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Matiesz Matiesz's Blog
Can video games exist without conflict?
Posted on Tuesday, March 11 2008 @ 02:14:19 PST

In light of the videogames controversy concerning violence being overused, tasteless and dangerous to young children, I tried to rationally explore and ponder on the situation. Let me start this by saying I disagree with most of the anti-videogame front, believing their arguments being filled with argumentum ad hominem, logical fallacies, and incorrect or just downright forged “scientific research”. However I do agree with the idea of enforcing ID checking to ensure younger person aren't allowed access to inappropriate media. I also believe that instructing parents about what video games are and aren't to be a good idea. However, I digress from my intention. Going on!

One thing came to my mind though, is it possible to have a game without any sort of conflict in them? Isn't a game a sort of challenge, a way to test one's skill against an opponent to see who's “better”?

Even games that are widely accepted todays and aren't labelled as violent or bad, such as Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, etc are fundamentally about conflict. Don't you want to beat your opponents in any of these activities? Isn't competition why they are fun and still played years after their creation? Isn't competition an integral part of human psyche, don't we all want to test ourselves against other? People have engaged in friendly matches for century, Only now, we do so in virtual environment in the like which people has never seen. Of course some games are violent and gruesome but are they really detrimental to us? Are these pretended struggles any less (or more) destructive than games of the past?

Let's think about for a minute what a game lacking any struggle offer to gamers. What would it be about? I think that the characters' or the players' struggle is the most basic incentive to continue playing Really, what would be the point of this? Would the Zelda, Mario, Resident Evil, Sid Meier's Civilisation games enjoyable without Goombas, Ganondorf, Zombies, and these damned “other” civilisations? If a game was to be deprived of any conflict whatsoever why would we play it? What would be the challenge, what would be the reward? I think that denying conflict in our games is denying a basic and integrated aspect of human social practices.

Just try to imagine what a game lacking any opposition whatever it may be look like. Imagine why would people play it. I think you'll end up in a dead end.  

I guess that what I'm trying to say here is conflict is a inextricable part the whole gaming experience. Asking to deprive games of strife and conflict is simply asking to stop producing games at all. I would really like to see a game like this, I really believe such a thing is impossible.

*Closing irrelevant comments*

I'm still not sure if this entry make any sense at all, it was written at 2 AM with the help of my good friend caffeine, lots of caffeine

Also I would like to appologise in advance for any misuses of the English language, as it not my mother tongue.

Maybe I'm just ranting and rating over about an obvious thing and I'm not realizing it.

-Matiesz, 11th March 2008, 02h15 AM

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