Fallout New Vegas made me fall in love with video games

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Creative, Culture, Opinions | 0 comments

I’m not the first person to gush over my nostalgia fuelled love of Fallout New Vegas and I won’t be the last. But when I think about it, it’s this game that I owe my eternal love of video games to almost entirely. 

When I was in high school, Fallout New Vegas became a big part of my personality. Now, at 21, it holds more meaning to me than it did when I was a teenager. Looking back, it was honestly probably the most politically charged piece of media I had consumed up to that point, or at least I was playing it at the right age to be somewhat aware of the point the game was making. 

I’ll always love video games where all I have to do is point and shoot, and there’s none of this “thinking” nonsense involved, but my real love of the medium comes from playing games with a narrative that, in the end, is written by the player. New Vegas is all of that, plus gameplay mechanics that, in my opinion, are greatly improved from its predecessor, Fallout 3. I very much hear the cries that Fallout 3’s story trumps that of FNV, but FNV was my introduction to the series, so its impact for me is just different. 

I’ve gone back and played the full New Vegas campaign at least half a dozen times, and no matter what I do I can only seem to take the most socialist route. That seems to be my attitude in all games of this type. Of course, sometimes it’s fun to take the side of the bad guy just to see how much havoc you can cause, but I always find myself getting too attached to the future of the Mojave to do that. 

At the end of my first ever play through, the narration took me back to every civilization and outpost I had come across through my time in the Mojave and explained how my smallest choices had ruined their lives. All I wanted to do was create a good ending for everyone, but the game forces you to learn through hours of play that that simply isn’t possible. It was the most a video game had ever meant to me, and it honestly made me miserable at times. That’s why I’ll love it forever.

Of course, the primary theme of the Fallout series as a whole is that we as a society will never be able to stop fighting wars against each other, and that will lead to our imminent self destruction. That’s something that I feel has slowly gotten lost in the mix in the last couple of Fallout installments but it remains the core message. 

I might never get the same feeling playing a game that I did when I was 15, but I’ll always have those memories of New Vegas.

Graphic by Thai Sirikoone

Evan Watt

The Griff


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