Evil triumphs when good men fail to act.
Posted on Friday, December 28 2007 @ 05:30:29 PST
I've only just had my wisdom teeth out. I've had an ingrown toenail excised the week before that, and I have to see a urologist in January about a matter I'd rather not disclose. These problems are small and insignificant, in terms of life and general existence. But video game characters never have to deal with these problems. Ryu hasn't got surgery in three weeks time. Sonic isn't on a 10 day course of antibiotics, and while Mario may be overweight, he certainly doesn't have to watch his cholesterol intake, and monitor his blood pressure.
No, video game characters tend to have far more grand problems. Like the fate of the world resting on their shoulders, or the prevention of a power-crazed, bloodthirsty despot from achieving world domination. And somehow, in the face of insurmountable odds, they always manage to succeed, either through the gift of limitless power during the final monologue of your cut-and-paste villain, or the rock thrown by the insignificant NPC child you met during the first five minutes of the game, which gives you just enough time to escape from the demon claws of the final boss, and stab him in his vital weak point.
Life, as we all know, is nothing quite as heroic, or spectacular, or even as satisfying. But it is a lot harder, with serious consequences, and no continues. You don't get a second chance on our roads, turning into traffic. You don't get three tries when you drink yourself into liver failure.
The title of this entry is "Evil triumphs when good men fail to act." I'm not sure who said it, but they were right. In a video game, a war is stopped by the actions of one individual, with the courage to stand up, and fight for what they believe in. This good man, as it were, defies their circumstances, to prevent the triumph of evil. In reality however, wars are won and lost by the lives of the innocent, and the lives of those who have the courage to fight, while their leaders stand back, and watch the action. To modern "leaders," a war is nothing more than a game of chess, an entire platoon of soldiers to be wept for as though a pawn. These men deserve the honour and respect that gamers attribute to their favourite characters, those that people derive nobility and morality from.
I long for the days of old, when a leader was at the front of a battlefield, when kings would ride with their men, not behind them, and provide strength for the comrades, and when the sharp of a blade was the only true way to defeat your foe
Human beings are fragile creatures. We can't survive a fall off a building, and few of us can leap between crumbling segments of a broken bridge to reach safety. We get cancer, and HIV, and MS, and cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy, and die. People are going to decry video games as long as someone continues to derive enjoyment from them. But playing a video game gives the sick, the weak, or the otherwise challenged people like you and me the chance to be indestructible, powerful, world-saving heroes, that we can't be in our own lives.
Evil such as illness, famine, and hatred towards one another, will triumph in this world, until such a time comes as we all learn to get along, and begin to help those around us. Until that time, live the life of a good man, defeat evil, and save the world.
If not this world, then perhaps the one in your Playstation.