I do appreciate a bit of self-awareness in video games, even if it’s brief. I’ve been playing the text-based Smokey-Smokey Liturgy Club, about a bunch of kids in a strangely Japanese-themed school in Melbourne who hold religious services while smoking heavily. The story seems pretty normal for most of the game, until you get to the end and they reveal that they know that they’re in a video game and they’d like to give you sincere message on the dangers of smoking. And then they all die.
Pretty sobering, but I think it really sold the message.
I had a similar experience when I was playing Gran Theft Awful, the game where you play as a grandmother who has to keep her carjacking habit hidden from the world. That one espoused the great importance of using your local mechanics, which is why I felt compelled to find a brake repair garage in Ringwood when my Mitsubishi Mirage had a fault…with the brakes. I’ve always been a bit of a skinflint when it comes to car repairs and mechanics and all that, but the heartfelt message in Gran Theft Awful– where Granny Elsa turns to a life of crime so she can support her grandson’s dream to open an auto repair place- was that you need to get car repairs close to you, because it’s supporting local businesses. A lot of people will tell you that you need to shop around, maybe go to a completely different suburb if you have to. But that story…it really affected me. I resolved to find and use local mechanics, instead of hunting for the best bargain. Luckily I know the best auto mechanics Ringwood has to offer, which made me wonder why I was even driving any sort of great distance to begin with. I mean…that one time, when I had four slashed tired and I basically rolled all the way to Officer because I heard there was a tire sale? Shame…shame upon me. Granny Elsa would’ve slashed my new tires when I got back.