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Monday, 18 July 2011

Games that educate and not assassinate?

My last blog was about video game violence and how I felt conflicted about it. 
I mentioned that there was a disproportionate amount of violent games compared to nonviolent games.

I too am a violent game player, but I confess that I would like to see more educational games that are just as fun and may even fulfill a hunter-gatherer need that I have.

As a male I enjoy my sports, I love competition and I love to solve problems. My favorite types of games are open world games like GTA, Red Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed, and Oblivion. I like the fact that I can make choices like become good or bad, customize cars, homes, etc. I like games that allow a certain amount of freedom and at the same time have an engaging storyline. I do like first person shooters like Halo, Call of Juarez, Call of Duty the list seems endless; however I find the market over saturated by them.

There are many reasons for why these games sell a lot, especially to male gamers. I’ve spoken to a lot of gamers such as myself and they all say the same things; these games offer them a need for adventure, a need to for personal triumph, a need for competition, a need to challenge themselves or they are simply just fun and a way to pass the time. There are other reasons but I’ll just focus on these.

Is there a way that games can still fulfill these needs and not have to be violent?
Would Assassin’s Creed still be as good if say it was more like Builder’s Creed for example? 
Let’s examine that. Let’s change a few things, instead of a guild of assassins why not have a builder’s guild set in the same time period as AC. Instead of murder contracts, why not construction contracts; hunt down artists to help paint or sculpt beautiful artwork in order to beautify your project. Put you in the role of someone who creates and not destroys. Have puzzles and real life problems like conflicts between workers in which the player would have to resolve. You can compete against other architects for contracts. Customize your home or find a love interest. I know that games like the Sim’s are kind of like this, but they get too involved, too real and can become tedious. Why not suspend a bit of reality and have him even invent cool vehicles in which he uses to travel from place to place. Or take magic potions that allow the user to do amazing feats.

This may not be for everyone. My point was not to make a perfect game, but to show that a nonviolent games that fill certain needs may be possible. I believe if done properly a game like this can be both fun and educational. If done really well, why not even implement these types of games in school’s curriculums.

I’d love to read other ideas for a fun, and educational alternative to a first person shooter or other violent games on the market. If you have any please feel free to post it.

Thanks for reading.          

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