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I HATE YOU!!-On the response to Hatred


First off, let me put out in the open that I know that by writing this I am indirectly contributing to the admittedly clever douchetastic tactic of marketing the hatred devs have used to promote their game of indeterminate quality. But I feel like it’s time I talked about it, because apparently there’s word of a possible boycott going on via Indies and youtubers, that involves wanting to censor it. And I want to talk about it because of the stupidity of that decision. But allow me to begin at the….beginning.


Hatred is announced
Hatred, for those of you who don’t know is a top-down shooter where you massacre innocent people and police officers because you are an insane man with no name who wants vengeance. I won’t link to the video, or the site because I really have no interest in playing the devs game of promotion via outrage, and that’s not what this blog is about. That description I offered may seem dry, but that’s because while I find the game somewhat repugnant, it’s not out yet and honestly it looks like another Postal game.


Boring, with no hook but the promise of controversy and stepping over the line of societal decency and if it was making a statement on that, ala Spec Ops the Line and military shooters, I will applaud and pay attention. But I doubt it, and honestly that means it’s not worth getting crazy about. I am quite happy to see that a decent amount of sites I frequent only talked about it once or twice, recognizing the tactic for what it was and simply saying “bleh”, and moving on. But some sites were not so smart, and in an attempt to appear as the moral beacon of gaming helped promote this game far beyond whatever marketing budget the devs had in mind could propel it to. Apparently, sites like Polygon, Kotaku (to a lesser degree apparently) and perhaps others beyond my scope published post after post, screaming at the moral indecency and drawing more and more to see and judge the game. All but two of the google results of “polygon hatred” are articles about hatred from polygon, and each is a unique article. That’s quite a few more than my normal 3 gaming sites, and that right there is part of the issue I would like to discuss, anecdotal as that may at first seem. The game is of smaller importance than the reaction to it, and we must examine and think about that before we have the nerve to try and censor/quash something we deem “immoral.”

Also never ever google that word in image search. 

Those who fail to learn from history…

I want you to stop and think of a moral panic from the last 20 or so years, and I can guarantee that you can name at least one. Metal invokes devil worship, the Beatles and Elvis…something something sex, D&D encourages suicide and devil worship, Ouija boards are devil worship (pretty common, that one), TV media and movies cause violence, comics cause violence, and the most poignant of all? Video games cause mass murders, including Columbine and every mass murder since then. I haven’t seen people saying such things about Hatred, but the moral outrage part feels all too familiar. We are fans of a medium that is frequently attacked by idiots hungry for ratings, and those who are ignorant of the truth that some people are just broken, and there may not be a root cause or rationale behind their crimes, a rather scary prospect.

And I invoke these mindsets because not liking Hatred is one thing,. Censoring Hatred, or attempting to, that’s what evokes these memories in my mind. Why? Well, what you say when you try to censor something because you don’t like it is “it offends the moral palette, and therefore must be crushed and tossed aside” or perhaps “it will cause some harm to the minds of the innocent”.

This mindset is not new or original, as everything provocative triggers this reaction to some degree but we suffer moral outrage even today, so why would we inflict it on those in our community? It’s ok to not like or be disgusted with Hatred, and while I disapprove writing article after article whining about it is your right to free speech, and making their game is their right and censoring it is foolish and stupid. Art pushes boundaries, and by acting just like those who were morally outraged against our medium and still are, you are just as bad as them. Can you get angry at Hatred?


But should you censor it? Of course not, because only the close-minded who are afraid of new boundaries censor things, and the world is a far less interesting place if you take away people’s right to be different. And for all you know, this could be a statement on our kneejerk reactions or how ridiculous claims of videogame violence are and how will we know if you crush someone’s free speech? We have had our favorite medium attacked again and again for being morally repugnant, yet we are eager as hell to censor and tear apart a game that even looks like it might offend our senses. A game that, as you may or may not be aware, is not out yet! (at time of writing) And that little caveat leads into what these sites who are morally outraged are inadvertently doing.

Free marketing

It’s really that simple. Give a succinct, detailed explanation for why you feel the way you feel and then focus that attention on a game that deserves your attention. Don’t censor, but just ignore the game or just say you think its gross and then be done. If you truly want to not help this game out, censoring it is not the way to go. Let it stand and if it collapses under its own weight, let it fall but don’t keep drawing attention and wasting your readerships time with article after article. Because then this slimy marketing tactic works again and it just shows what a kneejerk reaction you have. And where the next talentless, visionless hack will know to strike first.

- “If you don't like bacteria, you're on the wrong planet.” ― Stewart Brand

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About Gamemaniac3434one of us since 11:25 PM on 02.01.2013

Who am I? I'm an avid gamer, beer snob, coffee snob and aspiring microbiologist. I love all sorts of different genres of games and different games from different years and as of recent years I've tried to get more into multiplayer games. I also really love microbiology and if you get me started on it, you will never get me to shut up about it.
-Gamemaniac3434 on everything, but Nintendo services