In a rather unexpected move, Deus Ex creator Warren Spector has taken to Twitter to lambaste the developers behind the video games that were shown as part of a reel at a recent White House meeting. The video, which you can find in our previous coverage of the event, contained violent clips from numerous games including Wolfenstein, Fallout, and Call of Duty.
I don’t believe games cause violent behavior. Not for one second. However, the video game reel shown at the White House on Thursday is simply disgusting. Every shot is in colossally bad taste and everyone associated with those games should be ashamed of themselves. They hurt us.
As expected, users were quick to point out that Deus Ex and System Shock aren’t exactly non-violent, to which Spector replied:
True enough but the games I work on typically offer alternatives to violence; I try to show the consequences; there aren’t any decapitations, bloody gibbing headshots or axe killings. I don’t mind violent games. I mind games that glorify it & present it in graphic, disgusting ways.
When another user pointed out that players can murder children in Deus Ex, Spector said that he is ashamed of that being a possibility in the game, and that he hopes players were repulsed by it. He also reiterated that it’s not the violent games that bug him and he doesn’t think they cause violence, however, he’s bothered by the glorification.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford was one of many who jumped in to defend the developers. He wrote:
Your own games can be cut with such a mindset – pressed into the same service of highlighting depictions of violence to undermine art and expression. Such depictions are sometimes necessary if art is going to be useful to our species. Have you not read Shakespeare? The Bible?
What do our readers think of Spector’s remarks?