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Spike Lee movie criticizes game violence

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Spike Lee used video games in his latest thriller, Inside Man, not for previsualization but as a way of critiquing gangsta glamor and the apathy towards violence. We all know the best way to criticize violence right? All together now:

Make something even more violent!

In an article on the film's machinima* at BackStage.com, it's revealed that "in the case of Inside Man's game, which uses Rock Star Games' Grand Theft Auto as a point of reference, Lee insisted on storyboarding a custom-made scene rather than building off of an existing game. He wanted to depict a scenario that was even more grotesquely violent than any game already on the market."

Lee is hoping that the scene -- which involves putting a hand grenade in a character's mouth -- doesn't get duplicated in a future game not because he's afraid of getting cut out, rather, because he's upset by the level of violence in games. Lee explains, "I just hope people understand that is an absolute statement about my horror at how violent these games that young kids play are, and also the infatuation with violence and gangsta rap among the black community. It's not a real game, but it's not that far-fetched from the games that are being sold."

Alright, Spike, we know you mean well. Regardless of whether or not we think ascribing blame for inner-city violence
on the level of violence in video games is responsible, you're crazy if you think this little vignette is more grotesque than "any game already on the market!" Did you ever play Eternal Champions?
   
*Since this scene was not created using a game engine, the article's use of the term "machinima" is inaccurate. This is simply computer animation designed to resemble video games, as opposed to video games being manipulated to emulate traditional film-making techniques.

[Via Game Politics]

In this article: Inside Man, InsideMan, Spike Lee, SpikeLee
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