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Dev defends Dead Island child violence

"This happens in a realistic setting."

The child violence depicted in the Dead Island trailer, below, is not exploitative, Deep Silver has insisted.

The Dead Island trailer shows a reverse-time account of a young girl on a tropical holiday island being torn away from her parents, become a zombie and eventually flung out of a window to her death.

Some have labelled the scene exploitative. Others have accused it of trading on a taboo. Valve writer Erik Wolpaw told Eurogamer it's "unpleasant in a way that makes it difficult to watch".. But for Deep Silver producer Sebastian Reichert, child violence is a part of the realistic setting developer Techland is trying to create.

"I'm feeling sad for the people who don't see that in this trailer are also 25 regular people dead," he said. "They're running around and trying to eat your brains, but they're still dead.

"Killing people in general is a taboo. So as soon as you go to the zombie topic, you have to face the fact you will kill people, else it won't work. So yes, we also have a kid in there. But I don't see we exploited this in any way, like we just splattered her over the ground or some weird s**t like that.

"She fell out of a tall building at the beginning – or at the end. We took good care that we didn't overdo it. It's not a gooey pump or something. We're not doing this for the showing of gore and splatter.

"Of course we're aware that if this was another character it would have another feeling. But in the end, the other people are also dead. This is what happens in a realistic setting."

Dead Island, a first-person open world role-playing game set on a tropical island, was relatively unknown before Deep Silver released what some consider to be one of the greatest video game trailers ever last month.

Reichert has already countered accusations that the trailer does not accurately reflect the game it promotes.

He confirmed that while child zombies were OK for the trailer, their inclusion in the game itself was a step too far.

"Because you have problems with rights and ESRB," he explained. "It wouldn't be good for age ratings."

But there's another reason why Dead Island is free from child zombies.

"We were thinking about it to implement it. But what are the advantages of a kid zombie who has no reach? He's weaker. Basically from a gameplay perspective, it's only there to shock people. The game is drastic enough the way it is. We're flying enough intestines and limbs around.

"We can happily say the game is brutal enough. We don't need kids in there."