This is fascinating. While developing VOADI I’ve needed to research some disturbing things. Designing the catacombs area, we were looking at pictures of bones and decaying human corpses. I was getting a little concerned for our mental health doing this stuff. Thing is, VOADI is a cute 2D game. Mortal Kombat is 3D and not cute at all, so I can only imagine what the development was like.
There’s been quite a bit of research saying that playing “violent games” doesn’t cause violent behavior. By the metrics used in those studies, it makes sense to me. They classify games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild as violent games since PEGI says so (it depicts violence against “realistic looking humans or animals”). I’d be interested to see a study about the effects of extreme violent games such as MK11 and DOOM on the psyches of players and developers.
There are millions of players that play violent games every day, MK, DOOM, Postal, Carmageddon, Columbine RPG, Resident Evil, Outlast, ThrillKill, Manhunt, Sniper Elite, Soldier of Fortune, the list is infinite and 9 of 10 games are based on violence, but there has never been a direct link with the real life, we don’t see hundreds of gamers killing in real life. I can’t play those games because I feel nauseating, but who plays those games does it for the adrenaline rush, until they get bored. It must be absolutely stressful for developers, but as a gamer you can just turn off the console and do something else.
They worry about video games, meanwhile kids eat tidepods on youtube and play bluewhale on whatsapp.
I know for sure that I would go crazy if I were working on that games. The purpose of the game is killing in the most scenic way possible, so this becomes the focus of the development and the attention to details is maniacal. You really must love gore if you want to thrive in a environment like that :) I put it up there with engineering of torture devices for a living.
I too would love to see a study on teams developing extremely violent games.