The Consumerism of Borderlands 2 [SPOILERS] (Holiday Edition)

Pandora's Weapons Dealer and Vending Machine Owner Marcus from Borderlands

This time, Borderlands 2 has brought out consumerism as a pertinent issue than the original Borderlands.  Whereas the first dealt with it superficially, the second touched upon it a bit more with Marcus and his weapons-dealing across Pandora, especially with the Echo recordings at the Bloodshot Stronghold. These suggest that he may have funded enemies past and present, simply more than the bandits.  This article Of Assholes and Antiheroes explains much of the morality within Pandora, but it misses what’s immediately beneath its nose — the overthrow of The Man or the means thereof. It was the theme of the original and reverberated in the second one as well.

The original Borderlands dealt with it as the Vault Hunter, whichever one you chose, battled much of Atlas Corporation in order to reach the Vault. In the process, the Vault Hunter got better stuff along the way — including weapons, shields, and relics. Sometimes they were obtained from fallen enemies; as for others, they were bought through Marcus Munitions vending machines.  In the meantime, weapons, shields and relics  of various companies were being traded for cold, hard cash to purchase more weapons, shields or relics — and should the Vault Hunter meet an unfortunate demise, pay for rebuilding the Vault Hunter.  The companies that made these weapons, relics or shields included Atlas, Hyperion, Maliwan, Tediore and others.

Through a twisted looking glass, Borderlands is a reflection of the consumerism culture of the world.  With the some holidays already passed, there were many who camped at malls and superstores to buy the next big thing or things.  With the introduction of the next iPhone or iPad, the lines of Apple consumers will gather around the stores and around the corner.  Borderlands demonstrates no different.  With all the vending machine and loot, the Vault Hunter, being you, searches and/or buys the next Big Thing — whichever weapon or gear.  After rummaging through all that gear, the Vault Hunter or Hunters finally confront Handsome Jack, the Man of Hyperion Corporation, and the Warrior after traversing Hero’s Pass.  And upon defeating Handsome Jack and the Warrior, the Vault Hunter gets only more loot to rummage through.  There is no ceiling — much like consumerism today.

With the United States government ready to buckle with their creation, the fiscal cliff, the government demonstrates the excesses of today’s world — spend, spend and spend more.  Meanwhile, other parts of the world are no different.

Can the world change?  Not with the present generation.  Most are too self-infatuated and spoiled.

Perhaps after a successful apocalypse. Millennium bug and Mayans excluded.

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