12.05.2008

Words are for the Weak

It is a common practice in narrative games to make the protagonist (the player's avatar) customizable in appearance, name, and traits. Doing so lets the player feel connected to the world and express him or herself. Ironically, though, in order to propagate this feeling of connection to one's character, the developer must keep the protagonist entirely silent throughout the game. After all, nothing says "you have no control" to the player than his avatar spouting whatever it pleases without his consent. A totally silent hero would be comical in film, TV, or real life... or would it? Think of all the benefits of absolute silence! ...can't think of any? Fair enough. Presented for your approval (or disregard), are some examples of the heroics of silence.
Our hero packs up his trusty pack and leaves home and family behind for his daily money fetch quest to pay the bills. He flings the front door open with a mighty shove and ventures forth, when suddenly, a blazing homeless beast stumbles into his path...
Beast: "*hic* Watch where you're goin, buddy!" *hic* "What are you, styupid?"
Hero: "..."
Beast: "Damn right! I oughtta knock you out. Fool." [walks away]
RANDOM BATTLE AVERTED!

Our hero continues onward into the cold tundra of the sidewalk. He feels his knees begin to buckle from exhaustion, but realizes this is just the vibration of his cellular communication item. He answers...
Hero's Beloved: "Gabe, you didn't take out the trash, did you?"
Hero: "..."
Hero's Beloved: "You know, I wish you would be more on top of this."
Hero: "..."
Hero's Beloved: "Just do better, okay?
Hero: "..."
Hero's Beloved: "Love you. Bye!" [hangs up]
MARITAL ISSUE DISSOLVED!

Our hero safely stows the device and enters the Great Hall of his Job. His communication item vibrates yet again! What manner of magic could this be...
Woman: "Good morning, sir! I'd like to tell you about an exclusive offer today from Quest Wireless!"
Hero: "..."
Woman: "Sir? Hello?"
Hero: "..."
[woman hangs up]
REMOVED FROM TELEMARKETER HIT-LIST!

Will our hero prevail? What WILL happen next? Please insert Disk 2...

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