Which is better: horoscopes or illogical choices?

Last week, I decided (barely!) that blemishes are better than an amount of laser. I feel like I should have defined the flaws more narrowly but it would be a mess if I entered the cancellation. Onward! Next, I offer a choice between two things I don’t like often. Which is better: controlling a tower or a few illogical choices?

control tower

No, stop booing. You can’t be here faintly before I start. I know, it’s widely believed that playing tower is horrible, and it’s a downside to wild games, tearing you out of the game you used to enjoy. Interview: dakka dakka dakka!

Confession: I like it when a video game starts “Hey, do you just want to blast things for five minutes? I know you’ve been running, and we’re in some plot or something, but do you just want to do explosions and loud noises? We put a lot of effort into explosions and noises.” Loud, you know. Tell you what, I’m even going to stand some guys next to some red barrels, and make the guys fly high in the air if I shoot them. Sorry, you can just hold down the mouse button and look at the colors for five minutes.” Thank you for The video game, I will hold the mouse button for five minutes and admire the efforts you have made.

Also, going back in time, one of the first games I bought after seeing it on RPS was 100% tower:

There is a time and place for that of course. Too many really bad constellations or turrets in some games (or both, hello Dead Space!) caused a lot of hostility. But if our deliberations stumbled across something that was universally good, I’d probably put the whole thing off because we’d have our answer (I doubt cats might be something like that). So while we’re narrowing down our options, let me ask you: Wouldn’t you like to go to dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka, now, just for a few minutes?

Few illogical choices

Some of the choices in video games are huge. Kingdoms will rise, gods will fall, civilizations will change course, entire planets will evaporate. Some choices are life or death for one person. Some torture or murder or redemption. Some define relationships (the character will no doubt “remember that”). And some options exist just because that. They don’t change the outcome of the plot, the mission, or even a single conversation, but they are still choices you can make, that still require intent formation. I love these small, unimportant choices.

who am I?

One of my favorite dialogue options comes from the first-person game Paratopic, which talks to a gas station worker at the bridges about local attractions. It will ask you if you are interested in a giant ball of thread and you have three options: 2) Show interest; 3) skip the topic; And 1) let’s say you’re not interested in giant balls of string, an option that’s been explicitly flagged as a lie. Turns out #1 and 2 lead to the same response (I’m 90% sure?) but oh, what a great nonsensical little option #1. Everything is exactly the same but I learned and decided a lot about the character I’m playing.

I like any such option, if plotted on a complex flowchart of crypto-game systems, it would be a dead end. These choices exist to shape me, to express me, to change me. Thinking of something inside that no one had ever heard of. An extensive wardrobe of clothes without various stats or bonuses. Respond with different feelings. Act ethically when no ethical system takes notes. Only commit minor crimes because I can. The option to change the color of something. The options that are there simply allow me to live more space and life. I don’t think I would include formally subjective games like It’s Winter (where you can, if you like, carefully fry an egg and then flush it down the toilet); Perhaps they are the best in matches with goals or next to the “big” options. But there, I’ll pick a pretty hat, throw some rocking lamp out the window, or lie about my megatwine interest about deciding the fate of a kingdom alone, any day.

But which one is better?

I love the deck but yeah, give me a few unimportant options. While some games push towards the consequences of everything, a number assigned to my morals, and my existence being the most influential of any person alive, I live a life full of small decisions that only me will realize, and I am happy with them.

Pick a winner, make your case in the comments, then we’ll have the meeting next week to see which one wins – and continue with the big competition.

This week, I’m trying to plot an inline vote to see if it’s…good? useful? desirable? So vote in the poll here below. But still make your case to impress others!

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