5 Extremely Violent Video Game Moments that Didn’t Cause Mass Shootings
In the wake of even more devastating mass shootings, America was unfortunately subjected to an anthropomorphic colostomy bag full of Cheez Wiz trotting out one of the oldest dodges in the gun-nut handbook: blame video games.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately,” the maddening totalitarian Velveeta golem said with its actual mouth on camera, despite this theory being studiously debunked.
But we get enough rhetoric from that Frankenstein-scalped rapist. Instead of focusing on how stupid the things it struggled to read off of a teleprompter are, let’s reminisce about some jarring and brutal instances of video game violence that have nothing to do with mass shootings:
1. Sniper Elite 4 – Busting Balls With Bullets in Slow-Mo X-Ray Vision
In Sniper Elite 4, you play as an expert marksman whose main mission is perforating Nazis with a high-powered rifle before they so much as notice he’s there. Nazi blasting is pretty standard video game fare, but where Sniper Elite 4 ups the violence ante is with its slow-motion X-ray kill cam.
Slowing down and following the bullet through anatomically-accurate animations of mutilation, Sniper Elite 4’s X-ray cam will show you every organ punctured and bone blasted into painful shards. This mechanic is at its most squirm-inducingly violent when you target a pair of German gonads, because you bet your balls the game designers made sure you know what happens when a high-caliber bullet blows off your sac.
It’s truly gruesome to behold, and no matter what you might hear from a hemorrhoid-lipped fascist, it has literally no correlation to domestic terrorist actions committed with firearms in America!
2. Mortal Kombat X – Triborg’s “Death Machine” Fatality
Any list of violent video games would be incomplete without Mortal Kombat, the game that in its early days stunned people with its blood-soaked fatalities so completely that the ESRB was invented to deal with it. It also seems kind of silly to single out a particular fatality, as all are over-the-top glorifications of brutality and gore… but there is something about the Rube Goldberg fucked-upedness of Triborg’s “Death Machine” fatality that sets it apart in my mind.
First, your fighter turns into a massive angry-looking murder apparatus, then twin harpoon cannons impale your opponent’s abdomen and retract them toward a spinning saw blade that splits their sternum in two. Now, you’d think that would be enough… but then the top part of the machine descends, first audibly cracking the opponent’s spine as it bends them back, then crushing them into a bloody paste.
The cherry on top? What’s left of your enemy is then ejected as a cube of compressed meat with their face in the middle. It’s one of the most ridiculous displays of violent excess I’ve ever seen in a game, and yet, it has no bearing on whether or not anyone gets shot tomorrow, no matter what you hear from that incest-craving pal of pedophiles!
3. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – Chapter 6 Pt. 1 “A Thousand Cuts”
While Mortal Kombat was an obvious inclusion on this list, Kane & Lynch 2 may be a surprise. It’s not a game many mention or have even played, but when it came to brutal violence, it didn’t pull punches. This is especially true at the beginning of the sixth chapter, where the heroes (a term very, very loosely applied here) are abducted and tortured by Chinese mobsters.
During a load screen leading up to the level, we get some very disturbing voiceover, hearing both Kane and Lynch screaming in pain and anguish as they’re tortured, and then hearing Lynch’s girlfriend (who was also abducted) pleading. “Make them stop, please…” she begs Lynch as he cries out in helpless anger and pain. It’s honestly stomach-churning.
In a cutscene before the mission, Lynch wakes up in a dumpster left for dead, naked, and bleeding from countless blade wounds. Wandering back into where he was tortured, he breaks the torturer’s neck, but not in time so save his girlfriend, who is lying blood-soaked and naked on a dirty floor. In an effect used throughout the game, the girl’s body is pixelated out, and this somehow enhances the violence rather than dampen it – leaving it up to the player’s imagination what horrible mutilations have happened to this innocent woman.
Naked and bleeding throughout the rest of the mission, Kane and Lynch go on a guns-blazing rampage through the Shanghai streets with little regard for the lives of innocent bystanders. It’s essentially a play-through of a rage-fueled mass shooting on a public street, but still, that semi-literate wig stand somehow running our country is wrong about it having anything to do with America’s mass shooting problem!
4. Quake 4 – “Stroggification”
This one’s a throwback, but one that sticks in the memory due to its body horror and First-Person perspective. The Quake 4 manual probably put it best: “In a brutal surgical process, the limbs and flesh of the fallen are fused with metal and machinery to create the monstrosities that are the alien Strogg.”
Strapped down like a surgical patient but clearly not anesthetized (you can tell from the screams of pain that come from your character), this cinematic had you watch as your sternum was cracked open, your skin peeled off, and your legs amputated with a huge swirling buzzsaw – all to be replaced by cybernetic limbs.
Watching as your own body is dismembered by cold, unfeeling technology is a disturbing experience… It’s so disturbing, in fact, that naive or embittered people who have put their faith in a guy that appears to have been molded out of spoiled Big Mac sauce like some salty, nightmarish “Frosty the Snowman” could be misled into thinking that it is linked to the number of mass shootings in America… but there’s no data to support that claim!
5. Hatred – The Executions
Hatred couldn’t be more on the nose. In it, you play a literal mass shooter on a rage-fueled “genocide crusade” to simply kill as many people as possible. The stated purpose of the game, according to its developer, is to reject political correctness, politeness, or the very concept of video games as art. It’s a gun-licking edgelord’s try-hard fantasy bloodbath that sounds like it was invented on a 8Chan forum for pickup artist KoЯn fans, and its “execution” moments really hammer home the game’s fixation with murder.
When “enemies” (a term I put in quotes because many of the NPCs killed in Hatred are simply “victims”) are injured but not killed in the game, they fall to the ground, making them vulnerable to execution-style finishing moves. These vary depending on the weapon your character is wielding. Sometimes, you put a shotgun in your victim’s mouth and blow their head apart completely. Other times, you pump a could high-caliber rounds into their chest. Some of the executions don’t involve point-blanc gunfire, and instead have your Slipknot-reject character stomp or stab your victim to death. What elevates the violence of these moments is the way the NPCs you kill react as you approach them: looks of fear visible on their faces, pleading hands up, feebly trying to protect themselves from your genocidal rampage.
Despite basically billing itself as a glorification of the mass shooter’s mentality, Hatred still has no relation to any of the mass shootings committed in the United States. This is because, despite what you might hear from a media-inflated zeppelin of fetid ignorance barking out of every screen you’re unfortunate enough to glance at, video games do not cause mass shootings.
To actually take effective action toward reducing gun violence, make sure you know what your elected officials’ positions are, and hold them accountable. Also, if you’re not 100% broke-ass, consider donating to one of these causes before you go back to your game console to harmlessly blow off some virtual heads:
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Americans for Responsible Solutions
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Howdy! My name is Katy Atchison and I'm an Associate Editor for Broke-Ass Stuart.
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