In this thought-provoking opinion piece, EALA's Borut Pfeifer examines games from Blacksite: Area 51 through David Jaffe's canceled Heartland and indie oddity You Have To Burn The Rope to ask... can a game ever truly be 'subversive'?
On the topic mentioned that games try and give you moral choices to make ala Bioshock. I don't believe most gamers make game related choices based on moral or ethical beliefs. Games are still pretty primitive in this respect. Most game related decisions are made on how it affects gameplay. If I kill the little sisters does that affect the outcome of the game, does it limit what I get to experience in the game, does it lead me to new avenues in the game? In that respect it's hard to make a game subversive without overtly spelling it out for the player. Maybe years down the road games will grow to allow more moral choices to affect the player that mimic real world and allow that suspension of disbelief.
Well in that respect you would have to look at the Metal Gear Solid games. Over all it's a sneaking game, you're not intended to kill anyone you come across, the option is there, but it greatly affects your rating. By the second game, you're given the tranquillizer gun as an alternative killing method. It does allow you to either sneak around with ease, thus getting through the mission faster and be rewarded later. Not to mention later that you can boast about it. Over all the article is well written and good insight on telling stories in gaming.
Good point Tempist. There are some games that are able to pull it off much better than others and make you forget you are playing a game.
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