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.’

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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

    Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior .NET Web Developer - Winform / MVC

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Java Developer

    £30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all