365/365 Day 89: Top Six Conflicts Of Ideals - Will Sora Layton Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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365/365 Day 89: Top Six Conflicts Of Ideals

The basis of any conflict comes from one of multiple sources. It could competition over something: it could be an act of revenge: it could be for simple enjoyment on one side of the equation. The one that we see most often in video games, though, is conflict stemming from opposing ideals. Sometimes, these ideals are about what is desirable, or what is right. Regardless of what the opposition stems from, conflicting ideals are again what we see most often in the video game space, usually with one side fighting another. One side may be good, and one evil, or the morality of both could be questionable. I've played with this idea in my head for awhile, and today I've decided to finally share my thoughts on it, which is which are the best conflicts over ideals that we've seen overall. 

Binary.

A couple of my definitions are sort of mutually exclusive, but hopefully the distinctions I make will be enough to show why I put them in different categories. Also, I decided to not include the simple idea of "good versus evil", because that could encompass some of the ideas I already have, and it's just too general.

6. Monochrome vs. Color

de Blob was one of the most creative titles of the seventh generation, in my opinion. You controlled the titular Blob as he fought against Comrade Black and the INKT Corporation, who were trying to siphon away the color of Chroma City. The idea of coloring and bringing life to mediocrity was really awesome, and felt fresh compared to most other conflicting ideals. Although, we haven' really seen this idea implemented anywhere else...

5. Hope vs. Despair

This is another conflict we've only really seen in one series, this time from the Danganronpa titles. In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, the evil bear Monokuma has trapped fifteen high school students in a school, with their only means of escape being to successfully get away with the murder of one of their fellow classmates. Monokuma wants the students to give into their despair and commit the act, and forfeit any hope they have to truly escape. At first, this conflict may seem a bit contrived, but it does actually end up becoming very relevant towards the end of the game, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4. Chaos vs. Control

Several notable open-world games focus on the idea of using the power/influence you have, specifically how you use it. In the inFAMOUS series, you can choose if the protagonist is more destructive with his powers, or is more heroic and keeps order in place. While not as famous, a Spider-man game called Web of Shadows focused on the morality of Spider-man using the Symbiote Suit. Using the more destructive Symbiote would make citizens more afraid, and also could lead to an ending where New York City ended up in a complete state of chaos and ruin. Conversely, using Spider-man's normal suit would make people cheer, and would lead to an ending with order restored to the city. 

3. Freedom vs. Control

This is where we get a little iffy. I know that the above conflict had control as a part of it, but the distinction I'd like to make here is that in this instance, control is more of the "mind-control" idea, while in the previous one, it was more in the "order" sense. In The World Ends with You, the red pins are used to try and instill mind control over the people who wear them, and that's really the idea I was thinking of here. The Shin Megami Tensei series has the idea of Law vs. Chaos in it, but because both this and the previous conflict had those ideals separately, you can sort of put that idea in both of these ones...I guess...

2. Truth vs. Lies

This is probably my favorite of the list, but I still think it falls into the second spot. The idea of living with harsh truths, or in blissful ignorance is a hard idea to contemplate for some people. You could possibly suffer with nothing clouding your vision, or ignore reality and shut yourself away, ultimately with regret. That's the idea that's employed in Persona 3 and 4, but there's also another side of truth versus lies, which is seen in the Ace Attorney series. The protagonists pursue the truth in order to bring evil to justice, even if that truth ultimately hurts people who don't deserve it. The ending of Justice for All really shows the consequences of this sort of decision.

1. Light vs. Darkness

Ultimately, the conflict that we've seen more than anything is the war between light and darkness. Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Zelda, Alan Wake, and many more series have all focused on wars between the two mediums. Sometimes it may be that light is meant to prevail, and others the goal is to balance the power between the two. I've always been a huge fan of any sort of conflict that pits these ideas against each other, and hope that in the future see games take this concept and make it more creative like Alan Wake did.

This was a bit of a short blog...so I apologize for that...kinda lost some of the ideas I originally had. Well, that'll be all for today, anyway. 

Peace.

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