Is Violence the Answer??: A Look at a Video Game!!

I know that, as a writer, I should probably talk about stories and novels and writing and stuff, but I’m talking mostly about the story and writing of a video game, so whatever! I have a big overview of what I’ve been reading for the past 8 or 9 months in the works but I want to finish reading this one book first.

So, anyway, what’s this post about? A very… interesting video game I came across yesterday–actually, the demo of a video game being funded on Kickstarter. It’s called UnderTale, and the point I am going to make here is that it really makes ya think. Okay so first play the demo if you want to try it and don’t want to be spoiled.

So, as you can tell by the description on the Kickstarter, this is a game where you can win every “enemy” encounter without killing them. “Crazy talk!” you say. “Video games are about beating up your enemies, usually physically, sometimes verbally!” Yeah, and movies, and stories, and music, and the news, and congress, and… See where I’m going with this? It’s old news that we have a culture of violence and every form of media is violent and oh my gooourd we must not let the kids know of death and blood is evil and argjarhrejfndk, but the point is that something like this really brings it right to you.

Here’s the point: Near the end of the demo you have to… face off against the only other character in the game who’s nice to you, Toriel. Pretty much. Well, at least at first. Most video games would have this “oh okay attack the nice person and when defeated they will let you keep going.” NOT THIS GAME! There’s no “defeating” in this game; no “fainting”; you beat an enemy, you freakin’ kill it.

But, remember, in this game, you don’t have to kill enemies. You can spare them. You don’t get any experience… which, strangely enough, increases your “love” instead of “level”, but still, you don’t have to hurt anyone. You don’t have to hurt the nice character. I suspect that the game was made so that it’s intentional that you’re likely to kill Toriel the first time: with each hit, the damage you do seems to increase. Then you might try to go back and not kill her–turns out that seems to be involved in the game’s plot. Of course, in real life we don’t have a save feature.

What am I trying to say with this post? I dunno, I just couldn’t think of something better for a blog post today. I said I wanted to start making one every few days, right? HA! Just kiddin’; I think this is an interesting line of thought that too much credence is put into violence as a solution in media, and I will fully admit right now I will be looking through my second novel with this in mind later.

Of course, that’s not to say that an intergalactic invasion and demonic resurgence could be easily solved through diplomacy. And I’m still a terrible person because after going back and saving Toriel I went back again and killed her on purpose. GYAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHhahhaahah… ah ha ha ha…

All in all this is a cool game. Even though this post is under the category of Review that wasn’t the main point, but since it is, I might as well say something on the game, which I guess is just go try out the demo; the genre isn’t actually my kind of game, but the story looks amazing.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting. I mercilessly killed a wasp with my drywall spreader today, that had yet to do anything to harm me, and I’ve had continuous guilt for the act. The way it writhed in pain after smacking it out of the air, how it gasped it’s final bug-breaths, drowning in toilet water. Violence is bad. But, writing is good! I’ll make sure to check out the game, if it ever officially releases.

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