Pacifism in Video Games

A few weekends ago I was playing Fortnite while a friend of mine was visiting (the wonderful Harvey Z who frequently guest stars in my YouTube videos). He’d never played Fortnite before and after playing it myself for a bit I let him take the reins on my PS4 because Fortnite is very casual play friendly – there’s no ranking and no stats to skew, so turning my controller over to a completely new player was not going to be detrimental to me in the slightest (another point for the accessibility of the game).

His strategy was very specific – he tried to stay out of combat as much as possible. When he discovered that there was a bush item you could use to become even more stealthy, he was all about the Bush Victory. In one run, Harvey made it all the way to 3rd place in a solo royale without killing anybody. He stuck to his pacifist gameplay pretty regularly (partly because he didn’t trust himself to be good at the combat with a PS4 controller, but also because he was determined to get a pacifist victory) and usually was able to get fairly far into the tournament by simply avoiding the high encounter areas.

I myself got my first Victory Royale in Fortnite last week with the introduction of the Thanos solo mode. I succeeded in finishing Harvey’s strategy – when it was just me (as a bush) and Thanos left, I was able to hide and outwit Thanos and he ended up killing himself. I was awarded a victory without having killed a single person the entire match. It was pretty awesome – but it is also not what people want to see in Fortnite. They want to watch big plays and showmanship – like rocket rides into 360 sniper no scope headshots. Pacifists are the “boring” players – despite the fact that my Victory Royale counts the same as one who racks up 10 kills in a match.

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