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Non-Violent, Cooperative Games?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the play-that-myspace-game-to-befriend-monsters dept.

Games 329

jandersen writes "While I generally don't play computer games, I do occasionally play games like Crossfire or The Mana World, because they have more of a story line and allow you to go at your own pace. What I don't care much about, though, is that they are still focused on killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while. Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended; where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering? Would people be interested in a game of that nature?"

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SimCity (4, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700389)

I don't know... SimCity? Wii Sports? Jewel Quest & friends?

Re:SimCity (1)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700569)

Harvest Moon series, Animal Crossing series... ...Dungeon Keeper (if you assume befriend = torture into submission ;) ).

Re:SimCity (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700817)

There's some other definition for befriend?

Re:SimCity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701133)

Nanoha? Is that you?

Alternatives (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701211)

How about Instant Messaging and facebook?

Seems quite popular. Lots of people go about collecting friends/"friends".

Some of the AIs involved may even surprise you once in a while and say something coherent and intelligent.

Then there's also Slashdot. ;)

You can do that in regular games (3, Interesting)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700407)

But much like the real world, it won't get you very far.

Re:You can do that in regular games (5, Insightful)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700547)

much like the real world, it won't get you very far.

Part of the allure of MMORPGs is the accumulation of wealth and the feeling of dominance and superiority. Most of the older gamers that feel the need to create a sense of community, or contribute to a common goal are usually doing so within a guild/group, and competing with other groups. This appeals to another part of the human psyche, the need to establish an out-group, and to be better than the opposition!

There are games for younger children which don't incorporate violence, and encourage good skills - but they're marketed to parents, not to children, and usually aren't that much fun.

So, whether or not there is a market for such games, I don't know. But I do get the sense that the target audience doesn't have the buying power, and the people who would purchase these games are already purchasing other educational and boring games.

So, if you're not a child, why would you want to immerse yourself in a world where you help people? If you are that sort of person, you probably realize that your time would be better spent actually helping people in real life. And if helping is really that important to you... well, you're probably not playing videogames in your spare time, anyways.

Re:You can do that in regular games (3, Informative)

Indras (515472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700725)

But much like the real world, it won't get you very far.

Yes, there are a few games that can be won without any violence at all, but they either wind up being too boring or too difficult. For instance, in Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magicka, there is a journal that keeps track of quests and kills and such, and it is entirely possible to beat the game with 0 kills. There are quite a few quests than can be completed with no violence at all, you can run from pretty much every battle, and even the end boss of the game can be defeated without violence. However, it is very, very difficult. Think beating Final Fantasy with a 1 white mage party.

Likewise the Civilization series, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Master of Orion, and other games of that nature can often be won with pacifistic strategies, at the expense of enjoyment. Sure, they're somewhat enjoyable the first time through to see all the technologies and city/planet upgrades, but there's hardly any replayability.

Another one that comes to mind is Europa 1400. It is a game that really doesn't fit into any genre. Sort of a version of The Sims set in 15th century Europe with careers such as blacksmithing, alchemy, and masonry. Amassing your wealth is the point of the game, but violence is difficult to find: you can become a thief or robber baron, or in the right circumstance challenge another npc to a duel, though it rarely results in death.

I played a MUD heavily back in high school when I first got a computer called Dragonrealms by Simutronics. At the time it was a free game in the AOL Games arena, back when AOL first offered a plan that did not charge by the hour. It was entirely possible to play some classes without killing mobs at all, like Cleric, Empath, or Trader. In fact, for one class (the Empath), harming another was strictly prohibited, and doing so was punished heavily in game.

As for a game that is intrinsically nonviolent, the Sim games are probably the only popular ones I can think of. Sim City, Sim Tower, The Sims, and the like are all well known titles, The Sims and expansions, in particular, sell very well and frequently visit top 10 seller lists.

So yeah, there are games that do not revolve around killing monsters or amassing wealth, or both, and some games can be played and enjoyed using pacifism, but they are certainly rare.

Re:You can do that in regular games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701053)

A game with a goal of independent India? Or one can just go back to the Lemmings: send your Lemmings toward your opponent. Your opponent starts killing your Lemmings until he or she can't deal with the death anymore and starts crying. The victory is shared between you and your opponent.
Optionally, replace Lemmings with Bunnies.

Get a PS3... (4, Insightful)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700411)

... then get Little Big Planet [littlebigplanet.com]

Have fun.

Re:Get a PS3... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700561)

How bout FUCK SONY don't buy their over priced shit.

Q: Why is Sony so overpriced?
A: Rootkit isn't free.

Re:Get a PS3... (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700803)

If that isn't a troll I don't know what is. Who modded this Interesting?

Re:Get a PS3... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700857)

Because the moderator remembered why we're boycotting Sony? Sony is well known for using extremely restrictive DRM, to the point of installing a rootkit on Windows PCs with music CDs made to appear normal.

Even Little Big Planet is infested with DRM. Sony claims everything you make as their own, and if you've been following gaming news at all you'll know that they'll even delete your own creations if they decide they're "offensive" - to anyone. Even if you have no way of knowing that it's offensive in some other part of the globe.

So, yes, the post is in fact informative if you've forgotten, or never knew, why to boycott Sony.

Re:Get a PS3... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700997)

sony is just as bad as apple. they just don't have hordes of thundering fanboys to rush to their rescue, they have to rely on their console fanboys...

Re:Get a PS3... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701083)

Right, because a different evil absolves the original evil. To quote from another comment [slashdot.org] :

Sorry, american politics have two parties. The right wing party, and the other right wing party (which is slightly different, but still right wing).

Which means that the dumb ideas of one party are OK, because the other party has basically the same dumb ideas?

Sony is evil, Apple is evil, Google is evil. But they're all evil in different ways and the fact that they're all evil doesn't absolve the others from being evil.

Although, really, I'd love to know in what universe Apple is as bad as Sony. Sure, both are restrictive with "their" hardware platforms, but if you compare getting a game published on a Sony platform with getting an app published on the Apple App Store, it's no comparison. Apple even offers DRM-free music through their store - there's NO DRM-free content on a Sony console. Hell, they even DRM your SAVE GAMES on their consoles!

Re:Get a PS3... (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700885)

If that isn't a troll I don't know what is. Who modded this Interesting?

From the sound of his post, someone who got rootkitted by Sony. I would say it was more of a flamebait than troll, though. Me making a post about Windows ME's deficiencies would also be falmebait, but that doesn't make it any less true. A troll would have left it at the first line in his post.

Re:Get a PS3... (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700839)

Additionally, console games shouldn't have a stationary 10-minute install screen.

With the much-lauded processing power of the PS3 they could have at least spread the "install" across the games' opening cut-scenes. One main purpose of consoles is to eliminate the sluggishness of the PC world.

Having a PS3 is kind of like having a Mac: all the inconvenience of PC sluggishness with the made-purposely-difficult restrictions of unofficial hardware use(e.g. installing an alternate operating system).

Re:Get a PS3... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700999)

Having a PS3 is kind of like having a Mac: all the inconvenience of PC sluggishness with the made-purposely-difficult restrictions of unofficial hardware use(e.g. installing an alternate operating system).

Except with a PS3, you can play games. Can't really do that so well with a mac...

Re:Get a PS3... (1)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701131)

Additionally, console games shouldn't have a stationary 10-minute install screen.

Why not? PC games comparable to the console games you mention on average have much longer install periods than console games. Bioshock, HL2, Crysis, etc, all had long install times, much longer than the 10 or 15 minutes that something like Metal Gear Solid 4 took to install on the PS3.
Not all games require 10-minute installs, though. Little Big Planet is one of those that is ready to play out of the box, without long install screens.

Having a PS3 is kind of like having a Mac: all the inconvenience of PC sluggishness with the made-purposely-difficult restrictions of unofficial hardware use(e.g. installing an alternate operating system).

Hey, guess what? You can upgrade the built-in hard drive on the PS3 with any size SATA laptop hard drive, partition it, and install an alternate operating on the PS3, with Sony's blessing even. Seriously.
Fedora, Ubuntu, YellowDog, and OpenSuse [wikipedia.org] are just some of the Linux distributions currently supported.

Judging by the way you refer to the PS3 and the Macs, I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume you don't own either.

Re:Get a PS3... (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701213)

Hm, yeah, install Linux and have the ability to run it in the functional equivalent of Safe Mode(tm)? You jest as if they'll let you use all 7 cores! No, wait. All 6 cores! Hey, wait...isn't the cell and 8-core processor?!

Re:Get a PS3... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700611)

You need some reading comprehension. There are three terms in the title - "non-violent," "cooperative," and "games."

You managed to hit "game" and nothing else. You're 1 for 3, and that's just the title!

Little Big Planet, besides being a subpar platformer (really, jumping controls were perfected decades ago, and there's no excuse for poor jumping today), is a competitive game. If playing multi-player, you're competing against every other player. If playing single-player, you're competing against the environment and - gasp - KILLING MONSTERS, which if you'd read the summary, is exactly what he wants to avoid!

So, no, Little Big Planet doesn't even come close to meeting the requirements.

And it requires supporting Sony, both by purchasing a PS3 and by purchasing the game, which makes it a no-go for any Slashdotter who cares about freedom.

Re:Get a PS3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701163)

Richard? Is that you?

You can create your own levels that encourage teamwork rather than competition.
You can play an entire 'level' without killing anything. You can make your own levels with critters you jump over, rather than kill. You're only limited by your own imagination, so you have no one but yourself to blame if you can't come up with something that fits your lofty concepts.

If you'd check out LBP other than just making shit up, you'd know this by now.
   

Re:Get a PS3... (5, Insightful)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701207)

Having spent quite a few hours playing LBP with 4 players I can straight off say that your post is completely off base. The one point you did get is the control scheme, it is certainly flaky, and could use a bit of work.

There is very little competitive content, the only actual competition going on is a race to see who can get the most points. The reward is a little trophy over your head in the last 5 seconds of the match. That said, it is without argument to your advantage to help the other players out. Not only does letting them die waste lives from the general pool, but also there are more than a few points where the camera will decide to focus on the lagging player, killing anyone who gets too far by off screen timer.

Then there is the killing monsters thing. There are maybe 20 or 30 killable monsters in the game, usually used to give you a moving obstacle that you can use as a platform to jump higher. These "monsters" look like something you'd put together from the spare parts in a kid's toy-box, which is quite obviously the theme they were going for in this game.

So yes, while the game does not quite meet the qualifications the article stated, it is certainly a lot more cooperative than what you described. As for obligatory "I'm with the in group" quip. I am a Slashdotter, I care about freedom, and I own a PS3. Just because a company is willing to take steps to protect their investments, does not mean I should deprive myself of enjoyment on the argument that it might, in some roundabout way, reduce the freedoms that everyone enjoys. If you do not want Sony to own your levels, don't post any, or play offline. Magically, the problem goes away. And before you go off on the tried and true, "You're a fanboy, you wouldn't understand." I own every single current gen console, with plenty of games for each, and I do most of my gaming on my PC. I also work for a company with some stake in the 360, so if anything I would be rooting for it.

Sims...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700413)

You pretty much described the game.

You must be thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700415)

of pink fluffy bunny flower friends. Great game!

Non fighting, non loot games... (4, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700423)

"I don't care much about, though, is that they are still focused on killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while. Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended; where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering?"

The truth is not enough is known to make such a game, not only that it is subject to aesthetic prejudices and what not. I would imagine text adventures would fall into the realm you're looking for... any GUI based game needs all the bells and whistles to be compelling to an audience.

If the market wanted such games it would demand them and pay for them, you are in an extreme minority IMHO.

The technology is not there yet to do "social" games, the AI and interfaces are pretty primitive and no computer NPC's would be believable, hell games have a hard enough time portraying well voice acted computer animated characters with gusto... the truth is what the OP wants in the story is not technically within our means, and most "help each other games" are subject to the same kind of politics and BS and those who have free time vs those who don't (disproportionately kids, teens or idiots).

Finally.. go do good deeds in the real world, that is what the real world is for. Games are an escape from real life, that is what they are supposed to be - fantasy and wish fulfillment.

The point of games is to do what is entertaining. Almost all videogames have elements of competition in them, or competition against the computer.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700717)

This type of game has been tried...in Russia et al, called socialism or communism. ...didnt work out good there either.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (0, Flamebait)

bricko (1052210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700741)

That game has been tried in Russia et al....called socialism and or communism. Didnt work there, but looks like we are about to try it here with the Obamunists giving it their all. Will pick up pieces later.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701025)

you know that anyone living outside the USA will look at your two party system and ask "Are those two candidates really any different on anything that matters?"

Sorry, american politics have two parties. The right wing party, and the other right wing party (which is slightly different, but still right wing). Even your democratic party is still pretty conservative compared to most non-islamic political parties...

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701101)

You're a shitty troll. That's why no one is replying.

You fail at slashdot.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (1)

Z80xxc! (1111479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700965)

The technology is not there yet to do "social" games...

Sure there is. It's called The Real World. Stunning graphics, no artificial intelligence, but lots of real intelligence. It's awesome!

...those who have free time vs those who don't (disproportionately kids, teens or idiots).

I resent your insinuation that teenagers have free time. I rarely sleep more than 7 hours a night, and it's not because I'm fooling around all the time. When you were a teenager, did you do two sports, take 7 rigorous classes, participate on a robotics team, do science bowl, have many hours of homework every night, and also attempt to have a life? Maybe so, but if you did, you probably wouldn't be saying that teens have lots of free time. I wish. "Oh but you have time to read /.!" you say. Well, yes... for the first time in a few weeks. Perhaps you should ask a teen next time before you compare us to idiots and say we have tons of free time. </rant>

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (-1, Troll)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701011)

lots of real intelligence

only if you're not living in the USA. Also, americans don't believe in the real world - there is only the USA, and all those other places that don't matter.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701057)

"Stunning graphics, no artificial intelligence, but lots of real intelligence"

What version are you running? Because there's precious little intelligence--artifical or real--in the real world I'm accustomed to inhabit.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (1)

Everyone Is Seth (1202862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701181)

But you do have tons of free time... Almost all of the amazingly strenuous activities you listed are recreational, the others - a regular thing for most teenagers. Tell me how difficult it is to find free time when you are older. I am only a few years older, but even I know not to make an assumption of that magnitude. 7 hours of sleep per night? Lucky. Some people waste their time when they're younger. You obviously don't. However, it isn't comparable to the lack of time that accompanies responsibility. Try going to work all day and then coming home to take care of a child. Try pursuing a real degree in college. A large percent of people would look at your schedule and welcome it as a break. Being young is not an excuse to be presumptuous. Don't forget that, at some point, old people were young.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (1)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701227)

You ever tried to raise a family, pay the bills, ... ah fuck never mind...

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701073)

If the market wanted such games it would demand them and pay for them, you are in an extreme minority IMHO.

Isn't 'The Sims' kind of like the best selling PC game ever and before that wasn't Myst right at the top? SimCity, Roller Coaster Tycoon and a whole bunch of other non-violent games seem to sell pretty and the Wii also still is selling quite nicely. There definitively seems to be a huge demand for non-violent stuff. The only trouble of course is that morphing those games into MMO isn't an easy task and especially not a well tested, since you can't just clone WoW and get good results. But you still get stuff like LittleBigPlanet, which is in large part non-violent and has plenty of cooperative elements and is all online enabled and it seems to be selling quite fine. So 'extreme minority', not so much.

Re:Non fighting, non loot games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701185)

what about: The Sims, Nintendogs, myst,

The answer is obvious. (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700429)

Doom.

Re:The answer is obvious. (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700453)

Team Tetris?

On a slightly more serious note, find a nice MMO and go help noobs. Or get vanity pets. Or vanity items. Actually just open up a warcraft account - Soon you will be wondering where all that time you had went and you won't have to kill much. Well, sort of. I hear you can do a lot standing outside a bank these days.

M.U.L.E. (5, Interesting)

alienghic (693272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700435)

M.U.L.E [wikipedia.org] , players who cooperated had a better outcome for their colony than when everyone was back stabbing each other. (Not that I knew that when I was playing.) The genre of "German Boardgames" avoids violence and usually has an interplay of cooperation and competition, there are computer implementations of some of the more popular, like settlers of catan.

Re:M.U.L.E. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700835)

Pioneers is a great free software implementation of Settlers of Catan. You can play over LAN, internet, or single player with AI opponents. I'm not sure I'd say it is cooperative, but there is resource trading between players and there's certainly no violence. Oh yeah, and it's fun!

Pioneers homepage [sourceforge.net]

Classics (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700437)

There's always the Myst [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst] and Monkey Island [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_Island_(series)] series...

Re:Classics (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700959)

This is what first came to mind for me: point-and-click adventure games tend to be significantly less violent and more story-driven than other genres.

Spore? (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700447)

You can win the game by killing or making friends. Pick whatever you want.

Re:Spore? (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700599)

There was the problem where it's not actually any fun, though.

Especially after the first 30 minutes.

Re:Spore? (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700629)

You didn't find it fun, I didn't find it fun either. But plenty of people did so there's no point out leaving out games purely based on your own opinion of them.

Animal Crossing (4, Informative)

Chlorus (1146335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700449)

That game was pretty much designed just for this scenario. Hell, as a hardcore gamer (logged nearly 1000 hours in FFXI) even I enjoyed it. Sequel's gonna be out in the US on the 16th, too.

Re:Animal Crossing (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700523)

Animal Crossing

Is that anything like Frogger?

Re:Animal Crossing (2, Informative)

Praedon (707326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700659)

No it's like Battletoads

I'd go for the old detective games, like Under a killing moon. Or go for puzzle games, like myst.

Re:Animal Crossing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701051)

No, more like Fury of the Furries.

Re:Animal Crossing (3, Funny)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700829)

Animal Crossing is the most boring, inane idea for a game. You go to a new town, some guy comes and gives you a job that you can't refuse, puts you in debt repeatedly, whether you want it or not, and leaves you to spend all of your time delivering crap and doing chores. I've lost countless hours of my life to that damned game.... Brb, gotta check turnip prices.

Re:Animal Crossing (1)

Lord Aurora (969557) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700935)

God dammit, I quit FFXI cold turkey and now every time someone mentions it I want to go back and play with my BLM and level BLU. I imagine this is what cocaine addicts feel like when they're cut off. Except worse. Oh, yeah, mod me offtopic.

Re:Animal Crossing (1)

Frac O Mac (1138427) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701177)

Yes! As someone who enjoys over the top violence and all other things of that nature you'd think I'd be the last person to enjoy Animal Crossing but alas, I do. I think its one of those games most people would enjoy but many people just don't seem to want to admit it, that or I'm totally off and a 100% certifiable lunatic. (both seem equally likely)

A Tale in the Desert (5, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700455)

I sought long and hard for just the games you mentioned after Myst Online crashed for the second time, and the only thing I found is A Tale of the Desert [ataleinthedesert.com] . This game exactly suits your needs, I think. No violence, you can trade stuff you grew or made, etc. I never played it because I basically want MystOnline to be back online, but I think you should give it a try.

Re:A Tale in the Desert (1)

Pvt_Waldo (459439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700501)

I'll second the motion. It's a hugely intriguing game with a lot of depth and potential, if not reliance on people working together. There's definitely competition, though of a subtle nature.

OpenTTD (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700459)

Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe. http://www.openttd.org/ [openttd.org]

It's an open source recode of the original classic game, but with all the tweaks to bring it up to modern standards (8-players multiplayer, huge maps, better cargo routing algorithms, etc). Fantastic stuff.

There's also a large massively OpenTTD cooperative group, focussing on ways of making huge efficient cargo networks and other scenarios. http://www.openttdcoop.org/blog/ [openttdcoop.org]

Re:OpenTTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700933)

Am I the only one that read that as Open Transport [wikipedia.org] tycoon?

Re:OpenTTD (1)

Tycho (11893) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701017)

I really hope that in "Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe", the "Open Transport" referenced has nothing to do with the buying and selling bits of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Transport [wikipedia.org]

Yeah, I thought I had forgotten about that "Open Transport", thanks for the horrible flashback you goddamn bastard. ;)

A Tale in the Desert (1)

Psyiode (239279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700461)

I know this isn't quite what you meant... (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700467)

But the Victorians had the golden era of cooperative gaming.

Myst? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700493)

Syberia?

Re:Myst? (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700921)

Indeed. I have fond memories of Syberia. Don't get Syberia II, however, as it was another plague vector for Starforce [glop.org] (Yeah, I know I pretty much everyone who posts here knows what Starforce is, but I thought I should provide a link, just in case).

If you're looking for an social RPG... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700503)

Give the original neverwinter nights a try, playing online in the user made persistent worlds.

Though there is some combat and such, and some of the worlds are focused on this, other are much more character driven.

It's actually a breath of fresh air to realise that a character you create can over time make a sizable change to the world it lives in.

You haven't looked too hard at both FPS genres... (3, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700513)

You just described *half* the FPS genres out there... Seriously.

There were two different FPS genres establised in the early 90s

The first type (and first 3D FPS game) started with a game called Ultima Underworld, and was an open-goal type of FPS where you could do many things and interact with many people. You could achieve your goals by helping people, or perhaps if you were more ruthless, killing them (although the latter often had consequences).

The second was called Wolfenstein 3D. It's the more common type of FPS. Just run around blowing things up. That's the plot... And make your way through a level.

Still, it's gone of from there - Both types of game type exist within the whole of the FPS type of gameset.

Games such as Dark Messiah and Deus Ex ( and sequels ) is a help-people type of game (if you want to) while games like Doom, Quake etc, are a If-it-moves-kill-it-if-it-doesn't-kill-it-anyway sort of FPS.

The same themes exist in many other games. The extent varies and they often get a bit of each mixed in (eg, System shoch is the latter with a little bit of the first)

Try some of the "Single-player" focus FPS games.... They can often be played mostly non-violently - eg, stealth, skill, persausion.

Of course, if you want violence banned from the game entirely, there's always "My Little Ponies" but as an adult, part of the enjoyment of a game is making decisions and seeing the outcome. Sometimes you choose the stick, sometimes the carrot, but at the end of the day, it's your choice on how you want to play.

GrpA.

Re:You haven't looked too hard at both FPS genres. (3, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700691)

Games such as Dark Messiah and Deus Ex ( and sequels ) is a help-people type of game (if you want to)

I think the OP's point is that even games like Deus Ex cannot be played in a completely peaceful way. While DX did give you ways to end many situations peacefully, you would be quite hard-pressed to not commit any acts of violence through the entire game. I've gone through without a single kill (except those required by the story), but I don't think it's possible not to *attack* at all.

Re:You haven't looked too hard at both FPS genres. (1)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700851)

I think you've rather eloquently made my example - You didn't kill people out-of-hand, but only when offered no other choice.

The choices you make throughout the games ( eg, do you release the nanites to clean the air or allow them to be withheld making it poisonous for people to live outside ) - there are often no clear right and wrong choices - each choice makes you acutely aware of the consequences of the decision and you must talk to many NPCs and gain insights from each perspective into the problem to make a choice.

Being anti-violence to the point of denying it entirely is a form of violence itself, because it takes the option (choice) away from you, which is fundamentally evil in an of itself.

There are trade games, but the aim is to get rich. Puzzle games, but the aim is to beat it. The only games that really teach you about consequences are the ones that place you in a difficult position and make you decide on the course of actions.

In Deus Ex, if you kill someone, you can't discuss things with them and maybe learn something that will help you. If you start killing people, your brother attempts to teach you why you are wrong, his attitude towards you getting stronger and stronger the more violent you are. If you open your eyes and look for other ways, you win his praise and people are more likely to help you.

The inclusion of non-lethal weapons is novel as well. It makes it harder to play, but you gain more respect for your action.

And you must learn insight in the way you ask questions. Which responses convince the person to help you?

Deus Ex was a good game for this reason. It excelled.

Even the original Ultima Underworld was a good game. People needed your help and you performed quests for them, many spanning the entire game. The result was that you received your eight "Virtues" and could use these to defeat the evil at the bottom of the pit. You also gained other items of value from people you helped, such as goggles that let you see traps.

But sometimes the simplest reward in a game is praise. After all, that one rewards is what we all grew up learning to look for,

Even Bioshock proved that point. It wasn't any more difficult to defeat the end-game boss if you harvested the little sisters (I couldn't) but I really liked the ending I got and I enjoyed anticipating the next teddy bear waiting for me.

GrpA

I think my girlfriend's Civ 4 experience... (5, Interesting)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700515)

... best explains this. Play Civ 4. Play it by researching and trading and and expanding with friendly means. Play through the game on settler and never get attacked, and there is never any conflict or risk of losing. Then be so bored you dont want to come back.

After her second game which I forced her to play, on a higher difficulty, she made the comment "war is the part that is more fun".

And that is why games center more on violence.

Re:I think my girlfriend's Civ 4 experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700911)

Hm... My Civ 4 experience mostly involved a lot of crashing and video card incompatibility... :)

Re:I think my girlfriend's Civ 4 experience... (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701147)

On the contrary, I would have suggested Civilization 4 as a decent game to try. If you turn off the ability to war and also turn off barbarians, the game still remains fairly competitive, but you also can play cooperative and make alliances with other human players/NPC leaders. It becomes a game of pure exploration, espionage, and cultural expansion.

You make a good point on why games focus more on violence, but not everyone is into that. Civ is very good at allowing you to tailor your game as such.

World of Goo (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700551)

There is a Wii game called World of Goo. Sounds a lot like what you're looking for.

Re:World of Goo (3, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700591)

World of Goo is on the PC too.

I can't see it being much fun (0)

acris (1366907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700601)

I mean even pokemon had enemies in it, and yes you befriended monsters but you also tried to be the best through collecting them all, and the monsters being the highest level possible and such... my point is that even this innocent game doesn't sound like it fits your standards. I personally like to play games because they allow me to do the very things that i wouldn't (or get the chance to) do in real life. like steal a car, or kill aliens. while i love your noble ideals, i just can't see any game without grit (except puzzle games like tetris) and even if there was a game like that, i am sure the players would end up teaching false knowledge just for sh**'s and giggles, for instance, if i was playing a game you just described, i would see how many people i could convince that gullible was not in the dictionary, and then turn around and tell them that lubricity is a word in the hopes that they will think i am trying to trick them about that as well. My overall point is this: even if you do manage to create a game without the bad things (violence, lack of cooperation/teamwork, quest for power) then the players will put it in there themselves I can't count the amount of times i burnt down my Sim's house or didn't let him go to the restroom to see the chaos that ensued

Missing the obvious... (2, Informative)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700625)

Many sports games may fit what you require? Some simulation games?

Re:Missing the obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700711)

guitar hero or rock band?

Re:Missing the obvious... (1)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701097)

Many sports games may fit what you require?

Probably not... look at his criteria again:

Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others...

Competition and winning is what sport games are all about so that should rule them out (besides if he didn't think by himself of trying out sport games before...).

neither death nor charity are real in video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700641)

Just as the death in a video game
is meaningless and not real
so is the 'charity' that you do in
a video game.

You are thinking too hard about it.
In the game I play you get ahead by
jumping and grabbing and timing the moves.

Killing things is just there to make it even harder.

It isn't real.
It is a video game.
Stop looking for the moral virtue.
The virtue is the diversion it provides.

So Friday is coming
next Friday
and I've been looking forward to it.

My friend likes to play by not killing tigers,
etc, when Laura can just run through a room.
And he says that the healthpack you get in
there isn't needed if you don't fight
the tiger.

But you are correct that the game 'scores'
the kill.
On one level in one of the early tomb raider games
if you killed a monk then they all attacked you.
If you did not they helped you fight the real
bad-guys.

But again, it is a game, not real.
If you convert someone to your point of view
in a video game
it is not real either.

Why don't you try like a Tricky SX (which is a
snow boarding game) or maybe a
railroad simulator (which might be like having
toy trains)

Err... Uhmm Rock Band? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700655)

I'm nota persona who-a plays-a the games-a, but I sometimes have to feign interest in rock band. From what I've been unable to block out, I think its a cooperative non violent game. For my money, time and effort are best applied to life rather than any sort of game. But apparently that's a minority opinion in most places. I sort of take that back, the only worthwhile games are the ones that aren't played to win the game, but as a structure which advances life.

It's Hippie-Flower-Love MMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700683)

"While I generally don't play computer games, I do occasionally play games like Crossfire or The Mana World, because they have more of a story line and allow you to go at your own pace."

These are D&D style games, with Ultima Online style graphics. Minus the Ultima Online part, you will find dozens upon dozens of games which will fit the bill. Allowing you to express yourself further with jobs and professions added on to mix up the quest/kill/loot/reward style game play.

"What I don't care much about, though, is that they are still focused on killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while. Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended; where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering?"

So you are looking for a game like Second Life, where its a purely social experience, since if given an option majority of the people would rather kill the monster to get the golden key, than befriend it to get the golden key.

Would it require you to level by reading the "Enchanted Book of Teaching IX"?

Would you require you to wait for a "teacher" to log online so that he can enchant your toon? If this is the case, you will quickly fall into the same problem. Supply/demand. Where the item is replaced with fake knowledge and where you pound your head against the wall because you have 10g, and the bastards in the tavern wants 150g for teaching enchantment.

You have limited activities, most people will not pay, much less play, a game where all you do is hug, talk to your friends and jump around holding hands. You just do not have a game in your idea. The success of other non-violent games resolved around puzzles, or even building (i.e. Little Big Planet).

However keep in mind that your idea is for a small market share. Majority of people will not play the game, much like majority of the people didn't play animal crossing a great deal. Most people socialize on Facebook/Myspace/Twitter. Since these games provide you an "optimized" experiance. Of listening to music, talking to friends, smoking pot, and talking about games that revolve around flowers and love.

"Would people be interested in a game of that nature?"

Majority of the population would not be interested, and you would be hard pressed to reach critical mass on a user base. As a kids game it has a good possibility, however that would lead to poor parenting. With IHFL (It's hippie-flower-love) MMO replacing sound parenting.

Either way upgrade your Pentium II and Voodoo 1, and you might find out that these "crazy new" games are actually quite entertaining. And these days the emphases is made on morals in games (karma, reputation, etc.).

Even in WoW, the social part is there, if you use it its up to you. As a game, its good, and it has enough side jobs to keep you entertained for hours on end.

Hello Kitty Online (1, Informative)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700693)

If you want non-violent games, then try Hello Kitty Online [hellokittyonline.com] . It's truly innovative.

Violence, Smylence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700695)

The only non-violence I enjoy in games is the time I spend reloading whatever weapon I'm wielding. Yup, it's my Moment of Zen before a massacre.

A tale in the Desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700701)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_in_the_Desert
Wham. Question Answered. A Co-Op MMO based entirely around Social interaction and economic development. No Combat system whatsoever.

I tried it myself once. it was actually fun for a few days. but Alas, Azeroth Calls.

LEGO games! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700747)

Example of the latest game: LEGO Batman [wikipedia.org] .

Re:LEGO games! (2, Insightful)

Chad Miller (1252738) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701035)

OP didn't say "I'm grossed out by gore," they said "I don't want to play a game that's about killing stuff." The LEGO games are cutesy, kid-appropriate hack n' slash but they're still hack 'n slash.

Planescape: Torment (3, Informative)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700777)

How about Planescape: Torment [wikipedia.org] ?

The complex and storyline-based nature of the game means that gameplay often focuses on resolution of quest and story objectives through selection from available dialogue choices, rather than combat. Simply stopping and having a long (often very long) chat with one of the other members of the player's group can often advance the game more (and reveal more surprising things) than hours of combat and questing in other games. In fact, there are only four or so required combat encounters within the game, while contemporary role-playing games have tens or hundreds. All other encounters can be resolved or avoided through dialogue or stealth.

Planescape: Torment is notable for the quality and quantity of textual dialogue it contains. It is estimated that the game's script contains around 800,000 words. A review in the New York Times noted that, "The game's level of detail and its emotional impact have prompted some players to cast about for literary peers."

It has some pretty witty dialogue too, and it's an interesting universe. You may be familiar with the general principles if you ever dabbled in D&D, though naturally some adaptations were made to make sure it worked better as a computer game.

It has some issues(for one, finding a legitimate copy). There were some bugs in the final shipped version and it's not supported anymore, but fans have fixed a few more of the bugs and have a patch available(linked in the wikipedia article, reference 9).

You are of course free to slaughter all sorts of things in the game(though there are consequences for killing lots of townfolk or dabus' in particular). But you don't have to by any stretch of the imagination, and usually you shouldn't just stick your knife in things for fun. Heck, the final boss fight at the end of the game can be resolved in a couple different ways through dialogue(and this approach gives IMO by far the most satisfying ending). Wisdom is by far the most important stat in the game for The Nameless One, followed by Int and then Cha.

I'd heartily recommend it, as do some game reviewing companies for what that's worth.

Re:Planescape: Torment (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701103)

Planescape Torment gets my vote for Best RPG Ever :-)

Creation vs. Destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700787)

There's a reason why so many games are focused around destroying and killing: it's just so much easier to do than create.

It only takes one button to fire a gun and take a virtual life, but take a look at how long it takes to build something in a game: a life-form evolves throughout Spore, a household is built room-by-room in the Sims, or a small base is constructed through balancing resources in any number of RTS wargames. That's a lot for a gamer to think about and handle. Much easier--and perhaps more natural?--to assess a threat and obliterate it with some kind of weapon. A lot simpler with a greater payoff, perhaps.

Killing and inflicting violence is easy to portray. Death is just about the simplest thing anyone understands (bizarre cultural interpretations and rituals aside). One minute something is flopping around, the next it isn't.

"Ragdoll" death physics was all the rage a few years ago, long before we had the life-like procedural animations of Spore, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Left 4 Dead (not so sure about L4D, only saw a few minutes, so I could be fooled). Even those games never quite got life looking right; check out any bipedal in Spore. I'd argue that it's much easier to simulate a body flopping around and coming to a stop than it is to simulate a thinking body reacting and responding to stimuli (i.e., being struck, stumbling around, and then reorienting itself). Past games even used to fake it by providing a number of standard animations: running around, jumping, and dying were a few of the essentials.

If you're asking for games that teach, require social interaction, or encourage cooperation--whew! We're still trying to figure out how these things work in real life, much less understand a way to fake it with AI or provide all the necessary tools of communication for players stuck with a keyboard and a headset.

Think of the much-lauded Civilization 4 diplomacy system or a Neverwinter Nights dialogue tree: each are a series of screens. There are some interesting equations hidden behind the scene, but rarely do they approach the sophistication of something like ragdoll physics. Maybe an unfair comparison. But I think it's much easier to figure out the calculations for bouncing heads off a brick wall than it is to engineer a life-like system of actual human social interaction.

I'm not giving a value judgment. I like games of all types. I'm just arguing that the content of games is limited by the audience (who often expects simple gratification without convoluted gameplay), our knowledge (how does the body move, how do societies and individuals interact with one another, etc.), and our technology (you can't simulate human social interactions until we have a human-like intelligence inside the computer, but it's pretty easy to fake human death and get away with it).

However, I'm optimistic that games are going to get pretty intense in a couple years. For instance, street-level combat and aerial dogfights will always be popular in military games, but imagine a game that allows the player to engage in propaganda campaigns, door-to-door searches, and hostage negotiation. I'm talking something like IRAQ ONLINE! (forgive me), something that pushes us past shoot-em-ups and tank battles--i.e., dynamic city life, soldiers and civilians reacting in accordance to their personalities and history, or complex peace agreements where the stakes are a bit higher than "I will give you 150 gold pieces from my treasury if you stop burning down my cities." Imagine a game where killing the bad guy or having an arbitrary stat higher than your foe isn't the only way to win. Imagine the last time you thought, "Wow! This is so realistic." Imagine saying that while you're carrying out a conversation with an NPC.

We will see greater and greater complexity in our games, but only if we as an audience demand it.

Best game ever (1)

Charirner (1393091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700789)

Harvest moon...you farm and help other people out i mean you still get money to increase your house and farm and what not but there isn't any violence in it

You'll have to wait for it... (1, Informative)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700833)

I believe the perfect game for you is Hello Kitty Online. [hellokittyonline.com] I think the beta is still open if you'd like to try it early.

Yes, it does exist.

No, I am not making this up.

Clonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700847)

You could try Clonk (www.clonk.de)
It can be a lot of fun co-operatively mining gold...

They have released the previous-to-latest iteration (clonk endeavor) as a freebie.

You can play cooperatively in a lot of online... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700849)

... racing sims, with your friend playing as Timo Glock.

Monkey Island ruled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25700927)

And we're still waiting for the Vth...

Nope, sorry... (1)

basicio (1316109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25700929)

There is a certain irony in seeing ads for D&D right below this post.

How about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701055)

Eve Online. There is a nice friendly, cooperative, social player base for you.

Okami (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701063)

I feel it would be remiss not to mention Okami if you are looking for a story-based game truly about doing good. Yeah, you fight some demons and collect money. But you also feed starving animals, rejuvenate plants and the land as a whole, perform miracles to help people, etc. I don't think I've ever played a game that seems more about making the world a better place.

Otherwise, look into puzzle games and games. Myst seems like a no-brainer recommendation.

Life game (1)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701075)

Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended; where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering?

It's not a game you need, it's to work for a NPO [wikipedia.org] . Past a certain point, real life's challenges might meet your expectations better than virtual ones. Or maybe try dating simulations [wikipedia.org] ! There's a lot of befriending going on.

A tale in the desert (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701125)

http://www.atitd.com/ [atitd.com]

(Damn slashdot javascript ate my comment)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_in_the_Desert [wikipedia.org]

It's non-combat, based around social interaction, development and construction. Very tightly knit community. I'd really give it a try, monthly fee but first 24 hours of play are free.

Fold It! (3, Interesting)

gringer (252588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701191)

Try Foldit [fold.it] . It's a game where you fold proteins to get a ranking / score (no money incentive at the moment). If you want to cooperate, join a team and evolve someone else's folded protein. There's also a duel mode, where you battle against someone else, trying to fold a protein in as few moves as possible.

And just in case you're interested, the folding helps researchers who are looking for ways in which humans can fold better than computers.

EVE Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25701215)

I used to play some online games, too, but after a while i got also bored of that killing.

Then i tried "EVE Online". Ok, This game is a space simulation where you own no avatar in the common sense. You are a ship pilot but thats kinda nice to look at.

The big point of this game is, that is not necessarily a killing game. A lot of played are trade mens. They controll the market, craft things, make politics, ...

Every aspect of this game is controlled by players. Yesterday we had an election for an important poistion of leadership.

All prices of the resources are controoled by a full open market. If you want you can be miner to mine all kind of resouces, or trademan, to deliver lots of goods of cargo from point to point to get a charge, or get a politician and discuss the development and pregress of the fraction (where are more then just good and bad) or be scientist and to researching.

Just try it out. The UI is a bit heavy to use in the biginning but after a while you get used to it.

and if you feel that you have to need to kill something you can just attack everything in game even players of your own coorporation.

Katamari Damacy (2, Interesting)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#25701251)

I can't believe nobody mentioned the Katamari series yet.

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