Viranga Ratnaike
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The following is what started as a comment on a article polling preferences for zombies or aliens. I moved it to the musings forum as I decided that I didn't want to hijack that thread.

--------------

If you were role playing a friendly zombie or alien that would be nice. It's a lovely idea having your adventure be non-violent. I imagine that finding ones way around could be quite daunting for someone journeying from the lands of the dead, across the sea, or the gulf of space - daunting even without the standard serial killer 'hero' who has irrational fears that manifest as senseless violence.

That said if you did want to add an element of menace you could follow the advice of some of the other responders. Settlers can be quite terrifying to people otherwise living in peace. An empire sending in armies and navies to keep a drug trade going could be a theme that fuels a constant struggle mechanic. You could even role play an animal trying to evade trappers.

Spirit Island seems an interesting if somewhat (conflict) heavy game that considers a different point of view to the usual fare. I was quite keen on it until I found that it was a heavy game with lots of conflict.

(Admission of inconsistency) If you look at my collection you will notice that several of my games have players that take the role of settlers or combatants. There's a certain inconsistency in the kinds of games and themes that I like. I often choose the assassin in Citadels.

It's just that I'd love to find a game that that is inherently peaceful or that considers a viewpoint slightly outside the standard fare. One of my current rules for purchasing new games is that they must be non-combat games. I'd particularly like games with themes that do not imply violence.
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TTDG
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So, competition is okay as long as it does not imply violence? In which case lots of games are about money or 'victory points'. Some games are even more about the experience (story telling) than who wins.
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kSwingrÜber
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I know just the game you should try: Candy Land

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Alexandre Santos
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I suggest playing Concordia.

I do think there are many peaceful board games.
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Matt Lee
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The problem is how the inherent conflict in a thematic game is presented and how it is handled. You could almost make an argument that any game could be considered violent if you stretch the activity enough, but if we go exclusively with how a game is presented, Arkadia and Through the Desert come to mind where players are trying to cover territory and build up their points with conflict between resources, but not removing other players' resources. TTD features no removal at all of anything but scoring chits while Arkadia does have covering up pieces that other players have placed in the past.
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Josef Estabrooks
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Takenoko?
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Calling it now, this is a joke post.

First, let's look at the silly examples.
A non-violent zombie game, I mean, have you ever seen a zombie movie?
A non-violent alien game would be hard to do without implied violence.
ET and Alf were very kid friendly, but what do you think the Feds would have done if they had caught them?

Not to mention that all the example games have implied violence in them, it's not like the trappers are playing tag with the animals they are trying to catch.

Finally, there are entire bloated genres of games without violence in them; games about farming, trading in the Mediterranean, and railroads are practically as prolific as games about zombies and Cthulhu.



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Adam P
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I agree that many themed games with miniatures do feature violence as a central component. (And I'm pointing out now that we're not really discussing the traditional euros here.)

I can't think of any farming/adventuring/sim/route building that use minis and slightlydeeply thematic. Maybe Tobago? Maybe Caverna: The Cave Farmers using minis?

Thought of one...Tokaido Collector's Edition
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Richard
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Hello,

I agree. Sometimes I find it entertaining to compete and clash! I think, however, games have a wide-open space of themes and views on struggles largely left untapped. I would love to see more designers be creative and reaching and see what else they can come up with instead of simply, "I bash you. I win."

This is untapped in a lot of media forms, too. Most movies devolve their conflict resolution to physical force, largely because it's an easy emotion on which to rely and it's pretty darned visual. The same goes for its ease of use in games. Still, most of our life's struggles and challenges do not revolve around physical force and yet those choices, often times more important than those once the state of violence has been reached, are often skipped over in entertainment.

I think it's a challenge but I'm sure there are lots of creative and entertaining avenues for such struggles without simply turning into a farming simulation.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Forbidden Desert appear (at least to me) to be nonviolent games.

You could also check out the games from publisher Family Pastimes. We have a few of them, and they ones we have are nonviolent.
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Andrew J.
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My favorite games from my collection in this vein: Five Tribes, Escape (curse of the temple), Shadows over Camelot (except for fighting Saxons, which is arguably historical)and the previously mentioned Tokaido.
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Viranga Ratnaike
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Sorry for the lack of response to my own thread. My outside-boardgame tasks are becoming more complicated. These are just some scattered thoughts for now. I'll try to make them more coherent later.

Thank you to everyone who provided a response.

When I saw the other thread (especially the first response) ...

Quote:
Neither, both are kinda overdone. I'd love to see something historical like the Opium Wars or American colonization or something unique that hasn't really been done yet.


... I really wanted to comment. I perhaps unfortunately used a style that one of my friends calls "deliberately obtuse" - not understanding on purpose. I moved my comment to a new thread because I realised that it was unfair to dump my baggage on someone just trying to design a game. The relevance of what follows makes sense to me, but I might need to unpack or explain it better. Apologies in advance.

While the opium wars and American colonization might not have been done in an adventure card game, I was really responding to (my perception of) a common approach to themes. There is often in boardgames a romanticizing of colonization and wars.

There's often also a lack of empathy with the 'other'.

In Pyramids (by Terry Pratchett) the king's ancestors are awakened, and they help him achieve his goal. Earlier (I think) there is a quote (gotten by me now from goodreads):

Quote:
It will certainly show what our ancestors would be thinking if they were alive today. People have often speculated about this. Would they approve of modern society, they ask, would they marvel at present-day achievements? And of course this misses a fundamental point. What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?”


In another book (I'll edit in the title later), Pratchett gets us to empathise with goblins. iirc in interviews, people who knew him well said he was often angry with many tropes in the genre.

Apparently [I will try to find a reference later] governments have labelled certain groups of people as 'savages' to make it easier for their own people to kill the other groups. I think in America 'alien' is used for non-usa-citizen (not that that use is incitement for physical violence).

In Dominion there seems to be a distinction between 'village' and 'native village'. Colony is the the highest level victory card. While I liked Dominion, I was turned off by thematic elements in Seaside and Prosperity (and admittedly also by those expansions overly complicating the game play).

Quote:
I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.

(Blaise Pascal I think, but there is doubt http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/04/28/shorter-letter/)
 
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joetaco wrote:
Calling it now, this is a joke post.
ET and Alf were very kid friendly, but what do you think the Feds would have done if they had caught them?


We don't have to wonder what happened if the Feds captured ALF. There is a made-for-TV movie about it, that took off where the series ended; the government captures ALF in the series finale. The movie's called Project: ALF.

And, if this thread is really about the search for non-violent combat games, I recommend this one. Please note it's not in my collection.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2044/non-violent-politic...
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This is an old thread, but, at least for roleplaying games (party and Eurogames are typically non-violent), mechanics too-often emphasize combat and thus violence.

Golden Sky Stories is a roleplaying game specifically about friendship and helping others. I suspect the My Little Pony RPG will be similar. For the adults, there's always the Maid RPG and Panty Explosion...

My GSS review: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product_reviews_info.php?&review...



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