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Wavinator

Peace is just so uncool

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What attracts you to non-violent games or repels you from them? What, if anything, would get you to try one or the other? A couple of questions: How much of playing a game that uses non-violent problem solving for you is a factor of culture and attitudes? That is, that peaceful solutions to problem solving are "cool" or "uncool" (ie, more cowardly than violent solutions). Violence, I think, for many of us hardcore gamers, is soul-satisfying. It can be a great way to bleed frustration. I even think that our attraction to it may be proportional to how much we control in real life-- kneejerk rebellion, so to speak. What I wonder about is whether creative, non-violent problem solving can be "packaged" to be appealing to more hardcore gamers, and if so, what has to be done? If not, what do you think the resistance would be?

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Well, not sure how useful my response will be, because as a rule I don't like games that are violent just to be violent. I can handle shooting hundreds of aliens if there's a story behind it all (and not just "Aliens landed, let's kill 'em!"), but that's about as far as I go. (Oddly enough, I like a few fighting games, most notably various versions of Mortal Kombat. I think half the fun of those for me though, is competing with another human.)

I personally like puzzles. Not nearly impossible ones, not ones where the clues are hidden so deeply you never see them (*cough* Myst 3...), but things that make you think a little. Problem with puzzles, once you figure them out, it doesn't take you long at all to do them the next time you play.

Humor is also good. Normally I hate games where you have to run and jump and kill stuff, but I love the Tak games (for gamecube) because they're hilarious. I'm kind of afraid to play Tak 2 any more because it's so freakin HARD, but if I ever do brave it it'll be because of the humor.

Probably a lot of the reason I'm like this is that IRL I'm a wuss who can't even play basketball. I've never seen much point in physical activity, and that carries over to my gameplay preferences. Maybe some people in my situation would want to bash all the zombies they could find, but I'm not one of them. Coming from an intellectual yet quirky family is also a major factor, I'd think. I can't say how much the general culture has affected me though, because I'm a hermit and I have a love/hate relationship with humanity in general. :P

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hmm, non violent games...

Well, I like to build things, as such I must admit I like things such as SimCity, and my roomie is trying to hook me on the Sims2 (which will probably work unless i manage to avoid installing it for the next few months). Of course, I also enjoy hitting my sim cities with disasters, but only really to see how well they can cope, testing the design and all :-)

Nonviolent aspects of games can be fun, but for me they usually have to be constructive or a visible means to an end (such as make a peaceful alliance with the neighbor so that I can either blow up the other neighbor or quietly build my military in order to better assault my neighbors.

Eh, im tired and Im rambling. Back to work on schoolstuff...

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Original post by Wavinator
What I wonder about is whether creative, non-violent problem solving can be "packaged" to be appealing to more hardcore gamers, and if so, what has to be done? If not, what do you think the resistance would be?

I'd say the key here is that hardcore gamers crave the action and immersion, which this is something that typically goes hand-in-hand with violence. Another thing with games is that they allow you to do things you can't do in real life, and while this attracts the general gamer it's not enough for the hardcore gamer. With violence though it's not a case of can and can't, but should and shouldn't. It's far more exciting to play something you know you can but shouldn't do as opposed to something you could never do no matter what.

I think this is somthing that The Sims has managed to achieve without violence, hence it's popularity. It's a game about everyday things but lets you do the stuff you know you shouldn't in the real world. "What's that hun, the kids just died from hunger?..... So?"

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It seems to me that most hardcore gamers (ones that I have meet anyway) play games that require uber processing/graphics hardware. They even tend to brag about how good their system is.

Most puzzle games (again, ones I have played), even if you add a bunch of eye candy, do not require the really high end hardware. So I think for some people it would be kind of like "I have this uber hardware system, why should I play a rinkey dink little game like that".

Quote:

What attracts you to non-violent games or repels you from them? What, if anything, would get you to try one or the other?


I really liked the old Kings Quest IV, Space Quest type games, I think the worst thing you had to do on one was to kill a monster by throwing a canister of dehydrated water at him.

What attracts me most to non-violent games (mostly puzzle games) is:
- I can play them on my own for a short time.
- There is usually no direct competition between players except maybe who gets highest score.
- The rules are usually easy to pick up.

What attracts me to violent games are usually ones with:
- A decent story line, but usually one for one time through.
- Direct competition with other players, like Unreal Tournament.
- A great verity of maps/levels.

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Original post by C-Junkie
Quote:
Original post by Kars
canister of dehydrated water
A what now?


I see you've never played Space Quest before:P

The old Sierra games were great in that respect. King's Quest 1, for example, you had 3 challenges, in which you could take the violent approach to the game and win, but you wouldn't get as high of a score if you took the non violent approach.

It's all about allowing choice. Let the player kill everyone if they want too, just don't reward them. Adventure games & RPG's are good candidates for such. An FPS on the other hand...

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Original post by Dobbs
A tangential thought: Non-violence is harder to implement than violence.


It may be. If so, do you think this has given that kind of gameplay a bad rap? For instance, a hardcore gamer says to himself, "I've tried these types of games before, and they were always unsatisfying."

(This, of course, doesn't apply to certain established genres like racing, puzzle or sports games which stand alone by themselves)

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Original post by Nytegard
It's all about allowing choice. Let the player kill everyone if they want too, just don't reward them. Adventure games & RPG's are good candidates for such. An FPS on the other hand...


Yes, I think it all depends on what's considered violent and how whatever gameplay you implement is rewarded. You could, for instance, be netting and intangling people like Spiderman and not necessarily considered violent (but with the punching...)

You raise a good point about how people are rewarded. If you lost something you wanted while being violent that would certainly alter your motivations.

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