So the other day after playing some Domination in Call of Duty with some friends, I decided what new year’s resolution I wanted to try. After running through the map, capturing points, and usually leading the team in points if not the whole match, I realized I could play this game without killing anybody. So that’s what the resolution is, to not kill anyone in a video game for a year.
First off I’m not doing this as some kind of protest against violence in videogames. Traditionally I play mostly violent video games, and love them. But with all the political hoobla around violence in video games in the last couple years and the violence in gaming culture more recently, maybe something poignant will come out of this. I’m not expecting it, or even hoping for it, just saying it could happen.
I’m more doing this because it could be fun. I’m treating it as essentially a year long meta game. I’m in no way going to limit the kinds of games I’m going to purchase and play. If anything I’ll be more likely to play more games. Most games I pick up might require some clever thinking on my part to figure out how to progress with this new added constraint. Also, the games that don’t require any change in play style should get some recognition for it, maybe?
Let’s get into the ground rules. Because video game rarely exist in a world that match ours one to one, the concepts of life and killing get get a little ambiguous. So hears the extent of my planning for those situations.
1. Don’t Kill Humans
2. Don’t Kill Infected Humans (Walking Dead Zombies) or Sentient Undead (Vampires?) True Undead can be killed (Skeletons)
3. Don’t Kill Sentient Robots (Claptrap.) Drone are safe to kill.
4. Don’t Kill aliens or supernatural organic creatures (Minecraft spiders, Skyrim giants)
5. Don’t perform actions in which the intended purpose if for people to be killed. (I can’t place down a turret and say “I didn’t kill him, the turret did.”)
6. Accidentally causing the death of someone does not negate the experiment for the remained of the year. (If I throw a smoke bomb, and it hits a guy with low health and kills him, I’ll admit to it, feel guilty and keep going)
Edit: 7. My player character killing in a cutscene does not count. Forgot to mention this one originally.
And that’s it. I’m sure there are other scenarios that I haven’t accounted for but I’ll have to cross those bridges when I come to them. I’ll be trying to post as frequently as possible with what games I’m playing and how playing with this meta game rule is affecting my experience. Till then, I have some games to play.