In CounterStrike the only way to deal with terrorists is to kill them, because their ideology is inherently evil and wrong, right? Bioshock and Call of Duty: The Line tried in vain to tell us violence and obedience are a choice while only allowing the player to kill to reach the end….In Anita Sarkeesian’s latest video, Tropes Vs Women: Damsels in Distress pt 2, she takes aim at the way developers box themselves into a corner by making combat the core mechanic: keep swinging that hammer because this level is just full of nails.
quote is from lydia neon on the impetus for the creative conflict resolution jam, which incidentally starts on friday. if we take it as a foregone conclusion that the way our players will interact with our games is through violence, how do we possibly explore the kinds of interpersonal conflicts that aren’t solved by shooting the other party? often, the answer is “in a cutscene,” an exorcism of the player from the game so that the protagonist can do what the player, whose vocabulary is limited to “shoot, shoot, shoot,” is unable to tell her to. we do not allow the player to be present for the negotiation of these conflicts.
merritt kopas’ hugpunx is a queering of zak ayles’ punksnotdead, a game about punching strangers before they can shoot you. merritt’s game is about hugging friends when they recognize you. i’m interested in hearing what games can say to us once they have a wider vocabulary.