Intervention Project: Pacifist Valorant

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Artwork #3: Intervene

For my intervention, I decided to try and go into a game of Valorant deathmatch and make friends with people by peacefully running around and not hurting anyone.

This intervention project was initially inspired by a YouTuber named Ymfah who is well known for his challenge runs of games such as Skyrim and the Dark Souls series. One of his most popular ones is to complete these games “pacifist,” in other words to complete these games that the developers designer around the idea of you killing enemies, He would intentionally find ways to bug out the game so that he would be able to beat it without having killed anyone himself. One of the jokes that he makes about this concept while he plays is that pacifism is having other people do the killing for you. I’ve attempted pacifist runs of these games in the past, and it’s a very fun additional challenge. I like the idea of trying to play the game with an added rule included to make it incredibly difficult. Combining this idea of “pacifism” and also inspired by previous posts such as Pacifist Apex, I wanted to try making friends with people I encountered in the game. I was also a little inspired by the Jejune Institute by trying towards the end to get people to basically “sign up” to being pacifist by joining me in the act. It felt similar to the way the Institute would rope in random people who were just getting on with their day into something else, even though this was on a  much smaller scale than that of the institute.

The original concept for my intervention was to go into the standard 5v5 mode for the game with a bunch of friends and try to get the enemy to act peacefully towards us. However, this idea was quickly scrapped, because the enemy usually didn’t care for making friends and would just steamroll us to a very quick victory. So instead, I tried to do it in a game mode that people cared less about winning: deathmatch. In Valorant, deathmatch is a 14 player free-for-all where the first to 40 kills wins in an 8-minute timespan. If 8 minutes pass and no one has reached 40 kills yet, then the player with the most kills is decided as the winner. People take this mode a lot less seriously than the normal 5v5 game mode, and most people use deathmatch as a way to warm up for the real game. My plan was simple, I would run around with my knife out (a kind of accepted way to show that you’re not hostile) and spam crouch/jump as a way to try and communicate with the enemies that I’m friendly. I didn’t want to use the all-chat, as it felt like it would be too easy and would defeat the purpose of the intervention.

The results were much more interesting. Every game, there were a couple of people that would join me and act peacefully.  In one game, there was a moment when two other people decided to be peaceful and friendly, and we jumped around in a huddle for a few seconds. There were also some people who would pretend to be peaceful by pulling out their knife, only for them to attack me with it and get a free kill. There were also a couple of people who became invested in the idea of “protecting me,” which was also very interesting. Overall, this turned out to be a fun and surprising intervention, and I enjoyed playing it.

Gameplay footage of some games: