It’s not uncommon in the slightest to want to do the right thing and align yourself with good when playing video games. Even so much as choosing the slightly more aggressive or confrontational dialogue option when speaking to an NPC can be too much for some (a.k.a me,) so we continue to doom ourselves to a life of being the hero. This phenomenon is best put in a previous post by Luke Ackroyd; ‘I NEED TO BE THE GOOD GUY!’ talking about how even though it runs the risk of missing out on half of the content, there’s this need to behave. Pair this with the not-in-the-slightest “subtle” encouragement from a lot of games to do good and it seems we’ll never get the chance to break away and do wrong.
Unless, of course, you’re a Goose.
And no, I don’t mean that in the sense of calling someone silly. I mean a LITERAL Goose.
Honk honk motherfuckers.
Untitled Goose Game made an extremely bold move in coming out on the same day as Link’s Awakening on the Nintendo Switch; a legacy remake surely would swamp a small indie game from a company anyone had yet to have heard of? But House House (the producers of the game) had one key thing on their side that would surely guarantee their success - the internet.
The hype for this game was indeed real and the ‘memeability’ of the main character cemented its popularity before you could even offer your first honk. The Goose itself became a child of Twitter and was instantly recognisable, even those that don’t divulge into games. Even companies were getting involved with Goose-mania (including the charity I work for) and you could barely move on social media without seeing the little white bastard somewhere.
You play as a Goose and annoy other people. That’s it. That’s the whole entire concept of the game. It involves a little bit of exploring and some stealth and strategy, but the key point of this game is to be naughty - something everybody needs to be now and again. Your setting is a quaint British village, making your actions feel all the more heinous, and its inhabitants are simple people attempting to get on with their simple lives. It feels good to cause such a disturbance - but why? Perhaps as it seems like such a real environment it feels better to break the rules. The smaller the scale the bigger the annoyance; a balance that seems to have been struck perfectly. Who knew stealing a slipper could feel so good.
In my opinion, UGG is pure, unequivocal fun and I’ve yet to meet a person who hasn’t had a good time with this game. It’s always refreshing when an indie company comes out with such a counter-culture production that really separates itself from the huge, expensive, post-apocalyptic titles we’re all sick of seeing - and it’s even better when it does well too!
My biggest hope this small drop in the pond creates a massive ripple effect that makes game companies realise we don’t always want to be the good guy. Being a villain is fun, this proves it, but also that being bad doesn’t have to result in huge, world-changing plans - sometimes scaring a kid into hiding in a phone box is good enough.
Goose is a modern day icon. There's no two ways about it. We should all take a leaf out of his book and allow ourselves some naughty time every once in a while. Be yourself, free yourself, THROW THAT RAKE IN THE LAKE GODDAMMIT!