As a long-time fan of #strategy #videogames, I'm becoming more and more aware of the fact they are a channel through which the predominant, hierarchical and capitalist worldview is delivered to teenagers and young adults around the world.
What if, for a change, we developed a strategy game where #cooperation and mutual help are rewarded, instead of conquest, exploitation and wealth extraction? Would such a game be boring, or fun to play?
@Antanicus It wouldn't, and in fact cooperation is a theme that has been explored.
Take for example Jon Ritman's Head Over Heels.
Conflict is an easy way to introduce competitive elements and clear challenges to a game, both of which speak to the primitive parts of our psyche.
I would love a game not centered around conflict and hope to see some innovation on that front (or discover existing titles).
@Antanicus I think it'd be harder to design a cooperative tabletop strategy game because a human opponent is more interesting than the rules.
I think a cooperative video game is a lot more viable, eg. you can build cooperatively in Minecraft and defend against the AI.
It's harder to implement complex threats in a tabletop game and building is more limited.
> you want to put that between the players and the world
- that's precisely what I meant. I imagine a series of decks called "government decisions", "corporate actions" and "natural disasters", from which players need to draw one or more cards based on specific dice rolls and/or other events, and then cooperate to conteract those. A "random" event generating phone appllication could work even better...
@Antanicus @grainloom Pandemic is a pretty good example of cooperative strategy board game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic_(board_game)
I've also played a medieval "knights and castles" game, where there were mechanisms for family alliances between players by marrying characters, which made the game way more interesting than any simple 4X game.
@Antanicus @grainloom Any military group in hot action should have a (democratically elected) leader, coordinating actions. The leader doesn't even have to be the same from encounter to encounter. Hell, we could make a mechanism for getting different bonuses/disadvantages depending on which person you're playing as the coordinator.
@zatnosk @grainloom plot twist: this thing actually happenend in Spain during the Civil War, when the anarchist battalions from all around Europe joined the spanish forces against Franco. La Columna de Hierro was one such battalion. Which actually gets us to: let's set the game during the Civil War period and have players command anarchist battalions against Franco's army?
@grainloom @bob @zatnosk well, keeping the game in the present is paradoxically one way to keep it both accurate (we know our age pretty well, after all) and free (players would be effectively shaping future events). I already have a few notes around this concept, I just need to find them in the mess that is my home folder :)
@bob @grainloom @zatnosk the only game set during the 1917 revolution I'm aware of is one of the (admittedly very interesting) side-scrolling spin offs derived from the main Assassin's Creed franchise, called "AC Chronicles Russia". As a side note, the only game tackling political revolution I am aware of is "Republic The Revolution" byt the genius Demis Hassabis
@shadowfirebird @vfrmedia @Antanicus
I think it's partly true. Computers are better at things like spatial simulations and physics than they are social or imaginative simulations, so violence is quite an easy fit. That being said, I think it's also possible to do computer-friendly simulations that don't come from a capitalist and/or militaristic worldview, and there are games out there and it's territory that's not that well charted.
Wow I didn't expect to have so many replies, retoots and favs for this one. It seems like there's a lot of attention around this topic in mastodon, and that only makes me happier to be hanging out with all of you guys!
Now: how many of you would like to participate in a community-driven, distributed and mastodon-wide effort to develop at least some of the core mechanics of "4C" gaming?
Thank you all!
@Antanicus YES YES YES. I've often been frustrated with the inherent capitalism and warmongering in all 4X games. I really love the "eXplore" and "eXpand" parts of 4X, and the "eXploit" can be fun in some contexts, but mandating the "eXterminate" just diminishes everything into being Dalek simulators.
@Antanicus I think it would be fun as long as you could level up in various ways and gain new capabilities to face new challenges. The explore and expand features could be preserved... You're looking for new people to cooperate with. In fact, isn't that basically the point of Star Trek?
@Antanicus https://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/bookstore/vgames/ relatedly, someone here (I think?) recently dug up this archive of video game reviews written for the US arm of the Maoist Internationalist Party
@Antanicus At least in board games, cooperating games are often my favourites. It creates more (and positive) interactions, and it is also interesting to fight a "system", a "machine", something that constantly can threaten you.
The "competition" part can still exist, but maybe it's harder to set it up.
@Antanicus fun fact: originally, the game "Monopoly" was called "The Landlords Game", and 'was created to be a "practical demonstration of the present system of land grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences"'
So, there's that. :)
@Antanicus Arcen Games does a bunch of stuff along these lines. AI War is co-op against an AI; Skyward Collapse is about attempting to find a balance between both sides; Last Federation is about balancing the development of various species to create a unified government. Their stuff is difficult to play and understand, too much so at times in my opinion, but it definitely is attempting to be about something other than straight military conquest.