June 4th, 2008

From The Independent Games Source comes this fascinating if gory little New Grounds flash title, The Torture Game 2. Its concept is simple: hand the player a limp male rag doll, throw in various instruments of destruction, and see what chaos ensues. While tugging at the doll’s wobbly limbs can be fun, introducing the shotgun and the chainsaw gets downright gruesome. I didn’t mean to cut him clear in half my first time, honest!

TIG Source has a good point: while a game like this probably raises for most people questions of morality and safety, connoisseurs of the unusual like myself are more interested in the way it allows players to create macabre art. By setting up their victims as canvases, users leave marks and wounds like brush strokes. In fact, the game even gives players a paint brush for finishing touches. All in all, it’s a crude piece of interactive work, but it leaves the creative space more open than other torture games.

Now to the question part of today’s show: Is this game “inappropriate”? How would this game be different (or be perceived differently) if the rag doll were female? What does it mean to see sadism as a form of art making? One, two, three, go!

Tags: sadomasochism

12 Responses to “Macabre Art in ‘The Torture Game’”

  1. Nightbringer666 Says:

    I don’t think this game is inappropriate. Firstly, it’s a ‘game’, not reality. Secondly, if you can appreciate that there is beauty in all things, than you can probably appreciate that there is beauty in destruction. Like you said, using the body as a canvas. Also, rather than being forced to use a male or female, one should have the option to choose. Some people like to create art with guys, others gals.

    Sadly, there are MANY closed minded individuals that would ridicule and bash a game like this, especially if the victim were female, simply because they refuse to appreciate that there ‘could’ be beauty in it, even if they themselves can’t see it. And unfortunately, the ones that can’t see such beauty far outnumber those that can.

  2. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    I totally agree with you Nightbringer that the same girl with a female body would get a lot more negative response–in fact, a lot more response in general. Another Heroine Sheik reader is actually working on a somewhat similar game based on the idea of subs and doms, and I believe the main object of the “torture” is female. Should be interesting to see!

  3. mike445 Says:

    I love this game! I think there’s something wrong with me but then again thousands of people love this game as well…

    BTW you can play the latest version of the game here:

    With new guns and customize face feature :)

  4. john Says:

    i was naked and i saw this hot girl and i was having sex with her

  5. john Says:

    fuck this game id rather have sex

  6. Nightbringer666 Says:

    …and they’re calling the people that LIKE the game creepy weirdos…

  7. Nightbringer666 Says:

    Wow, check this link out.
    I’m at a loss for words. That clip is so biased. Just listen to the tone of the news anchor’s voice.

    Why are you letting your kids play this? All this research to prove that violent games will make kids numb to violence. Well of course it will. They aren’t mentally ready to handle this sort of thing. But your kids are going to be exposed to the horrors of the world one way or another. So instead of shielding them from something larger than you, why don’t you sit down with your kid and talk to them. Explain to them what that person is feeling. Ask them how they think they would like it were it done to them?

    You can try to censor games like this, but as I recall, it’s hard to suppress these kinds of things on the net. So instead of wasting your time and energy getting huffed up about violent games like this, just sit your kid(s) down and teach what’s WRONG about it.

  8. Nightbringer666 Says:

    Oh and one other thing. The game was made by a 19 year old. I’m betting alot of the people that play this game are roughly the same age. I am. Kinda makes me think that maybe a few generations have already been made numb to violence. And I didn’t have anything like this when I was a kid. So maybe the reason why we’re numb to violence is… society’s fault? Gosh, but that would mean… you’d have no one to blame but yourself. And after all, no responsible, mature person can do THAT, now can they? *intense sarcasm >.>*

  9. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Wow, what an insane Fox News clip. Then again, it’s Fox News: what do we expect? I hadn’t realized the game had gotten media coverage though. I guess I was going with the wishful thinking that people could let that slide/think intelligently. Alas.

    Personally, I couldn’t even watch the coverage anymore after the guest starts talking about how porn makes men think rape is ok. Which decade do we live in?

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  11. ctenderholt2005 Says:

    I have to say, that I think this game is VERY inappropriate….especially for 12 year olds! My AUTISTIC son came home from school yesterday and was excited to show this to us. He says he plays it everyday in keyboarding class at free time! Children like him are not able to be taught as easily as other kids, however I still feel that its inappropriate for them too. ESPECIALLY a special needs child needs constant supervision and redirecting and I am going to the school today to put my foot down and make sure at the very least that they are NOT allowing my child to play this. Having children play a game such as this only teaches them how to torture people in real life and turn into serial killers. This is why I have never allowed violent games in our house even for my normal neuro-typical 14 year old. Games like Grand theft Auto teach that its ok to pick up prostitutes and rape women. How are these games ok? Yes a parents job is to teach our children right from wrong but I do NOT think there is anything good that can come from this game or any game like it. And my child who is Autistic already is violent as it is and for him to look at this game as “Cool” is sad, pathetic and scary!! I guess its one thing if you are a 19 year old who enjoys torturing others and a 12 year old who has no business playing like this. One of these days you guys will all understand if you have children….at least I hope so. Your life changes from the moment you have kids and you want to protect them. I do know a friend of mine who allows his children who are 4-8 years old play games such as call of duty and grand theft auto and i have argued with him alot about it. Its just wrong in my own opinion and we are all entitled to an opinion. Right?!

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