Hear ye! Hear ye! Spencer Halpin’s 2007 documentary Moral Kombat is currently viewable for free over at Babelgum for a limited period. It highlights the issues surrounding videogame violence from the first amendment and the industry’s freedom of expression through to the implications that it may have on the next generation.
I spotted this over at GamePolitics.com and although it covers a lot of familiar ground it’s definitely worth a look if you’ve not seen it before and have an hour and a half to spare. I do have a few bones with it however.
Firstly and most apparently is the production and ‘special’ effects; which sees all sorts of overlayed game footage ceaselessly flashing and cutting throughout. Now if that couldn’t get any more distracting the film starts doing some really bizarre stuff like imposing Lorne Lanning’s face on to some World of Warcraft creature and then later Marie Sylla gets morphed into a Grand Theft Auto illustration; it’s just crazy. Did the director think we’d lose interest if the speaker was, you know, just left to speak?
Secondly, the film needs some structuring and space to breath as it feels like an extended trailer of swirling sound bites and swift edits. As a result it doesn’t dwell enough on some of the key issues and ends up repeating itself with a handful of interesting insights from the likes of Lorne Lanning (who I greatly admire) and Henry Jenkins.
There’s a lot of good stuff here but it’s caught in a storm of special effects and haphazard editing which clouds the otherwise admirable intention and sound content of the film. Having said this, it’s still a cracking primer for the uninitiated and something that the industry should endeavour to expand upon seen as these issues aren’t going away any time soon.