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Graviscera @gravislizard
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
was thinking about this subject while playing rdr2 last night, then today I see a post that concurs with me
videogames of this type offer lots of opportunity for heroism, which we could define as
- helping strangers or friends,
- with your unique skills,
- primarily or entirely by yourself
i could go out and join habitat for humanity and build houses. maybe I'm a bad person for not doing that with my life, but I have brain problems that make that kind of time expenditure hard because I'd just be a cog, doing something anyone could do
but there's things i am better at than the average person, and i have nowhere to demonstrate them because society is too complicated
i have fantasies about becoming a furniture builder but the reality is that people don't buy from cottage industry, they want a store, a warranty, a truck delivery, and for good reasons
i can do a lot of car maintenance and i could do it faster and cheaper than most shops, but then i take on a huge share of liability if, in fact, anyone was willing to use the services of some random guy for something safety critical
walking up to Q Random Stranger irl who appears to need help has a 20% chance of roping you into someone's Unending Cyclical Catastrophe, grift, or tragedy of late capitalism, and you will now be their acquaintance and it will be your problem
in a videojame I can help someone put a wheel back on their wagon and if it's a con or we get caught up to by the bandits they didn't mention were chasing them, so what, I get to shoot them
I get to walk away feeling good in any case. if it was an honest person needing help, I get to be a hero. if it's a conman I get to shoot them and clean up the world. it's win win
so make room in your classification system for videojames as *positive* power fantasies. "what if you could do good all day and feel no personal risk?" is a thing tons of people feel really hard, just as much or more than "what if you could kill bad people?"
this fantasy centers our own feelings; self validation through good works. it is selfish, but it's the kind of selfish impulse that makes you go far out of your way to do something nice for someone because you want to be seen as someone who does stuff like that
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