Sunday, September 01, 2013

My Character Is Kind Of An Asshole

I recently got sucked into the rerelease of Baldur's Gate.  It was HUGE in the late 90s, and it's a pretty terrific game, at least if you're into fantasy RPGs (i.e. Dungeons & Dragons).

It's the usual shtick -- you create a character, choosing his/her race (elf/human/dwarf/etc., not black/white/asian/etc.), class (wizard, fighter, thief) and alignment (the nine combinations of Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic and Good/Neutral/Evil).  These choices affect how other characters in the game (not online) relate to you.

My character, Sir Hardass, is ostensibly a Chaotic Good Barbarian (barbarian is a life choice in D&D, not a judgement). So, he's generally a "good" guy, but he doesn't let The Man* determine what he should do.  After all, a man's gotta have a code.

I picked up a real badass guy for my "party"**, but he was "Evil".  So evil, in fact, that if my party did too many good deeds, he'd leave me.  I was in a bind -- I wanted to see how his storyline played out, but I also wanted to stay "Good".  Naturally, my curiosity (and desire to keep this badass around to help me kick ass), led me to keeping him.  But to finish the story, I kept being required to do good deeds.  So, I can be "Good" and lose the tough guy, or I can do some selective "Evil" acts and keep my bodyguard.  Naturally, I chose the latter.  So I killed some random civilian and this balanced out all my "Good" deeds.

Now, the question is, should I feel bad about this?  I did something in the game that I would NEVER do in real life***.  It didn't hurt anyone real, just affected a "character" that's really just some lines of code.  So, should I try to maintain a moral code that's vaguely similar to mine in real life, or is it ok to embrace my dark side in video games?

* or The Woman
** or entourage, as I like to think of it.
*** From a morality standpoint.  I also would NEVER in real life fight a bunch of angry ogres or cast a fireball spell.


Dyre42 said...

Embrace your dark side. Its a form of self exploration that takes place in a sandbox called a game.

Sean Bibby said...

hmmmm. only $18......

TravellingAK said...

See, in Fable for XBOX I tried a similar thing; Be evil to see what would happen. I felt guity with every evi deed, never finished the evil round (although I did finish when my guy was a good guy.)
Ann-Katrin ck