Am I Evil?

I like to think that I’m a nice guy. The sort of person who would hold a door open for someone or give my seat on the bus to a pregnant woman and for the most part this is true. In person I am that nice guy I hope to be but stick a controller in my hand and you’ll barely recognise the Hyde like aberration standing in front of you. In this pixelated playground, I’m the one pulling peoples’ pigtails and pooping in the sandpit. I am that heartless bastard that everyone fears and respects – because if they didn’t, they’d get shot in the face.

The problem is that I know the poor souls I’m murdering in ever increasingly violent ways aren’t real. They have no family to mourn their loss, they have no children who’ll have to go into foster care because of my actions; they’re just a collection of polygons assembled to populate a virtual world. They have no other purpose, their ‘lives’ have no higher purpose. In fact, leaving a crater sized hole in their chest is almost a mercy killing. The first game to make me realise I had no gaming conscience came surprisingly late in my gaming lifetime though. The game in question was Bioshock.

Unlike most serious gamers, it actually took me over a year to buy a 360. I was, shamefully, a slight Sony fan boy when it was released so dismissed it as another shit attempt at console gaming by Micro$oft. After a very long chat with a work mate on the pros and cons of the curvy, white brick however, I found myself in Gamestation buying a brand new HDMI fitted Xbox 360 (told you it took me a while) with Bioshock and Gears of War. After taking my purchase home and setting it up on my brand new HD TV bought specially for the occasion, I stuck Bioshock in and away I went happily slaying splicers, until I came across my first little sister. Even before I’d bought it I was aware of little sisters and the moral choice between harvesting them for your own personal gain or saving them and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I’d read reviews and had been told by many gaming parents that “killing a little girl is wrong” and that they couldn’t do it. I harvested her – and was mildly disappointed that I didn’t get to see her demise. This wasn’t an isolated incident either, jump forward to Fable II being released.

Listen mutt, if it's a choice between me getting my end away with a whore or getting your stupid paw treated... I'm the hero around here, so live with it. Nobody asked you to be here, go shag a chair!

With Fable II, Peter Molenyeux promised an emotional attachment to your dog the likes of which no other game had provided. Now I always take what Peter Molenyeux says with a pinch of salt because, let’s be honest, he’s a lying bastard. “Yes, Milo was created to test Natal/Kinect/Microsoft’s Shit Effort to Steal Wii’s Target Market. It’s not just a woman talking to a pre-rendered video, honest”. Bollocks, Milo was the computer game equivalent of Katie Price’s tits – shit and fake. Now where was I? Oh yes, Fable II’s dog. For those not familiar with Fable II you have a pet dog following you throughout the game, with the choice of treating him nicely by throwing his ball or exacting your own brand of animal cruelty by smacking him. I took pleasure in hearing his yelps every time the dopey canine got in my way and sat laughing when he got injured by a thug, refusing to heal him until he was pretty much dead. If my dog were real, RSPCA would’ve hung me by now.

Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

For those of you who read my articles religiously (you poor misguided fools) you are probably expecting this final paragraph to be about the game that changed my views and normally you’d be right, but this time you’re not! I’m still that shotgun wielding nuisance that’ll shoot your horse in the arse just for looking at me funny. I’m still that bell end who kills all the indigenous species on any planet I land on. I’m still the absolute bastard who would happily kill a civilian if he slows me down by more than a second. The only question left to ask is; Am I Evil? Yes I am.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the GamingLives owners… we’d never have waited that long to buy a 360… fanboy!

The views and
> opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and do
> not necessarily reflect the views of the GamingLives owners… we’d never
> have waited that long to buy a 360… fanboy

Last five articles by Iain



  1. M@thew says:

    You say you’re a nice fella in your day to day life, but you’ve failed to ever buy me flowers! heh

    Back on topic, it’s clear you’re not a silly billy and you’re more than aware that there is a disconnect between reality and the games you play.
    The angry man in the white house or the Daily Mail would have us believe that videogames\ music \ film or whatever else is hip this week are to blame for everything violent in the world. You’re an excellent example (based on your written testimony at least) that CRAZY and BASTARD have nothing to do with the product, but the person itself.

    Just promise me that you won’t take what you’ve learnt from those murder simulators you enjoy so much, and use them on your mum or something. I don’t want egg on my face.

  2. Edward Edward says:

    I have to admit, I’m a massive goody two shows when it comes to games with moral systems. Something compels me to be a goodie goodie instead of a massive bastard.
    I liked this a lot :)

    And it’s such a good example of why the disconnect in videogames is awesome :)

  3. Samuel The Preacher says:

    For someone who is such a nice guy in person, I don’t recall you greeting me at Euston Station with cake. Where’s the cake, arsehole?! A tissue of lies all of it…

    Took me a while to get a 360 too. Mostly because I didn’t like the original Xbox though. I was finally swayed by Ace Combat 6, and my 360 has the 45nm architecture and dedicated HDMI port that they trialled on the Halo 3 limited edition prior to the Elite being released. I don’t like Halo… I bought this one because it’s green. I like green.

    You know, I have never once harvested a Little Sister in Bioshock. I could not bring myself to do it. And I have done some evil shit in games… driven exclusively along the paths on GTA, shot a teammate in the face because I don’t like his name on shooters, played through Mass Effect only selecting the renegade options, etc etc.

    But a little girl? That’s fucked up, dude.

  4. Ste says:

    I somehow feel compelled to do the right thing in games. Unless of course there is an achievement involved for being bad. In that case, such as Bioshock, I completed the game good first then replayed it and went bad. :D I’ve gotta admit it is kinda fun to be bad though. Good article.

  5. Iain says:

    @Matthew – I’m sorry baby, I’ll buy you something pretty to make up for it….. Yeah it always pisses me off that people who don’t play games dare to blame them for violence in people. Granted games can be the catalyst foran already unstable person but they aren’t the cause.

    @Edward – I usually do two playthroughs. One as a complete bastard then another as a good guy. More recently in games like Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead I’ve tried going for the flawed anti-hero approach. A man (or woman) who does good deads but is reluctant about it and refuses to do it nicely. For example, the random missions in RDR. I help the person, but If I’m given a choice between killing and the hogtie, I got for the headshot. It’s a lot less effort….

    @Preacher – I did bring cake but a pidgeon flew into St Pancras and stole it…That’s believeable right? Meh, it’s a computer generated little girl. I would’ve shot her in the face if the game had let me -_-

    @Ste- As soon as I heard about the ‘Dastardly’ acheivement in Red Dead, where you have to tie a woman to the train tracks and let get hit, I went out and done it. I have no soul :(

  6. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Oddly enough, I tend to play the good guy in games. I have some pretty twisted morals though and have to look at whether someone is going against MY principles and, if so, they’re the bad guy and will be taken down. Playing through Fallout had me more or less on the side of good the entire time and I rarely did anything that could be seen as countering that cause. In Oblivion, on the other hand, I played through the various guild quests with a degree of apathy until I joined the Assassin’s Guild… then I REALLY started to enjoy the game. I do love the stealth killings though, and there were plenty of them in that game.

    I’ve never really considered that disconnect you’ve all mentioned, because I try to completely immerse myself in a game whenever I’m playing so, for as long as I have the controller in my hands, I AM that person. Even better if I’m playing a woman, as I can pretend to touch my girlie bits. If I have a gun, and the game allows, I’ll go for headshots every time. I had to switch the target help off in RDR as it tended to go for body shots and it was starting to annoy me as my headshot count wasn’t going up.

    Does anyone else try to get the horses from killed outlaws lined up on the rail tracks in the hope that a train will come and piledrive through the lot of them? I’ve tried a dozen times but they start to wander off… it’s most annoying. I even played TWO nights in a row with the XBox running through the PC (windowed, about 2/3 the size of the full screen) just so I could capture a video of it happening… but they always wandered off. Bastards.

  7. Tania Tania says:

    Do you have an evil laugh? Bad guys always have a maniacal laugh like: MWOOHAHAHA!!! ;)

  8. Iain says:

    I do actually. I just need a dastardly moustache to twirl now :D

  9. Richie richie says:

    You’re a terrible person, I loved that wee fluffy fella in Fable 2. I totally picked that ending as well.

    Generally I prefer to play as the nice guy, always saving the evil playthrough (if one is needed) for after.

    That said, I do quite like games where you are meant to go a bit mental. Postal 2 for example.

  10. Lorna Lorna says:

    I used to always play the good guy in games, choosing the ‘right path’ without thought until I checked myself and thought, ‘hang on a minute, this isn’t as fun as it could be’. When I started Fallout 3, I made a concious decision to be a complete dick and though I’ve been a slack arse and not gone back to it, it was enjoyable…as was being a dick in Fable 2. I loved slaying peasants, sacrificing them in the Shadow Temple, and choosing the big wad of cash at the end to screw Albion over. Sod the peasants and their whining…Reaver liked it and he’s a good lay, so that’s all that counts ;)

  11. Rook says:

    Damn you Pix3l, damn you! They’re the words you’ll hear whenever you feel the need to do your bad deeds. :)

    Like others, I play the good guy and only do the bad when the game has achievements for it. I’ve never shot an innocent traveller in the airport level of MW2. I even tried to get away with not shooting the police force but you had to to progress. Karma would catch up on my evil ways.

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