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6 Ways 'Fallout: New Vegas' Made Me a Worse Person

I Am Utterly Shameless

That son of a bitching Thirst Gauge: You can go days without food and sleep, but one sneeze and all that's left of you is a little Star Trek-esque pile of minerals. Now combine that with being a serious alcoholic in the nuclear Mojave desert, and that means you're drinking. A lot. Thankfully, later in the game you get your own hotel suite, complete with bathroom, and therefore water source. However, it is laid out in such a way that, upon entering the little alcove, the toilet is immediately to your left, and the sink is just beyond it. At first I tried to pretend like I was a real human being with integrity and inherent value, but the truth soon won out: If there were no health consequences and I didn't have to taste it, I would drink out of the toilet provided that it was two feet closer to the door.

On the one hand, it's the worst toilet I've ever seen. On the other, I hate walking....

And it's not like your character is alone in that suite: Every one of your companions is also there: Taking down time, reflecting on the dangers they've faced so far, contemplating the fleeting value of human life in this ruined world, wishing they'd spent more time with their loved ones, and occasionally pausing to chase the messiah of the wastes out of the bathroom because somebody forgot to put the seat down.

If I'd Realized This About Myself Sooner:

Well, sure, it's only two measly feet further to the sink - but that shit adds up. I've crunched the numbers. Over my lifetime, cutting out those two feet would have saved me roughly 500 foot miles. So which would you rather do: Walk five hundred blistering miles, or drink just a little bit of toilet water? Yeah, that's what I thought. Glass houses, motherfucker. Glass. Houses.

I Will Go Gay (But Only if I'm Fairly Certain I Can't Take You in a Fight)

Now, I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a point in New Vegas where you find yourself alone in a room with the man who tried to kill you. You will have the two standard DOB-options (heretofore shortened to DOBtions): You can fight him, or you can fuck him.

I tried shooting him at first, but he gunned me down. After seeing how that worked out, I reloaded my game and immediately bent over the dresser for him. Then I killed him while he slept, presumably while crying and sobbing out the lyrics to The Crying Game.

"I...know..all there is...to know..."

In the end, it's not that I'm bothered by the game forcing these two options on me: It's that I only tried fighting him the one time. Maybe it was a fluke that he won, maybe it was a lucky shot, or he had some weakness I could've spotted the second time around - but no, I lost a fight and so I immediately gave it up to a man that has hurt me in the past, and has no respect for me as a person.

I spent the rest of the game wandering the radioactive wreckage, looking for a battered women's shelter still left untouched by the bombs.

If I'd Realized This About Myself Sooner:

On the plus side, I bet Jeremy Sanders, my middle-school bully, would have liked me a whole lot better. On the down side, I would have spent the summer of '93 in Camp Selfquest being de-gayed by sexually confused Baptists, instead of how I actually spent it, which was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle re-runs.

And that was a good show; there's a lot you pick up on the second time around.

I Do Not Value Human Life

This is best illustrated through an anecdote: Long before I discovered my soulmate, The Woman Who Makes Whiskey Hurt Less, I was roaming the destroyed countryside with a charming, hip young lesbian so full of quirky idiosyncrasies that I half-expected Michael Cera to come jogging up across the shattered highways in hilariously short shorts and retro knee-socks to profess his love for her. I'd grown somewhat attached to the girl, and we'd been through a lot together. And then somehow, we wandered onto a small hill that was also a portal to hell: Gigantic, horrible mutants with rocket launchers, mini-guns and humungous, brutal swords descended on us. But we held together, we did not panic, and somehow -- when the dust had settled and the fires went out -- we were victorious. Shell-shocked, drenched in blood, but alive! Alive!

AAALLLIIIIIVE!

And then one mutant de-cloaked behind her predator-style (oh hey, they can do that? Rad.) and chopped her in half. After I had killed him, I was left with a decision: Do I re-load the game, bringing the precocious young spitfire back to life, where she can laugh and joke again, or do I save over that file, because now I have like sixteen missile launchers?

That's an easy one!

I erased her life. And I felt nothing.

Later in the game, a soldier glitched out and shot my dog; I murdered the entire town with a dress cane before finally managing to find the 'reload' option through the tears.

If I'd Realized This About Myself Sooner:

I would know more dogs and fewer people. I'm actually totally okay with this one.

You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you could save that ten dollars for the much-anticipated new Fallout Expansion Pack, New Vegas: The Non-Crashing Edition.

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Robert Brockway

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