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Miyamoto Concerned With Excessive Violence

The father of Mario, Zelda and more recently commented on over-the-top violent games with little meaning.

The man who’s spent his entire career conjuring up family-accessible games and characters recently aired his views on some of the excessive and sometimes unjustified violence coming from today’s entertainment, with it being used as a publicity ploy instead of enriching the experience.

He expressed hopes for more ways of grabbing attention, in an interview with UK Channel 4 earlier this week.

I don't want to curb freedom of expression, but I am concerned that many developers focus just on excessive violence in order to stimulate people's mind. I believe that there are more ways of grabbing players' attention than violence alone.

We need to eat in order to live, that's our first priority. But entertainment and the enrichment of our souls must come in second place. Nintendo's mission is to improve and to take advantage of cheap technology to create reasonable and affordable entertainment.

Thanks to GamePro.

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22.10.2008 16:27

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I can agree with that, when it's put like that I find nothing to disagree with. Sex and violence sells, as much as it does in other creative mediums.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The way Miyamoto says "cheap" is kinda annoying really.

But otherwise I agree.

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I agree with Miyamoto.
My nephew has an Xbox 360 (I'm not having a go at Xbox) and every game he has is violent (apart from Skate). I don't believe violent games make violent people, but you need some balance. The brain needs stimulation in lots of different ways.

I like violent games too, but they make up only a fraction of what I play.

I can see Miyamoto being taken out of context and castigated for what he has said though.

SuperLink said:
The way Miyamoto says \"cheap\" is kinda annoying really.

But otherwise I agree.

Surely ripping your customers off is more ethical than letting them play excessively violent games.

I like both types of games by the way. Why doesn\'t Miyamoto make an intellectually stimulating extremely violent game? Would be cool I think.

( Edited 22.10.2008 09:30 by Bart.... )

What a ridiculous statement to make. Is Zelda not violent? Is Metroid not? Maybe not as violent as other games but it still involves enemies you have to kill...

All games need an objective to beat. Enemies have been used since the beginning of gaming to represent a challenge for gamers to overcome. He's clearly only saying this now because they're getting more detailed. I mean, isn't Space Invaders violent?

To be fair he never said his games didn't contain violence, just that it's balanced with other things like puzzle solving etc.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I think he meant that some games have an unecessary amount of violence. Besides, some games are invented for the sake of violence, not because the story is amazing or anything like that. Those games are rare anyway, so some games only get played for their levels of gore or violence.

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knighty said:
What a ridiculous statement to make. Is Zelda not violent? Is Metroid not? Maybe not as violent as other games but it still involves enemies you have to kill...

All games need an objective to beat. Enemies have been used since the beginning of gaming to represent a challenge for gamers to overcome. He's clearly only saying this now because they're getting more detailed. I mean, isn't Space Invaders violent?

I don't think he means regular games with decent objectives and storytelling. I'm sure he finds shooters and GTA-type games fine, but what I think he's saying are games like Manhunt where there's little to no objective and it'd be OTT in violence.

Hence "extreme".

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

But those are like.....very very few games in the market. I can only really think of Manhunt and Postal. Which I'd agree with him, mainly because they're just shit.

SuperLink said:
The way Miyamoto says "cheap" is kinda annoying really.

But otherwise I agree.

Also, the 'reasonable' he threw in there.

Seems to me he's just saying this to help justify the wave of 'family firendly' stuff on Wii. Postal is really the only game I can think of that is violent for the sake of it, even Manhunt could be justified. Something about being put in the role of the bad guy and doing bad things for good, or some psychological crap like that.

Couldnt agree more.

If Videogames were music, 90% of it would be Rap.

He isnt saying all violence should be removed, only it shouldnt be the only thing drawing a gamer in.
And he is absolutely right.


( Edited 22.10.2008 14:05 by Darkflame )

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Darkflame said:
Couldnt agree more.

If Videogames were music, 90% of it would be Rap.

He isnt saying all violence should be removed, only it shouldnt be the only thing drawing a gamer in.
And he is absolutely right.


90%? Oh come on....

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Heheh, 50 Cent games. Smilie

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jb said:
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Smilie
How could you, Miyamoto?

I agree with him and lately I\'ve been put off violent games. It\'s one of the reasons I don\'t play 360 much, as those types of games don\'t interest me as much anymore.

I definitely think it can affect you as a person, if your playing violent games all the time.

Nintendo\'s mission is to improve and to take advantage of cheap technology to create reasonable and affordable entertainment.

I don\'t agree with this though. Nintendo are ripping customers off with the price of the Wii now. It\'s actually terrible how they can get away with selling it for that price.

That\'s my opinion anyway.

( Edited 22.10.2008 18:02 by Marzy )

I tell you, Miyamoto-sama never ceases to amaze me. He\'s a good man. He\'s right on this subject. Gamer\'s today (or even people in general) are getting more and more desensitized by the excessive violence and gore they see in games and films. Today\'s youth are exposed to it in the media far more than any other gen. It\'s so easily accessible despite the protective laws.

And knighty, the key word is excessive violence. lol Always on a rant. Smilie

( Edited 22.10.2008 18:52 by MechaG2 )

Chance favors the prepared mind.

Darkflame said:
Couldnt agree more.

If Videogames were music, 90% of it would be Rap.

He isnt saying all violence should be removed, only it shouldnt be the only thing drawing a gamer in.
And he is absolutely right.


Nothing wrong with rap.

I'm much a fan of Nintendo's quirky games (they were a real breath of fresh air when bought a GameCube) but theres nothing wrong with kicking the crap out of pedestrians for no reason what so ever. It's great fun

I think Manhut is way o.t.t for my liking however.

I have no qualms in running down hordes of people in GTA but have always been a total pacifist in real life. That's not really the subject at hand. The reason I started talking about him referring to stuff like Halo/GTA is because of the joystiq thread about this which lead to people claiming that.

knighty said:
What a ridiculous statement to make. Is Zelda not violent? Is Metroid not? Maybe not as violent as other games but it still involves enemies you have to kill...

All games need an objective to beat. Enemies have been used since the beginning of gaming to represent a challenge for gamers to overcome. He's clearly only saying this now because they're getting more detailed. I mean, isn't Space Invaders violent?

You're totally missing the point. He has a problem with excessive violence and games that only feature violence as their main draw. Zelda, Metroid, and Space Invaders are not even remotely close to what he is talking about .

He is referring to games like Saints Row, GTA, Manhunt, etc where the main game play element is killing people with baseball bats, guns, and chainsaws with lots of blood and guts to go with the killing. You won't find any of those elements in Zelda, Metroid, or Space Invaders. When you slash an enemy in Zelda, they disappear in a puff of black smoke, not a fountain of blood.

I'd say education is second place but that's not the issue...excessive violence is being used quite a lot. Is it a bad thing though? I don't think so. I mean for every Gear of War you get a Fable.

Yes, That may be true, but there are a lot of violence, which has no real meaning. It should be the same if you beat the crap out of it like Link does, yet in Heavenly Sword you kill them in a (small) fountain of blood. In Gears oW there is a great fountain, in other games unneccessarily similar fountains. It's wrong for him to use violence to rise a mediocre game to higher levels, meaning to boost sales. He doesn't see a point in making Link any more violent or similar to establish series who are known for their violence for no particular reason.
Maybe he doesn't think of No More Heroes (not much blood in realistic style) and more of the bunch of mediocre shooters on X360, which don't have anything beside their Red Schwartz Of Blood.
And with that I agree.

I think Zelda Twilight Princess is kind of violent and realistic, and I think more violence doesn't do this game any good. But he makes them shadow creatures vanishing in a puff of black. With this twist he manages the violence quite well but keeps the game 'grown up' imho.
He just could have made the enemies invaders from another country!
Final Fantasy does but it keeps violence low, at least that's what I remember. So does almost every Japanese RPG.

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

It\'s interesting, because I\'ve actually been thinking a fair bit about it myself recently. I have no problem with violence in games in principle, but lately a lot of the excessive violence in some games has been bothering me. Like any medium, I\'m okay with graphic violence in games insofar as it serves a PURPOSE. Games like Metal Gear Solid, for example (as a matter of fact I believe Miyamoto had something to do with the development of The Twin Snakes) tell a meaningful story about appropriately mature subject matter - if you\'re telling a story about war set in the real world, it is completely acceptable to include graphic violence because violence is a very real and very relevent aspect of the topic at hand. Similarly, in games like Brothers in Arms or Assassin\'s Creed I find the violence to be appropriate, because they are telling mature stories about realistic subject matter - in fact, it would be wrong to needlessly sugarcoat the reality of war and killing. Also, those games give an appropriate emotional and moral weight to acts of violence - it\'s not just \"fun\", the game makes every acknowledgement that violence is disturbing and harmful. Even No More Heroes didn\'t bother me, because it\'s very stylized, very satirical, and I felt like it was making a strong statement about violence in popular culture. I\'m very much looking forward to Sadness and expecting it to be quite grisly, and I find that acceptable because the stated goal of the game is to explore the darkest, most twisted depths of the human subconscious.
But then... there are games like God of War and Resident Evil 4. Games that are really well designed, are really GOOD games, but just have all this excessive, tasteless violence that doesn\'t really serve any purpose at all. It\'s not like they\'re telling mature stories, like Hideo Kojima. It\'s not like they\'re making complex statements, like Suda 51. The gory, grisly, excessively detailed violence is pure spectacle, it adds nothing to the gameplay. I actually consider the excessive violence in RE4 to be one of the game\'s only major drawbacks. Lately I\'ve even been alarmed at the level of gore in games like Half-Life 2, which aren\'t dumb or mindless, but at the same time they\'re not acting at a level of sophistication and maturity that merits that level of extreme violence. It\'s just kind of sickening. Half-Life 2 could\'ve been rated T, or at least rated M without the \"intense violence\" label, and been none the worse off for it.

So, there\'s my 2 cents.

PS: That said, I would LOVE to see Miyamoto make a mature, complex game that puts violence in an appropriate context. Just because mindless violence may be distasteful doesn\'t mean that Nintendo shouldn\'t demonstrate that they can appeal to older gamers interested in more mature and morally complex subject matter.

( Edited 23.10.2008 19:56 by gatotsu911 )

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