When it comes to video game violence, I’ve found my limit

In the opening seconds of the first trailer for “Hatred,” the new videogame from Polish studio Destructive Creations (whose logo is a mushroom cloud by the way), a long haired man loads an Ak-47 and announces his intent to commit mass murder.

What follows is some of the most disturbing content I have ever seen in a videogame.

In scenes that are a poor imitation of Frank Millers worst artistic output, our trench coat-wearing and long-haired antagonist (because this guy is clearly, no hero) shoots and stabs women, law enforcement officials and countless other innocent people to death on the outskirts of New York City.

Yeah. That’s real. You can buy that on the computer. Now, in an era where people can be sawed in half with chainsaws and players can act out scenes from a snuff film in “Manhunt,” it may seem like there’s no line.

Well, this is it. It has been crossed.

Content like this has no place in the games industry. I respect the right of people to buy such a thing if they want, but I urge retailers not to advertise that they have such a thing and strongly recommend that they not stock it, period. Pundits often talk about how madmen and madwomen can be inspired to do harm to others after exposing themselves to certain media. This game would trigger exactly that.

Now, to be fair, the videogame medium can be a thoughtful place for exploration of violent incidents that have occurred in our society. In 2005, amateur game designer Danny Ledonne released “Super Columbine Massacre RPG!,” a free download that cast players in the roles of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold during the horrendous massacre they carried out in Littleton, Colorado in April, 1999.

I’ll be honest, and this may get me a visit from someone in law enforcement, but I have downloaded and played Mr. Ledonnes game. Like Elephant from Gus Van Zant, this piece of media is a deeply thoughtful and intelligent exploration of the issues that can cause someone to psychotically break and commit a mass murder. People may hate me for saying that, but I have diamond thick skin. So I don’t care.

“Super Columbine Massacre RPG!” is a work of art. “Hatred” is not. This upcoming game from a studio whose founder gaming website Polygon reported is a fan of fascist organizations in Poland should not win any sort of critical or commercial adoration. By all means, go nuts and publish it. But I won’t be playing it, and neither will any other human beings with any sense of human decency.