Execution

By: Derek Yu

On: May 19th, 2008

Execution

Execution is a short, experimental game from Jesse Venbrux about the consequences of one’s actions. I’ll leave the discourse for the comments (don’t read them if you don’t want to be spoiled).

(Source: Jared, via Puppy Buckets)







  • Derek

    The game doesn’t leave anything in your registry, so no worries.

    Reminds me of how Hideo Kojima once said he wanted to make a game where the disc destroyed itself if you lost.

  • xerus

    What the fuck…

  • basro

    I lost of course!

    I knew that doing that would make me loose, but I couldnt figure out what else I could do :P

    >>Reminds me of how Hideo Kojima once said he wanted to make a game where the disc destroyed itself if you lost.

    Someone should make a MMORPG that does that when you die ;O

  • Indian Gamer

    I won.
    Predictable.

  • Indian Gamer

    Jesse Venbrux is a miserable pile of secrets.

  • trav

    aww, I lost. Now I want to know how to re-start it. Deleting the exe didn’t work, it’s not in my registry, that leaves either something in memory, or something over the internets. Unless he’s cluttering up my file system, but surely he wouldn’t be doing that

  • This is slightly more of a spoiler than some other comments

    Given the current climate in gaming, I think it’s fairly eloquent and commendable to encourage players to exercise their prerogative to quit.

  • trav

    oop found it, yaaay

  • Zeno

    I was honestly just pissed that his shadow doesn’t move with respect to your spotlight.

  • http://www.midgaardstudios.com/ George

    That was a brilliant execution (har!) of a clever idea. I too would like to know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t given in to curiosity and lost.

    Steel Battalion for the Xbox had an eject button, and if you didn’t press it in time, the destruction of your mecha-tank would wipe out your save file.

    There’s a game on YoYo called Lab 14 that similarly rewards judicious quitting, among other “outside the box” puzzle-solving.

  • xerus

    So, the only thing I tried was trying to shoot like the rope or something, but it seems if your crosshair is over any part of his body and you fire, then he dies, which kinda sucks.

  • Hostile

    This game taught me that if I try to free a man who is tied up, hit detection will get the best of me and I will end up killing him(while also finding out that my sniper rifle was an automatic firearm of some kind).

    I have learned a valuable lesson.

  • DoctorAnus

    Courageous.

  • juv3nal

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

  • http://www.sophiehoulden.com GirlFlash

    I won first time!

    but then I’m working on a game trying to trick the player into thinking the only solution to the game is to exit, so I kind of saw it coming, the choice is in playing on or not.

    I do like the mechanic alot, and it says alot that it just doesent occour to alot of people that to try quitting before shooting.

    also I like how it teaches people who tried to give freedom by shooting the ropes, the aim was right, but the method wont work. guns never made anyone free :)

  • shinygerbil

    the guy looks like he has no feet.

    why would you bury the feet?

    NO FEET

  • Derek

    @shinygerbil:

    Because he was drawn by Rob Liefeld LOL.

  • Advenith

    Somebody earlier mentioned an MMORPG where there’s real consequences for loss. Surprisingly, this has been done. Shaiya (one of those supported-through-item-sale games) deletes your character if you die on the highest difficulty. I haven’t really played too much, though. It’s a little too WOW-ish for my tastes.

  • Anarkex

    The man stood in darkness, terrified. He had no idea how long it had been. He likely had been there forever. He saw motion in front of him, but it was probably just a tumbleweed. Tumbleweeds often rolled in from the darkness on his right into the darkness on his left. There was a time when he called out to them, thinking they could be someone coming to save him, but now he hardly noticed them. He remembered a time when he struggled against his restraints, the crude rope that dug into his pale skin, if only to catch a glimpse of the only other certainty in his world: the wall that rose up behind him like a god. Sometimes he could close his eyes and forget about everything, the ropes, the wall, the darkness…even the cold wind that blew constantly over his entire body, chilling him to the bone. But there was nothing else to occupy his mind. No memories, no dreams. Even sleep never would grace his tired body. And so he waited. Waited for the bullet that would finally take him away.

    Even though I lost, and nothing can ever change that…

    He won.

  • Pyabo

    Where’s The Feet?!?

    Sorry, meme from another site.

    Meh. Calling this an “experimental game” is a bit of stretch.

  • difficultman

    I’m not so sure that it was the right thing to let this guy rot in prison on the taxpayer’s dollar while contributing nothing to society for the rest of his life.

  • Shih Tzu

    Hmm.

    Actually, I think this is exactly the wrong approach to

    OK, I just tried it again. That’s actually kind of neat, the consistency aspect. I was going to say that giving the player a choice and then slapping their hand when they do the thing you think is bad is the least persuasive kind of game design. It’s the equivalent of a game that goes, say, “Support national health care? Y/N” and then if you pick Yes it goes “OK, the country dies. Now do you understand why it is a bad idea?” When the designer inserts their own value judgment instead of letting the player explore the consequences of their actions within the defined ruleset of the game, it’s just didacticism, and because the designer controls all, it loses any meaning. It’s the equivalent of a soapbox novel where one character functions as the author’s mouthpiece, while all the other characters helpfully set up straw-man arguments for the mouthpiece to knock down for page after page.

    I like the way the guy stays dead forever. I just think it would be a much, much more interesting game without all the authorial injections telling me whether I won or lost.

  • Erik

    Shih Tzu: I agree

    Now I will try this game on my friends…

  • Bezzy

    I think that you probably ought to be beaten severely for not shooting the guy. That’s what’d happen in a real life firing squad situation.

    Actually, no. In a real firing squad, there’s only 1 bullet and n blanks, and n+1 riflemen, so that you don’t know if it’s your bullet which hit.

    Maybe the beat-up thing would only happen in one of those sandy places.

    I almost agree with Shih Tzu – in an interactive medium, every player ought to be able to express their own opinion without being told up front “no you’re not allowed to kill the hostages: FISSION MAILED!”, however, how that opinion is dealt with IS the agency of the designer, so whether you get a damn good dressing down because of killing the hostages, or you become an outlaw, and the police are after YOU now, that’s up to the designer – there’s no way around that level of didactic response.

    In the same way that you can never have truly objective television documentaries, games which try to portray real world systems are never going to be perfect without perfectly simulating existence, which isn’t possible. Therefore, these systems are always abstractions, and it’s the designer who is always going to have their own agendaic/didactic streak about how important different factors are – hence Chris Crawford allowing you to set the monetary worth of human life before you start a game of Balance of Power (I think?).

    There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s implicit in any game.

    But if you’re attacking the message itself (i.e. morality is subjective, and this is a very western/liberal form of morality being portrayed), then you’re well within your rights to.

  • Deepsleeper

    The title of the game is “Execution”.

    I’m an executioner.

    I’m getting paid, presumably, to execute people.

    Therefore, shooting this guy is not the losing move.

  • Prio

    > Somebody earlier mentioned an MMORPG where there’s real consequences for loss. Surprisingly, this has been done. Shaiya (one of those supported-through-item-sale games) deletes your character if you die on the highest difficulty.

    Does no one remember Diablo? :P The Diablo games resembled mmorpgs in many ways when played online (they were like the non-PvP sections of Guild Wars). When played in “hardcore” mode, death wiped your character, period dot. Most of the people who played hardcore, incidentally, were widely known for being very polite, friendly, intelligent, and mature. Rather unusual for an MMO.

  • Richard

    )-: What’s wrong with my computer I can’t extract any of Jesse Venbrux’s games

  • KKairos

    So if it’s not storing crap in my registry, where is it storing crap?

    Of course I’d love to “win” but I also don’t like programs putting things on my computer that I don’t know how to erase, so it’d be really helpful if someone knew how to erase/undo whatever the heck this game did do, especially if it involved putting something in my system or giving some website information about my system or whatever (forgive my obvious lack of knowledge of whatever the heck it did.)

  • KKairos

    Oh yeah, and the game is brilliant.

  • Anonybomb

    Phew, this game is booooring. I wish games would stop trying to impact everyones lives with ridiculous messages, and just go back to being fun.

  • rndll

    I lost even though I ended the suffering of that man. Weird game.

  • muku

    Very interesting. I won the first time through.

    Of course, then I went back and shot the poor bugger, just to see what it would be like.

    I actually find this more compelling than Passage or that other game-as-art (whose name I can’t recall) by the same guy. The game mechanics are as stripped down as they can be, but it still has a certain Karoshi-like “think outside the box” feel to it.

    Plus I found it hilarious that people thought they could save him by shooting the rope. Who are you, “Kevin” Hood? :D

  • http://www.venbrux.com Jesse

    Hey everyone,

    I did not expect this to show up at TIGsource really, still great though. :)

    The “experiment” really is just the fact that your actions have staying consequences. I don’t see it as an “art game” personally, and I didn’t want to spread a message or anything, but it’s completely udnerstandable that players look for one. Maybe I did want to do that subconciously though :P

    If you’re worried about it storing data, no worries. All I do is use standard built in GM functions; it stores as much as any other GM-made game…

  • Lurk

    The problem is, there is not enough emotional involvement with the character to make the decision a valid one. For example, what if you knew the guy tied up to the post was a cannibalistic child molester-murderer who left 47 young ones (including your own daughter, the agonizing death of which he left on twenty 60 minutes tapes) buried under his house? What if he was’nt tied to a post, but walking out of court, where he was acquited because of his family’s ties to high-society? Then, the moral choice becomes a bit harder. But nameless footless guy (who does’nt move or plead, so you don’t even know if he’s alive, and his veins are linked with his ropes) has very little going for him in terms of guilt-inducing death.
    If you want to look into your own moral sense, this
    http://moral.wjh.harvard.edu/index2.html
    is very interesting. And helpful to research, if you fill it correctly.

  • BigBossSNK

    Win or loss have no meaning in this game.

    If I kill the digital character, I “lose”. If I exit, I “win”.
    Win or loss are empty, arbitrary notions here, with no consequences.

  • BigBossSNK

    Forgot to mention, if you really want your executions to matter or not, play GTA4.

  • Chris

    This isn’t very nice to curious people. I “won” the first time, but wanted to see the other ending, so I went back in and “lost”. Now I want to figure out how to reset it, not out of guilt, but because I want to know what he did. Very irritating.

  • raigan

    i really liked the use of persistent state, it totally caught me off-guard, great idea!

  • josh g.

    Non-violence FTW!

  • santa’s little elf

    For those who believe in second chances;

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareGame MakerScores

  • UnexplainedDemonArm

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

    Which is how I understood Shadow of the Colossus.

  • BenH

    I kept shooting him, eventually money started coming out of my computer!

  • Moose

    I’m very glad I read this thread before downloading the game. Perhaps you could warn in the top post that this game installs secret data? I’m especially bothered that apparantly, deleting the .EXE file “doesn’t work”.

  • BigBossSNK

    “I kept shooting him, eventually money started coming out of my computer!”

    Then your PC got turned into a DS. You know, cause IT PRINTS MONEY!!!

  • idiotmeat

    ‘I’m very glad I read this thread before downloading the game. Perhaps you could warn in the top post that this game installs secret data? I’m especially bothered that apparantly, deleting the .EXE file “doesn’t work”.’

    The game does not install secret data. It uses Game Maker’s registry entries. Games do it all the time.

  • Binderbender

    I’m with BigBossSNK, win and lose are completely meaningless in this game. The only real choice you can make is to kill the man. Anything else is merely a stall. If you open the game again after you “win,” something should have changed.

    Imagine if the man tied to the stake actually did something if you left him alive. The next time you turn on the game, he’s gone on and killed a guard. The next time, he’s defused a bomb. The next time, he’s getting married. The next time, he’s beating his kid. A mix of good and bad things, but you have the option to kill him at any time. You can decide if you don’t like what he’s doing, or what you think he might do. Or you can take a non-involved approach, and let him go about his business. You could even randomize his actions. Some people you see are horrible people, some are saints. Most do good and bad.

    I think you could keep the idea of “actions have consequences” if you got a new person, say, every day. If you kill him, he’s dead til someone new shows up tomorrow. Or you can watch him for a day.

    I think we can all agree that if we woke up one morning on a hillside with a rifle in our hands, our first thought would NOT be ‘shoot the man at the bottom of the hill.’ In this game, though, the only other option is to walk away, which ends the game just as quickly. Nothing ever changes unless you shoot the man. It’s like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

  • Moose

    > The game does not install secret
    > data. It uses Game Maker’s registry
    > entries. Games do it all the time.

    I’m more concerned about the game preventing you from deleting it.

  • muku

    “I’m more concerned about the game preventing you from deleting it.”

    You miss the point. Every GM game that uses a highscore table will leave that kind of information on your PC, and I haven’t seen one that gives you the option to wipe that data. In fact, just about every Windows program stores data in the registry, and a lot don’t clean up after themselves properly even if you uninstall them. Just delete the key from HKEYCURRENTUSERSoftwareGame MakerScores and get over it already.

  • Charlie Mk III

    At first, I thought this was a clever idea. And then I realized that I hated it. And I hate all you people who say it teaches the player anything, because it doesn’t. It’s not social commentary, either.

    You have cross-hairs, and you have a prisoner. The game is called execution. The player is going to move the cross-hairs over the person and click. The structure of the game tells us to do that. So we lose. Alright. And we come back into the game and we’ve still lost. Okay. I can get behind that. But I didn’t learn anything. It doesn’t teach me that killing in games is wrong. If the person was to be hanged, and we could shoot the rope instead, maybe. But here the only option is to kill the person. And don’t tell me that quitting is an option, because it’s not. That’s not the game. The game is “shoot the prisoner” and by loading it up we agree that that’s what we are going to do.

    And the message that this game is trying to get across is what, exactly? That shooting prisoners is wrong? There’s not even enough context to make that point, as the person could be any thing and anyone. Is it that video games have desensitized gamers? Maybe, but when I’m sitting in my pajamas at two in the morning and I’m told via visual clues that I am supposed to kill this person, I’m not going to ponder about video game philosophy. Doesn’t mean I’d kill someone in real life, either.

    Or, to get to the obvious point, does it mean that things have consequences. That we can’t go back and re-do things. Hey. No shit. I don’t need a game to come around and tell me that every day I live is a day I don’t get back, and everything I do has repercussions far spread. This game doesn’t even show that well, as some people have mentioned. It’s man who dies. People die in real life to. I don’t need some dumbed-down murder simulator telling me that people don’t come back to life, nor do I need the hundreds of people patting themselves on the back about how clever and thought-provoking the game was.

    If I wanted to play a game that evoked an emotional response, I’d play “Passage” again. But I don’t need to, because I get enough emotional response out of actually living.

  • muku

    > You have cross-hairs, and you have a prisoner. The game is called execution. The player is going to move the cross-hairs over the person and click. The structure of the game tells us to do that. So we lose. Alright.

    Really, what tells us to shoot the person is our video game conditioning. I mean, what percentage of games involves shooting at enemies in some form? I’d guess half of them would be a gross underestimate. In real life, being given a gun and being presented a tied-up person would certainly not lead you to shoot said person, no questions asked. I hope. Would it?

    There are lots of people here who “won” the game, so obviously your statements aren’t universal and there *are* enough people who questioned what the game was seemingly telling them to do and looked for another way to deal with the situation. If you will, drop that entire morality concept and just see it as an interesting rejection of established game mechanics. To me, the game is a puzzle, and it gave me a certain satisfaction to see the “You won” screen.

  • Willum

    Love it or hate it, it sure has started debate! I’ve seen this on a few threads now and they all have 50 – 60 comments…

    As for the game itself, it’s in interesting idea. It would be cool to see the idea of ever lasting concequences in a larger game world though.

  • wormguy

    I think the intention here is unclear. Is this supposed to be a rejection of stereotypical video game mechanics or is it a moral commentary?

    The phrase “Your consequences have actions” could be either one. In video games, all too often we can just load up a save file and start over from an earlier point. But in real life, I am quite aware that my consequences have actions. I’m not a small child or a puppy that needs to be told that.

    Furthermore, it all seems a bit arbitrary. Alright, the guy is dead. Apparently I lost. Big deal, right? I had no emotional attachment to the character. I don’t care that I lost the game. So what’s the point? I don’t feel like lightly slapping me on the hand for doing something I am prodded into doing through visual cues is a good way of going about this sort of thing.

    And even if you win, and you go back, you are presented with the same choice. What’s the point? You don’t have any choices other than to kill the prisoner or walk away and leave everything the way it was. That doesn’t really seem like a choice to me.

  • nullerator

    “If I wanted to play a game that evoked an emotional response, I’d play “Passage” again. But I don’t need to, because I get enough emotional response out of actually living.”

    I’ll remember to use this next time someone wants to watch a movie like Schindler’s List with me. ‘Screw that’, I’ll say, ‘If I want to feel emotions I’ll just think about my dead grandmother’.

  • http://www.venbrux.com Jesse

    “If you will, drop that entire morality concept and just see it as an interesting rejection of established game mechanics.”

    I like that idea. Honestly I never wanted to teach any moral lesson. I don’t feel the need to.

    Basically, I got the idea for a gameplay concept I hadn’t seen before and wanted to try it out. It turned into something rather artsy, even though that wasn’t really my point. Now there’s lots of debate and everyone has his/her own interpretation, which I like.

    The intentions are very unclear, but actually, isn’t that the case in many art-forms? People can also have different interpretations of paintings.
    (that just came off the top of my head, but as I said, I never intended this to be an “art game”).

  • Anarkex

    @ muku: “Really, what tells us to shoot the person is our video game conditioning.”

    I don’t believe it’s our video game conditioning that tells us to shoot the person, I think it’s our video game conditioning that makes us inclined to use the only path given in-game. When I load up a video game, I accept that the game is a separate world from reality. The automatic assumption is that unless stated otherwise, all possible paths and answers take place in the game. There are situations nowadays that stray from that, for instance Zelda: Phantom Hourglass’ “imprinting” puzzle the answer of which was to close your DS and open it again. Things like this go back at least to Startropics on the NES, where the player had to find a secret code in the game by using a note packaged with the game in real life. The difference is that in those puzzles there are no other paths or triggers, so at the very least the player never loses the opportunity to figure it out. This is what Karoshi 2 did, and it gave a pretty awesome feeling of the game screwing with your head. In the majority of cases solving these puzzles, a person will resort to real-world solutions only after exhausting every possible in-game solution. That’s really the only reason why I take Execution as kind of a low blow. As much as the creator states often that it was just an experiment, it’s hard to deny the game feels pretty hollow, even for that.

    sorry for the wall of text, just thinking out loud here.

  • wormguy

    OK, time to get philosophical, and I’m sorry if I sound a bit harsh. My set-up will take a while, so bear with me.

    This game obviously was not meant to and therefore cannot be judged on the basis of fun gameplay mechanics. If you designed this to be fun you must spend a lot of time watching paint dry or grass grow. It was certainly meant to be something people see as a clever idea, an “AH-HA I see what you did there” sort of thing, and whether you intended it to be an “art game” or not that is how it turned out.

    Obviously not all things we create are art. If I plunk some notes on a piano and record it, passing it off as a song, I doubt it would be considered art. If I throw a bucket of paint on a canvas, I doubt it would be considered art (unless I’m Jackson Pollock, in which case people will worship me as though I were a god).

    Therefore, I think we can agree that the essence of art lies in meaning and nothing else. Obviously this creates a problem: Meaning to who? Meaning to the artist or the person experiencing the art?

    My answer: Who cares? If art has meaning it should be identifiable, even if subtly.

    If someone’s art has such a weak point or theme that everyone takes something different from it, why did the author even bother to create it? They have essentially said nothing.

    And I feel that that is the problem I have with this game. You said yourself that the intentions are unclear; and with no intention it is hard to find meaning. There are a couple of interpretations here, but people have even been arguing with the validity of these interpretations within the context of the game. So, as an art game, this doesn’t really do it for me.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh, please don’t think I’m hating on you…I LOVE Frozzd and Karoshi! Keep making games! The fact that this one provoked such a huge response from me probably means you’re on to SOMETHING at the very least.

  • Helm

    I pressed esc the first time I played the game, however I didn’t feel I ‘won’ anything.

    Moral imperative is meaningless when described in game terms. There is no winning or losing involved in moral choices. What there is is consequence. The consequence is categorized as a person desires, there is no meaningful outside system that can evaluate it.

    Furthermore, Jesse, what I thought your concept was attempting, would work much better if the scheduled execution was presented in detail, the person presented in detail – as many have said – the results of your actions were illustrated for a few moments of program-time at least and no direct value judgment by you, the programmer were thrown to our faces.

    All that being said, just by reading the comments you should be able to tell that there is much potency in this sort of use of interactive media.

  • Ben

    I won. The game can’t tell me if I lost. I excelled at the action of its namesake.

    Now, if anyone can give me an example where the objective of the game is the OPPOSITE of the title (besides this one), I’d like to hear what’s out there.

    Anyway, I know I’m playing a computer “game.” Don’t go all Fox News on me and call me a psychopath for shooting a gray-headed cartoon thing.

  • Moose

    > You miss the point. Every GM game
    > that uses a highscore table will
    > leave that kind of information on
    > your PC, and I haven’t seen one that
    > gives you the option to wipe that
    > data.

    The post above said that “deleting the .EXE did not work”. To me, that means that when he tried to delete the .EXE, it did not work, and the .EXE file remained on the disk. That is certainly spyware like behaviour.

  • muku

    > In the majority of cases solving these puzzles, a person will resort to real-world solutions only after exhausting every possible in-game solution. That’s really the only reason why I take Execution as kind of a low blow.

    But the introduction to the game made it abundantly clear that this was not a “normal” game about honing your aiming skills. To me, it felt completely clear that shooting the man would be “wrong” in terms of the game, and the bit about “consequence” obviously was a warning that the approach “hm, let’s try shooting him and see what happens” wouldn’t be a good idea either. (Besides, call me queasy, but shooting a helpless man, even if it’s just a video game character, felt a bit revolting to me. You could say the game did elicit some emotional response from me.)

    So, after shooting at some other stuff (most notably the dust ball), I actually *did* feel that all “in-game” options as you call them were exhausted, so I started to think a bit more unconventionally.

    Besides, who says hitting Escape can’t be an in-game option. Sure, usually it’s used to quit a game, but for instance you might consider this game having a key map like: “LMB, fire gun; Esc, drop gun”. Basically, Esc is just another key, although of course here our conditioning comes back into play.

  • muku

    > The post above said that “deleting the .EXE did not work”. To me, that means that when he tried to delete the .EXE, it did not work, and the .EXE file remained on the disk. That is certainly spyware like behaviour.

    Resetting the game state by deleting the .exe doesn’t work. Don’t worry, deleting the game itself works without problems, I did it myself ;)

  • http://www.g4g.it FireSword

    At Deepsleeper: Wrong, the executioner thinks he is right beacouse he is psyco, i mean just beacouse u name shit in another way shit remains shit. If you don t kill for self defence, it s criminal, no matter how much money they give you.

    At Anonybomb:damn rite.

    Is there another way other then open gm and reset the highscore?

  • Helm

    Though the art style seems cartoony, this doesn’t seem very much like a video-game, since it stands very still, waiting for the single action rom the player. Video games don’t often do that, and I think that’s where I got clued in when I ran the game that I shouldn’t put on my twitchshooting hat.

    If you ran the program and immediately shot the guy, that’s a very interesting phenomenon.

  • Anonybomb

    When I played it, I thought, Well, shooting this guy will give me the bad ending, cause it’s totally predictable like that. So I tried to look for some method to be a true american non-lethal hero, but I said fuck it, this is boring, and killed the guy.

    When I opened it again and saw he was dead, I knew right then I just needed to close the game beforehand.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that this is a pretty horrible “game”. Don’t understand why it’s even up here.

  • namuol

    how could this have generated so much discourse?

    i won before i even downloaded it. maybe i “play” too many games like this.

  • Prio

    I am not one to care about orders from a game, and didn’t really care much if I won or lost. (Won what? No new car? No beach vacation?) I shot him because I had a gun, he was there, and, I suppose, I wanted to witness the result.
    So I came back, to try again, and when I discovered that you cannot try it over again — that that, as they say, was that — it was jarring. It got me thinking about other ways we (or I) can end up making irrevocable decisions, closing off this possibility or that possibility forever, without really thinking about it or realizing it. In this case it happens by action, but in real life inaction can do the same thing.
    So I liked it. So there. Nyeah. It ain’t The Cherry Orchard by a long shot, but it does get your hands dirty.

  • UnexplainedDemonArm

    Beat my highscore – I didn’t download it.

  • Kairos

    Uh, who is KKairos? The name is too similar for comfort.

  • Spore

    I am amazed I won on my first try. What a spin on the usual objective in videogames.

  • notext

    This is neat! The only thing I’m not sure about is that not killing the guy doesn’t have a consequence, beyond his still being tied to a pole if you come back. Of course, this is probably just to tempt the player’s morbid curiosity. And it’s a lot easier to take life than to give it back.

    Interesting that people are assuming the guy tied to a pole is tied to a pole because he’s done something “wrong”. If a guy is tied to a pole at night with nobody around and a gun pointed at his head, my first thought is not that the guy is being justly punished for crimes against his fellow man.

  • lolz

    This game just didn’t appeal to me. I opened it and was like “wow, what the hell is this, this blows” and exited and I won. I wish all games I didn’t really care to play would just say I won for quitting. It sure would make things a lot easier.

  • Spore

    @lolz
    If your first though was “what the hell is this?” without even doing anything upon entering it then you can’t really judge a game.

  • Darren

    @lolz Hahaha! Yeah, that’d be great. It’d certainly save a lot of time.

  • Radix

    I figured the gimmick just from Derek’s description, but I shot him anyway. Players naturally try to figure out what to do when they first open a game, and in this game there’s only one thing you *can* do. You shoot him, and that’s it, you’ve gotten the game to do everything it’s going to do. Once you’ve done that you’ve WON, regardless of what the game over text says.

  • lolz

    Then I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE SHOT THE GUY AND LOST THEN! LOLOL!

  • lolz

    I mean, there really isn’t much to judge. Maybe if there was more to the game then yeah, but this is a game you win by losing interest and quitting. Good thing the game wasn’t that interesting to me in the first place, I already won.

  • moon_rabbits

    That was neat.

  • Radix

    Not playing is not winning. If that were the case then the ultimate victory would be not downloading.

    Actually yeah, in this case.

  • shilrobot

    I think the game is actually about finding the registry key.

  • Lailoken

    I think the fact that there are so many varied opinions makes this successful as art. The purpose of art is not necessarily to beat you over the head with an opinion.

    To those who are talking about the morality issues. You don’t have to be a psychopath to shoot someone. There are a lot more people out there shooting each other than there are psychopaths.

    I remember learning in PSYCH about an experiment where the researches manages to convince people to electrocute this guy (who is pretending to get shocked) more and more severely because the researcher tells him it’s ok, to the point where he is pleading for help and beating on the walls.

    Also anybody who is interested in evidence of seemingly moral people behaving amorally check out: http://www.prisonexp.org/

  • Lailoken

    oops forgot I couldnt post links.

    I think the fact that there are so many varied opinions makes this successful as art. The purpose of art is not necessarily to beat you over the head with an opinion.

    To those who are talking about the morality issues. You don’t have to be a psychopath to shoot someone. There are a lot more people out there shooting each other than there are psychopaths.

    I remember learning in PSYCH about an experiment where the researches manages to convince people to electrocute this guy (who is pretending to get shocked) more and more severely because the researcher tells him it’s ok, to the point where he is pleading for help and beating on the walls.

    Also anybody who is interested in evidence of seemingly moral people behaving amorally check out: w w w . prisonexp . org
    This comment has been flagged for moderator approval. It won’t appear on this blog until the author approves it.

  • K-Mi

    I liked the game and the message. The only problem for me, and I really think it’s a big issue, is the fact that to win you have to press “Escape”… As if running away from this kind of situation was the right option. I’m not sure this is the right way to solve problems.

    The author would have to find a way to involve the player in helping this guy.

    Escape is never the good option in life.

    Ps: Sorry for my terrible english.

  • lambda(x)

    I won the first time because it was obvious to me that shooting the guy was the fail condition.

    After winning, I ran the program again. I shot that fool in the face and was rewarded with a much nicer animation than winning.

    FUCK WINNING THIS GAME. LOSING IS WAY MORE AWESOME. Thanks Execution for learning me!