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Roller Coaster Tycoon in real life
September 23, 2012 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Roller Coaster Tycoon in real life (SLYT) via
posted by dogmom (32 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish I had this same power (minus of course the underlying homicidal tendencies.) Such a great video!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:30 AM on September 23, 2012


FYI, Roller Coaster Tycoon 1, 2 and 3 are on sale this weekend @ gog.com
posted by paulshannon at 6:49 AM on September 23, 2012


I remember being surprised by how prevalent it is to be horribly destructive in these sim-type games.

When I first played Grand Theft Auto 3 (this is not a joke, this is dead honest real), I had had no exposure to the genre or anything else from Rockstar. For some time, I obeyed traffic laws. Seriously. I drove like I would in the real world, waiting for lights, being patient and sitting in my lane, waiting for people to go, and so on. I think I finally got impatient and annoyed about Mission 3, when I realized just how stupid the AI drivers were, and started driving like everyone else does in that game. If the AIs had driven more like real people, I'm sure it would have taken quite a few more missions before I figured out that there were essentially no consequences to doing "bad stuff"... you could freely tool around, and wreck cars, and the police were far too stupid to ever catch you.

But, even then, for many missions into the game, probably halfway, I would quit the game and restart the mission if I killed a civilian. It was just not acceptable to be running random, innocent people over. I eventually abandoned that idea after failing a very difficult mission for about the tenth time... many of the missions were nearly designed with the idea that you'd be squashing pedestrians, and I just didn't have the tolerance to keep my Innocents Slain at 0. But I really tried.

So, that's how I was playing these types of games... the Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Grand Theft Auto -- still trying to be more or less law-abiding, not out of any desire to prove anything, but because it just didn't occur to me to play them any other way. When I first heard about people deliberately killing Sims, or setting up deliberate death rides in RCT, I was just flummoxed. People actually played like that?

Turns out, it's common. I'm the weird one. I've sort of wondered, since, if it's just that people see through the illusion and don't think of them as anything more than pixels on a screen, or, if given godlike power, they would really do that kind of stuff.
posted by Malor at 6:52 AM on September 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


A lot of people play games in ways calculated to minimize innocent body count, but the key word is 'calculated' - voluntarily accepting a constraint in order to enjoy the game in a different way. See, for instance, so-called 'pacifist' runs in Skyrim and Battlefield.
posted by Ritchie at 7:02 AM on September 23, 2012


My son used to have a rule that nobody could kill animals on his Minecraft server. He'd ban anyone who disobeyed.
posted by DU at 7:40 AM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Great video. That music still makes me smile!

I used to play Caesar III. I remember demolishing all of the low-value properties at the end of each calendar year. I'd have to do it at just the right moment so that all of the homeless people would drag their bags out of my city right before the prosperity metric was calculated.

Caesar LOVED me.
posted by kimberussell at 7:51 AM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I know how you feel Malor. I gave up on GTA IV very early on after realising that living a virtual life of crime with no consequences wasn't actually what I wanted to be spending my time doing.
posted by pharm at 8:02 AM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The moment the guy picked up the bored citizen and dropped him, I thought that he was a psychopath. I enjoy squishing digital pedestrians as much as the next girl, but the minute that gets put in real life, as here, it becomes horrifying to me.
posted by maryr at 8:05 AM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Turns out, it's common. I'm the weird one.

Oddly enough, my wife never liked to see me beat up prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto either, even though it's one of the easiest ways too make money. It got a bit too realistic. In retrospect, I agree.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:18 AM on September 23, 2012


This video pretty much took me from "Wow, this is extremely creative and fun" to "Wow, this guy is a sick creep" right around the halfway point. And I don't feel like the video-makers intended to evoke that reaction, but more of a knowing "Yeah bro, I totally used to kill my sims too!" *shudder*
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:20 AM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to be as law abiding as possible in GTA too... I actually enjoyed the game better that way as it kinda made it seem more realistic. I would get super annoyed if I had a tiny ding that would crumple my perfect looking car. Even when on a mission I would try and avoid hitting stuff as much as possible as that would slow you down. However when I was doing one of those missions that would take a zillion goes to complete then when getting from the save point to the start point anything went. (I was on the PC versions where some missions - often the race ones esp if a boat of plane was involved - where a lot lot harder than others)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:26 AM on September 23, 2012


[...] the minute that gets put in real life, as here, it becomes horrifying to me.

For me, it was the slow smile after the tiny dude is pulped that creeped me out.

That said, one of my favourite pastimes as a child was loading up Zoo Tycoon, filling giant pens with lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), then blocking the exits with water and systematically destroying all of the fences so the hapless patrons would be chased down and mauled to death. I guess you can only clean up so much vomit and penguin shit before a game starts to get a little boring.
posted by fight or flight at 8:56 AM on September 23, 2012


Making your lines that short is a recipe for homicidal tendencies.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:58 AM on September 23, 2012


MartinWisse: Oddly enough, my wife never liked to see me beat up prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto either, even though it's one of the easiest ways too make money. It got a bit too realistic. In retrospect, I agree.

I actually had written another paragraph in that prior comment about that. I deleted it, because I thought it detracted from the main point. But, roughly, this is what it said:

So I thought I'd gotten all jaded and cosmopolitan and unshockable about this stuff, down with the fact that people were really cruel and nasty in sim games, and then I heard about the GTA 'hooker trick'. In essence, you had sex with a prostitute in your car, which boosted your health above normal, and then when she got out, you'd hop out too, beat her to death with a baseball bat (so it was quiet, and didn't alert the cops), and take your money back. I guess I just don't do jaded well, because I still find that appalling.

Ritchie: A lot of people play games in ways calculated to minimize innocent body count, but the key word is 'calculated' - voluntarily accepting a constraint in order to enjoy the game in a different way. See, for instance, so-called 'pacifist' runs in Skyrim and Battlefield.

Sure, but that wasn't an extra constraint I was imposing on myself because I wanted to make the game harder, it was a refusal to do something I found horrifying. There was no metagaming there, it was just being sickened by killing an innocent person, and for a very long time I refused to let it happen 'for real' (aka, I'd immediately power the game off without saving). There was no goal there, no objective, just refusal to accept an unacceptable outcome. The game felt too real to me... I knew it was fictional, but it was close enough to reality that killing random passersby was a bad enough outcome to shut the game off. The game was so difficult, that way, that I eventually gave up on the idea.... after you've done the same tough mission ten times, pedestrians stop feeling so real.

I know I'm weird. When I've talked about this in real life, people looked at me like I was out of my goddamn gourd. Probably thought I had a stick up my ass or something.

Hell, they were probably right.
posted by Malor at 9:08 AM on September 23, 2012


The moment the guy picked up the bored citizen and dropped him, I thought that he was a psychopath. I enjoy squishing digital pedestrians as much as the next girl, but the minute that gets put in real life, as here, it becomes horrifying to me.

That was the point I wanted the Sims (or whatever they're called in RRT) to start dismantling the park themselves to create a war machine they might wield against the evil giant.
posted by dhartung at 9:13 AM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Turns out, it's common. I'm the weird one. I've sort of wondered, since, if it's just that people see through the illusion and don't think of them as anything more than pixels on a screen, or, if given godlike power, they would really do that kind of stuff.

I've played RCT quite a bit, and almost all of the time I would play the intended way of carefully designing the park and coasters. But every once in a while I would do something like remove a piece from a coaster and try to run it, or pick up a guest and drop them in the water, just to see if the game would let me.

Once my curiosity had been satisfied, I'd reload a save from before doing any of that, because going crazy like that is frankly pretty boring.

So I think that, for me at least, there's an element of just exploring the game and what it allows. Most games are so linear that, with a sandbox game, I kind of want to see what the limits are.

I've never played any of the GTA games. I don't think I could bring myself to do the "hooker trick" that you describe, so maybe there's hope for me yet.
posted by jcreigh at 10:19 AM on September 23, 2012


I enjoy squishing digital pedestrians as much as the next girl, but the minute that gets put in real life, as here, it becomes horrifying to me.

Yeah- I liked the animation a lot, but that part was just weird to me. I can understand blowing everything up and starting over when nothing is going right (I'm looking at you, Lemmings), but gleefully killing a random sim because he's bored with your park? It was a bit disturbing.
posted by dogmom at 10:30 AM on September 23, 2012


Roller Coaster Tycoon II is my guilty pleasure. I can spend days designing a park from the ground up, with incredible scenery, exquisite plantings, great food, plenty of bathrooms and The Best Rides Evar which I have custom designed. In fact, I haven't played it in a long time because it's such a time suck.

But I . . . I LOVE my little peeps. I once saw a friend purposely drown one of his peeps and it made me think long and hard about our friendship. If one of my rides malfunctions (and eventually one will, no matter how well maintained) and some peeps die, it's sackcloth and ashes time; I feel almost physically unwell.

So when I saw the guy pick up his bored peep, I almost had to quit watching because it was obvious what was coming. And . . . I LOVE my peeps. As has been established.

The only thing that irritates me about those little guys is that they are such wimps. Not one of them is willing to ride my Spaghetti of the Apocalypse coaster. I mean, sure, it's marginally more lethal than that execution coaster the one guy designed, but man! That first spiral drop at over 100 mph . . . dude! And even on the most adventurous setting, every single one of my little guys take a look at it, bounce back and say, "Looks too intense for me!" Sigh.
posted by miss patrish at 10:39 AM on September 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's amazing that we anthropomorphize pixels and code to the point of characterizing this guy as a psycho for "killing" - and seemingly enjoying it - one of his park visitors.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:07 PM on September 23, 2012


It's amazing that we anthropomorphize pixels and code to the point of characterizing this guy as a psycho for "killing" - and seemingly enjoying it - one of his park visitors.

Heck, I even feel guilty for switching clubs in Football Manager. That's one of those things that makes us human, that we can see ourselves in the most strangest things, where every electric outlet can become a face and we can identify ourselves with some clever gaming subroutines...

Course, it's also human to "torture" these same routines, sadly enough.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:27 PM on September 23, 2012


I'm of mixed minds. I loves me some Roller Coaster Tycoon, but every so often, when the little bastards rebel for no good reason.... It's like what do you mean, too intense? You were loving it half an hour ago!

Somewhere in my MeFi Mail archive is a conversation with someone about how hard it was to do anything "evil" in Fallout 3 because of the general level of fucked-upedness of the universe. Stealing someone's CRAM feels on par with shooting them in the back for no good reason. Also, there was enough Fallout 3 out there to explore limits without having to actually go all sociopathic on anyone.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:41 PM on September 23, 2012


Of course I went the other way with Total War and shove my minions in to battle with not much of a care for them as long as they do the job, shouting and hating at them if they broke and fled. That's probably pretty true to life (as I was actually gutted if a good assassin was caught and killed or the Inquisition did in one of my family members) One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:45 PM on September 23, 2012


Huh, I hadn't thought about that, fearfulsymmetry -- I'd never torture a Sim, but I'd cheerfully throw men to their deaths by the thousands in Shogun: TW2. Never even occurred to me to be bothered about that. They were virtual armies, they're supposed to march and fight and die. And it's not like you're long on options... if you try to live in peace and not kill anyone, you lose.

I guess that means that pixel-killing is acceptable, if you're killing a lot of them.
posted by Malor at 1:09 PM on September 23, 2012


Well this thread has been a bit of an eye opener. I've only played a tiny bit of RCT but knew someone who played a lot, and neither of us would kills sims for fun or frustration. And GTA... tried random violence to see what was possible but then settled into a kind of moral code. Never knew you could exploit those possibilities in ways described here (which kind of puts those objections in a new light).

When it comes to Fallout 3, I don't steal pilot lights from stoves nor alcohol (it's the apocalypse; everyone needs to cope), except when it comes to raiders of course. Desperate seeming sims keep everything.

When it comes to virtual armies I still have a few problems, even toy armies. Guns and bombs I'm reasonably (or unreasonably) desensitized to. But hey, let's break out the flamethrowers and poison gas. Erm...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2012


It's amazing that we anthropomorphize pixels and code to the point of characterizing this guy as a psycho for "killing" - and seemingly enjoying it - one of his park visitors.

Sometimes it's difficult to see where the line is drawn by people. For this guy maybe it's just "it's not real", but a lot of nasty behaviour in the world seems to come down to "it's not me". So when you see someone do something cruel to a sim, you can't help but wonder if you're in the same camp with the sprites.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:15 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had a babysitting job as a teenager where the, oh gosh, 7? 8? year old boy would load up GoldenEye 007, go to the level where you're supposed to rescue hostages from a lab facility, and then he'd run around shooting the scientists. The scientists were meant to be civilians - in fact, if you killed more than three you lost the level. He'd ignore the status message that he'd failed the mission and keep gunning down unarmed scientists running for their lives. All of them. Repeatedly. In the crotch.

That kid had Problems. I never babysat for him again.
posted by maryr at 4:50 PM on September 23, 2012


my wife never liked to see me beat up prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto either, even though it's one of the easiest ways too make money. It got a bit too realistic. In retrospect, I agree.

Well, they are Role Playing games, so whatever role you choose, you've gotta just go for it. Certainly nobody would accuse [villainous actor] of being a bad person simply because he's killed a bunch of people in his movies.

Then again, a role-playing game can often be even more personal than playing a dramatic role. The question of "what does this say about ME?" comes up a lot more often.

I found that playing "Knights of the Old Republic" as a sith can be very rewarding from a gameplay viewpoint (much more powerful abilities, etc.) but that the decisions required to get to that point (essentially being a complete dick to everyone you meet) are quite unsavory, despite the "it's just a game" notion.

Don't believe me? Try killing a Sim by locking them in a closed room with no electricity, food, windows, or doors. Force yourself to watch the whole thing. It's terrifying.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:24 PM on September 23, 2012


I always find it interesting when the "game" elements of games come into conflict with what the game is trying to represent or simulate. It's not exclusive to videogames - there's a great little bit in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader where Lucy keeps beating Reepicheep at chess because he thinks of it as a battle, and keeps doing things like moving his knights directly into harm's way because that's what he would do to protect the King.

In my case, it was playing Gratuitous Space Battles that had the same thing - you gain bonuses in that game for winning battles as efficiently as possible, ie. with the smallest amount of firepower. I never want to do that, though, because if I was actually a space-battle commander, I wouldn't want to win efficiently, I'd want to win decisively and as quickly as possible to minimise my casualties, so of course I'd commit as much force as I possibly could.
posted by ZsigE at 5:18 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Invader
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:55 AM on September 24, 2012


Also a huge RCT II fan. I remember when I first heard of anyone killing a peep, I think I was searching a forum for some advice on how to build something. It had simply never occurred to me that such a thing was possible - I didn't think the programmers would have coded for it. So I tried it once out of surprise - I think I picked a peep up and dropped him in a lake. (Sorry, Peep.)

Closest I ever got to that otherwise was I picked up a technique from someone online, to build a small "holding pen" and when you find a red-faced, angry peep, pick up up and drop him in the pen to pace around for a while til he cools off. Or sometimes if I found one thinking "I want to go home" and he was at the far, far end of the park, I'd help him out by picking him up and planting him at the main gate to leave.
posted by dnash at 10:01 AM on September 24, 2012


Nice to hear that I'm not the only Pollyanna out there, lemme tell ya.

In RCT, I moved people to get them out of the park all the time, dnash... I was thinking of it as being friendly, not, you know, grabby or something. I don't remember drowning any, but I might have experimented once or twice when I first heard you could. Experiments like jcreigh mentions up above sound like something I might do. But I'd definitely return to the universe (aka, load the save game) where the little guy/gal was alive and well.
posted by Malor at 11:21 AM on September 24, 2012


Killing them is not much fun. It's much better to get a bunch of them really sick on a high-intensity coaster, then drop them into a path with no connections. I like to call it "sick bay"--a beautiful symphony of cartoon retching. Oh yes peeps..I have such delights to show you.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:11 PM on September 24, 2012


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