Ignoring violence in games undermines narrative

Ignoring violence in games undermines narrative
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 2nd 2012 at 2:35PM

Far Cry 3 lead discusses maturity in upcoming title

Ignoring violence in games can undermine a game’s narrative, the lead designer of Far Cry 3 has said.

Speaking to VG247, Mark Thompson said developers needed to highlight a player’s motivations behind core mechanics to completely immerse a player into the experience.

Referring to the violence in Far Cry 3, the Ubisoft developer said the studio addressed this aspect head on to avoid undermining literary and artistic value from the experience.

“One mistake that games can make is to simply not acknowledge the violence and pretend like it isn’t important,” said Thompson.

“That their protagonist is nonchalantly killing a ton of people. If you ignore what your core mechanics are asking players to do, if you pretend like players aren’t being rewarded for killing, then it will undermine the narrative.

“If the characters in the game don’t react to the violence performed by the player; then you create a plot hole, one specific to the interactive nature of games. We addressed this head on and wrote a story that was about the core mechanic, about killing.”

Leading developers at Ubisoft have been outspoken in the past on bringing more maturity into the games industry.

Jade Raymond recently told Develop that more games should focus on real-world issues, and get out of their “smelly teen years”.

“The Arab Spring, class divide, internet freedoms… why aren’t there triple-A games about these topics?" said Raymond.

"We can actually use the interactive power of our medium to talk about these subjects in a way that can provoke discussion about them.”