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Haze is commentary of game violence, of itself

The scriptwriter for Free Radical's upcoming shooter Haze, Rob Yescombe, sat down with the friendly Gamasutra to discuss the meaning behind the script he penned. In addition to the heavy political overtones found throughout the game, Yescombe admits part of the script is talking about violence in videogames. He said "As a [futuristic private military operator] Mantel guy, it makes sense that you play it like a game, because you're absolved from responsibility. It's weird that our entertainment is founded on shooting people in the face! The truth is that I enjoy it as much as anyone else, but I find myself weird for liking it so much. That's less than a big political statement; it's much more about, 'What are we, as people who are entertained by this?'" Good question, we guess. It's just entertaining to do stuff we can't do in real life, perhaps? No good answer, really.

Originally, Yescombe planned to pen a story akin to Apocalypse Now, which would make the game a lot more narrative-heavy, if Conrad's Heart of Darkness taught us anything. He claimed the story became a bit too overt and controversial for a new IP to push, so a lot of the heavier political stuff seems to have gone hidden in the depths of the game. You can still look for it, he says, as it's still there, but it's not the crux of the tale. After all, Yescombe says, if the game isn't fun to play, it doesn't matter what sort of political commentary you toss in. From the looks of it, Haze will be damn fun to play and the story seems like it's just going to grow if future installments are planned.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. It seems like this guy is a hardcore leftists and I’ll definitely be avoiding this game like the plague. The leftist propaganda that accompanied Army of Two was shocking, particularly the “Making Money” trailer. After starting with a shot showing rows of American coffins it moves on to brief cuts from news footage spliced together to make it appear as if the American soldiers are brutally mistreating Iraqis. This footage is accompanied with the voice over “These poor people, they’re suffering!” Naturally, the footage was supplied by the heavily left leaning, anti-American BBC who were no doubt eager to show America in as bad a light as possible.

I decided to give Army of Two a miss as I had no interest in paying to watch left wing propaganda and after reading the first two pages of this interview I’ll be giving Haze a miss for the exact same reason. “Pushing something that's overtly political or making it your selling point will alienate people who aren't interested in being lectured” – if he knows that why doesn’t he take his political propaganda elsewhere instead of ruining decent games with it. I see enough leftist propaganda in day to day life, I definitely don’t want it shoved down my throat when I’m playing a game.

He can shove his “commentary on violent video games” up his arse as I’m getting Soldier of Fortune Payback instead. There’s nothing better for stress relief than blowing a bloody hole through a terrorist, shooting off some of his limbs and then finishing him by blowing up his head with a shotgun.

Posted at 8:09PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by Charles

2. @1 Interestingly I'm not interested in being lectured either, so I gave reading the rest of your post a miss.

Posted at 8:15PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by DownwardMonkey

3. How you can say he has ruined the game, before you or anyone has even played it is beyond belief Charles. You're a moron. People who form final opinions on a product before it's even released, need to have their ignorance toned down a notch. The guy even says that the politcal subtext is only there if people want to find it and a lot of it was cut out or toned down - so it doesn't sound like it is going to get "shoved down your throat".

Posted at 8:52PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by Ste

4. This is where people like this come up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciG-Xs7mBwU

Honestly by reading your post we can clearly see that you take violence as entertainment. And it should not be so. That is why video games are not accepted by some institutions as a medium like the television or the newspaper: because of the violence and the entertainment it procures to some people. IMO an FPS is more about competitiveness between you and the other player, rather than a violence show. I don't play FPS for violence, but it seems that you do. And that is sad... :/ This is why everyone denounces the video game industry, this is the very phenomenon that the corporations engaged in the industry are trying desperately to stop, but apparently it's not working.

I am truly shocked by your post Charles, I never thought someone would actually think that way. But apparently there are some people such as you out there who do... Too bad for society and the repercussions it can have on it later (Increased violence and gun crimes, etc.)

Posted at 8:53PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by Darkdrium777

5. Darkdrium777,

I never watched your youtube link so can’t comment on that but in regards to you post:

Firstly, you’re being hypocritical criticising me in playing violent games when you play them yourself. You say it’s about competition but aren’t there other ways you can find competition than stabbing people in the trout with a nectar knife? Badminton, tennis, paintball – there are all sorts of competitive sports that you could take up yet you chose the one that involves involve violence and simulate killing people and then you criticise other people for playing the same games.

Secondly, I understand the distinction between real life and a video game and have never in my life been involved in any violence and I don’t own a gun. It concerns me however, that you apparently don’t understand the distinction between games and reality and think that committing violence in a game is the same as committing violence in real life.

Well anyway, as with all things political people have a difference of opinion but that takes me back to my original point – why alienate half your potential market by preaching a political message to them?

Posted at 9:12PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by Charles

6. Because MOST people arent so hung up on their politics that they cant enjoy a fraking VIDEO GAME.
You people and your LABELS run your life and its really fraking SAD and pathetic.
I am not LEFT OR RIGHT, cause guess what, they both in EQUAL amounts to retarded crap! Left or Right isnt an answer to anything, its a pigeon hole thats provided and you trow yourself into. The Left is full of it, and so is the Right. In the exact same amounts. Keeping "fighting for YOUR SIDE" and we ALL lose. Thats the plan, get with the times. Ever heard " the truth is someplace in the middle" Ding Ding Ding , We have a winner.
Besides, this is a GAME, possibly the BEST game that will be out in the next 4 months, and you have an issue with a political leaning?!? Thats plain ass goofy, unless you are so weak willed you fear a VIDEO GAME might sway peoples opinion away from your little precious pigeon hole you have thrown yourself into.
Be a PERSON, teach your kids to be PEOPLE. Not stupid sheeple that base their life on labels and thinking your way is always right. geez, you people frighten me...Your no better thatn the woman demanding Harry Potter books be removed from librarys because it "promotes witchcraft" Puh Leez!
Its a GAM dude, and probably hte baest game for PS3 until MGS4....but look out! that may be political too!

Posted at 10:14PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by TXCrowe

7. I don't know...tennis and badminton seem pretty violent to me.

Posted at 10:21PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by nobody528

8. I'm actually looking forward to this game. A violent game trying to poke fun a war and weapons. I think a fifth grade Xbot could figure out how ironic that is.

Maybe it will have some hints about global warming. With a name like Haze.


I look forward to missing half the political humour.

Posted at 10:28PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by Andy

9. Sometimes I just have to laugh. Charles, who I've never seen here before, comes out with a hilarious hard-line post about leftist this and that. It's so long nobody reads the whole thing. Then he actually _replies_ with a more moderate tone.

Miss your meds today there Chucky?

Posted at 11:19PM on Oct 22nd 2007 by Popfrogs

10. haha oh snap!

Posted at 2:07AM on Oct 23rd 2007 by Da

11. Dude Charles what are you doing at your computer?! Shouldn't you be standing in front of some building berating people with slogans.

Go waste your life waving a picket sign at those who could care less.

Posted at 4:03AM on Oct 23rd 2007 by Spector

12. I must say... Charles, ehm... douche bag. You sir are the jizz that gets mopped up off the floor of a porno theater. Just thought I'd add my two cents.

Posted at 4:57AM on Oct 23rd 2007 by Rasta

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