873: FPS Mod

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Wait, that second one is a woman? ... wait, if that bothers me, then why doesn't ... man, this game is no fun anymore.
Title text: Wait, that second one is a woman? ... wait, if that bothers me, then why doesn't ... man, this game is no fun anymore.


FPS is "First Person Shooter", which is a type of video game (like Halo or Duke Nukem) in which you are looking at the world from the first person perspective of the character you are controlling. Cueball mods the game which is short for "modify".

FPS games are controversial for their encouraging killing (especially of human beings). One point of the controversy is that, while virtual enemies are just pixels on a screen, real enemies have actual lives, emotions, and the like. In the games, there is a disconnect between the act and its emotional cost, thus leading to the controversy that FPS encourage wanton killing (or violence in general) to solve problems instead of considering the other party. Cueball makes reference to this by adding a mod that gives biographical snippets of the enemy you shoot in the game, thus giving him the perspective of the enemy he just shot. However, the disconnect between the act and the emotional cost fades away, causing Cueball to feel for the enemies he has shot, thus removing any enjoyment he gets from the game.

The above can also be a reference towards making games more realistic. Giving the enemies a life above being mere targets definitely makes the game more realistic, but such a game would not be that enjoyable. This has been explored previously in xkcd.

The title text talks about how gender is portrayed in games.


[Cueball is playing a video game.]
Game: He once built a treehouse.
Game: She has 110 unread emails that she was hoping to get to tonight.
Game: He was the only one who took care of the plants back at base.
No one liked my FPS mod that gives you three-second snippets from the bios of people you shoot.

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This particular comic is referred to in the game Borderlands 2 with the gun Morningstar, referred to in game as an 'ex-K Seedy weapon, custom designed for a murderer like yourself' which is a reward from the mission Hyperion Contract 873. When fired it talks, saying things similar to this comic, like "Someone is now an orphan and doesn't know it yet!" or "They might have been raised in a broken home" after a kill, or "Murderer!" on a critical hit. -- 04:16, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

I think you never kill humans in Duke Nukem (or Heretic) and personally I consider it advantage. Alternatively, in Unreal Tournament, everyone respawns just like you do, making it something like game about game. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:53, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

While not technically a FPS, Dishonored did something similar with The Heart. You can aim it at anyone and get a surprisingly similar type of insight into their life. Made the game a lot more interesting in my opinion. 09:47, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Though I was kind of disappointed when I realized that I didn't learn anything about different mooks of the same class, because they all share the same lines (so you can get the same description by asking the heart about two different assassins, or two different overseers, for instance). 20:07, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I recently realized that although not an FPS, Watch_Dogs does exactly this.Delorean225 (talk) 01:18, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

That's true. I've died many times during a bullet hell after I've hesitated to kill a "Newlywed" or someone who was "Diagnosed with terminal cancer." What was worse was when I profiled someone AFTER I killed them, after which I usually caught myself justifying their deaths ("He had a heart defect, he was gonna die anyway", "he suffered from delusions of grandeur, good riddance," "he had schizophrenia, I just put him out of his misery"). (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)