Let’s look at a normal citizen in Banished – we’ll call her Dorothea. Every morning Dorothea wakes up, puts on her best fugue state and drags gravel out of the Earth for 12 hours. Those rocks are used to build roads, which make it faster for citizens like Dorothea to carry more rocks, to build more homes, to house more citizens to mine more rocks.
Dorothea is helping the proud city of Buttsville expand and eventually preserve blissful, self-perpetuated homeostasis.
Dorothea’s son, Peter the Uncaring Maw, gets up every morning to eat the food harvested by citizens like his mother. Peter the Uncaring Maw doesn’t move gravel. He doesn’t herd sheep. He just consumes. What’s worse, for every two Peters there must be one Dorothea conscripted into life as a fisherman just to maintain the precious balance of life.
Then a plague breaks out. Of course, since everyone is at the docks grilling sole we don’t have enough stone to build a hospital. Now Peter, Dorothea and the rest of Buttsville share a mass grave in the woods because nobody cut down enough lumber to build a cemetery.
Banished is a genius game the way Hannibal Lecter is a brilliant psychiatrist – it’s technically true, but it’s hardly its most memorable quality once you’ve learned about it. Read more »