Freewill: Voluntary, Spontaneous
I came to learn about freewill in church. It is seen as a simple term and action. You have the freewill to believe in God or not. Check the gate and wrap up production. In life, freewill still applies to that similiar logic. We have the freewill to do things, but we must accept the consequences that come along with our choices. Now, this may be known to others but not to many but the facinating part of freewill shows a person character and habit. Freewill, in an odd way, tends to have, a pattern.
Looking at this from a players point of view, freewill is broken into three parts. One, the dialogue tree. Two, Quick Time Events. Three, partial open world or sandbox. When the marketing speech of “go anywhere and do anything” is spoken, it tries to hint at the freewill you’re going to have with some limits attach to them. As crazy as it seems, in game and you decide what to happen in order progress or reward/destroy thyself.
Our charcaters represent our freewill, morals, and consequences in video games. In games like Mass Effect and most Bioware games, our dialogue choices can reflect our choices to create our characters. We want to see how evil we can make them, we’ll make awful and disrespectful decisions. We hope to have a betrayal option to be offered to us. Hitting a reporter or stealing the mission item and lying about it? All perks of our freewill. Will it come to bite you? That has to be seen but with Bioware track record, evil rewards tend to not being stupendous. Teammates can leave and important story or side missions can be difficult or removed. You create the fate with your freewill though depending on the game, the ending may still have that one result. Rather you doing it for laughs or generally trying impose your real world actions, open dialogue spin on freewill is captivating.
When it comes to QTE’s, and if its integrated as the whole game or certain portions of it, the freewill is the religion belief system. You press or don’t press the button. At points, pressing the button sequence correctly will result not only in progress but seeing the intention of what the developers have. You can also go through it push some here or there or not at all and the outcome can vary. Most gamers will think of David Cage games but for some, Die Hard Arcade or Cooking Mama, can be seen in them. Most games that give failure to QTE’s will force you to redo them but ones that make you stick with your actions are the ones that represent your freewill, even when you knew you timed that button press right but still came up short.
Partial open worlds/sandboxes, in my opinion, is the feel of freewill but limited with attach known consequences. You can go on a rampage and be reckless anytime and anywhere. With those decisions, you have to deal with the reprecussions of the police or some law enforcement. Not having cheats applied to the game, you can see how much you can get away with. Even in Saint Row games, you have to deal with multiple games and the cops when you get reckless. It’s ravishing to see how far you can push the boundaries in those games with the freewill that’s allowed. Destroying NPC’s, running over property, flying and wrecking airplanes and helicopters, dressing your characters up, and more, all results from your choice.
When we get to see what games allow us to do and the many tricks we can use, our freewill translate well in a game. Whether its good or bad, the outcomes let us explore how far our freewill can go. What limitations and boundaries are place and that can be cross. It’s experimental which that alone, makes freewill fascinating.