You know the person, I know you do. That person who’s choosing to watch somebody else play video games live over the Internet. That person who enjoys games so very much that when they’re not playing them themselves they like spending (some of) their time digitally peeking over the shoulders of others whilst they play. That person who is electing to forgo personal input into a participatory form of entertainment in the pursuit of an alternative means of consuming said entertainment. That person who must accept all of these things in order to arrive at the destination at which they find themselves, yet still feels the need to tell the object of their scopophilic attentions that they are “playing it all wrong?!!!??!” You know the type.
I’m going to tell you a story, if I may, about Clementine, the protagonist of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season 2. Specifically a story about her curious ability, as a child, to make for a more empowering lead than a strong, dependable, burly man’s man named Lee.
!#!SPOILERZ WARNING!#!DO NOT CROSS!#!SPOILERZ WARNING!#!
I’m covered in viscera, edging my way cautiously through a bloody big mob of the walking dead (Season 2, Episode 3: In Harm’s Way). It’s a tense affair. I’m dressed up like a walker (zombie) in an attempt to fool them into thinking I’m one of their own. My head is lolled a bit to the left which accentuates my double chin more than I’d like. I’m gargling with the phlegm I keep nestled in my throat. I’ve got a bit of poo dripping slowly down my forehead, ready to, in about a minute or so, plop off the end of my nose and maybe, God forbid, land on my slightly extended lower lip. I’m running the risk of eating walker poo for one very simple reason: I don’t want to become walker poo. Not today at least.