Videogame Writers Are Important #4

Far Cry 4: Egg on Face

You know, videogame writers aren’t perfect. We make mistakes and typos, and sometimes our producers and teammates create mistakes and typos in their well-intentioned efforts to fix mistakes and typos. Such is life.

However, sometimes a videogame writer gaffe is just so glaring and ill-placed that it has to be called out for the amusement of all. Such is the case with this ripe goose egg that some poor Ubisoft game writer dropped in Far Cry 4, released November 2014:

videogame-writer-important

Yep. Unlike oxen struggling under the yoke of a cruel farmer, the poor people of Kyrat have suffered under the yolk of a civil war. ‘Cuz the war is like a rotting omelet — full of bad eggs. Bad eggs that had to be cracked.

It’s a prime facepalm moment, especially when you consider that it’s front-and-center in the most elevated prose in the entire game: the online handbook on your location. In other words, one of the first things you see when you open your inventory and start looking around. And it’s also the primary text that’s supposed to give you a feel for the world and your motivations for fighting/playing in it.

Videogame Writer Redeems Self

However, in the eyes of the internet, our nameless videogame writer (or, frankly, probably some other game writer or designer on the same team) redeems him or herself with some funny radio chatter writing.

I found this kudo by searching for “far cry 4 yolk” — part of my due diligence to make sure this game writer goof wasn’t already beaten to death on the intertubes. The only hit was this one foul-mouthed and funny Youtuber who transcribed the yolkishness verbatim in the detail description (click SHOW MORE) of his video.

So I watched the video for a bit, and sure enough, the Youtuber gives a great shoutout to the game writing at a minute and twenty-eight seconds in:

This radio guy is actually pretty funny if you listen to ‘im… ‘Pissing out champagne and shitting caviar,’ awesome! Who comes out with this shit?

There ya go. Day in the life of a game writer. Here’s the full video:

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Food for Thought: We Make More with Less

Thought I’d share this interesting macroeconomic article today. The summary, sans cool graphics, is:

  • Since the turn of the century, we mine and drain a lot less resources per dollar of GDP.
  • We spend a lot less of our total energy to make manufacturing basics like steel (the percentage has dropped, but we actually spent a lot more total energy to get the same amount of steel).
  • We use a lot less materials to get more efficient tools, like the computer, which is much smaller than in the ’80s, but ridiculously more powerful. It’s also interesting to note that there were only about 2 million units sold of the iconic IBM PC, while 150 times as many Dell Studio laptops were sold.
  • Unsurprisingly, despite increased efficiency, we consume lots more raw materials now than we did in 1900. Eight times as much, basically.

This chart shows the ridiculous growth in consumption, driven by inexpensive products and quadrupling population:

macroeconomic-excess

 

Note the ridiculous growth in fossil fuel, cement, and metals consumption. Food consumption looks here to have only doubled, but in this other chart, it’s gone up almost nine times. Meanwhile, cement has gone up 251 times and fossil fuels 16 times:

consumption

 

Other than the obvious question (who the heck is using all that cement?!?*), this raises a bevvy of other interesting questions that should get a game designer‘s brain churning, like:

  • what would our society look like if one of these materials were taken away, or if it were suddenly free?
  • what could we do to make and use these materials more sustainably?
  • who controls the production and distribution of these resources, and for what ends?
  • how are these materials produced and managed in your game world?

* China. 40% of global CO2 emissions are linked to the construction industry.

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