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  • You're holding tough today, by the way

  • Until Dawn ain't getting me

  • OH MY GOSH

  • OH

  • *Game Theory Intro plays*

  • Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory

  • The show whose viewers wouldn't be surprised to see an episode dedicated to Sam's anti-gravity towel

  • Seriously! She's getting chased by a psychotic killer and it stays up like that??

  • And then she crawls through vents and it stays so clean?

  • This towel is clearly worthy of a theory

  • But not today

  • So if you've watched our GTLive live streams then you know that we recently completed a playthrough

  • of the horror game Until Dawn

  • *devastated MatPat* "No!!"

  • If you haven't watched our GTLive live streams then you probably STILL knew that we recently completed

  • a playthrough of the horror game Until Dawn

  • because YouTube hasn't put a toggle in allowing subscribers to opt-in to those notifications

  • Hey! Don't blame the messenger

  • Regardless, chances are if you watch gamers on YouTube

  • You've seen this choose-your-own-adventure, teen murder simulator hybrid

  • A game that mashes so many horror movie tropes you'd think they'd pulled Keenen Wayans out of retirement

  • And had him do Scary Movie: The Video Game

  • But here's the thing, while we were all making fun of the gameplay

  • "We are playing a game that encourages you to not move the controller"

  • "COMPELLING GAMEPLAY"

  • The really good, but still not really good enough graphics

  • "Didn't quite make it out of the Uncanny Valley on that one" *laughs*

  • And hammy dialouge

  • We all missed something: The point

  • Along with a totem or two

  • Whether it was intentional or not,

  • Until Dawn is more than just a goofy horror movie cliche simulator

  • And the villain is far more menacing than a gangly spider-zombie

  • It's a much darker, much sadder, and much more serious game than any of us YouTube gamers thought

  • Carrying an incredibly serious message about mental illness and the nature of choice

  • Now before I go on, this is a heavy spoiler alert

  • We're covering everything from the game, so if you haven't watched any of the hundreds of Let's Plays

  • And still want to experience it for yourself, turn back now

  • But if you want to completely change the way you look at the game

  • Well, spend another few minutes with me

  • We all clear?

  • Good.

  • Now this game is a blast, not only to play but to discuss

  • You see, the game not so subtly points out that it's built around the Butterfly Effect

  • Where decisions you make earlier in the game have significant ramifications down the line

  • It's a game about choice

  • And what makes this game endlessly discussable and watchable

  • Is seeing how different choices lead to different gruesome murders for our -

  • *record scratch* Jeez they're 18 and 19 years old?

  • Oh man, now I feel really creepy about trying to get Jess into her underwear

  • No! No it is NOT when some of these kids are literally under the age of consent

  • Creepy revelations about everyone's true ages aside

  • Make the right choices, nail each QTE and miraculously

  • you may be able to keep everyone alive...Until Dawn

  • Roll credits *CinemaSins ding*

  • Well, not everyone

  • Meet Josh, older brother of both Beth and Hannah

  • We see in the game's prologue that one year prior to the events in the game

  • Beth and Hannah were killed accidentally after a prank went wrong

  • Yes, you can roll the clip one last time

  • Fast-forward to the present day where, halfway through the game, you learn that Josh is The Psycho

  • A masked madman setting up elaborately sadistic, Saw-like traps

  • For his quote-unquote "friends" to make them pay for the deaths of both his sisters

  • Well, that and to get them all a few thousand clicks on a certain video sharing platform

  • Gah! Everyone is a vlogger these days

  • Now, outside of the supernatural and cannibalistic wendigos,

  • Josh is the villain of the game, putting his friends through torture

  • As such, it's only fitting that he is the only playable character who will never survive the night

  • regardless of your choices

  • He only has one of two fates

  • Either getting his head crushed by a wendigo

  • Or, if you find enough clues, turning into a wendigo himself

  • A fitting end to a crazed maniac

  • Except, hold on. Josh's story isn't so cut and dry

  • True, the torture of his friends is extreme

  • And he isn't adverse to going so far as to punch Ashley out cold

  • But none of his actions directly lead to anyone's death

  • His traps are only there to scare, not kill

  • Fake bodies, fake bullets, saws that don't go all the way down

  • Now compare that to Mike, AKA the village bicycle where anyone gets a ride *horn honking*

  • Who can kill Emily in cold blood, and the world rejoices *party blower noise*

  • Or how about Ashley? Who in some scenarios can choose to kill Chris while he pleads for his life

  • Simply by keeping the lodge door locked

  • Then, in the final scene, Sam can actively choose to blow up the lodge early, killing everyone else in there

  • And then Matt who can basically leave his girlfriend, Emily, for dead when a tower falls

  • I mean seriously, the game gives you a lot - A LOT - of opportunities to kill off Emily

  • In short, pretty much every playable character in this game

  • Can take an action that will directly lead to someone else's death

  • Except for Jessica

  • And except for Josh

  • But unlike all the other characters, Josh doesn't get a happy ending

  • And sure, I get it. He tortured his friends and, yeah, thats really bad

  • But don't let Beth's yoga pants distract you from the truth

  • What these teenagers did to Hannah was also really bad

  • These aren't good people

  • They set up a prank where Mike, Hannah's crush, leads her on to the point that she starts undressing,

  • expecting a little totem action, if you get what I'm saying

  • All while they film in secret and laugh at her embarrassment

  • It's ruthless!

  • And unlike the quote-unquote "heros" of the story, who did this out of sheer meanness

  • Josh's saw traps aren't just born out of revenge

  • He has another excuse, mental illness

  • Throughout the game we gradually learn that Josh has had behavioral issues since the age of eleven

  • Since then, he's been treated with various medications for depression

  • In total, for nine years

  • And we learn that the mysterious analyst appearing between chapters in the game

  • Was actually Josh's psychiatrist helping him to cope with the loss of both his sisters

  • When we finally get to step inside Josh's eyes at the end of the game, Chapter 10,

  • It's clear he's being haunted by the vision of his sisters

  • "No no no no, you're not real" -"Why didn't you save us Josh?"

  • Through his hallucinations, we see that he blames himself in large part for their deaths

  • Despite being passed out that night, physically unable to do anything to help them

  • Now, does all of this excuse his eagerness to strap two people to chairs

  • Force one to choose between his life and the life of his crush

  • All while spinning saw blades descend from the ceiling?

  • No, but it certainly sheds light on Josh's motives

  • Showing that he's not a sadistic killer or cruel sociopath

  • He's a confused and grieving kid

  • Remember, these kids are like 18 to 20

  • *record scratch* Still - still kinda creeped out about the Jess thing

  • And the game actually acknowledges this

  • *another record scratch* Not the creepy jess thing, just the fact that Josh is in need of help

  • In alternate dialogue for Josh's big reveal as the psycho

  • Sam makes it clear that his behavior is more of a cry for help than it was anything malicious

  • "Come on, it was just for fun! Nobody got hurt!

  • "You're crying out for help, Josh"

  • In short, Josh is a sympathetic character who needs help, medical help

  • Help that, quite frankly, he's not getting

  • And this is where we go from Josh being in a weird gray area

  • A character who did some awful things, but had some excuses for it, to someone who is outright innocent

  • Throughout the game, we can piece together Josh's illness by the symptoms he demonstrates

  • Chapter 10 shows us that he clearly has very vivid visual hallucinations

  • He also has auditory hallucinations, hearing both his sisters' voices in his head as well as the Psycho's

  • It's important to note here, though, that the mask-wearing Psycho isn't a separate personality

  • Which would change his diagnosis

  • How do we know?

  • Well, if Sam escapes being chased by Josh, she can find a tape where he's practicing his "Psycho Talk"

  • "Hello - Hello, children...That's not right..."

  • I mean every good masked killer needs a catchphrase, right?

  • The Psycho is just a character he puts on for the purposes of this theatrical event he had planned

  • Not a split personality

  • So we have visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, but Josh is also delusional

  • The delusion that this is all a fun prank or game

  • That this would actually be socially acceptable to his friends

  • He also has delusions of grandeur

  • Seriously, in his opening video:

  • "Hello, friends and fans"

  • "Hello, friends and fans"? Who's he talking to anyway?

  • Seriously, his channel has like, what, seven subscribers

  • And after the events of the game, he's going to lose all of them

  • "YouTuber tortured me and gave me PTSD... unsub"

  • I'd say that that's a fairly solid reason to unsubscribe from a channel

  • He's also operating under the delusion that his friends don't care about him

  • Feeling so persecuted that he physically saws himself in half simply to prove how little they care

  • When that actually couldn't be further from the truth

  • Finally, we see his speech deteriorate into incoherent rambling

  • Based on these symptoms, Josh appears to have schizophrenia

  • A brain disorder in which a person has trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy

  • And has trouble managing normal emotions

  • Symptoms include: everything we just mentioned

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, social withdrawal, disorganized speech

  • And the condition tends to appear between the ages of 16 and 30

  • See that age joke at the beginning wasn't just a non sequitur, it actually had a purpose

  • All in all, it sounds pretty cut and dry, right?

  • But then we look at his medical records

  • The slate of doctors listed for treating him over the last 9 years, Dr. Hill included, are all MDs

  • Meaning that they're psychiatrists, people who went to medical school, had a year of medical internships,

  • And have 3 years of residency to assess and treat mental health conditions

  • Training which now enables them to prescribe medicine to their patients

  • So Josh seems like he's seeing the right people for his issues, except apparently he's not

  • Looking down the list of medicines and treatments he's been given, they're all for extreme depression

  • You see, nerve cells in the brain communicate using chemicals called neurotransmitters

  • I've mentioned them before in my video on the addictive qualities of mobile gaming

  • And, as you can imagine, there are a bunch

  • But the most famous are dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine

  • Well, depression and schizophrenia are currently thought to be tied to different neurotransmitters

  • With schizophrenia being linked to the overactivity of dopamine, while depression is thought to be tied

  • To a decrease in the production of serotonin

  • The drugs we see Josh being prescribed, though, are all focused around serotonin

  • Fluoxetine is an SSRI, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

  • Which - to grossly simplify - is meant to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain

  • Duloxetine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor

  • Which again leave dopamine, Josh's actual issue, untreated

  • And both Amitriptyline and Phenelzine are some of the earliest antidepressants developed

  • Effective, yes, but now replaced with newer, less side-effect heavy drugs

  • And neither of them primarily focused on what Josh's true problem is

  • Regulating the amount of dopamine in his brain

  • Knowing this, the results of Josh's medical reports are unsurprising

  • Each time, the medicine didn't fix his problem

  • And occasionally he would resort to taking more in an attempt to see any sort of result - any sort of relief

  • And here's why! He was being treated for the wrong disorder

  • His primary issue is schizophrenia, not depression

  • Of course the medicines would have limited effectiveness

  • They weren't doing anything to treat the primary symptoms

  • of hallucination, delusion, paranoia, and disorganized speech

  • What does this mean?

  • It means that Josh wasn't getting the help that he needed to mitigate his condition

  • And leads us to the true meaning of Until Dawn

  • In a game that prides itself on choice for its characters, Josh had no choice

  • Schizophrenia is tied very closely to genetics, so he had no choice to get the disorder in the first place

  • Josh had no choice when placed in the hands of experts, who misjudged and mistreated his condition

  • He was passed out and had no choice when the rest of the group pulled a prank that would ultimately

  • kill his two younger sisters

  • And even in death, he has no choice

  • You, as the player, cannot save him

  • No matter what you do, there is no happy ending for Josh

  • He was doomed from the start

  • In a game all about choice, probably the biggest one that you can have is forgiving Josh

  • Looking beyond his actions, the awful things that he did, and choosing to save his life

  • Recognizing him for the young man in need of help that he is

  • But you can't do that.

  • When you look at it this way, Until Dawn is a big metaphor, where the true monster

  • Is psychological disorder

  • It strikes randomly, has no mercy, and gives you no chance of escape, no chance to run and hide

  • And the true villain of the game is Dr. Hill and the system that didn't know enough, or simply didn't care enough

  • To give Josh the help that he so desperately needed

  • Now that is truly a horror game

  • But, hey, that's just a theory

  • A Game Theory

  • Thanks for watching :)

  • Welcome back to the SUPER AMAZING END CARD TOURNAMENT

  • Today we covered a game full of sexy characters and important choices

  • So in honor of that, today's poll has one important question for you

  • Hot or Not? The wendigo

  • Bangable undead or a face only a mother could love

  • Click on one to choose or click the links in the description to cast your vote

  • And find out next week whether you guys would swipe right or swipe left

  • Bow chicka bow wow

  • And hey! If you want to check out some hilarious highlights of our playthrough of Until Dawn

  • Click here to check out the GTLive channel for moments like this:

  • *Josh screaming* While MatPat and Steph repeatedly say stop

  • "Oh no it's actually killing him!"

  • "Oh it's - oh no!"

  • "Oh no!"