The British newspaper site the Mail Online has reposted an article written for their Sunday variety of their newspaper about upcoming game Detroit: Become Human by Quantic Games, stating that the game is ‘repulsive’, and that ‘abusers will get off on this stuff’.
The trailer for the game was released at the Paris Games Week, and showed one part of the game where the player took control of a house-help android, who works in a home where a father is abusive towards his young daughter. As a character, players have the option to step in and stop it in various ways. However if the players do nothing, the girl may end up beaten to death.
The Mail Online reported quotes from various people such as Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in the UK, and journalist Esther Rantzen, both of whom have mistaken this part of the game as either essential or thinking that the player is playing as the father.
“But I’ve never heard of little girls being beaten with a belt as part of a game. That, in my view, is not just savage, it’s seriously damaging. Who would play such a game for fun? People who are impervious to the suffering of children,’ says Esther Rantzen. “We never want anyone to believe that beating a child to death with a belt is the stuff of entertainment. It should never be trivialised or turned into a game.
“I call upon Sony Interactive Entertainment to think again and withdraw this game, or at least remove this scene where a virtual child is put in life-threatening danger. If you don’t, real children may suffer.”
Without playing the game there is no way of really knowing how it is represented, but it also raises questions as to whether games are ready to address such sensitive topics.