Way, way back, when the X-box was fairly new, I picked up a copy of Mass-Effect. For anyone who isn't a gamer, or lives in the Chinese mountains, or both, Mass Effect is a game that is ultimately about choices. You never play the bad guy, however, unlike many of the games that make you choose on how you solve a situation. No, in Mass Effect you can play the nice guy, or the bad ass, but both end with the same galaxy saving ending. This was one of the first times this happened, and it worked. I was hooked, but being the guy that I was, I had to play the bad ass. I went the the whole game as this ruthless hunter of peoples trying to cause problems. Needless to say, there were a few toes stepped on. I was very happy with how this turned out until the ultimate consequence.
You see, one of the NPC's (non player character for the un-savy) that joins your player on his or her mission was right up my ally. He was tough, scarred, wielded a shotgun, and could even tap in to a power akin to the force. He was my favorite, plain and simple. His people were suffering from a devastating plague brought upon them by a different space fairing race. Later in the story he sees an opportunity to cure this plague, he becomes frantic as you are set on destroying this possible cure. The aliens that were being created from this "cure" were twisted to the greater evils. It is at this point they let you try and calm said ally. I did everything in my power and eventually convinced him to stay cool, we had a job, and if I thought this was a true answer to the plague that afflicted his people I would make sure that it survived. Finally I had a breakthrough, He lowered his gun and was ready to join me, when a fellow human crew member killed him with a shot to the head.
I was taken aback, I actually liked that character. He was an interestingly written, and highly fun ally to have around. I inquired from my human counterpart as to why she would so that, to which she replied, "There is no telling when he would have gone off the wall, commander, I was just protecting the missions interests." I responded by telling her that I never gave the order for such an action. And she should be ashamed. Then she said something I will not soon forget. Now, mind you this is a video game character telling me this, not a real person, but for some reason, it changed me. "Just like you should be ashamed for killing all those people ruthlessly, Shepard, coming from you this seems a little weak."
That was it, she had told me why. The people who made this video game made it so the members of your crew emulated your characters actions. I had suffered a consequence that mattered to me for the first time ever in a video game. It left me a little frustrated, and slightly humbled. But it had happened. The only thing I could do from this point on was make a new character. And when I did I was sure to think about all of the possible consequences that might stem from the actions I took. Ever since then, I have played video games from a different perspective, and I have also had a different outlook on how I do thing is the real world as well.
So, that is why I love the Mass Effect games. It's true, they are some of the best games ever. And the soon to be released Mass Effect 3 is going to (hopefully) blow me away in much the same way the first one did, and to a lesser degree the second one.
Also, as a final note. I'm not dead yet. Sorry for the horrible job keeping this updated, but I'm almost constantly distracted by something, or other. There is, however going to be more art, and possibly more rants in the near future. Till then, save the Galaxy.