Hey, David Cage! Here’s 10 “Grown Up” Games Without A Gun

Mirage

David Cage is a man with a lot to criticize about the industry he works in. During his talk at DICE, he laid out what I’m going to refer to has Cage’s Commandments because that’s the catchiest thing to label them. Altogether there are nine of these ideas that he has come up with to ensure that games and the industry that provides them ‘grows up’. Well, Mr. Cage, we have some things to say about that. Of course, you’re mostly referring to the AAA side of the games industry, no doubt, but we like to think that independent games are JUST as important as those with a corporate aside.

Here’s Cage’s Commandments:

  • Make games for all: “How do we make content that will talk to your mother or grandmother? How do we make them play? Can we make content, interactive experiences, for an adult?”
  • Change our paradigms: “We cannot hope to keep doing the same things the same way and expand our market overnight.” “We need to decide that violence and platforms are not the only way. Now, if the character doesn’t hold a gun, designers don’t even know what to do.”
  • The importance of meaning: Cage said that many games “have absolutely nothing to say” and should tackle real-world themes and problems inherent in society.
  • Become accessible: “How fast they move their thumbs… who cares? Let’s focus on what the player feels, not how they do it.”
  • Bring other talent on board: He’s been working with Ellen Page and David Bowie so Cage wants to see more of these types of relationships.
  • Relationships with Hollywood: “We still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but we should respect each other. I think the time has come for a really balanced, more respectful partnership, and together we can build a new form of entertainment.”
  • Changing our relationship with censorship: Cage said the industry should stop being so self-censored by applying whatever is going to sell to game design and that we should stop acting “like stupid teenagers ourselves…We should show that we’re not a bunch of teenagers, that we’re responsible and that we respect our mediums.”
  • The role of press: Cage doesn’t like review scores and wants to see press help change the way games are approached and discussed
  • The importance of gamers: “I think that buying or not buying a game is almost like a political vote. You decide if you want the industry to go in this direction. Buy crap, and you will get more crap. Buy exciting, ambitious, risky games, and you will get more of them. So buying a game is also a responsibility. So if you buy games, you vote where you want the industry to go.”

Of all of those Commandments, the only one that seems a little ridiculous if you’re looking for more grown-up games is the encouraging of relationships with Hollywood. So let’s just scrap that one for now. The others are reasonable, to a point, providing you don’t take it that Cage is saying EVERY game should try to stick to this. Developers trying to be mature or grown up in their games, on the other hand, could take some notes, probably.

There is something else he said that is slightly perturbing as well, though. And it’s mostly because it’s being applied to AAA game development practices. Basically, Cage described how a US publisher reacted when he proposed Indigo Prophecy to them. He said that the protagonist didn’t use weapons, and the publisher said, “Oh, he drives cars?” Then, when Cage said that they don’t jump
between platforms, they apparently came out with, “Then it’s not a game!” This led Cage to say the following during DICE:

“Can we make games without a gun? That’s a challenge for the entire industry.”

For EVERYONE you say?! Including indie game developers? But don’t you realize that indie games have been doing this increasingly every year – mature games that contain no guns. In fact, they’re brilliant at it and you should probably be taking notes yourself Mr. Cage. Allow me to help you out by pointing to some “games without a gun”. Actually, let’s go one step further and find games without jumping between platforms, driving, guns or even any form of shooting that were released in the last year or two. Oh, and we’ll ensure they’re ones that have sold pretty well or caught good press while we’re at it. How about that?! You think it’s not possible?

Well, how about I’ve got a list of said games below to get you started? And the great thing is that I had loads to pick from. Take it all in…

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Dear Esther

Dear Esther

Home

Home

Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon

Cinders

Cinders

Dys4ia

Dys4ia

The Sea Will Claim Everything

The Sea Will Claim Everything

To The Moon

To The Moon

Proteus

Proteus

Kairo

Kairo


And here’s some upcoming ones that fit the same criteria:

Mirage

Ether One

The Stanley Parable HD Remix

The Witness

The Witness

Gone Home


And I’d like to add a game WITH a gun that shows there’s much more that could be done with guns in games should they be designed with that in mind.

Receiver

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  • Andrew

    Wow, those looks like some incredibly interesting games! It’s amazing how some developers try to ‘break the mold’ and actually produce good games.

  • Tanner

    I don’t know about every one else but I really really like receiver.