Deconstructing Gaming: Sonic on the couch

The first in our semi-regular, and most certainly satirical, character assassinations of gaming's virtual icons.

Blue. A colour indicative of sadness, isolation, and desolation. An odd choice then for a certain bipedal hedgehog, a spiky symbol of defiance if you will, come to save his fellow woodland creatures, their environment , and perhaps even their very sentience from the red menace known as Dr. Robotnik.

Is Sonic so affected by the cutesy flickies plight that his pigmentation has been affected? Perhaps this explains the switch from the customary brown colouration of his fellow Erinaceinae to a deep blue; as the technological dominance of Robotnik provides him with an excuse to feel sorry for himself if ever he needed one.

With the ransacking of Sonic’s world a clear metaphor for modern society’s greed – a dark commentary of our capacity to turn what was meadow and river into industrial wastelands of smoke-belching factories and polluting power plants – surely our response would be one of maudlin sorrow too?

Not one to sit back and let despair take hold though, Sonic attempts to halt this ruthless advancement with a display of speed and power, but wait. Is his defiance the correct response?

Okay, so Robotnik’s policy of capturing the flickies and transforming them into metal automatons is – let’s say – a tad overzealous, but allow us to play devil’s advocate for a moment. Is Dr. Robotnik’s regime of mechanisation a much-needed modernisation of a backwards part of society? Is he pushing for progress while Sonic holds him back? In the end, aren’t we all willingly cocooned in technology? Would we rather go back to living in the woods? Is it not possible then, that Robotnik symbolises progress, rather than evil?

Before we give him a free pass, there are of course the obvious issues of Dr. Robotnik’s appearance and name to consider. Never since Stalin walked the earth has a man screamed communism (or at least what communism became) quite so loudly. But it’s wrong to judge him purely on this basis.

His dress sense is probably a holdover from his university days in the guild’s socialist society, or maybe his local clothes store only had red and yellow jackets left in his size (he is rather obese). Surely, we can’t hate the man because of his fashion sense. And as for his name, well, we can hardly blame him for that can we? After all, we don’t castigate Zowie Bowie, Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver and Cosima Violet Schiffer and for the devil-may-care attitude of their parents do we?

And what do we really know about Robotnik? A man of whom all we know for certain is that he seems to immensely enjoy the feeling of an outrageous ginger moustache pushed up against his lips. He’s bald, eccentric, and has an obesity problem. His large red nose points to an overindulgent love of booze, but he’s clearly an educated fellow. Has anybody even stopped to ask him what his doctorate was in? Perhaps he’s the Edison of Green Hills or the Isambard Kingdom Brunel of the Spring Yard Zone?

Given his credentials, could it be that the flickies are in favour of his modernisation drive and Sonic is just some spiky haired punk, a cowardly terrorist, imposing his ideals on the rest of us and slandering the good name of Robotnik? When Sonic saves his ‘friends’ from their metal ‘prisons’, do they stop to say ‘thanks’ or do they run as fast as they can?

Then there are those golden rings, the loss of which is duly marked by the sudden and abrupt end to Sonic’s progress and momentum upon contact with an enemy. Their loss is a metaphorical reminder that no matter how fast you go, or how far you progress, you will always be brought back to earth with a costly bump.

Yet why is Sonic so obsessed with amassing wealth? Is he some form of digital Robin Hood? Or could it be that he is the embodiment of capitalism rather than ‘Green’ ideals? A counterweight to Robotnik’s perceived communism.

What is that look on Sonic’s face when he collides with an ‘enemy’ and goes flying into the air, his previously concealed rings leaping from his conveniently invisible pockets? It’s not pain and surprise. No. It’s embarrassment, because, let’s face it, Sonic is no more than a blue-suited, fast-talking yuppie, pretending to care for a cause when he’s only in it for the cold hard cash. He plays the game, he knows the system. I can picture him now, talking to his unpaid, inexperienced intern, Tails, ‘Greed is good, my foxy friend. I’ll make us billions out of these fluffy schmuks; now pass me another cigar.’

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own