Profanity in games not cool

General and high profile video game topics.
User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13965
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Profanity in games not cool

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 30th, 2011, 4:56 pm

One trend that's disturbed me over the past few years is the amount of profanity used in so-called "mature" titles.  Recently I found it to be totally unnecessary in Rise of Nightmares, and downright offensive in the new Splatterhouse.  Hearing the F word while seeing it flashed on the screen over and over just makes me cringe.

Why do I find it offensive in games when I don't find it offensive in movies?

I think the difference lies in the acting and dialogue.  If the movie is trying to be realistic, profanity makes sense.  If a guy gets shot he's not going to say "gosh darn it!"  I love Pulp Fiction even though there's a lot of profanity.  The great acting makes it seem natural.

But in games you never get great acting, or even good acting.  Even with the advances in graphics and animation, the characters seem very stiff and emotionless.  So when they spew profanity it just comes off as gratuitous and tasteless.  I get the impression that the game was targeted for 13 year old boys, not adults.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this matter.


Greisha1
Posts: 707
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Profanity in games not cool

Postby Greisha1 » September 30th, 2011, 5:24 pm

I find it embarrassing when games have a lot of profanity, or when the dialogue gets kind of weird.

My wife made fun of me for a while after playing Metal Gear Solid --  I think there's some dialogue where Snake gets teased about a strip search ... oh, and the name "Solid Snake." She had a good time with that one.

Sooooo ... I've learned to play current-gen games with the sound d-o-w-n.


Adamant1
Posts: 2088
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Profanity in games not cool

Postby Adamant1 » September 30th, 2011, 6:15 pm

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic] I get the impression that the game was targeted for 13 year old boys, not adults.
[/QUOTE]

For the most part, these games are. The creators know their audience - slapping "not for people under 17" on a game full of violence and swearing isn't going to keep the 13-year-olds who find this "cool" for playing the game - it's just going to make them want to get it all the more, since that label will make them feel even more "mature" and "adult". 

(Don't know if I agree with game acting being necessarily bad, though - particularly comedy-themed games aren't all that far from what you see on television, and licensed games that get the original actors on board are often pretty decently done. Of course, games originally in some non-English language typically gets sacked with some low-budget English dub where they just grab some cheap work, but that's nothing new - at least a good portion of these games allow you to switch back to the original voice track nowadays, so that's mostly a non-issue)


Michael Prymula

Profanity in games not cool

Postby Michael Prymula » September 30th, 2011, 6:42 pm

I honestly couldn't care less about profanity in video games if I tried, I hear it so much in my everyday life that i'm used to it, so hearing it in a game dosen't bother me in the least, yeah it sometimes does sound rather silly and unnecessary, but if you ask me, it's too minor of an issue to really impact a game all that much.


oldschoolgamer

Profanity in games not cool

Postby oldschoolgamer » September 30th, 2011, 7:37 pm

Its pretty much the same as an R-Rated film, a lot of f-bombs that don't really further the plot inserted so that it can get the R rating because the R rating is cool.

Jake

Profanity in games not cool

Postby Jake » September 30th, 2011, 8:43 pm

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]One trend that's disturbed me over the past few years is the amount of profanity used in so-called "mature" titles.  Recently I found it to be totally unnecessary in Rise of Nightmares, and downright offensive in the new Splatterhouse.  Hearing the F word while seeing it flashed on the screen over and over just makes me cringe.

Why do I find it offensive in games when I don't find it offensive in movies?

[/QUOTE]

Probably because with a game, it's not an actual human in the TV, cursing like a fisherman. The swears in new games are probably spoken or yelled like crap compared with a coherent movie.

I find the swearing on Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen, to be repulsive
(even when it's bleeped), probably because the contestants swear like they cook... ;-)


snakeboy1
Posts: 1446
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Profanity in games not cool

Postby snakeboy1 » September 30th, 2011, 8:50 pm

[QUOTE=Michael Prymula]

I honestly couldn't care less about profanity in video games if I tried, I hear it so much in my everyday life that i'm used to it, so hearing it in a game dosen't bother me in the least, yeah it sometimes does sound rather silly and unnecessary, but if you ask me, it's too minor of an issue to really impact a game all that much.

[/QUOTE]

Well, I can name at least one game where the amount of profanity impacted my enjoyment of it, and that's House of the Dead Overkill.  I can just imagine the game's writer creating the dialogue, all the while chuckling to himself and thinking, "Man, this is killer!!."  But to me it was so unfunny and repetitive that it just became annoying after awhile.

And I have no problems with profanity.  I like nothing more than relieve my frustrations by stringing together a litany of expletives that would make a sailor blush.  But like the Critic, I don't really care for swearing in video games.  It just always seems so gratuitous and fake.  It's sort of like watching a cartoon with excessive profanity.  No matter how realistic and gritty it tries to be, it always comes across as kind of silly. 

The irony of it all is, if you asked game developers, they will probably tell you that they want gaming to be taken more seriously and seen as more of an "adult" thing to do, yet much of their work seems to cater to 12 to 16 year olds.

JWK1
Posts: 904
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Profanity in games not cool

Postby JWK1 » September 30th, 2011, 9:59 pm

I think Adamant and Dave put it pretty well.  The great irony of Mature rated games is the experience is decidedly immature much of the time.  And the 13 and 14 year olds think they're awfully cool playing them.  Of course I was a 13 year old once and I'd probably feel the same way.  Today at 31, I would say the modern world would consider me a prude for my distaste for language in both games and movies, but especially games.  Even the "T" rated Uncharted series has too much language for my taste.  As for my kids, well... they can do what they want when they are adults and out of the house, but there will be no God of War 3 or Call of Duty.  No, that's only for Dad when the kids are in bed 

Greisha also hit on something I've had to do.  I was so sick of hearing the f word in Killzone 2 that I played it with the sound almost off, making it difficult to hear what the next task was.  I was honestly embarrassed when my wife was sitting next to me while I was playing it.

Blueguy93

Profanity in games not cool

Postby Blueguy93 » September 30th, 2011, 10:40 pm

Critic, didn't you praise the acting in Call of Duty Black Ops earlier this year? Is that what you call "cool profanity."

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 13965
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Profanity in games not cool

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 30th, 2011, 11:52 pm

JWK and Greisha put it best when they said they were embarrassed to play profanity-laced games in front of the wife.  That's the way I feel when I play a lot of games with excessive profanity.



Return to “Video Games General”