Friday, November 30, 2007

Could I ever be evil?

Last week I got back into gaming. I had taken a hiatus from it because of school, work, and generally a lack of money to buy new games. Last Tuesday I picked up my copy of Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) and decided to play through it again, since I hadn't done so since I bought it almost three years ago.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, KotOR is a game set in the Star Wars universe several thousands of years before the first movies. It's a wonderful, wonderful game. For every mission, side quest, or story event, there are multiple ways to accomplish your goal - usually a nice way (which gives you light side points), mean way (which gives you dark side points), and a neutral way (which doesn't give any force points). Going through the game three years ago, I decided to go through it as a light jedi and to be the best that I could be. It didn't take very long into the game before I had maxed out the force meter to the light side and my character was a beacon of goodness and peace throughout the galaxy. They could also put the smack down on dark jedis with their stasis ability.

This time, I decided to go through the game as a dark jedi, just to experience something different. The game plays out differently depending on your choices: different dialogue options, different character interactions, sometimes even different quests, and a different ending. Now, when I first discussed this game with a friend of mine years back, he spoke about how he started out trying to be a good jedi, but found the pull of the dark side too much fun and eventually became a full blown dark jedi and at the end of game, instead of bringing peace to the galaxy like a light jedi does, he conquered and ruled it himself. I didn't find it particularly hard to play through the game as a light jedi, but figured this time I could perhaps indulge my dark side and rule the galaxy with an iron fist, too.

I was wrong.

I don't know what it is about me, but I just can't be evil. Even in a video game, I can't bring myself to do things that will be cruel or hurt others. The best I can accomplish is neutral. Every now and then I'll do some minor dark side thing like ask for a little more money for a reward, or threaten a shopkeeper to lower prices, but then later I instinctively do something that gains light side points and I break even. Even when I'm trying to gain dark side points, the best I can do is neutral. It's kind of weird; I can't be evil.

I suppose this should be taken as a good thing, but it's also kind of disturbing. Not so much on the level that I wish I could be evil, but more on the line that there are actually people who find it hard to be good, which to me seems to come naturally.

1 comment:

Becky said...

That's some very interesting insights. I think the more you "feed the good" side, the more natural it becomes to do so, and the more you give in to the dark side, the more comfortable that becomes. You have been feeding the good side for over twenty years, and so it is very unnatural to do otherwise. Just my thoughts.