If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Have You Played… Event[0]?

SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Event[0] was, I fear, a little bit overlooked, partly because of an unwise name and partly because – speculating entirely here – many of us find it too hard to take the concept of chatting to a machine at face value. We know how often Amazon Echos and Apple Siris get it wrong; how could a videogame possibly get it right?

When it did, it really did.

Moment to moment, chatting to the AI who was the sole remaining inhabitant of a Marie Celeste-esque space station showed up plenty of flaws – triggering more on keywords than on meaning, looping some comments, offering a few too many barely-concealed ‘I didn’t understand the question’. But that didn’t matter, because at specific moments there was an eerie sense that this thing was really paying attention to you – and, in fact, toying with you.

One sequence really stuck with me. You’ve just been outside the station, doing a low-g traversal of it its exterior to fix a broken mast, and your oxygen’s almost run out. You get to the airlock, expecting to go back inside and breathe freely – then the AI, Kaizen, refuses to open it.

At which point, a desperate mindgame begins. I had to talk the paranoid, possibly murderous machine-being to let me in, which involved a curious network of promising that I cared about him and praising him. It felt like a hostage negotiation, only I was the hostage.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

Contributor

Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

More Features

Latest Articles

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch