Violence, I’ve found, is intrinsic to human nature. From slapping the face of someone who has offended you to using hitherto unused experimental weapons on civilian populations, there’s nothing that comes more naturally. I wouldn’t say that violence is the single consistent theme of all videogames. In the moments where I don’t watch what I say, however, I would say it is the single consistent theme of all good games. It would certainly seem that way at least for the greater majority of the games that I enjoy. There are definitely games that have left a mark on me without having done so with a truncheon, using subjects that were as entertaining as they were tame. It’s just that as I look across my collection, these games are few and far between.
Whether that’s because it’s difficult to make a good game without violence, or because people just don’t usually try, remains to be seen. As Nick and I discuss, Batman would get a little weird under these circumstances and Batman would likely become a Bat Man. This is to say nothing of the now Bat Man villains, which is to say that Nick and I didn’t say anything about it in the video – allow me to do so here. Mister Freeze is now Mister Fucks-With-The-Air-Conditioning-All-The-Time-Like-Seriously-Man-Stop-It. The Riddler now sends puzzles that aren’t about crimes he’s about to commit, but are just uniquely difficult – almost impossible to solve. He sits smugly while Bat Man scratches his hideous mask in confusion, perhaps calling the Bat Man mid-solving to gloat.
The Joker would become some demented, over-bearing father figure, creeping people out with his exceptional niceness. Overly familiar nick-names, friendly (though unwanted) pats, and just when you feel like you need to escape, the dad jokes come out. An endless, lousy arsenal of the worst dad jokes you’ve ever heard and every last one of them about the Bat Man. Have you heard the one about the Batmobile also being a Bat Mobile? Because you will. Every day for the rest of your teenage years. Basically, we should keep the click-bang-shoot-kill we’ve all come to know and love about videogames alive for as long as humanly possible. The alternative is off-beat, to say the least.