With the cutting-edge nature of the job, however, comes a problem that on the face of it, reads like a discarded Black Mirror script. As graphics get more photorealistic and violent games get more gory, that shit can haunt you. That's what one developer who worked on Mortal Kombat 11 found after months and months of designing and executing elaborate, violent finishing moves. The combination of the necessary anatomical research -- no, really -- and the need to watch simulations of hi-def bloodplosions all day conspired to create something that wormed its way into his nightmares.
"I'd have these extremely graphic dreams, very violent," said the unnamed developer in an interview with Kotaku. "I kind of just stopped wanting to go to sleep, so I'd just keep myself awake for days at a time, to avoid sleeping [...] You start to feel like an idiot for thinking about what the impact of working on that game has been on yourself. Other people I've talked to have been like, 'I know what I'm working on, I know what I've gotten myself into here.' And you start to blame yourself for being shitty or weak or spineless."
And this is a problem that will only get worse as graphics improve and things get even more photorealistic. So how do we fix this? Culling all violent content from games or going back to 8-bit graphics would be a disastrous war on the concept of fun, so maybe game company higher-ups could be a little more cognizant of the mental risks that game development can pose and take better care of their developers? I'm just spitballing here, but it would be nice to write an article entry on video game creation that didn't start with a preface about how rough it is to be in video game creation.