Alrik has also questioned the necessity of violence in RPGs, here and in other forums (IIRC he posted a couple links in the RPG Snippets
At RPGWatch, I recently mused about the lack of a system nowadays like we had with the Virtues in the classic Ultima games.
This is also a question whether I really needd violence in order to complete a task at all - nd in general: Whether I need violence (and *any* combat is violent !) in *any* role playing game at all !
I recently read a review of the old D&D game (by SSI) "Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse") stating that this game gave experience points rather for solving riddles instead of fighting.
With the top-seller on top of all C-RPGs made by Blizzards, combat has become the de-facto standard (you could call it an "industry standard" as well) for ALL role-playing games to give experience points to characters.
The industry seems to believe that non-violent games wouldn't sell at all - or at least would have no appeal to the potential, desired target group of buyers - otherwise they would've implemented that.
PS:T proves otherwise, but still the industry clearly orients itself towards what slls most : And that was 8and still is) everything involving fast-paced action, like in Blizzards Action-RPGs.
Non-violent RPGs just don't exist. It's as simple as that. Therefore one could argue that violence is in part defining the genre itself. Like FPS games, as well.
Any non-violent RPG would rather turn into an adventure game, only, that no-one ever made this attempt (except in part from PS:T, in which you can fight as well).
The total absence of any ethic system (apart from reputation) like the Virtues System shown in Ultima means in the end that the uindustry believes that ethicvs have no use in C-RPGs - or in ANY video game at all ! I mean - I hardly don't ever know any game outsoide the RPG genre which has some kind of ethics in it. I just don't know any.
The amount of ressources, time and involved developers needed to develop any ethics system in an C-RPG seems so "high" that the companies rather tend to decide to leave such an ethics system out - simply because it costs ressources.
And in the end here the "economization of the real world" takers place, where anything social is consideredmerely to produce costs and is therefore NOT supported, meanwhile everything that FDOES bring money in - the economy, as a whole, companies in special - is supported.
Ethics are seemingly considered an "fluffy", "cloudy" thing that has no real-life effect, instead of for example money coins you can actually hold in your hands and buy miney with them. So, the one thing is supported (the money), manwhile the other thing is not, because you can't hold fast to it.
Which means, that whole concepts like ethics are currently regarded inferior to material concepts, like money, otherwise it would be rather emphasized than they are right now.
In the total end, this "economization of the real wold" leads to something that weighs something rather on its economical ability, status and economical usability than for anything else. Social networks cannot be measured in economical terms, so they aren't implemented and rather ignored.
In the end,. this leads into human beings considered as nothing as "useable" or "non-useable" for econoimy. And that is, in the last end, what the Nazis did with everyone who did - from their point of view - produce nothing but costs. Old people, handicapped people.
This lack of any philosophy, and of any ethics, is a purely materialisric point of view.
And this materialistic point of view materializes in games which implement no ethics, because the companies see no use for ethics to be implemented, because otherwise it *would* be implemented, and because there are no ethics implemented, everything is allowed. Yes, EVERYTHING.
(Except of course things not allowed by some design decisions.)