I Destroyed A Planet, Just to Watch It Burn.

Saurfang
We hear our spiritual leaders go on all the time about our "eternal souls". About how we are measured by our deeds and actions, that when our hour of judgement comes, we will be welcomed to some eternal reward. Other cultures speak of reincarnation, returning to the mortal world over and over, and some even speak of the notion of karma, that the positive things we do, our selfless acts and kindnesses, are rewarded by some good fortune.

If our actions, our free will, is guided by some metaphysical concept such as a soul, then your average gamer, like you and me, must have one that is split or partitioned in some way. Like the "gamer soul" being an aspect of a "meta soul" that some philosophers like to talk about endlessly, usually over tiny glasses of absinthe. I say this because, whilst having coffee with a World of Warcraft fellow traveler, we discovered that our gamer souls were very dark indeed. Over the course of an hour we listed a litany of horrors and atrocities we have committed, hunched over our keyboards or controllers, as the screen rolled and the sprites exploded, as our gamer characters scooted down corridors, brandishing an assortment of firearms, as our horribly beweaponed spaceships prowled the inky blackness of space looking for targets...

And for me? Well, it all goes back to my wild and carefree days of yoof, to a little game on the Atari ST called Captain Blood. It was there I embraced the dark part of my soul, it was there I gave in to my murderous impulses, it was there I experienced my first thrill kill.

Captain Blood, for those that can't be arsed looking it up, was a French made game exported across many 8-bit platforms of the time, and it featured the player as the pilot of a ship known only as The Ark. Your mission was to scoot around the universe, conversing with aliens using the UPCOM system, and garnering information from them pertaining to the whereabouts of your 5 missing clones, whom you have to kill lest you lose your humanity forever. One of the things The Ark could do, for whatever reason, is destroy entire planets, I mean you could go completely Death Star on them, and one day, giving in to some dark impulse, I pressed the "Destroy Planet" button.

And that was the day I crossed a terrible threshold, that was the day I destroyed a planet, just to watch it burn. And from that moment on, it seemed I lost all remorse, as far as games were concerned at least, that I would do the most horrible things in order to achieve my objectives. Things that, in real life, would have me branded a monster, a genocidal maniac, a heartless beast. Dropping or launching nuclear weapons against cities, in order to achieve my goals of world domination or simply because they annoyed me, sending hundreds of military units screaming to their deaths, just to buy time for my other forces to get to a more readily defensible position. Mowing down enemy combatants by the score, sending them to the next world in a hail of bullets, before simply moving on to the next objective.

Has it bred a generation of remorseless people? Will our kids growing up today have video games to thank for them being indifferent to the suffering of the human condition? I think for me, video games simply finished what television had started, that the constant exposure to cruelty and violence had us numb from the start. Every night we are bombarded by images of horror, violence, threats both real and otherwise, the nightly news using "dogwhistle" words like "shock" and "terror", the tabloid current affairs shows leaving you seething in expertly manufactured outrage. So people see these images, and retreat from them, they retire to their computers and log in to their favourite games, little knowing that they are perpetuating the cycle.

TL;DR. So when did you turn to the dark side of gaming? What horrors have you inflicted on your video game subjects in the name of fun or progression? And did you do these things out of necessity? or out of cruelty?
Share with us your story.
That wall of text crit'd me hard, man.

What horrors have you inflicted on your video game subjects in the name of fun or progression?


I banned my competitor's healer once, because I was jealous of their progression.
Back in the day, I used to camp the WG vendor every time we lost WG as Horde.

Or, I'd sit in WG keep and gank and portal to safety.

The honor was good, but it wasn't really the reason.
Back in the day, I used to camp the WG vendor every time we lost WG as Horde.

Or, I'd sit in WG keep and gank and portal to safety.

The honor was good, but it wasn't really the reason.


Agreed. We in ebs had a blast making Alliance run the gauntlet to enter VoA back in the day.

Also, OT: Lemmings, I've killed more of them than there are stars in the sky I believe. That and seeing just how long I could survive with max wanted level in GTA III - man that got hairy at times.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum