The more I play non-violent games with no combat system, the more abhorrent I find games with combat systems. Don't get me wrong, both as a player and a designer, I love combat systems.

But the insane proportion of gameplay tied to violence, conflict and exploitation, and the fact it's seen as normal or even desirable in video games culture, make me feel increasingly bad. Is capitalism fun?

What about complex systems to explore empathy, ecological awareness, philosophy, utopia?

@ice I’ve always liked games where you build or make something. There can be elements of tedious grinding away at a task, just like grinding away in a dungeons before you do the boss battle in a combat game. But at the end of it all, there’s a thing you made, not just an XP number.

@emmadavidson So do I. I've played my fair share of city building and sandbox games, and find building much more satisfying than fighting. I still like games involving combat when it's against the computer, or better, with friends against the computer, but I'm repelled by competitive games.


@ice in the last decade I’ve really enjoyed games that require me to get out of the house and move. Mobile games that are location or movement based. Probably because it gets me doing something I wouldn’t have done unprompted, and once I start I am reminded of how good it feels.

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@emmadavidson Personally I've never really tried this kind of game (unless you count gesture/fitness-based games like the one available on the Wii and more recent Nintendo machines) even if I can see their appeal. I agree going outside is good, and that video games are usually really bad at motivating you to go outside, haha.

@ice I loved Ingress, Pokémon Go is OK but I never played Pokémon when I was younger so it just feels like Ingress for kids. Zombies Run! is sheer brilliance. Am on the lookout for something new and fun in this space.

@emmadavidson Yes, it’s even based on Ingress locations database. I’m not really into Pokémon either, and while the possibilities of this kind of game are really appealing, I’m a bit put off by the data gathered on players (not to mention Niantic is a Google startup, and I try to avoid Google products when possible.)

I didn’t know Zombies Run! but the concept looks great, gamifying running with a zombie theme is a pretty smart idea, and the story part seems to really enhance the experience.

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