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Sexual violence, slavery, and genocide. Just another day in the Empire?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Sexual violence, slavery, and genocide. Just another day in the Empire?

Caldus's Avatar


Caldus
02.06.2012 , 05:28 PM | #511
Dear OP,

While I respect you for sticking your neck out to the community like this, I completely disagree with most of what you said, and your argument seems unfocused at times and is hard to understand.

It also sounds like MMOs are just not your genre.

It's difficult to tell whether your initial argument is that TOR's evil is too evil, or that TOR's story doesn't support the evil that is required. In either case, I think your argument misses the mark.

Are you telling me that Mario killing thousands of Koopas simply because the king asks him to go get his daughter back is more justifiable than the mission parameters of this game? As mentioned earlier, are you saying that killing hundreds of Kobold because they chose to occupy prime real estate in Elwynn Forest is justifiable?

I would disagree. These are some of the most successful games in history, and they demand genocide without even coming close to providing the story support that TOR has.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, on the other hand, provides more in the way of well written and well acted story, but allows much much more in the way of morally reprehensible behavior. Are you saying that anything in TOR is as depraved as having sex with a prostitute in a dark alley and then running her over to get your money back?

Again, I would disagree. Nothing you can do in TOR is as bad as most of what Rockstar puts out.

Even if you're talking about a balancing test of story & evil I think TOR compares favorably to nearly every other game out there, even the ones where you're playing as the good guy, and it certainly compares favorably to others in the MMO genre where you're required to kill thousands of NPCs or even player characters to grind levels or achievements.

If anything, the story compells the feeling that the behavior is evil because your actions affect voice acted NPCs, not hostile mobs that are trying to kill you like Mario and WoW. Rarely do people stop to think about the fact that they are killing entire communities of sentient creatures in those games because they are just hostile NPCs. I think by offering choices TOR can explore people's visceral reactions. Such as:

Spoiler


In that way, your argument is almost entirely self defeating, and I haven't even begun to address the fact that an MMO is just generally a poor platform for "art."

Though this appeared to be a side argument, I also disagree about the game's rating. GTASA still warranted an M rating until the previously inaccessible sex mini game was hacked. Again, no graphic depictions of sex, no dirty talk, no flagrant cursing, and no points for murdering police officers or beating people to death with a giant purple sex toy.

This is gotten long, so I'll try to be brief with the art argument:

The production of MMOs is motivated by profit.

The 3 main arguments that I would derive from that would be these:
1. This creates a medium for customer feedback, and as evidenced here, there will never be a time when everyone is satisfied.

2. The story and world are designed for mass appeal and (arguably with this game) mass playability respectively. Therefore the product is again a slave to the whims of the masses rather than the sheer creativity of the designer.

3. Greed as a motive for art is just dirty. There could be an entirely separate argument about what Art is, but you typically desire something a little more transcendental than profit as the desired end.

Just consider what Michelangelo's sculptures would have looked like if he was thinking "hmm, what will people like the most, what will make me

Also, just as an aside, while I don't believe physical or sexual abuse should ever be tolerated in real life, it seems to me that characterizing any instance of male on female abuse as "sexual abuse" while arguing for gender equality is a bit contradictory.

I haven't levelled my warrior very high, but it appeared to me that the shocking was neither explicitly nor implicitly sexual. I have tried to allow myself to role play the stories as much as possible so I may reboot the warrior and see how I'm affected by different choices. I may also re-roll as female and see what options I get for interacting with Vette and see how different the dialogue is.

Caldus's Avatar


Caldus
02.06.2012 , 05:28 PM | #512
Wow, that was really long... Sorry.

lexiekaboom's Avatar


lexiekaboom
02.06.2012 , 06:28 PM | #513
I'm sorry, this is what I read;

"I am a human being. Like most, I hold inside me a terrible, animal side that secretly desires to conquer, own, and use the people around me. I am also a sexual being who takes great pleasure in fantasying about being sexually dominate.

BW forces me to face this fact about myself by giving me the choice to either not be evil, or be evil. I was simply unable to resist this temptation. I choice to be evil. And I loved it.

This has forced me to rethink my world view. Realize that the reason I don't do horrible things is not because I am a "good" person, but because I fear repercussion.

In a world with no rules, would I be a monster? The very daemon I fear?"

Isn't that ... exactly how art is supposed to make us feel?

Thank you so much Bioware. For the flaws and issues of this game, THIS is why we love. You made Video games art.

JediOwner's Avatar


JediOwner
02.06.2012 , 07:30 PM | #514
The Sith Warrior storyline is awesome BECAUSE it makes you hate yourself. It's awesome BECAUSE most people in modern society will never understand it. It's awesome BECAUSE polite society finds its content reprehensible, inappropriate, and unsuitable for polite society. It IS.

Awesome. Just awesome. I love this game even more now, because of this thread. Thank you, Shampoo, for reminding me what I hate about polite society and its homogenizing influence on storytelling.
--------
<Proud Decemberist!>
"Why do it today when I can wait until a long, long time ago?"

Serzhul's Avatar


Serzhul
02.06.2012 , 09:06 PM | #515
Quote: Originally Posted by LyriaFrost View Post
Well, from what I recall, after removing her collar you basically say "It's you and me against the universe". She kind of goes "aheh...uh...okay". So she's not entirely convinced that you're a nice person yet, so asking if you'll let her go might be pushing it, at least from her point of view. I can see why she wouldn't, immediately, since you being nice to her MIGHT just be an act, after all, and asking to leave might get the collar slapped on again, or worse.



Correction, Sith *NPCs* act that way. Your character is your own to play, and act out. Yes, your dialogue choices are limited -- there's no way to give a player absolute freedom of choice, after all, especially in an MMO setting -- but you still don't HAVE to treat everyone like potential pawns.

My sorceress, for instance, is honestly a nice person. She was just born into a horrible, twisted society, and she's trying to make her way in it as best she can. She has a nasty temper, however, and it sometimes gets the better of her.

My sith warrior thinks other sith are mindless, drooling idiots who can only think of themselves and personal power. She enjoys standing up to them, slapping them across the face, and smirking as they try and threaten her. She's a ****** and she knows it. But she treats all the NON-sith with respect, because they're what makes the Empire actually WORK. Troopers, Intelligence, the average citizen -- these are people she actually respects. The fact that she can fling people about and wave a lightsaber makes her more POWERFUL, but it (in her mind) shouldn't automatically grant her respect. That's earned.

But anyway. This is going off onto a rather broad tangent.

In short, I CAN see why Vette would (initially) choose to linger around, probably out of fear of being killed/punished if she pushed things. Then, after time, as she gets to know your (light-side) sith warrior, and realizes they're actually not a bad person after all, she chooses to stay voluntarily.

So I wouldn't call it poor writing or anything; you just have to look beyond the surface motivations. That's what storytelling is all about.
Very nice. I've been waiting for someone else to see this, the writing isn't that bad you just have to "see" between the lines

tehjai's Avatar


tehjai
02.06.2012 , 09:43 PM | #516
Quote: Originally Posted by lexiekaboom View Post
I'm sorry, this is what I read;

"I am a human being. Like most, I hold inside me a terrible, animal side that secretly desires to conquer, own, and use the people around me. I am also a sexual being who takes great pleasure in fantasying about being sexually dominate.

BW forces me to face this fact about myself by giving me the choice to either not be evil, or be evil. I was simply unable to resist this temptation. I choice to be evil. And I loved it.

This has forced me to rethink my world view. Realize that the reason I don't do horrible things is not because I am a "good" person, but because I fear repercussion.

In a world with no rules, would I be a monster? The very daemon I fear?"

Isn't that ... exactly how art is supposed to make us feel?

Thank you so much Bioware. For the flaws and issues of this game, THIS is why we love. You made Video games art.
/highfive
The Oboa Legacy - Playing Pretend on The Ebon Hawk

Tiona, 60 Mercenary || Perkele, 60 Sorcerer || Hanneke, 60 Mercenary || Rachilde, 60 Gunslinger || Roche, 60 Scoundrel || Tio'na, 60 Sniper || Maz'ahid'erinth, 60 Operative

Grooboggle's Avatar


Grooboggle
02.06.2012 , 11:50 PM | #517
The reason this is even seen to be an issue is because we are a much LESS violent people now than at any time in history...or prehistory. Amazingly a book on this is a current bestseller.
http://www.amazon.com/Better-Angels-.../dp/0670022950

A good read for anyone that has any interest in violence in our society and its depiction in popular culture.


Now whether or not shocking someone is sexualized would be entirely within the mind of the person performing the action and the person its performed on. Since in this case the victim or participant is purely pixels the only person...though its by proxy is the OP.

Also obviously there is little "normal" in sexual conduct. And there is a wide range of roughness that people feel is acceptable. OP should probably wrap their head around the fact that vanilla isn't for a lot of people.

JediOwner's Avatar


JediOwner
02.07.2012 , 01:08 AM | #518
I think the OP offers a fascinating glimpse into how mainstream content gets dumbed-down over time. Television today is mostly LAME -- familiar content completely weighted down by politically-correct writing. Every episode of CSI:Miami or Law & Order: SVU features a terrified woman who has been violently oppressed by a testosterone-driven man. There's nothing mentally challenging here, just judgmental people spouting familiar refrains in the most simplistic manner possible. The reason it is that way is because, over time, people like the original poster, and the similarly-minded special interest groups that have risen over time, have come to hold sway over the television industry.

Video game storytelling, along with other new media (e.g. YouTube) has upset the apple cart precisely because it challenges the politically correct establishment. A special interest group can devastate a national network that goofs in a prime time show. But it can do NOTHING about a video game or YouTube story. That's what makes it so powerful.

Rue the day when it becomes otherwise.
--------
<Proud Decemberist!>
"Why do it today when I can wait until a long, long time ago?"

RagingSage's Avatar


RagingSage
02.07.2012 , 01:14 AM | #519
There's no sexual violence against Vette, what the hell are you talking about?
CE

Lxkane's Avatar


Lxkane
02.07.2012 , 03:03 AM | #520
Quote: Originally Posted by RagingSage View Post
There's no sexual violence against Vette, what the hell are you talking about?
This times 10.

Besides you can't even continue her side quest until you take off the collar.

And nearly everyone in my guild plays a dark side imperial and we all unanimously agree that republic characters can be way more evil than imperial ones.

My sith warrior never gets the chance to threaten struggling twilek pilgrims for information.
Never gets the chance to kill a primitive force user that seeks help.
Never gets the chance to wipe the memory of one of his companions because they didn't like my choices.

Dark republic characters make imperial characters looks like choir boys.