The Blue Shell Theory

Human nature craves chaos. It is only in times of crisis that we transcend into what we actually are, a group of depraved animals barely holding a society together. In our day to day lives there are few chances to let loose and go feral. We all have appearances to keep up, and a society only functions if a majority of its members act according to the rules and laws set. It’s within these pre-established laws that lawfully evil types (like Dr. Harry Harlow) can game the system, but any average person would take a chance to disrupt the status quo in a controlled environment where they’re free from persecution.

A controlled environment like Mario Kart, for instance. Let me explain.

Life is inherently uncontrollable. No one chose to be born and the world will forget us all one day. Our lives are sandwiched between two unknowable eternities, pre-birth and post-death, and the modest few decades we get to exist are filled to the brim with disorder. Reality victimizes us all. It’s when we lean into the mayhem that we feel control in our lives. Stealing a pen from work, yelling at a pedestrian to wear their mask over their nose, or throwing a Blue Shell from 12th place in Mario Kart.

The Blue Shell targets the 1st place racer and explodes, slowing them down and often costing whomever it hits the race… but what do you achieve when you throw a Blue Shell from last? You’ve still got 11 players ahead of you, if you’re that far behind a comeback is all but impossible. The previous first player contender will likely take a lower rank, yet they still outclass you by far. It’s this act of thoughtless blind destruction that shows just how degenerate a person can be when unafraid of consequences. Using the spiked menace has negligible impact on the thrower and terrible impact on the victim.

So why throw it? Just for another item box slot? Sure, but how many people relish the chance to use it? Whether you win or not, knowing that you have meddled in someone else’s life is enough satisfaction for the average player. If you feel that you have a hand in an otherwise wild and unpredictable existence, you feel that you’ve gained some control over the chaos. Meaningful or not, you had power for a moment.

Despite empathy, despite those who try to do good, humanity has a primal instinct to sit at the top of any hierarchy. When a serf or the middle class or the Princess Daisy in last place has a chance to disrupt the presets of society, they will take that chance. Anything for a chance to improve our stature and show a world founded from havoc that we aren’t being dragged along. A drowning man will sink anyone trying to save him as he attempts to save himself, and though a round of Mario Kart may not be life or death, the controlled environment shows that people are willing to destroy anyone under the right circumstances. People will always fight for themselves, and the Blue Shell proves it.

The Blue Shell Theory.

When we band together we can fight pandemonium as a team. Follow @JeffShutUp and let’s organize this mess as one. Unless I get a Blue Shell, then it’s every man for themselves.