Top 5 Videogame Quotes of 2010

2010 saw some of the best video game writing to date with stand out titles like Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2 proving strong contenders for both quality and quantity of writing, among others. So as the inevitable season of reflection dawns on us, it strikes me that few efforts have been made to collect some of these great moments in video game writing this year. Fortunately, this is not such an attempt.

Instead of trying to grab hap-hazardly for the "greatest" achievements in game writing this year, I’ll offer a collection of five quotes that I found memorable for their poignancy, their impact, or perhaps even their humor. This seems more fitting, given that I missed out on what could be some of the best writing this year (I’m looking at you, Deadly Premonition) or just can’t remember the rest. But after careful consideration and research, I offer to you the Top 5 Takedown of Game Quotes for 2010.

*As a disclaimer, be aware that using quotes from games has a decent potential to spoil some plot points.*

5. Heavy Rain – Ethan Mars: "Jasoooooon!"

heavy rain

It’s hard to approach a quote with equal parts brevity and magnitude, especially when my personal response is equal parts terror and humor. Terror for the obvious reason: Ethan is panicked and searching for his wayward firstborn in the mall, only to culminate in the tragic car crash that propels the rest of Ethan’s narrative towards its surprising end. Humor for the damage that this line has done to "Jasons" everywhere. GamerNode’s very own Associate Editor happens to be a Jason, and the shenanigans of this poor virtual boy have been much to his chagrin and my enjoyment. There’s little more enjoyable then walking around the E3 show flow shouting, "Jason? JASOOOONNN!?" And for that, Quantic Dream, I thank you.

4. Mass Effect 2 – Legion: "We do not comprehend the organic fascination of self-poisoning, auditory damage, and sexually transmitted disease."

legion mass effect 2

Synthetic life-forms always put it best. In Mass Effect 2, the last thing you’d expect is for a Geth to join your ragtag space band, but Legion, as this quote implies, is anything but expected. Just bring him (It? Them?) along to a swinging club, like the Eternity Club on Illium or the DarkStar Club on the Citadel, get Shephard nice and liquored up, and wait for this magical one-liner. Not only is it a moment of interspecies comedy, but also a commentary on the irrationality of human behavior that the morality system of the game bases itself on. Think about it: does any Paragon or Renegade action really make logical sense, or is it an illogical decision based on a particular moral alignment?

3. BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den – Charles Milton Porter: "Sure you hear it in Rapture. One of the business types asked me, ‘Why don’t you splice white, get ahead?!’ Well, that’s some idiocy! I told him, ‘First of all I AM ahead. Second, in Rapture it’s your WORK that’s supposed to matter, not your skin!’ Too bad for some folks you can’t splice in common sense."

bioshock 2 minerva's den charles porter

I mentioned this quote in my review of Minerva’s Den earlier this year because it touches on an important and sensitive historical event that had yet to be broached by video games: the Civil Rights Movement in America. Granted, Porter is an African-American living in Rapture, but the value system is derived from 1940’s-1950’s America. After hearing this brief and striking audio log, I began to see Porter, as well as Rapture, in a new light. The problems of this dystopia were not confined to gene splicing and megalomaniacal tyrants but also the societal and relational problems of the era. And to hear Porter speak out against racism in a world removed from Dr. King and Rosa Parks, it’s almost as if he began his own movement for equality. This is one of those quotes that really stuck to my brain this year for its power, its sincerity, and its surprising appearance.

2. Red Dead Redemption – Irish: "You see, Mr. Marston, God invented whisky so the Irish cannot rule the world."

red dead redemption irish

Speaking of racism, Red Dead Redemption is rife with it. Rockstar has approached race relations in its Grand Theft Auto series with blunt, brute force, and John Marston’s tale is no different. Who could deny the Irish a little self-deprecating humor? I guess when you name a character "Irish," it’s a given that he will embody the nastiest stereotypes available to Britain’s little cousin, the foremost of which being excessive drinking. But aside from the laughs Irish provides, the attitude of this quote implies an explicit attitude attributed to the Western frontier in Red Dead Redemption: It’s all yours for the taking if somebody doesn’t keep you from it. Marston epitomizes this mantra given his tangle with the U.S. government and Bill Williamson, and pays the ultimate price for it in the end.

Mafia 2 – Luca Gurino: "What about you, Vito? You against killin’ animals? How ‘bout the uh… human animal?"

mafia 2 luca

A seemingly benign quote amidst a myriad of gun slinging and debauchery may pass by without much notice, but its content asks a question that not only Vito but the videogame industry has been forced to ask itself this year. In Vito’s story, a far cry from the Godfather-style rise to power, the returning WWII veteran has to choose between a life of violence and the way out. Clearly he chooses the former. With video games now on trial in the Supreme Court, the debate surrounding violence in video games has reached a fever pitch, and the question is analogous to Luca’s question. To what degree are developers (and consumers) OK with violence in games, and would the violence be more acceptable given an artificial label? A gun by any other name could kill as sweet? Whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court case, Mafia 2 toed the line of this tension thematically, while exploiting it outrageously in gameplay, and this quote implicates both aspects with charm, bite, and a whole lotta moxie.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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