Games can come in many different ways. All have unique properties that make each one unique and interesting in its own way. This can come down to the aesthetics of a game, the rules of how you play the game and even the emotional response that the player gains back from the experience. Some games like “This War of Mine” takes a direct approach to being a serious game with many moral decisions on how to survive the war.Now I’d been playing this game for the last couple of weeks
Now I’d been playing this game for the last couple of weeks before coming back after the easter break so I’ve had a recent experience with this game and I know how this game can persuade the player to do certain things you wouldn’t do or you’d have to do if this sort of event happened in real life. I played multiple playthroughs with different characters learning different outcomes of certain moral decisions of which I was forced into by the rules of the game.
The game has one simple rule that you must follow throughout the game. “Survive”. It’s your only goal and you must do so for 42 days before the war ends. Now many obstacles and morals decisions get through at you for the next few weeks. Some of which are hard to decide, others not so much. An example of this was when two kids came to my shelter looking for medicine. They needed it for their sick mother who was very ill. The decision here was, give them the medicine or not but this was hard because medicine is a valuable resource. You can use it to heal your people or sell it for other materials and goods. On one side, I wanted to help them as it would boost moral, but I also needed to more materials so I wanted to sell the medicine. It was a tough decision but I gave the kids the medicine. It couldn’t have bitten me in the back later in the game, but the increase to moral would be beneficial and I just couldn’t leave their mother to die.
This game places you in those tough moral decisions of which you don’t know what to do and it’s those decisions that make the game unique and serious. It would then be hard to state if this game was seen as fun or not. I mean, I had an enjoyable time playing the game and trying to survive, but there were moments where I felt bad for the person I was and the decisions I made. It made me question myself, and persuade me to think more about the decisions I make in reality towards people.
The game even tried to miniplate me into doing things that I normally wouldn’t want to do. This includes theft and betrayal. I once had to steal food and supplies from a nearby house that was occupied by an elderly couple and their son. The elderly couple were not a threat, however, their son was. He was dangerous and a threat, so I killed him. Stabbed him in the back as he walked past a door my player was hiding behind. He did nothing wrong to me and I still killed him. My moral as low after that and made me start to question my decisions and choice on how I was surviving this war. Another scenario, was when I helped a local resident gather an air drop one night. These supplies were intended for the resistance but we managed to take them as we needed them as well. I got some food and water from it so it was a good run. However, a few days later some resistance members offered me more supplies if I could tell them who stole the air drop. I needed more supplies and their offer was too damn impressive. I sold the resident out, gaining more supplies for my people to survive. But, my people felt bad for betraying them and they were most likely going to die. The game manipulated me with supplies to do something I didn’t want to do. I wish I hadn’t but we need to do what we do to survive and I did. But those scars would remain with me and my people forever.