very realistic, but it's a video game, who wants realism?

Is It Overused? Of course it is, but I don't hear anybody complaining about the amount of blood in video games. Wait, I guess I hear Joe Liebermann, Hillary Clinton, Leeland Yee and other politicians complaining about the over-the-top blood and guts in modern video games. But they aren't complaining because it's a cliche, that's my job. I'll leave the politicians to fight it out whether or not Mortal Kombat is corrupting our youth, but I do know that I want to seeing the over-the-top blood effects in future games.



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