I’m In Love With An Inanimate Object… - subsaint Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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I’m In Love With An Inanimate Object…

I'm in love with an inanimate object. I suppose the more I think about it, the more ridiculous that sounds - inanimate objects in video games, especially when you consider inanimate objects are those items with no living parts, so technically video games are inanimate objects, no?

But for the sake of this blog, consider this statement to mean the inanimate objects found internal to the game, with the assumption the characters possess living parts even though they're nothing more than 3D models coded to perform certain functions. Ah, the heck with it. Let me illustrate what I mean by sharing an example using a well-liked character from each of the popular gaming platforms.

Gordon Freeman is a scientist, but his crowbar is an inanimate object.

Kratos is the god of war, but his double chained blades are an inanimate object. I was going to use Sackboy as an example, but couldn't decide whether he was one or not - does he have living parts?

Marcus Fenix, the hulk of a soldier that he is, is not an inanimate object, but his bandana sure is.

Mario is a plumber, Yoshi is a dinosaur (or dragon, depending on what you read), so they're both living things, but stars, flowers and 1Ups are inanimate objects. It does beg the question, when Mario uses the Tanooki Suit to turn into a statue, is he then an inanimate object? Gosh, this is getting harder instead of easier but at least I've clarified what I'm talking about, I hope.

I feel like I've talked about this subject before, and given I've been here a few years now and posted a couple of blogs before, it's quite possible. But if I did, most of these are new examples, so just consider this a revision. I'm going to start out with an easy one so you can see where I'm going with this.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD - BEWARE.

Halo: My Partner - If you've played Halo, you obviously know who Cortana is, and if you haven't, you probably still know who she is. But if you don't, Cortana is an artificial intelligence (A.I.) assigned to Spartan 117, also known as the Masterchief.

Cortana, UNSC Artificial intelligence serial number CTN 0452-9, was a "Smart" AI construct, or "Intelligent Agent". She was one of the most important figures in the Human-Covenant war, and served as John-117's partner in various combat missions as well as serving as the A.I. for the United Nations Space Command Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn and the Orbital Defense Platform Cairo Station. In addition, she held vital data pertaining to the Halos, including the Activation Index from Installation 04. -Halo Wikia


Cortana, she is the projected image of an A.I. who takes on the appearance of a young attractive woman, but technically, that's all she is - an image. If that is true, then why do I care what happens to her? She has no living parts; she was created in the image of Dr. Halsey, yet I can't help but view her as a teammate, and dare I say...friend. Throughout the series, she's been there and in the latest installment of Halo, the relationship between her and the Masterchief is tested to the breaking point more than it's ever been in previous episodes resulting in a turn of events sure to hit you in the chest like a gravity hammer.

Mass Effect 3: My Crew

Well, if we're talking about affection towards an inanimate object and computer A.I., no discussion would be complete without mentioning EDI from Mass Effect 3. She's the provocative and powerful artificial intelligence that used to assist with running the Normandy, but after events occur in the game she becomes something far more significant.

The Enhanced Defense Intelligence or EDI is an AI created by Cerberus and installed aboard the Normandy SR-2. She is/was represented visually by a holographic blue sphere and aurally with a feminine voice at various terminals throughout the ship where she can provide basic information about the Normandy and Cerberus. While investigating Prothean technology on Mars, Shepard's team recovers a Cerberus synthetic, an android masquerading as "Dr. Eva Coré". EDI assists in extracting vital data from the unit, and in the process, she seizes control of the body. This allows her to serve as a squadmate on missions.-Mass Effect 3 Wikia


If you've played Mass Effect, you know as well as I do some of your decisions can result in the loss of a character. This has a profound effect when you review your staff roster before picking teammates to deploy on potentially dangerous missions. It's a double edged sword, because you want to bring along the characters you like, but you don't want to lose them. EDI was always a keeper for me, but I still took her along much of the time. For the first time in the series, EDI takes a human like shape when she embeds herself in a recovered Cerberus synthetic defeated by Shepard. Even though she wasn't a love interest, I still didn't want anything bad to happen to her.

Dead Space: My Girl

This is perhaps the most tragic example of attachment to an inanimate object, and if you played the game you certainly know why.

Prior to her attachment to the USG Ishimura, Nicole lived with her boyfriend, Isaac Clarke. She was uncertain of her future career aboard the Ishimura at first, but changed her mind when encouraged to take the job by Isaac. -Dead Space Wikia


Isaac Clarke, the character you play in Dead Space, arrives on the Ishimura to render assistance but one can't help but wonder if he is really there to locate and rescue his girlfriend Nicole. Along the way, Isaac finds transmissions hinting of her whereabouts. You get to the point where you're longing to find the next one of these clues, and eventually you find the one that explains all of the events as they transpired. It's like people that archive voicemails from friends or family and revisit them from time to time to remember them. There is an epic and tragic twist, resulting in that final video log being a bittersweet inanimate object I hold near and dear to my heart. More bitter than sweet.

Okay, so one could argue any affinity for the above examples of inanimate objects don't count because they are essentially characters, just not "living" characters. A fair point. But I'm not done yet.

Borderlands 2: My Guns

I only played BL2 a short time but I realized right away, there are a ton of guns...and if you don't get to the gun crates before your teammates, you're going to get their leftovers. Players seem pretty attached to the weapons they find, myself included. I accidentally dropped one of my prized possessions and picked up some piece of garbage, but I didn't realize it until much later and I was butt hurt about it for hours after the fact that I lost this weapon.

Uncharted: My Precious

The Uncharted series is my favorite or second favorite video game series ever, and I was both happy and disappointed when they revealed the history and fate of the ring you see Nathan Drake wear around his neck. I, and others I would presume, liken it to the Fedora worn by Indiana Jones, which he nearly loses in every movie but manages to recover at the last second. If you've ever watched the Young Indiana Jones series, you know the fascinating tale how he acquired the hat. As far as Nathan Drake's ring though, the mystery is explained but the outcome is eventually rendered irrelevant. Pity, I loved that ring.

Minecraft: My Stuff

Realistically speaking, there are only a few things that pose a danger to your possessions and structures in Minecraft. Creepers, others players and yourself. Just last night I was playing and my carelessness resulted in a creeper blowing the face off of my newly constructed house. All the windows were destroyed and there was a crater 3 blocks deep where my foyer used to be. I can't be mad because it was inattention on my part. I put myself in a bad position. A few nights ago while digging deep into a mountain under low level torchlight I accidently dug through the block I was standing on and plummeted to my death. Everything I was carrying, gone (I managed to get back to the location but was overcome by skeletons before I could pick my stuff up). I wasn't too broken hearted over that either. But when I really turn into a cry baby is when my son trespasses onto my property. I have built up walls, dug moats, posted signs and punched him in the arm repeatedly to stay off my property. In my defense, on more than one occasion, he has battled creepers on my property resulting in heavy damages when things don't go according to plan. I love my stuff in Minecraft, so stay back. Yes, I know it's just a game and yes I know  a minecart is an inanimate object...but it's still mine, so leave it the F alone!

Privateer: My Ship

Privateer is an older game from the Wing Commander series. A fantastic game that lets you build spaceships and take on the life of a space cowboy who hauls cargo or transports people...OR be a bounty hunter, smuggler or pirate. You get to customize your ship with weapons, armor, electronics packages and other pieces and parts. In one particular skirmish with some unruly pirates my ship was getting battered and I decided to flee so I could live to fight another day. I was having problems coming up to speed as my shields flickered and the layers of armor were being peeled away. "Why am I not moving?" And then I saw it out my cockpit viewport - my afterburner unit was floating away in hyperspace...and there was nothing I could do about it. Nobody destroys my ship that I've invested numerous hours and tons of money to upgrade. I did what any of you would've done if you were in my shoes. No, not eject and surrender...I reloaded my last saved game file.

Portal: My Toys

Ah Portal...you cruel, cruel game. I know I've talked about this particular inanimate object in previous blogs, but how Valve got me to feel sympathy over a cube is unexplainable, unbelievable and downright unfair. It's...a cube. A block. A means to an end. A way to get from point A to point B. It provided nothing substantial - not friendship, not love, not shelter, not food, not a way to escape...nothing. Nothing except for companionship; and since it was appropriately labeled the companion cube, perhaps that's all I needed it to be.

And there you have it. A handful of games I like and items from them I value as treasure. There are certainly tons of others - hats from Team Fortress 2 and Dog from Half Life and my Power Ranger suit from Crysis. I know I'm not the only one out there who gets attached to inanimate objects, so how about some of you brave souls share items from your favorite games that you've gotten attached to.

 

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