Video game violence has long been speculated by some as a source of real-world violence. In a world full of realistic shooters and gore, Splatoon took a different take on the shooter genre.
At GDC 2018, GameSpot got to speak with Splatoon 2 producer Hisashi Nogami, who took some time to explain his thought on violence in games.
On the subject of guns, and I guess going in a more serious direction–Nintendo in general has such a playful kid-friendly focus, especially with Splatoon, which definitely isn’t a traditional Western shooter. But in recent weeks a big focus in the press has been on violence in video games and its affect on kids. In Japan and in Nintendo, are you having those kinds of conversations as well? What are your thoughts on all of this focus on violence in games?
As a game developer, I hate to hear that games would be thought to be capable of having a negative influence on society. Games are something that I feel have the power to have a positive influence. They’ve had a positive influence on me and my life as a developer, and one of the things that I see in my role as a developer is to create games that give people good experiences and have some sort of positive influence.
That’s how I’ve made games up until now. That’s how I want to continue making games. That’s not to say that other companies are making games with some sort of negative intent. I think all game creators are making games because of their interest in them, and because they want their games to be positively accepted and have some sort of good influence.
So the others may make shooters with more realistic gameplay. I don’t think at all that they are doing that with any sort of negative intent. I think that they’re proud of the things that they’re creating and want to put those expressions out into the world. But at Nintendo one of our goals, and I mentioned this yesterday as well, is to create games that can be enjoyed by as wide a variety of people as possible. To take on that challenge of making games that can be enjoyed regardless of age or background, that’s one thing that we’ve put a lot of effort into making sure we follow through on.
So it seems like Nogami is more focused on making a game that can be enjoyed by as many as possible than purely about limiting violence in games. Splatoon’s interesting take on multiplayer shooter provides people of all ages a fresh take on the shooting genre while maintaining Nintendo’s impression as a family-friendly company.