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Thread: Why the Thief Series is So Important for Gaming

Why the Thief Series is So Important for Gaming

  1. #1

    Why the Thief Series is So Important for Gaming

    LOL, I've been spending a lot of time at these forums as of late. I'm kind of on a kick here. But after this I'm gonna play more Thief. Honest.

    Anyway, the topic of this thread is about the whole series of Thief and why it's so important. I'm including NuThief in the series here, but there's a good reason why that I shall get to.

    Back in my college days (almost a decade ago...gawd I feel old ) I had to watch a documentary that was basically criticizing the video game industry...obviously I didn't agree with the documentary's points but there was one quote from it that stuck with me and that I actually agreed with:

    It would be a good challenge for game developers to try to come up with ways to make games fun without using violence.
    (Please note I'm just paraphrasing the quote here, it's not an exact quoting.)

    The Thief series, I believe, is the epitome of this quote. Yes, there's obviously violence and killing and other stuff that would raise parental hackles, but unlike many other games, it's not the focus. The focus is on stealing, and doing so well at stealing that you don't have to harm anybody. And while you can kill, it's discouraged, and each game has consequences for doing so. Even NuThief has consequences for killing. I remember one forum post saying that going the Predator route in missions is the most costly in terms of gold - you need a lot of gold to get the necessary ammo to kill every guard. It's also time-consuming and can detract from your all-important leaderboard score.

    NuThief, while obviously not pleasing everyone, is still a very important game today for this reason. First-person shooters and other overtly violent games have only gained in popularity since that documentary was made, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, it sort of demonstrates that most publishers try to take the easy way out when it comes to making profits with video games. NuThief obviously has a famous name attached to it, increasing its potential profitability, but it's important in this day and age because it demonstrates how in a market saturated with first-person shooters, it's possible to make a good game that doesn't force you to be a violent psycho (in the context of these games). The original Thief games were ahead of their time; NuThief demonstrates that such games are needed now more than ever.

    Now, I'm not detracting violent video games here. I play plenty of them myself, and I definitely do NOT hold the opinion that they cause real-world violence. The point I'm trying to make is that the current market of video games is saturated with violence, and as a result, violence is getting boring, at least to me. The Thief games prove that other games are possible, and it's a stance more publishers need to take.

  2. #2
    Originally Posted by Webimpulse
    LOL, I've been spending a lot of time at these forums as of late. I'm kind of on a kick here. But after this I'm gonna play more Thief. Honest.

    Anyway, the topic of this thread is about the whole series of Thief and why it's so important. I'm including NuThief in the series here, but there's a good reason why that I shall get to.

    Back in my college days (almost a decade ago...gawd I feel old ) I had to watch a documentary that was basically criticizing the video game industry...obviously I didn't agree with the documentary's points but there was one quote from it that stuck with me and that I actually agreed with:



    (Please note I'm just paraphrasing the quote here, it's not an exact quoting.)

    The Thief series, I believe, is the epitome of this quote. Yes, there's obviously violence and killing and other stuff that would raise parental hackles, but unlike many other games, it's not the focus. The focus is on stealing, and doing so well at stealing that you don't have to harm anybody. And while you can kill, it's discouraged, and each game has consequences for doing so. Even NuThief has consequences for killing. I remember one forum post saying that going the Predator route in missions is the most costly in terms of gold - you need a lot of gold to get the necessary ammo to kill every guard. It's also time-consuming and can detract from your all-important leaderboard score.

    NuThief, while obviously not pleasing everyone, is still a very important game today for this reason. First-person shooters and other overtly violent games have only gained in popularity since that documentary was made, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, it sort of demonstrates that most publishers try to take the easy way out when it comes to making profits with video games. NuThief obviously has a famous name attached to it, increasing its potential profitability, but it's important in this day and age because it demonstrates how in a market saturated with first-person shooters, it's possible to make a good game that doesn't force you to be a violent psycho (in the context of these games). The original Thief games were ahead of their time; NuThief demonstrates that such games are needed now more than ever.

    Now, I'm not detracting violent video games here. I play plenty of them myself, and I definitely do NOT hold the opinion that they cause real-world violence. The point I'm trying to make is that the current market of video games is saturated with violence, and as a result, violence is getting boring, at least to me. The Thief games prove that other games are possible, and it's a stance more publishers need to take.
    A game focused on stealing with only mild violence will lower "parental hackles"?

    By your reasoning if a game doesn't "force you to be a violent psycho" but instead you defend the Constitution of the United States and freedom and liberty around the world by shooting up terrorists and "evil doers" it should get parental praises not raised hackles. CoD ftw!

    But I jest.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by mes2370
    A game focused on stealing with only mild violence will lower "parental hackles"?

    By your reasoning if a game doesn't "force you to be a violent psycho" but instead you defend the Constitution of the United States and freedom and liberty around the world by shooting up terrorists and "evil doers" it should get parental praises not raised hackles. CoD ftw!

    But I jest.
    Uh...I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that I was praising CoD. I actually hate that series. I honestly don't understand why you thought otherwise.

  4. #4
    I wasn't saying that you liked CoD, but if a game about stealing is somehow good (from a parents point of view because there is less killing) then a game about American soldiers fighting for their country (even though it is filled with violence, in fact its only point) should be good for the gaming industry too (again from a parents point of view) because they are, I don't know, fighting to protect freedom?

    I just disagree with your argument. And think Thief (old thief) is important for gaming for other reasons. Not because it is less about violence.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by mes2370
    I wasn't saying that you liked CoD, but if a game about stealing is somehow good (from a parents point of view because there is less killing) then a game about American soldiers fighting for their country (even though it is filled with violence, in fact its only point) should be good for the gaming industry too (again from a parents point of view) because they are, I don't know, fighting to protect freedom?

    I just disagree with your argument. And think Thief (old thief) is important for gaming for other reasons. Not because it is less about violence.
    Ah, okay, I understand now. I can see how parents would think games like Call of Duty would be okay for their children. Those parents are wrong, IMHO (the game is rated M for Mature, for a reason).

    Why do you think the Thief series is important, out of curiosity?

  6. #6
    The man comes to a conclusion that not everything can be resolved with violence when a mosquito lands on his balls.

  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by Webimpulse
    Those parents are wrong, IMHO (the game is rated M for Mature, for a reason).
    I'm a parent and I can say that it isn't a case of just looking at the box. You have to consider the age and the maturity of each particular "child"... you know?
    So these parents are not necessarily wrong as you proclaim. Certainly, my son has played M-rated games and I don't consider myself "wrong" to allow him to do so.

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  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Viktoria
    I'm a parent and I can say that it isn't a case of just looking at the box. You have to consider the age and the maturity of each particular "child"... you know?
    So these parents are not necessarily wrong as you proclaim. Certainly, my son has played M-rated games and I don't consider myself "wrong" to allow him to do so.

    Oh yeah, absolutely agree, every child is different, and if you know your child well enough where you can trust him/her with M-rated games, then go for it. I was more referring to those parents who like to use the TV as a babysitter, that is not really getting involved in what their child plays and simply expecting the TV to do the work, LOL. Sorry for the confusion.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Webimpulse
    Yes, there's obviously violence and killing and other stuff that would raise parental hackles, but unlike many other games, it's not the focus. The focus is on stealing
    Oh, so it's just about breaking one of the other Ten Commandments.

    The epitome of your quote is not Thief. Far from it. The epitome of your quote would be games like Myst or Journey.

  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by ClashWho
    Oh, so it's just about breaking one of the other Ten Commandments.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Webimpulse
    NuThief obviously has a famous name attached to it, increasing its potential profitability, but it's important in this day and age because it demonstrates how in a market saturated with first-person shooters, it's possible to make a good game that doesn't force you to be a violent psycho (in the context of these games)..
    Is the Thief name that profitable? Sadly games like this are not something mainstream gamers are interested in. Dishonoured more-so as it has plenty of other mainstream features and plenty of gore and violence.
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  12. #12
    Okay, I get it, people, my argument was poorly formulated. I do apologize - I was just trying to figure out a way to praise the Thief series as a whole. I think my points can stand, after a little rewording; I just haven't figured out how to properly word these points.

    This is actually kind of ironic considering how I'm trying to be a freelance writer...good thing this is on a forum and not published in a gaming publication of some kind...

  13. #13
    I actually agree with you, Webimpulse. People here, and on any anonymous forum, will jump at any and every chance to play Devil's advocate. After all, we are all out to prove that we're smarter than everyone else by our cleverly worded posts, right? I think there is an interesting fascination, not just with violence, and not just in the gaming industry, but with experiencing things virtually that would otherwise have consequences in the real world. Interesting that our goals for vicarious living are grounded in all forms of violence, crime, war, etc. Sure, there are reasons to fight, reasons to steal, even reasons to kill at times. Wanting to experience war, or stealing from the corrupt, without the risk is perfectly understandable. That doesn't mean that children are capable of understanding the complexity of those choices. Everyone loves to say all children are different, which clearly they are, but what metric is being used to determine that kid A can handle it, and kid B can't. I think it has more to do with what the parent will tolerate than what the kid can handle. Wanting to experience a bank robbery, murder, genocide, and the likes, though, I'm not too sure of. That may be more an expression of human nature than we would like to admit. I too appreciate games like Thief and Dishonored for giving you the option NOT to kill, and even more so by making the game harder. I don't deny that the thieving is not any less of a crime, but that's just the focus of the game. I don't judge anyone desire to play a game of their choice the way they want to play it either, but I think some introspection on why we play the games that we play is always in order. Morality, in this day and age, is almost entirely subjective in many circles, so there is no common baseline from which to deviate from, so therefore, debates en masse on this topic will never be fruitful.

  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by DeimuStrong
    I don't deny that the thieving is not any less of a crime, but that's just the focus of the game.
    Thieving IS less of a crime than murder. Just sayin'

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by NIB
    Thieving IS less of a crime than murder. Just sayin'
    Only in the eyes of man.

  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by Jito463
    Only in the eyes of man.
    I don't get it.

    Who else has eyes and is able to express and opinion?

  17. #17
    I actually kind of agree with you here Webimpulse. What makes Thief unique from most other games I've played is that it not only makes non-lethal gameplay viable, but actually makes it the ideal way to play. Now I play a lot of violent games, and enjoy them too, but at the same time I feel like we as an industry have become a bit too fixated on having violence be the only way to make a game gratifying to play. Heck, even the original Thief kept a few combat-orientated bits here and there, probably because Looking Glass weren't aware of just how influential their game would become.

    Originally Posted by Webimpulse
    This is actually kind of ironic considering how I'm trying to be a freelance writer...good thing this is on a forum and not published in a gaming publication of some kind...
    Fancy that, I'm also dabbling a bit in that. I did write a piece vaguely related to this, it's not any good, but I'd appreciate some feedback: http://indignationgaming.blogspot.co...-mechanic.html

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by NIB
    I don't get it.

    Who else has eyes and is able to express and opinion?
    Thinly veiled.

  19. #19
    Originally Posted by NIB
    I don't get it.
    Yeah, you do.

  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by ClashWho
    Yeah, you do.
    No. Someone please explain it.

  21. #21
    Probably something to do with theology, if I had to guess. Maybe you've heard of it.

  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by ClashWho
    Probably something to do with theology, if I had to guess. Maybe you've heard of it.
    Do Christians really consider thieving to be just as bad as murdering?

  23. #23
    Originally Posted by NIB
    Do Christians really consider thieving to be just as bad as murdering?
    Gossip is worse.

  24. #24
    Originally Posted by NIB
    Do Christians really consider thieving to be just as bad as murdering?
    As tempting as it is, I don't think I'll take the bait. You're clearly adept with a computer. Figure it out yourself.

  25. #25
    A Master Thief has absconded with the rails of this thread...but who?

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