Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Gnome Achievement

Anyone even remotely connected to gaming computers has surely heard about Half-life 2. While most will agree the game is a brilliant example of what games can be – I for one believe it is much more then that. Half-life 2* is a metaphor for life.
Episode one begins with you waking up buried under a pile of rubble (womb). The character dog (your dad) helps you out (birth) at which point you are reunited with Alyx (your mom). You hit the ground running fending of Combine (bad influences), following Vortigaunts (good influences). Most of the game revolves around trying to escape the Citadel (college) and avoiding antlions and zombies (drugs and other dangers of college-life). Your choices are limited and usually directed by Alyx.
In episode two you have graduated to adulthood. You’re given more choice and control of movement. And finally, although cleverly hidden, you’re given a choice of ensuring progeny.
Of course I’m referring to the now infamous gnome achievement award. The gnome, you get a choice of bringing along through the game, is your child. In this wonderful parable that is episode two, you will be given the task of taking care of it, making sure it gets through to the next level and finally placing him carefully into the rocket thereby ensuring its prosperous future.

*1/2 life * 2 = life

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