It may sound a bit strange being taught the art of persuasion by an artificial intelligence, but the way game designers have been moving for the last decade, especially with Role Playing Games (RPGs), they have been catering to multiple personalities in the gaming audience and offering varying plot trees based on the choices that a gamer makes throughout the main story line. Many game designers are making it commonplace to include three basic choices for every scenario a gamer might encounter: aggressive, defensive and passive. Most aggressive options involve the use of force and employ the gamer’s ability to use game-given powers to subdue and achieve what it is they want, defensive choices are often righteous and honorable ways of repelling the evils that might be cast upon you. Finally, passive encounters usually result in benign interactions that can be incredibly profitable in terms of gear and game currency as this is the option that involves persuasion. Persuasion, while it may result in altercations with other factions in the game, ultimately allows you to go to a NPC (Non-Playable-Character) and say, “Hey, check out what I can do for you. Gimmie loot?”
As many of my real-life friends (puh, who needs ‘em) know, I’m not the most tactful person when it comes to conveying any particular stance that I’ve taken up. Through gaming, I’ve taken notice to the ease in which someone can be persuaded to theirs or my own benefit with little to no resistance. The strategy still ranks low on the totem pole for me, but gaming (and perhaps a bit of old age) has certainly nudged me to acknowledge this pacifist’s branch in the story-tree.