Video Game Cruelty Potential

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This is the potential a video game has for the player to do awful, horrible things to enemies or even friendly and neutral NPCs.

It can be knee shots causing screaming, telekinesis to literally play catch with guards, punching out scientists, or many, many other things. Something Awful has dubbed two specific variations of video game cruelty as Asshole Physics and Asshole AI.

Some games specifically cater to this; these often skip out on a Karma Meter. This can also be the carrot along the path to The Dark Side for players in a game with a Karma Meter.

The severity of this trope varies. Some games only let you be cruel to your enemies and give harmless NPCs immunity. (Harmless enemies will still be fair game.) Other games let you torment random NPCs you meet along the way. Still other games give you absolute, unchecked control over your subjects.

This trope is often used for laughs. Remember, though: Just because a game lets you do something doesn't necessarily mean you should do it.

Contrast Video Game Caring Potential -- though sometimes helping your little drones means doing horrible things to their enemies... Contrast also Video Game Cruelty Punishment, where cruel acts in video games bring consequences.

For examples where someone takes joy in being a dick to other players, see Griefer.

See also What the Hell, Player? and Video Game Perversity Potential.

One of the Acceptable Breaks From Reality. You may laugh at video games, but if someone did this in Real Life? You probably wouldn't be laughing. And if you are, then you're a sick freak.

Sub-Tropes to Video Game Cruelty include:

If an example fits in one of the subtropes, it doesn't need to be listed on this page.

Examples of Video Game Cruelty Potential are listed on these subpages: