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Hanging on to your humanity

posted by RobtMyers on - last edited - Viewed by 231 users

Watch this exchange from Playing Dead Episode 8 from this point to 07:08.

The developers specifically explain that saving or dropping Ben is your chance to make the same moral choice as the people of Crawford: Protect or abandon the "weak." If you drop him then you are like the people of Crawford, and you are giving up your humanity.

Please don't get mad at me though, this is "word of God" as TV Tropes puts it.

Anyway, I'm going to call this kind of thing the "Episode Choice."

Are there other examples of this? I think so and here are my guesses.

Episode 1: I think this episode is about whether you help someone or not. Clem is the first one to help Lee, basically saving him from the babysitter. Hershel's an uptight prick who won't help a bunch of able-bodied people who could have made his farm more defensible. Kenny is either helpful or unhelpful depending on the time of day. Larry and Lilly are just vile. Carley/Doug are likable and brave and therefore the center of one of the two Choices in this episode.

1) Save Carley or Doug.

Moral: You can't save everyone.

2) Help Irene kill herself.

Moral: Sometimes helping someone means ending their misery.

Episode 2: For reasons that I think are obvious, I feel this one is about taking advantage of others for your own benefit.

This is another obvious one: To Kill or not to kill Danny. Danny nearly breaks the fourth wall to explain it, telling Lee to keep him alive so the meat is fresh (which I don't exactly get, but whatever).

Moral: The human thing to do is to not victimize people indiscriminately for your own gain.

I think this is also true, in a toned-down form, of the station wagon choice. Looting those peoples' supplies was essentially the same.

Episode 3: This is a toughie. Ben and Lily seem like the main "suspects" here since they caused all the trouble, and both may have been misguided attempts to do the right thing. I guess the moral here is don't do shit to "help" without consulting your friends first?

Episode 4: Discussed above.

Episode 5: I think the episode question is whether you have Clem shoot Lee or not, and given that the rest of the episode is about selflessness (Kenny even gives a speech in one version about how his heart grew three sizes that day) I think it fits. Personally, I think asking Clem to shoot Lee is the selfish answer, but I'm aware others think it's a necessary lesson for her. I deeply disagree with them, but there it is.

Moral: The human thing to do is to think of others before yourself.

Anyway, I think we all just played through a big psychological test on the nature of human nature.

14 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Very interesting thread, well done OP.

  • with episode three, he doesn't break the fourth wall or get close to doing so at all. Also, if you did not kill Jolene, then Danny will not mention that and instead tells Lee that he wouldn't kill him because he doesn't have the guts to murder.

  • @RobtMyers said:

    This is another obvious one: To Kill or not to kill Danny. Danny nearly breaks the fourth wall to explain it, telling Lee to keep him alive so the meat is fresh (which I don't exactly get, but whatever).



    i think they have decided that once you are a zombie the meat isn't good any more so they have to strip the meat from a living person, it's why they kept Mark alive

  • Couldn't you just shoot a guy in the head and eat him? Meat never got the chance to go bad.

  • @RobtMyers said: Watch this exchange from Playing Dead Episode 8 from this point to 07:08.

    The developers specifically explain that saving or dropping Ben is your chance to make the same moral choice as the people of Crawford: Protect or abandon the "weak." If you drop him then you are like the people of Crawford, and you are giving up your humanity.

    Please don't get mad at me though, this is "word of God" as TV Tropes puts it.

    Anyway, I'm going to call this kind of thing the "Episode Choice."

    Are there other examples of this? I think so and here are my guesses.

    Episode 1: I think this episode is about whether you help someone or not. Clem is the first one to help Lee, basically saving him from the babysitter. Hershel's an uptight prick who won't help a bunch of able-bodied people who could have made his farm more defensible. Kenny is either helpful or unhelpful depending on the time of day. Larry and Lilly are just vile. Carley/Doug are likable and brave and therefore the center of one of the two Choices in this episode.

    1) Save Carley or Doug.

    Moral: You can't save everyone.

    2) Help Irene kill herself.

    Moral: Sometimes helping someone means ending their misery.

    Episode 2: For reasons that I think are obvious, I feel this one is about taking advantage of others for your own benefit.

    This is another obvious one: To Kill or not to kill Danny. Danny nearly breaks the fourth wall to explain it, telling Lee to keep him alive so the meat is fresh (which I don't exactly get, but whatever).

    Moral: The human thing to do is to not victimize people indiscriminately for your own gain.

    I think this is also true, in a toned-down form, of the station wagon choice. Looting those peoples' supplies was essentially the same.

    Episode 3: This is a toughie. Ben and Lily seem like the main "suspects" here since they caused all the trouble, and both may have been misguided attempts to do the right thing. I guess the moral here is don't do shit to "help" without consulting your friends first?

    Episode 4: Discussed above.

    Episode 5: I think the episode question is whether you have Clem shoot Lee or not, and given that the rest of the episode is about selflessness (Kenny even gives a speech in one version about how his heart grew three sizes that day) I think it fits. Personally, I think asking Clem to shoot Lee is the selfish answer, but I'm aware others think it's a necessary lesson for her. I deeply disagree with them, but there it is.

    Moral: The human thing to do is to think of others before yourself.

    Anyway, I think we all just played through a big psychological test on the nature of human nature.



    Honestly i think clem leaving lee is FAR more selfish considering she would rather lee be at peace then be a walker

  • While the belltower may be a microcosm of Crawford, I don't think I'm like them for dropping Ben. The fact is, I DID think of others when I dropped him. I thought of Christa, Molly, Kenny, and Vernon, and all the walkers that were swarming the streets of Crawford and working their way up the belltower at that very moment. Is trying to save one life truly the humane thing to do, if five other people (Lee, Kenny, Molly, Christa, Vernon, and Clem if you took her with you) all die because of that attempt? I didn't think it was possible to save Ben without putting everyone else in the group at risk, all of whom (minus Vernon later on, and possibly Kenny depending on your choices) were good people, for one kid who made a few (big) mistakes, but was willing to die to let his friends escape.

    In my game, my Lee didn't prove he was a selfish, inhuman monster by dropping Ben. Ben proved he was brave, selfless, and caring about others for the first time during the journey. I felt so bent out of shape I nearly reloaded because of the massive amounts of guilt I felt. Although, the people who just let Ben drop without even shooting the walker could be seen as making the "Crawford" choice. Ben needed help, but they just stood by and watched as he got dragged down.

  • @thestalkinghead said: i think they have decided that once you are a zombie the meat isn't good any more so they have to strip the meat from a living person, it's why they kept Mark alive



    While it's a side issue to this thread, I was wondering why not a straight decapitation and putting the body in a freezer?

    But whatever, not really important.

  • Explain the difference between helping Irene kill herself because "sometimes helping someone means ending their misery" yet deeply disagreeing with applying that same lesson to Clem shooting Lee. Isn't that how Clem could help Lee?

    What makes it right to help Irene but not Lee? Are you saying that it was right to help Irene die because she was a stranger or because you didn't care about her? So ... if you know someone, you shouldn't help them die with dignity and closure because it's emotional, and you shouldn't ask your loved ones to help you. Why should you treat strangers better than your loved ones? It would be like not burying your loved ones because it would make you sad ... but then their bodies would lie out in the open being eaten by animals, while strangers would be buried with their bodies at rest.

    Some people don't see any mercy in killing people before they become walkers, since a walker is already dead, and the person they were is gone. In that case, there would be no reason to help Irene die or shoot Lee, other than the practical reason of making sure they don't come back as a threat. So ... it seems like if the lesson applies to one, then it should apply to both. Explain why shooting Lee is selfish, but Irene is merciful.

  • i think you could argue that having Clementine shoot lee is selfish in a handcuffed to the radiator ending (because you were not a danger to her) but if you weren't cuffed, you were a danger to Clementine even after she got the keys, imagine if the last thing you hear was "Lee, the door is blocked and wont open"

    on topic, i think that they are general themes to the episodes but they are all full of all kinds of different moral choices so there isn't just one theme to each episode

  • @IndigoHawk said:
    What makes it right to help Irene but not Lee?



    I'll explain my view because you ask, but since I don't want to get into a debate about this one choice I won't respond to challenges to it. That's a great subject for another thread.

    Irene to 40-something adult Lee: Please let me borrow that gun so I can use it to put myself out of this misery, and maybe save my soul from eternal damnation or something since I take my religion very seriously and this is clearly Satanic in nature. But hey it's your call.

    40-something adult Lee to 9-yr-old Clem: Sweet pea, as the only light of love and safety left in your world — now that we've seen your parents twisted into hideous fiends of undeath — I want you to personally blast my brains out all over this wall and bear the burden of that responsibility and that final image of me for the rest of your days. I want you to waste that bullet and create that walker-attracting noise rather than just turning around and hauling your little butt up those stairs and away from me. This trauma is my final gift to you, the girl I would do anything to protect, except from this particular horror. Because as we all know, the best way to deal with horror is to become so numbed to it we don't feel anything when we murder our family.

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