Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Are You An NPC?

I guess you could call it a meme... something's going around the internet and it's all at once appropriate, offensive, funny, and if you dig deeper, kind of interesting.

Here's a source just in case you think I'm making this up.  This is another.

Yeah, I'm talking about NPCs or non-player characters (in video game terminology NPC refers to non-playable character).  But not NPCs in our beloved games.  No, NPCs who digitally walk among us in real life. 

You're basically an NPC if you don't have any agency of your own.  If there's no independent thought, you're an NPC.  If you follow whatever has been scripted for you, you're an NPC.  If you obey your programming without question, you're an NPC.  If you want to limit the freedom, individuality, and agency of others, you're an NPC.

Some have equated the NPC moniker to SJWs, but I don't think it fits to a 1 : 1 ratio.  Being an NPC is something even more foundational. 

I believe the vast majority of people are asleep, and that it takes a special kind of person going through special circumstances that creates the possibility for awakening.

Yes, exactly like initiation - the trials that forge heroes... while also leaving many, many corpses.  Not everyone makes it.  In fact, most don't.  Most can't cut it, or get unlucky.  The adventurer is superior.  That's why PCs are worth playing. 

That's what the Cult of Cthulhu was about - it used Fourth Way teaching mixed with Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, and various occult lore.  In the Church of the Sub-Genius, pink boys were basically NPCs.  Obviously, in The Matrix everyone was part of some giant systemic virtual reality nearly impossible to escape

These days, my focus is on roleplaying games.  The cultural landscape that occasionally intersects the world of gaming seems like a minefield to some and a playground to others.  Either way, don't be an NPC.  Or... well, go ahead and be an NPC, but just know that you're choosing to be an empty vessel for someone else's agenda.

What are your thoughts?


p.s. If no actual thoughts come to mind, try rolling on the random table below...