Toby looks inside his own blackened, shrivelled heart.
By Toby McCasker on May 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm
I’m fascinated by the moral quandaries as often posed by games now. More specifically, the bad choice. I always bet on black. Always.
I love to cringe, but it’s more about: How far is this game gonna let me go? Really? It’s a game, surely it won’t be that far. Nasty surprises all. So far I’ve managed to put myself in some stupidly uncomfortable places. I worked negligently hard to get Heavy Rain’s worst ending. It was worth it. That has got to be the most depressing and confronting finale of your own devising I’ve ever seen go down in gameland.
I don’t want to spoil it but Ethan, y’know, he doesn’t find that kid. No one does. And Ethan, he can’t live with that.
What I find surprising is that most if not every single gamefriend I’ve talked to about this never bets on black. Ever. They want to be heroes when they could be heroes, declaring “The end justifies the means,” in a Clint Eastwood rasp as I do. Because why wouldn’t you? Where else can you purge the terrible reality of living that collects in your soul over time, safely and in the comfort of a mad bag of Dorries, maybe a delicious bubbling beverage that looks like fizzy piss?
Only vidya, mate. This is my philosophy: I’m basically the Joker. In reality, I’m just happy to cop his fashion sense (and, post-spritzer, his mannerisms). Online, let us burn everything.
But I’m a pretender to the charred bone-throne. I reveal myself as a fundamentally harmless sloth creature by the fact I never go out of my way to do the wrong thing in games. I never create it. It’s always a click of the choice’s doomcore button. Commander Toberd, do you wish to annihilate this entire race of pe- YES I DO LOL. In a recent conversation with a fellow gamebeast, I posited the question, as I love to: “Brah-dog, what is the worst thing you’ve ever done in a game?”
Now he stroked his chin-scruff and, interestingly, answered in terms of himself when let roam free, not via the oft black/white decision-making most of us default to considering. He went:
“Grand Theft Auto IV. Yeah. I was playing that. I picked up a hooker, like always. Took her for a ride, know what I’m sayin’? Hey, hey? Yeah you do, you’re Toby. I just wanted to talk that day, though. I wanted to talk, and then drive that car off a bridge into the sea, with her still in the passenger seat, wondering what the hell was happening, wondering about the child back home at the projects she was working so hard to support, and now she’d picked up this madman, just another john, so she thought, right an-“
And we stop there. I turned away then, thoroughly disgusted. “You’re a monster,” I cried, and ran… back to my chair, where I sit just across from him. “I just wanted to see if I could do it,” he said.
That day I realised: I am actually quite boring, and will probably one day have a white picket fence and an illegitimate son that I call “champ”.