Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newt & RPGs

Steady readers may know that I have a fondness for Xbox360 Role Playing Games. I prefer first person (screen is view from eyes) and I insist that the game give me enough story that I feel like I have a reason to spend the kind of time it takes - and the aggravation that comes with playing at high difficulty levels. Good RPGs let the player build a character from a lot of different attributes and allow forks in the story depending on the choices the character makes and those base attributes.

The latest polling from Florida points to Newt having forgotten what is going on in the GOP RPG. Now I may be a compassionate man who tries to treat other people well, but I have taken roles in RPGs where I've been female or particularly amoral to down right nasty just to see where the story would go. A good Xbox game may let you go, in virtually the same breath, from cold blooded ruthless to kind without exploding the story. The GOP RPG is a bit different.

Newt may, despite a lot of evidence, see himself as a big idea guy - some sort of intellectual heavy weight in the GOP ring, laughably as a historian. He might think that, but the story line he's laid out for the GOP voters is something else entirely - he's the hard ass, they guy who'll stomp a mud hole in the back of the President, unlike that weaselly Mitt guy. To go out on the space coast and talk about putting a permanent colony on the moon in eight years is pretty damn big, but sure invites even a Mitt to talk about firing somebody in private industry who thought it was a profit maker. Florida GOPers didn't want a moon colony - they wanted to hear about the "food stamp President" and weasel Mitt's Obamneycare and maybe something about rapist economics (GOPers??).

I get to set up attributes like weaponry and clothing which may range from magic users wearing robes to warriors wearing heavy armor and excelling at close up hack and slash with big swords. I can tell you that when one of my warriors gets up and close to a mage - it is all over; and by the same token, if that warrior doesn't close the the mage will blow him away from safety. Newt won South Carolina as a heavy hitting warrior, even thoroughly beating Mitt on the electability question. He got up close and whaled away at the President and threw some sharp edged whacks at Mitt who was busy playing the mage - no fancy fooling about, just plain old hack and slash. Mitt is stuck playing the mage, a nasty natured one, but staying away from the brawling that requires heavy armor, the armor provided by resentment, ignorance, and even hate; and Mitt stood off and lobbed fireballs at Newt who obliged by waving his sword around from a distance.

RPGs are just exactly that, playing a role and you ignore your role at the almost sure risk of failure because that is the design of the game. GOPers have designed their game over the course of decades and the roles are pretty clear and players don't get to suddenly switch up mid-stream. I might not like any of these characters but it sure is a lot more fun to watch when it's competitive...

No comments: