Make Sound not War

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Exploring sound to create alternatives to conflict.


Consequent Sound , Emotional Script .
Relates to:
Engagement .
Sing to Act , Sound Decoys .
Contrasts with:
Sonic Weapon .
May imply:
Sound Input .


In a moment when so many games tend towards belligerent narratives, it is relevant to think of audio as a creativity opportunity, also to come up with ideas that offer alternatives to those types of conflict.


Spore: Being under attack, instead of fighting back, an herbivore PC can sing the "Siren Song" to settle down an attacking creature. In the sequence, it is even possible to socialize with that creature’s species.
Mini Ninjas: Suzume plays the flute in order to enchant enemies as an alternative to fight them.
Aquaria: Removing the shell off this creature – by singing the "Bind Song" – renders it harmless.
[show less examples...]
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: the Big Boss of the Gorons is "defeated" not by force but by getting pleased with the playing of a particular song. This circumstance provides an interesting twist in the Emotional Script.
LocoRoco: LocoRoco offers a rich and delightful experience through the exploration of sound with no conflict other than avoiding to be bitten by the Moja.

Additional Comments

  • Nature provides many insightful examples of the use of sound to address conflicts, instead of actual physical confrontation, namely through the evaluation of the other party’s potential. The ability to perform sound – loud, long, accurate, ... – is many times an indicator of potential – health, size, maturity, ... Examples include: passerine birds singing to dispute territory, dogs barking, etc.
[pending: references to some interesting resources in this matter. e.g.,: David Attenborough "the winner is the one who sings the longest" (something like that)].

External Resources