Murdering children does not grant you magical powers – More thoughts on good and evil in games

I started to write this as a postview of one of my favorite games, Beyond Good & Evil, when it occurred to me that there has been a lot of talk over here at videolamer recently about, well, good & evil. Shota seems annoyed both that so many games are overwhelmed by universe destroying, Pure Eeeevil, and also about the preponderance of good characters that restore our faith in the good ol’ dependable U.S. of A. and its various institutions. I largely agree with his frustrations, but this post is an attempt to complain and moan about the recent spate of games that ham-handedly try to explore good & evil within the plot and structure of the game: such as KOTOR, Fable, and Bioshock. Also, I’m going to propose a better way of doing it. →  Read the rest

I’m so sick of Noble Deaths, I could sacrifice myself for the good of others! — Part Trois

The only thing that frightens people as much as life without meaning is death without meaning. For some odd reason, we find it difficult to cope with the loss of a loved one to an open manhole. The fact that random, absurd turns of events can end life does not sit well with people because we do not want to think we are ultimately irrelevant. Our desire for purpose in death has pervaded art and culture as a whole.

Movies, books, and games – really any narrative-heavy medium – have fought this feeling of irrelevance by pitting heroes against their mortal enemies, giving the lowliest peasant a worthy cause to die for, and offering everyone in between the comfort of knowing the creator of the universe himself decides their fate (and unless they have some loser god, it just so happens that their fate is endless life). →  Read the rest