I spend a lot of time pondering the meaninglessness of existence. I also spend a bit of time playing the hyper-addictive railroad-building game Unrailed! So I can only imagine that the bandits in this game are pondering their own meaningless existence as well.

See, in Unrailed! as you build your tracks, you will occasionally happen upon black-shirted bandits. They won’t really attempt to harm you in any meaningful way, but they will grab your stuff and move it around. Sometimes it’s as simple as just taking a stack of wood and placing it in another spot (they’re sort of like Unrailed!‘s version of Minecraft’s Endermen in this regard), but in extreme cases, they’ll grab a stack of resources and just hurl it off a cliff.

There’s no discernable reason for this. They don’t benefit from it. You certainly don’t benefit from it. But these little blocky badholes have a tenacity that just doesn’t let up. These guys will fight tooth-and-nail to see just one more stack of iron go tumbling into oblivion. Even if you start swinging an axe at them, they won’t be deterred. They will carry on until you chop them into a dozen mini little cubes of bandit essence.

I just want to know what’s going through their heads as they perform this Sisyphean task. Do they realize there’s no point in what they’re doing, that their entire lives are completely meaningless? Do they not know there’s more to life than the day-to-day grind of moving voxelated blocks around a game screen?

What on Earth is wrong with these bandits, and what do they want from me? Is there any way to set them free from the shackles of this endless void, or to free myself from their persistent, maddening rearrangement of things that are in no need of rearranging?

Will they not stop? Will they leave my head? Is there no end to this voxelated world of existential suffering?

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