There is nothing I like more than playing the bad guy. I love it. When a game presents me the option of being a dick, I will jump on that train and ride it directly into the centre of Dickville. Many of us like to engage in virtual murder and this certainly has no effect on our real lives. I like to engage is mass virtual genocide (genocide is fun) and make the lives of NPCs an utter misery. In reality I think I’m a much nicer person but in the virtual world I’m a griefer and a troll. I’m that teamkilling shitstain that you hate. I’m that C4 attached to your chopper kind of guy. I just like to make digital beings live a life of misery. Case in point: my utterly racist playthrough of Skyrim. Anyone that wasn’t pure breed Nord would feel the business end of my axe and the party tips of my arrows. I didn’t use any magic, potions or Potter-like spells. Put it this way… I made a lot of soup and anything that used magic would die a death of dead. I was Judge, Jury, and Executioner, and this is the fantasy I want to play.
Killing is easy though… pull trigger and forget. Video game combat is generally short-lived childlike outbursts with little consequence. Sending someone back into a war-torn country based on a dodgy passport is far more chilling and impactful. Imagine what happened when I played Papers, Please... (referred to as PP from now on) The first time I saw that trailer I nearly shit my life out. It’s perfect. I’ve always wanted to deny someone of their freedom in a game. This is how you destroy someone.
I judge people. You judge people. We all do it. PP is arguably the best judging simulation ever created. I role-played so fucking hard in this game that I started to arrange things on my desk just like I would shuffle documents in the game. PP is by far my favourite game of 2013 and highlights areas of human life that we haven’t truly explored in the gaming space… namely, judgment.
I didn’t even care if I messed up in the game as long as I got to brand you with my stamp of denial I was happy.
PP delivered on and nailed its vision so hard that it’s impossible not to be inspired by such a bleak, twisted, horrific and fun game.
My top ten of 2013 is:
10. Papers, Please