The creepy season may be behind us now, but man, it’s still pretty scary out there. My inbox sits on 576 unread emails, and in another tab I browse heated clothes fans; things that I now realize are frighteningly expensive. But it’s not only everyday things in real life that give me goosebumps, it now extends to virtual appliances as well.
Okay, so there’s this fridge in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, and no matter how many times I close it, it does not stay closed. At first it was fun, but it has since changed from a bad laugh to a howl of pain. My relationship with the game is like the thing Yoda from Star Wars says: “Fear leads to the dark side”. Well, I’m almost there, let me tell you.
In Guardians, you play as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, who owns a spaceship called Milan. It is both a futuristic shuttle that transports you from one part of the galaxy to another, and a place to relax between missions. You can get into your teammates’ rooms and have deep chats about the past, or you can just stick to a nice selection of 80s belters. The small details are impressive here, with constant teasing flying between hull and bay while staring at the stars or flipping precious belongings in your hands.
Right in the middle of it all, though, is a refrigerator. No matter how many times I close it, I return from a mission, and one of my bastard colleagues will have left it open; a gaping gap in the heart of the room. But that’s not why it’s scary to me. Physically, it does not make me tremble with fear or my heart stops. It is an unusual refrigerator that keeps drinks cold – when closed. Ha, I know these dice like my own pants pocket. So what is the trouble?
What strikes fear in my heart is the gross negligence of my co-workers. The pure impudence of my guardian colleagues, who think it is acceptable to leave the refrigerator door open when taking a can of soda. I understand that they are meant to be ruthless killers and maladapted, but it is horrible how their defective moral compass also turns away from an object explicitly built for their benefit. They are all accused of murder and robbery and other things, but it is their gross negligence that scares me the most.
What’s even more scary? The implication Peter himself is also able to leave the fridge open. Throughout the game, you will take control of Peter as a teenager and explore his family home. Without ruining anything, you can interact with a wide variety of things in these segments. Photos, posters, clothes … everything gives some kind of response, and it’s often a good insight into Peter’s complicated history.
But in Peter’s cave there is a refrigerator. A refrigerator that stands wide open and flows cold air into nothingness. Swing it closed and Peter does not even say a word. There is no whisper of an apology to himself or his mother. Just stone cold silence. It is clear that gross negligence in the refrigerator lies deep in his past as much as his superpowers.
There are many things to confront in this game, such as aliens and futuristic demigods. But maybe there should be a scene where the Guardians gather around Milan and have an open discussion with themselves about how to do better when it comes to refrigerator use. Until then, it will continue to haunt me.