One of the coolest parts of being a life-long videogamer is that, after 30 or so years, I've had an opportunity to explore countless alternate careers. I've had my fair share of actual careers, mind you, but if I'd have been tempted to pursue a career in, for example "space marine service" or "zombie killing," I feel as if I'd have at least a passing familiarity with the requirements.
Most virtual career paths are a dead end for one reason or another. Who would really want to be a space marine, after all? The hours suck, the pay is lousy and it's just plain dangerous. Plus, you're looking at a substantial wait while the whole "space" part comes online.
Tomb raiding is one that I think might be fun, but how many tombs are there, really? I suspect this would be a highly-competitive field and, frankly, just as dangerous as being a space marine. And it's not like they're making more tombs, so once Grant's is open, it's open. Nah, tomb raiding is very low on the risk-reward scale. Not worth it.
One job that does interest me, however, is spying. I'm not fool enough to believe that any degree of what's presented in videogames as "being a spy" is in any way close to the reality of the job, but damn, if each new spy game doesn't pique my interest just a little bit more.
Yes, I know that spying is as dangerous, if not more, than raiding tombs. And yes, I know that now that I've come out and said "I want to be a spy" on the internet, I may as well forget ever being accepted to the C.I.A. training academy. But still. If I had it to do over again, and the allure of the fast-paced, highly-glamorous lifestyle of the videogame website Editor-in-Chief was off the table, I'd be a spy. I'd be the spy. I'd be the spy other spies wished they could be - if they even knew about me. But they wouldn't, because I'd be that awesome at being a spy.
In this week's issue of The Escapist, Issue 241, "The Spy Who Fragged Me," I speak to the designers behind two of this year's most highly-anticipated spy games, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Alpha Protocol about what makes a spy, and who would win in a fight: Sam Fisher or Jason Bourne.
Joining me in my spy quest are: Anthony Burch, taking a second look at the classic spy game, Activision's Spycraft; Graeme Virtue, who opines that James Bond is the first and still the best videogame character; and Peter Parrish who explores the madcap world of Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy.
We hope you enjoy the issue, and please remember, there are only a few really good places to hide the microfilm. Use your imagination.