Many have mocked the way that Super Mario Odyssey has you using your cap to take control of various hapless individuals. But this is just one of the reasons you, the player, are an NPC’s worst nightmare.

In fact, if the inhabitants of a videogame were to acquire even a scrap of sentience, Amnesty International would have to intervene. There are a multitude of ways you’ve likely made an NPC’s life hell; here I present just ten of them. Perhaps you aren’t able tick every single one of these torments off, but you’ve likely inflicted several of them upon your hapless videogame victims. How on earth you do you sleep at night?

1. You are a shameless thief

If it’s not nailed down, take it, that’s your motto. Never mind that someone might have only paused for a moment to put that hammer down, a hammer which cost them a week’s wages to purchase. Don’t let it bother you that without it they’re out of work; you go right ahead and take it. Not that their things are any safer inside either. You’ll happily wander into someone’s private residence and shove their property into their pockets, even if it’s something you’ll never conceivably use.

Perhaps you rationalise your crimes, internally reasoning that, one day, you might find yourself without a sword and therefore need to cram that stolen fork into an Orc’s eyeball. Or, more likely, you just don’t care. But that little girl’s birthday money was just lying around on her dresser and it has to be good for at least a couple of flagons of mead or a health potion, right?

2. It’s all about you

Imagine living in world where everyone talks about Justin Bieber, all the time. Every other conversation you hear is about him, even your children can’t stop talking about him. Ask your postman about the weather and he’ll segue into a conversation about Justin Bieber. Is there a problem that needs to be solved, a disaster brewing? Only Justin Bieber can fix it.

Welcome to the world of your average NPC, except in this case they’re all talking about you, and you’re the only one who can solve their problems. Someone’s daughter has been kidnapped by bandits? Bad luck – there’s no sign of the Chosen One, so the worried father will have to put up with all those sleepless nights ’til you wander into his village. There’s a massive civil war raging? The citizens have no choice but to endure the endless casualties until you step in and solve the whole mess.

God forbid there happens to be the one sane (or insane, by the world’s standards) NPC in this world who sees how wrong this is. Bring it up and they’d be met by blank expressions and bemusement, wishing there was at least someone who could have a normal conversation.

“Get a posse together?”

“Solve our bandit problem ourselves? What madness is this?”

“By the way, have you heard what the Chosen One’s been up to this week? I hear he killed a dragon.”

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