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Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

Let me, first off, start this entry with a little clarification before I get slaughtered by you insane internet frown posse, or whatever you call yourselves nowadays.

[I do not advocate the removal of violence from video games, or any other "feature" such as sexual content, drugs, and language, I simply am trying to convey an idea that I had about the future of video games without them.]

You've all heard about it, the violence from video games that is corrupting our children's youth. For years, parents, activists, and many others who just couldn't leave well enough alone, have fought to rid content from our entertainment. Massive backlash always follows and most of the time it's non-violent, which helps out tremendously in not propelling the crass stereotype that gamers are aggressive people, but recently it occurred to me that something big would have to change in this industry if the support for violence was never there.

Now, the first thing that came to my mind was the influx of puzzle/thinking games; however, then I realized that this isn't a world in which we outlawed violence when games were first created, it's a world where, very recently, we were told that violence can't be a part of our entertainment anymore. This changes how we think about games drastically. We would still have all the knowledge from previous games, so first/third person games are fine, racing games are fine, adventure, action, strategy, all fine. The difference is there is no killing, no combat.

We rely on combat extensively. A little too much perhaps. A game like Call of Duty depends solely on it's shooting mechanics being tight and huge set-piece, explosive moments to keep the player engaged, so when you really boil the game down to these basic points you can't help but realize how dull it actually is. And, yes, there is something to be said about the competitive aspect of the game, but we need to start moving away from wanting to be the best at holding down a button while keeping our cursor on someone until they lose. I know that condensing shooters to just that base mechanic is a bit unfair, but it was the best way for me to get my point across.

I'm not here to present a solution because there isn't a one, there are many. In fact, there are as many solutions to this problem as there are creative minds still out there. And I know they are out there because you see them every day making unique indie games that focus on an idea before gameplay. I don't even really feel right calling them "indie" because people generally think that that means they will only appeal to a very small, specific audience when in reality we are all looking for something fresh and exciting to come along. I want to see the day where I can talk to my friends and say, "Hey, I found this new game called ****** and it's doing this really original thing where you *********," rather than continue going along saying, "Hey did you see that new game called ********? It's got, like, 22 new guns, so it justifies me paying $60 for it."

Again, I'm being kind of unfair to a lot of games out there, but it's all in light of me trying to prove my point. I also know I got off track a lot, but I hope you were able to bear with me and understand what I'm trying to get at here. I want things in this industry to change in a big way and detach itself from violence being a very up-front mechanic, but taking it away completely just isn't the solution. It's too powerful an emotional reception to see something violent, and it's ridiculous to remove it as a possible action in a story. All I'm asking for is to stop continuously using it as your crutch of a gameplay mechanic which, judging by the majority of games to come out in the past 30 years, is apparently asking for too much.

Thank you for reading.

#1 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

Let me, first off, start this entry with a little clarification before I get slaughtered by you insane internet frown posse, or whatever you call yourselves nowadays.

[I do not advocate the removal of violence from video games, or any other "feature" such as sexual content, drugs, and language, I simply am trying to convey an idea that I had about the future of video games without them.]

You've all heard about it, the violence from video games that is corrupting our children's youth. For years, parents, activists, and many others who just couldn't leave well enough alone, have fought to rid content from our entertainment. Massive backlash always follows and most of the time it's non-violent, which helps out tremendously in not propelling the crass stereotype that gamers are aggressive people, but recently it occurred to me that something big would have to change in this industry if the support for violence was never there.

Now, the first thing that came to my mind was the influx of puzzle/thinking games; however, then I realized that this isn't a world in which we outlawed violence when games were first created, it's a world where, very recently, we were told that violence can't be a part of our entertainment anymore. This changes how we think about games drastically. We would still have all the knowledge from previous games, so first/third person games are fine, racing games are fine, adventure, action, strategy, all fine. The difference is there is no killing, no combat.

We rely on combat extensively. A little too much perhaps. A game like Call of Duty depends solely on it's shooting mechanics being tight and huge set-piece, explosive moments to keep the player engaged, so when you really boil the game down to these basic points you can't help but realize how dull it actually is. And, yes, there is something to be said about the competitive aspect of the game, but we need to start moving away from wanting to be the best at holding down a button while keeping our cursor on someone until they lose. I know that condensing shooters to just that base mechanic is a bit unfair, but it was the best way for me to get my point across.

I'm not here to present a solution because there isn't a one, there are many. In fact, there are as many solutions to this problem as there are creative minds still out there. And I know they are out there because you see them every day making unique indie games that focus on an idea before gameplay. I don't even really feel right calling them "indie" because people generally think that that means they will only appeal to a very small, specific audience when in reality we are all looking for something fresh and exciting to come along. I want to see the day where I can talk to my friends and say, "Hey, I found this new game called ****** and it's doing this really original thing where you *********," rather than continue going along saying, "Hey did you see that new game called ********? It's got, like, 22 new guns, so it justifies me paying $60 for it."

Again, I'm being kind of unfair to a lot of games out there, but it's all in light of me trying to prove my point. I also know I got off track a lot, but I hope you were able to bear with me and understand what I'm trying to get at here. I want things in this industry to change in a big way and detach itself from violence being a very up-front mechanic, but taking it away completely just isn't the solution. It's too powerful an emotional reception to see something violent, and it's ridiculous to remove it as a possible action in a story. All I'm asking for is to stop continuously using it as your crutch of a gameplay mechanic which, judging by the majority of games to come out in the past 30 years, is apparently asking for too much.

Thank you for reading.

#2 Edited by Daneian (1251 posts) -

I guess my questions are, what sort of violence and how directly does it need to be connected to the player?

I think you can consider all the Burnout Games violent because of the physical way you make other cars crash, but you never see people or blood. Starcraft has violence in it, but it's further removed from player action than pointing a gun at a models head and pulling the trigger. Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Mario have violence in them, but they are abstract or cartoonish.

#3 Posted by me3639 (1837 posts) -

Just like Geaorge Carlin once said, "They want to ban the plastic guns, and keep the REAL ONES!. What are we? Fuckin' Stupid?"
I am of course against the removal of fake and real guns.

#4 Posted by SmilingPig (1340 posts) -

I am all for it for as long as they leave the sex in.

#5 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Daneian said:

I guess my questions are, what sort of violence and how directly does it need to be connected to the player?

I think you can consider all the Burnout Games violent because of the physical way you make other cars crash, but you never see people or blood. Starcraft has violence in it, but it's further removed from player action than pointing a gun at a models head and pulling the trigger. Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Mario have violence in them, but they are abstract or cartoonish.

The actual physical violence isn't exactly what I'm trying to get at here. The Burnout series uses take-downs, essentially "kills," as a mission type, but they also have time trials, races, etc that don't focus on you ramming your car into another to win. These are the sorts of missions that I want to see more expanded on because I think that developers can create some incredibly fun things to do in racing games besides crashing into the other cars around you to win. I'm not even asking for them to remove take-downs because I know that they are an integral feature to the franchise. Instead, I just want them to tackle the challenges of creating gameplay without violence being a main factor in how they make the game and its missions.

I'm very glad you brought Starcraft up because when writing this, I found that RTS games were very adaptable to the loss of violence. We don't need "destroy the enemy player" to be a goal. There should be other ways to win. I don't want to change Starcraft because I know people would be up in arms, but for a new hypothetical RTS coming out, how about we strip the sense that we need to keep buffing up our armies so that at some point we can take the opponent out? Create different win states. Civilization does an excellent job at not forcing you to be the most destructive, as you can win through diplomacy and non violent strategies.

I realize I'm pretty bad at making my point clear because I'm not so great at writing, but what I want to say is that my problem doesn't lie with the violence in general. Games are going to have violence, whether it be jumping on a goomba or eating a ghost, I get that. I don't think that taking that away is a solution. I just want the approach on making games to not focus so heavily on violence because I feel like developers recently think that its the only way to engage players.

#6 Posted by dcgc (878 posts) -

But the thing is, the majority of people buy games like you mentioned (with focus on shooting/violence). Until the day people get bored with it, those preferences will be the trend in videogames. Solution: search for games that don't solely focus on violence. There are a lot of games like that; A lot of games I play don't involve violence as a main mechanic, so there isn't a lack of them if that's what you're implying.

#7 Posted by Daneian (1251 posts) -

It could be an interesting thought experiment to try to design one. Yeah, the easy answers are puzzle, music and adventure games but I want to see a heavily narrative-based game, complete with a goal and the tension of having obstacles you'd have to overcome to reach it, that didn't have any kind of physical, verbal or psychological violence.

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

I don't think creativity and vision should be hampered in any fashion. If people don't like what the creators within a medium create they can go elsewhere for their entertainment.

#9 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@dcgc said:

But the thing is, the majority of people buy games like you mentioned (with focus on shooting/violence). Until the day people get bored with it, those preferences will be the trend in videogames. Solution: search for games that don't solely focus on violence. There are a lot of games like that; A lot of games I play don't involve violence as a main mechanic, so there isn't a lack of them if that's what you're implying.

I don't know for sure obviously, but I think that the majority you are talking about whom only buy games with a focus on shooting/violence simply haven't found that they can enjoy a game without it. And it's easy to understand why they are so inclined to play these types of games because we have been conditioned for years and years that it is an important part of what makes a game fun.

And, yes, you have a good point. My ideas do make it seem as though I think there are a lack of games that don't solely focus on violence. I don't particularly believe that there are no games that feature nonviolence, but I also don't think there are enough. Especially, not to the quality which I would want them either.

What are some of the games you had in mind?

#10 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Daneian said:

It could be an interesting thought experiment to try to design one. Yeah, the easy answers are puzzle, music and adventure games but I want to see a heavily narrative-based game, complete with a goal and the tension of having obstacles you'd have to overcome to reach it, that didn't have any kind of physical, verbal or psychological violence.

Exactly, and I think that someone could really do an excellent job at making one someday, and hopefully it will inspire people to share that sort of mindset when they make their own games.

#11 Posted by jakob187 (21728 posts) -

Better idea: keep the violence in video games, educate kids and other people about the difference between fantasy and reality, and allow people to be free-thinking individuals.

Look, I'm not going to sit here and be the guy that says "violence in video games doesn't translate to violence in real life". There is no form of evidence to support it either way. However, as someone who watches kids play violent video games (Halo, Call of Duty, Left 4 Dead, Gears of War, Dead Island) on a daily basis due to my workplace, I can say this: I never see that violence on the screen directly related to real life.

If you look over at a game like Spec Ops: The Line, they are offering a rather challenging thing to the shooter market: show the tyranny of war and violence, the dark side of man. Show that violence is not something to necessarily glorify. Offer that harsh reality to the audience.

It's not the VIOLENCE that is the problem. It's the part where it is GLORIFIED. Developers talk about it all the time: the "satisfaction" of a headshot, the "feel" of the controls related to shooting a gun, the "accuracy" of the kill and death animations. They are trying to offer an experience of killing and murder that is PLEASURABLE to people, then hide it behind the veil of modern warfare and say "well, you're killing terrorists, so it's okay".

It doesn't mean that fake violence is a bad thing. I'd rather that the world just shot each other in video games than in real life. Hell, if the Taliban and U.S. sat down and settled it all out over a game of Call of Duty, that would be pretty great...and I'd probably pay to watch that stupid shit.

Nonetheless, violence is video games won't go anywhere, and without any form of links between the violence of a game and the violence of a person, there's no need for it to.

NOW...after all that, what is your definition of "violence" here? We have to be honest: video games have been about violence from the beginning. Donkey Kong was about a giant gorilla throwing barrels at a guy after the gorilla kidnapped his girlfriend. Pac-Man was about being chased and killed by ghosts, but then turning the tables by eating a super pellet and killing them. Space Invaders was about a ship shooting aliens. There were SOME non-violent games, like Pong and Asteroids. However, as time progresses and technology advances in the ways of graphical capability, you cannot expect something to offer less in the terms of how violent someone can make it. Violence in TV, film, games, and art in general is a way for us to have a catharsis about that stuff.

I don't really know the right response, but I know my response: I'm okay with it so long as it's not emulated in real life.

#12 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@jakob187: I get what you're saying and all about violence and how when someone copies something they see in a video game, tv, movie, or whatever, and then enacts it in real life it's bad, but that's not what my blog was about. It was more so stretching my belief that violence has become sort of a repetitive mechanic in games, and I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

This is not a blog about me discussing how violence effects people's actions in real life. This is not about glorifying violence.

#13 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

I'm gonna laugh so hard when one day all violence is removed from all media and kids are still violent bastards.

What spoils kids the most is their environment; parents, school, friends. Not some movie or video game. But people will always look for a scapegoat rather than accepting that people are responsible for what they do, not the media.

#14 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

#15 Posted by High_Nunez (218 posts) -

And we inch ever closer to "Dinner with Andre: The Game".

#16 Posted by Hunter5024 (5893 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

#17 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Morrow said:

I'm gonna laugh so hard when one day all violence is removed from all media and kids are still violent bastards.

What spoils kids the most is their environment; parents, school, friends. Not some movie or video game. But people will always look for a scapegoat rather than accepting that people are responsible for what they do, not the media.

Once again, this isn't what I'm talking about.

@Morrow said:

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

What I mean't to say is that I'd like to see a lot more games follow this trend. just about summed up what I want to see. You don't see too many games doing that.

#18 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (102 posts) -

As long as it isn't bake cookies game, I wouldn't mind seeing more non-violent games. Like a fun Winnie the Pooh game with Lego style gameplay...that's the game I would have loved to play as a kid. Or games like Epic Mickey, or maybe even a fun Looney Tunes game. BUT I wouldn't want to see violent games to go away either. I do want violence in video games just not God of War levels, make it Lord of the Rings: War in the North level violence at max...God of War is a little to much.

#19 Posted by fisk0 (4399 posts) -

@MistaSparkle said:

I'm very glad you brought Starcraft up because when writing this, I found that RTS games were very adaptable to the loss of violence. We don't need "destroy the enemy player" to be a goal. There should be other ways to win. I don't want to change Starcraft because I know people would be up in arms, but for a new hypothetical RTS coming out, how about we strip the sense that we need to keep buffing up our armies so that at some point we can take the opponent out? Create different win states. Civilization does an excellent job at not forcing you to be the most destructive, as you can win through diplomacy and non violent strategies.

It's been quite a while since I played them, but if I recall correctly Age of Empires 2, Age of Mythology and Empire Earth all had an RTS version of Civilization's culture victory - where you could opt for building a very expensive Wonder building, which would take 5-10 minutes to finish, and if you managed to complete it without being stopped by your enemies (once you started construction, they were all alerted that you were trying to build one) you'd win. Still, the war part was all there, you had to defend the building until it was finished, but it was interesting of them to try to add a victory condition that didn't necessarily mean wiping out your enemies. I think there was some limited diplomacy in the games too, where you could team up and pay tribute to other civilizations during the course of the game, but I don't think you could fully win doing that, as at least one player had to be outside of the team.

#20 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

@MistaSparkle: I've read that post 3 times and I'm still unsure what you're trying to say. Are you talking about a hypothetical world where violence is no longer allowed in our entertainment? If so why the other 3 paragraphs on random nonsense?

#21 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Mr Radchek has something to teach you OP.

#22 Posted by Ares42 (2770 posts) -

@MistaSparkle said:

And, yes, there is something to be said about the competitive aspect of the game, but we need to start moving away from wanting to be the best at holding down a button while keeping our cursor on someone until they lose.

Why ? If people enjoy it, why do we need to move away from it ? Throughout time people have enjoyed competing about plenty of things that are just as (or even more) trivial. Why is this something we have to stop ?

#23 Posted by Discoman (169 posts) -

@High_Nunez said:

And we inch ever closer to "Dinner with Andre: The Game".

Considering most of this site grew up with video games, violent or not, I think it is easily observed that it doesn't have earth shattering effects considering we're not homicidal maniacs. I think there are things wrong with the new generation and violence isn't the number one. I think some titles are tasteless in their approaches to violence, but whatever.

#24 Posted by Zenogiasu (193 posts) -

Compared to other mediums, video games do contain a disproportionate amount of violence--I think that's a difficult point to refute. I think it stems from the simplicity of the act: basic point-and-click shooting is very intuitive and easy to understand. When technology was at its most basic, it was a simple concept to translate into the interactive space. Furthermore, as with any game, video game or otherwise, there needs to be a way to "lose". Death as loss or "game over" is another staple of the industry that is deeply entrenched. We equate loss with death, and victory with killing. The merits of this can be debated until the end of time.

I'll confess that I didn't quite follow your line of argument, but I believe I can tell where you're coming from. Just know that there are several games that contain absolutely zero violence that perform very well at market.

#25 Posted by CJduke (796 posts) -

There are already a lot of games recently that have little to no violence in them ever since the indie game market has become so big. I think this trend will continue and of course we will never have no violence, but there will be a lot more games like Journey, Portal 2, Dear Esther, To the Moon ext in the future.

#26 Edited by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

I love non-violent games as much as anyone(I still do a yearly Deus Ex no kill playthrough) I can't help but enjoy big dumb violent video games once in a while. I also know it would piss people of to hear me say that Black Ops 2 is one of my most anticipated games of this year. Black Ops was fantastic you guys!

#27 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

@MistaSparkle: I've read that post 3 times and I'm still unsure what you're trying to say. Are you talking about a hypothetical world where violence is no longer allowed in our entertainment? If so why the other 3 paragraphs on random nonsense?

Yeah, sorry, I'm very bad at writing. Especially with more long form stuff... The point I'm trying to make is kind of difficult to explain as well, but let me try one more time right here.

I'm talking about the world just as it is now. All the games that you know that have come out are out. Then, let's just say today, it was ruled that violence in video games is unacceptable and will from now on be banned. Anyone caught making a violent game goes to jail, something crazy like that.

Developers would look at their long lists of games they've made and seriously have to change the way they make their next ones. Taking violence out of most games, popular or not, usually means taking out a very common mechanic. These guys have been putting combat in their games for years because for so long it has been the most popular and easiest way to provide "fun" for the player. It's usually some sort of skill based thing, and people latch on to the idea of kill that guy so I don't get killed pretty quickly because very many games are like that.

Then you see a game like Journey that strips a lot of what you think video games are and shows you a glimpse of what they can be. I guess what I'm saying is that Journey is a great starting point to where I want games to go. Taking the killing out of a game and instead letting you develop a bond with this one person that you share the world with was an incredible and fresh idea that I could totally get behind, and so did a bunch of other people.

It's not violence I have a problem with, its that we keep using it over and over because we know it works.

Thanks for reading this if you took the time to, and I'm sorry if this didn't make any sense either. Hope I didn't waste too much of your time having you reread everything, but I really do appreciate you doing so.

#28 Posted by Demoskinos (15093 posts) -

The ocean is full of different kinds of fish. There is no reason why the industry isn't big enough to cater to both sides.

Online
#29 Posted by Sammo21 (3429 posts) -

Violence is a very broad term. What I think you should be saying is lets take out the gore and gratuitous violence. I don't think it would matter, honestly. Kids mimic what they see, no what they think it is. Whether its Bugs Bunny, Power Rangers, or the Punisher. Does this mean kids want to kill or hurt people? No, but they are mimicking things they've seen and they think is cool. The same thing goes for things they say. You know (and I hate to admit I was there) how many small children I heard repeat "that guys a pussy" after coming out of the theater for Transformers 2? Quite a bit.

#30 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Phatmac: I also am looking forward to what they do with Black Ops 2. I don't hate violent games or anything, I mean Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games of all time. You get to pinpoint exactly which appendage you want to destroy and that's awesome, but there's also some really cool stuff in that game that isn't just shoot these guys to death. My only problem is there isn't enough of that alternative stuff in the game. Almost every mission involves killing someone for an item or going to a new area to find an item but instead its full of deathclaws, and guess what? You have to kill them. How about more missions where I don't have to do that stuff, I'm running low on ammo.

#31 Posted by theguy (796 posts) -

Maybe take verbal and psychological "violence" out of your proposal. It's very hard to define believable characters if there is never any conflict.

#32 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@theguy: Good point. Thinking about it, without that characters would be pretty stale, and it would be difficult to determine who the protagonist/antagonist are.

#33 Edited by believer258 (12082 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

I agree with Hunter, here, Morrow. I can't think of many games that don't make the player kill anything ever. Deus Ex and its sequels don't. Even Portal asks you to kill GLaDOS and

#34 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

I agree with Hunter, here, Morrow. I can't think of many games that don't make the player kill anything ever. Deus Ex and its sequels don't. Even Portal asks you to kill GLaDOS and

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

#35 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

i love my violent video games. most games i own have alot of violence in them. i understand they are just video games. not my fault or responsibility if some crazy dipshit with mental issues goes all wacko because of being exposed to them.

#36 Posted by Hunter5024 (5893 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@believer258 said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

I agree with Hunter, here, Morrow. I can't think of many games that don't make the player kill anything ever. Deus Ex and its sequels don't. Even Portal asks you to kill GLaDOS and

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

Cop out Morrow. Cop out. I think there are a ton of adventure games that have no aggression in them whatsoever, then there are racing games, sports games, the sim's (basically any sim type game really), rhythm games, and puzzle games. I'd love to see a list of games in more popular genres without violence in them though, I think it would be very interesting.

#37 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@believer258 said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

I agree with Hunter, here, Morrow. I can't think of many games that don't make the player kill anything ever. Deus Ex and its sequels don't. Even Portal asks you to kill GLaDOS and

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

Cop out Morrow. Cop out. I think there are a ton of adventure games that have no aggression in them whatsoever, then there are racing games, sports games, the sim's (basically any sim type game really), rhythm games, and puzzle games. I'd love to see a list of games in more popular genres without violence in them though, I think it would be very interesting.

Cop out of what? ô.O

There are popular genres like FPS or TPS that probably can't live without violence, otherwise I can't think of a "popular" genre that only has violent installments. What genres are you thinking of?

#38 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Morrow said:

Wheatley.

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

But that's the part that I have a problem with. I think games can benefit from not relying on "defeating enemies" as a gameplay mechanic. It's not that they are violent at all that bothers me, the mechanic of defeating some enemy is really overused. Thanks by the way for helping me put what I'm trying to convey in better terms.

#39 Posted by Hunter5024 (5893 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@believer258 said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

I agree with Hunter, here, Morrow. I can't think of many games that don't make the player kill anything ever. Deus Ex and its sequels don't. Even Portal asks you to kill GLaDOS and

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

Cop out Morrow. Cop out. I think there are a ton of adventure games that have no aggression in them whatsoever, then there are racing games, sports games, the sim's (basically any sim type game really), rhythm games, and puzzle games. I'd love to see a list of games in more popular genres without violence in them though, I think it would be very interesting.

Cop out of what? ô.O

There are popular genres like FPS or TPS that probably can't live without violence, otherwise I can't think of a "popular" genre that only has violent installments. What genres are you thinking of?

I think your post was a cop out because instead of listing games that had actually no violence, you decided games with violence that wasn't like gore didnt count. Personally I think you could have any genre without violence, a shotter does not necessarily mean you must harm someone with the thing your pointing at them. Maybe its some scifi shooter where your shooting plants and animals to evolve them to traverse the environment or something. I'd love to see a shooter like that, or an rpg that replaces battles with something else entirely. Really just anything thats a bit more imaginative would be cool.

#40 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@MistaSparkle said:

@Morrow said:

Wheatley.

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

But that's the part that I have a problem with. I think games can benefit from not relying on "defeating enemies" as a gameplay mechanic. It's not that they are violent at all that bothers me, the mechanic of defeating some enemy is really overused. Thanks by the way for helping me put what I'm trying to convey in better terms.

Hm, well I see that the definition of violence can vary depending on one's personal views.

The reason why defeating an enemy is one of the most basic and most used game mechanics could probably be found in psychology. My take on that would be something like, well, for someone to play a game they need motivation, the feeling of accomplishing something. Very basically defined as "winning". From all the things you can win, from a puzzle to a race, winning over an enemy is probably giving you the most rewarding feeling. It says "you are better than them". Who could not be intrigued by that? Many early games have as goal of all goals to defeat evil and safe the world. That seems like a good and rewarding task, no matter if Mario saves his Princess from Bowser or Link saves Hyrule from Ganon.

And well, this game mechanic has proven to be successful, and while I think it would definately be interesting to see more game concepts without defeating foes, I think it will never be as popular.

#41 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@believer258 said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Morrow said:

@MistaSparkle said:

I would like to see a game that shows that it can be fun without it.

Aww come one, there are SO MANY games without violence that are fun. Don't make me do a list.

Do a list!

I agree with Hunter, here, Morrow. I can't think of many games that don't make the player kill anything ever. Deus Ex and its sequels don't. Even Portal asks you to kill GLaDOS and

Well simply killing someone/something does not make a game violent in my opinion. You also kill monsters in Eternal Sonata or Final Fantasy, but these games are hardly considered violent as there is no blood or other graphic content. I don't think you can put the violence tag on every game that involves defeating foes. There are numerous JRPGs that have been enjoyed by a lot of people that never used any blood. Platformers or Jump and Run games, too. Basically pretty much everything that Nintendo did can be considered safe. The Mario or Zelda games are never violent, even though you defeat foes.

So, taking that into account, that list would be quite large.

Cop out Morrow. Cop out. I think there are a ton of adventure games that have no aggression in them whatsoever, then there are racing games, sports games, the sim's (basically any sim type game really), rhythm games, and puzzle games. I'd love to see a list of games in more popular genres without violence in them though, I think it would be very interesting.

Cop out of what? ô.O

There are popular genres like FPS or TPS that probably can't live without violence, otherwise I can't think of a "popular" genre that only has violent installments. What genres are you thinking of?

I think your post was a cop out because instead of listing games that had actually no violence, you decided games with violence that wasn't like gore didnt count. Personally I think you could have any genre without violence, a shotter does not necessarily mean you must harm someone with the thing your pointing at them. Maybe its some scifi shooter where your shooting plants and animals to evolve them to traverse the environment or something. I'd love to see a shooter like that, or an rpg that replaces battles with something else entirely. Really just anything thats a bit more imaginative would be cool.

No I didn't, my definition of "violence" was just different than yours. Simply defeating a foe is not violence in my opinion. I'd list the type of games I mentioned in my post, which would be, as I already said, pretty much every Nintendo game. And I will certainly not do that on 2 am in the morning if every person can simply look them up.

If such games don't qualify for your definition of "no violence" then fine, but for mine they do.

#42 Posted by Mahonay (829 posts) -

I like shooting dudes in the face.

That's my contribution. Good day to you.

#43 Posted by Hunter5024 (5893 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@Hunter5024 said:

I think your post was a cop out because instead of listing games that had actually no violence, you decided games with violence that wasn't like gore didnt count. Personally I think you could have any genre without violence, a shotter does not necessarily mean you must harm someone with the thing your pointing at them. Maybe its some scifi shooter where your shooting plants and animals to evolve them to traverse the environment or something. I'd love to see a shooter like that, or an rpg that replaces battles with something else entirely. Really just anything thats a bit more imaginative would be cool.

No I didn't, my definition of "violence" was just different than yours. Simply defeating a foe is not violence in my opinion. I'd list the type of games I mentioned in my post, which would be, as I already said, pretty much every Nintendo game. And I will certainly not do that on 2 am in the morning if every person can simply look them up.

If such games don't qualify for your definition of "no violence" then fine, but for mine they do.

That's fair (also didn't realize it was 2am over there, get some sleep!). I guess to me violence means any form of combat, and I think its kind of lame that so many games rely on this when it's not even something that is inherently necessary to the mechanics. I think it's great that we have our Mortal Kombats, and our Gears of Wars, but it would be cool to see a game like I described too.

#44 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@Hunter5024:

Well I already told MistaSparkle what my take on the combat scenario is, might as well repeat myself :D

The reason why defeating an enemy is one of the most basic and most used game mechanics could probably be found in psychology. My take on that would be something like, well, for someone to play a game they need motivation, the feeling of accomplishing something. Very basically defined as "winning". From all the things you can win, from a puzzle to a race, winning over an enemy is probably giving you the most rewarding feeling. It says "you are better than them". Who could not be intrigued by that? Many early games have as goal of all goals to defeat evil and safe the world. That seems like a good and rewarding task, no matter if Mario saves his Princess from Bowser or Link saves Hyrule from Ganon.

And well, this game mechanic has proven to be successful, and while I think it would definately be interesting to see more game concepts without defeating foes, I think it will never be as popular.

So yeah, it's not necessary, but still one of the most popular themes.

#45 Posted by Hunter5024 (5893 posts) -

@Morrow said:

@Hunter5024:

Well I already told MistaSparkle what my take on the combat scenario is, might as well repeat myself :D

The reason why defeating an enemy is one of the most basic and most used game mechanics could probably be found in psychology. My take on that would be something like, well, for someone to play a game they need motivation, the feeling of accomplishing something. Very basically defined as "winning". From all the things you can win, from a puzzle to a race, winning over an enemy is probably giving you the most rewarding feeling. It says "you are better than them". Who could not be intrigued by that? Many early games have as goal of all goals to defeat evil and safe the world. That seems like a good and rewarding task, no matter if Mario saves his Princess from Bowser or Link saves Hyrule from Ganon.

And well, this game mechanic has proven to be successful, and while I think it would definately be interesting to see more game concepts without defeating foes, I think it will never be as popular.

So yeah, it's not necessary, but still one of the most popular themes.

I saw that already, I guess you are right about why it's satisfying, but I feel like people would get more satisfaction from having something different from everything else on the market. This post did get me thinking about different ways games try to psychologically satisfy a player. Definitely an interesting topic, I may have to write something about that.

#46 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

@Daneian said:

It could be an interesting thought experiment to try to design one. Yeah, the easy answers are puzzle, music and adventure games but I want to see a heavily narrative-based game, complete with a goal and the tension of having obstacles you'd have to overcome to reach it, that didn't have any kind of physical, verbal or psychological violence.

I agree with this, Its almost perfect for a game jam.

But I would like to see someone try and make a FPS with out it being an FPS. Portal is a good example of an FPS that is not an FPS.

#47 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

I think that's a fairly good summary of the whole winning thing being tied to a sense of satisfaction, and I pretty much agree with all of that. I do not agree, however, that defeating an enemy is the most satisfactory thing you can do to get that feeling of accomplishment. This is all, of course, relative to each person. Most people would probably choose combat scenarios over something different because for so long combat has been the go-to thing for the accomplishing feeling we strive for, but further into the future I hope we start moving towards something different that can amount to the same satisfactory feeling.

#48 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@MistaSparkle said:

I think that's a fairly good summary of the whole winning thing being tied to a sense of satisfaction, and I pretty much agree with all of that. I do not agree, however, that defeating an enemy is the most satisfactory thing you can do to get that feeling of accomplishment. This is all, of course, relative to each person. Most people would probably choose combat scenarios over something different because for so long combat has been the go-to thing for the accomplishing feeling we strive for, but further into the future I hope we start moving towards something different that can amount to the same satisfactory feeling.

Well, if it would exist, for me the most satisfaction would be virtual reality :D Be somewhere else, someone else, and do everything without consequence, experience places you'd never visit, or that don't exist. Screw combat, let me fly through space! :D

#49 Posted by Retronator (14 posts) -

Man, you're reading my mind. I find so many parallels in what you've written. Actually, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, started recording a vlog and I'd love to know what you think about it. I posted about it yesterday in this topic: http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion/30/creative-alternative-vlog-about-the-creative-side-of-video-games/554916/

#50 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

I saw that already, I guess you are right about why it's satisfying, but I feel like people would get more satisfaction from having something different from everything else on the market. This post did get me thinking about different ways games try to psychologically satisfy a player. Definitely an interesting topic, I may have to write something about that.

I hope that you do write something up similar to this because I feel like you really understand the idea and you are way better about expressing your opinions clearly, unlike myself :P

And yes, the part I made in bold is exactly what I was thinking.