Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast. It is interesting. Strange. And it's one of the things you can inquire about with other people in order to gauge their coolness. "Do you listen to Welcome to Night Vale", you may ask. If yes, then they are cool. Very cool. If no, then they are dead to you. Very dead.
It's a horrifying news broadcast that is filled with the absurd and dark humor. So it's no surprise to me that one of its many fans decided to make a "choose-your-own-adventure" type of game based on the podcast. Since it's a game. I decided to take my chances and play it. And find The News which has, somehow, gone missing from its locked steel box.
I was an intern at Night Vale Community Radio Station (which is a lot better than my actual position in life). And I was ready for some investigative journalism [ED. NOTE: paulisadroid knows nothing about journalism or the definition of the word "investigative"]. It was all on me. I decided to check everything out. I left the radio station and looked for clues at the library.
Which was a mistake. Because librarians are the worst, apparently. That's fine. I don't know how to read anyway [ED. NOTE: this isn't a joke, he really doesn't know how to read. Trying to edit his scribble into actual sentences was so insanely difficult. I can't even begin to tell you how this looked before I got my hands on it.]
I decided to go back to the radio station and check everything that I could. It was all on me, remember? [ED. NOTE: paulisadroid is only capable of one thing and that's making mistakes. Almost nothing is on him. He's a little bit of a mess, honestly] I wondered about the meaning of life and what we're all doing here and why The News was so important.
I guess it's important because the show needs to go on. And it's something people listen to twice a month. So, that's probably the reason why. I mean, why else would anyone want to listen to The News. What makes it so... interesting? I mean, every time I listen to The News I get really bummed out and sad at the state of the world that we all probably, maybe live in. It's a strange job, to find The News, but someone's got to do it. And it's me.
But eventually I died. As most things do. And you know, that's kind of the story of life isn't it? You chase some unachievable object for what feels like forever until you're dead. Whether that's The News, a successful career, a happy marriage, or a family. Nothing ever works out the way you want it to, right?
You start the game (much like you're born into the world) thinking that you have a lot of choices but you really don't. Or maybe you really only have one or two even though everyone seems to tell you that you have more than that. Do you get what I'm saying? It's these kinds of thoughts that make me stay awake at night.
And maybe that's the thing that Welcome to Night Vale and this game get so right. It's almost analogous to life. You think you can have things one way but the truth of the matter is that you really don't. You have to get a job. You have to start making money to take care of your family. And even when you're dead (in the game, I mean), it asks you if you want to "make a different choice".
And even after making a different choice, they almost always end up in the same place. The same way life does. You're on a slow walk towards the edge of that plank and the only choice you could make is to not play the game. Or not live. And those aren't decisions I want to make.
I stared at this option for a while. It felt like an hour but it was more like 15 minutes [ED. NOTE: it was actually 2 hours. I watched him stare at his computer for 2 hours this morning]. And it made me thinking about my own choices. The things that I'm choosing to participate in and do. Is it what would make me happy when I was younger? The answer is no, probably not.
But why am I doing them? Why do we do anything that we do that is not pleasurable? Because of the system? The Man? The News? I don't know. I'm far too dense to understand why human nature is the way it is. But I'm still upset at the fact that I spend 5 days out of the week wondering why the fuck I am here and why the fuck I decided to become this person that the 17-year-old or 21-year old version of myself would hate. What the in the actual fuck am I doing? What are you doing?
If you want to try your hand at the Welcome to Night Vale Fan Game, click here. I'm not responsible for you eventual depression and existential crisis.