Splatoon: A Shooter Without The Guts and Gore

Oct 2, 2017

Nintendo's "Splatoon" may seem aimed at children on the surface, but it has built a periphery demographic: adults who need a break from a violent reality.

On May 29, 2015, the game "Splatoon" was officially released for the Wii U. The game immediately developed a fan base among both children and adults, highly praised for its gameplay and refreshing take on the shooter genre. But there's something very unique about "Splatoon" as a shooter - it contains no lasting realistic violence or injuries.

Despite being rated E10+ by the ESRB for "Cartoon Violence," the game requires players "splat" each other with paintball guns in order to protect their team's base - when they hit someone, they simply sort of explode into paint and are quickly regenerated. This is very different from shooters like Blizzard's "Overwatch" and Valve's "Team Fortress 2", in which enemies are shot with realistic guns in order to protect your team's base, often with a significant amount of blood spray.

Some might consider a game like this a training wheel to "Overwatch" and "Team Fortress 2" for young children. But for others, it's simply a breath of fresh air.

In today's society, we are surrounded by violence in the media. Not only are the majority of films and TV shows significantly violent, but major video games tend to focus on intense violence. AAA games for major consoles are typically rated M for Mature and focus on killing enemies. More recently, it seems like the focus has been on making the violence as gruesome as possible - in games like "Mortal Kombat X," you can rip opponents' hearts out, split their skulls in half, and perform pretty much any ridiculously extreme, over-the-top act of violence that you can think of. Whether or not seeing this much violence on a regular basis for entertainment is appropriate for a growing psyche is debatable.

The problem with a lot of tamer, nonviolent games is a feeling of being too kiddy/easy. A lot of gamers have avoided consoles like the Wii in the past as the "child's console." Nintendo seems to have found a perfect solution to this with "Splatoon."

"Splatoon" captures all the excitement and teamwork of violent shooters without showing the explicit violence that other shooters do. The game's unique lack of gore is a breath of fresh air in the gaming industry, providing hours of endless fun for all ages. It is no wonder that Nintendo has already announced "Splatoon 2" for their new Nintendo Switch console. Hopefully, Nintendo will continue to provide the breather from ultra-violent video games that we all could use.