Let’s take a common reason why violence is used [as a problem-solving mechanic in videogames]: because you’re fighting against an overwhelming force bent on destroying you.
For marginalised people, their existence is often precisely this. There’s no need to imagine it, when, for example, their daily lives are punctuated by the realisation that they have to fear police as much, if not more, than violent criminals. To fight against such systems, violence and combat is often not the answer.
So how else could you do it? Well, imagine a first- or third-person experience focused on toppling such a monolithic, oppressive regime, but instead of guns and bullets, you use creativity, intelligence and a variety of non-lethal game mechanics.
Designers could create systems focused on influence or propaganda, to galvanise an exhausted or apathetic population to take up the struggle – for those who match your identity, whether race, gender, nationality, etc., your influence on them is easier but their power to act is less. If you can convince those of a different identity, you gain bonuses – perhaps their reach and influence is further than someone who matches your targeted identity.
Tauriq Moosa on banal violence.
Look. I love shooting robot zombie Nazis as much as the next person, but I would totally play a game that’s all about non-violent subversion of oppressive systems. That game would be rad.