You know what I love? Violent videogames about videogame violence. I love the trend over the past few years (and the last year especially) to examine the various ways that violence functions in videogames. I love the way that these games aren’t so much trying to claim that videogame violence is simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but the way they simply want to understand it better, the way they simply want to respect its power more.
Of course, I am talking about games like Bioshock, Spec Ops: The Line, Far Cry 2 and, more recently, Dishonored, Mark of the Ninja, Hotline Miami and the still upcoming Far Cry 3. All of these games, in their own way, ask questions about the ways violence is both depicted and deployed in videogames — the way violence is used against the player, and the way the player uses violence. They want to help us as players have richer and more nuanced understandings of just what violence is doing in these games.