Though the last one will have people contesting it to be disqualified for age (it comes from the second Phantasmagoria game, after all), I do believe that the point still stands, there are plenty of video games that aim to discuss these “adult themes” with a sense of “maturity”. Hell, strip the original Silent Hill of its monsters and gore and you effectively have a story of child abuse at the hands of adults who neglected their common sense and care for their young in favour of following a cult, all of which leads into a long nightmare sequence for any responsible parent who has ever lived. Keep in mind that though I have been gaming for years, there are titles of which I probably completely forgot who tell stories of such pathos and logos you could visit a video game forum and mistake it for an online class discussing the intricacies of Ayn Rand's “Atlas Shrugged”.
Video games don't need to grow up, video games were communicating to its players the terror and burden that haunted American defences when Mutually Assured Destruction dawns upon California and its neighbouring cities as early as 1980, a time when films were too busy milking sequels out of the Star Wars and Superman cash cows. But that isn't to say that even the action centric blockbusters that got reeled up back at Hollywood is in fact the medium that needs to grow up, much like video games after it, these action movies can easily tackle complex issues with maturity. The original Robocop was a journey for the lead, Alex Murphy, to find himself in a role that daunted over him and appeared to consume his life and very existence, Demolition Man managed to make a warning about the double-edged nature of what many modern progressive thinkers and ideologues would deem a utopia back in the 90s, and do I have to touch on the themes of womanhood in the Alien franchise?
“Well alright Greg, but what if a game developer WANTS to make a blatantly grown up game? Why are you so hung up on it when, as you said, it’s been happening for ages?” First of all, the argument was that games NEEDED to GROW UP, implying it hasn't already achieved the goals set by these pro-ported “pop culture critics” and second, I worry about the direction this takes. You see, I am not a professional video game or “pop culture” critic, as empty as the latter is as a title, most of my knowledge on gaming derives from years of research in video game design back at university which I still do to this day. I managed to extract interesting points of discussion from these video games that it seems people who are supposed to be far more educated and experienced than me completely failed to even recognise and have instead resorted to demanding them to be more visible and obvious to them. This, I fear, will not lead to games becoming more mature in narrative or even function, but just less subtle. Let's backtrack for a moment and dive into the pit of spoilers so as I can better explain. Do you remember my reference to Catherine?