Friday, February 16, 2007

"Oblivion" and "Killerspiele"

This isn't a regular "Killerspiele"-update - there's one right above this post. But I've been thinking about what that new law would mean for "Oblivion" which I currently play.

As I've already pointed out, "Oblivion" leaves a lot of freedom to the player. That doesn't just mean you can do a lot of different things in this world, it also means you can do a lot of evil things in this world.

There are four groups in "Oblivion", for one thing: Fighter's Guild, Magician's Guild, Thief's Guild (there's one of those in a lot of role-playing games, simply because fighter, mage and thief are the three basic character classes) and the Dark Brotherhood, which you could also call the Assassin's Guild (I'm translating the names of the groups from German here, they might be different in the English version of the game). None of them has a very high moral codex. You're usually not allowed to steal from or attack the other members (though that should be logical), but apart from that they mostly (the Magician's Guild seems to be a bit more caring about this) don't give a damn about whether or not you go around and steal from and kill other people. Especially the Dark Brotherhood (to which you can't belong without committing at least one murder) isn't a group for the 'good' guys.

Why I'm telling you this?

Well, the new law states that all games with "violence against humans or humanoid beings" will be forbidden - and most adversaries in "Oblivion" are human or humanoid (if you count goat-legged demons as humanoid). There's blood in the game and you can actually see the arrows sticking in your adversary - provided you really hit.

In addition to this the game does not punish you for killing innocents (provided, inside cities, you don't mind getting attacked by the guards who are always a lot stronger than you) and - if you want to be a member of the Dark Brotherhood - it even encourages it. You need to murder an innocent person for this (people who attack you don't count as innocent, but normal people living in the cities or outside them do count).

You're free to do as you want and a lot of people, including one of my ex-colleagues, like playing the bad guy even more than playing the good guy. I've got problems with being bad, even in a computer game, which probably shows my parents have taught me well when I was a kid.

So what the law actually wants, in regard to this game, is taking the freedom away. A game which allows (and in some ways even encourages) anti-social behaviour would be forbidden in the future, not because it forces people to be bad, but because it allows people to be bad.

In reality this freedom is known as 'free will' and has - if you're religious - been given to mankind by God himself, who obviously does not favour controlling His creation ... instead He'll judge us when He's ready.

It's strange to think that the political party with the "Christian" in their name does not want to give people the right to decide for themselves God gave us all.

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