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David Braben: most game interaction involves killing (unfortunately)


Though political alarmists and misguided cultural crusaders will savor the admission, it's true that killing is something that takes up much of our pastimes. It's a shockingly simple act, easily repeatable and often very rewarding. There's certainly a modicum of skill required -- the right hack here, the well-timed slash there -- but even we've become a little desensitized and unmoved by our daily murder of random human beings.

And the same holds true for what's happening in games. In a recent discussion with Eurogamer, Frontier's David Braben observed, "In games, most interaction involves killing, unfortunately." The Elite designer noted that while killing felt realistic "for better or worse," interactions with characters, be they NPCs or online pals, fail to be fulfilling. "It's either stealing stuff from them, killing them and then stealing stuff, or having a bit of voice chat, if you're lucky," he said.

While we'd argue that that plenty of gamers have been killing time with non-violent titles (think Flower or Rock Band), it's hard to dispute Braben's point in the context of player-character interaction -- or to overrule his optimism. "Where it gets interesting is when you can't distinguish AI from a real character, and I know that's still a long way away, but we were saying 10 years ago, when will you not be able to distinguish computer graphics from the real world?"

That's something we'll have to ask Milo!

[Image: The Onion's Close Range]

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