Conscientious objector: pacifism, politics and abusing the player in Doom 3

Dan Pinchbeck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Conscientious Objector started life as a simple question: is it possible to build an FPS that removes the ability of the player to actually kill anything whilst retaining the fundamental playability of the game? FPS games are defined by both the miminal representation of an avatar, and by the essential act of lining up objects with the centre of the screen and delivering an input. This function generally removes the object from the environment. Play thus becomes a process of simplifying the environment until it reaches a critical point, triggering progression. Put more simply, when there is nothing left to kill and no buttons left to press, it's time to move on. All FPS games work to this basic template, whether agents are released en masse in an arcade style, such as Painkiller [10], or there are attempts to model a more `realistic' set of agent-environment relations, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. [12]. We wanted to attempt to break this normal template and produce an environment that becomes progressively more complex as play progresses. The most obvious way of doing this has the equally interesting side-e�ect of breaking the other fundamental rule of FPS play, which is killing anything that moves. Stopping the player from acheiving this thus does two things at once: subverts the normal politics of the genre on one hand and establishes a radical new ludic structure on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEntertainment Computing: ICEC 2008 : 7th international conference, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, September 25-27, 2008, proceedings
EditorsS. Stevens, S. Saldamarco
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783540892212
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameLecture notes in computer science


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