Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm playing a new game called The Witcher. It's not exactly a new game, but it's new to me (ie: it's on version 1.4.5, finally stable, and includes lots of performance improvements over the original release.) This game's claim to fame is - and I'm quoting from the Game Guide directly - the biggest Polish computer game in history. Enough said.

It's just your run-of-the-mill RPG, with magical swords and grumpy dwarves, but it fills the same mindless comfort need for me that TV fills for most people.

Except for one thing.

Lots of games have meaningless accomplishments - Halo skulls, Gears Cog tags, Assassin's Creed flags - that offer nothing to the game except some possible replay value if you missed them the first time, and another way to measure your e-penis against your virtual friends. The Witcher has accomplishments too. But instead of flags, tags, or skulls, your character collects women.

Every time you get a virtual chick in the sack, and I'm past a half-dozen so far, you collect an artistically drawn card. Of course, this takes the objectification of women to a whole new level, and I should be disgusted. And on some level, I am. But...I want more cards.

Here's my favorite example: the witch Abigail, who was grateful that I slew an entire village instead of letting them burn her at the stake. As I stepped over the mauled corpses of the villagers, every time I saw a blood-soaked dress, I couldn't help but think: missed opportunity.

Maybe I'm sick (ok, no "maybe" about it.) But this aspect of the game is hilarious. I love running around town trying to find a pair of red gloves to woo the gossip, or tracking down a wolf pelt for the green-skinned druidess to prove what a manly hunter I am. It's endlessly entertaining that most of the women ignore me after sex...engaging me in idle chatter about the weather, if anything. If I'm going to pretend to be a sword-swinging, spell-slinging hero in my spare time, I might as well pretend to be a womanizing hero. (I do have my standards, however. In spite of multiple offers, I've so far refused the prostitutes and peasant girls.)


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