I'm a Human Inbox

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Killer Instinct: Game Over

[Media: Video]

I went and downloaded the episode "Game Over" from the show Killer Instinct last night. Apparently the CSI clone had an episode about gamers killing people, so I wanted to check it out.

When Lt. Ray Cavanaugh is faced with the possibility that he convicted the wrong person for a crime, he and his team are thrust into the obsessive world of gaming and the deviant way in which players are reenacting murder scenes from their favorite video games.

The show plays like Jack Thompson himself wrote the script. Choice phrases like "Murder Simulator" and "Life is like a video game. Everybody's got to die sometime", show that they've pulled controversial lines from recent events. They even mention that the game "Murder One San Fransisco", an obvious reference to Grand Theft Auto, had hidden sex scenes in the game.

I've been thinking about whether it's alright to be offended by this show, or whether I should develop a sense of humour about it and just enjoy it as a campy murder mystery. Although I definitely am laughing while I watch, I also feel I have good justifications for being offended at the same time. The problem is that the writers of this episode definitely did their research, and took bits and pieces from Jack Thompson, real life criminals who blamed their crimes on videogames, modders, "25 to Life" and the Hot Coffee Grand Theft Auto incident. Due to the fact that this show tries to follow as closely as they could to videogame controversy, and then make statements like "They're on their computers 18 hours a day, did it ever occur to you that it might have some sort of effect on them?" while interrogating a game developer. Although this show is, of course, a piece of fiction it doesn't do anything to assuage the worries of concerned non-gamers. None of the main characters in this show were gamers (except for a lab assistant), and they only ended up playing "Murder One" in order to solve the case.

It's disappointing because issues like this will become seriously outdated in years to come. Would, for example, a show do an episode about the dangers of Rock and Roll and how it turns people into Satanic killers? Of course not. But why is that? Ask yourself that question and you'll have your answer.

In anycase, I recommend you actually watch this show. It's good to see an alternative opinion every once in a while, and maybe you can get a good laugh out of it. Click the link below to download the torrent for this episode.