Mass Effect & Living With Our Choices

966x423_Filter_Heros_ME3 Mass Effect is probably my favorite video game series of all time. While many others come very close, Mass Effect has everything for me. It's an engaging, thought-provoking sci-fi action role-playing game where your choices matter. Characters live and die, planets are saved or left to ruin, and you personally benefit or sacrifice based on the decisions you make. With the fourth iteration in the franchise, Mass Effect: Andromeda, officially announced, I thought it proper to look back on the current trilogy and talk about making choices.

What I love about the Mass Effect series is how the choices you make starting in the first game carry over into each of the subsequent entries. Not a lot of other games do this. It heightens the stakes and forces you as the player to make tough choices. Just like in life, we have to make our choices and live with them, moving forward despite what we may have done before. It can be impossible to fully know what the ramifications of our choices will be so you have to do what seems best at the time and work with what you have in the future.

It can be paralyzing for people when faced with tough decisions. We can never really know what the "right" choice is, but we can make the most informed choices we can, and make them so that we can justify whatever we decided to do. We shouldn't make choices that we'd regret or that we don't fully believe in, or at the very least, can put forth reasoning for why we did what we did, perhaps being obligated to by work or family. As long as you feel they are valid reasons and you don't feel like you're being coerced or there is a large gap between your values and the values of whoever you're making your decision on behalf of, you can move forward with a clear conscience.

In Mass Effect, you can usually take a lot of time to choose your own path, but in real life, we have to make a lot of choices quickly, so we aren't afforded the luxury of infinite contemplation. The game taught me to go with my instincts, go with my heart, and to not overly obsess over what I should or could have done. I have to just do what I think is right at the time and learn from any mistakes I make along the way. I think those are some pretty valuable takeaways we can all use.

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