With new President Barack Obama sworn in as King Dude in the U.S., it’s no secret that there’s a lot of work to do out there, particularly when it comes to the festering maw that is our nation’s current economy. Since the fiscal temperature has moved from a state of “cool with low humidity” to “frigid with a high chance of sucking”, we’ve seen our share of absurd ordeals.
However, if you think that our economy is wacky, then perhaps you haven’t spent too much time inhabiting many fictional video game worlds. For those of you who are looking to relocate somewhere better, we’ve put together a small travel guide for virtual visitors. If these places were real, they would be bizarre and unbelievable.
Here are the 7 most ridiculous video game economies, good and bad.
Ancient Greece: God of War
If somehow you think that living in Ancient Greece would solve your economic woes, think again. The Ancient Greece that Kratos inhabited was a vile, violent place. With gods destroying major cities left and right, and dudes cutting each other with crazy blades, this is probably a place you want to avoid.
Not to mention, the main form of currency is red orbs that represent the souls of slain enemies. I mean, call me a loser, but any society where my eternal soul can be traded for a porn mag and some cigs is not a place where I want to earn my keep.
The Mushroom Kingdom: Super Mario Series
In terms of places to live, the Mushroom Kingdom might be where it’s at. Sure, there’s a megalomaniacal lizard that keeps abducting the commander-ess in chief, but they’ve got their own “Joe the Plumber” to assist in that matter.
What really makes this place worth warping to is the gold that flows like milk and honey. Seriously, the crap is all over the place. Shake a tree? Gold. Smash a brick with your face? Gold. Hell, even the freaking animals have the stuff inside of them, apparently having devoured it for nourishment. You know what that means? Piñatas full of bank.
Also, your vehicle burns clean, as it is actually a dinosaur. For real.
So, you want to be a part of an elite counter-terrorism unit and join the fight against terror? Well, I’ve got good news. Those guys get paid, apparently. At least, in the world of Counter-Strike they do. And you don’t even have to wait two weeks for your paycheck.
Since you’re going up against the world’s most notorious criminals, you’re going to need the right arsenal of liberating weapons. This is why it makes sense that you’d receive direct deposits based on how many baddies you kill. Kind of twisted, really. Headshot a guy, get some cash. Blow up a bombsite, get some cash. At least there are fines for things like killing hostages. I mean, that makes it a little less disturbing, right?
And just to ensure that the war on terror economy doesn’t become too unbalanced, you even get bonuses whether you win or lose. Not a bad deal, if you ask me… Unless a bunch of awps flood the market. Thanks, whores.
Liberty City: Grand Theft Auto IV
We all know that spending money helps a staggering economy, and Liberty City is perhaps the shopping capital of all video game-dom. With the amount of billboard and other media advertisement always at the peripherals, how does one not succumb to the overwhelming desire to descend into obsessive compulsive consumption?
On top of that, nearly everything is free. Besides dollar menus at restaurants and clothes that cost just a fraction of that thirty grand you got for smoking a couple of dudes, the only real money-squandering past time exists at the local strip club. And even then, only if you want an extra special dance.
This is especially odd considering that for half the game, Roman is bitching about needing more cash. If I’m not mistaken, Niko has hundreds of thousands tucked away under his mattress in whatever studio loft his cousin is currently paying for. Since everything in the game is so abundant and free, this leads us to believe that Niko is a selfish bastard. Way to go Niko.
While an underwater paradise might sound like the idea locale for a new start in a bustling economy, you might have to think again. The creepy clown vending machines should have been the first clue for Rapture’s citizens that they were due for a cataclysmic collapse on all fronts moral, economic and otherwise. It ain’t right, Ryan.
So why is the economy of Rapture so spoiled? While money’s not too terribly hard to come by (hacking vending machines is more tedious than difficult), the real life blood of Rapture is Adam, and it’s just a little too rare. Well, it’s not exactly rare. It just requires some nimble ethical hopscotch or balls of steel to get the stuff, as it involves a) killing little girls or b) fighting their behemoth-ass guardians.
Can I get some food stamps instead?
Any place where a stadium can be erected for $1000 sounds like a good place to live to me. Sim City has sprawling suburbs, an urban vibe and some of the fastest growing skyscrapers around. Rent is cheap, and you can lower taxes with a few entries on your computer. Want more money? Type “more money”. Yeah, you’re cheating the government, but who cares when there’s no penalty for your corruption?
The one downside to all of this is that occasionally the powers-that-be get a little bored when the city is doing too well. That’s when the natural disasters will wipe your hometown off the face of the map. Just for kicks and giggles. I mean, it’s only exciting to watch that dollar count go up for so long. You know you did the same thing.
Battle.net: Diablo II
Picture a world where the only way to purchase goods and services in its economy was with a scarce resource, such as a barrel of oil. And say you’re just a regular guy. How would you go about getting your hands on a barrel of Texas Tea? Do you even know where to begin?
Now, for the sake of the metaphor, picture that because a whole barrel is required to purchase anything, even small goods like bubblegum or shampoo cost at least 1-2 barrels. Maybe even more. Still with me?
Finally, imagine that you’ve spent all this time accumulating enough barrels of oil to finally get ahead in your miserable life. You’re ready to buy your house, maybe some weapons, whatever else fits your fancy. Then the government releases a patch that deletes all barrels of oil that were created illegally, and suddenly, your oil store is completely depleted, because unbeknownst to you, the barrels that you received had been duped.
Ok, if you successfully imagined all of that, then you know what it’s like to live in Diablo II’s online economy. Sure, Diablo II is a fun game and all, but dealing with Sojs (Stones of Jordan) is like putting a cigarette out in your pee hole.
So, these are some of the most ludicrous, outlandish and strange fictional economies in video games. If these places really existed, our world would be a strange place indeed. Or at least, stranger than it already is.
What do you guys think? Got anything that we left out?