My Virtual Sins: A Gamer’s Confession
Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been longer than I can remember since my last confession. These are my sins:
I killed a man. No, too modest. On every continent and in all countries, across centuries, worlds and dimensions, in times of war and times of peace, my trail of dead is one frag short of endless.
I masterminded the genocide of countless Civilizations and annihilated every city on Earth each time I booted up Defcon.
I’ve committed patricide in Lego Star Wars, matricide in Final Fantasy VII, sororicide in Bioshock (little sister had it coming) and pesticide in Viva Piñata.
I colonised America in Anno 1701 and killed all of the Indians (but hey, if it works in my favour, I did help put an end to World War II around 73 million times).
I blew up a sheep in Worms. Come to think of it, I blew up a worm in Worms. I wiped out all of the ants in EDF2017, all of the bats in Symphony of the Night, all of the mice in Chu Chu Rocket and all of the light in The Darkness.
My Nintendog ran away.
I vandalised Shinjuku in Jet Set Radio, jaywalked in Frogger, tore down the Empire State Building in Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and, last week, I rolled up London in a Katamari. I’ve let Sim Cities run to ruin and left the weeds to choke town Animal Crossing. I couldn’t be bothered to tidy up Tetris.
I’m a Thief. I’ve stolen gil from every NPC house I ever walked into, plundered every treasure chest I stumbled across, took coins from the bodies of every foe I ever felled, but still I never gave to Assassin’s Creed’s poor. I stole from Oblivion’s beggars.
I coveted my neighbour’s World of Warcraft account, then bid on ebay for it.
I made Lara crawl when she needn’t. I solicited sailors in Shenmue, ran off with my neighbour’s wife in Fable and kissed an underage boy in Bully. I rode a horse in G1 Jockey.
I punched all of the girls in Tekken, kicked them in the tits in Virtua Fighter and felt them up in Leisure Suit Larry. I never touched Princess Peach, honest, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t heroism on a promise. Um, that probably goes for Zelda too (although, somehow less so).
I’m a Spornographer.
I’ve driven DUI in Liberty City, scratched the paintwork off a Ferrari F355. I fired a purple shell; I bought Driv3r.
Rock Band: guilty rhythm; Dance Dance Revolution: two left feet; my crimes against the fashion police are numbered exactly as the games in Square-Enix’s portfolio.
It’s been 185 days since I turned on WiiFit. As Solid Snake I smoke 60-a-day. I worked briefly as a surgeon: they dubbed my practice, ‘Trauma Center’.
I didn’t cry when Aerith died; I walked the Lemmings off the cliff.
I’m sorry: I dropped Yorda ☹
I tried ever so hard to love my neighbours as myself in The Sims. Then there was this party and they said they were leaving but their path-finding routines meant they couldn’t and they all ended up dead on my living room carpet. I’m not sure what happened there. It was weird. Sorry.
I’ve sinned virtual sins too numerous, elaborate and convoluted to imagine; my Xbox achievement points are less a measure of accomplishment than a public litany of wrongdoing. I’d be going to hell if I hadn’t just got back from a killing spree there. Three times over. (Doom, Diablo and Disgaea).
So forgive me Father. I am truly sorry for these sins and all the sins I can’t remember (that’s my bad: I’ve been skipping Brain Training).
This column also appeared yesterday on GameSetWatch.