We’ve arrived in a strange emotional clime when our popular entertainment frequently depicts torture as briskly effective rather than literally the worst thing one human being can do to another — yea verily, worse even than killing. Inflicting pain and suffering on a captive human being because one person feels like it and the other can’t stop it … is this not what we’re told awaits sinners in hell? Is this not the domain of Satan?
I left the Blacklist demo [wherein the act of torture occurred] sick and infuriated, which was a shame, because the person introducing the demo was a game designer I admire and have long wanted to meet. I really wanted to ask this man how he felt, demo-ing that. Ask the programmers and artists, too, how they felt, bringing that moment into this world. I wanted to ask them all what the deal is with this industry we’re a part of. I didn’t. Couldn’t. I know people who’ve been tortured. Someone I know was tortured because of something I wrote about him — a cold little bibelot I’ll take with me to my grave. I described my Blacklist experience to some gamer friends, a couple of whom thought I was overreacting. Overreacting to a blithe, shrugging presentation of the very definition of human evil, all in the name of “entertainment.” I spent a couple days feeling ashamed of being a gamer, of playing or liking military games, of being interested in any of this disgusting bullshit at all.