Hidden Motivations Of Video Game Characters, In Order

39. Fun

38. Game rating, theme, plot eliminates need to urinate, file taxes, experience bodily shame.

37. Lifelong contempt of evolutionary theory culminating in ill-thought out plan to stop rampaging monkey, without consulting police, humane society, press, etc.

36. Failure to understand nuances of newly installed alien government.

35. No school will hire substitute teacher named Solid Snake.

34. Prefer being shot at, stomped upon, devoured by monsters, spine mutilation, to honest conversation with friends, family, spouse.

33. Non-raiding, -assassin, -bloodsport job felt too “corporate.”

32. Running from giant sausages, pickles, eggs, is “Only life I’ve ever known.”

31. Discovered online ninjutsu degree worthless, pursuing direct experience in the field.

30. Unwavering belief in the extra life.

29. Must make John Madden proud, somehow…

28. Desire to warmly welcome others to Warp Zone in order to make it feel a little less warped, zoned.

27. Cheaper to fall to death than to get splinter, flu, tetanus under existing health care plan.

26. Cannot stand another Thanksgiving having an un-rescued girlfriend.

25. Perception of power-up items as symbols of self-worth.

24. Just wanted to see Castlevania before they put in the Apple Store.

23. Snake hatred—the hatred of any and all snakes.

22. To better understand opponent’s motivations.

21. Chemical “Triforce” dependency.

20. Brown thumb killed all plants in apartment, and really, why stop there?

19. Felt misunderstood at previous place of employment.

18. To discover the Excitebike within.

17. Must make anthropomorphic dog stop mocking efforts, aim, life goals, finances.

16. Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.

15. Public shaming of M. Bison.

14. Public shaming of Mike Tyson.

13. Marry into wealth, prestige of mushroom kingdom.

12. Feeling that movements, desires, goals are being controlled by strange, powerful, unpixelated “other.”

11. Irrational hatred of fruit, organic, local, or otherwise.

10. Finally able to justify outrageous workout regime, violent urges, xenophobia, while combining interest in travel.

9. Cannot face another night of editing novel.

8. Fear that a life spent not jumping over hazards, proceeding to next level is without prestige, glamour, meaning.

7. Fascination with discovering, eating food in unlikely locations.

6. Acknowledgment from parents, self.

5. Fear of commitment.

4. Power.

3. Wealth.

2. Survival.

1. Giddy enthusiasm for mazes.


Evan Johnston is a writer and graphic designer living in Brooklyn. He once had the high score for Crystal Castles.