GoldVision On Killing Weeds in Stardew Valley

Is destroying weeds in Stardew Valley an act of violence?

There are a couple of things to get out of the way here. First, GoldVision’s goal as he states in the beginning of the video is to “not hurt anyone in a video game”. Clearly weeds, as represented in the game Stardew Valley, are not meant to be perceived as people. They hold only the most basic trait with the Non Player Characters (NPCs), they both take up space within a section of the map. Weeds cannot be conversed with, they do not move in real time, they not have measurable relationship with the character, and they can only be interacted with by the player character by being cut. This places them in a separate category not only from animals (which do have a relationship with the player, move, and usually have a renewable harvestable material associated with them), but also the other cultivated plants in the game, which must be maintained by the player via seeding, watering, and harvesting.

Cuting Weeds Footage from Seri! Pixel Biologist
private void cutWeed(Farmer who)
{
Color color = Color.Green;
string cueName = "cut";
int rowInAnimationTexture = 50;
this.fragility = 2;
int parentSheetIndex = -1;
if (Game1.random.NextDouble() < 0.5)
parentSheetIndex = 771;
else if (Game1.random.NextDouble() < 0.05)
parentSheetIndex = 770;
switch (this.parentSheetIndex)
...
  • Weeds in Stardew Valley do not have sentience
  • Weeds as individuals have a 50% chance of being turned into material
  • Weeds as a population can never be completely removed from the game world

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Taylor Nodell

Taylor Nodell

Developer. Musician. Naturalist. Traveler. In any order. @tayloredtotaylor