Created By: Folamh3September 28, 2012 Last Edited By: Folamh3September 30, 2012

The Video Game Physical Conflict Triangle

Evasion, stealth and direct combat

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Just wanted to ask if we have this trope or anything similar to it. In this column, Yahtzee examined a concept called the "conflict triangle", which describes the three ways that physical conflict can be resolved in video games. They are:

  • Evasion: enemy attacking, player not attacking
  • Stealth: enemy not attacking, player attacking
  • Direct combat: enemy attacking, player attacking

I'm not doing a full YKTTW just for the minute, I just wanted to see if we have anything like this and, if not, if the community thinks it might be tropeable. Any feedback would be great.
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • September 28, 2012
    It's hard to grasp the idea without first reading the article you linked, and even after I have read it, I have difficulty seeing how this can be a trope. The triangle basically consists of Survival Horror, Stealth Based Game, and every other VG genre and unless there is a game that actually combines all three like Yahtzee suggested, I don't think you will find any examples for this.
  • September 28, 2012
    I don't know, this reminds of the videogames that offer build systems, like Fallout, where you can specialize as stealth, or direct combat, and of course those times you run like mad. Or games like Second Sight where the different powers allow for different play styles where you can evade attention/assassinate, directly attack, or escape conflict.
  • September 28, 2012
    @Koveras - I realize, I intend to do a proper write-up of what it entails once I've established whether or not there's a demand for it. As Earnest observed, I'd be particularly interested in games that allow the player to choose between two or more of the various points on the triangle.
  • September 30, 2012
    What's called "evasion" might not be anything of the sort, depending on the game. In games like Civilization or Victoria, letting (or luring) the enemy (to) attack my very fortified position is a common strategy of mine--I wouldn't say that's evading though, as I'm actively attritioning the enemy forces.
  • September 30, 2012
    ^ That'd be a Defensive Feint Trap, and I've certainly done that to bring down larger foes in FPS's by laying mines, controlling the landscape of the engagement, etc.
  • September 30, 2012
    Yes, both of those still fall under direct combat.

    Do you think this is tropeable? Maybe I ought to do a full write-up.

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