Non-Violent Games + Ideas

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First of all, I don't know if a thread like this has already been created, if you read this, pls link me to it.

Recently I was thinking about the whole debate about violence in games and how it works as the primary mechanic. There is some buzz about it

http://www.destructoid.com/you-should-feel-bad-but-games-don-t-want-you-to-247794.phtml
thanks PA Report

So, I was thinking what are the game Ideas I am missing, which do not rely on violence or .... let's call it physical competition (I do not want to call a Mario game violent - it is not) ... ??

The only games i can think of are:

The Sims (let's ignore the ability to punch someone you don't like, it is not a core game mechanic)
A lot of social media browser games (Farmville, Mafia Wars, ...)
A lot of the mobile casual games (Angry Birds does not make it on the list, I mean the endless runners etc.)

What are your thoughts about this?

E_E_E_EDIT:
In addition, with the help of the other posters, I can add:

Simulation games of any kind (Roller Coaster Tycoon, Harvest Moon, etc.)
Most Racing Games (I do not want to count games where you can destroy/distract/slow your opponents with weapons or ramming)
Journey - why did I not think of that?
Puzzle Games (Tetris, Professor Layton, etc.)
What is the core mechanic of Ace Attorney/Phoenix Wright; Echo Bazaar?
Adventure Games
Sports Games (that means EAs best selling game is non-violent in my opinion, aww yeah)
Visual Novels
Turn Based Strategy Games

And a mention of Draken12s Post ... please read it

Any new ideas?

Also Antichamber (and many physics platformers I think) don't feature enemies.
I don't know if Thief 2 and 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution can be considered non-violent: stealth and pacifists runs are real option so you (almost) don't have to kill anybody, but killing everything is also an option.
There is also a really old game called "Cat" where you play as a tomcat and try to reach another cat. You can't shoot or claw but you can die (a lot).
Some railroad simulators, which are more like puzzles, - "Shortline Railroad", for examples.
"Myst" and many detective investigation, like "Sherlock Holmes" games. Any "you are in a locked room" flash-games.
I don't recall if "Dreamfall" falls into this category as well but it is possible. And I'm pretty sure it is possible to find a quest or two without fights.

Nepukadnezzar:
First of all, I don't know if a thread like this has already been created, if you read this, pls link me to it.

Recently I was thinking about the whole debate about violence in games and how it works as the primary mechanic. There is some buzz about it

http://www.destructoid.com/you-should-feel-bad-but-games-don-t-want-you-to-247794.phtml
thanks PA Report

So, I was thinking what are the game Ideas I am missing, which do not rely on violence or .... let's call it physical competition (I do not want to call a Mario game violent - it is not) ... ??

The only games i can think of are:

The Sims (let's ignore the ability to punch someone you don't like, it is not a core game mechanic)
A lot of social media browser games (Farmville, Mafia Wars, ...)
A lot of the mobile casual games (Angry Birds does not make it on the list, I mean the endless runners etc.)

What are your thoughts about this?

Some of those examples are indeed violent.

Mario: kill many many turtles by squashing them underfoot, or with fireballs, hammers etc.

Mafia Wars: Almost everything in the game revolves around killing enemies, robbing them, blackmailing them or all of the above

Angry Birds: The MOST Violent game on your list, crush helpless mobility impaired pigs by throwing suicidal exploding birds at them. EVERYONE DIES THERE!

I'll give you Farmville and the Sims though.

As for true non-violent games, you can have almost any puzzle game, or Tetris, or the like.

Journey is possibly a perfect example of a non violent, non competitive game. Many games can be played in non violent ways most recent example being Dishonoured. On the ios platform things like Devils Attorney which is a comidic turn based lawyer sim, and possible ghost trick aswell. Gaming is in its very nature competitive not just video games but board, card and sports games tend of to bred competition. Simulation games (sim cities, train sims, plane sims, farming sims) typically aren't violent or competitive either.

Most racing games? They're not violent. Puzzle games? Largely not violent. (Even Portal barely qualifies.) Tetris is obviously not violent...unless it's the history of Russia video. Any sport that is non-contact is non-violent.

Phoenix Wright, though you look at crime scenes and murder happens, the gameplay itself isn't violent (unless there's a point in it I haven't reached) with investigation, talking to people and doing lawyer-y things.

I've always wanted a game that had you construct/fund your own space program.

It would be a cross between games like Sim City and Roller Coaster Tycoon, then have a space sim element when you actually got out into space and started exploring.

You'd have to control funding for it, answer to people that control your funding. Control the technology that you create and take contracts from the Military. Heck there could even be an option to sell some of the cool new tech off the grid for oodles of $$$ if you need it at the end of each month, but there is a chance you might get caught.

Honestly the possibilities are many.

Dishonored is not violent... until you get bored and sic all your rats on the guards.

Oh. I thought we were going to be sharing game design ideas, not listing off existing games.

I am disappoint.

BurnedOutMyEyes:
Dishonored is not violent... until you get bored and sic all your rats on the guards.

...? But rat swarms are what make the game fun. What's the point if you can't summon rats to eat those who have wronged you?

IrenIvy:

There is also a really old game called "Cat" where you play as a tomcat and try to reach another cat. You can't shoot or claw but you can die (a lot).

Ahh? Reminds me of another game called Dog's life. You play as a dog, digging through trashcans and the likes. And then there's another one called Jaws where you play as a shark and eat people.

Ishal:
I've always wanted a game that had you construct/fund your own space program.

It would be a cross between games like Sim City and Roller Coaster Tycoon, then have a space sim element when you actually got out into space and started exploring.

You'd have to control funding for it, answer to people that control your funding. Control the technology that you create and take contracts from the Military. Heck there could even be an option to sell some of the cool new tech off the grid for oodles of $$$ if you need it at the end of each month, but there is a chance you might get caught.

Honestly the possibilities are many.

there are a couple of space program games in the works as we speak. the first is an indy game called "kerbal space program" while the second was announced not long ago and thats "buzz aldrins aim for the stars". neither is finished but kerbal has a demo on its site

Sack of Cheese:

IrenIvy:

There is also a really old game called "Cat" where you play as a tomcat and try to reach another cat. You can't shoot or claw but you can die (a lot).

Ahh? Reminds me of another game called Dog's life. You play as a dog, digging through trashcans and the likes. And then there's another one called Jaws where you play as a shark and eat people.

I would not call game, where player character eats people, non-violent ^_^"
By "Cat" I meant that one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alley_Cat_%28video_game%29

There's the Harvest Moon games. They're non-violent. Unless you count adding a bad food item to the potluck pot, in which case you poison the entire village...

I was gonna say Chibi-robo, but then I remembered a core part of the game is destroying droves of Spydorz in order to get to new places...

Ghost Trick is non-violent. Though some people do die during the course of the game, your actual objective is to travel through time to save them.

The Professor Layton and Ace Attorney games are non-violent.

Does Link's Crossbow Training count? All you do is shoot at targets.

So that's farming sims, puzzle games, and target practice.

Edit: I forgot the Nintendogs series! Those were definitely non-violent, unless you count crippling adorableness as violent.

Mostly management titles and puzzle games that are non violent in totality.

Games like Banjo-Kazooie and such though where violence is usually just more of a side thing that happens, and no focus is put on it, with the majority of your gameplay focusing around a mix of platforming, problem solving and general exploring. Yeah, its still 'violent' in that you attack things, but I'd hesitate to call it a 'violent game' by today's standards, where the main focus of even most exploration games is in the combat.

Bara_no_Hime:
Oh. I thought we were going to be sharing game design ideas, not listing off existing games.

I am disappoint.

Actually ... I want both in here^^

Joccaren:

Games like Banjo-Kazooie and such though where violence is usually just more of a side thing that happens, and no focus is put on it, with the majority of your gameplay focusing around a mix of platforming, problem solving and general exploring. Yeah, its still 'violent' in that you attack things, but I'd hesitate to call it a 'violent game' by today's standards, where the main focus of even most exploration games is in the combat.

Agreed

Alfador_VII:

EVERYONE DIES THERE!

I'll give you Farmville and the Sims though.

That's why I said it does not make it on the list ....
The Mafia Wars might be questionable, but the only violent act you actually see and do is clicking and reading. I do not think the violence is a core game mechanice, the game would also work if it is in a different setting.
Please read the whole post.

Joccaren:
Mostly management titles and puzzle games that are non violent in totality.

Games like Banjo-Kazooie and such though where violence is usually just more of a side thing that happens, and no focus is put on it, with the majority of your gameplay focusing around a mix of platforming, problem solving and general exploring. Yeah, its still 'violent' in that you attack things, but I'd hesitate to call it a 'violent game' by today's standards, where the main focus of even most exploration games is in the combat.

Totally agree with this. There's definitely a difference between a game where violence is ancillary, and a game where the violence is inherent. For example, the goal of a Mario game being 'rescue the princess', vs the goal of a CoD game being 'kill all the things'. I can't think of a reason why a 'pacifist run' of a Mario game wouldn't be possible, if it's very difficult.

As for my idea of a non-violent game? A stealth game where you play as Princess Peach trying to break out of Bowser's castle. Pretty much this, as a playable game. Big budget console release, downloadable eShop game, I don't care. Just make it happen Nintendo.

Off-topic: Sorry, but have some pet peeves to show here


It's an interesting artice and discussion to have, and there are plenty of ideas that don't include violence, but the constraints for making a game for a "mainstram" audience make it near impossible for non-violent game design to flourish and show its complete potential.

Nepukadnezzar:

In addition, with the help of the other posters, I can add:
(list)

Add in stealth games, I like to keep my delusion that they aren't violent because you don't engage your "enemies", rather they are a permanent, more dynamic obstacle to your objective. I just wish there was less killing and more stealing the art of theft is something seriously undercooked.

What about Limbo? Sure there are things trying to kill you in pretty gruesome ways (for a black&white shadow world) but you never really attack back and the core gameplay is the puzzles.

I don't really see how car games are non-violent. I mean, you're going full speed and ramming cars, completely destroying them and causing pretty big accidents. And yes, I know you said you don't want to count that, but isn't basically almost guaranteeing death/major injury on someone the same?

I've always had this idea for a game...

Who here has ever seen Blackadder? Well, how about a comedy RPG where you play a schemer, and your goal is to usurp the throne/get out of this or that predicament/climb the social ladder/something of this nature. You'll have a dialogue wheel BioWare style, and every line will be laced with bitter, misanthropic, witty snark and contempt.

No violence involved, you just have to set events in motion by manipulating and lying to everyone around you.

How's that?

Nepukadnezzar:
Actually ... I want both in here^^

Okay then.

My idea is a political intrigue game. It is an RPG but without combat - you talk (choose dialogue options) through encounters. You make alliances, spy on people, and generally use your brain to accomplish your goals. Plus there would be multiple ways to accomplish a given task. For example:

Are you honest, honorable, and reliable? You can succeed by making firm deals with trustworthy allies and keeping your word - and thus holding them to keep theirs.

Are you a manipulative backstabber? You can succeed by playing your opposition and manipulating cats paws into doing your bidding.

Are you the kind who collects information? Information is power - you can use it for influence, blackmail, or both. Or you can sit back and sell the info to various factions, staying out of the power struggle yourself but becoming rich off of it.

So yeah, that.

One of my favorite parts of Planescape: Torment is that I can literally avoid all combat (with a very few exceptions) if I choose to. In most cases that don't involve monsters (and some that do) you can talk your way through everything. And you get as much (sometimes more) experience for doing so. I also love this in my tabletop gaming.

There are games like Shattered Memories, which are more about puzzles and trying to escape threats than actually fighting them.

Bara_no_Hime:

BurnedOutMyEyes:
Dishonored is not violent... until you get bored and sic all your rats on the guards.

...? But rat swarms are what make the game fun. What's the point if you can't summon rats to eat those who have wronged you?

I probably would have if the loading screens didn't guilt trip me about it.

Bara_no_Hime:

Nepukadnezzar:
Actually ... I want both in here^^

Okay then.

My idea is a political intrigue game. It is an RPG but without combat - you talk (choose dialogue options) through encounters. You make alliances, spy on people, and generally use your brain to accomplish your goals. Plus there would be multiple ways to accomplish a given task. For example:

Are you honest, honorable, and reliable? You can succeed by making firm deals with trustworthy allies and keeping your word - and thus holding them to keep theirs.

Are you a manipulative backstabber? You can succeed by playing your opposition and manipulating cats paws into doing your bidding.

Are you the kind who collects information? Information is power - you can use it for influence, blackmail, or both. Or you can sit back and sell the info to various factions, staying out of the power struggle yourself but becoming rich off of it.

So yeah, that.

One of my favorite parts of Planescape: Torment is that I can literally avoid all combat (with a very few exceptions) if I choose to. In most cases that don't involve monsters (and some that do) you can talk your way through everything. And you get as much (sometimes more) experience for doing so. I also love this in my tabletop gaming.

And that's why until video game RPG's catch up, tabletop excels in this area.

I think Ape Escape counts as non-violent. All you do in it is humanely capture monkeys in a net, with your most dangerous weapon being a stun club that just makes them a little dizzy. You fight little robots but I don't think that counts.
I mean even in Ape Escape 3 when you're using the cowboy outfit, they make a point that all you're barraging the monkeys with are paintballs.

TheTransgenderedGamer:
And that's why until video game RPG's catch up, tabletop excels in this area.

The sad thing is, the closest game to achieving this - made more than 10 years ago now - is Planescape: Torment. We've been sliding the wrong direction since then.

Also, I noticed that your game idea was similar to mine, except yours had Rowen Atkinson in it. Well played.

Bara_no_Hime:

TheTransgenderedGamer:
And that's why until video game RPG's catch up, tabletop excels in this area.

The sad thing is, the closest game to achieving this - made more than 10 years ago now - is Planescape: Torment. We've been sliding the wrong direction since then.

Also, I noticed that your game idea was similar to mine, except yours had Rowen Atkinson in it. Well played.

Well, I feel there's a genuine lack of "smart comedy" in gaming. I'm not talking about over the top slapstick, "pop cultural references," or just snark, I'm talking more something along the lines... of... well... Blackadder. Or even Yes, Minister. But more Blackadder.

I'd like gaming humour to incorporate a bit more legitimate wit, and I can only think of a handful of comedy oriented games that have ever really pulled that off. Don't get me wrong, I also do love over the top slapstick or silliness (I'm a huge fan of the Paper Mario series, for example), I'd just like different varieties of humour in my comedy games.

Haaaang on...

... What about, respectively, the Ace Attorney and Professor Layton franchises? In either series, violence is never the main tool to solve any situation. It's always about outwitting bad guys in court or solving all sorts of puzzles.

Driving an utter monster into a nervous breakdown by smashing his testimony is just as satisfying to me as beating some Big Bad with a massive sword.

Bara_no_Hime:

TheTransgenderedGamer:
And that's why until video game RPG's catch up, tabletop excels in this area.

The sad thing is, the closest game to achieving this - made more than 10 years ago now - is Planescape: Torment. We've been sliding the wrong direction since then.

Also, I noticed that your game idea was similar to mine, except yours had Rowen Atkinson in it. Well played.

Good news everyone.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera?ref=live

T3hSource:
I just wish there was less killing and more stealing the art of theft is something seriously undercooked.

Indeed, and that is the reason I do not want it in here. Maybe the sly cooper series, but in every other stealth game I know you kill ruthlessly because it is almost necessary. I do not want to start a discussion if wether if a kill is necessary to proceed in a game (Mario, every bloody jump&run), because I can't find an answer to that. I think it is everyones opinion. But as long as there are games like Tenchu out there I do not want to put in stealth games in general.

King Aragorn:
And yes, I know you said you don't want to count that, but isn't basically almost guaranteeing death/major injury on someone the same?

And that is why I do not want to count that^^

Bara_no_Hime:

Nepukadnezzar:
Actually ... I want both in here^^

Okay then.

My idea is a political intrigue game. It is an RPG but without combat - you talk (choose dialogue options) through encounters. You make alliances, spy on people, and generally use your brain to accomplish your goals. Plus there would be multiple ways to accomplish a given task. For example:

Are you honest, honorable, and reliable? You can succeed by making firm deals with trustworthy allies and keeping your word - and thus holding them to keep theirs.

Are you a manipulative backstabber? You can succeed by playing your opposition and manipulating cats paws into doing your bidding.

Are you the kind who collects information? Information is power - you can use it for influence, blackmail, or both. Or you can sit back and sell the info to various factions, staying out of the power struggle yourself but becoming rich off of it.

So yeah, that.

One of my favorite parts of Planescape: Torment is that I can literally avoid all combat (with a very few exceptions) if I choose to. In most cases that don't involve monsters (and some that do) you can talk your way through everything. And you get as much (sometimes more) experience for doing so. I also love this in my tabletop gaming.

the closest ive seen to that would be crusader kings 2 but yeah it would need a more rpg side to it

Just about every adventure game ever made.

Can we close the thread now? Or are several thousand games not enough for you?

The problem isn't violence in itself I would say personally. It's that there's a huge precedent for succesfull games with fun gameplay that are focused on it. And less so for other games.

There are SO many games that miss out on inventive gameplay because they think that just combat is enough.

Skyrim could use a ACTUAL crafting systems, politics, actual puzzles, hunting, human revolution style social battles etc. if you wanted to spruce up gameplay. And that's just one example.

Where are the days of games basing their gameplay on the core idea of their game, rather than basing the core idea on popular gameplay?

We're in a market where I'd rather play Dungeon Keeper from 1997 than a new release, because the developer had unique ideas about the game, and AI THAT IS BETTER THAN SOME MODERN ONES!(But that's besides the point)

There was this game (i do not know if it is still running) called echo bazaar.
There was violence in this game, but it could pretty much by bypassed entirely.
You basically used skills like persuasion, stealth to etc to achieve your goals - it was kind of, choose your adventure thing.

In this game you could "fight" through debating etc. Was a bit of fun at the start, got too grindy for me later on.

Really, the amount of games you find will depend on your definition of violence, because competition can indeed be seen as violence, and pretty much all games involve some kind of competition.

ps - jumping on others people heads to kill them (flatteing = killing) seems pretty violent to me :P

Blood Brain Barrier:
Just about every adventure game ever made.
Can we close the thread now?

true ... and no. There are only very few games + ideas compared to the rest and I want to find them.

neonit:

Really, the amount of games you find will depend on your definition of violence, because competition can indeed be seen as violence, and pretty much all games involve some kind of competition.

true ... but there has to be a possibility to compete without killing each other off. Take every major sport ...
Hey ... Sports Games^^

A game can contain enormous amounts of violence without being a violent game. You could easily play a character with magical or technological "barrier" or "shield" powers whose job is to save and protect as many people as possible from the horrible violence inflicted upon them. The message would be as anti-violence as it comes: A pacifist protagonist who uses non-violent means to protect others from violence. It could also easily be expanded to give more options, such as "banishing" summoned creatures back to where they came from, counterspelling enemy spells, dispelling ongoing harmful effects, short-circuiting and disabling enemy technology, manipulating elemental forces to create natural barriers, slow down foes with cold, detour oncoming flyers or missiles with wind, and so on.

A game like that has exactly the same strategical/fun/challenge/story/etc potential as any other game, but the approach is radically different. And it need not be aimed at children either, I can easily imagine a grimdark "points of light" story woven along the gameplay.

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