Chris and video games
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|“||And Christian's father says it only takes a few hours for him to master an electronic game, and then...move onto another! I can't master any of them.||”|
|A TV anchorwoman on a younger Chris winning the Sonic the Hedgehog Watch & Win Sweepstakes.|
In case a cursory glance at this wiki did not tell you, Chris likes video games. A lot. In fact, Chris definitely has spent more time on video games than any other activity or pursuit, including his Love Quest. He has said he spends between two and four hours a day playing games, and that figure is likely higher than what he admits to.
Without delving too deeply into armchair psychiatry, it is not hard to see why video games hold so much appeal to Chris. His brain is wired to operate according to absolute values and rigidly-defined processes. This is one of the reasons he has so much difficulty in the real world — the rules keep changing on him- if he figures out the rules in the first place. In the artificial world of video games, the challenges are the kind that his inflexible mind is able to comprehend and surmount. There, the rules never change, and all he has to do is follow them. Reality isn't quite as simple, which is why he spends as little time out there as possible.
Chris has been an avid gamer since a very young age. He first played video games on a Commodore 64 home computer system. Before he was eight years old, he had a Game Boy and a Nintendo Entertainment System, and he acquired more consoles and games throughout the 1990s. According to The Sonichu Chronicles, he has been a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog since the character's 1991 debut for the Sega Genesis. His game collection really took off in 1993, when he won his famous shopping spree in the Sonic the Hedgehog Watch & Win Sweepstakes and added $1,000 worth of Sega games and hardware to his hoard.
Chris's game collection
- Main article: List of Chris's games
Although the last completely reliable account of his collection dates back all the way to January 2009, Chris owns, conservatively, nearly 850 different game titles across twenty different platforms. He sold off roughly one hundred games in various trips to GameStop and local pawn shops during the late summer and early fall of 2010, but this hardly depletes the reserves, at all. He also maintained an account with the mail-order rental service GameFly until August 2010.
Sony consoles dominate Chris's collection. Counting the games he has downloaded through the PlayStation Network, nearly half of his games belong to the PlayStation family. Nintendo comes next, including more than 100 games for Nintendo's different portable platforms, and Sega brings up the rear. While he owns every Sega console short of an 8-bit Master System, and Sonic the Hedgehog is one of his favorite individual franchises, games for Sega consoles make up less than 15-10% of Chris's collection.
Chris's violent hatred of the Xbox is well-known, but he likely owns, or at one point owned, an original Xbox console. However, it is not known how much time he has spent on Xbox games. His eBay account shows that he tried to sell off a handful of Xbox games in the summer of 2008. The record of his eBay sales also indicates that, in addition to owning at least one of every machine he owns games for, he has gone through at least three or four of Sony's original PlayStation consoles over the years. It is possible that he has had to replace a few of the infamously fragile apparatuses for overuse, but this could also be an indication that he bought the systems and games in bundles.
It is virtually impossible to gauge exactly how much money has been shoveled into Chris's game collection over the past few decades. Knowledgeable trolls, however, reckon that his physical collection of games and hardware represents around $20,000. His PSN downloads, meanwhile, can be accurately accounted for--there, the bill is close to $3,500 and surely climbing all the while. One of the more grievous examples of Chris's video-game-related overspending is his apparent ownership of at least two copies of the eighty-dollar Street Fighter IV Collector's Edition, as evidenced by the two identical exclusive Ryu figurines he later sold on eBay. While it is possible that Chris received the second figure from an outside source or packaging error, his attempt to bribe BlueSpike with a copy of the game and his habit of wasting money for no particular reason lend credence to the former theory.
In January 2015, it was leaked on the CWCki Forums that Chris had spent an absurd amount of money on Nintendo consoles and games, racking up 585 transactions in the last 4.5 years, or 150 payments a year. This list includes useless shovelware, Virtual Console games, and both versions of a game he does not even like. Of these, 276 purchases are known to be handheld games, 8 are known to be video game consoles (buying 4 DS and DSi consoles), and 75 which are known to be console games. The grand total cost of all Chris's listed purchases is $7460.43 or $1657.87/year. Keep in mind that 39% of the purchases Chris has on his account (such as Skylanders figures, amiibos, and his Wii U Virtual Console purchases) are not yet specified, meaning that their cost is not included in this already insanely high figure. Apparently, his main attention and fanboyism has shifted from PlayStation back to Nintendo, for unknown reasons.
This leak also revealed that Chris plays almost every game demo available on the eShop, Nintendo's online downloadable video game store, even if he has no interest in said game. This leak also confirmed he had bought every single Sonic game and primary Pokémon RPG, proving that he is still a major fanboy of both franchises, and also confirmed that he still makes many purchases multiple times over for no apparent reason, such as of Wario's Woods.
Going on what evidence is available, such as what he has talked about on his websites and YouTube, what his PSN profile shows the most effort put into, and what he decides to construct elaborate fan-works around, Chris has fairly childish, "casual" tastes in video games. Though he puts an inordinate level of effort and time into gaming, he does so playing stuff like Sonic, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Guitar Hero, and other games geared toward more mainstream and less "hardcore" audiences. His favorite racing game, ModNation Racers, is a straightforward title that allows players to create their own tracks and cars. LittleBigPlanet earned a rabid following with its level editor, but otherwise, it is just another side-scrolling platform game (and Chris hardly strains the level editor to the limits of its potential). Much of his PSN trophy case is filled out with achievements obtained by playing simple downloadable demoscene and indie productions.
Chris has purchased a fair share of M-rated games, such as Family Guy: The Video Game, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty, which shows that his interest in games is not necessarily limited to the E rating. These games, however, tend to be fairly shallow in terms of gameplay. Brütal Legend isn't remarkably deep as far as gameplay is concerned; while the game is an M-rated title with swearing, decapitations, heavy metal music, and tricky real-time strategy elements, for the most part, the atmosphere is still jolly and humorous enough, and the majority of gameplay consists of exploring the world and having straightforward beat-'em-up fights. Some have questioned whether or not Chris's interest in Brütal Legend was because of an affinity for director Tim Schafer's other quirky, offbeat games such as Psychonauts and Grim Fandango. While Chris might be drawn to the perceived random-access humor of those games, it is more likely that they were too intelligent for him, and thus hold no appeal to his childish mind. Chris's interest in Brütal Legend was most likely due to Jack Black voicing the main character, and possibly his failed attempts to be seen as a connoisseur of music.
The games that Chris owns are not necessarily the games that Chris plays. His PSN downloads strongly suggest that he spends money on his gaming hobby more or less out of compulsion. Witness the $65 he spent on downloadable content for Disgaea 3, a game he had only played to 7% completion several months after originally buying all those downloads. It is reasonable to assume that Chris has similar spending habits in real life, a theory bolstered somewhat by his retro game collections and a house full of junk. Chris's collections of games for the Sega CD, Sega Saturn, and a couple of other now-dead consoles are dominated by bargain-bin trash, extremely common or poor quality games that are easily bought at low prices. No knowledgeable gamer would ever pay money for Power Factory Featuring C+C Music Factory, except maybe as a gag gift, but Chris apparently thought it was worth owning. This habit seems to be picked up from Barbara and continues to this day in the form of eShop shovelware and Virtual Console downloads.
His collection does a good job of telling us what sort of games Chris does not play, though. Outside of the Pokémon series, for instance, he evinces no interest in role-playing games. Most of the non-Pokémon RPGs in his collection, like Suikoden and Final Fantasy VII, are PlayStation retro releases he impulse-bought through the PSN. Chris buys those up like penny candy – he has even downloaded several digital duplicates of PlayStation games of which he already owns physical copies. Even during his short Hyperdimension Neptunia phase in late 2017, he only showed an interest in the anime adaptation of the games and has never shown any indication he has either been interested in or played the games.
Despite being obsessed with Pokémon, he is not a hardcore Nintendo fan as some might suspect. He never seems to show interest in the latest content from Nintendo, and the hardcore Nintendo games he does own (such as games from the Metroid, The Legend of Zelda and Mario franchises) are most likely just collecting dust on his game collection racks. However, a January 2014 leak by a Nintendo Employee revealed that Chris had, in fact, returned to his Nintendo roots, buying nearly every single game on the eShop.
With a few exceptions, Chris has no apparent interest in video games marketed towards his own age group, which is unsurprising. "Hardcore" games aimed at "adults" are games that simply would not interest Chris because of his juvenile mindset. Video games (and anything else, for that matter) with mature themes that are not two-dimensionally crass and full of random-access humor would probably confuse and bore Chris and make him feel awkward and uncomfortable, adding to the fact he probably would not be able to get very far in the game. This is supported by the fact that he did try out Bioshock, a first-person shooter with RPG elements, but only for a short time and never touched it again. Most likely the whole game itself flew right over Chris's head and he decided to play some Wheel of Fortune instead. However, ever since his sixth declaration that he has left the internet in late 2010, some more high-profile games aimed at adults have appeared on his PSN Trophy list (such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Fallout: New Vegas). Apparently the Hannah Montana PS3 game is no longer enough to fill his abundance of free time, and he has taken to playing games he would not normally be doing anything else with his life.
While he sometimes gets tagged with the "weeaboo" label, Chris does not appear to prefer games made in Japan over any other part of the world. In fact, his favorite games of 2008-2009, the period where he has told us the most about what he plays, are pretty evenly divided between Japan (Sonic, Pokémon), the United States (Guitar Hero, Brütal Legend), Canada (ModNation Racers), and Europe (LittleBigPlanet). He counts a few Japanese Game Boy and Nintendo DS imports in his larger collection, but they are obviously titles he picked up to try and impress/bribe Megan Schroeder — almost all of them are spin-offs from popular anime, especially magical girl series like Sailor Moon and Pretty Cure.
When Chris and Megan still got along well together, they were serious players of the arcade version of Soul Calibur III. There is also an arcade in Chris's plans for the CWCville Shopping Center. However, given Chris's inclinations to retreat into the comfortable confines of his bedroom, the chances he goes to arcades are slim.
Chris, the Brave Console Warrior
Chris thinks the perennial "Console Wars" between rival manufacturers of game machines are extremely serious affairs, and engages in them with all of the bile and fervor of a 10-year-old child soldier in the PlayStation Army. On rare occasions, he has almost seemed rational in this respect, saying he "just doesn't like" or "doesn't care much for" the Xbox, but most of the time he does not mince words when describing the vile, loathsome, and blatantly stupid HEXBox. By comparison, he has waxed poetic when describing the awesomeness of the PS3, most prominently in his PS3 History Level for LittleBigPlanet. According to Lucas, Chris would even express his fury over the Xbox in public while hanging out at The GAMe PLACe.
It is hard to tell where Chris's religious devotion to the PlayStation comes from, but to call it "religious" is not hyperbole. Like his faith in GodJesus, his support for Sony is blind and unthinking. Though he can come up with a simple justification for his opinions in a pinch — typically he brings up the annual fee for online gaming on Xbox Live — Chris shows no sign of having put any serious thought or research into his choice of consoles. His descriptions of the PS3's advantages in places like his Columbus Day 2008 video tend to sound like a collection of marketing buzzwords (as filtered through the mind of a cave-dwelling autist, anyway).
Interestingly, Chris was not always a blindly devoted fan of Sony. In the Animal Crossing Documentary, we see that back in 2003, Chris pledged his allegiance to Nintendo and the GameCube, stating that both the predecessors of the PS3 stank as much as the original Xbox. His feelings changed when he bought a PS1 at a "rummage sale" for cheap, intending to resell it elsewhere for profit, but instead played it and found it was not bad. One would expect this to be a lesson against nonsensical brand loyalty, but instead Chris just focused his hatred on Microsoft. Likely, prior to this Chris was a Sega fanatic at Nintendo's expense; if true, then it demonstrates how fickle Chris is regarding devotion.
When asked what his thoughts were on the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's up and coming console for 2017, Chris responded in Chris fashion, and simply stated that he has no thoughts on it, due to being preoccupied.
Unsurprisingly, Chris is ignorant of things he has chosen not to like. The only 360 game he seems to shown interest in, "Don't Be Nervous Talking to Girls", seen in Sonichu #10 being modified for the PS3, was suggested to him by the fans. Though the game is just a crappy dating sim, and though there are other 360-exclusive games which would appeal to him, Chris claims that it is the only game worth playing on the 360.
Even slinging mud at the names of the consoles is very serious business to Chris. In Lars Call, Chris says he does not like it when people call PS3 the "PS Triple", because that is what trolls call it. Of course, this comes from a man who ceaselessly rants about the "Hex Box".
Chris and Online Gaming
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his antisocial nature, Chris is not fond of online multiplayer games in any genre, be they sports sims, shooters, racing games, or whatever else. Though he owns several games for the PS3 and other consoles that would allow him to play online and interact with other people, his PSN profile shows that he has put little time into multiplayer games.
In 2010 and afterward, two exceptions to this rule emerged. He did a good deal of online racing in ModNation Racers during the summer of 2010, while, early in 2011, Chris began to show an interest in an online role-playing game for the first time, DC Universe Online. His fondness for ModNation competition eventually passed, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will develop a lasting interest in MMO gaming.
Dedicated observers of Chris's gaming habits may notice a bit of a paradox developing here: Chris claims to hate the Xbox 360 because Microsoft requires a $50 annual subscription fee for online multiplayer gaming. It is a mystery, then, why this would wind him up so badly, when he hardly plays any multiplayer games, but such is the nature of Chris. Mailbag correspondents have tried to point out the seeming contradiction here, not to mention the weird contrast between Chris's thriftiness as far as Xbox Live is concerned and the massive amounts of money he willing wastes on worthless digital trinkets through Nintendo and the PSN. For all the good it has done, though, they may as well have tried to change his opinion of Asperger syndrome.
Recently, Chris has started playing online games on his Switch and PC, playing titles such as Tetris 99 and PayDay 2.
Chris, the Trophy Whore
While Chris has little evident interest in directly interacting with other humans in online games, he does seem to enjoy building up a massive trophy case to passively show off on his PlayStation Network profile. He has doggedly played through a number of games in order to earn every available achievement, and on occasion he appeals to his fanbase for help in earning trophies. For instance, he begged readers of his Twitter feed to download his ModNation Racers levels so he could pick up one more trophy.
Slacker that he is, Chris prefers to put forth as little effort as possible to earn his trophies. Presented with a trophy in LittleBigPlanet 2 that asked him to contribute a custom level to the game's online community, he fulfilled the requirement by uploading an empty level with no work put into it. (When this level was deleted by the community's administrators, he took the next-easiest route and uploaded his old levels made with the first LittleBigPlanet.) In an e-mail to Jackie, he expressed great pleasure when the ModNation experience system was patched to make certain trophies easier to acquire.
Chris and PC Games
Games for personal computers are conspicuously absent from Chris's collection and his evident game-playing habits. The only sign that he has ever even owned any PC games comes from his eBay account, which shows that he tried to auction off a collection of vintage Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games for the PC in the summer of 2008. He also owned a copy of the first Lego Island game for PC (as seen by his possession of the Infomaniac minifigure - which was only obtainable from early copies of the said game). In the Fanmail Reading video, after a fan sent him a copy of Half-Life 2, Chris explained, "I don't play PC games. I used to, but I don't anymore." He failed to indicate why he gave them up, though. In his first Mumble chat, he claimed to "remember Touhou", but later backpedaled and said "I never really heard of that."
Chris, the Industry Insider
Chris gets most of his information about the gaming industry from comparatively mainstream sources. He was an avid reader of Game Informer magazine. As for publications and/or other media sources that have since gone defunct, he was also a dedicated reader of Sony's online magazine Qore, and regularly followed the G4 cable network; he apparently even still took the Spike TV Video Game Awards seriously, which puts him about five years behind anybody with even a passing interest in the games' business.
Chris, the Game Designer
At various times, especially during the Miyamoto saga, but going as far back as the late 1990s (when he had a prophetic dream of a Sonic game for the Game Boy), Chris has imagined that he could launch himself into a career as a game designer. It is telling, however, that nearly all of his "ideas" for potential video game projects simply involve swapping Sonichu or other Chris-spawned characters into an existing game concept. Pokémon: Lightning Version is a Pokémon RPG with Sonichu in it. Sonichu Adventure is Sonic Adventure with Sonichu in it. John's Custom Gundam: Sisterly Rescue is Gundam: Journey to Jaburo with Megan's quasi-retarded brother in it, and so on.
The closest he has gotten to coming up with something like an original idea is Christian Weston Chandler's Adult Chronicles, and it is not actually known what that game is supposed to amount to, beyond what Chris drew on the cover, and occasional haphazard mentions. It is entirely possible that the answer is unknown to Chris himself.
Nevertheless, Chris sincerely believes that his characters and game ideas are ready for commercial success. He once rejected an e-mail from the Mailbag that brought up the notion of a not-for-profit fan-made Sonichu game, and brushed off similar suggestions in his first IRC fan chat. In the video about dispelling rumors of an official Sonichu game, he scoffed at the idea of his game ideas being made with 2D graphics.
Modding and Customization
One of the great ironies of Chris's existence is that he loves to create and share his creations, even though he possesses almost no genuine innate creativity. He tends to gravitate strongly towards video games that allow him to create his own content and share it online.
Since console games are often not modifiable, while PC game modding tends to demand more technical skill than he possesses, Chris has only been able to show off his creativity in this field so much. That said, the PS3 games LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers exerted a powerful grip on him with their customization capabilities. Chris made a ton of levels in LittleBigPlanet, dropping out of sight for the better part of a month when he first acquired the retail version of the game. Likewise, he has made levels, characters and custom cars for ModNation Racers, and it resulted in a similar disappearance during the summer of 2010. His output has not shown too much actual competence, but it is not for lack of time and effort spent.
Even in games that offer only light customization features, Chris makes a point of personalizing his experience as much as possible. He spent considerable time on a Guitar Hero band, up to drawing disturbing pictures of his virtual bandmates. The amount of time he spent on tweaking his Animal Crossing villages is simply colossal. According to the Regina e-mails, Chris made a similarly big deal about F-Zero GX and Jet Set Radio, even though both games limit their customization options to things like swapping around car parts or personalizing small decals.
Likewise, as the gallery below displays, Chris enjoys customizing his game hardware. He has splattered Sonichu artwork all over his Gamecube, a Nintendo DS, a couple of Game Boy Advances, a PSP, his now-deceased original PS3, and possibly other consoles or handhelds. One of his Pokéwalkers also appears to have received the Sonichu treatment, being repainted in blue and yellow.
Chris became interested in Sonic the Hedgehog fan game and modding project Sonic World in late 2020. After joining its Discord group, he requested creators make based on Sonichu and his female obsession at the time, ProjectSNT. In December of that year, Chris found a Sonichu mod and wished to add his voice acting into it. While he did want to get into contact with the original creator and ask if he could add to the mod, Chris opted going without permission and downloaded the mod, replaced the original voice clips with his own, and reposted it. Because of the original mod's appropriation, Chris was banned from the mod-hosting website GameBanana. He was banned from the Sonic World Discord group not long after due to his passive-aggressive-yet-megalomaniacal confrontation with the Sonichu mod's creator.
Chris's Perception of Video Game Technology
Chris obviously has no idea about how video games or video game consoles work. For example, as seen in a panel of Sonichu #10, he seems to think that games are interchangeable and can work on any console ("DO NOT BUY OR DOWNLOAD ILLEGAL COPIES OF L.B.P. ON Wii OR XBox360; IT IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW!"), even though he could easily check and see that he cannot play his copy of LittleBigPlanet on his Wii, although he is either too lazy, or is afraid of having his house raided by jerkops.
Neither is he aware of the technology's current capabilities. As stated in the survey of Chris and reality, he once suggested that Nintendo should create a PokéBall peripheral which could display holographs, which can only be seen in science fiction, currently.
Decline of gaming passion
Chris's passion for gaming seems to have relatively subsided by the late 2010s. By 2020, it had been months since he touched his PS4 and has not shown much interest in the new PlayStation's first and third party titles. A look at his then-recent tweets and Wish list suggested he was busy binging TV shows and movies. However, Chris continued to regularly play Tetris 99 on the Nintendo Switch from 2019 up until his arrest in 2021.
On 11 September 2020, during Chris's phase of role-playing as Sonichu, Chris was asked the following question in Discord Q&A 6:
|Dear Christine, are you getting any of the next gen consoles? If so, what games are you excited for?|
|Taking you mean the new PS5 or XBox S generation of consoles; Mama had not really given that much thought, and I haven’t as much either, considering we’ll be in a new timeline free of this pandemic and all of that.|
During the jail saga
During Chris' time behind bars, for perhaps the first time in his life, he was deprived of any ability to access his game collection. The various letters he sent to assorted acquaintances over the course of his confinement made little mention of his electronic hoard, and the status of his collection is itself unknown - with Chris having been away from his home for the better part of two years at time of writing, and reports that items belonging to him were thrown out of the house, there is every likelihood that the games and consoles he cherished so dearly and intended to pass down to children of his own have simply been sold off, given away, or tossed in a landfill.
However, in an apparent bid to make the most of his newfound freedom after his release in March 2023, he was swift to visit a local Walmart and purchase another Nintendo Switch, according to an eyewitness account. What he's used it for is uncertain, but given his past Tetris kick, it is all too likely that he has returned to lengthy sessions of Tetris 99, now under constant supervision. Even in the face of the very real possibility of long-term imprisonment, old habits always die hard - at least, for Chris.