Jimquisition: To Play The Villain

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To Play The Villain

Some gamers are skipping Grand Theft Auto V, unwilling to play the role of a thief, a gangbanger, or a psychopath. While others may shy away from being the villain, Jim Sterling actively revels in it.

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LOL thought the age gate would have been cuz Jim would show the GTA5 torture scene, not cuz he was reading gay furry porn XD

Aaaaand once again, Jim Sterling is technically pornography. Thank god for Jim, and thank god for headphones so the parents don't hear.

The only truly despicable person in a recent game that I've enjoyed playing was Captain Walker in Spec Ops: The Line, and that was more because it was exposing the hypocrisy of trying to feel like a hero by killing tons of people. I liked the previous GTA games, but I'll be skipping GTAV, especially now that I've played games like Just Cause 2 and Saints Row the Third, where I get to cause all the mayhem I want without feeling bad about it.

My biggest oh crap what did I do moment in saints row 2 actually happened in saints row three. During the stag generals speech he talks about the whole sordid sequence dealing with Jessica's death and I remember hearing that and thinking "wow that's really twisted ... oh crap that was me." Love playing the bad guy though. Its a weird feeling, you keep thinking "no don't" to the character but then you go ahead and make him do it.

What can we possibly send him (that's legal) that tops that!? I don't even know.

You've broken me, Jim! Completely and utterly!

Too fucking funny.

We're always going on about how we want videogames to be taken seriously as a medium, yet we reject games unless we're cast as the "good guy"? How is that mature?

Totally with you Jim. I'm of the same school of thought.
I like playing morally ambiguous characters or characters that I make do what I (in real life) would never.

I feel this is a better forum than in Greg's review, but I feel that people who game and who can't understand that people might want to play a game in which they're not nice are kind of missing the point of games in general.

I'm totally cool with someone not liking GTAV and not liking it because of they characters - fine. But expecting these protagonists to be nice is quite weird their game is built all around this.
Also, people who can't understand or accept that a guy who in the real world is an all-round nice guy - does his job and comes home to play some GTAV and be a total douche in that world, need to look at what gaming is really about.

You must really like Breaking Bad, then. Also, damn you for reading out that furry porn.

Huh, wonder why there was an age ga- *Jim proceeds to read furry porn.*

Welp.

That's enough internet for today.

I think that's the first time The Escapist has asked me my age. Well done.

Very good take on the issue that I very much agree with. It's why I'm absolutely loving GTAV so far; all three characters are complete scum in their own special, brilliant way. I'm surprised you didn't bring up how popular this idea is in other mediums though; There's a reason why Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Dexter and Boardwalk Empire are some of the most beloved TV shows out there, and why films like The Godfather, Scarface and Goodfellas stick with us all decades after release.

OK I get why people send him gay porn but why furry porn?

Who are the weirdos sending Jim this stuff? You won't send a card to your Grandma on her birthday but you'll seen Jim Belladonnas fist and Furry porn? Uh, the world we live in! XD

Amen, villain protagonists are great. I liked how in Prototype Alex Mercer turned into a complete literal monster as the game progressed and only saves New York from nuclear annihilation to save his own life. The attempts of the writers to somehow make the other guys seem worse fell pretty flat.

Oh and then there's PayDay, the second game was really successful and neither featured heroes nor any attempt at making your actions seem justifiable. You're in it for the money and the only thing you don't do is shoot civilians (because they're more useful as hostages). Of course as the diamond heist in PD1 shows you would off innocent people if it helps your goals (Bain drops the company CFO to his death in order to increase the leverage gained from taking the company owner's son hostage).

MMM salty marshmallows ANYWAYS!

I did have something to say, but the furry porn derailed my thoughts. I think next time I'm in any debate I'll just start reading gay fury porn out loud.

DVS BSTrD:
We're always going on about how we want videogames to be taken seriously as a medium, yet we reject games unless we're cast as the "good guy"? How is that mature?

More of the point is that some people do not believe the unjustified villain exists, sure people can get pretty fucked up but their is a reason they are so. Like Jim said villains are often more complex but this is because they need a reason to be the villain, so a villain that feels unjustified seems shallow and completely detached from reality.

I like games where you play the villain, but not really to the degree you seem to, Jim. Still, they can be fun.

As for me, there are four reasons I'm not playing GTA V at the moment.
1. I haven't beat GTA IV or even started on the expansions. One game at a time.
2. It's not out on PC.
3. Even if it were, Yahtzee would have to give it an amazing, orgasm-inducing review to convince me to buy it at release price.
4. It's the annoyingly hyped up game of the day no one will care about in a few weeks. Anyone remember Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite? Yeah, didn't think so.

Also, I prefer my furry porn straight, but that's just me.

I know that its going to be a good episode when I have to age verify to watch.

ohhh, it was just that... huh... alright, I guess... some people juggle geese.

Fappy:
What can we possibly send him (that's legal) that tops that!? I don't even know.

You've broken me, Jim! Completely and utterly!

Too fucking funny.

I think we should all buy Jim a seperate piece of a sex dungeon and send it to him.

Daystar Clarion:
Huh, wonder why there was a age ga- *Jim proceeds to read furry porn.*

Welp.

That's enough internet for today.

I bet Amaterasu was into it.

OT: Villians are fun but i'm abit of an emotional pussy so I find it hard to really get into it when I play, even in Overlord.

I couldn't even kill horses in RedDead.

About GTA IV's Nico Bellic, I felt the whole way through that he was objectively morally despicable, but as you were given the (somehow sound and relatable) reasons for his actions, and being the player, you felt like you was pushed into a corner by the genuine rage you (or at least I, but I'm fucked up) felt towards the "antagonists", and for me at least, it was genuinely terrifying how much I could relate to the feelings and ethics of this person that commited these despicable acts (which in turn was me I guess, but I just don't feel the same relation playing GTA V, which is still a great game though).

There's something about Captain Walker that makes it so compelling, I agree.

Actually, I'd argue that this is also the case in Dark Souls, but in a much more morally ambiguous manner. You are, for the most part, killing enemies for your own gain in the journey. What's so difficult, at least in my opinion, is that there are a number of different bosses (some optional) that have a very good reason to do what they're doing, and honestly having to kill a bunch of those bosses made me feel like a douchebag. The fact here is that the game character is an extension of me, much like how it worked in Saint's Row 2, that makes it so interesting.

It's an interesting point for introspection: how we react and behave around those characters is what truly tells us how we feel as humans, something that, due to the fact that we have agency in the game through its interactivity that we don't get to see in other forms of media.

In conversations where the topic of what you do for a living arises I wonder what the people writing mags like that answer?

Thank you for that image, Jim. You realize no amount of therapy is going to remove that, right?

OT: Playing the straight villain rather than an antihero typically turns me off games, but I'm still finding myself enjoying GTAV. Michael and Franklin (haven't gotten to Trevor yet) have some goals and attitudes that I can agree with and get behind, so maybe I'm just focusing on that. Or maybe I've successfully disconnected myself from the characters, and I'm just enjoying the show.

Of course, I haven't gotten to the torture scene either.

templar1138a:

3. Even if it were, Yahtzee would have to give it an amazing, orgasm-inducing review to convince me to buy it at release price.
4. It's the annoyingly hyped up game of the day no one will care about in a few weeks. Anyone remember Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite? Yeah, didn't think so.

Wooooooah nelly! I don't know about you but I find it hard to take every single Yahtzee opinion (or the opinion of any critic for that matter) as gospel and base ALL of my purchasing decisions around him. I think I was a bit soured by his outright dismissal of The Last of Us and complete misunderstanding of what it was all about.

As for BInfinite, that's still considered by a hell of a lot of people to be one of the best games this year and, indeed, this generation. I for one still care about it, and I'll almost definitely still care about GTAV for a long time coming.

Chessrook44:
OK I get why people send him gay porn but why furry porn?

It's the next step up from regular porn, I guess.

Ive watched some play through footage of this game, and despite it earning a 10/10 on game play and graphics, I just couldn't get into the story. I'm the type of person who rarely chooses the "Renegade" option in Mass Effect, it just isn't how i think. But why did i hate this game while i love playing Saints Row 3 and 4?

After thinking about it, I was able to answer this. I realized that this game paints the picture of what America could be becoming. Once i looked at the game with the mindset of this game being a prophetic warning, I found myself enjoying the idea of playing this game.

Your point of not many games allowing you to be the bad guy is extremely valid as well. If Modern Warfare filled the void after 9/11 giving people a chance to take out terrorists, where were the games that filled the void of letting people play the bad guy? Rockstar did a great job with this game, I am really looking forward to it coming out on PC.

On the whole 'villains are the most compelling characters' bit, I must bring up Nox from Wakfu (if you haven't watched Wakfu, do eeeet). He's an unrepentant villain, wiping entire civilizations off the map, but when you learn his backstory and motivations (revealed over the season), you...understand why he's doing what he's doing.

As a rule I always love the villains more then the heroes, regardless of whether you play as them or not. Villains are always so much more interesting. The only time playing a villain turned me off was with Kratos because I felt the game saw him as a hero or at least anti hero rather then the biggest villain around.

Actually in Saints row you don't kill a man's girlfriend because he wants to make a deal you don't like. You kill the girl because she brutally murdered your protégé.....because you put radioactive waste in her boyfriends tattoo's for a deal you didn't like.

It reminds me something my short story professor said. If a story makes you feel uncomfortable, it's doing its job right. Stories aren't always there to hold our hands, sometimes they're there to punch you in the gut.

Good points. I've always found that I like the IDEA of playing a game to be someone I'm not, to explore and see that other side of reality, but for some reason I always seem to play the game as an extension of myself. I'm not sure why, but I can't help it. Even on games like Fallout, where I'll play through once making every decision as I would have made it, then I'll start a new game some time later thinking "Okay, I'm just gonna play an outright bastard," but once it comes time to make the crucial decisions, I have such a hard time making the ones that go against my instinct. In games that force that negative roll upon you I find it a bit easier though.

All that said, I probably won't be playing GTA5 because I just don't think they're fun... not putting down anyone that enjoys them, and probably don't need to justify myself beyond that, haha. I personally just can't get any enjoyment out of them.

I'm guessing only the listeners of Podtoid will get the hidden extra gag at the start

Oh god, this will end in Jim receiving dungeon gear to further explore his darker side...

Either way, I like both "good" and "evil" protagonists. However, I dislike "super-clean paragons" like the stereotypical chivalrous white knight/paladin in shining armor or Superman. They all need to have flaws but without flaws they are simply boring. They even tried to reimagine Superman but that didn't turn out so well.
Yeah, I know there are some comics where Superman is far from flawless. But then again there is plenty of stuff like the movie "Superman vs. The Elite", which starts out promising but then climaxes into an end that made me want to vomit.

Captcha: doctor who?
Fitting, although he tries to be just another whining white knight, he has plenty of flaws and boy are you fucked if you make him angry...

Kouen:
I'm guessing only the listeners of Podtoid will get the hidden extra gag at the start

Listening to 5 minutes of podtoid is enough, really.

erttheking:
It reminds me something my short story professor said. If a story makes you feel uncomfortable, it's doing its job right. Stories aren't always there to hold our hands, sometimes they're there to punch you in the gut.

Except the point of making sandbox-game protagonists villains isn't to make the player hate them; it's to keep them more in tune with the sort of behavior players will already be indulging in, i.e. wanton violence and destruction. Once again, Rockstar seems to have epically missed the point of their own franchise.

I gonna disagree on this one Jimmy, atleast when it comes to GTA 5. Flat out playing the villain is an interesting concept, but looking on what made GTA popular makes it clear the game is only interested in letting the player play as a villain, do horrible things and get away with it. It's not a game about exploring the mindset of a villain, it's about doing your horrible fantasys and get away with it. My problem with GTA 5's character is in the framing. Out of the 3 endings, one of theme have all of them getting away with their crimes. The characters need some ultimate punishment. This is enough of narrative problem that I think The Escapist's review's criticism is not invalid.

Not video games, but I've had my own views on villains (or anti-heroes, as the case may be) put to test recently when I started reading a certain manga where the protag is a serial rapist, among other things. Some people would still readily call him charismatic and likeable, and I at least have to admit it's possible to relate to him on some human level, and that he's psychologically intriguing. I guess this pertains to a past episode of the Jimquisition as well. I don't know if gaming has a protagonist like that, but it'd be interesting to see. Not in terms of gameplay, mind you, just part of the background story or something that happens during the game's events.

Also, Jim, I would direct your attention to Yahtzee's take on Nico Bellic. He says the opposite, in that Bellic's dark past makes it all the more believable when he snaps and commits atrocities.

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