On Killing

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I play games.

Not the sort where your body moves. But the sort where you sit on the couch and use a mouse, and a keyboard. Or if you are one of the rich kids, you use the console.

Now most of these games are of war. You are fighting, one way or the other, against anything ranging from any army of aliens, to mostly men. The settings vary; you could be in a World war setting, or one of the recent ones, or you could be stranded on an island. But in the end, you fight. You fight, and you kill.

Just as well, it’s better than going out and taking out your frustration/anger on actual people. There are of course arguments, and good ones at that, which state that instead of suppression what we have is aggression; encouragement would be more fitting, but aggression sounded better. I am not going to get into the arguments of either side, because that really is not what this about. This one too goes into the ‘someday I’ll write about this’ cache. So, there’s that.

Okay, so.

The point is I play games.

They are entertaining.

And the thing is I’ve never felt bad about killing any person, ever. Most of the times, they are shooting at you, and you, reflexively shoot them. Kill them, before they can kill you. But then, every once in a while something happens. Something interesting.

This happened when I was playing Far Cry 3. It was my introduction to this series. And this one too, involved a war. The plot is thin. In the end, you kill. Which is not really interesting. What’s interesting is something else.

With that, I’ve built enough suspense I feel, so, here it goes. Also, spoilers ahead.

In most of the games that you play, you start with the basic minimum sort of weapons, that would get you through the level, and then as you go ahead, you upgrade, get better weapons.

In this game, in order for the upgrades to work, better ammo pouches, for example, I had to kill animals. In case I forgot to mention, this is one of the features of the game. So, I was stuck somewhere, or, was wanting to go for the full upgrade, I’m not sure what, but I left the story line behind, and just started butchering animals for stuff. And that, made me sad. And disgusted.

Disgusted, yes.

And believe me, I have never felt anything, but joy at the mayhem, if done properly. Personally, I like being silent with the kills. Hitman changes that however.

Getting back then, to butchering the animals. It felt bad. Inhuman. They were just roaming around, and I was butchering them, because I wanted a bigger ammo cache. And then, I had felt really bad about it. And I had marvelled at it. And I had looked for the rationale behind it. There was none. Still isn’t.

It’s funny now that I think about it.

Well, it was funny back then too, so that sort of makes sense.

It is funnier when you think about the things we actually do.

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2 thoughts on “On Killing

  1. I can play the most violent, bloody downright repugnant game and feel no remorse for my simulated actions. Yet as soon as a game encourages me to slaughter innocent animals I feel disgusted. The whole whaling feature in Assassins Creed puts me right off!

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