Molyneux Says Americans Find it Harder to Be Evil

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Molyneux Says Americans Find it Harder to Be Evil

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Given the choice between good and evil in a game, says Fable mastermind Peter Molyneux, Americans tend towards good much more than Europeans or Japanese do - in fact, only 10% of American gamers choose to follow the evil path.

Peter Molyneux, to quote one caustic-tongued Brit-turned-Aussie, is all about giving the player "motherf***ing CHOICE!" in his games - and while said choices do usually boil down to the extremes of Mother Teresa vs Sauron, they're still choices. Molyneux spoke with GameSetWatch about the importance of choice in his games, and how players viewed the options of good and evil.

The implications of a clearly good side and a clearly defined side have a strong effect on human perception, said Molyneux, pointing to his 1989 god game Populous, where journalists who reviewed the game told him "that they thought the red (evil) game faction was more cunning or vindictive than the blue. In fact, the two sides had the same AI, showing both preconceptions and how choosing good or evil can make things feel very different."

Interestingly enough, Molyneux also claims that people find it hard to be evil in games, "especially Americans." In comparison, European and Japanese gamers are "more liberated," in the sense that they're more accustomed to using fantasy as a vehicle for escapism: "As many as 40% of [Japanese gamers] choose the evil side in the game. In contrast, only 10% of Americans playing the title ended up getting evil, in-game."

I don't know about you, but I kind of find that hard to believe. Sure, I tend towards making the "good" choices, but... 10% seems an awfully low number for this sort of thing. Can it really be that low, Peter?

According to Molyneux, the tendency toward good is so strong that many gamers will choose it even at a hefty cost - though they don't have to like it. In fact, a certain spoiler-y choice at the end of Fable II generated so much "hate mail from people" that Lionhead ended up giving an option to reverse the consequences of said choice in the game's DLC.

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Today on "Molyneux Says".

Where does he get these numbers? I get all my fun in these games from being an evil dick with no regard for anyone else.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
sorry

This is a goddamn outrage.
Does he have a dog?
I'm going to kill and eat his dog.

In front of his little girl.

...Does he have a little girl?
Man, this is a lot of work.

But I'll show him evil!
Even if I have to wait...

EDIT: Though I will admit, I find it easier to be a dick in real life than I do in game.
I'm not sure why.

Yeah it's fun to be the good guy but god damn it peter better make it possible to shoot kids in the face for fable 3.

like I've always said, America is the worlds Gilligan. although I feel these numbers are skewed simply based off who said them.

Somewhat ironic considering the image of America of the world in general.

I have to wonder where these numbers came from, a poll? Those are never accurate, stupid people choose what they think they should put.

Woo hoo! I'm part of the 10% of Americans who likes to kill peopl....wa-ait, WHAT???

I think Molyneux should go and talk to the people of Bhopal. Then say Americans struggle with evil...

Although in a game he might have a point, although I'd say people who struggle with suspending disbelief in general have problems with being bad, maybe you can divide that by nationality as well.

This cant be true... has he been engaged in conversation with a Republican American on CoD4? They say some pretty evil things, I mean come on! Who whispers "I am gonna rape you, oh I'm gonna rape you!" down the mic? Thats just disturbing.

MaxTheReaper:

EDIT: Though I will admit, I find it easier to be a dick in real life than I do in game.
I'm not sure why.

As do I, I know the reason why though.

In real life people usually deserve it. In a game such as Fallout 3, you have to force yourself to be nasty because the good people never deserve it and killing evil people (even when they are pricks) gives you good karma.

yes another useless fact to present to the world

besides thats probably true because the evil choices are so cartoonishly villanous

u know statistickly 90% of statistics are false

Two Words

The Sims

Who here hasn't tortured someone?

huh. ou'd think people would do what i do( mass murdering sprees.) they are somewhat more satisfying then giving money to hobos.

Bullshit. Most of the American opinions Ive seen in regards to Mass Effects choices seem to be of the angry 13 year old mentality.

MaxTheReaper:

EDIT: Though I will admit, I find it easier to be a dick in real life than I do in game.
I'm not sure why.

Perhaps because you feel a greater level of emotional attachment to the computer generated characters of the video game than you do their flesh-and-blood counterparts that you can actually reach out and punch?

One of multiple possibilities.

Machines Are Us:

As do I, I know the reason why though.

In real life people usually deserve it. In a game such as Fallout 3, you have to force yourself to be nasty because the good people never deserve it and killing evil people (even when they are pricks) gives you good karma.

No...no...that's not it.
Don't get me wrong: I enjoy killing people in games.
But being a dick to them?
Not so much.
It's the opposite in real life (so far. I've yet to actually kill someone. Yet to.)

Lord_Panzer:

Perhaps because you feel a greater level of emotional attachment to the computer generated characters of the video game than you do their flesh-and-blood counterparts that you can actually reach out and punch?

One of multiple possibilities.

I considered that possibility, but then I realized I have no strong feelings for anything except myself.
Maybe Machines Are Us is right and real people are just deserving of my attentions.
After all, nothing says "You fucking deserve it" like destroying someone's will to live.

Also I just got hit with the strangest sense of deja vu.

Evil will always triumph because good is dumb! Muahahahaha-pant-wheeze. I tend to try both just because I'm a curious man, but I usually go for evil first. It's generally the more fun, less tedious route (i.e. shoot the guy in the face and just take the reward you'd have had to fight through a monster-filled cave and rescue someone to obtain if you went the good route.)

I'm thinking this is a case of "90% of Molyneux's figures are made up on the spot. Much like this figure."

Maybe is because the Japanese and Europeans are nicer in real life and so find it easier to be evil in a fantasy construct whereas Americans are always trying to appear good in most fantasy media (just look at all the war films making Americans out as big heroic saviours), as opposed to real life where there being dicks. Or it could be that Molyneux is just pulling crap out of thin air. Both are good.

NoMoreSanity:
Where does he get these numbers? I get all my fun in these games from being an evil dick with no regard for anyone else.

well they could easily get the stats from xbox live achievements, it's not hard for them to look at who got what achievements and where they are from and then base the stats off of that

It's to compensate for the fact that we are so hideously evil most of the time.

MaxTheReaper:
This is a goddamn outrage.
Does he have a dog?
I'm going to kill and eat his dog.

In front of his little girl.

...Does he have a little girl?
Man, this is a lot of work.

But I'll show him evil!
Even if I have to wait...

EDIT: Though I will admit, I find it easier to be a dick in real life than I do in game.
I'm not sure why.

I was just about to say: "Lemme introduce you to my friend Max. Or Satan, if you'd prefer."

And being evil in fable? Pfff. I'd kill everyone of those chatty NPCs. I don't wanna know about how your child just left for college and shit, I wanna know how many small animal innards you want!

And he even created Black and White! A game in which being evil is the only fun choice!

Maybe it's because we like to try and connect to a likeable character, Petey. And nothing against you, it's kinda hard to like a person who kills someone "execution-style" because he gave you incorrect change or detonates an atomic bomb and turns a bustling town full of happy, innocent people into a crater.

With the exception of Moira Brown, who has the most annoying voice in the history of the universe.

I too wonder what he's basing his 10% numbers on. Perhaps people who chose the greedy wish at the end of Fable 2 rather than the 'neutral' or 'good' ones and then scanning their Fable 2 achievements once they're connected to Xbox Live?

If so, it seems like a pretty silly way to judge numbers. Money was ridiculously easy to make in Fable 2 and the 'greedy' option was just a way to save time. Choosing the 'Neutral' option offered more in game rewards and is arguably the more logical one. Evil =/= Stupid.

Okay, I actually read the article and it says:

Wow, so saving your doggy friend was the 'evil' choice? And only 10% of Americans took it? I find that very hard to believe Mr. Molyneux. Very hard indeed.

I was evil most of the game, only now I'm turning back to good. (Like I was in Fable 1.)

I'll think I'll go evil again before I import my save files from Fable 2 to 3.

HMMM, but I go to say, I love the dog. xD Hope in Fable 3 you get there pups.

cleverlymadeup:

NoMoreSanity:
Where does he get these numbers? I get all my fun in these games from being an evil dick with no regard for anyone else.

well they could easily get the stats from xbox live achievements, it's not hard for them to look at who got what achievements and where they are from and then base the stats off of that

That's still an incredibly idiotic way of doing things though.

Ok, where did he get this? He obviously hasn't seen anyone play the Sims for any extended period of time.

Personally if we're going to be really geeky about this I tend to be chaotic neutral. In games I'll steal anything that isn't nailed down and destroy any obstacle that gets in my way, but never had the deep down desire to go kill small children and rape puppies or anything.

Hm... I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Being evil for the sake of being evil never really made sense to me, but at least your helping non-existant people by being good... The only reason I made an evil character in Fable 2 was so i could get The Maelstrom from the temple of shadows.

And not to go off-topic, but what is that armor in the screenshot, and where can I find it?

Amnestic:
I too wonder what he's basing his 10% numbers on. Perhaps people who chose the greedy wish at the end of Fable 2 rather than the 'neutral' or 'good' ones and then scanning their Fable 2 achievements once they're connected to Xbox Live?

If so, it seems like a pretty silly way to judge numbers. Money was ridiculously easy to make in Fable 2 and the 'greedy' option was just a way to save time. Choosing the 'Neutral' option offered more in game rewards and is arguably the more logical one. Evil =/= Stupid.

Okay, I actually read the article and it says:

Wow, so saving your doggy friend was the 'evil' choice? And only 10% of Americans took it? I find that very hard to believe Mr. Molyneux. Very hard indeed.

The dog was the evil choice?! Crap.

Why are we assuming that choosing evil more than good is an indicator of more 'escapism' in video games? Americans 'find it harder' to be evil? Loaded choice of language if there ever was one. Assumes quite a bit.

Cargando:

Amnestic:
I too wonder what he's basing his 10% numbers on. Perhaps people who chose the greedy wish at the end of Fable 2 rather than the 'neutral' or 'good' ones and then scanning their Fable 2 achievements once they're connected to Xbox Live?

If so, it seems like a pretty silly way to judge numbers. Money was ridiculously easy to make in Fable 2 and the 'greedy' option was just a way to save time. Choosing the 'Neutral' option offered more in game rewards and is arguably the more logical one. Evil =/= Stupid.

Okay, I actually read the article and it says:

Wow, so saving your doggy friend was the 'evil' choice? And only 10% of Americans took it? I find that very hard to believe Mr. Molyneux. Very hard indeed.

The dog was the evil choice?! Crap.

I personally thought that was the Neutral choice. It was in the middle, it was neither saintly (resurrecting all the dead peoples who you never met) or 'evil' (choosing money over others).

Apparently it was Evil though. I don't see it myself, but whatever...

More likely, the evil choices in recent Peter Molyneux games have been unattractive weaksauce evil which has paltry rewards and significant penalties.

That's why I usually don't do the "evil" path in videogames, because it's usually shit.

Amnestic:

Cargando:

Amnestic:
I too wonder what he's basing his 10% numbers on. Perhaps people who chose the greedy wish at the end of Fable 2 rather than the 'neutral' or 'good' ones and then scanning their Fable 2 achievements once they're connected to Xbox Live?

If so, it seems like a pretty silly way to judge numbers. Money was ridiculously easy to make in Fable 2 and the 'greedy' option was just a way to save time. Choosing the 'Neutral' option offered more in game rewards and is arguably the more logical one. Evil =/= Stupid.

Okay, I actually read the article and it says:

Wow, so saving your doggy friend was the 'evil' choice? And only 10% of Americans took it? I find that very hard to believe Mr. Molyneux. Very hard indeed.

The dog was the evil choice?! Crap.

I personally thought that was the Neutral choice. It was in the middle, it was neither saintly (resurrecting all the dead peoples who you never met) or 'evil' (choosing money over others).

Apparently it was Evil though. I don't see it myself, but whatever...

Oh, phew. I thought I was just an abnormally evil git for a minute.

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