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I’m pretty sure Trevor sexually harassed every female character he came in contact with…
Doing good/evil in video game doesnt really matter.
In Hitman you in many cases killed targets – without clear justification that they are bad guys. They were target, that is enough.
In Dishonoured games you can avoid combat and morally – you should, as some of your enemies are 100% neutral, like butherhouse workers. But you can kill them as well.
I havent had any problem with that.
And in GTA you can run all the people or shoot the whole street and then 200 police officers – all innocent or good guys.
But then there is Prey, where killing “mind controled” humans made me felt bad.
My theory is that there are two factors.
**1. ability to realistically imagine oneself in this situation.
This is applicable mostly for sexual violence.**
We all have sexual experiences, and our sexual imagination is intimate, “real” in terms of our state of mind.
I know what is feels to hold another person, to take my or partner clothes off. Even before any intercourse you know what it feels to be aroused, and so on.
So replaying sexual violence in videogame feels very real and intimate. And feels bad.
Same is with real life actors on stage – they are often traumatized by acting sexual violence scenes.
With actual violence… Most 😀 of us dont have any real experience of turning enemy into pulp with fist, or splitting a head with axe, or shooting 5500 terrorists in the head with Desert Eagle…
So this type of violence will never be REAL.
**2. Gamification of violence.**
If violence is essential part of game, it become ABSTRACT.
Shooting policemen in GTA is not an act of rebelling against society, it is just a step necessary to end mission. You need to loose tail to remove “being chased” stars.
Realistically looking killings in DOOM Ethernal 2020 are **AS ABSTRACT** as killings in DOOM 1993
But THERE WAS A CHANGE. I felt it.
In GTA II I was running people over for “elvis has left the building”. In GTA:SA I beat hookers to get my money back…
But in GTA IV…
I avoided running people over when leisure driving outside of mission. They acted **too real**, and driving a car and listening to a music is a something I experienced and I can realistically imagine hitting pedestrian with a car.
Therefore running them over felt bad.
But just add a countdown timer above my head, or 3stars of being chased and all those pedestrians ARE GOING DOWN.
As now this is all abstract and unrealistic.
Isn’t the difference here relatively simple? There’s a fine line between “killing” and “murder” that has to do with intent and context. Historically speaking, killing can make you a villain, but it can also make you a hero. Which means, under the right conditions—say, defending your tribe from an enemy—killing is not only tolerated; it’s highly rewarded by the community. Therefore, we can easily imagine “bad reasons” *and* “good reasons” to kill, and the word “murder” simply describes our shared notion of “bad reasons.”
Sexual violence, on the other hand, doesn’t come with the same potential for community reward. It has been tolerated in certain places in times of war, but never *lauded* (to my knowledge). Whereas killing can be considered a “good” at times, or at least necessary (or even a necessary “evil”), sexual violence is something unnecessary, over-the-top, or extra by contrast—particularly *immoderate*, or “vicious.” It’s therefore very difficult to imagine “good reasons” for it; it’s extreme even in extreme circumstances.
So, it’s not to say that either murder or sexual violence is “better” or “worse,” or “more right” or “more wrong,” than the other; but it’s easy to see why one *offends our taste* more. This offense typically applies even to video games, art, and other media where the *morality* of violence doesn’t exactly apply but the *aesthetics* of violence do.
Many people intuitively fear the “propagandistic” effects of art on their sense of taste. Even if it won’t change their belief that sexual violence is immoral, they’re concerned that they’ll develop a taste for something they think of as wrong… or at least that it will dull their sense of appropriate disgust. And it’s interesting because many people try to argue that video game violence is “wrong,” which is difficult, but they don’t argue that it’s “in poor taste” because taste is even harder to argue for.
Seems simple to me: the narrative of many of these games presents some characters as “bad guys” or good vs. evil. Therefore killing is justifiable so long as you’re protecting yourself or someone else, or doing service to society. Committing sexual assault on the other hand is not justifiable as a means of self preservation, the subject is not usually an enemy per se.
Sexual harassment darker than murder?