Ken Levine, Creative Director & Co-Founder of Irrational Games, has captivated the masses with Bioshock Infinite and while the game has had some minor critique on removing the “non-combat” parts of the game that were demonstrated in the earlier versions of the game it appears that Ken has an answer to the reason of why this was so.
Ken Levine has said that Violence has been a story device since the dawn of time, he believes that a game cannot really have a good form of story telling without violence.
In his interview with GameSpot, he says: (Courtesy of the Source)
Violence, for better or for worse, is…going back to the dawn of narrative, is a part of the story teller’s toolkit. I think the other point is they call them first-person shooters; F-P-S. There’s the F-P, the first-person aspect of being, inhabiting a character’s role,” he added. And then there’s the S part, which is the shooter part. And I’m not sure that they’re necessarily one in the same.
While I completely agree with his point of view, I disagree that violence is a story device. Games like Journey, The Unfinished Swan & Flower are only a few of many good examples where the game is able to weave a mysterious and captivating story without firing a single bullet or having scripted explosion sequences but still leave the players with an everlasting impression.
For the most part, Ken Levine does make some pretty valid arguments, that most of the games in today’s era won’t be able to capture the audience’s attention without the addition of violence; this is especially true for FPS games among other genres.