The Outer Worlds Almost Got Me Thrown in Real Jail

Or, how playing way too much of a video game made me want to loot an ER this weekend.

I’m writing this almost-confessional from the front seat of my ambulance (where I volunteer a few times per month). I’ve done nothing wrong, you see, but The Outer Worlds—the way I’m playing it and the sheer amount that I’m playing—has instilled in me an instinct I’m not entirely proud of. A desire to loot the ever loving crap out of every room I walk into.

It started innocently enough. It’s a Fallout-style game, but set in a goofy, awful, corporate-run space colony, with a vaguely anti capitalist sense of humor. I was hooked! Then I couldn’t stop playing the game, as it took over my latent completionist instinct, so much so that I feel compelled to finish every side quest, no matter how menial. Last night I played for hours on end, my brain slightly melted after a long week of… writing about video games. I started getting greedy. My hands (in game) started getting sticky. I cleared out Rosewater and damn if I didn’t pick up every single piece of junk in the entire area. 

Then, I got wayyyyy too comfortable and I “borrowed” one too many items out of Groundbreaker. Now I can’t even go there, even Gladys tried to kill me. I had to spend hours going through Monarch the hard way as penance. The Prismatic Hammer made the task much more bearable, though, I highly recommend it.

Prismatic Hammer Outer Worlds

I put the game down to go to sleep last night and awoke feeling refreshed, happy I was going to go bolster my, um, reputation with a good deed, a few hours of community service on my all-volunteer ambulance.

We had a really good, complex trauma job, which depleted our stock of towels and blankets. After checking our patient into the trauma room and giving our report to the doctors there, I went off to search for the linen supplies (ERs are generally cool with EMTs borrowing clean sheets, since they will inevitably be returned to them on the next job). Since we were in an ER I’m less used to, I had to go looking for a bit. Herein lies the problem.

Hospital ERs are stocked full of cabinets teeming with medical supplies, cabinets stuffed with great, life-saving goods. Loot, you might call it. Searching for the sheets, my right thumb was positively itching for the x button to LOOT IT ALL.

Side note: it’s much, much faster to jam on the x button than to hold it down to extract all the goods. So that feeling is real. Too real.

I didn’t take anything, don’t worry. I’m a good EMT and a decent human being, and I’m not going to needlessly vandalize an emergency room.

But holy god, the instinct was powerful. There was a strong desire to sweep the place after doing the “hard part” which, in game involves shooting/smashing bad guys and talking to people, and in real life… well, doing medical procedures and talking to people. 

Here’s hoping my sticky hands calm down a bit before I’m done with the game. I have no idea what I’m even going to do with all this goddamned Purpleberry Wine…