Destiny’s Sword is a sci-fi adventure where players command a squad of futuristic peace-keeping troops. But it’s not just about battlefield performance. It’s also about paying attention to the squad’s mental health. The player assumes the role of commander of a squad of soldiers, but if you don’t tend to your team’s psychological state and watch their non-verbal cues, the group’s performance is affected. You have to be observant: Is someone on your team suffering from PTSD? Anxiety? Are they drinking? Do they have bags under their eyes, indicating they are tired? Are they having nightmares and getting into fights? The developers wanted players to gain empathy for their squad members as they were shepherded through their recovery process, missions, and duty assignments.
“We don’t want players to experience what it’s like to be a soldier on the battlefield. Nobody wants to experience that because it’s hell,” Hall says. “Instead, we show you what the character is dealing with, in the aftermath, in trying to cope with their experiences.”
If video games are rife with violence, empathy may be the antidote, research shows. Adolescents are far less likely to imitate video game violence when the consequences of the behavior are shown, said Sarah Coyne, a video game researcher at Brigham University in Provo, Utah.
“Including the emotional trauma is a great way to make the games more realistic and to decrease harm to players,” she says.
But Hall didn’t just want to address the consequences of war. He wanted to deal with the nefarious side of game development: the mechanics inside of games that encourage compulsiveness in players—like if you log off or stay away from the game for too long your crops will die because you haven’t watered them or your enemy will overpower you.
“You can clearly tell those games because they’ll sell you a shield for money that will allow you to sleep well at night,” Hall explains.
His game, by contrast, stops benefiting users if they play too long.
While some big game developers and publishers have psychologists on staff who design games with the kind of loops that encourage compulsive behavior, 2DogsGames has a physiologist on staff to make sure their game doesn’t. The company also brought in Ramin Shokrizade, a game economy expert and an outspoken advocate for ethical game design and monetization. Shokrizade worked on World of Warships and World of Tanks: Blitz, for instance, and neither contained such mechanisms when he helped create them—though he says those kinds of gimmicks were inserted after he left Wargaming, the company that developed the games.
“Destiny’s Sword doesn’t contain any consumer-hostile mechanisms, like gambling, gacha, fun pain, threat generation, and unfair time requirements,” Shokrizade says.
Destiny’s Sword wouldn’t be the first game to incorporate a character’s mental health. Many of the video games based on the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, such as the Darkest Dungeon games, involve psychological themes. And in the game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, mental health is core to the narrative and the gameplay. But in Destiny’s Sword, the developers treated the human soldiers in the game like actual people, taking combat mental health experts’ advice on how to model the characters so that they seemed realistic, Shokrizade explains.
U.S. government should pay $14 trillion in reparations to Black Americans, say authors William Darity and Kirsten Mullen
Bank of America reveals its top stocks ahead of earnings, including a favorite solar name
Why Americans Love Coffee So Much
2nd Bundesliga: Brünker father still missing: Kai thanks FCM fans
Inside the Shocking Aftermath of Sherri Papini's Kidnapping Hoax
Brady: Premier League is UK’s best asset but must remain elite to keep success
John Halliday joins Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Hamra Beach as director of operations
How to Deal If Food and Body Shaming Flow Freely in Your Family’s Culture
What to Know About Moderna’s RSV Vaccine for Adults, According to Experts
Wired Headphones Are Back, Baby! Here Are 7 Excellent Pairs to Buy Now
Why ‘Velma’ Is the Internet’s New Punching Bag
‘General Hospital’: Carly Needs to Face the Consequences
Trump kicks off 2024 bid with events in NH, SC
14 Great Deals on TVs, Wireless Earbuds, and Soundbars
‘The Persian Version’ Movie Review [Sundance 2023]: A Heart-Felt Mother-Daughter Story Through Time
Travel24 hours ago
Boom Supersonic Begins Construction on Overture Superfactory
News9 hours ago
Driver in California Tesla crash jailed for attempted murder
Tech23 hours ago
PagerDuty CEO Quotes Martin Luther King Jr. in Layoff Email
Lifestyle23 hours ago
Winnie Cheung’s Haunting Tale About Women Artists ‘Residency’ Debuts Trailer Ahead of Rotterdam Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)
Finance17 hours ago
Amazon to Enter the Crypto NFT Market with Gaming Initiative – Here’s What You Need to Know
News11 hours ago
Tesla just had its best week since May 2013
Auto22 hours ago
Report: Jay Leno’s Garage TV Series Cancelled
News9 hours ago
Stocks may face an inflection point in the week ahead as the Fed meets and Apple posts earnings