9. Your “rolling up” has ruined lives
Every played a Katamari game, or still do? Then you are just the worst. Why? Because of the way you went along your merry way just mowing down anything in your path. You grinned as your Katamari grew larger and larger, gathering up more objects. Eventually, it became colossal enough to “roll up” people and ultimate buildings. But did you stop to consider your actions? Did you even blink an eye?
No, you just kept going. You even smirked a little as your victims went flying and then were drawn into the horrific, rolling mass. You didn’t spare a thought for the mother and daughter who were imprisoned within the Katamari. Nor did you think about the father who, watching from a building, witnessed their horrific fates, joining them when the nightmare grew to a truly apocalyptic size.
Maybe, as they squirmed within their spherical tomb, they still had hope; hope which was extinguished when, mere minutes later, they were carried up through the atmosphere, to perish in the cold vacuum of space.
“Nah, na na na na nah na naah,” indeed.
10. You never let it end
But perhaps the worst torment of all, the one inflicted on NPCs again and again, is that there is no end to their suffering. With very few exceptions (such as Undertale), you’re resetting the world every time you load a game save or restart a game. That soldier who died at the tip of your sword? He comes back again, to die once more; perhaps, at the back of his mind, he’s got a vague sense of deja vu but it’s eclipsed by the terror he feels at having to face you.
Love the ending of a game so much that you replay the final battle and closing sequence again and again? You’ve just condemned them to a temporal loop that ensures their lives will never go on beyond that moment. They face a bright future, one free from the menace that plagued them and then… that future is snatched away from them.
And there you have it – just a few of the ways that your presence as player can, intentionally or not, make NPC’s lives a misery. How many of these have you subjected non-player characters to? Sure, you can tell yourself that NPCs are just code, so they’re not really going to be affected by any of the above.. are they?
But as technology develops, what if we reach the point at which, Black Mirror style, they do start to acquire intelligence? Would you seek out more sedate games, perhaps step away from gaming entirely? Or would you deny the horrors you were inflicting on your virtual victims and game on regardless? Controlling someone with a cap would just be the tip of the iceberg.
Happy gaming, you monster.