You might wonder why my first official blog post is about The Legend of Zelda, and I will provide you with two solid reasons:
1.) I love Zelda.
2.) This is something that I have been thinking about heavily for the past several months. (Yes I am a dork.)
I'm not sure whether I think this is supposed to be a fun post or if Nintendo really is trying to brain-wash the next generation of Communists through their addictive video games, but after playing Twilight Princess (the most guilty game in the franchise so far) I can't ignore it. If you need a cure for rampant capitalism, The Legend of Zelda is it.
"Oh, hello there, is this your lovely home? Let me throw these jars at your wife and then steal their contents."
The first thing that rouses suspicion in those of us who prefer Black Friday to any other day of the year is that you are allowed to steal whatever you want, and there is seemingly no system of law enforcement (or any laws at all, for that matter) to stop you. You can go into a home, break all the containers within reach, steal all the homeowner's money, and then leave without a slap on the wrist. You can even do this RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE OWNER and it will not matter. Like I said, where the heck is the Hyrule PD? Drowning their sorrows at the tavern?
What's the point of having money if you can just steal everything you need?
"Oh, you want that Maserati? Too bad."
I lied earlier--there is one law in Hyrule: if your wallet can only hold 500 rupees, you're out of luck if you want that 600 rupee tunic. How this makes any sense whatsoever is a complete mystery to me, seeing as how you can magically hold several changes of clothing, a bow and several dozen arrows, a bag full of bombs, and any number of other bulky items (despite the fact that you seem to only have a small satchel on your person), but you can only hold so much money. Fine. You want to make no sense, Nintendo? Fine.
Presumably, the most expensive thing you own is your horse, Epona. I say presumably because she is either given to you or you steal her, depending on the game, so I have no idea how much she's actually worth. Aside from that, each game has at max one or two really expensive items that you'll need money for. You can get through Ocarina of Time without buying a single thing except for your first Deku Shield, and you can stock up on various consumable items by slashing through little bits of grass, so you seriously don't need money, but when has that ever stopped any of the super rich? When has anyone said "you know, I've already made $500,000 this year, I should probably just not accept any more." And yet, that's what Link does. I'm telling you. Anti-capitalism.
It gets to the point where the games need to provide ways to siphon off your rupees. Majora's Mask actually has a bank where you can store your funds, and you get a heart piece when you deposit 5,000. We'll ignore the fact that no bank in the history of the universe has ever turned a customer away because they have no more room for money. For now. In Twilight Princess, there are several opportunities for you to "donate" money to various causes, from a religious nutjob (who will eventually give you a heart piece) to the bridge repair fund, and there is armor you can buy that makes you lose rupees instead of health when you get injured. When you have to LOOK for ways to get rid of money, you know there's some deflation going on.
"Arrows. Arrows. My kingdom for some arrows!"
Twilight Princess brought the franchise's anti-capitalism to new heights--if your wallet is full, and you open a chest with rupees, it makes you put them back! You can't even take them! When you are disappointed to find a chest filled with money, there's definitely some subtle (or not so subtle) economic commentary going on.
Now, I'm not saying that Nintendo has an agenda--other than making boatloads of money and putting their competitors out of business--but there's something odd going on here. Zelda is a game that turns money into something that is not only superfluous, but completely obnoxious. That is some major skill right there! I'm not saying I'm going to run out and live my life by the "Link Model" (pillaging villages and digging up lawns to make ends meet) but I think Nintendo has something here. Maybe limiting the amount of money that I put in savings (once I actually have, you know, decent income) or donating money that I know I don't need to live comfortably. Or maybe it's dangerous to learn life lessons from video games. Who knows.
Grand Theft Auto taught me how to pick up hookers and gun people down, so I guess that's something.