As video game designers continue to inject more realism into their narratives, they’ll inevitably find themselves designing fully-functioning bathrooms for players to interact with. After all, the real world has bathrooms all over the damn place! As this article from Heterotopias points out, these digital washrooms are largely ancillary to the plot of the game and, at best, function as a vessel for “environmental storytelling,” i.e. places that add a bit more color to the world the players will inhabit. But there are some gamers out there that really know how to appreciate a good bathroom. For these water-closet connoisseurs, the rest of the game is superfluous to the enjoyment of a well-made, interactive toilet.
“Now you can stand here for as long as you want and pretend you are actually taking a shower,” says YouTuber Curious Reviewers as he guides you on a bizarre tour of what he considers the finest bathrooms in video game history. The video has been making the rounds on Reddit recently and is receiving the only reaction you’d expect for a lengthy fake toilet review: “I don’t know why this is so funny.” As if the initial premise isn’t weird enough, Curious Reviewers’ top five shitters essentially come down to any bathroom featured in the Hitman series with a cursory mention of Deus Ex and Duke Nukem: Forever. But, what starts as an analysis of game functionality quickly devolves into interior design shop talk as our tour guide casual murders NPCs along the way. “Another beautiful example of a washroom. Gorgeous cabinets, lots of detail on the countertop, stunning tile trim, and nice light fixture,” he notes after dispatching another innocent bystander.
While he certainly gets points for enthusiasm, this review is undeniably biased towards the Hitman aesthetic. How else could you explain an 8 minute video on video game bathrooms that doesn’t once mention the Facility level in Goldeneye? Although it does send the mind reeling attempting to put together a canonical list of great video game bathrooms.