Sure. I don’t mind realism, and it’d be interesting.
Not sure how I’d feel about that.
If it’s not too explicit. Then maybe?
Alternatively, How would you feel about the option to abuse an RO?
Sure, I wouldn’t necessarily pick that option though.
Okay, it’d be something new for a change, why not?
On the fence with this one.
Abuse has several categories such as physically, mentally, emotionally. But what if you happened to be roped into an abusive relationship with a relatively sweet character with a dark side? Or what if a character who initially gave bad vibes, but you’ve come to understand and give a chance prove all the rumors about them to be true? Would it add more realism and dynamics in the romance aspect of these games… Or does it seem rather distasteful?
And if you had an option to abuse an RO yourself which had consequences behind it. Would you do that?
Or tbh, do you prefer it to stick to the formula we’re familiar with an stray away from the depressing realties of the real world?
Personally I feel like this may end up upsetting some people since they experienced it or was close to someone that did experience it. I’m okay with having realism in the story and I’ve seen worse being impiled in a Hosted Game story, like rape and cannibalism in Samurai of Hyuga.
I suppose we’ll have to see more reactions to this first though.
Im not sure I want authors to risk portraying abuse
improperly. Much less to have that as a player option.
It runs the risks of welcoming abusers/abusive behavior if not written with the appropriate amount of nuance and understanding of the issue. Not just as an easy shock factor. Its a theme that when mishandled will come off as rather tasteless I feel.
Edit: I would prefer the author consult with the forum continuously for feedback when deciding include such an option. But yes, it might take a bit of work and effort.
I think it’d be pretty interesting if done right. Like maybe a COG where you’re with an abusive partner, but you start off loving them, and they can be really loving to you at times? As for the option to be abusive, well I would never pick an option like that, and would have a negative view of anyone who would…hmm… I don’t want to say definitely no, but what would be the point? What would it achieve? Considering only people who are nasty would pick it(assuming you show the damage it inflicts and what not) I don’t see it being worth it just for the few that’d pick it.
I guess it depends on how far you want choice games and video game romance to go as concepts, really. Right now they’re designed more towards wish fulfillment and it seems like most people are fine with that. I’d be at least curious if someone tried something like that
Essentially, I have to ask what the purpose would be for an abusive partner to be an RO? Further, how would the MC be allowed agency in this romance (if it can be called that)?
If the main goal or arc for the RO is to stop being abusive, then…that can work, I believe. It’d be a tightrope, that’s for sure, and you would have to make sure that you’re not propagating any narrative where it’s up to the abused party to change their abuser. The change has to come within for it to not only not be offensive, but to be believable.
And again, what agency will the MC have in being with an abusive RO? Would we have the option of leaving them at the first sign of abuse? This hypothetical writer would also have to be careful about not leaving the reader feeling hoodwinked. Even though that is…entirely true to life, the writer must be aware of the level of separation between what the MC is experiencing and what the reader is experiencing (for some, not all readers) that might just result in angry players rather than a compelling story.
The reason I’m not saying no outright is because there can be strength in telling a story about surviving abuse, but a writer would have to be very, very careful about the portrayal and about what should be included and what should be alluded to.
Now, onto the topic about having abusive options as an MC…that’s a bit of a slippery slope that I can only say that this hypothetical writer will have to write with as much delicacy and tact as I suggested above.
For example, @Samuel_H_Young is writing a game where you play a mass murderer (a sociopath, I believe) and there are going to be romance options. It’s going to be difficult (if not impossible) to portray anything that we would remotely consider a romance, and considering that the MC is pretty much just going to use the ROs, that can be classified as abusive. However, he’s making damn sure to show that the MC is in no way a healthy person, that their relationships are in no way healthy, and essentially condemning the MC’s actions.
If the abusive options actually relate to the type of character and story the writer plans on telling and aren’t just there…for ‘flavor’ (which would be incredibly insulting), and especially if the abuse isn’t glamorized in any way, then I don’t see a reason not to include them, but for any hypothetical writer reading this, be very, very, v e r y careful and please, please listen and deeply consider any feedback.
I choose other , because a flat ‘eww hell no’ option isn’t up there .
I for one , abuse romance or abuse in general…trigger me badly . So I wouldn’t go near that .
for the 2nd choice , I choose No .
I don’t care for ‘abusing’ nor do I care be them in a story .
Simply because , for me…if there is abuse , there is no romance . Period .
if there is abuse , physical , mental ,emotional…it’s rarely love . it’s usually messed up , control freak , abusive , jealousy …etc .
it’s insulting actually . cose , I’ve seen some peoples (not here , but outta there) that don’t seem to make a difference between ‘abuse’ and ‘role playing’ . role playing is two peoples consenting to such a thing , say like bdsm . Abuse , is one person dominating the others to some extent…to the death .
so I find it rather insulting when some peoples , make abuse as this hot sexy behavior . it’s not . it’s like trivialising pain and misery and hell some peoples go trough , cose this X person is romanticizing ABUSE .
And some peoples go to the opposite side , they justify abuse and enable it . ‘Oh this poor person just need some love !’ Hello…they killed someone out of jealousy ! no regard to the victim at all .
I play choiceofgames because , beside the fact I can play as a female and a lesbian . I get happy ending in most of them . Many lesbian movies are about ‘lesbian don’t get happy ending and one must die’ . Thats why I stopped watching movies !
So yeah , give me rainbow and unicorns . Reality suck enough as it is .
I think this is a great topic for discussion, and an even greater example of something that’s “much more attractive in fiction than in reality”. I think everyone agrees that abusive relationships are terrible, and that we’re strictly talking about abuse in the realm of fiction–which happens to be an entirely different ball game.
This website provides a good list of traits for abusers. Here are a few:
Keeps track of what you are doing all the time and criticizes you for little things.
Constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school.
Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Controls all the money you spend.
Humiliates you in front of others.
Destroys your property or things that you care about.
Threatens to hurt you or the children or pets, or does cause hurt (by hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting).
Uses or threatens to use a weapon against you.
Forces you to have sex against your will.
Blames you for his/her violent outbursts.
To live with someone like this is absolutely hellish, but in fiction it’s an entirely different story. Short of hurting children or pets, tons of readers will find the traits listed above as non-negative. In fact, many of them will find it as attractive. Fifty Shades of Grey is an extreme example, but it didn’t sell over 60 million copies by accident.
As for abusing a romantic interest, what about if the interest wants you to be abusive towards them? This is a different dynamic that occurs in real life more than many think, and yet I don’t think it has ever been explored in any CoG/HG.
The topic of real life abuse is well-worthy of being sensitive over. But in the fictional realm (be it from videogames, books or kinky roleplaying), it fundamentally changes. In Samurai of Hyuga, Junko/Jun is an abusive ex-lover of the main character. Of all the romantic interests, in the first three books they have gotten the least amount of screentime and next to no characterization aside from being possessive and crazy. But even so, Junko/Jun has a HUGE fanbase. That’s how attractive fictional abuse is.
Idk, I find the fact of every RO’s relationship to be perfect and not strained at some points a bit predictable. Characters have their own issues yes, but issues with each other are rarely portrayed, and I think it’d shed light on how people do get caught up in abusive relationships. And that person isn’t inherently abusive on the outside, but when you get to know them on an intimate level. Things change.
An abusive RO whether they’re doing it intentionally or not, would be interesting as it would make the player reconsider the relationship, try to salvage it, or maybe even seek help or not afraid they’ll just make matters worse. The realism aspect and the situation it puts the player in is kind of interesting, and that there are a lot of things that stand in the way development wise.
The relationship might even take a toll on the MC which would be challenging in a gameplay perspective.
It really would depend on the choices made. Will the player sit there and take it hoping things will get better, Will they try to reconcile or just get out of it? I can definitely see some trying to talk sense into their RO and maybe getting through to them. Or others just not having the same luck and giving up in general making them think about the character in a different light. And ultimately be more wary as it would add deeper elements to the story RO’s don’t tend to do besides being additional content.
As for the MC being abusive, I was thinking EXACTLY of mass mother murderer. For players who want to go a pure evil route and make decisions based on that, or becoming an anti-hero in the process.
In the end, it is a sensitive topic. And I can understand how it will upset some people, and that I didn’t mean to offend any of you above and just like to see everyone’s different opinions ^^
You can write romance differently , with some sucky moments right from real life , without going into rape and abuse stuff though .
I get that , in some stories , the romance click fast and there is no pressure or anything . Then again , often the MC is struggling with the world around them . So the romance is like a salvation where they go and take a breath from the mess outside .
I personally , like to write my character almost perfect then bring them down in a glorious fall . Then they pick themself up again . Make them seem more human .
Absolutely, but uh…there are easier, less upsetting ways of portraying a realistic relationship than jumping straight into abuse, you know?
Again, I don’t have anything against that, I would only ask why, specifically, is it abuse that needs to be thrown into the mix and not say, financial strain that causes issues to flare up in a couple?
If you really wanna get dramatic, the risk of infidelity is also an option which, while also abhorrent can also be a matter of misunderstanding (think the Incredibles) that can lead to reconciliation in a way that isn’t as…squicky as getting back together with an abusive RO after they’ve changed.
Hell, you could just have a story about a couple who’s straight up divorcing and the MC can be trying to make it work. It could be plenty dramatic and very different from anything we’ve ever seen in a Hosted Game, but it also doesn’t necessitate abuse in any way.
I’m just trying to say that abuse, if that is the option you or any writer wants to go with, has to be very carefully considered. Is it really necessary for the RO to hit the MC during a fight or just raise their voice in a way they’ve never done before? Does the RO have to limit who the MC has contact with, or can they just be jealous in a way that isn’t abusive because it could be a symptom to a larger relationship problem?
There’s a lot of ways of portraying a dramatic change in a relationship that doesn’t necessitate abuse.
Unless that is precisely the story that you or any other writer feels needs to be written.
As I said, there is strength is reading about surviving an abusive situation, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for wanting to write it, but I would remind whoever would want to write it to be very considerate and to truly ruminate on the feedback they receive on the abusive relationship.
This is what I mean about not propagating a narrative where it’s up to the abused to change the abuser.
What many people might find offensive is the idea that you only need a high enough charm stat to convince someone to stop abusing, even if that’s not what you meant, that is absolutely a way it can be taken and a way that the story can be criticized.
Yes, this is a business about making games, but making a game out of this subject is what’s dangerous.
If it is a story that you or someone else feels compelled in writing, then by all means, but do not forget that while it may be a game, in real life it is not, and that is the tightrope that any writer would have to walk if they decided to implement abuse in a video game.
I suppose it depends of what you mean by “abuse”. For instance, I have no problem with a RO being an asshole to the MC, as long as the MC can retaliate in kind. In fact, this kind of masochistic tango can have some appeal… in fiction, that is.
But then again, that establishes some form of equality between the two sides, and abusive relationships are, in essence, unequal.
I would also like to point out that in A Study in Steampunk, there are some questionable choices (for both the MC and at least one other RO) that lead to a strain or outright end of the relationship depending on the player choice, but neither of them are black-and-white abuse.
Spoilers, for a five year old game but you should all totally play it it’s great it’s my favorite
Finch, the male RO, (sort of) fakes his death—it wasn’t premeditated and it was a bit of a spur of the moment thing that involved spywork and infiltrating the rival empire for information—without the MC’s knowledge or consent. This can be interpreted a number of ways, and the MC is given full agency over how to proceed with the relationship.
In another case, the MC is presented with the choice of letting their wife, Grace, die or killing an innocent man to save her. This can also be interpreted a number of ways, and Grace will leave the MC for having done this. Even she, an NPC, is given agency in this.
Yet neither of those examples are outright abusive. Questionable? Absolutely. But they provide tons of relationship and dramatic tension without outright straying into abusive territory.
All I’m trying to express is that there’s a lot of ways of shaking things up from ‘always happy stable relationships’ that don’t entail abuse.