More Let’s Play: Broken Age
Here’s part two of Broken Age in which I prove yet again that I am really, really, really bad at puzzle games? Like, I quickly figured out that I should capture the buzzard to get out of there, but the exact sequence of events (cut corset, borrow water, throw water back, borrow water again, throw water to chicken girl, offer her towel for spilled water in return for chicken, then capture buzzard with corset and fly away) was painfully slow for me to figure out. Additionally, let’s talk a bit about this story line so far, eh? I mean, obviously she has to escape because letting maidens be eaten by a monster every so often is a fairly bad thing, and she’s the first person (minus her grandfather) to seem willing to do so. I felt very conflicted about it because her FAMILY. She’s bringing shame, and what if Mog Chothra is currently destroying everyone and everything.
I like games that make me feel vaguely guilty about what I’m doing. When I was leveling my first post-cata horde character in WoW, there were so many moments when I just felt like the biggest villain. Hanging out in Ashenvale, near the Warsong lumber camp: the local horde bigwigs wanted me to go and attack the alliance who were trying to disable the camp, which made sense — there’s a war on and the horde needs lumber (if you’re going to be all in favor of the Alliance, keep in mind what they’d done at this point in the Barrens, which was a wholesale slaughter for strategic reasons). But then they also made me burn down the new trees that the alliance were fostering, in what was just the most petty act of retribution — it didn’t help the horde in the least! I hated doing it (in theory, I could have skipped the quest, but I wanted to know the rest of the story).
I do a lot of critical (in the unkind sense, not in the academic sense) thinking about my own activities. I don’t know if it’s rationalizing or just general curiosity about my own motivations, which often seem murky. I play games for the story, which is why I don’t love Forza or Battlefield. And I get hooked, man. I couldn’t harvest the little sisters in Bioshock because it felt so morally wrong — even though I am not my character. Likewise, playing SWTOR online, I made the ‘moral’ choices even when playing a sith. Bad characters may be interesting, but I feel so closely connected to the character I have a hard time doing things that might make them less than good. I suspect I play the characters more morally than I would be in real life. Thus, when the game forces me down an uncomfortable path, I feel awful about it. But also intrigued, hoping for redemption.