Ken Levine On Why So Many Games Are Violent

Bioshock series creator Ken Levine says there is so much violence in video games because that type of content is technically simple to create and it's perceived that it is the kind of content that consumers really want. Speaking to NPR, Levine offered the following when asked about the topic of violence in video games:

"One of the reasons there's been a lot of violence in video games is because it's relatively easy to simulate," Levine told NPR. "And generally it's been … like action movies, there's an easily perceivable market for it. I think the reaction to the violence is more an expression of people building confidence in the industry's ability to express itself in more diverse fashions."

Levine also said that he has been asked "a lot" if he could have made the Bioshock Infinite without violence. While he found the question interesting, he said that he wouldn't really know how to make the version of BioShock Infinite that he had in mind without violence.

"I like games myself, and I've always liked game-y things, so I wasn't terribly interested in telling … making a game that didn't have a game component," Levine said. "When you have non-violent components, it would have been odd."

Levine went on to say that he is optimistic that the rise in digital distribution in the future will allow developers to make more unique games.

"I assumed people were coming for the shooting when we made [BioShock] originally. I think now we have a little more confidence, especially when you don't have to appeal to 8 or 10 million people if you can just digitally distribute things like you can now. You can do that because you don't need to spend the money to put it on trucks to get it to a store and deal with retailers and shippers and all that. So you can really try to have a 1:1 interaction with a smaller, more dedicated fanbase and give them the thing they want. You couldn't do that 20 years ago when I started."

Source: GameSpot

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