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Essay: A future I would want to live in

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by JoeStrout, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Teila

    Teila

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    I do like Harvest Moon, but we no longer have a console that will play it and have no plans to get another one.

    Whenever someone gives me a list, they seem to think we want cutsey, romantic, or brooding games.

    I want a challenging game, with characters, 3d please. A game for adults, and by that I simply mean a game that is interesting, tells a deep story, and one that allows me, as the player, to be able to explore, have adventures, and do things without having to pull out a gun. I once played a Dr. Who pen and paper rpg. The DM told us up front that the challenge was not to use weapons. We had none at all except for the NPC Doctor who had his screwdriver. But like in the shows (maybe not so much the recent ones), the doctor rarely uses his screwdriver to hurt anyone. He talks his way out of things or he finds away around the problem. That was a hilariously fun game, and the players with us who always play the DnD warrior had a tougher time with it than some of us.

    An adventure, with other characters, solving problems (not puzzles), 3d, with a story, conflict, adventures. Combat is fine as long as there is a plausible way not to use combat. The goal should be something more than to see how many people you can kill and maim in an hour.

    Yeah, I am sure I can find some older games like that. Maybe even some indie ones that I have not heard about.

    But...I do not have time to play games. These are just the types of games I WOULD play if I had the time.
     
  2. neoshaman

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    I didn't choose them because they are cutesy lol, it's more like people assume that doing game without violence mean cutesy, maybe there is market to steal, by blending the mechanics of these cutesy game with the serious world of violent game! Because it's true there is none that isn't cutesey lol.

    EDIT:
    Versu isn't cutesy, but it's also a text game set in Jane Austen multiverse.

    There is also a war of mine or paper please, social game but with a bit of tangential violence too (though the violence is treat as a story and social action). and also 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, Edith Finch, Tacoma. Those later are more straight adventure game, we might toss as well all the TellTale game from walking dead to batman (different takes than usual, focusing on Bruce Wayne and decision) going through a wolf among us.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  3. Teila

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    Yep!!!

    I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and I looked at the game, but was not motivated to try it now at least. It is considered at this time one of the first pure role play MMOs but in my mind, it has too many rules to be a pure role play MMO. :) However, I am cheering for it as it is different and it is attracting some attention. One of my team members, a man, thinks it is amazing. I really love that the developer took a chance on a truly niche game.
     
  4. TonyLi

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    Its confined setting with distinct floors would make rendering easier than a vast, open world with long sightlines. But it would require a heck of a lot of character work. It's a far cry from a Star Trek utopia, though, isn't it?
     
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  5. Teila

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    Yes, but per a conversation with my kids, we all decided that Wool, unlike some dystopian worlds, is one with hope. While bad things happen, the people work together to make changes. There is some violence in the book, although not a lot gun/blood/gore violence. The problem I have with most game dystopian worlds is that the games keep a certain level of stress throughout the game. There is always a zombie or mutant chasing you. You have to constantly kill them.

    In Wool, the enemies are humans, trying to keep the status quo, fighting for whatever side they believe in or trust. It is the human factor, the psychological impact that I think makes the book better than just running away from bad guys all the time.

    There are other books out there like that too. And even Utopian societies do not have to be portrayed as perfect. Ursula de Guin does a great job with this.

    Maybe it is more the formulaic stories we have in many dystopian games that bothers me, aside from the violence and lack of other ways to deal with problems. The real world is neither Dystopian or Utopian. It is grey, not black and white. Morals are relative. Unlike video games, in Miami, you cannot drive around shooting everyone you see and stealing every car you see without eventually getting in trouble....well, maybe some get away from it, but that is not a real world. It is a fake world where violence is portrayed simply for the the violence. There is no message, no story, and even the entertainment value wears thin for many.

    Escapism is all good and fine, but there are many different ways to escape. Not all of them are cutsey utopians and not all are violent dystopians. :)
     
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  6. EternalAmbiguity

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    Quoting for truth.

    There's a overarching game "universe" set across two different game series: Drakengard and Nier. In all honestly you probably wouldn't like them because they're extremely, extremely violent. But the characters they portray are not one-note bad#&& dudes who are justified in everything they do. They're very morally grey--in one of the games you play a character seen as the "bad guy" by the world, though as you gradually go through the story the character's motivations are explained. In another the character you play thinks he's doing the right thing, but it's revealed that he essentially IS the bad guy: he essentially destroys the world's hope for a future in his desire to save his daughter from a fatal disease.

    I agree we need more games that make you think. Make you really question what the right choice is. Not that everything's got to be a bait and switch, but questioning yourself to be sure of your actions is rarely a bad thing.
     
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  7. neoshaman

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    And he and his daughter aren't even the real deal, (sister as it is a brother in jap, swapped for father in ENG). The were basically copy made to hold the body for the real souls to come back, in the process he end up fighting the real souls.
     
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  8. Deleted User

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    While this is an intriguing topic and perspective I hold the view that one cannot just change the world by promoting positivity. Apologies if this has been said before, I've not read past the first two posts. I say this because if that's your aim perhaps that would be better channeled into building up your community or cleaning up the environment.

    Negative experiences in games seems to be a reaction more than a cause-and-effect.
     
  9. Teila

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    Action is the only thing that changes the world. :)

    However, sometimes I really could use a positive game that isn't about killing or horror, or whatever. As the parent of an autistic kid and two teen girls, there are days when all I want to do is relax and laugh. I guess I need to download The Sims again...
     
  10. Deleted User

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    I really identify with the quote "The older you get the less willing you are to deal with conflict and drama". I agree with the notion @Teila. And [edit] I'm talking about negativity.

    I've just had too much time to think lately. Especially today. Some of it is positive, much of it negative. I got the feeling people on these boards don't like me and I really don't want to deal with that if that's the case. Some other sh** on the internet that keeps coming back to bug me too... and I am just so tired of it.
     
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  11. Teila

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    Yep, dealing with some of that sh** myself from some of the Unity developers. Most are fabulous people, others end up disappointing.

    So..concentrate on gathering positive people around you, even here on the forums. The ones that create the negativity, which in my case are those who feel threatened by others (not me, btw as I do not think I threaten anyone lol), will only push more and more people away.

    If you feel they do not like you, then do not waste time trying to get them to like you. It simply is impossible. :) Everyone has to live in their own world and if they create a negative space, they will eventually be the only ones living there.

    I do not hate you! If I did, I would be ignoring you. :) Life is too short to worry about what others think.

    And before Hippo closes this down, I will bring it back to the original message. The future I want to live in is only the future I create. That world will be one where I surround myself with people who make me feel good, who treat me with respect, and who encourage me to succeed.
     
  12. Martin_H

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    I've just watched the first 10 episodes (not sure if there are any more in the first season, that's all Crunchyroll has at the moment) of "Recovery of an MMO Junkie" and want to give it my highest recommendation! I never played an MMO myself but I still found it one of the most relatable and touching shows I've watched so far. It's about a woman who quit her corporate job, because it has burned her out, and flees into the world of MMOs, where she meets new friends.
     
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  13. Billy4184

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    I didn't read the article yet, but I want to comment that while I agree that modern science fiction is plagued by tired dystopian tropes, I don't agree with the idea that science fiction as an art needs to tend toward less drama and conflict. In fact, I perceive the problem as being precisely that drama and conflict is seen less and less as a context in which one can possibly undertake meaningful enterprise.

    I believe it comes down to what Peter Thiel calls 'indefinite optimism' (Zero to One is one of the best books I've ever read) which has plagued the last few decades as a sort of collective point of view of the future in western society. It basically means, the way I see it, that the future is fundamentally out of one's control but will probably be OK since it has historically been improving. The problem with this viewpoint for science fiction is that in a world where everything is out of your control, the only possible drama is the possibility that the future is actually not going to be OK (since it would be a boring story where nobody did anything but everything was OK). I see it also as sort of entry into a cycle of psychological depression (at least as it occurs, imo, in a majority of cases) - where the event that precipitates a negative worldview is not something bad as such, but the notion that your life is no longer really in your control, and that any decisive action is pointless - which leads a restless mind to begin to imagine and focus on dour possibilities.

    I'm not really sure what started this creeping notion that the future is not knowable or possible to design and build. I have a few ideas but they probably aren't relevant to the thread. However to complete my point, I think that in a future where you don't know what's going to happen and cannot do anything one way or the other, one's first instinct becomes to defensively avoid drama and conflict as these seem to be the only tangible precursors to something potentially really horrible. Therefore anyone with a distinct set of ideas and plans about the future, especially if you're a politician, is perceived to be the possible precursor to a dystopian future and is basically regarded as a dangerous fanatic - because any fundamental change in the world basically entails, as a rule, drama and conflict.

    Frankly I think the fact that people do not believe in the possibility of designing and building a future that anyone would want to live in is not just very depressing, but it's incredibly unnerving to see it somehow spread through the world in the very century that human civilization really got a grip on the possibility of designing and building its own future. I think that if there is a single motivation that I have in art, it is to communicate the possibilities, along with all the drama and conflict, that creating a 'human-made' rather than essentially an evolved future could bring - and not just to see that as a problem but as really a unique event in human history where we 'came of age' as a civilization. The problem is that it's not really clear if or how, in the current, stalled state of the the world's collective consciousness, this event would take place.
     
  14. Akshara

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    Entered the thread to read the new post (thank you for sharing your insights, Billy4184) and was scanning up through the thread and re-read this...
    Though I liked this weeks ago, I just want to say thank you for posting this, @Teila. Because I really needed to read this tonight, as I choose goodness, respect, encouragement and love as well.

    On the thread topic, I love what Brie writes here, about how she is making a choice to be optimistic about the future. Her vision of "a future I would want to live in" is one of the more inspiring and hopeful visions of a technological future that I have encountered; and asks me to evaluate my own work and my own future, within the context of what we are each doing here, with giving so much of our lives to these technological tools, to our art, to the stories we tell through our work and to what we give to each other, each day.

    Thank you @JoeStrout for sharing and for posting this thread. I love Brie's "tend-and-befriend" concept and the "self-care" game and how in every game she plays she is discovering herself and the world around her, through creating things together for each other, while feeling loved. Yet what I dig the very most is her courage.
     
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  15. Martin_H

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  16. Joe-Censored

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    The article is long, rambling, and has trouble conveying its point.

    More importantly though the author makes the mistake of believing that the future people want in the real world should be the same as what people want in their game world. That's nonsense. The utopian future sounds all great and all, but comfortable easy living doesn't make for good gameplay. Even in a previous poster's Sims example about taking out the trash doesn't even fit, because in the author's game utopia some automated machine even does that for you, so the Sims would still be too dystopian for her. A future where people have to haul out trash by hand like some common serf? But what about how great the future should be?

    The fact is for games to be entertaining you need to have goals you are reaching for and along the way you need problems to solve. A future where all problems are solved by someone or something else presents a serious design problem to make a game out of. What exactly are you supposed to do in this game? Talk to NPC's about how great it is that you don't actually have to do anything in the game? That almost sounds like it comes full circle back around to complete dystopia.

    Now I would like a real future where there is no crime, no war, no poverty, and no effort needed for basic needs to be met. Because I like to play a game that includes those elements doesn't mean I want that to be my future. I don't really want my future to be me jumping out of a plane with 100 other people, and running from a blue wall all the while killing everyone I come across. Not my idea of a great future, but it sure is great at killing a half hour of my time after I get home from work.

    I'm also not surprised pointing out people's race (white) and use of the term "cisgender" appear in the article, as they tend to be a feature of long winded essays that have trouble making their point, with grand ideas about what the future should be but exactly zero ideas on how to get there realistically.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  17. neoshaman

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    You don't have to be so emotional about it though. Especially since the person is also white and cisgender.

    I think the whole point is to inspect values, as values prescribe action, ie the solutions we found out. And that's a solution in itself, the tend and befriend is offered as an alternative to common approach, that's pretty much to the point.
     
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  18. Joe-Censored

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    She could make her point without making it about race and gender preference. Doing so weakens her entire message.
     
  19. Teila

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    I would love to know why you do not think this belongs in an article about the future, honestly. Could you elaborate?

    As a mother, I can easily see my teen and young adults living in a very different world than we live in and gender, race, equality....all are changing very rapidly. Sometimes I feel like I am in a completely different world from theirs. I suppose our parents felt that way too as they saw their post war world and the values that changed through the 60's and 70's.

    Mine watched their daughter get a college degree (first in my extended family) in a male dominated field. They now watch their grandchildren live in a world where being gay or hetero or whatever has much less meaning.

    My mom tells me stories about her parents also struggling with changes in the world her children wished to live in, mostly about rock and roll, fast cars, and clothing choices, but still, same thing. :)

    So..in an article about living in the future the author wants to live in, why would she not include gender and race?

    That does not mean your future will include those things, although the way things are going now, I do not see how anyone can avoid the changes that are and will come.

    As for games....I also do not see why someone should not write about what they wish to see in games, their world, their story, their message. Seriously, we are not the future of games. It is my kids, who are more tolerant and who are are more open to diversity. If we keep making games for 40 year olds, I think we will find that others surpass us. Games will change, just as the market changes. Today, many games are violent and bloody. 20 years ago, they were less so. And prior to that, they were even less about killing stuff.

    I do not agree with a lot of messages out there. Many people are pushing me to live in a future I find horrifying. But you know what? I may not agree, but I do think everyone is entitled to spread their message. I hope that some of that never becomes mainstream, but other things, stuff that has to do with love and respect and finding joy in one's life no matter who you are, is really what I hope prevails in the end. :)

    So I am truly interested in your opinion on why this stuff does not belong in the article. I am not trying to start a discussion on anything controversial...just a simple why does it not belong here.
     
  20. Joe-Censored

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    She takes an article about how she would like the future of gaming to be, and then injects her own prejudices regarding race and gender into it, implying that a person's race, gender, and gender preference are somehow limiting factors to their ability to creatively make games. Blacks in America, and across the western world, have fought against exactly this type of thing for over a century, but somehow it is ok in this context? Its not. Its the same racism, sexism, and bigotry just with a different group as the target.

    The author doing so has distracted from her actual point. Its even distracted from the discussion of her article, as seen here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  21. Teila

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    Okay, I read the entire blog again and this is all I could find that mentioned race and gender.

    It's not just game design that is changing. It's not just film and music either. Most researchers and designers in many other fields have also been WEIRD white cisgender men, and most research subjects have as well. Like games, our societies have been designed largely by one kind of person and therefore for one kind of person. Our systems. Our hierarchies. Our rules. Our roles. Our morals. The things we have stayed silent about. These things are changing.
    How is this not true? Some months ago, Unity posted a blog about diversity in the workplace, basically about getting more women and minorities to become part of game development. Did you read the that? Did you read the comments? Basically, the comments were bashing the idea, most of them, maybe not all of them. There is a problem, in my mind, when diversity becomes so much of a threat that people feel comfortable bashing the idea.

    Most games are developed by white cisgender men. It is the fact. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not. I have nothing against white men making games. I honestly do feel like many of the games are not really games that I would play. Maybe because I am a woman or maybe because I am not of their generation? I do not know.

    I do know that the majority of the games out there today are marketed toward a specific group of players who like the games that are out there. There are exceptions. But a look in steam the other day shows me that the exceptions, more often than not, end up not getting enough attention to succeed. So..to succeed more games are made like the ones that already succeed. They really are not that different from games made years ago.

    I guess you can accuse me of injecting my own prejudices...as I could yours when you read the article. Funny how we both read the same thing but have a totally different view of what was actually said. I think maybe we both have our prejudices. Prejudice is in all of us, whether we see it or admit or not.

    I do not NOT play a game because it was made by a man. If I did, without knowing nothing else about it, then yes, I am prejudice against men, specifically white men if they made the game. But rather, I do not play the game because it is not the kind of game I want to play. As a woman and a mother, gratuitous violence is disgusting to me. I have no interest in that game.

    But..most of the games i play were made by men. Gender has nothing to do with it. It is the design of the game, the game play, the purpose, the goal, the immersion value, etc.

    Maybe, just maybe, a woman would make a game that would be exactly what I want in a game. Maybe I would play that game, not because she is a woman, but because as a woman, she could somehow relate to me. Maybe a game about gay teens made by someone who is gay could better relate to gay teens. Maybe a game made by a black person about black people would relate to black people better.

    Maybe that is why we like games....because the person, no matter the gender or sexuality, made a game that appeals to each of us. A game that some gets it. They get what a middle-aged woman with kids wants to play. They get what a gay teen might like or a black man.

    That does not mean that we NEED games that get us...but it does mean that some people are left out. We never get to play games that get us.

    So what I read in that one paragraph was that the writer was saying that games are designed by one type of people and if we open up to more diversity then we could very likely get more kinds of games, more diversity in the games that are produced, and we could open up markets that have been otherwise almost entirely ignored.

    I fail to see how that is a bad thing. In my mind, if I live long enough to see that, I would love to be a game developer and a game player in that world.
     
  22. Joe-Censored

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    Yes the article only mentioned white cisgender men once (my original comment only mentioned it once, but somehow that is the focus of my comment as well). I have a problem with this line:

    "Like games, our societies have been designed largely by one kind of person and therefore for one kind of person."

    This is stating that a person can only design something for people like themselves. That is nonsense. So a man can't design a car a woman would want to drive? Someone right handed can't design scissors for someone left handed? A woman can't create a movie targeted at boys? How is Kathleen Kennedy able to get boys lining up to watch these new Star Wars movies if she is limited to making movies aimed at people only like her?

    How did the Japanese at Nintendo dominate the gaming industry in the United States for a time from all the way over in Japan? How many white Americans were running Nintendo anyways? Oh, the answer is exactly 0? How can that be that they were able to make a product that so successfully targeted the largely white American consumer so successfully when none of them were white American enough to figure out how to do that?

    How come 90's rap music was largely purchased by white teen boys when it was largely made by black men? They shouldn't be able to know how to design a product to appeal to white boys, right?

    The fact is it is just complete BS that your creative ability is limited to designing a product that only targets yourself. There's endless examples of this simply not being true. Any person of any race, gender, or sexual preference can make a game that targets any other group. They just need to do a little more research on what appeals to their target audience, but that research is really not that hard. The author of the article is simply being both lazy and dishonest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  23. Martin_H

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor

    While I pretty much agree with all you say, I think in tone it's too aggressive and that doesn't benefit the discussion.

    I don't believe that to be true because even 2 different games made by the same person or team often don't appeal both in the same way to different people. Specifically I'm thinking of Portal and Quantum Conundrum - iirc the woman who played a key role in Portal's design left valve to make that kind of game with her own team. Both games are very similar, yet I liked both Portal games much more.

    I'm sure many cis white men would love to make very different stuff than burly men with short brown hair cowering behind chest-high walls and shooting aliens, but the structures that finance games funnel the money in certain catch 22 patterns. If you want to see more diverse games, you need to find ways to change the system, so that money is distributed towards more diverse games. You could cull all cis white devs from a AAA team, replace them with women and male minorities, and with a big publisher like EA breathing down their neck and having them financially by the proverbial balls, the games they make likely still would look mostly the same. I'm sure most games that are labled as the stereotypical product of cis white male devs already have some degree of diversity in their team, if one was to check the names in the credits, you just can't tell from the end product.
     
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  24. hippocoder

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    Had to respond to a report.

    So a quick reminder - sometimes discussions make people feel uncomfortable as their world views are challenged. So make sure that what is discussed is still done so with awesome adult restraint and the thread will not get locked. It's OK to have different opinions.
     
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  25. Joe-Censored

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    Fair enough

    Apologies if this was due to the tone of my posts.
     
  26. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I don't know, I'm not following the thread, I just respond like a robot to reports. There is food cooking at the moment and the smell is all consuming, bye.
     
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  27. Teila

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    I do not think she is saying that. I think she is simply saying we need more diversity. :) However, if that is what you read out of it then that is what you will get out of it and that is okay. :)

    I am pretty sure her target for the article were people like me. I do not agree with everything she said in the blog either, but I do believe that diversity, where it comes from, is a good thing. The more diversity we have in games, in movies, in almost everything out there, the more people will feel included.

    That is a positive. :)

    @hippocoder
    No worries. I am not passionate enough about this topic to get all worked up. I think it is sad that everyone is not out there working for more diversity. I think the recent issues in the film world and other areas are a symptom of why we need more diversity.

    I believe, no matter what anyone says, no matter how threatened one feels, no matter how discouraged they are now, that things will get better. The younger generations are going to lead us just like they did with integration and civil rights.

    So....I will not defend the writer any further. We all see what we want to see when we read something and I understand and actually sympathize with those that feel uncomfortable with this subject. It is scary to many. :)

    I do not have bad feelings toward anyone here and thank you, @Joe-Censored for explaining your views. I appreciate your honestly and courage. LOL
     
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  28. Billy4184

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    I'm not interested in taking sides in this particular argument (which is quite civil and that's great), but I have to agree with the premise of this argument. I think that given the fact that we're all human beings (though some from mars and others from venus, as they say), and that we all evolved in the same place, it's very hard to argue in general terms that the myths and stories that we find compelling would be incredibly different. Though (and I'm not speaking of anyone in this thread) this seems to be somehow quite easy to do, amongst other startling delineations, in the course of political struggle.
     
  29. neoshaman

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    I will only say that there is something dispiriting that, as someone who is "identified as black", I have to generally censored my own *life experiences* because it's "political", it's not even "views" just things that happen to me. It's kind of a form of censorship when your entire existence is "political". Why is it political? Why discussing illness is not? Why it's safer for a blind person to say that world is design for non blind and inspire solution that benefit everyone, but other struggles are politics and not worth talking about? Why some experience are non political (ie a man falling in love with a woman) but other are (same sex falling in love)? Game are culture, and politic is culture, they always intersects.

    In some way when people react to gender and race politics while being unhappy about highlighting the "privilege" of some (which is just a word to denote a difference of perspective and experience rather than to blame, initially at least) is that they start to feel the same type of uncomfortable politicization that has been pushed onto others since forever, and they react to the burden by expressing discomfort, the same way others had always been expressing discomfort, but instead of making it a shared burden that make us closer (like how asian and black resolved into as an example) they want to keep the ideal by putting the blame elsewhere, and that stonewalling just make the tone rise on both side sadly.

    It's depressing when I started a game with characters that are black women, not out of militant diversity quota + "insert social justice here" but because my setting is the Caribbean (where I was born, which happen to have black people and who don't like a story about a ragtag of rebel fighting oppressing empire?), to be told by the usual suspects that it's not "universal enough" and having all sorts of polite rhetoric b(some not so polite too) all very insistent on me not doing that, or asking help on neutral technical aspect (the physics of tight hair curl, the shading and lighting technique of black skin) is met with silence by people expert on the domain (even though they where happy to discuss even more difficult unsolved problem just a few minutes ago, unless they are eastern european for some reason, they at least say "let me look at it" or offer some insight from their understanding).

    There is so many way I have been subject to various form of silencing for what is essentially a dumb take on tired tropes rampant in game fiction, just because characters happen to be black and women ... It's weird! It's weird because when I was doing regular mediocre fantasy, it was only met with excitement. Making game is hard no matter who you are, but at least you can be met with some general empathy when you are doing stuff that people don't see as diversity. The general lack of support do weight in more, because you start second guessing what you do or tell, because it's politics, you start becoming less ambitious, more careful, and in general you turn to more intimate and personal things as a coping mechanics. And that's the fear people who react to the irruption of so called "politics" in their world view and identity have, one where they feel constraint by having to think beyond what they are use to, to be careful, to create something without the underlying excitation. They don't want to feel like us, they don't want to share the burden. The solution is therefore separation and denial.

    But the success of Get out, across all demographics, and similar productions, shows people are eager to confront and consume stuff that allow them to experience these difficult questions in a safe fictional space. Also Nintendo has some recent character design that had thoroughly demonstrated than unbiased design just work and demonstrate people has no (major) problem with them and even cheered across all demographics. It shows it can be as much as a non issue as anything else, it's not politics, it's challenging and broadening the creativity pallet, it something we can cheers to together. And that's basically it, we need diversity as a way to expend on the creative pallet and tropes dictionary in way that are exciting, ambitious and uplifting to everyone, ie where the notion of burden don't exist at all. Ie to create things that bring us together.

    Why this is politics, and not just different experiences that is shared, is still beyond me.

    Because that would be a future I would want to live in.
     
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  30. Teila

    Teila

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    Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience. Very inspiring and you really opened my eyes on the exact reason why so many are uncomfortable with diversity discussions. I am sorry you have felt shut down.

    When I first came to Unity, people would post threads, asking women about the types of games they liked to play. They actually wanted a woman's point of view and the few of us here, did try to explain. But in every thread, and I think that Hippo can substantiate this, someone started ranting and became angry. You are absolutely right...the word politics was thrown around. The threads were closed. I always felt guilty, shamed, horrible about that. Like I did something wrong simply by expression my thoughts/views on the subject from my own vantage point as a woman.

    Things are better here now, but only because those threads do not happen often anymore. We have all been shamed/scared/whatever into not starting such threads or not bringing such discussion into the forums. You can see that in my reply above. I felt the need to smooth things over, something many women do. I am sorry about that.

    Your post is the perfect example of why we need more diversity. By having people of color, women, transgender, gay, and lesbians, and others, all talking among ourselves, we learn to understand better. We learn of the struggles, that honestly we do share. I also get that feeling of being shut down by some. I understand what it is like to have to be careful of what I say or I might offend someone.....and why? Because they disagree with me. That is really unfair.

    When I go back and read my last post here, I can realize how much I compromised to make someone else feel better rather than say what I wanted to say....the world is changing and we must all learn to live in it. The best way it so listen to others, even or maybe especially, who are different than us. Diversity makes us grow as human beings. It does not take away from anyone, just adds. Definitely, it is not politics.

    You inspire me, Neosham, and I want my daughters and son to read this. I would love to play your game, by the way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  31. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Is this a lowkey stab at ME Andromeda? :p

    This is a noble sentiment. However...I recall reading a Michael Crichton book once called Disclosure. Now I don't have the book with me, so I can't look this up (his books tend to have references--one has 170 references). In it he claimed that women in positions of power abuse their authority (sexual harrassment in this circumstance) to the same extent as men--we just don't hear about it as much because there are fewer women in leadership.

    Again, I can't say if this is true or not. But there's no guarantee that putting a different person in charge would change the result.


    Ultimately these things tend to be more complicated than we'd like them to be. We like simple answers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  32. Murgilod

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    You mean the same Crichton who openly denies the existence of climate change and once wrote a character based on one of his critics to heavily imply he was a pedophile? Yeah, I'm not exactly going to take his word at face value.
     
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  33. Teila

    Teila

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    Yeah, i would not quote Crichton on an expert on anything but maybe writing books. I am sure a better source could be found to bolster the claim.

    I have no doubt that women in power also are involved in sexual harassment cases against men. In fact, I read an article recently that indicated this was true...about 5% of the cases that came before some law firms that specialized in sexual harassment cases were men filing against women. Lots of reasons why this number is not bigger. Also, there were a percentage that also were men filing against men.

    Regardless, just because women do it too at some numbers, that does not make it okay. You can't cancel one by saying "everyone does it".

    I brought this up because it is a symptom of the gender issues going on today. One of the many problems honestly. When we have more women directing movies, producing movies, etc., then we can see if there is a change in the problems. Until then, it is all speculation. Besides, many of the women actresses that came forward also said there were women who enabled the men to do what they did. The problem is in the culture of the industry, and while it is disturbing and something part of me wants to block out of my head, I know it is something that cannot be ignored.

    So to bring it back to the OP's first post....we have a situation that is evolving around us that has a very good chance of changing the world we live in. I am sad that Game of Cards has lost it's star and that actors I have admired now make me sad. But....I am glad that this is out in the open. I am glad that our world is evolving to allow people to come forward, not be afraid, not have their career ruined.

    Diversity could be the key to helping us understand each other. And by diversity, I mean all, men, women, cis, trans, bi, gay, lesbian, black, white, brown, etc.

    I grew up in a very white midwestern area, near the Wisconsin border. There was one black family in our elementary school. When I was bused to the city for high school, we had 30% African Americans. Our school was a magnet school for performing arts students so we had many gay and lebian and bi students. We all studied together, we acted together, we laughed and cried, cheered for the basketball team, etc. This was well before anyone talked about diversity...I am old. lol

    While the richer more white schools had race riots, we had students putting on plays about inclusiveness.

    It was a good thing. I never felt less because there was so much more. :) I had friends whose experiences were very different from mine and I struggled to understand. But....it was all good in the end. I see my kids and their friends doing it even better.
     
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  34. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    No, I haven't played it. Never could get into the series.

    I was e.g. thinking of a movie where at the time of watching I thought it was the worst piece of macho-action-trash I've ever seen, and then later found out it was directed by a woman. I don't wanna trashtalk her though, because from what I could find on her she seemed pretty cool and she probably had the odds stacked against her in all possible ways, which was exactly my point about the systemic problems of the funding-source having more influence than gender, race, and sexuality of the creatives.

    In games I didn't think of specific examples, but when I finish a game I do occasionally read the credits looking for names that sound familiar, and I just remember being surprised every now and then that AAA teams are already more diverse than I would have thought.
    One example I could find quickly is this: http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/bulletstorm
    Bullestorm lists Tanya Watson as Lead Producer. I have no idea how important that role is, but she's listed second on the list, so I guess "pretty important". The game was amazing, one of the best old-school FPS probably. But it's also so full of profanity, immature jokes and glorified violence, that I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking "no way any women were involved in the production of this dudebro shooter".


    Maybe I should clarify that I'm neither opposed in any way to more diverse dev teams, nor to more diverse games on the market, I only believe one doesn't just automatically causally achieve the other*), because making games is expensive, and this creative space is influenced more by money than anything else in my opinion.

    *) I think the thought that certain groups of people can only make certain groups of games is... false.
     
  35. Teila

    Teila

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    I do not think anyone made definitive statement like that. :) And of course women can make trashy movies and games. lol We are not any different from men in that regard. We are diverse among ourselves just as you are.

    But..I do believe that some people can make the games I like better than other people. And it could be that a group of women would make a game I would enjoy better than a group of men. On the other hand, I adore Raph Koster and loved his games. :) So who knows? It would be nice to get a chance to find out though.

    One thing is true. Until more different types of people start working on different types of games, we really do not know. In my honest opinion, the best team to make games is a mix of people from all walks of life. Imagine how great a game could be if it could portray the human condition the way it is. A world full of many different people.
     
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  36. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I've looked at half a dozen links and have yet to find one where Crichton denies "climate change." Perhaps you can point me in the right direction (amusingly, I found a lot of comments like yours which apparently glossed over a book of his without reading it and immediately attacked him for not towing the party line).

    What I have found (or rather, what I've known for a while) however is many claims by his of science today (not saying it ever wasn't, just that his discussion is current) being politicized and not objective. And more importantly, of man's ignorance and impulsiveness in the face of phenomena he doesn't fully understand. And I personally know he's right there.

    So I think I'll take his word--not at face value, but at the value of those 100+ references he has.

    I think my favorite "female protagonist" games are Remember Me and Life is Strange, both of them being good games regardless of the characters and in both cases the female characters also being done rather well. Both stories (and presumably both characters--I'm unsure about Max) were written by men.

    Most definitely was not trying to say it's okay. I was trying to point out that putting someone else in charge is not necessarily the answer. Kind of what I said at the very end of my post--these things are more complicated than they appear sometimes.
     
  37. Teila

    Teila

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    I found links as soon as I searched for Chricton and Climate Change. He wrote an entire novel with the premise. I cannot remember the name of it and I am sure you can find it if you look at Amazon or something. I remember the novel because at the time I was stupid and bought into his ideas....talked to a friend who was very disappointed in me. As a scientist, I should have known better. lol Prior to his novel, I did not know there were actually people who did not "believe" in science. But...this is not really a good decision for here. Just pointing out that he is not all that credible....well, in my eyes at least.

    Definitely more complicated than they appear. But..it is a fact that women are outnumbered by men in many industries and in some, the hostile work environment causes women to leave. Again, I am sure you can google this so won't go on and on and I tend to do. :)

    Myself include, I think sometimes we live in the world we choose and do not always see what is outside that bubble. We all could use getting of that comfort zone sometimes.
     
  38. Teila

    Teila

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    Yeah, I need to try those when I have time.

    But it is not the female protagonist that makes the game one "that gets me" or "one I would like". It is the style of the game and the story and the message all rolled into one. :)

    Again though, who knows. Someday, this entire discussion will seem so antiquated and quaint. lol
     
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  39. neoshaman

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    Just want to point out that diversity isn't so much about solving problem of "oppression" per se (ie making the problem about the "oppressor") but really about "fairness", ie we want to succeed but also fail on equal ground where the superficial distinction don't box us anymore, ie the ideal is that an asshole should be an asshole, man or woman, but the actual situation is that woman (and any minority) are in a context where they are prevented to even be in a situation where they can be judged on that merit, and that put pressure and suspicion on everything they do (are they here because they are woman or because of their merits), imposter syndrome is higher in discriminated group and contribute to bog them down.

    I mean a lot of counter arguments is along idea of "will it change anything? woman can be asshole too!", and they aren't really counter argument, they actually support the point, if man and woman have no distinction why preventing women in the first place? It's like the hiring argument where people say "what if the perfect man for the job show up and we are trying to hire for diversity?", well duh, what about the perfect "insert discriminated group here"? Would Hideo Kojima or Amy henning find a job at your company? But equality is also equality of mediocrity, because not all me in position of power are there on merit alone, so why the standard isn't the same for everyone? Obviously we should aspire for higher standard for everyone too.

    And this situation has roots in historical economical asymmetry, minority didn't have any economic power until recently, and they haven't gotten to critical place in critical number to exert significant change, which mean the lead men have is historical and has been maintain through sheer inertia. That's why there is almost any AAA team lead by an ecosystem of women (it's always a few woman selected and framed by an army of men in powerful decision role. I mean just to take the USA, it's only from the 70s than women had access to property right and segregation wasn't long before that, that's not a lot of year to catch up. The pain we are experiencing now is the catching up taking place.

    This make the discussion difficult, because the ideal and the situation don't mix well. And this create difference of culture and ritual, women and minority have created a culture in reaction to the pressure place on them, it's a culture that value some things only because of the current situation, not because of the merit of each people. That's why so many minority value personal, intimate production, to counter the epic and grandiose story that reduce or erase them.

    For example, as a culture, the western world love story about revolution against the oppressor, it make historical sense, it was the american revolution or the french revolution, just to name a few, when they were oppressed by the powerful, they pick up some arms and kicked some ass really hard, and we celebrated that, this is fundamental to the culture and imagination. Now imagine now that there is this group that is telling you to stop oppressing them, it flip the script entirely, what does that mean when you have this perspective of kicking oppressor? what conclusion do you arrive at? It does goes against your identity, it makes you fear of retaliation, because that's what we do to oppressor right, therefore you CAN'T be the oppressor because that conclusion is simply not acceptable. The thing is that the imagination of being raised under a dominated culture don't lead to the same imagination nor the same conclusion. Perspective matter a lot, imagination is impacted, and so is the production.

    For example: The first dreamworks movie directed by a black person was Home, and the story is about alien coming to our planet and displace us, tearing family appart, but not out of malicious intent, but dumb carelessness, they fear retaliation from a stronger alien race they stole something they think has a lot of value. The main characters, a black girl, bond with one misfit alien and she is looking for her lost mother, she is not looking to kick the alien butt at any moment, her motto is that she is "mad sad", basically that the action of the alien cause her "distress" and in the end it's all about showing the alien leader the error of his way, and ultimately when the other alien race appear it turns out they were not trying to retaliate but just to pick back what was stolen because it was literally something that hold their children, so the fear of the careless alien were unfounded. And that's something that make sense when you look at the history of black people, in the face of oppression we tried to collaborate and make our concern understood, we sought out not to retaliate but to live peacefully devoid of the burden, from Martin Luther king to Nelson Mandela, march rather than arms where the primary tools of revolt, to asset we exist as human.

    Perspective matter, it lead to different conclusion, bthat's why we need to understand each other, to know where we all come from.
     
  40. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I think it's generally not hard for men to like women written by other men ;) lol


    I say that because it's something I had to struggle with my game, I had to realize there is some nuances and perspective I didn't have access at all. And while it's perfectly possible for someone who isn't part of a group to write for that group, there is still minute details that only a person of that group can pick up, and indeed while women like life is strange, there was a few quibble that they thought were a bit odd.

    Similarly Remember me is a bit disappointing in how it portray their black people (tragic mulatto and bossy distant black mother) even though it's not 100% offensive and 0% malicious, they are just product of a certain perspective. Now if you told me you were able to like 50 shade of grey, twilight or the mobile game Kim kardashian, I would be seriously impressed lol.
     
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  41. Teila

    Teila

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    I agree and I see what happened in South Africa as a very good example of this. Another might be the south after the Civil War. It actually makes me sad to think that men who might argue against diversity are actually afraid that when women are in power, that they will retaliate against the men. Will some do that? Maybe...but in the world I envision, retaliation only endangers the diversity that people fight so hard go obtain.

    Of course, there are always militant groups. There are always those who are angry. And there are always those who love to fight. Much of that is the feeling that they are ignored or the feeling that they will be marginalized if things change or that they cannot accept change. Humans find change scary. Fear is a huge motivator and not always in a good way.

    Absolutely. On the other hand, it is not a bad thing as men using women as the main protagonist is at least step in the right direction. If I turn to that to TV or film or even books, it is not difficult for me to tell when the women is the director or the writer. There are subtle changes. Directors like Shondra Rhimes are a good example and wow, she is powerful! :) While I am sometimes frustrated with her dialogue, it is so realistic..which is probably why I sometimes want to shake Meredith and tell her to grow up! lol

    I studied in college in a field with mostly men. I worked in jobs that were mostly men. I like men, as people. I enjoy their company. I like their directness (for the most part). I understand them in some ways better than women, at least at times. Many years of working with 90% men has trained me to think like them sometimes.

    But...when I left my job to become a full time mom, I lost that world. My friends became women. I had to open that part of who I am. It was not easy. lol I had to reach back to my pre-scientist days and remember what is was like to have girlfriends. Women relate to each other differently, we talk to each other differently, and our worlds are different in some cases.

    Honestly, I still feel more comfortable here with all the guys than I do sometimes in a room full of women. :)

    P.S: But in an MMO, I always play a female.
     
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  42. snacktime

    snacktime

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    My answer to tend and befriend starts with a question.

    Would we go watch films that just skipped all the struggle, jumped to the end, and stayed there for 2 hours?

    I think the author just missed the point of what role entertainment plays. It's to let us experience that cycle of struggle, defeat, success that has played out since the beginning of time and is a part of who we are. It comes in a lot of different forms but it's the same pattern.

    Movies and games are not that different at the core. The medium is different which poses challenges for anything not just frivolous fun, but I don't think games are inherently limited to that. If you want to make a game that promotes non violence I think it's possible. But doing that by just creating a game without violence is I think to misunderstand what makes entertainment interesting. (which is different then just making a non violent game, if that makes sense).
     
  43. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    I think your reply touches on this obliquely, but I just wanted to make it explicit: you can have conflict without violence. Conflict -- the difference between what a character wants and what it believes it has -- makes stories engaging. Conflict, not violence, drives all stories.
     
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  44. Teila

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    No, it does not make sense.

    Violence does not entertain me. I get it when it is part of the story, but violence for the sake of entertainment does not appeal to everyone. It is a big reason why not everyone plays certain types of games.

    Tend and Befriend is a way some people deal with danger and stress. It is why during the shooting in Las Vegas, some people ran away (Flight or Fight response) and some people helped others get over walls and hide in the freezer (Tend and Befriend).

    I like to play MMO's. But I do not like to engage in PvP. I actually hate it. It stresses me out and makes me very uncomfortable. I do like to play the games. I like to take part in more of a support role, crafting, healing, etc. I have absolutely no fun playing a game where my life in is constantly in danger. It is not entertaining, it is not fun.

    Reading the article featured in this thread led me to learn about Tend and Befriend and it makes me realize why I do not like to place myself in the center of violence in games. I much prefer to help people and make friends. I would much rather by in the group that listens to the stories of the players who PvP and kill stuff. I really enjoyed being a dancer in Star Wars Galaxies, where I could take part in the stories and have as much fun as those of you who get your entertainment from fighting and violence.

    I would never tell someone that you need to take out violence to have a fun game. I actually find a little odd that others think it is okay to tell me that you can never be entertained by a game without violence. Even worse is to tell me that I do not understand what is entertaining is if I do not enjoy violence in a game. And as Tony said, conflict does not have to be violent.

    BTW, social scientists are finding that many women are Tend and Befriend. But they are also finding out that a significant number of men are as well. So...there is another market to capture for those who want to try different types of styles of conflict in their games.
     
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  45. neoshaman

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    It's call slice of life, that's basically tend and befriend, and it's also a popular way to tell story, anime fan have plenty love for series just like this. In japan they perfected it with the theory of ki sho ten ketsu which is also used in japanese video games. It replace conflict with twist. Under a conflict base framework of storytelling it's entirely possible to characterize twist as a form of conflict (for example the unexpected conflict with the expected) but it's also fair to call it an over generalization of the notion of conflict.

    And in the end, even an overgeneralized notion of conflict impact how some approach story culturally, as it railroad into assumption and create forced addition of conflict. It is seen in some manga adaptation in the west, where weird stuff happen in scene, because translator feel it need "more conflict" but the audience still understand it doesn't fit, it doesn't add to the enjoyment. Japanese story tend to be a lot more contemplative, and it seems to be a general taste in asia, Wong kar wai's movie could be a good example of that, they tend to be more reflective than about overcoming a struggle, and they are popular enough.

    In the end a story works when it is relatable, conflict is a cheap consistent way to make relatable works, but it's not the only one, and story with conflict and struggle don't make a work automatically relatable. For example the last jedi is blasted for having contrived conflict, it's arguable that the previous one had similar problem, but there was a great chemistry between characters (tend and befriend) and that was the draws, now they botch that part so the problem is laid bare.

    Then there is taste, some people just like conflict and will dismiss everything else, that don't push their button, as vapid. I mean some people find transformer vapid, yet it do find a large audience, the same way some people find slice of life empty, yet they have a large following. And even among movie with the same plot and tropes, some clearly goes above the over in reception.

     
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  46. Teila

    Teila

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    I think really this is a huge part of the problem. People make games that they like. It happens with most of us.

    This is one reason why diversity is good, and I do not just mean diversity of culture, but diversity of ideas and likes/dislikes.

    There is an entire world of gamers out there, some of them already playing games they like, some of them waiting for a game they will like, and some of them giving up because the game they like will never be made.

    If we have people with different "tastes", then we get games/films/TV shows that all appeal to a different taste.

    My kids love anime. I do not. I also do not turn off the TV and tell them they are vapid or violent or whatever when they want to watch anime....they are not wee kids, they know what they like.

    My husband likes shows like Breaking Bad. I hated the first episode. But...I did not whine and tell him to only watch shows I like.

    I love period dramas. I have one daughter who also likes period dramas. We watch them together. :) I do not make the others feel guilty for not watching them with me.

    So...while to @snacktime, the entire movie should be action packed and exciting. That is what he likes to play. My son might agree with you. And that is okay.

    But realize that not everyone enjoys what you enjoy. You would find Poldark or Victoria vapid. lol I find it fun.

    When we start respecting everyone's tastes and stop thinking everyone likes what we like, the game industry will have a much wider variety of games....that are popular. Right now, while there are many different sorts of games, only the MOST popular make it to the top of the Steam list and most of those are rather similar in style. I looked for some mystery multiplayer games on Steam...found 3 or 4, some of them no longer even being supported. Maybe this means there are not enough people who want to play them....or maybe it means that they do not pop up on the front page. Games for role players do not even show up. You have to find another kind of multiplayer game and search for role players. I know for a fact that many role players would love a game that actually was for role players.

    But...for many reasons, we convince ourselves that the games that sell well are the ones everyone wants to play. And by doing that, we never get a chance to even try new ideas.
     
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  47. snacktime

    snacktime

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    The point was if you make a game where the point of it is to promote non voilence, by necessity voilence has to exist in some form to show the struggle to avoid it.

    As opposed to a non violent game.
     
  48. fetish

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    I suspect a problem in this type of gaming will be in presenting meaningful, impactful choices to the player. In a positive scenario, no choices are wrong!
     
  49. Teila

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    Tend and Befriend is not necessarily a positive scenario. What she is saying is that not all people respond to violence and danger by fighting back or running away. So games could instead have characters and players responding by gathering others (befriend) to aid them and by tending to those who need protection.

    She did not say that games should be about sunshine and daisies. She is impying that we could portray the rest of the population that does not enjoy fighting by giving them the option or even making it the focus of how the players/characters solve the problems by using different methods.

    I can imagine many scenarios where this could be exciting and fun to play. :) Too bad so many are mired in the falsehood that solutions to in game conflict almost always has to be violent.
     
  50. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    11,847
    I don't think the solutions always have to be violent, but providing challenges to the player is required. Challenges don't require conflict or violence, but when keeping the game set in a real world (as opposed to something like Tetris) it is pretty close to a requirement - IN MY OPINION.

    Even in a classic game like Sim City, which most people would think of as a non-violent game, is certainly not violence free. Too much crime in a part of town? Drop down a police station nearby so it can use state sanctioned violence to get the neighborhood under control.... Not to mention the entertainment of a fire breaking out, people's apartments burning down, as you try to fight it to save the city. How many virtual lives were destroyed to get that smile on your face? Plenty of violence in Sim City.

    What I'd really like to see is some games that really try to put this utopian anti-violence theory into practice, and see if it really has legs. Does it become a niche genre, or does it spawn entire categories of game types? Or does it go nowhere? The believers in this idea just need to really give it a try, and it will sink or swim on its own merits. The more types of games the better, as well as more innovation.

    For it to work, I think it needs to leave many common game genres behind and go with something completely new. Not just a reskinning of an existing game genre in a non-violent package.

    I'm more than happy to admit I was wrong when this idea takes off.
     
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