A videogame developer is on the receiving end of considerable criticism after its recent release of Virtue: the Game.
Players win the game by being as virtuous as possible, accumulating ‘righteousness points’ through a variety of means, such as treating computer characters compassionately and assaulting homosexuals. The game features an open universe which allows players to explore, and a series of story-based missons, ranging from dropping off a younger brother at soccer practice to bombing abortion clinics.
As you might have guessed, the missions sometimes require the player not to complete them in order to gain righteousness. The developers believe that not being able to complete the missions in order to avoid damnation will add great value to the game, as customers will be “playing it forever.” Virtue also features a novel system that rewards players for not wasting time by playing it.
Within hours of its release, however, Virtue was already being lambasted by players unable to finish the game. One frustrated player called the game “pretty gay,” an accusation which caused the game itself to lose righteousness points and stop working entirely. “I didn’t realize that I couldn’t win without maxing out my character’s Faith stats,” complained another. “I don’t get how god belief is relevant, and it wasn’t in the manual.” The manual itself has attracted criticism, notably for being well over a thousand pages long, its obtuse allusions to game features, and earnest promises of a much better sequel.
Many potential customers have been disenfranchised by Virtue as it’s currently only available on a single platform, XBOX 360, and Microsoft plans to retain exclusive rights to it. “I don’t even believe in Microsoft,” grumbled one PlayStation owner. “I mean, as a company. I don’t support them. Sorry, that could've been misleading.” Though owners of other systems and non-gamers could techincally acquire Virtue, Microsoft warns that it won't work. For the foreseeable future at least, Virtue will be beyond the reach of anyone else.
Another player criticized Virtue for its bizarre game play. “I really didn’t get why there were zombies in it. They seemed completely out of place, but all the game literature says they’re integral to the storyline.” The multiplayer function has attracted criticism too, as it only allows married couples to play together, or siblings if the customers are from
For the first time in gaming history, parent groups have actually sided with their children in the condemnation of Virtue. “Unlike previous games, it’s not affecting their behavior at all,” complained a spokeswoman. “My kids have been playing Virtue constantly, and they’re somehow able to distinguish their experiences in the game from those in real life,” she added. “It’s enough to make me want to poke around for someone else to blame.”