Have you ever heard of Skyrim? It’s an adventure world of swords, dragons, and Nordic-medieval grit and you get to play the dovahkiin, a human with kinship to the dragons. It’s basically your job to adventure around and beat things up with the ultimate goal of saving the world from a pending apocalypse at the hands of an evil dragon. It’s pretty awesome if you’re into that sort of thing.
Anyway, I was doing something monotonous the other day and amused myself by wondering what it would be like to be in the game as one of the random town people, bandits, or various other things you come across as a player. Dragon’s don’t show up until he starts his reign over the land and even then they don’t come to town until the %#$ dovahkiin comes along bumping into people, knocking things over, and pawning pillaged wares on our shops for every scrap of gold.
Generally speaking the non-player characters don’t associate you, the dovahkiin, with their overall hardships. On the contrary you’re the guy who helps them. This morning I helped a town leader by paying off hired blades squatting in his town’s mine. As a reward the town leader pays me more than what I payed the mercenaries, so the guy was able to help himself the whole time if only he had the programming. And I have no sympathy for his workers, who were complaining about going back to work. I started off in wandering around in rags and bindings and managed to make a decent amount of coin as a vigilante doing odd jobs for people. Contrary to what you’d think based on my previous paragraph towns and shop keepers don’t seem to mind my bloody pilfered goods as long as I didn’t steal it from society.
There is a minor point to this post besides just bsing my tales in Skyrim… there are quite a few people that I have ran into in my life who remind me of non-player characters. Content to live a life without variation where change is a matter of anxiety because it’s outside of their control or willingness to reach out and take control. In reality each individual is the protagonist in their own life; there is no way to walk out of your own story.