on Jan 27, 2013
Reason the Crawford people are dumb #582:The doctor broke off the deal with Molly because The Authority was keeping close tabs on the medicine supply. So apparently they were keeping careful inventory of insulin? Why? You don’t allow diabetics in the group, remember? By design, your group should never ever need insulin. This is like a nunnery keeping and tracking a supply of condoms. If you’re not going to use the meds yourselves, why not trade it with others? Oh. You don’t trade with outsiders, either. I guess that would be reason #583.
I am kind of frustrated that we can’t get a clear picture of what rules Crawford is operating on. Vernon’s group seem to indicate that Crawford would hunt them all down and kill these otherwise healthy humans because they might die of cancer later. But then Anna’s second conversation with the doctor indicates that she’s free to leave Crawford. Later Molly said they, “Came and took my sister away.” Okaaay. Did they take and kill her, or did they just boot her out of Crawford? Which is it? Is Crawford a bunch of predatory murderers, or are they just elitist and isolationist? This distinction is really important when evaluating their society, and the game doesn’t give us a clear answer.
Having said all that, I think Crawford is plausible enough. They’re a stretch, but historically we’ve seen much worse. If the writers are going to toy with the “Humans are the real monsters” theme, I find it a lot more palatable when they keep the “monsters” outside the party. The stupidity of Crawford was less infuriating to me than the stupidity of teaming up with Lily and Larry and letting them run things.
Also, note how the choices made by players kind of refute the whole “Humans are the real monsters” theme. Looking at the various end-of-episode scores, we see that players overwhelmingly chose the path of mercy whenever it was available to them, even when the game incentivized the path of callous pragmatism. Yes, this took place within the context of a videogame where players didn’t have to personally experience the hunger, pain, sickness, and hardship of Doing The Right Thing, but I think it shows there is enough idealism out there to make Crawford the exception and not the rule in the wasteland.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.