Changing Tactics in the Violence Debate

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RJ Dalton:
Here's something I've been thinking about on this issue. I don't think the government is going to really do anything to stop video games. I've been looking into things and I've found that video games have proven to be one of the military's most successful recruitment tools. The government isn't going to let that go just because some people complain. So, worry that games are going to go away is unfounded.

What we should be worrying about is the way that the government will get more involved in the production of games. They're already hugely involved, but I begin to worry that they're going to start taking control and using it for more direct propaganda, while stamping out messages they deem to be unfit for the public.

You don't have to research to know that the Government has zero bad intentions towards videogames.
Because it's a market. An Industry. It's only beneficial.

Farther than stars:

Guy Jackson:
I believe you are incorrect on all counts. Violence is indeed the end that is sought after. Modern AAA game design typically involves designing a game first, then adding a story (sometimes literally after the whole game is finished - see the dev interviews about the Uncharted games). This is not just my "opinion" talking. There are countless articles about how games are developed and the various ways that story is integrated. When making Bioshock Infinite I would bet a lot of money that the developers first decided to make a shooter and then started thinking about where to set it and what story it should have.

Any other game and you'd probably be right, but in this case you just lost that huge pile of money you bet. Ken Levine and the rest of the lead designers have actually been quite open about the design process behind "Bioshock: Infinite" throughout development. In one of their first press conferences (GDC) they actually talked about how the primary outlines of the game consisted of its setting (asthetics, timeperiod and its associated philosophy), which was literally written down on a paper napkin during a lunch-break. Bioshock: Infinite is one of the few games out there which has the funds to apply the bottom-up approach to video-game story telling and actually go through with it.

Firstly, that napkin was handed to the Bioshock Infinite art director after the project had already started. It was not the start of the project. Furthermore it consisted soley of a child-like drawing of a house over a cloud and nothing else. No time period, no philosophy. Google it.

Secondly, Elizabeth was according to Ken Levine almost cut from the game because they couldn't work out how to get her to react convincingly to all the killing and violence perpetrated by the player character. Note the order of importance here: first we get the player killing stuff, then we figure out how to get Elizabeth to react to it, and if we can't figure it out we cut her out completely. This is not narrative-driven game design and it never was. My money is quite safe.

8bitlove2a03:
"...though research has failed to find a link between virtual and real-world violence..."

Aaaaaaaaand stopped reading there.

Sounding a horn slightly longer than otherwise is not "real world violence", not in the same sense as assault, maiming and murder.

And it lacks a relevant equivalent study, does playing tennis also cause you to sound a horn longer? Does listening to satire also create the same results towards the target of satire? We accept that limiting those established things for such a slight effect is an over-reach of the government into personal liberties for no benefit to society.

Guy Jackson:

Secondly, Elizabeth was according to Ken Levine almost cut from the game because they couldn't work out how to get her to react convincingly to all the killing and violence perpetrated by the player character. Note the order of importance here: first we get the player killing stuff, then we figure out how to get Elizabeth to react to it, and if we can't figure it out we cut her out completely. This is not narrative-driven game design and it never was. My money is quite safe.

Yes, so what?

Film, books and songs can be about violence, why can't games?

This is just a double standard, films can be fiendishly violent and gory but you'll be called a Puritan if you suggest rejecting them out of hand just for that and likely called a Nazi if you suggest censorship. Further than that, even the most extreme are praised not in spite of the violence and gore but because of it and with the creators stating the violence as being an essential part:

image

And this is just one example of many.

Violent conflict serves an even greater importance in video games than in movies as storytelling as it is a mode by which the player is engaged rather than another passive non-involved observer. I'll tell you what it would be like to wander around a fictional world never being a threat to anyone and never being threatened by anyone: it's like being a camera on a movie set. The invisible indestructible god-like perspective.

Movie aficionados take that for granted, games subvert that and they don't seem to accept that.

The Biofininite developer didn't compromise on a character for violence... they compromised for player FREEDOM. They didn't want to lock you on rails and turn the game into a live-rendered Point-of-View movie... We don't need more games being made like feature films!!!

The premise of the story is not one character's particular role, the premise of the story is a conflict. You can't abandon the premise for one character who is only there to work with the premise.

And the conflict can take many forms, even the most benign looking point and click adventure the protagonist in in conflict. That is, if everyone was cooperating they'd just give him what he wanted when he asked and the game would be over in a few minutes, very boring. Take away the conflict and you take away the story.

Treblaine:

Guy Jackson:

Secondly, Elizabeth was according to Ken Levine almost cut from the game because they couldn't work out how to get her to react convincingly to all the killing and violence perpetrated by the player character. Note the order of importance here: first we get the player killing stuff, then we figure out how to get Elizabeth to react to it, and if we can't figure it out we cut her out completely. This is not narrative-driven game design and it never was. My money is quite safe.

Yes, so what?

So my point still stands. Did you jump into the conversation without reading it?

Treblaine:
The Biofininite developer didn't compromise on a character for violence...

In the end they didn't. But they almost did, and their priorities were clear: it was Elizabeth's head on the chopping block.

Treblaine:
they compromised for player FREEDOM.

Specifically the freedom to shoot people in the face. Levine was extremely specific about that.

Guy Jackson:

Farther than stars:

Guy Jackson:
I believe you are incorrect on all counts. Violence is indeed the end that is sought after. Modern AAA game design typically involves designing a game first, then adding a story (sometimes literally after the whole game is finished - see the dev interviews about the Uncharted games). This is not just my "opinion" talking. There are countless articles about how games are developed and the various ways that story is integrated. When making Bioshock Infinite I would bet a lot of money that the developers first decided to make a shooter and then started thinking about where to set it and what story it should have.

Any other game and you'd probably be right, but in this case you just lost that huge pile of money you bet. Ken Levine and the rest of the lead designers have actually been quite open about the design process behind "Bioshock: Infinite" throughout development. In one of their first press conferences (GDC) they actually talked about how the primary outlines of the game consisted of its setting (asthetics, timeperiod and its associated philosophy), which was literally written down on a paper napkin during a lunch-break. Bioshock: Infinite is one of the few games out there which has the funds to apply the bottom-up approach to video-game story telling and actually go through with it.

Firstly, that napkin was handed to the Bioshock Infinite art director after the project had already started. It was not the start of the project. Furthermore it consisted soley of a child-like drawing of a house over a cloud and nothing else. No time period, no philosophy. Google it.

Secondly, Elizabeth was according to Ken Levine almost cut from the game because they couldn't work out how to get her to react convincingly to all the killing and violence perpetrated by the player character. Note the order of importance here: first we get the player killing stuff, then we figure out how to get Elizabeth to react to it, and if we can't figure it out we cut her out completely. This is not narrative-driven game design and it never was. My money is quite safe.

As was to be expected. After all, people do tend to get bogged down in the details when money is at stake. Just a final couple of notions. The napkin is a symbol. And just to say that development had begun, doesn't at all mean the brass was focused on violence. After all, considering that the first two Bioshocks were shooters, this one was going to be as well. That was a given. The design team seemed more preoccupied with setting than with malice though (the Elizabeth example being [again] a detail).

Guy Jackson:

So my point still stands. Did you jump into the conversation without reading it?

Yes, who says I was here to contradict your point? Anyone else is welcome to read my post for themselves and see what I meant.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.402772.16638199

Treblaine:
The Biofininite developer didn't compromise on a character for violence...

In the end they didn't. But they almost did, and their priorities were clear: it was Elizabeth's head on the chopping block.

That's an inflammatory way to put it. But They are making a GAME. That is something you MUST appreciate. They are not making a movie. And Elizabeth character doesn't make the game.

Peter Jackson totally eliminating whole characters from Lord Of the Rings because they don't fit with what he sees works as a film doesn't make film less worthy as an art form.

Treblaine:
they compromised for player FREEDOM.

Specifically the freedom to shoot people in the face. Levine was extremely specific about that.

I don't see your point, is this supposed to be a bad thing? Are you just trying to shock people with violence as if we aren't aware of the reality of such things.

In a game you are very much one of the authors, you decide within all practical limits what this character does.

Ken Levine makes clear that if the player has that freedom to shoot but that if they do they will suffer the consequences, they will miss out and may ultimately fail.

There is a difference between having the ability to do something and suffering varying consequences for your choices, and having all freedom of ability removed to create a more passive controlled experience.

Treblaine:

Guy Jackson:

So my point still stands. Did you jump into the conversation without reading it?

Yes, who says I was here to contradict your point?

Er... what? You quoted me and responded "so what?" and I answered.

Treblaine:

Treblaine:
The Biofininite developer didn't compromise on a character for violence...

In the end they didn't. But they almost did, and their priorities were clear: it was Elizabeth's head on the chopping block.

That's an inflammatory way to put it. But They are making a GAME. That is something you MUST appreciate. They are not making a movie. And Elizabeth character doesn't make the game.

Peter Jackson totally eliminating whole characters from Lord Of the Rings because they don't fit with what he sees works as a film doesn't make film less worthy as an art form.

Treblaine:
they compromised for player FREEDOM.

Specifically the freedom to shoot people in the face. Levine was extremely specific about that.

I don't see your point, is this supposed to be a bad thing? Are you just trying to shock people with violence as if we aren't aware of the reality of such things.

OK now I really feel like you're having a whole other conversation with an imaginary friend that you've mistaken for me. We are on very different pages and might as well be speaking different languages. I still don't know why you quoted me before launching into this whole movie comparison thing, but hey, at least I know not to pay any attention next time you do.

Guy Jackson:
I would bet a lot of money that the developers first decided to make a shooter and then started thinking about where to set it and what story it should have.

Farther than stars:
Any other game and you'd probably be right, but in this case you just lost that huge pile of money you bet.

Farther than stars:
considering that the first two Bioshocks were shooters, this one was going to be as well. That was a given.

Wait...

So it was a given that it would be a shooter... but not until after the setting and story were agreed... even though the setting and story weren't even brainstormed when the project began... this being the project that was yet to be decided to be a shooter...

I'm sorry but trying to follow your train of thought is making my head hurt.

Guy Jackson:
[quote="Guy Jackson"]snip

Ultimately in the development of the game two things were decided. These two things were determined to be the "Bioshock" experience and needed to be a part of the game if it were to carry the Bioshock name.

1) Exploring a rich detailed unique environment. First game it was Rapture, this time it is Columbia.
2) It needed to be and action game (FPS) with the fast paced combat and cool powers to use.

These were the things on the table at ground level. You would be partially correct in that violence was there at the beginning and is a big part of the game going forward in its development.

Also your assessment of the AAA games is accurate to a point, but not regarding Irrational Games. You see, there is a unique situation with them. The Creative Director also happens to be the lead writer. Levine wrote 90% of the dialogue in the original Bioshock and he likely did close to that this time around. This is not like other games where outside writers are hired and ordered to write the story completely around the game design. Levine has said repeatedly that they cut large portions of the game because they did not fit in with the story they wanted to tell. No doubt at least some of these segments were action heavy and would have provided excellent gameplay, but they were cut. At many other AAA studios the reverse would happen, the project lead might attempt to keep those segments and the writers would be told to write around it. (Many believe this to be what happened in the Dragon Age games, but that is neither here nor there.)

There is always a give and take as you said with Elizabeth. But her inclusion in the game was to enhance the story experience first, and ultimately she did not get cut. Irrational does not go out seeking to just create a violent game. They were interested in a period piece, and this period happened to be violent. 1912 is just two years before that start of WWI. Technology was about to unleash a level of violence up humanity of which the world has never seen, so it is included in the game because that is an important aspect of the time and ties in with the action they needed.

Guy Jackson:

Treblaine:

In the end they didn't. But they almost did, and their priorities were clear: it was Elizabeth's head on the chopping block.

That's an inflammatory way to put it. But They are making a GAME. That is something you MUST appreciate. They are not making a movie. And Elizabeth character doesn't make the game.

Peter Jackson totally eliminating whole characters from Lord Of the Rings because they don't fit with what he sees works as a film doesn't make film less worthy as an art form.

Specifically the freedom to shoot people in the face. Levine was extremely specific about that.

I don't see your point, is this supposed to be a bad thing? Are you just trying to shock people with violence as if we aren't aware of the reality of such things.

OK now I really feel like you're having a whole other conversation with an imaginary friend that you've mistaken for me. We are on very different pages and might as well be speaking different languages. I still don't know why you quoted me before launching into this whole movie comparison thing, but hey, at least I know not to pay any attention next time you do.

My point is just because the developers see violence and player freedom as a central element, doesn't mean it isn't narrative driven. Just because they even CONSIDERED dropping or changing a character to serve those doesn't mean the story doesn't matter.

first we get the player killing stuff, then we figure out how to get Elizabeth to react to it, and if we can't figure it out we cut her out completely. This is not narrative-driven game design and it never was.

Just because they refuse to compromise on the gameplay principal doesn't mean the game can't be narrative driven.

And generally on topic. How can we defend violence in video games with your attitude that its]'s being put ahead of all else and I want you to clear this up after a string of comments where you put it in the most inflammatory way.

Do you consider these games in the negative because - as you put it - they give "the freedom to shoot people in the face"?

That seems to be the problem, the debate against violent video games is inherently biased.

They can't have violence as an inherent premise without innuendo that it's the only thing to it or overrides all other aspects.

Ishal:
You see, there is a unique situation with them. The Creative Director also happens to be the lead writer.

That sounds cool in theory, but just look at Bioshock (made by the same people, as you said) and try to see it objectively. Like, how a non-gamer might see it. The few hours of it that I managed to get through (before dozing off) contained a pitifully small amount of dialogue and all of it consisted of Atlas saying "go there, do that". From what I hear the rest of the game doesn't contain much more. Sure, what little writing there was to be found in the game might actually have had something intelligent or interesting to say about objectivism or whatever, but anyone who really wants that is going to read a fucking book, not shoot things for 15 hours and then claim that games are art because the game in which they just killed a thousand dudes was made by someone who had read Atlas Shrugged. I'm losing my own train of thought here... it's late... what was my point? Oh yeah. Levine's track record here is rubbish. Having a writer as creative director didn't stop Bioshock from being 99% shooting so I don't see why that fact alone should provide much hope for Bioshock Infinite being any different.

Ishal:
Levine has said repeatedly that they cut large portions of the game because they did not fit in with the story they wanted to tell. No doubt at least some of these segments were action heavy and would have provided excellent gameplay, but they were cut.

No doubt? Or just your assumption?

Ishal:
They were interested in a period piece, and this period happened to be violent.

/facedesk

Guy Jackson:

Ishal:
You see, there is a unique situation with them. The Creative Director also happens to be the lead writer.

That sounds cool in theory, but just look at Bioshock (made by the same people, as you said) and try to see it objectively. Like, how a non-gamer might see it. The few hours of it that I managed to get through (before dozing off) contained a pitifully small amount of dialogue and all of it consisted of Atlas saying "go there, do that". From what I hear the rest of the game doesn't contain much more. Sure, what little writing there was to be found in the game might actually have had something intelligent or interesting to say about objectivism or whatever, but anyone who really wants that is going to read a fucking book, not shoot things for 15 hours and then claim that games are art because the game in which they just killed a thousand dudes was made by someone who had read Atlas Shrugged. I'm losing my own train of thought here... it's late... what was my point? Oh yeah. Levine's track record here is rubbish. Having a writer as creative director didn't stop Bioshock from being 99% shooting so I don't see why that fact alone should provide much hope for Bioshock Infinite being any different.

Ishal:
Levine has said repeatedly that they cut large portions of the game because they did not fit in with the story they wanted to tell. No doubt at least some of these segments were action heavy and would have provided excellent gameplay, but they were cut.

No doubt? Or just your assumption?

Ishal:
They were interested in a period piece, and this period happened to be violent.

/facedesk

Then they should read a "fucking book". My point remains, just because someone finds something unpalatable because it belongs to a genre that is violent and has shooting does not mean they should dismiss what other content is there no matter how small you may believe it to be. You admit that you didn't even play the game all the way through...

I've had enough. This exchange is over.

Ishal:
My point remains, just because someone finds something unpalatable because it belongs to a genre that is violent and has shooting does not mean they should dismiss what other content is there no matter how small you may believe it to be. You admit that you didn't even play the game all the way through...

No I didn't finish it. Not even close. But I just read that your personal hero Ken Levine says there is more dialogue in a single conversation in Infinite than in the whole of Bioshock. So the entirety of the dialogue that you wanted your 59 year old relative to experience amounted to less than one conversation. And you thought that his unwillingness to shoot things for a dozen hours in order to hear it was dismissive?

Ishal:
This exchange is over.

Daw. It's so cute when people do that.

Guy Jackson:

Ishal:
You see, there is a unique situation with them. The Creative Director also happens to be the lead writer.

That sounds cool in theory, but just look at Bioshock (made by the same people, as you said) and try to see it objectively. Like, how a non-gamer might see it. The few hours of it that I managed to get through (before dozing off) contained a pitifully small amount of dialogue and all of it consisted of Atlas saying "go there, do that". From what I hear the rest of the game doesn't contain much more. Sure, what little writing there was to be found in the game might actually have had something intelligent or interesting to say about objectivism or whatever, but anyone who really wants that is going to read a fucking book, not shoot things for 15 hours and then claim that games are art because the game in which they just killed a thousand dudes was made by someone who had read Atlas Shrugged. I'm losing my own train of thought here... it's late... what was my point? Oh yeah. Levine's track record here is rubbish. Having a writer as creative director didn't stop Bioshock from being 99% shooting so I don't see why that fact alone should provide much hope for Bioshock Infinite being any different.

Dialogue? See, here is the problem, you go straight into screenplay terminology, as if there can't be narrative without characters talking to each other. This is the problem. Yes dialogue is a good way to get things across but very quickly you can find yourself not playing to the medium's advantage, it's like trying to incorporate a car chase on a stage production.

Computer Games have the advantages of allowing the viewer to more naturally explore and unveil the story, like a silent detective.

but anyone who really wants that is going to read a fucking book

Bias detected. That's just damning the medium of computer games as world simulators and their ability to tell narratives.

Bioshocks failings were not for being a game about being a gun-slinger, I am exploring the possibility that it failed on the writing itself regardless of the combat the protagonist engaged in.

the game in which they just killed a thousand dudes

You keep saying this as if it's a bad thing, what is your problem with violence?

Bioshock was held back by bad writing because it DEPENDED on it! That's the importance of narrative in the medium.

Treblaine:
Dialogue? See, here is the problem, you go straight into screenplay terminology, as if there can't be narrative without characters talking to each other. This is the problem. Yes dialogue is a good way to get things across but very quickly you can find yourself not playing to the medium's advantage, it's like trying to incorporate a car chase on a stage production.

Computer Games have the advantages of allowing the viewer to more naturally explore and unveil the story, like a silent detective.

OK, so you step into rapture and see that Shit Has Gone Fucked. That's non-dialogue narrative right there. I get that. That took me five seconds. Then I shot things for hours. During that time I noticed no other "narrative" progression.

Treblaine:

the game in which they just killed a thousand dudes

You keep saying this as if it's a bad thing, what is your problem with violence?

I don't have a problem with violence. I have a problem with people who focus on 1% of something and claim that the other 99% isn't there, or isn't relevant, or isn't the main focus, or even (most laughably of all) is there to support and strengthen the 1%.

Guy Jackson:

OK, so you step into rapture and see that Shit Has Gone Fucked. That's non-dialogue narrative right there. I get that. That took me five seconds. Then I shot things for hours. During that time I noticed no other "narrative" progression.

Well, that's a bit like summarising Lord of the Rings as "they drop the magic ring in Mount Doom, the end".

You aren't including quite a lot of elements, perhaps you don't recall after over 5 years since you might have first played it?

I don't have a problem with violence. I have a problem with people who focus on 1% of something and claim that the other 99% isn't there, or isn't relevant, or isn't the main focus, or even (most laughably of all) is there to support and strengthen the 1%.

Well do you think Bioshock was remembered for it's combat? I don't think so. Don't get me started with the problems with that.

People didn't write home about that. It was from more than the combat, it was from something greater than simply lining up a cursor with a polygon and clicking. It was Rapture.

Treblaine:
You aren't including quite a lot of elements

If there were other elements then they went clear over my dumb old head. I saw an alternate reality 1960s or 1950s maybe, some guy who built the place based on ideals, and everything very clearly gone wrong. Then I saw hours and hours of shooting.

I don't have a problem with violence. I have a problem with people who focus on 1% of something and claim that the other 99% isn't there, or isn't relevant, or isn't the main focus, or even (most laughably of all) is there to support and strengthen the 1%.

Well do you think Bioshock was remembered for it's combat?

No, it's remembered for the narrative because that's the part that was different from every other shooter. That doesn't mean that the narrative was the main focus of the game, it just means it was different.

Guy Jackson:

Treblaine:
You aren't including quite a lot of elements

If there were other elements then they went clear over my dumb old head. I saw an alternate reality 1960s or 1950s maybe, some guy who built the place based on ideals, and everything very clearly gone wrong. Then I saw hours and hours of shooting.

Is that really accurate?

Hours OF shooting, as if it was non-stop gunfights? As if there was barely a pause to take in the environment?

Is that really a fair assessment?

I don't have a problem with violence. I have a problem with people who focus on 1% of something and claim that the other 99% isn't there, or isn't relevant, or isn't the main focus, or even (most laughably of all) is there to support and strengthen the 1%.

Well do you think Bioshock was remembered for it's combat?

No, it's remembered for the narrative because that's the part that was different from every other shooter. That doesn't mean that the narrative was the main focus of the game, it just means it was different.

Oh "main focus" now, that's something very different from the narrative being insignificant.

I am not the one claiming the shooting was insignificant and a computer game can have more than a single thing of significance. Unless one has some prudish aversion to violence or some unhealthy obsession with violence that they can't see past it, then they can't cite it as any demerit to the narrative.

The conflict itself was a central part of the narrative flow of the game. It wasn't perfect but there are games that are just about shooting people and don't care about any over-arching narrative and that would be online competitive shooters, not the likes of Bioshock.

it just means it was different.

Hmm, not sure what you mean here.

Personally, I'm rather shocked how much violence people claim to need to enjoy a game.
I always thought of it as a by-product, like motor noises in a car.

Violence can be an effective tool for design and story-telling, but is by no means justifiable just for the sake of itself.

I tell you though, it's a hard sell sometimes. Particularly which games get advertising. My wife sees games advertised, and except for Uncharted, nearly every game advertised on TV is either a) VIOLENT, VIOLENT, VIOLENT, KILL, KILL, KILL, or b) Nintendo kiddi-wink games. Except for the occassional motion-controller faf which she's learned by herself is all lies.

They don't advertise Journey, the Unfinished Swan, or Dear Esther on TV. Ni No Kuni got some advertising but the average adult in the UK who isn't familar with JRPGs, it looks like a kids cartoon, not a game.

And it's hard to show people who are against violence games that are devoid of it. We gamers have definitely become desensitised to it. You might think Far Cry 3 is a great game to show people. Then of course you get into a fire fight, which is pretty violent, then you melee kill someone and realise that might be a bit more shocking to a non-gamer whose never seen anyone get shivved through the throat, in any medium, whereas I've seen it so many times I've forgotten it's there.

But I'm not overly concerned. Like Rock'n'roll music, there will always be those who didn't like it when it came out and were never going to be convinced it's not a bad thing for society. Most of them are dead now. Videogames are a form of entertainment, likes books, films, TV or music. People still argue over the content of these things but no one can stop them becoming mainstream.

But seriously, try to think of the last game you played they DIDN'T involve violence & killing AND wouldn't be described as targeted at children (Journey and Dr Layton are about the only two I can think of, and child-market label could be used for both).

Piorn:
Personally, I'm rather shocked how much violence people claim to need to enjoy a game.
I always thought of it as a by-product, like motor noises in a car.

Violence can be an effective tool for design and story-telling, but is by no means justifiable just for the sake of itself.

Not violence itself. Conflict.

I love me some violent shooters but I can tell where they don't work.

Mirror's Edge was ruined by trying to incorporate combat take downs and worse than that, gunplay. Euugh. The clear theme established was that you were using mobility to escape your foes, not beat them up and snatch guns out of their hands.

And the game needed that conflict, your will against their will.

And the theme of unjustifiable government oppression. Is that I never did anything to them and still they try to kill me. But as soon as I snatch a gun off a cop and blast him away, well it's all equal now. Regardless of how unjustified they were at first, from their perspective "that god damn terrorist killed Joe, killed him in cold blood, they'll never get away with that".

Mirror's Edge had the satisfaction of leaving "the man" behind in the dust, you could just imagine the cops getting chewed out by their boss "what the hell do you mean she got away! You mean you can't catch one tofu eating hippie??!?!" and them getting more and more frustrated.

It was marred by the occasional need for violence.

But that's limited. There are a lot more ways to have dynamic conflict between people with violence than with non-violence.

Stealth is another one. Hitman (before Absolution) was a surprisingly non-violent game by how it encouraged "tracelessness" which meant harming no one but the actual target. That was where the game was, even though charging in with a gun was always an option and not completely non-viable, it wasn't very fun (boring shooting mechanics) it was tedious how it handled damage and the game literally gave you less points for killing.

Weird how Hitman rarely comes up in the video game violence debate, especially with the detractors who love the soundbite "gives you points for killing people".

But Predatory stealth seems to be in vogue now. Partially because there is just more to do with silent takedowns than with complete non-violent approach.

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