Discourse Dojo: Hatred

Happy Friday, dear Ninjabluers! Ninjustin here. If you were wondering when or if we’d ever do Discourse Dojo again, the answer is now. Well, the answer is actually like a week ago, but it took me until now to actually edit and upload, so there.

Direct download (ogg)
Direct download (mp3)

Here’s the Youtube version, if you’re into that:

On this episode (is that what you call these? Episodes? Or do we call each of them podcasts? Or is the whole series one podcast? I dunno) we talk about the controversial trailer for Hatred, which is apparently an upcoming video game.

Note from Ninjustin:

This is just… just… ugh. Like I said again and again, I am not against the idea of a game tackling the subject of shooting massacres. If done tactfully, with respect for the subject matter, it could achieve a lot. But this? This looks like A) murder-porn, B) a cynical attempt at garnering controversy, C) a slap in the face, or D) all of the above. And we weren’t kidding, by the way — the game’s being made by Neo-Nazis.

Jibe from Jarenth:

Here is the sad current state of our beloved industry: I’d entirely forgotten about this game between when we recorded this podcast — one week ago tomorrow — and the time I’m writing this. There’s just so much ugh going on, it’s hard to keep track.

But yeah. I still entirely stand by the statement that Hatred provides, as its primary engagement fantasy, ‘viscerally murdering anyone and everyone you want’. Not just power. Not the high life of crime, or the anti-hero tale, or even the villain’s ascent to dominion. Just straight-up murder.

I dunno. I think there are better games we could be playing.

11 comments

  1. I wish I could forget it exists, it doesn’t seem worth my attention. I cant see that happening though :( Everyones going to review it when it comes out, even at the expense of plenty of great indie games which deserve a review

    1. I seem to detect a hint of ‘Jarenth, I hope you won’t spend any time on this game when it comes out’.

      Let me reassure you, I have no intention of doing so.

  2. I hate to nitpick this because I don’t think it makes a difference but it’s not quite correct to describe the developers as Neo-Nazis. The tumblr post you guys linked to was updated between the recording and the release of this episode to correct itself and say that the developers were not Nazis, the Freikorps were anti-communist militias but not actual Nazis apparently. I don’t particularly think this makes much of a difference because of their ties to other similar far right groups but thought I should just point that mistake out.

    Anyway, good episode (Podcast? Spar? Battle?) guys. I liked the comparison to how Papers Please presented its many immoral choices that you could make but never glorified them the way Hatred seems to, even the freedom fighters. Hatred looks like it’ll just be another Manhunt type shocker.

    1. Yeah, that’s fair. We didn’t want to harp on that aspect too much anyways: our reasons for disliking Hatred have nothing to do with the developers’ political leanings. It just made for a serendipitous talking point.

      Also, thanks! I like ‘sparring session’, myself.

  3. I think the difference between this game and something like Papers Please is that it’s the intention of Papers Please to make you feel uneasy, that is exactly what the creator was intending and the game does not paint it in a noble and good light.

    Hatred just wants you to feel like a badass, enacting your rightful revenge on these innocent civilians.

  4. When you were discussing moral compasses in relation to Papers Please, I think the idea you were trying to think of is more like empathy. Most games have you doing hurtful things to (virtual) people, but only a few can successfully make you feel bad about it. Refusing entrance to someone in PP is not as immoral as gunning down cops in Payday, but one game can actually make you care.

  5. This looks… I think “ugh” is the only way to put it. It’s about as morally repugnant a game as I can imagine. The way games glorify violence is always a difficult subject, but most games that appear to do so have some redeeming features, or use it as a discussion point. Whereas this is… “ugh”. The game doesn’t even appear to be attempting a “fun” experience, simply a psychotic murder fantasy. I’d never advocate censorship in art, but I really, really hope this one falls into obscurity where it belongs.

    On a more pleasant note, I like that “pull a Spec-Ops” now refers to a thoughtful, poignant execution of game/narrative design. That’d be pretty surprising if you only played the earlier games in the series.

    1. I dunno about Jarenth, but I’m definitely not planning on covering this game when it releases.

      Also: Yeah, I also found that really amusing. I guess “pulling a Spec-Ops” = “Surprise! This game’s actually an extremely deep and poignant statement. Fooled ya!”

          1. Hah. Well, it could be worse. We could be having this discussion in the comments section of our own website, instead of — say — some private venue like Steam or GChat.

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