The question came to me as we were playing a shooter. We were so casually talking about killing, dying, and even suicide. What were the first reactions to games that involved "murder"? Were people shocked? Or were they emotionally detached because they didn't look "real"?
For me, I think the first game I played where I could kill fellow humans was the first Grand Theft Auto. I was 7 or 8 years old, and I had a great time. One of my strongest childhood memories is looking at my TV after going on a GTA killing spree and seeing "You have been arrested for Murder One." It was awesome. I don't think I even completed any missions. I just ran around with a machine gun.
Infinity Ward's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) sparked significant controversy from one of the very first levels in the game. The optional level, No Russian, had the player shooting down civilians in a Russian airport. This blog is not about COD, but you can read about it more here and here if you so wish :)
Leading on from that, so many "street crime" games (which I use as a general term for games such as GTA and Saints Row) allow the player to kill endless civilians. The police may come after you, but it's only a game, right?
|Taken from Saints Row 2. Can I get this as a gif?|
This blog post is to encourage you to think about your early gaming experiences. What games did you play? How did you feel when you played them? Did the word "murder" even cross your mind?
I'm still trying to track down the very first game that had killable humans. I'm not talking knock outs, or a character disappearing. I mean VISIBLE BLOOD, at least.
If you have any ideas, please tweet me or leave a commment :)
*at this point, it's more like weeks since I spoke to my colleagues. I've been putting off writing this for a while, mostly due to being busy.