I’m in a frivilous mood so here’s an idea I’m throwing out only half-seriously, one that came to me while trying to decide which game to play once I’ve finished the new Rage DLC (scorchers). The male domination hierarchy drives not just how women respond to you sexually but also your self-image, other men’s reactions, and the type of entertainment you’ll pursue. Our identities are expressed through our consumption choices, our fashion choices, and how we spend our time. So let’s apply that to video games.
Alpha: Command & Conquer, Rome Total War, Evil Genius
The alpha male sits atop the male hierarchy giving orders to his lackeys then sitting back to smoke a cigar while he watches the world be remade in his image. He’s intensely competitive and loves to exercise his will upon a hostile world. He seeks decisive victory. Thus what better games than those where he commands armies, ripping thousands of little computer people from their little computer homes and sending them to certain death as they scythe through enemy lands looting and pillaging.
Sigma: Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, Dark Souls
The sigma walks alone on the fringes of society, heedless of its demands and determined to make his own way. The world is a playground and his mission to perfect his own skills for his own sake, to extract from it the little he needs to get by. He wishes for no affiliations, no crusade to join. So what better games than an open world sandbox with animals to hunt, pirates to assassinate, factions to play off against each other and the whole thing played at your own pace, free to pick and choose your own action? Who is a more symbolic archetype of the sigma mindset than the international assassin?
Beta: Gears of War, Call of Duty (single player), Battlefield
Beta males are followers. They are looking for a cause higher than their own, to be pointed in a direction then sent off to surmount the obstacles and prove their worth. Thus we have long-winded save-the-world campaigns where you slot into a fire-team and play “follow the NPC”. There’s so much gushing about defending your homeland, team spirit and yes…. duty. I’ve replaced COD multiplayer (a lone-wolf twitch-fest) with Battlefield because the later better expresses the coordinated teamwork and class-based role-following that appeals to the beta drone.
Gamma: Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid
The gamma male is tortured by the cognitive dissonance between his self-perceived superiority (springing from his high intelligence) and his actual lowly SMP rank (springing from his feminisation). This conflict expresses itself in snark, excessive complication, and an appreciation for labyrinthian story-based RPGs that reward obsessive play. If the boring long-winded too-smart-by-half snarky lefty anti-capitalist message of MGS isn’t proof enough, just look at a photo of its creator Hideo Kojima. A high-acheiving gamma if ever there was one. Gammas want to play games that remind them how clever they are. They want to be the reluctant hero who saves the world he holds in contempt. They want the final cut-scene that vindicates them for being right all along. And they really like feminised bland characters.
Omega: World of Warcraft, Skyrim
The thing omegas have far more than everyone else is time. With no social life to distract them the omega is free to over-invest in endless grinding RPGs, building a virtual self that can rank higher than his real-world incarnation. Online, no-one knows you’re a dog. The omega can access social communication through MMORPGs but with buffers that avoid the real world rejection he is used to. In Skyrim he can lose himself completely in a fully-featured virtual world where he is always the hero. This is the true escapism.
BTW, I’d love to know how the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres are mapped by SMP rank. I don’t read much but I’d guess Asimov is for gammas, Herbert for betas, Star Trek for manginas and Doctor Who for omegas. However, I don’t know the scene well enough to judge.