↑Deutschlandradio aired a small ↑feature on cyberspace and computergames [.mp3 | 1.1MB | 4.42min | in German] which has Max Payne as a starting point for a short discussion of ↵FPS and violence.
In the feature Matthias Mertens, post-doc at the ↑Zentrum für Medien und Interaktivität [‘Center for Media and Interactivity’ in Gießen, Germany. See a presentation by Mertens at netzspannung’s ↑playing media] starts to ‘speak pro FPS’. Mertens sees Max Payne as a ‘culturally relevant expression’, just like movies are or can be. He goes on stating that we have no problem with accepting a movie by Quentin Tarantino as a cultural expression—’xactly my opinion. And we decidedly distinguish Tarantino’s work from ‘other splatter movies’—although both categories of examples appear to be quite similar on the pictorial level.
But inside ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Pulp Fiction’ and so on we sense other intellectual and artistical principles at work: irony, commentary, reflection. Theses principles Mertens finds to exist in certain computergames, too.
Ulrike Pilaczek [spelling?], representing the ↑USK [Unterhaltungssoftware SelbstKontrolle—the German ‘Entertainment Software SelfControl’ which rates the games over here] acknowledges that it is difficult for people of age 40 or above to ‘objectively’ evaluate computergames.
People who grew up with movies tend to evaluate computergames by movie-standards, which are not necessarily appropriate. The gist being that for evaluation the input of people who grew up with games, are socialized ‘into games’, is needed. More often than not this means younger folks. btw only 5% of all evaluated games are ego-shooters.
Mertens, Pilazcek and sociologist Joachim Fischer deny the naive cause-effect relation between computergames and offline-violence—they rather stress computergames as enforcing factors for ‘social competence’.
screenshot from the official Max-Payne-walkthrough