Nonviolent games took up twice as much space at E3 of the year (and surrounding events) as in 2019. According to a recent report from GamesIndustry.biz, which found that 33% of the games shown over the past week and some were not violent, compared to 17% in 2019.
GamesIndustry's analysis defined "violence" in a particular way, focusing on the player's interpersonal aggression. For the purposes of his analysis, murder is violent (naturally), but he is not necessarily tasked with solving an invisible murder. Cartoon violence, like dismantling enemies in Lego Star Wars, counts as violence, as well as slightly more abstract forms like in strategy games. They looked at violence like a player action, in other words, rather than as a subject.
The large increase in nonviolent gaming is largely due to the presence of Wholesome Direct, which was first released in 2020, when E3 did not take place. "Healthy games," as a community, do not necessarily rule out violence by its own definition, which its conservatives have had to publicly clarify a few times, but it tends to. It also included more than 70 games.
In a Reddit AMA shortly before its first event last year, Wholesome Direct included exceptions defining rules that include "healthy games are less violent when they can be (but Costume Quest is still healthy)." It turns out: 83% of Wholesome Direct games were rated nonviolent by GamesIndustry.
It was not the case that independent showcases were generally less violent. With 20% of 35 games, Guerrilla Collective’s second broadcast had a similar to non-violent violence ratio similar to that of Xbox and Bethesda Showcase (13% of 31 games).
GamesIndustry says its data collection is not an attempt to "discredit" violence, but to "offer a look at what part of the industry's production is based on selling the same fundamental mechanic: the ability to fight and kill ".
Since at least some of the games on display are “healthy” violence, I’m curious about how the numbers are broken down in terms of themes and not just what the player can do.