I had previously heard a lot about the “Fallout” franchise yet had never come into contact with it, so I entered Fallout 4 cold turkey. Purely basing my opinion off of the cover of the game, even though you are not supposed to, I imagined this as an all-out futuristic war game akin to that of Call of Duty and related games instead ,during my first thirty minutes, I did not get that experience, but this can be attributed to the “tutorial” phase of the game where one is getting used to the controls and game functions. Through my progression of the game I began to see Fallout as a basic shooter game that takes place in a wasteland (I am legend?), but the game’s intro sequences challenged my thinking.
When the game is loading up we are treated to multiple scenes that describes what is about to happen in the game, even before the game starts up. One of the sequences that caught my eye exclusively was humanity’s ability to use radioactive energy as a source for something other than destruction. In our society the word “nuclear” is often associated with negative terms and war, yet this society managed to turned this potentially harmful energy source into something productive that makes them advanced for the 21st century. I have not played any other game that chose to take this route specifically, so seeing this narrative take place was new and refreshing.
A peculiar trend that I noticed in this game that relates to societal taboos in media is the role of infanticide. There is a scene where the main character’s wife is killed but her baby is kept alive and taken away. I understand that this could follow the stereotypical “let us keep the baby so we may use it to found a new society” thinking that many entertainment villains take, but it speaks volumes about what we can and cannot accept. I think that some players would have been bothered had the game decided to cold bloodedly kill the game and take the mother away instead of what actually happened. I cannot remember the last time a baby was shot on screen. This leads me to think “does society value certain lives more than others?” This question has many implications to the black lives matter movement that is found within our society right now. Not only should we wonder if society does value certain lives over others, we should seek to question why. Why do baby lives matter more than adult lives? It is highly possible that the kidnapping of the child was purely done to play into the narrative developed in the game, but this possibility should not discourage our questions.