That’s What She Said: If Videogame Developers Were Boyfriends
About two weeks ago (well thirteen days to be precise), #Thabolicious did an article on what videogame publishers would be like if they were girlfriends. So in the spirit of equality (which means that both sexes deserve to be demeaned) I decided to do a similar one. I am known for personifying most things (my console, my cat), in fact my car did something cool with its lights the other day and I exclaimed “aaaaw babay” which my cat would definitely not be happy about if he knew (you get my point here), so I knew I was going to have lots of fun with this one.
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God rest their souls. And I know 2K is trying to do something (yes we all went to Eve’s Garden) but it’s really a case of “do you want to date the guy who cured cancer?” or “do you want to date the guy who almost cured cancer?” We obviously know who we are all going to pick, although to be fair “almost cure cancer” is probably a more prudent choice because “cancer saviour” is going to be far too busy actually saving the world.
But focusing on Irrational Games, this is the guy where when I met him, he looked scary. And although maybe not scary like I am a gangster who is going to cut your throat if you look at another man, scary in the sense that I was not just sure I wanted to deal with all of that. I am going to say for the millioneth time, splicers are terrifying. So I stayed away (rightly so I thought) and then a few years later, he somehow reappeared. More clean cut, a sunnier disposition and far more approachable. And approach I did. Who knew that I had been so mistaken and that splicer nightmares go away after like a week? And after that week of terror, I got to experience one of the most interesting and fascinating games I had ever played. Heck, Bioshock’s Rapture was inspired by Ayn Rand. That’s basically my entire type in two words (Ayn Rand).
And then, after a glorious two months, it was all over. Where are you going Irrational Games and will you come back? I don’t know but I will be that girl holding a torch for Ken Levine.
We met, and he was different. Special. Not something I had ever heard of before. Smart, with a story that had a basis in history. And assassins (because that is how you make a ninja more sexy), and because it could actually not get better, a creation story (or a hint of one). So we flirted, and then flirting ended up, well, how flirting usually ends up. And that was one magnificent game, really one of my favourites.
Like any magnificent night, you always want more. And there was definitely promise of more. But after that, things just started getting progressively mediocre. Did he stop paying attention? Stop listening to what I actually wanted? Or maybe (because this is how all girls try rationalise things) it was me, and I had just expected too much. Maybe all that Ubisoft could give, he was giving?
And so I lost all hope in things and scorned Ubisoft because promises were made and promises were not kept. It’s not like he cared too much though, because there always going to be girls that were interested, just not me. Some years later, he reappeared in a somewhat different guise, at least able to poke fun at himself, and its definitely paying off. Just not for me though, sorry Ubisoft but now you’re just somebody that I used know.
I really do love Bioware and Mass Effect is my favourite series in the history of history. But Bioware is my Westley, my farm boy. For those of you not understanding my Princess Bride references, you do not deserve to live.
“Farm boy, polish my horse’s saddle. I want to see my face shining in it shining by morning”, “As you wish”.
See I played the Mass Effect series backwards, and obviously starting with the last one meant that I didn’t have too much of an idea as to what was going on. But I was having fun and I thought it was a great game. It was only when I started playing the game in reverse (so started Mass Effect 2) and then played the series the correct way around, that I began to appreciate how amazing it really was, and how much I really loved it. I sobbed over some of the deaths. I wasn’t even too upset at its disaster of an ending because I was just grateful to have been able to experience it.
But as we see in the Princess Bride, Westley leaves to seek his fortune across the sea and Buttercup is left, waiting. Which is what I am doing. Waiting for the next Bioware adventure, the next opening I get into the Mass Effect universe. As Westley says, “I will always come for you”.
There are too many times I have proclaimed on the internet that Gordon Freeman is my one true love. Valve and I had something which was magic, and like Bioware (Westley) went off to find his fortune across the sea. And he has. Valve is doing all sorts of amazing things, akin to curing cancer, and those things are great. Really great for him. It’s like those unfortunate situations when you think you want to date a nobel prize laureate (for literature obviously) but then you are actually dating a nobel prize laureate.
“Do you want to go to dinner?” “I’m busy writing a thesis on Hamas’s influence on the civilian population in Gaza.”
“Can I bring you Woolworths?” “I am a doing a critical analysis of the Man Booker 2014 Longlist.”
Can we have sex?” “I have a video-conference with the UN Security Council on Syria.”
And all I really want is just to cuddle and play Half Life 3. I mean you can’t leave a cliffhanger like that and then expect people to just be okay with it. Even if you are curing cancer. I know some people might use the world selfish, but hey we are just humans.