I’ve been reading a lot of the internet lately and seeing some stuff that really speaks to my thinking. For example, one thread I saw said “I think the human condition is in part due to the fact that we’re all too nice to each other.” I have to admit, I’m kind of a self-centered type of guy, so this was a pretty big deal for me.
It’s pretty rare for me to read threads like this one, but I think it’s a pretty accurate summary of the human condition. The thing is, we all have moments of self-awareness. We realize that we’re not out to get everyone else, that we all have our own agendas and our own fears and our own desires and our own insecurities.
In the face of our own insecurities, the need for acceptance is so strong that we often do the exact thing that causes us to self-inoculate ourselves. I think the thing that makes p dishonored 2 stand out from just about any game I’ve played is the fact that the game doesn’t let the player get to self-awareness.
I think the fact that the game doesnt let you get to self-awareness is one of the key reasons that it’s so engaging. You may have noticed that the game asks you to “think of everything you would like to say about yourself,” and its only at that point when you realize, “I am nothing like I thought I was.” That realization is so powerful that it can break down even the most powerful of defenses.
The world of p dishonored is full of people who are so self-focused that they refuse to acknowledge that they are self-aware and that they are just going through the motions. They have a job to do and it is only when they finish it do they ever go back to focusing on themselves. Its like they have a job to do, but they are running from their own self-awareness.
I am the guy above who wrote about the “cognitive dissonance” of thinking you’re perfect and having to do the “wrong” thing. When that’s the case you can never be the way you want to be, but if you’re a self-aware person that’s not the case. If you are someone who just wants to be yourself and have fun, then you can be the kind of person you want to be.
So if you are someone who is self-aware, but you do have to do something to get it, then you are in a good position. But not every self-aware person has to do something to get it. And what makes it even tougher is that you can’t have perfect self-awareness if your self-awareness is so narrow that you have to do something to get it.
p dishonored 2, released last month, is a game about being an imperfect individual. It’s essentially about being a human being who has some quirks (or at least a few) that make it nearly impossible to be who you want to be. In p, the quirks are a way of surviving. In death, they are a way of leaving a legacy.
Being a good person is a very personal thing. To make it easier to be who you are, you have to be an imperfect human. And being an imperfect human is a very personal thing. To make being an imperfect human easy, you have to be someone you want to be. So when you do something to get it, it makes it easier. And since self-awareness is about knowing you are on autopilot, it makes it easier to do something to get it.
The “dishonored” trait is one of those “things” that people are born with. It is a quality of the personality that is hard to develop—one of the reasons we are all born with it. It could be that the only way to get it is to be born with it. But it is also a trait that anyone can develop.