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Simple, yet annoying mistake made by game developers Answered

I have found a simple yet annoying mistake that game developers seem to love to make. Before I go on, lets get this straight:

Parkour is a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency. Originally developed in France, the main purpose of the discipline is to teach participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping

Free running or freerunning is a form of urban acrobatics in which participants, known as free runners, use the city and rural landscape to perform movements through its structures. It incorporates efficient movements from parkour, and adds aesthetic vaults and other acrobatics, such as tricking and street stunts, creating an athletic and aesthetically pleasing way of moving

Okay, so the main difference is that free running is pretty much parkour, except it involves flipping, tricking, and is just all around more free; hence FREE running. 

But here's the thing I made this forum topic about. In the  Assassin's Creed series, you climb up buildings, jump from one to another, and that's pretty much it. Scaling, jumping, rolling, and that's all there is to it. Yet they call it free running. You don't flip or trick or anything, therefore isn't it parkour and not free running?

Another game where this mistake is made is in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland--but there's one difference. In THAW, you do front flips, back flips, wall flips, you climb buildings, scale buildings, etc. So it should be called free running, right? Well tell that to the guys over at  Neversoft, because they call it parkour.

Why? What is it about these developers that make them blindly call something one thing, when it's actually another? Do they even think of looking at sources?

Have YOU seen this mistake in OTHER video games? Tell me your opinions on this!


You ain't really an assassin either, it's a game and they don't live up to reality.


Don't talk to yourself on the internet: it looks stupid.


I don't think anyone else cares really.


6 years ago

Should this really be so important to write a rant about? Free running CAN include tricks/aesthetic movements, but are they required? Besides, "free run" sounds much better than "parkour" given the games' setting.

To anybody that does neither, they are the same.

Originally, they were the same thing - the term free running was used to introduce parkour to the English-speaking world.

Free-running was born out of boredom with the original form of parkour and its "restrictive" focus on efficiency over art or style.

From Wikipedia:

Free running was inspired by parkour and developed by urban teenagers, which are considered by the parkour community to be inefficient and not parkour. ...as free runners became interested in aesthetics as well as useful movement, the two became different disciplines. The term Freerunning was created by Guillaume Pelletier and embraced by Sebastien Foucan to describe his "way" of doing parkour.

If you are not actually involved in a specific group of free-runners or parkourers (parkourists?), then the difference between the two is immaterial.

Of course people who don't do it think they're the same, but they're NOT. I know some things have alternate names, but just knowing that fact doesn't automatically mean they're different names for things. I almost think of it like coffees (weird metaphor lol). There's cappuccinos, frappes, mocha latte, espresso, and there are just so many different types, you can't just call it coffee and expect an espresso.

And the fact that they were once the same thing kind of does make it different, but we're talking about the late 00's - early early 10's. I can almost guarantee they differentiated long enough for people to realize they're different.

"Early 10s"?* How young are you?? It's only 2011 now!

The coffee analogy is good. There are loads of types of coffee, all descended from the same drink, all created by people who were slightly bored with the original version, and all basically the same thing at heart. A fussy coffee drinker will argue that an Americano is very different to a regular filter coffee, but to a non-drinker (and in fact to most drinkers), they are both simply ground beans and hot water.

Same with free-running / parkour - to anybody outside of purists, they are simply a way of moving through the urban landscape.

But back to your original point about Assassin's Creed - I haven't played the game, but presumably you are doing these moves with a view to either getting to a potential victim, or running away from a pursuer. Even if you were a dedicated, purist free-runner, wouldn't you be concentrating on getting from A to B quickly and efficiently, rather than wasting time on conspicuous showmanship? In which case, the label is irrelevant - free-runners or parkourist** would both be using those same moves in that context.

(*No apostrophe needed, by the way)
(**What the heck do you call people who do parkour, anyway? Parkourers? Parkourists?)

I think your looking too hard into the games expecting something that they are not up to yet. Also you must remeber that as far advanced as games are today, back in the day you were a little plumber that ran back and forth on a single screen. This was then upgraded to side scrolling "running" from screen to screen. Where games are at now they call it freerunning because your in a "open" world and can go in differant directions, up, down, left, right, circles ....you get the point. Your not bound to linier running so your open to "freerun". As for are the games doing true "freerunning or parkour" I'd say niether because your not outside scraping your knees and elbows, sweating, and getting a full body excercise. Instead your enjoying a GAME inside and not moving much more than your fingers and thumbs. I love video games and play them everyday but lets be serious, it's not real life.

That first part was kinda off topic, but thanks for the comment.

And honestly, it really shouldn't matter if it's a game or not. It's that fact that their calling parkour free running, vice versa.