By: Eddie Makuch
Mainstream media have a way of hiding the gory reality of violence and war, and it is up to art–including video games–to provide an uncensored look at what news outlets won’t show.
That’s according to BioShock designer Ken Levine, who told Boston Magazine that video games should not shy away from depicting the reality of violence, however harsh it may be.
“One of the responsibilities of art is to actually show this is what it looks like when someone gets shot, because it’s really obfuscated” in media reports about war and violence, Levine said. “War is about sending pieces of metal very fast at people and tearing them to bits on the most primal level.”
This is not the first time Levine has spoken about the role violence plays in video games. In the wake of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, Levine said, “Violence, for better or for worse, is…going back to the dawn of narrative, is a part of the storyteller’s toolkit.”
Levine has worked on many projects could be generally thought of as “violent,” including the M-rated BioShock series and System Shock 2 before that. Levine is currently writing the script for the Logan’s Run remake for Warner Bros. That story depicts a dystopian society set in 2116 wherein all people must agree to be executed at age 21 in an effort to control population.
Beyond the two-part Burial at Sea expansion for BioShock Infinite, Irrational Games has no announced projects. Levine said in March that, “I don’t even have a thought for our next game.”