Let us agree that there is no wrong way to play a video game. If someone wants to spend 100 hours of their time in The Witcher 3 playing Gwent, more power to them. If your weird neighbor Paul only ever fired up Grand Theft Auto III so that he could run over pedestrians, well that’s just Paul doing his thing. Video games are meant to entertain, and people are free to be entertained however they wish. This does not mean that you can’t draw some conclusions about what a person is really like based on how they play a video game. For example, you probably shouldn’t spend much time hanging out with Paul.
All of this brings us to Elon Musk, who yesterday revealed his Elden Ring character build:
Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time playing Elden Ring will find within these screenshots several objectionable choices that Musk has made. If you haven’t played Elden Ring, I will not bore you to death by detailing every stupid thing that Musk has done here, but the gist is that he appears to have created a spell-casting character who is almost completely immobile, unable to heal himself, overburdened with useless and unnecessary items, and tremendously vulnerable to taking damage. Based on his character’s level and some of the items he is holding, I would say Musk has been playing the game for at least 80 hours, and I cannot imagine a world in which he hasn’t spent the majority of those hours getting absolutely owned.
The most important thing to understand about this character build is that it betrays a deep incuriosity for how the game actually works. Part of what makes Elden Ring so fun to play is that it presents you with a lot of difficult problems, and a nearly unlimited number of ways to go about solving those problems. People who like the game derive a lot of joy out of hitting a wall, and then spending some time tweaking their build and play style in a way that will eventually allow them to continue advancing through the game. What I see in Musk’s build is a guy who has spent zero seconds thinking about how the game actually works. Playing Elden Ring like this is like riding a bike with a flat tire, for dozens upon dozens of hours, and never once stopping to consider why you aren’t going anywhere.
It all makes perfect sense, though. Musk is a master inventor whose biggest contributions to the world are poorly designed electric death traps and useless one-way tunnels. He’s a meme-obsessed denizen of the internet who has never once posted anything funny. He’s a free-speech absolutist who says that tweets should be censored if they are “wrong and bad.” And now, he’s a true gamer who doesn’t understand how to properly hotkey his healing flasks. He’s a clown!