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SAMA1984 avatar 2:23 AM on 07.03.2010  (server time)
Alternate Reality: Good or Evil, or just Sadistic?

I stood on the balcony of Tenpenny Tower, overlooking the Capital Wasteland. Megaton was barely visible on the horizon, and the detonator was in front of me.

Mr. Burke gave a quick speech about how glorious my decision was, or something. I wasn't suing much attention to it.

The detonator was already attached to the nuke at the center of Megaton, and there was no way it's denizens would expect the fate they were about to suffer.

It was 8:30 when the detonator was activated and the button triggered. A secod later the pillar of fire rose into the sky with a blinding flash, followed by a shockwave that could be felt throughout the Wasteland.

Megaton was gone, as was everybody who was in it.

I heard Alastair Tenpenny and Mr. Burke exclaim in utter wonder at the spectacle they had just wintessed, and I sat on silence, PS3 controller in my hand, reading the notification on screen that the quest had been completed and that I had lost karma.

I had just recently realized that I play for the chance to explore the deepest, darkest corners of my psyche. I tend to explore my options in games such as Fallout 3 and follow a consistent path, be it good or evil.

The first time I played, a year ago, I decided to spare Megaton, rat Mr. Burke out to the Sherrif, watch as te Sherrif got killed, and avenged him by killing Mr. Burke on the spot. After that, I raided Tenpenny Tower and killed Alastair Tenpenny.

I enjoy improving my speech skills more than guns. In the current Playthrough, in which my character is a female, I picked the perks Black Widow, Child at Heart and even Animal Friend, which made things far easier for me in the game. For those who don't know, Black Widow is basically a female only perk, matched by Ladykiller for males, which allows you to "seduce" members of the opposite sex into giving you more favorable options and rewards. Child at Heart let's you interact with children so they share information with you that they don't share with other adults, and Animal Friend makes most wild animals ten friendly to you, and even attack your enemies (as was the case when a radscorpion tried attacking me and was intercepted by two Yao Guay)

Maybe I am just a self centered guy when it comes to gaming, or maybe I just like to see others squirm. That hasn't been more obvious in strategy games, where I push the enemies to a corner and surround them without actually moving in for the kill until I see what last ditch effort they can strike back with.

In another example, I will mention one event in Valkyria Chronicles. Without going into too many spoilers, I'll describe the events of the final boss battle.

The shields were down, and the enemy commander was all alone with nobody left to defend. Alicia and Rosie moved in to the boss, who had his back turned to them. They fired with everything they got, and dodged his counterattacks. Jane Turner, the sadistic shocktrooper from Hell, approached his exposed flank, and he noticed her. He turned around and started firing his devastating attacks. "You think bullets will stop me!" she shouted, activating a perk that made her virtually impervious to all attacks, and opened fire. His health was below 15% now, so Jane decided to finish him. She ran her hands down her face, relishing the moment. "Mmm... Scre for me!" she said in a dreamy voice, and opened fire. He got double damage and went down instantly.

So in conclusion, I enjoy the alternate realities of gaming for all the times it gives me an option to actually make other characters, whether neutral or enemy, bend to my will.

I may be evil, or a sadist, but I rarely display any such qualities outside of my gaming. You have to admit: games are at their most fun when they allow you to make others squirm.

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