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Batman Writer: Playing Arkham Asylum Right Is More Rewarding

Batman Writer: Playing Arkham Asylum Right Is More Rewarding


In a recent article exploring videogame violence, Batman comic writer Landry Walker has called on gamers to think more about how they approach violence in games to get the most from them. Drawing on examples from how some gamers were playing Batman: Arkham Asylum, Walker seemed concerned that violence in games was being treated in a disappointingly unrealistic fashion. He also explained how he felt Batman: Arkham Asylum was a better gaming experience when played with stealth and cunning in mind.

In his piece on Elder-Geek.com Walker recounts his time playing Arkham Asylum with a friend of his and being surprised by his gaming style. “Watching him play the game was a bit of a revelation for me,” he explained. “His style completely foreign. His method for dealing with the vile gun-toting criminals of this digital Gotham City? Run up to them and punch them. There was practically zero sneaking. Almost no subtlety or grace. He would just run up and punch the bad guy, usually taking a few machine gun shots to the face, and then zip away to a magical gargoyle that would render him invisible while his Bat-health recharged. Then he would repeat the process until there was nothing left to punch.

“It was effective, I will grant that much. But to me, it kinda missed the point of Batman.” This brought up the issue of how violence is depicted in games for Walker as he attempted to play Arkham Asylum very differently. “I want realistic violence when I play video games. So, my goal when I played Batman: Arkham Asylum was to not get shot. That’s how Batman (yes, the guy dressed in tights fighting the clown) becomes realistic to me.”

However, he doesn’t seem sure that other gamers agree. “Anyway, that’s my problem with video game violence. Bullets are something we shrug off. Point blank fire with a machine gun is something that a tiny bit of flexible body armor and 20 seconds sitting on a magic invisibility inducing gargoyle can cure. Time and time again, I’ve heard people claim that they want to see a greater degree of realism in video games. But that’s a lie. We don’t want realism. We want fantasy. We want unlimited ammo and we want rapid respawns. We want to jump out of second story windows without a scratch. We want to dodge bullets and shake off mortal wounds without pause.”

We absolutely agree with Walker’s points in his article, which we would highly recommend you read yourselves, as we too have watched friends play Arkham Asylum in bewilderingly aggressive ways. We originally mistook his comments as being directly against Batman: Arkham Asylum as did many others, but Walker contacted us to clarify his position with the following: “No matter how good a game is, no matter how much labor and effort go into creating a rich and subtle gaming experience, a certain amount of participation is required on the part of the gamer. If they refuse to participate, as my friend did, there is little that can be done. But that is not a criticism of the game. It’s a criticism of the gamer.”

You can and should read more of Landry Walker’s thoughts at Elder-Geek.com

Via Kotaku

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