Welcome to Interview Reenactment Theater, where we recreate some of the greatest video game interviews of all time.
Today's episode reenacts Next Generation magazine's 1995 interview about the state of violence in the games industry. Featuring four of the biggest names in interactive horror fiction, this interview tries to figure out how much violence is too much and where the sub-genre is headed. This is an incredible conversation about the blood and gore that is perfect for Halloween. Enjoy this, the season finale of Interview Reenactment.
As a genre, horror games got a big kick in the butt thanks to the 1996 release of Resident Evil. Forget staying in the fringes, once everybody saw the money in scary games, major publishers got on board in a big way. Twenty years later, we still see a lot of high-profile horror titles. Bethesda recently published The Evil Within, Electronic Arts has Dead Space and even Nintendo dabbled in the genre with Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
Beyond horror, games of all genres became more violent. First-person shooters are all the rage, Mortal Kombat remains popular and let's not forget that Sonic the Hedgehog's posse ended up packing guns. The violence in modern games would give Senator Lieberman a heart-attack, especially if he was outraged by Night Trap. I guess it's a good thing he's dead. What? He's not dead? Well ... let's just continue not telling him about Hatred.
What I find surprising is the split in opinion when it comes to scary games somehow altering the player's brain. It seems like there are some on the panel who believe that merely controlling a gruesome adventure game may actually do some harm. It's cute to hear the group talk about this as if it's a real problem. Thankfully these days we can simply cite the decade's worth of studies and not go with our gut.
We would like to thank Next Generation magazine for not only running this interview, but also asking challenging questions. This episode would not have been possible without the editors at Next Generation, as well as Tom Zito, Jay Wilbur, Gilbert Austin and Leif Marwede.
We would also like to thank Jed Pressgrove of Game Bias, Matthew Green of Press the Buttons, Adam Tabor of Transparency Pro, and Marcos.