Fallout 4 is Highly Addictive (SPOILER ALERT)

School starts again a week from today. I'm not ready. I mean, I guess I'm technically ready as far as prep goes. There's really nothing much to do—change the dates from my Fall syllabus. That's about it. But I'm not emotionally ready. I need more time to play Fallout 4. I haven't figured out what the Institute did with my son, Shaun, and things are just starting to get interesting with Piper Wright—just yesterday she told me she admired me. Also, a settler stole my power armor and I need to deal with that a-hole. If I can't get him to take it off and return it I'm going to assign him to caravan duty and send him somewhere highly irradiated. Jerk.

If you get these references, then you've obviously played Fallout 4 (or you are the unfortunate significant other of a gamer and have not seen your partner since before Thanksgiving.) If you don't get these references, then you have been spared the compulsion that is this game. Seriously. It is virtual crack. There is one fellow who's even suing the game company, Bethesda Softworks, because he claims the game destroyed his life and he thinks they should have warned him that could happen and compensate him for his suffering. I don't know what he expected. It's rated M for mature. Apparently, he wasn't. I suspect his wife was going to leave him regardless.

People can get addicted to all sorts of things but the solution is not "file a lawsuit." I mean, can you imagine if every alcoholic out there sued Anheuser-Busch for destroying their lives? I think there's already been a precedent for that and the courts have ruled that booze companies aren't responsible for what you do when you drink. Although, they did add all the "drink responsibly" taglines to their commercials.

It's interesting that the possibility exists for a character to become addicted to substances in-game (alcohol and other "chems") and there is actually a "treatment" for this addiction. You can cure yourself (and some NPCs in-game) of chemical addiction by means of mysterious technology. It is the year 2287, after all. Or, you could just pay 40 caps to a random dude in a dirty white lab coat you met on the side of the road to give you a shot and that'll cure you too. At least of your physical symptoms. Nothing stops you from huffing more Jet and getting re-addicted, you stoner.

When you (and by "you" I mean your character, duh) first encounter the location of this miracle cure technology, you will stumble upon a crumbling room with a circle of folding chairs with skeletons sitting in them still clutching mugs, coffee pot and extra cups on a table nearby, and a computer with some notes about how the treatment is going. Everyone ends up dead, so I'm going to say it didn't go so well. That's what happens when you allow Vault-Tec Industries to take care of you. Don't trust your healthcare to corporations. (Those folks at Bethesda—a little left of center. Wink.) Technology can't actually cure addiction. Also, contrary to what video games may have taught you, wearing a fedora will not boost your charisma. (Double wink.)

But seriously, I'm not begrudging the poor devil his video game addiction. I believe it's a real thing. I believe his wife left him. I believe he lost his job. I believe he's a miserable sack of crap. What I don't believe is that Bethesda is responsible or owes him any compensation. Addiction comes in many forms, but ultimately, the chump is responsible to get himself help if he needed it. There may not be a 12-step program for video game compulsion but surely he could have put the controller down and called a crisis counselor or something. I mean if it was so bad his wife left him, surely he was aware there was a problem for a while. I'm guessing it started before Fallout 4 was released. That game just came out in November. I guess my point is, don't blame the game. It didn't force you to play it. Some of us manage to put our controllers down and bathe occasionally. I'm not sure what my point is. Fallout is really fun--that he was miserable playing it speaks to other issues.

In summation, I only need 300 more XP to get the Gun Nut level 4 perk and build that sweet night-vision scope on my sniper rifle. Yes, I'm still in my pajamas. Shut up. I'm on vacation.