Edge, Christmas 2007


Let’s take a look at the games in the preview section:

  • Too Human. You kill machines.
  • The Outsider. You kill humans.
  • The Club. You kill humans.
  • Devil May Cry 4. You kill demons.
  • Bionic Commando. You kill baddies.
  • Dead Space. You kill zombies.
  • Sight Training.
  • Disaster: Day Of Crisis. You kill terrorists.
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl. You fight.
  • Brutal Legend. You kill enemies.
  • Condemned 2: Bloodshot. You kill baddies.
  • Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem. You kill aliens.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Legal game.

You might notice a pattern here. And the review section is just the same with titles like Assassin’s Creed, Timeshift, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men and Crysis. This is no criticism of Edge, they can only write about the games the industry makes. It is, however, pretty damning evidence of a lot that is wrong with video gaming.


Regular readers here will know that I am anti censorship and that adults should be able to read, watch and play whatever they want. It is not censorship that is the problem here. I would be complaining just the same if it was all motor racing games. What is wrong here is that the industry is limiting itself creatively, limiting it’s sales and limiting the money that it makes. We have these fantastically capable consoles and huge teams of highly skilled people toil away for years. Yet their output obsesses to a very large degree on killing. We can do better, a lot better.


Then there are our potential customers. The whole of society. Does everyone in society want to spend their leisure time on a virtual killing spree? Obviously not. So why aren’t we creating a better balance of titles to address the entertainment requirements of our potential audience? Why is so much time, effort and money invested into narrow genres?

The movie industry is a whole lot more mature than ours is. And they have learned to maximise their income by entertaining as many potential customers as possible. So they have evolved a wide range of genres. And they consistently invest money to make great products in all of those genres. We need to do the same. Video gaming is still in it’s infancy. There are still whole genres that are yet to be discovered. With a little thought and creativity we can entertain far more people in far better ways.



  1. I mostly agree, it’s all terribly tedious. But there *are* non-violent games out there, like Animal Crossing, Cooking Mama, Wii Sports and Mario Party. Then there are the many many casual games that revolve around tile matching, word games, parlour games and “management” (clicking). It’s merely that the major high-profile titles seem to be all violent and dull-witted, but to extrapolate this over the entire industry is possibly a little unfair.

  2. You cannot deny that gaming is very short on genres and that a lot more will evolve as the entertainment we provide becomes more mainstream.

    All art must evoke an emotional response from the reader/viewer/user. Currently our main mechanic to create that response is violence. We need to use sex more. Then our output will be closer to that of film and books.

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