“People get really tired of having all the tough villains front-loaded against them and resent getting short changed on play time because some fat mouth-breather’s hogging it all with a stack of quarters that could knock out a Clydesdale. If that’s all on offer, can you blame folks for staying home?”
Games are the repositories of our culture’s most primal values. As ostensible objects of complete fancy, they (can) deftly sidestep at will many of the extraneous ambiguities that force us to compromise our deepest values and thus help give clearest expression to our highest ideals.
For starters, game consequences are not so final or existential as they are in real life. You’re typically given at least 3 initial ‘lives’ to perform strategy experiments and become comfortable with play options before you’re fatally croaked. And even then you’re usually offered the option to restart the game. You have an opportunity to weigh options with some level of maturity and develop a play style that suits you personally.
Not so in the real world. Even if you’re bright enough to have intuited that Ayn Rand and Niccolo Machiavelli wrote the cheat book at a fairly young age, you’re faced with the ugly reality that there will be no restarts available for you. Mainly because that fat kid who breathes through his mouth will just keep shoving quarters in the machine before you can get anywhere near it.
This essay continued at Dystopia Diaries in 10, 9, 8 . . .