Top 10 Games Without (or with removable) Violence
One of the most prominent arguments against games and giving games a better rating system (namely, an R18+ rating in Australia) is that they are violent and cause violence in younger audiences.
Now, I’ve debated this a lot and some people who are avid game enthusiasts still seem to agree. In fact, one person told me that “One of the primary objectives of video games is destruction.”
And a little part of me died (in a non-violent way) inside.
See to me, games are an interactive medium that offers possibilities which are unmatched by film and TV. They are worlds you can be a part of, alternate realities where anything you want to do can be possible. If I use those worlds to slaughter hundreds of civilians that's fine. But it’s not the only thing I could be doing.
So I decided to come up with a list of games which either had no violence/destruction or what I call “Removable Violence”. By this I mean that if you took out the violence (or destruction), the game could still function and be played properly. For example, if you remove the violence (or anything that can be construed as violence) from Little Big Planet it still works completely fine. If you try and remove the violence from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (despite it’s high emphasis on puzzle solving) it breaks down completely.
Anyway so have a read and tell me what you think.
10. Wii Sports – Sports
This one is so obvious I feel like I don’t even need to describe it. First off, it’s a sports game so obviously very limited capacity for violence. Secondly, it’s G rated and plays like it’s G rated so obviously no violence. Thirdly, even if you cut those weird Mii avatars I’m pretty sure they would pop instead of bleed. They just look like balloon animals to me.
9. The Sims – Life Simulation
To be honest this would usually never feature on a list of my top 10 games of everything. I mean, I get that it was ground breaking and kind of fun and that millions of people love The Sims, most of them house wives who play 12 hours a day, but I never really got into it. Just not my kind of game. But it’s definitely a classic game which involves very little violence, at least very little if you don’t lock people in a room with no doors or windows, a fireplace and an abundance of rugs.
8. Mario Party – Board game/ Mini-games
Ok so some of the minigames (and, scarily enough, end cinematics) of Mario Party involve some violence (people falling, getting squashed, sat on/eaten by giant flowers) but if you removed all of those the game would still be both fun and playable. I mean, I enjoy seeing the player coming last fall through the clouds at the end of Rainbow Castle, but it’s not really necessary.
7. L.A. Noire – Open World/Action Adventure/Third Person Shooter
Before I get a million messages about it, yes L.A. Noire involves violence. And a lot of it. In fact, I’m kind of pushing the topic by putting it on this list, I mean it’s a shooter. But I can’t help but feel that the real game is in solving the cases, picking up the clues and interviewing the suspects – not to mention driving around Los Angeles. To me the violence always seemed like something thrown in to keep the masses happy, a quick fight to relieve your eyes and break the monotony and then back to the gameplay. As such, I think if you took out the violence (only play initiated violence remember, not violence done to you or done to others without your involvement) the game would still work and would work well.
6. Jet Set Radio Future – Racing/Adventure
Similar to L.A. Noire, JSRF has a bit of violence. You knock down cops and spray graffiti on them, causing them to disappear. You also destroy a number of police machines, including tanks, helicopters, cleaning machines and trains. But this was never where the heart of JSRF was. JSRF, first and foremost, is about roller skating and spraying graffiti. And if you took out all player violence, the game would still be about roller skating and spraying graffiti. And would still be awesome. I mean, the end boss would need some work but I could see that re-done as a race/obstacle event instead of the (semi anti-climactic) physical confrontation.
5. Crazy Taxi – Arcade/Racing/Sandbox
This is another one that needs no explanation. Sure you might crash into a couple hundred cars and several thousand pedestrians may have to get out of your way, but at no point does the game promote or encourage violence or destruction. Just simple, fast paced, arcade racing fun.
4. Mirror’s Edge – Action Adventure
This is another one which is pushing it, but hear me out. To me (and the reason it didn’t sell very well) Mirror’s Edge is all about running, freedom of movement and speed. While she can disarm, and yes even shoot, cops – this was never intended to be the main way to play the game. In fact, there is even an achievement for finishing the game without shooting a gun. Think about it, if you took away someones melee and disarm buttons and made them play Mirror’s Edge with all the enemies still intact, what would it look like?
The answer: it would look like they were playing Mirror’s Edge.
3. Limbo – Puzzle Platformer
Limbo is dark, with violence and death all around you. But do you participate in that violence?
Well, yes, briefly in your interaction with the spider. But if you took that part of the game out, the player is simply another puzzle solving spirit running around trying not to get killed. Now I haven’t completely finished Limbo but I’m fairly certain it would play perfectly fine if you edit out the violence. If not, let me know.
2. Minecraft – Sandbox
How could I not mention Minecraft? This game is so popular that it seems like every guy and his guild is making new projects on it. And while some of those projects may involve dying, falling, guns, swords or whatever – none of them need to. Take a look at the Ghibli World article I posted awhile ago, great Minecraft creation (note: not destruction), absolutely violence free.
1. Portal – Puzzle Solving
And finally, Portal. This game is the epitome of non-violence, there’s literally almost no violence you can do even if you wanted to. Sure you may be a test subject trapped in a very violent environment, but none of that is your doing and the most destruction you achieve is knocking over a few turrets or redirecting guns into a few switches. Awesome, iconic, classic game. No violence.
So there it is, a list of 10 great games with either no violence or that don’t need to have violence in them. Would all of these be in my top 10 games of all time? No probably not. Are a few of them in there? Almost definitely.
If you agree, disagree or thought of some better examples then hit up our Facebook page and let me know – you could help me put together the next list and get a fully sick link to your Facebook page off GamePlayer. The ladies love it, or so I’ve heard.
(Note: Results may vary based on attractiveness/gamer score)