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Video Game Social Interaction: Games need a “Jiggle Button”

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Certain video games do a marvelous job of reflecting reality when dealing with people’s reactions and affects in social interactions. In some video games your outward appearance affects how people react to your presence. Take Fable: the bigger bastard you are, the more your characters appearance will reflect you blackened soul, while inversely the kinder and more upstanding you were, the more handsome and welcomed you were thought of by the people.

In some video games your actions determine how others react to you. I could hardly go anywhere in Cyrodiil without people yelling about the “Hero of Kvatch” or how I was the new “Arena Champion”. This is in fact progressing into a more realistic scenario in coming games like Fable III. Recently Joystiq touched on Fable III’s “touch mechanic” by stating in their article X10: Fable 3 impressions (spoiler: we’re not pissed off):

“The second demonstration of the touch mechanic. The character walked up to a beggar and took him by the hand. The beggar, thinking he was being taken home for dinner, began to exclaim his gratitude. Only the demonstrator was going to be naughty — he led the beggar to a workhouse, where he intended to sell him. As they got closer to the factory, the beggar become more and more afraid, eventually pulling against the character’s arm in an attempt to escape. It was pretty horrifying.”

This touch mechanic represents a more in depth and user oriented experience in video games. Soon characters like Link will not longer be able to wander into people’s homes and raid their chests for money without feeling the repercussions cascade through the people in a ripple effect of justice. Pushing tombstones aside and taking the entombed treasure will brand you a depraved grave robber. Hoisting chickens above your head and jumping from high places in order to gently glide down to earth will label you as a ne’er-do-well who frequently engages in unusual forms of animal abuse. Come to think of it….what the hell is up with the Zelda games and their morals? (I’m not complaining, I’m just confused by it.)

The one aspect video games lack is a distinct…feminine touch. It’s no big secret that women have a strange powerVideo Game Boobs: DOAover men. That power is typically located around the same area on all of them. To get any guy to succumb to their wile requires little (if any) effort. I have always been somewhat let down that when selecting a female character that my interactions with my male NPCs didn’t go more smoothly than when I selected a male character. Boobs are pretty much the greatest weapon a woman has when asking for information/favors/help/anything at all.

Video games have never really taken this into account. With one little button a female character should be able to easily get what they want. I refer of course to the “Jiggle Button”. It would be the ultimate game changer. NPC won’t give up the key to the locked door in the back of the room? [Jiggle Button] PRESTO! Security Guard won’t divulge information as to the objective’s whereabouts? [Jiggle Button] “Pleeeaaaaassseeee?” SUCCESS!! Can’t win the fight against the horde of male enemies? [Jiggle Button] for distraction and VIOLA!!

The downside is eventually video games run the risk of deteriorating into:

Personally, I’m a pretty big fan of the last guy in a robe with a bottle of wine. Nice!