The Legendary Developer Says the Creators of Violent Video Games Should Be “Ashamed”
Warren Spector, the producer and project director of the first Deus Ex game, came out against the developers of violent video games and what he sees as the glorification of violence in video games in general in a series of tweets on Friday.
“I don’t believe games cause violent behavior. Not for one second,” Spector began. “However, the videogame reel shown at the White House on Thursday is simply disgusting. Every shot is in colossally bad taste and everyone associated with those games should be ashamed of themselves. They hurt us.”
Spector is referring to the now infamous video game highlight reel that was shown at Thursday’s White House meeting that was about violent video games.
When confronted with the fact that players could kill children in his most well-known game, Deus Ex, Spector acknowledged that it was a poor decision to allow players to murder kids in the game and said that he hoped players were “repulsed” at the murder of the child NPCs.
“And, easy for me to say, but true: I’m ashamed of the kid-killing possibility and wouldn’t do it again,” Spector tweeted in his response. “Can’t promise, but I don’t think I’ll ever make another game where you can kill virtual people at all.”
Spector further clarified his position in his tweets by explaining that his games, while violent, offer alternative styles of play that don’t involve violence. “I try to show the consequences; there aren’t any decapitations, bloody gibbing headshots or ax killings,” tweeted Spector. “I don’t mind violent games. I mind games that glorify it & present it in graphic, disgusting ways.”
Notably, Spector also tweeted that he thought that the “violent video game argument” is a “red herring” that distracts from what he sees as more important issues to tackle when it comes to shootings.
In response to the criticism his tweets were receiving, Spector tweeted: “Response to my tweet about the violent video game video are coming in fast & furious. Most are calm & well-considered. For those upset with me, I know the images in the video don’t reflect the vast majority of games & it provides no context. I get that it’s pure propaganda.”
Spector’s stance against the glorification of violence in video games and the developers who make those games is a surprising one to say the least. Spector is currently developing System Shock 3, a sequel to the gory cyberpunk survival horror game System Shock 2. He’s also praised violent games such as Prey and Dishonored 2 in the past.
“I thought they were both excellent examples of what I think of when I say ‘immersive sim,'” Spector said to PC Gamer last year. “They removed barriers to belief that I was in another world and they let me approach problems as problems, rather than as puzzles. I’m really glad Arkane exists and that they’re so committed to the genre. Without them I’d have fewer games to play!”
Do you agree with Spector’s stance or do you think he’s just overreacting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!