Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Evil is as evil does

Spinks asked in her blog, "Do you play evil characters in RPG's?" I even responded to this in the comments, but the idea stuck once again. The original idea was to play a character in Sims Medieval as an evil sorceress or warlock and see how the game evolves. However - as one commenter mentioned - if the evil is just skin deep, evil surface of decorations and clothing with no ingame repercussions at all, it's not good or evil, it's just flavour and skin.

You see, I very often start playing a completely rotten and evil character, only to find myself turn into the nice, helping and concerned janitor of all. I just can't cope with the injustice of being evil, nor the suffering an evil character must inflict.

Bullies run the evil in their way: if you can instill the sense of fear to the average person, then you rule by fear and can resort to evil ways. It's the ruler who resorts to unnecessary violence and acts of cruelty who gets to rule that way and really be evil.

But in the end it only takes the one moment of weakness from the evil bully to turn the scales in favor of the weaker party, as we have recently seen in the Northern Africa, where dictatorships have fallen like domino pieces, one by one.

To be able to be evil, you have to be a bully. To make that evil fall and go, the weak and good have to unite.

If we take a sandbox MMO, there usually are not just one bully, but a set of bullies, who carve their power from the weak, "noobs" and not so good players. They seldom - if ever - turn against each other, because if they lost to another player, they would be in the position of their former prey.

It's funny how we make fun about the carebears, who actually are the heroes of the open-PvP worlds: fighting against the injustice and bullies who are causing unnecessary suffering to the players who are not yet geared enough or seasoned enough to stand their ground. Instead of making these brave few a laughing stock, we should in fact remember them as the revered heroes - and heroines - of the day, the ones we would have liked to see in the school yard more often.

The ones we all would like to be: the strong ones fighting against the bullies of the world, making the living just a bit more tolerable on this small planet called Earth.

Evil is as evil does, but is it as good as it gets?