My high school experience was—to use the official adjective of sullen teenagers—“fine.” I wasn’t tortured by jocks or mocked by mean girls. I wasn’t a nerd. I wasn’t interesting or smart enough to be considered one. I was just sort of there, doing my best to stay out of the way.
If I were to relive high school today, knowing what I know now, would I make the same sensible (i.e., boring) choices? I don’t have a DeLorean and flux capacitor, but I do have an iPhone and plenty of free time. These days that’s enough to get an answer.
Psy High is a choose your adventure story/game that allows users to step into the shoes of a psychic high school student. The player’s choices determine the main character’s personality and the plot of the story. And while there’s an overarching mystery for the player to unravel (why are the students suddenly so studious?), I began the game with a mission of my own: to turn my character into a loud, overly confident, back stabbing, two-timing, test-cheating asshat.
Why? I wanted to be a character who, unlike the real me, would be reviled by students and faculty for years to come. (Lord knows I still remember the jerks from my high school days.) Plus, bad choices are more fun, especially when there no consequences. That was my theory, anyway.
I named my alter ego Chaz and got to work by shoving a freshman in the hallway. The real me felt bad about the bullying, but I bravely powered through the guilt. The game progressed. I lied to my parents, broke curfew, ratted out my friend to the scary teacher, broke into school, and ditched my oldest pal because she wasn’t popular enough. I even started dealing drugs on campus (really, that’s possible in the game).