Ok, let's talk about Hatred.
I know you were just making spontaneous observations, but I am going to suggest that you were allowing your opinions and response to Hatred be channeled into some traditional patterns of "Are video games art?" and "Do video games cause violence?" and "Violent video games make people upset and our industry is fragile and it would be nice if no one got upset so let's try not to upset anyone pointlessly." All of which are understandable and human reactions. But also flawed.
First, video games are art. Video games must permit anything. Art permits anything. That equally includes Goya's depictions of torture and a film like Escac Corten. Some art upsets people. Some art is intended to upset people. The comedy of Andy Kaufman was intended to upset people.
If Hatred does nothing but upset people, then that's enough. Art does not have to appeal to only our "nicer" emotions, nor does it have to solve social problems. Art may cause social unrest, raise troubling questions and make life less comfortable. (There is no "should" there -- no obligation -- and pictures of frolicking happy rabbits are perfectly legitimate too.)
Wanting the "punchline" is like preferring George Carlin to Andy Kaufman -- both said and did things that were (objectively) upsetting. But Carlin said those things at a point in his career where he'd established credentials and a reputation and if he said something "disturbing", everyone already had an image in their mind that he was a "good guy" and that it was "just a joke". Kaufman made sure people did not have a comfortable point of judgement of his work, so when he upset people, they reacted in authentic ways. (One could also compare the acts and audience responses of Don Rickles and Sacha Baron Cohen.)
Similarly, when watching Escac Corten, one wants a punchline -- and as a piece of entertainment, it certainly delivers one. But should one? But is it enough? And how far does one have to go to get it? And what about Kaufman and Cohen anyway?
Wanting a punchline is legitimate. It's human. It's the natural desire to "find meaning" in the small things in life in order to find meaning in life itself. One can debate the meanings people find and even the legitimacy of an overall meaning, but one cannot deny that people look for one and any work of art is going to have "What does it mean?" asked about it. And the "punchline" is simply the creator telling the audience, "This is what it means".
Traditionally, comedy has punchlines, because it's supposed to be instantly gratifying. It may be very intellectual or use obscure references, but the "point" is for the audience to understand what is being said or referred to. Comedians who reference Zeno's Paradox do so in order to make their college-pudding audience feel more exclusive and superior, playing to their vanity and ego.
The comedy of Kaufman (and Cohen, in a lesser way) is not intended to be gratifying at the point where it happens. It's a comedy based in people not understanding the ideas or references. It's a comedy that is intended to be appreciated by smaller or different audience, perhaps at another point in time. (This is where one can draw a line between "comedy" and "performance art" -- a line I think is blurry and unnecessary.) It generally has no "punchlines" that explain the joke -- the intended audience will see that the set-up itself was all that was needed and will provide their own explanation.
I have only seen the trailer for Hatred (remember, it's a post about Hatred) and I only watched it once, a few minutes ago. I certainly see violence, though the portrayal of violence is not particularly intense -- the desaturated colors and the quick cutting prevent it from having the intensity of a more realistic presentation. And I think I see what people would find "instantly upsetting" -- the apparent purposelessness of the violence, insofar as no purpose is presented. Just as people have a natural desire to find meaning (or be given one, lazily), they dislike the idea that something has no meaning -- and "hate for hate's sake" does not seem like enough reason to go on a murder-rampage.
But one can bring a lot more to this trailer than just the observation that it lacks an explanatory punchline. One can ask what effect that presentation will have on the player. And one can ask what possible explanations could be for the actions the character is taking. And one can ask what effect the game itself could have on different players.
First, the player, seeing a character without motive, will naturally attempt to provide a motive. As with so many games that present thinly-drawn protagonists, the lack of a character background makes it easier for that background to be anything the player imagines -- anything the player feels would justify that level of hate and violence.
But the game does not (seemingly) leave things quite as open-ended as they seem. The character has access to military hardware and is a large white male. This already narrows the potential backstory down considerably -- and to a set of options that are generally considered unfashionable. For example, he might be a former soldier whose best friend was just allowed to die needlessly in a VHA hospital and for that he blames the hospital, the government and the people who allowed that government to behave that way -- in short, everyone -- making him a broken, angry, emotionally blinded person who is in so much personal pain that he cannot face his life, and he's going to get himself killed while punishing as many people as possible in revenge for his dead friend and perhaps to motivate reform of the hospital bureaucracy.
See, that's not so hard. People will come up with stories that make sense to them, based on their experience and imagination. If the protagonist were a small black girl who killed people with an pistol, people would probably come up with different stories. Perhaps someone should will that game/mod.
This gets to the next question of what will happen when people play this game. They'll get to see their chosen "fantasy" play out, ending in the death of other people and themselves. There will be a certain "pointlessness" to it, because even though the character dies in the game, they can play it again -- his death isn't permanent. To some, this might seem like it makes the violence look "fun" and "safe" and "easy", leading players to go on their own wild rampages, but that's fairly absurd. Most people will see that the violence achieves nothing at all -- that the game does "end" with the characters death and all one can do is reset and repeat the process. (See Freud's theory of repetition compulsion for some of the significance of that.) One might find such a game much more disturbing if it featured an ending where the violence was somehow "explained" (i.e. given a punchline) by revealing what happens in the world after the player dies, based on exactly who or how many people were killed. For example, imagine the end-screen said, "You killed Doug, a college student who would have gone on to cure cancer!" or "You killed Becky, a psychotic woman who was planning to murder her infant tonight!"
There is at least one set of people who will approach the game differently -- people who are genuinely psychotic. They might not project _any_ backstory on the character, as "violence for no reason at all" may make perfect sense to them. The very fact that someone "wants a reason" for the violence says something about that person.
I think playing a game like this could be very cathartic for some people, helping them project and identify their own personal issues of hatred and anger. For people who are mellow or can't project onto a thuggish looking white dude, that's not going to happen. For people with deeper mental issues, that's not going to happen. Lots of people will experience the game in lots of ways.
Anyway, to keep this short, I'll avoid digressing into the various modes of cultural criticism and the distinction between saying "This game isn't likely to be what you want to buy and play" and "This game isn't good". You know.