the long game

Player Agency and Violence in Games

Recently, Toby Fox’s critically-acclaimed indie RPG Undertale has gotten a lot of attention for being a game that encourages pacifist runs, going so far as to have a tagline “nobody has to die.”

This is something the game has been praised for as most video games treat violence as being the default option for solving problems, and often the only option. While violence in games is by no means a bad thing in and of itself, the fact that it’s accepted as being the default means of progressing in most genres (with the exception of puzzle games, sports games, and life simulators) is creatively limiting. Undertale proves that there is a way to make a video game fun without having to force the player into the standard “kill or be killed” binary seen in most conflict-driven game narratives.

Of course, when it comes to Undertale, this isn’t anything new. Many people have praised the game for this, and it’s become one of the most commonly-cited reasons for why Undertale is seen as so subversive. However, I would argue that the subversion of violence as a necessary mechanic isn’t the reason that Undertale’s pacifism works so well. There’s something beyond that, and it demonstrates how the game has a much deeper understanding of the power dynamics behind violence than most other games. Namely, that Undertale repeatedly hammers home the point that all the monsters you’re killing basically have no chance of surviving if you actually demonstrate any intention to kill them.

We know that the monsters are no strangers to battle, and many monsters no doubt died when humans declared war on them. Pacifism was almost certainly not an option for the monsters at that point: they had to fight back to save themselves from extinction. Even during the game itself, the monsters that are actively antagonistic only act so because, as far as they know, they don’t have any means of freeing themselves from the hopelessness of the Underground outside of killing the player character and taking their soul. 

The player character, however, doesn’t have to resort to violence to achieve their goals, and the reason that they don’t have to is that it’s hammered home repeatedly that none of the enemies in the game pose any real threat to them. Even dying is ultimately rendered trivial by the power to save and load the game, which is acknowledged in-story as being a power exclusive to the player character. Pacifism is encouraged not only because violence unnecessary to making it through the game, but because if you do choose to be violent, there’s virtually nothing the other characters can do to stop you.

In this sense, Undertale isn’t just about pacifism: it’s also deeply understanding of how pacifism is fundamentally built on personal agency, something that distinguishes Undertale from most other games that allow for the possibility of pacifist runs. There is another game, however, that understands this dynamic very well, but approaches it very differently in execution.

Iji is a freeware game released in 2008 by the Swedish developer Daniel Remar, who also developed the freeware games Hero Core, Hyper Princess Pitch, and Princess Remedy. Like Undertale, Iji also encourages pacifist runs, but it does so in a starkly different way and for starkly different reasons. The game isn’t about morality of violence committed by a vastly overpowered main character as much as it is about the psychological effects of violence on the protagonist. The main character acts as a deconstruction of the “lone hero tears through hordes of enemy soldiers” trope in most action video games, and the story goes into great detail to show that such a thing would actually be hugely psychologically damaging to any normal person.

The game’s plot is about Iji, a young woman who is caught on the wrong end of an alien invasion and is soon given reverse-engineered nanomachine technology that allows her to fight the aliens, thrust into the midst of conflict to put a stop to their hostile occupation. She has the option to be a pacifist, in which case she comes out somewhat less traumatized than she would otherwise, but the only reason that it’s even an option to begin with is for the exact opposite reason that pacifism is an option in Undertale: namely that Iji has literally no hope of defeating the aliens through violence. If you play through the game like a traditional action-platformer, she still becomes an incredibly powerful soldier capable of mowing down hundreds of enemy combatants, to the point where the alien forces practically soil themselves just thinking of her, and yet it’s repeatedly made clear that she’s just one person against a force of millions. No matter how many soldiers she kills, she only truly manages to survive through resourcefulness and cunning, and only succeeds at her goal in the end because one of the alien leaders takes pity on her and orders his army to leave. Even the most powerful soldier in the world simply does not stand a chance against an entire army.

As a result, while Iji is capable of killing alien soldiers with little effort, from a practical standpoint almost none of the lives she can take actually contribute to her goal of driving off the invasion. She is capable of making her way through almost the entire game without directly (though the game is admittedly a bit loose with what counts as “directly”) killing anyone, instead relying on stealth, sabotage, and diplomacy with the few aliens who are sympathetic to her. This doesn’t mean that any of the enemy combatants won’t die: the story soon takes the conflict to an all-out war between two opposing alien factions, with Earth as the central battlefield. In any war death is inevitable, and this is no exception.

Like in Undertale, however, the enemies of the game don’t have the option of pacifism: all of the aliens we see are soldiers either by profession or by necessity, and in the case of one faction they’re literally fighting off their own genocide at the hands of the other. The fact that Iji can achieve her goals through pacifism is in one regard a symbol of how useless violence is against an enemy that cannot be defeated through brute force, but at the same time it’s also acknowledged as a privilege that virtually no other character in the game can afford.

The end result is that Iji makes nonviolence entirely centered on player agency in the same way that Undertale, but it does so by approaching it from the exact opposite direction. While in Undertale the player character has vast amounts of power over the game’s other characters, in Iji the player character is at best an afterthought to the central conflict between both alien factions. In both games, killing is unnecessary, in Undertale because the player character is strong enough to make it through the game regardless, and in Iji because the player character isn’t strong enough for it to meaningfully prevent the invasion and subsequent war. In both games there is nothing that explicitly forces the player to resort to killing foes, and so it is entirely left up to the player’s own preference whether they choose to do so or not. And in both games, there are significant consequences for choosing violence over choosing to avoid it: whether it be for the player character or for the world and supporting cast around them.

This is what ultimately distinguishes both these games from games that otherwise offer the option of pacifist runs. Compare this to most other games, where pacifism is simply a self-imposed challenge that’s left open for the player to complete. At best pacifist runs are usually treated as nothing more than a way for the player to test their skill, with the challenge being primarily that violence is the more convenient and immediately gratifying option. The effects of choosing to be nonviolent are rarely given any weight beyond this extra challenge, with little tangible impact on the characters or the world. By making pacifism more difficult and refusing to tie it to any in-world consequences, the choice to remain nonviolent is left meaningless and empty. The player is left separated from any sense of agency, as there is nothing to suggest that there’s any real difference to be made.

But in reality, nonviolence and agency are inseparable. Violence is often the only option that people have left to defend themselves when faced with subjugation, enslavement, or the threat of genocide. The ability to remain pacifist in the midst of a conflict is only made possible by circumstances where one can find other solutions: and not everyone has that luxury. Games that allow for pacifist runs but don’t go through the effort of acknowledging the importance of player’s own agency are left thematically and narratively confused, and the experience of a pacifist run is left unsatisfying and devoid of impact. More than anything, these two games understand that the impact of a pacifist run is built upon both the encouragement and consequences of different player choices.

anonymous asked:

Hi! If it's not a problem for you, could you make the A-Z meme for Raphael? And, if you have enough time, also for Leonardo? Thank you :)

Hello Nonnie! Thanks for your patience. Finally Leo is here! [With a cameo, couldn’t resist sorry :’) ]

Hope you all enjoy it!

Leonardo - Headcanon Game - A to Z (NSFW)

A = Aftercare (What they’re like after sex)

After an intense session of Leo’s specialty: “I am your Sensei” He changes and becomes the sweet, tender gentleman we all know and adore.

He’s not going to ask you if you enjoyed because he already knows you did but, he’s going to check that you didn’t suffer any damage – although it’s highly improbable as he really cares about you during and after –. Kisses and embraces are also a must with him. He’s going to lay in bed with you in his arms telling you how much he loves you… but not necessary with words ;)

B = Body part (Their favourite body part of theirs and also their partner’s)

Leo: My mind, my control, my determination, my willpower against adversities, my…

Donnie: Leo! They mean your favourite body part. Physically.

L: …

D: … Arms? Legs?

L: All my body is a temple of perfection.

D: *sighs*

He really loves your neck. Every time you wear your hair up in a ponytail or a bun he gasps and has to control himself; also necklaces give him a hard time. Your back is too one of his favourite parts of your gorgeous body.

C = Cum (Anything to do with cum basically… I’m a disgusting person)

He likes you to ask and beg him to come. Because you are his pet and pets have to obey his master’s order. Where he likes to, is on your stomach when you face him. If you’re on your fours then on your back.

D = Dirty Secret (Pretty self explanatory, a dirty secret of theirs)

Mer: He’s the kinkiest, he likes control, BDSM… Hold on a second! It has to be a secret? Dang it!

He likes to be the dominant one, but he really, really likes the idea of being the submissive once in a while. He is never ever going to admit it but he’s waiting, counting the seconds, until one day you propose him to inverse roles. Obviously as the little jerk he can be, he’s going to pretend that he needs some time to think about it. When in fact, his inner self is going to be jumping around in ecstasy.

E = Experience (How experienced are they? Do they know what they’re doing?)

NONE. If his brothers had little expectations, he just had none. Make no mistake, when he was younger he dreamed of finding a girl to love and who loved him back, he wished… but then he just let the thought slip away: he’s the leader, he’s the protector of his family and as such he had to concentrate on other matters. But when you finally came on the scene he tried, really, but finally gave up. As the observer and strategist he is, soon after you showed him how to do things he excelled. He’s a real Sensei after all.

F = Favourite Position (This goes without saying. Will probably include a visual)

You laying on the bed with your hands tied up on the headboard with handcuffs/silk/one of his bandanas, etc. Basically you at his mercy.

G = Goofy (Are they more serious in the moment, or are they humorous, etc)

His complete name is Leonardo Serious Teaser Hamato. You can interpret the name as you wish, he’s a serious teaser (he is) or he’s serious and a teaser (also acceptable). He’s not going to joke around, he’s going to focus on the work he has at hand: your mutual pleasure ~

H = Hair (How well groomed are they, does the carpet match the drapes, etc.)

Human: dark and short, not shaved but almost. From time to time I picture him letting it grow a little bit but not too much.

I = Intimacy (How are they during the moment, romantic aspect…) 

He may be kinky, to the extreme, but he’s a romantic sweetheart and he loves showing it to you: he always keeps his eyes into yours, likes to kiss you from head to toe with deep kisses mixed up with quick ones, whispers against your skin how much he loves/needs you… He also loves to create the atmosphere with some candles and silk strips.

J = Jack Off (Masturbation headcanon)

I. Must. Not. Need. To. Be. Strong. C-O-N-T-R-O-L.” Leo doesn’t like to lose control, therefore when his hormones start to give him a hard time he tries to fight it with meditation followed by more meditation and… yes, more meditation. When still, the need endures he finally kind of surrenders. Kind of. Because is Leo and you know, control. He’s going to look for somewhere isolate and is going to take his time with low, deliberate and precise strokes.

K = Kink (One or more of their kinks)

BDSM: he loves being called Sensei/Sir/Master, loves when you beg him, loves when you are tied and completely powerless at his goodwill… Blindfold you, spank you… List goes on and on.

L = Location (Favourite places to do the do)

His/your bedroom in order to keep things private. Leo can be kinky as hell but all that stuff goes in private between you and him, outside bedroom he’s a perfect gentleman.

He also likes the dojo, a.k.a. his second bedroom.

M = Motivation (What turns them on, gets them going)

He absolutely adores seeing how you surrender to him, just the fact that you trust him so much to give him all that power: dominance. Also your pleasure is his pleasure, if you are screaming his name his ego is going to grow even more.

N = NO (Something they wouldn’t do, turn offs)

Hurt you against your will. If you use your safe word, he’s going to stop no matter what. The moment you say it, he’s going to take care of you, asking if you are okay and what he can do for you. For him knowing exactly your limits is a MUST. If you are not comfortable with something you need to tell him, trust is something mutual and really important for him.

O = Oral (Preference in giving or receiving, skill, etc)

Likes to give you for the pleasure of seeing you aroused and to test your edges. It is likely that he will stop when you are near, just to keep the playing going on for a little more.

Likes to receive under his conditions and orders: “Slower. Open your eyes. Look at me, I want to see you. Deeper.

P = Pace (Are they fast and rough? Slow and sensual? etc.)

Usually he’s going to opt for slow and deliberated thrusts with sudden changes like shallow thrusts. He doesn’t like predictability so be prepare for surprises.

Q = Quickie (Their opinions on quickies rather than proper sex, how often, etc.)

Fast, intense, passionate sex? Yes from time to time. A big NO for becoming a habit. Leo loves foreplay as much as control, foreplay is a way to use his control. No control, no power, no happy Leo. You don’t want a sad Leo, right?

He’s not really addicted to them if the situation demands it he may give it a chance, but usually he’s going to choose the waiting option.

R = Risk (Are they game to experiment, do they take risks, etc.)

Well it’s pretty obvious that he does. He likes to try new positons, new ways to tie you (materials, body parts, places), etc. If we are talking about public sex, e.g. as risk then no. Leo would not accept sex in public where anyone can see it or even in the worst scenario their enemies; it’s not responsible and as such he would refuse.

S = Stamina (How many rounds can they go for, how long do they last…)

He can last the longer as he can control himself and deny/delay his orgasm. Rounds maybe two, because the length of both is going to be the whole night if you can stand it.

T = Toy (Do they own toys? Do they use them? On a partner or themselves?)

Blindfolds, slave collars, silk strips, ropes, handcuffs, whips, canes, ridding crops… he likes using them on you.

U = Unfair (how much they like to tease)

On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no tease at all and 10 a non-stop teasing; he would be around 1.069.269. Yeah, more or less. He loves getting you on the edge and well, leaving you there for a while.

V = Volume (How loud they are, what sounds they make)

As he can control himself pretty much, he’s not really noisy. He groans, churrs and even sometimes cusses – with an apologize afterwards because a gentleman cannot be that rude –.

W = Wild Card (Get a random headcanon for the character of your choice)

Cobalt lingerie, knee tights, high heels and a pearl necklace is his favourite outfit on you. Extra bonus if you wear his bandana somewhere.

X = X-Ray (Let’s see what’s going on in those pants, picture or words)

Already said: way bigger than humans, the second widest among the bros.

Y = Yearning (How high is their sex drive?)

He can control himself pretty good but his sex drive is higher than what he would like to admit. Thankfully for him meditation helps… but you don’t, he really needs to control himself to keep his hands off and be the perfect gentleman. Sometimes he wonders if you don’t do it on purpose as a payback for his teasing.

Z = ZZZ (… how quickly they fall asleep afterwards)

He’s not going to sleep in matter of seconds but after 10-15 minutes he will be. Obviously as you are there with him he’s going to feel more relaxed: your body heat, fragrance, heart beating… things he can no longer live without.

 Hope you enjoy it. I did for sure. Finally the four brothers have their A-Z headcanon game. It’s been a long road, my dearest friend ♬


Sorry, not sorry!

Askbox is open loves! 

Have a nice day/noon/night!

P.S.: Sorry if there are some mistakes, I’m really tired :S

I was interviewed at (full article) and here’s a bit of it:

Jesse Tannous: Your website explains you’ve been developing the characters and story of Long Gone Days for over a decade. What makes this particular project so special or important to you?

Camila Gormaz: Long Gone Days is really important to me because of everything I have learned during the development. For the sole purpose of writing the game, I studied a lot about game design, marketing, science, languages, different cultures, and other things I may have never learned if it wasn’t required for game development.

Besides that, since I was a teenager when this started, I unknowingly learned to be a better listener so I could write characters that were completely foreign to my experience or point of view. It has changed me for good.

You can read the full interview here.

anonymous asked:

Did you make all the Sherlock characters into Sims?

Not yet. I’m more into making houses than making characters but so far I have Sherlock and John in 221B just having sex a lot since I got them back together which is very in character tbh. Mycroft in his super fetch mansion I’ve yet to add Anthea as a roomie. Greg and his fam (his wife is currently shacking it up with both Zac Efron and Chris Hemsworth). And Mrs Hudson and her twenty-something-year-old boyfriend Adonis Papa who I obviously made as you can tell from his name. 

I was tagged by @yes-ima-fluffy-unicorn (I swear I’m going to write right after this I just got intrigued okay)

The Rules:

1. Go to this website.
2. Pick 15 characters from any fandom or whatever you’re into.
3. Tag five or more people.
4. Have fun!

I DID realize this could be from multiple fandoms but I decided to go with all-SPN too because I’m lame :P 

1. Mom/Dad: Chuck. I feel… like this probably went badly. 
2. Your sibling: Claire, fuck YEAH!
4. Haunts you: Bobby. The sassiest grumpy ghost. 
5. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: Lucifer. Ehhhhhh we could make it work. 
6. Your ex: Jody – NO JODY WHY DID WE BREAK UP??? 
7. Your best friend: Crowley! FUCK YEAH we would just sit around judging the hell out of people. 
8. Proposed to you: Charlie (WHY DIDN’T I SAY YES?)
9. Your boss: Sam. He would be a good boss!
10. The random person you met at the bar: Rowena. She probably showed me a damn good time, too. Would it be awkward since I’m besties with her son? … probably.  
11. Your Rival: Gabriel (NOOOOOOOO the only way I accept that is if we’re rivals because he thinks I have a workplace crush on Sam even though I’m dating Gabriel’s brother. Which, lbr, I probably WOULD have a crush on Sam, but it’d be one of those fleeting “oh damn you’re cute” crushes. I’ve got a monogamous heart, and once Gabriel realizes that wE’LL BE BEST FRIENDS OKAY??)
12. Gave you your first kiss: Meg. YES I ACCEPT. 
13. Drunk and singing karaoke with: I GOT CAS TOO!!
14. Played 7 minutes in heaven with: Dean! Damn, I ain’t complaining… 
15. Gave you your favorite dessert: Donna!!! 

Tagging @greymichaela, @synergygabriel, @platonic-rabbit, @spoodle-monkey, @themightysra, and @casandsip!

10 Fictional Characters I Would Kiss

I was tagged by the lovely @clotpolesandswans, let’s do this!

1. Killian Jones (Once Upon A Time)

Originally posted by barryirisallens

2. Merlin (BBC Merlin)

Originally posted by giveme-yourattention

3. Arthur Pendragon (BBC Merlin)

Originally posted by trashstille

4. Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)

Originally posted by sinistersalvatore

5. Steve Rogers (Captain America)

Originally posted by james-nat

6. Bucky Barnes (Captain America)

Originally posted by skinon-skin

7. Sam Wilson (Captain America)

Originally posted by hogwartsnexttopmodel

8. Gwaine (BBC Merlin)

Originally posted by chanel-n-vuitton

9. Percival (BBC Merlin)

Originally posted by sandiest-cupid

10. Klaus Mikaelson (The Vampire Diaries)

Originally posted by eventhedevilwasonceanangel

I tag @promisesmadeintherain, @justletmewatchmerlin@definitionofawriter, and @thetaleofcaptainswan as well as anyone else who’d like to! Have fun! (But no pressure)

ive been enjoying the full release of overwatch more than just the beta; i’m not sure why? like, ive had a lot of fun losing and winning both (and getting play of the game is hugely satisfying)

i think it might have something to do with how i feel like i’m making progress thats not pointless due to the beta erasing all of your previous progress and making you start over with the release

I was tagged by @sarrgentblue (thank you, Sum!<3)

Go to this website
Pick 15 characters for whatever fandoms you’re into
Tag 5 or more people
Have loads of fun!

My Results:
1. Your rival: Kara Danvers (I think I have no chance against the super girl :)))
2. Played 7 Minutes in Heaven with: Magnus Bane (imagine Maggie in Heaven!!<33)
3. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: Lydia Martin (yeees, queenie; I am gay for my ladies<33)
4. Mom/Dad: Felicity Smoak (awwee, ‘bitch with wifi’ would be my perfect mama!)
5. The random person you meet at the bar: Bellamy Blake (omg this sounds like Bellamy at the beginnings of s1 when he was a jerk haha; I can totally imagine this)
6. Your boss: Stiles Stilinski (whaaa no way; STILES AND A BOSS?? I can hear the sarcasm in it already lol. Idk but I’ll probably not take his orders serious :)))
7. Haunts you: Allison Argent (don’t do this to me, please)
8. Drunk singing karaoke with: Barry Allen (oml what a nice coincidence! I get to play the beautiful Dr. Snow!^___^)
9. Gave you your fave dessert: Hermione Granger (oh, I wonder^^)
10. Your sibling: Oliver Queen (funny that Fel would be my mama :)) He’d be learning me fighting strategies yeess)
11. Gave you your first kiss: Isabelle Lightwood (okay, I’m definitely NOT STRAIGHT NOW*-*)
12. Your best friend: Caitlin Snow (yees, make it happen!)
13. Grandma/Grandpa: Harry Potter (that would be cool actually :))
14. Proposed to you: Raven Reyes (awe, accepting!)
15. Ex: Alec Lightwood (what the hella—nooooooo. Who’d ever break up with this piece of perfection that God created????)

I tag: @malecshappiness @bands-books-and-phan @khylinrhambo @laurelance @spacealec @lovelymagnvs @bi-magnus @matthewddadario @jamescarstairs   @aleclightwoodisbetterthanyou @magnusbane-daily and anyone else who wants to do this!


The Long Game-Part 1 [Part 2]

Do you ever have that feeling that everyone else is more successful than you? 
If you think that’s bad - try being Leonardo Da Vinci