A new game has been taking over steam called “This War of Mine”. For those of you who haven’t took the plunge “This War of Mine “ is a war game that takes a different stance then other games. You aren’t an elite fighter, marine, or mercenary. You play the person you would most likely be if war broke out right now. A group of civilians, scared to death and trying to survive. The question the game forces its players to answer is “what would you do to survive?”
TWoM, Opens up so far from he traditional war time “Oorah” in the back of a truck as you jump out to completely destroy a tutorial its humorous. TWoM has you start in the middle of a desolate storm devoid of hope, including the comfort of a tutorial. You take the role of a Sims like god over three people’s dismal lives. As the game progresses you try and survive…
The game its self is great, but far better then the gameplay is how people respond to it. The steam store
In our current gaming landscape the norm is games that not only require violence, its the objective! Trading virtual lives for points seems to be a standard exchange in modern video games. “This War of Mine” treads a different path, instead of killing being the goal, its survival. Every life you take is a moral dilemma. It accomplishes this by making the NPCs relatable. Sure you jokingly felt bad for the guy cleaning up all the broken pots in zelda, but you never really realized what he was going through.
In television we have become obsessed with the flawed protagonist. Producers, directors, and writers have responded by giving us more and more flawed characters to the point of heros we hate. Similar to Walter White (Breaking Bad), Jax Teller (Sons of Anarchy), or Dexter Morgan (Dexter) we find our selfs torn at what should be key moments of internal conflict. As a fan there is a emotional release as the main characters life gets easier through the death of an innocent. Directly following this moment moment of emotional release the viewer feels a moral conflict. As these conflicts start piling up you start rooting against the protagonist. Up until this point very few games have tapped into this emotional/moral struggle.
As players jump into games they associate very hard with the character they are controlling. As someone walks by you playing a game and asks what is going on, players will frequently describe the situation with first and second person pronouns. “I am….” or “the goal is to get yourself…”, This is unique to the video game experience. As you play through This War of Mine you will frequently find yourself making decisions you are NOT happy with, and asking the question “what would you do to survive?”