Saturday, March 14, 2015

Always, Always, Always a Hero

Hello blogging world, it's been a while. Between school, work, sorority, and Netflix time, I haven't had a lot of time to play any video games. Well recently my work load decreased significantly and I was finally able to open up Infamous: Second Son and give it a go. As is tradition with this series, very early on you are given the choice of whether you are going to play as a "Hero" or "Villain." I chose hero. I always choose hero. And I always wonder why?

The point of video games is to give you a glorious world where you can choose to do whatever you please. These can be an escape where you can do despicable things that you otherwise couldn't do in the real world. The name of these games is Infamous, so why in every one so far have I chosen to not play infamously? This is far from the only game where I've played the good guy.

So, when did it all start? I remember very clearly when I was younger playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City killing every pedestrian in sight, never once playing a story mission. I remember getting a little older and doing the same in Grand Theft Auto IV, but this was also when I became engaged in the characters and story. I would say it all started with a glorious little game called Red Dead Redemption.

Rockstar Games are made to be played devilishly. They give you gigantic worlds full of pedestrians
shouting nonsense that just deserve to be sucker punched. Red Dead Redemption was the perfect landscape to play this way, to be the outlaw. Yet, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't bring myself to aid the bad guys, I couldn't just ride away from outlaws about to kill innocent people, and I couldn't let some asshole get away with stealing some poor man's horse. I loved seeing my honor go up. I loved rising from "nobody" all the way to "legend." I loved hearing the pedestrians praising me and saying hello as they rode by rather than running in fear. It made you feel like a superhero.

Ever since finishing Red Dead, I've realized this style of playing has followed me in every game since. Whenever given the choice, I always try to make the "right" one. Whenever given the chance to act as a hero, I always take it. Whenever I made a mistake and accidentally killed an innocent bystander, I felt guilty. Whenever I made a dialogue choice in The Walking Dead in which Clementine "remembered" it in a bad way, that sense of shame followed me all day. But why? In the same way that playing a villain gives you a sense of satisfaction because you don't do these things in real life, the exact same thing can be said for playing the hero.

I am not the kind of person that is going to step in and stop something horrible from happening in real life. Never will you see me as headline news for doing something miraculous. I keep to myself in the real world. If someone is on the side of the road with a flat tire, I'm one of the idiots slowing down traffic to look instead of stopping to help. Partly because I know nothing of changing flat tires, but mostly because I'm just trying to get through whatever misfortune is thrown at me during an average day without getting involved in someone else's. I am the exact opposite of a superhero.

So maybe that explains it. Maybe not. Maybe I just have strong moral values that follow me even into the virtual world. Or maybe some games are just better playing the hero.

For more gaming ramblings, or just my daily misfortune follow me on Twitter: @AshtynMarlow