Bastards Anonymous

Posted: November 17, 2010 in Gaming
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It has to be said that when it comes to a good ol’ (or recent, in my case) RPG I love playing complete and utter cock-faces. Bastards and all things bastard-related are the core of my levelling experience. I’ll load a new game on Fallout 3 and within minutes of having complete control of my character I’ll engage with my small community by producing fists into faces with great rapidity. Regardless of gender I’ll immediately begin the undying process of subjecting non-playables to my most heinous of acts (that right there is true equality people!)


Imagine this is an innocent person, and that I am totally killing the fuck out of them...

The Fable series is no exception. My character (who I’ve decided to name using a mish-mash of expletives and genitalia innuendos) has just reached a new town? Before a hearty hello can be uttered from the smelly folk I’ll have already skewered a number of innocent villagers with my sword/kebab stick in a game I like to call “Kill Everybody In Sight In Abject Blood Lust. And Possibly Erections”.

What then follows is a hot pursuit on foot by guards who are clearly not keen on my culinary methods. Wash this all down with a cup of guard-stab-in-eye and I can then put the controller down for a second, dust off my hands, take a sip of wine from the hollowed-out monkey skull I have and feel as though a great weight has been lifted from me.

There is something wholly cathartic about going cat-scrotum insane on the first play of a role-playing title. It’s nice to know that there are options for doing good, and even rewards. But no amount of in-game gold or prostitutes (or gold prostitutes) can placate my sense of release the way a good wholesome weapon and a loss of morals can.

Maybe it’s become a problem; a vice that has gone beyond the realms of social constraint. If playing a game in which I can steal (Oblivion is usually the staple of this) I will begin immediately stealing everything that isn’t clipped or that has been riveted to an equally unmoveable surface. Why? Because I can, that’s why dammit!

I think most people would agree that given the opportunity in games to be total wank-fucks they will grab it with both hands. And then run away into some forests with it giggling. It’s a chance to do things in a virtual world that we wouldn’t get away with doing in our non-pixelated world. There are no actual ramifications for, say, firing arrows into a beggar from behind a rock. It satisfies a morbid curiosity.

But maybe it goes beyond merely having the option. Curiosity may be the spark that sets it off, but once we know what happens when we do bad things in games do we immediately stop, reload a previous save and continue the game as a model civilian? Or do we delve deeper into our chasm of violence and theft? I like to think it’s the latter. Psychiatrists could probably write entire thesis’ (thesi?) on this subject matter alone. I’ve managed to do 600 words on it just now. And I haven’t even finished my cup of tea yet (hollowed-out monkey skull has many uses).

It is, I am unashamed to say, entirely satisfying to slaughter innocent people and take all their stuff. That’s why games such as Grand Theft Auto are so popular. That’s why in the airport level on Modern Warfare 2 most players would go along with the terrorists and begin the mayhem when in actual fact they can get through most of the sequence without harming an innocent passenger. It’s been said many-a-time but it’s always worth pointing out: regardless of any underlying psychological problems gamers love to play the bad guy. They always have and they always will.

There is simply not enough love for this kind of behaviour, so I’ve decided that, for such instances in which it become impossible not to be the bad guy, it’s time to set up the BA: Bastards Anonymous.

This will be a weekly programme in which gamers come together in a neutral sanctuary and share with like-minded individuals their love of the Bastard Character. Did you jump off a cliff on your horse in Oblivion just to watch it crumple and break it’s legs? Share. Share your experience and how it made you feel. Perhaps you’ve recently installed Postal 2 and are ashamed to admit it to your family or local vicar. Come and talk to us about it. We don’t judge. They’re a mixture of polygons and pixels. Have at it with your axe and flame-thrower!

"...setting deer alight seems to settle some unnerving voices in my head. I wish my wife was still with me..."

Join us for some light refreshments and a hearty discussion on the best way wipe out an entire town without any clothes on. Or vent your frustration at not being able to murder children in Fable 2. It all counts. Not only is this kind of behaviour therapeutic but the notion of surrounding yourself with others who nod in agreement about your Daddy-didn’t-care-for-me rampages can give each us a feeling of pride in our work. No more shame. No more apologies. Take your in-game avatar (mine’s called Cunt-Wiggles. You choose your own moniker) and show those backwards villagers how you do things in Twatville!

We meet in the same place as Alcoholics Anonymous. Bring swords.

  1. mrgrim says:

    With RPG games, I create a number of different characters and play through, generally the standard heroic chap, bastion of hope, delivering swift justice to the bastards of the world.

    Then, i’ll have my evil bastard character, normally going down the bad quests lines and killing those who he/she has no use for – but generally not killing everyone.

    Perhaps my favourite type of char is the ethically unbalanced thief, will do the good thing for a cost, but will do the bad thing if it pays better – but always pickpocketing and eyeing up big places for weaknesses for later plundering. (I love the thief games :D)

    I get more enjoyement out of pretending to be someone else, and living by their various morals more interesting, constantly asking my self in new situations “What would Morlack the bastard do in this situation?” 😀

    • Andrew says:

      I do play the good character eventually. I tend to only have the one character on the go and my instinct is to go with the evil choices. It happens in all RPGs I play, including The Eternal City. But once I’m done with that then I’ll tend to replay and go down the opposite path. If nothing else just to see what the different outcomes will be 🙂

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