Controversy, Hypocrisy, and Social Media

By J.T. Leeper

One day while I was scrolling through my Facebook post, I saw a friend of mine post the following video calling it a “shameless piece of garbage.” Curious, I decided to take a look for myself. What I saw I felt was one of the most shocking and reprehensible things I think I had ever seen.

The video details a game called “Hatred,” which is currently being developed by an independent Polish game company called Destructive Creations. The game’s “plot” involves a man who, in a monologue, expresses his hatred for the human race and his desire to kill as many people as he can before he dies too. He walks outside the door of his house, and proceeds to do exactly that.

An article from Forbes points out that violence in video games is nothing new and compares it to titles such as the “Grand Theft Auto” franchise. However, they acknowledge that in games like “Grand Theft Auto” where you are able to go on mindless rampages whenever you like, there are consequences to these actions and the sole purpose of the game is not to kill innocent civilians. In “Hatred,” there are no real consequences, no other objectives. The sole purpose here is to kill people for no other reason than to kill them.

I am not particularly prudish when it comes to violence in video games, however this struck a nerve with me. I found the idea of playing a game where the sole purpose was to murder people, many of whom were begging for their lives, to be utterly deplorable.

Another article by Engadget acknowledges that this perspective is ultimately hypocritical. Games like “Grand Theft Auto” give you an excuse to murder. A weak justification to why it’s okay to commit violent acts in video games. “Hatred” takes away these excuses and is simply committing violence for violence’s sake.

However, the game’s creator has no problems flaunting the game for what it is. In fact, he celebrates it by saying “That we should not bend under political correctness propaganda which we can see everywhere right now. We live in the free world, with freedom of speech and artistic expression and we should use it in any way we want, otherwise we’ll be falling under SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] regime.”

The interesting thing about controversial subject matter such as this is its ability to spread on social media and how social media serves as a forum to either support or criticize certain subjects.

My annoyance with this game is not only how it approaches its violence, but also how nonchalant the creator is about it. He openly admits trying to shock people for no other reason than to shock them. I find myself at an interesting impasse torn between my desire to not want to give this game attention, but also my desire to spread this to people so they can be aware of its existence and hopefully share in my dislike of it. However, by trying to make excuses as to why it should be shared and acknowledged is as hypocritical as justifying violence in video games like “Grand Theft Auto.”  This makes me consider the possibility that sharing of all controversies that viewers find reprehensible is hypocritical, and social media serves as an unfortunate catalyst for undue attention.

Sources:

http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/22/hatred-game-trailer/

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