Morality in Video Games

Welcome to PSU.com’s hit series on the world of gaming. Join our hosts Skip Williams and Max Platinum as they give you the inside scoop on a myriad of topics in gaming. From how to catapult up the Trophy rankings to debating about the current console war, don’t change that channel as there might even be some broken tables, because the debates get so hardcore!

Disclaimer: All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.

Skip: What the hell, Max. What did you do to your dressing room?

Max: Don`t you like all the tinfoil?

Skip: If I was the centerfold for off my meds monthly then I`d be in heaven but I`m not. We have a show to run. Don`t tell me you`re really freaking out about the new Spybox One?

Max: It is the leveled up form of the box genie. We can`t trust it. Why else would Kojima go over to Microsoft`s side with the MGSV reveal? It is all making sense now.

Skip: You make the X-Files look like a show for sane people. We`re talking about morality on today`s show. Just don`t come to the studio cloaked in the skin of dead babies.

Max: Babies are evil, Skip, if Silent Hill and Dante`s Inferno taught me anything.

Skip: Now I know why he doesn`t date white girls. White guys are just as crazy.

Max: I heard that.

One Hour Later in the Studio

Skip: Welcome fans and viewers to another episode of Skip and Max`s Prime Time Gaming. I`m your host with the most, Skip Williams and with me as always is the doctor of trophinomics Max Platinum. How was your vacation during E3?

Max: It was good. I finished my bunker to protect me from the Spybox One.

Skip: Forget I asked. This week we will be discussing the idea of morality in video games and just how far is too far to push the envelope. A few weeks ago a friend mentioned I should watch Playing Columbine, a documentary about the game Super Columbine Massacre RPG! which by the name is obviously about the Columbine massacre. That is old news but what isn`t is indie developers are getting a huge push this console generation, and the PC will always be a publisher`s dream to get anything out on the market. Do you think we`ll see a new SCMRPG! or RapeLay by an indie developer that pushes the boundaries of taste and morality?

Max: This is Japan, Skip. RapeLay style games are not rare. It is a marketplace where the boundaries have already been blown wide open in comparison to it`s North American counterparts. It is a culture war, essentially, with one culture more open to taboo subjects and the other culture not. It is a country that has porn on the shelves of bookstores in the reach of five-year olds, and even if you try not to find porn you will find it anyways by accident if you don`t read Japanese.

Skip: If it is as simple as a culture war what can explain the different degrees of acceptance. Both sides have the same non-chalant attitude to murder as evidenced by 95% of the games on the market, but when it comes to something sexual or religious it is a bigger problem in the western media.

Max: Part of that can be traced to North America`s European and Middle Eastern religious roots, with chastity being promoted over promiscuity. Anything sexual is considered evil and the work of the devil. In Japan there is very little Christian or Muslum influence so there are no deeply ingrained negative beliefs about sexuality, and a complete neutrality towards religion altogether. Let`s not forget that anyone who has played a Yakuza game will remember the hostess and host bars which are very real in Japan.

Skip: Religion is the reason why a game that uses a flesh light is acceptable in one culture and morally wrong in another?

Max: I`m a trophy whore, Skip, but whoever decides to platinum that game must have a high self-esteem and self-worth because that is never going to be hidden from their profile.

Skip: Do you think people will realize that before trying it?

Max: Well, if my profile didn`t have lots of friends and co-workers on it, you know, I am a trophy whore.

Skip: And we`re all proud of you for that. Considering you lived in your own fecal matter because of, and I quote, “method acting”, this does not surprise me.

Max: Hostesses and hookers are not cheap, especially in Japan, Skip.

Skip: So if religion is only part of it then what is the other part?

Max: North America is a multi-cultural area whereas Japan is mono-cultural. Japan is for the Japanese and if you don`t adapt to that then they won`t change to make immigrants or foreign workers feel better or have an easier life. Unlike in North America which has it`s greatest strength be it`s greatest weakness. With so many different areas with different cultural nuances all vying for national attention and national change, anything and everything can and will be controversial to large sections of the populace. Things then get changed for those large sections but now another large section is angry.

Skip: Do you know a good hostess club?

Max: Why are you asking me all of a sudden?

Skip: Cause I saw the half-dozen cards on your table.

Max: I know this good place in Kamurocho but it is a bit expensive. No Asians allowed though. They are monopolizing the business left over from the no foreigners allowed establishments.

Skip: Is that another one of those nuances that separates our cultures?

Max: Well, it is very different that segregation is essentially in effect and no one bats an eye.

Skip: Conversely why is murder so widely accepted, from it`s kiddie form of Mario jumping on goombas to Lara Croft giving someone a .45 caliber lobotomy?

Max: Same reason as why sex is so taboo. Every culture across the world has a background of violence and war, whether it be through heritage, religion, paternity, or anything. When countries like America are built off of revolting against their own people or our religious leaders ask us to go on crusades to smite non-believers for the greater good, it is so seeped into our DNA that no one bats an eye. A person just needs to look at American TV toy commercials to find proof of that.

Ring Tone: I need a hero to save me now

Max: Sorry Skip, one second…Hello? Yes, sure, that sounds good. See you then.

Skip: Who was that?

Max: My date for tonight.

Skip: You have a date tonight? With who? You go to hostess clubs and tin foil up your room in your spare time.

Max: A hostess of course. I beat up some yakuza thugs the other night when we were walking home. She thinks I`m a hero, thus the new ring tone.

Skip: You beat up yakuza thugs, in Tokyo, and in Kamurocho specifically, and you are alive?

Max: I am here in the studio, aren`t I? Is this a corpse talking? Anyways, I`ll tell you all about my heroic adventures on next week`s episode.

Skip: I am sure the audience will be glued to their seat to hear of the heroic adventures of Mighty Max: Hostess Hero.

Max: Maybe I should contact Square Enix and pitch the idea. This is Japan after all. I wouldn`t have to worry about getting called a misogynist unlike in North America.

Skip: Too late.

Max: Huh?

Skip: For someone who says he can read you sure don`t read any of the memos we are given.

Max: About?

Skip: We are getting put into a video about sexism in the video game industry.

Max: Didn`t we already deal with that topic months ago?

Skip: Well fans and viewers that is all the time we have this week. Join us next time when we discuss sexism in the industry again, and how blind agendas are damaging the industry.

Max: Is Rebekka going to be on the show again? I didn`t like how she undressed me with her eyes. I felt violated, Skip.

Skip: Considering how you two get along so well I can`t see how that would be a problem for you. Please note the sarcasm in my voice.

Missed an episode of the program? Check out the back issues to get up to speed. Want so see if the writer is just as crazy as the characters he has created? Check out his thoughts and adventures in Japan, gaming, and life on Twitter and Facebook.