No matter what genre of video game you’re into, everyone can agree that easter eggs are a great and fun addition to video games. An easter egg is an item, achievement or event found scattered within a video game referring to another video game or franchise. For example, most of the skeletons arranged around the desolate wasteland of Fallout 4 are purposely positioned to reenact famous scenes in movies like the shower stabbing scene Psycho or the rooftop scene in Blade Runner. Easter eggs test and reward the nerdiness of gamers and connect developers to their audience through inside jokes. Sadly, one instance of what most would assume to be a harmless easter egg turned tragic. This is the story of Tyler Schultz.
The new Spiderman game for PS4 has been widely considered one of the best exclusives ever produced for Sony. A young and devote spiderman fan named Tyler Schultz wanted to do more than just play this game; he wanted an easter egg. Not just any easter egg, however, but a proposal to his girlfriend who he had been in a relationship with for years. This, in itself, is a near impossible task but Tyler was determined. He tweeted the developers, Insomniac, and pitched his case.
All he wanted was a way to combine his love of Spiderman and his love for his girlfriend together; immortalizing their bond by making it digital.
It seemed like a great idea which I pitched to my girlfriend and I’ll get to her response later. A miracle occurred. Insomniac responded to Tyler’s tweet and agreed to put the proposal in their game. It seemed like Tyler’s dreams were all coming true, until tragedy struck.
The developers put Tyler’s proposal on a movie theater sign and it looked perfect. Just what it seemed like Tyler wanted. Except Tyler never responded. In fact, he went radio silent for a while until finally, he released a video explaining why he hadn’t responded sooner. Shortly after he had tweeted his request to Insomniac, his girlfriend ended the relationship. Not only did she break poor Tyler’s heart but she ended up dating his brother. While holding back tears, Tyler explained his situation and how grateful he was for his prays to have been answered by the devs despite the neverending reminder of his misery.
I personally thought this story was extremely tragic but I wanted to get another opinion so I asked my girlfriend of 4 years what she thought about all this mess. Her response surprised me. Tyler loved Spiderman. That was clear. But what about his girlfriend? My girlfriend doesn’t share my obsession with video games so although she would appreciate that kind of proposal she would have preferred something tailored to her interests and not mine. Maybe if he hadn’t been so obsessed with himself he would have noticed his girlfriend wasn’t happy and could have avoided this tragedy entirely. I think that stories like these are tricky because we don’t know the whole story which skews our opinions and makes us act out based on our own emotional response. Even though Tyler loved Peter Parker, it’s possible he isn’t taking responsibility for all his great power. Regardless of who’s to blame, I don’t need Spidey senses to figure out that one of their greatest villains was an enormous lack of communication.