I’ve talked a bit before about what I think video games need to accomplish, or at least where I think they should be headed. That post is here. So I won’t re-hash that post…but what it comes down to is that games need to move past the killing field mentality and shift toward a more artful, and dare I say, compassionate medium.
I tend to stay away from video games that force one to fire endless rounds of bullets at enemies or online companions. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy fantasy epics where slaying the ugliest troll thingy gets you points and level-ups.
More and more however I’m searching for games that aren’t killing based. Nearly every big game on the market is about killing for gain. Frankly its quite disturbing once you open your eyes to it…and it can be a challenge to find even the most adolescent of games that does not contain some kind of Kill=Gain system.
Most stats I could nail down on the web say that 80-85% of video games contain violent material…that is pretty staggering. I’m not saying that violent games lead to violent real life acts – that argument is so tired that I nodded off writing the words – What I’m asking is why and what are we saying about ourselves when we, or I, as a peaceful non-violent chap engages in virtual murder or sword hacking?
I’ve talked about Myst Online, a fine game, with no leveling up and no killing. Games like that are certainly hard to find..where the goal of the game is exploration.
Here’s what I’m doing about it. I love personal challenges that can change the way I view myself and how I see the world and sometimes even shift the culture in which I live.
I’m going to make a conscious effort to not play Kill=Gain games for 6 months. No shooters, no schmups, nothing that would force me to kill something else in order to level or gain points.
Should be simple right. Well, I wouldn’t be so sure.
I would love to get more people on board with this type of personal challenge. The more people stop buying the blood-bath game, he more gameshops will have to stock alternative options.