I just got finished playing a session of The Secret World, a MMO by Funcom. In the game you’re tasked with fighting the darkness that is sweeping the modern world, one of their taglines is ‘everything is true’, all the monsters under your bed really do exist; essentially you’re saving the world again. I’ve read various comments from game writers and gamers that they’re tired of always saving the world, and that it’s so generic. But as I played The Secret World I wondered why not save the world?
Video games are escapist, like so much entertainment these days. Let’s face it the modern world can be a frightening place, for all of Man’s achievements we still seem to throw rocks at either best of all. In a perfect world, utopia, heaven, etc. one assumes that we’d just have better things to do, but for now we like our entertainment. I think this is why we love to save the world in our video games. We see the world changing for the good and the bad, and we’re helpless to move the proverbial boulder up the hill. In a video game however, we can do anything and be anything, we can throw order onto the chaos of life; we can save the world in a video game.
I suppose part of the reason we like to save the world so much is because it makes sense. Say the point of the game is to rescue your kidnapped dog, after the first hundred bad guys you mow down how likely is it that big bad boss really thinks it’s worth it to keep your dog? But if the big bad boss is trying to rule the country, or the world, or the galaxy, or the universe what does he care that you mowed down a hundred hundreds of his men?
I like to save the world, not afraid to say it. It’s a lot of fun to save the world. So save the world again and keep on saving the world; who knows it might translate into real life, stranger things have happened.