Mark Plays ‘Alter Ego’

Many thanks to Andrea/adaptation for commissioning me to play this game WHICH I STILL HAVEN’T EVEN FINISHED. No, seriously, I have put in three more hours beyond what you see in the videos, and I cannot stop. LOOK, I’M TAKING MY LIFE VERY SERIOUSLY HERE.

Videos first!

Part 1


Part 2


If you’d like to play Alter Ego AND YOU WANT TO PLAY IT, it’s a browser-based… something? RPG? I don’t actually know the terminology for what this game is. Anyway, you live an entire life through multiple choice, choosing what you do and how you react to various situations. The threat of death and sickness? Real. The game keeps track of your stats in ways such as “Familial,” which measure the strength of your family relations, or “Expressiveness” or “Confidence.” These affect whether or not you can successfully act certain ways. (And I failed at a few things I wanted to do because I lacked enough points.) In that sense, the game has more depth if you spend more time on your tree of tasks, which looks like this:

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 8.48.39 AM

Each square takes you to a prompt that deals with social skills, intelligence, emotions, family, or health, and you must decide what sort of person you are. There are bonus squares from time to time. Also, I’m pretty sure there are veiled references to masturbation a lot. Also, I got a man reaction at the beach at one point. Also, my dad is super racist. Also, I am exaggerating nonof these things.

I’m fascinated by this game. I’m currently in the Adolescent stage and desperately trying to make my character a homosexual, though apparently old ladies rubbing lotion on my back turns me on??? Whatever, we’ll see. My parents have started fighting a lot, and now this game is otherwise eerily mirroring my own life. WHAT.

Give it a try!


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23 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Alter Ego’

  1. adaptation says:

    Did you get the one in childhood where a creepy guy in a van asks you for directions? I've never actually been kidnapped by him, because the most I've done is step a little closer and tell him I can't help. Then he tried to grab me but he did not succeed and I was not kidnapped. But this time when I played, I didn't get too close, and I memorized his license plate and then I got him arrested for being a child molester.

    I'm in the adolescent stage right now too. I'm dating a guy named Jeff, who's apparently super hot, and I have a job as a law office assistant. I am also really hot and a genius. I'm basically awesome, is what I'm saying.

    Familial: 95
    Intellectual: 100
    Physical: 100
    Social: 95
    Vocational: 52

    Calmness: 53
    Confidence: 97
    Expressiveness: 77
    Gentleness: 89
    Happiness: 94
    Thoughtfulness: 91
    Trustworthiness: 70

  2. DktrAgonizer says:

    I'd never heard of this before, but it's kind of interesting. Currently going through it as one of my characters, because doing it as myself would just be too boring. :P

    I was supposed to have things to do today, too. Dang it.

  3. kylecoare says:

    such a great game, actually a remake from the old 8 bit computers from the 80's¬!!!!

  4. I love text based games like this!

  5. sertaki says:

    well damn i died :( apparently you cannot have conversations with scary strangers inviting you to cars! i didnt want to enter but he made me anyway :(

    game looks like lots of fun ^^

    • sertaki says:

      on the second try i had a nice life, with a nice wife, but married to late to get kids ;)
      died of lung cancer in old age – much better than being killed by some kidnapper as a kid :D

  6. MeaRiver says:

    Stop getting me into awesome games, I have shit to do!

  7. BettyTheThird says:

    damn, what a great time waster
    Had a bunch of shitty boyfriends until I met ~George~ when I was like 60 and we were the fiercest couple ever.

    But this game gave me surprising feelings! Had the best mom ever and then when I was in college she got cancer and died!?!?!?!?! :( Was left with my alcoholic dad.

  8. MeaRiver says:

    Hey Mark–the creators said on their site ( ) that they don't have homosexuality in the game right now, but it's the most requested feature and they plan to do it eventually. The only problem is that it would involve a LOT of rewriting, since many instances mention the desired sex. Also they'd want to add plotlines about coming out and facing bigotry and stuff. Also, they don't know how it would be introduced exactly, since in real life you can't choose it. (I say just choose it at the beginning with your gender, you don't choose your gender either so why not? It's worth a fourth-wall breaking moment.)

    • »Paula« says:

      Ah, thanks for clearing this up. I'm in the middle of "adolescence" right now and just came across "I'm sorry. You have to be going out with a guy to play this episode. You may try again later." in a heart-shaped field. Guess I will stop playing for now until that game includes more choices (also, I'm actually way too busy to have started that game in the first place :D).

  9. Ninjababe says:

    What a great game! I played twice now, and the second time, I started at the bottom of the lists when I could to get different scenarios. Very awesome. Of course, I seem to always end up doing what my parents say, and I had to force myself to make 'bad' decisions as a teenager. As myself, I know raiding my parent's liquor stash is a bad idea. Roleplaying? Yeah, I'm a teen, bring it on!

    Of course, because of an accidental choice (I chose not to have a sexual encounter with someone in college that wasn't my husband, but my mouse click didn't register) I had to get divorced as a young adult (still in college with a child). Then, I get married as an adult, have another kid, and die in my sleep as an elder.

    What an awesome concept. Even though, I think I may wait to play again… Just until the choices blur in my mind a bit.

  10. ferafaces says:

    I had so much fun with this game. I had a fulfilling life, and died happily in my sleep remembering how awesome my life was. No joke.
    Also, I forgot my husband's name was Jim, and I named my cranky teenaged drunkard of a son Jim. Oops.

    • celestineangel1 says:

      How the HELL did you manage to get married???

      One guy chose his dog over me. One stood me up on our first date, the bastard. One guy broke up with me because I reminded him too much of his MOTHER. One cheated on me, the bastard. And then the last one left me at the altar and I decided "fuck it, I don't need to be married."

  11. FuTeffla says:

    I've played it a handful of times and had a lot of fun although for some reason I always have terrible luck when it comes to relationships and having children. Dammit, if I wanted to be disastrous with the opposite sex, I would just go out and live my actual life.

  12. Shiyiya says:

    I drank poison and got kidnapped I DON'T THINK I'M GOOD AT THIS.

  13. This game is amazing! At first I was a teacher, then I went through a mid-life crisis and became a painter while my husband was grumpy about it. I could have had an affair with a 20-year-young guy, (He asked me to have coffee at his place when I dropped him off *wink wink*) But I refrained! Had to think of my poor grumpy husband.

    Too fun I lived a pretty good life. Now I want to try to be the opposite. Thanks for sharing Mark!

  14. Al says:

    I used to play this as a kid back when it was a text-based DOS game. I had no idea that it got a facelift! How exciting!

  15. celestineangel1 says:

    LOL, I made the wrong choices in the kitchen by myself and ended up getting my stomach pumped and some of my internal organs burned by poison. I didn't die, though!

    Not yet, anyway….

    And the game still told me I wasn't curious enough at the end of infancy….

    • celestineangel1 says:

      I died of old age asleep in my bed surrounded by visions of my loved ones! Awwww! That was nice.

  16. Passing by says:

    Totally unrelated to Alter Ego, but relevant to Mark's Dragon age Playthrough:
    [youtube Y-61i3R5y9Y youtube]

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