You there! You’re not from around here, are you? You look like an adventurer.

I am Yarvik the Cabbage Farmer. Have you heard the rumors?

No, I’m afraid it’s much worse than dragons. I’m talking about these new AI programs like ChatGPT. I’m just a simple cabbage farmer with a limited number of programmed responses, but if you ask me, AI is a threat to us all.

Won’t you join me for a drink? This blueberry mead is the finest in the land.

Press X to continue

As a non-player character, I enjoy a quiet life of walking back and forth between the tavern and the stables all day unless someone physically bumps into me. Until now my biggest concern was those blasted bandits who keep stealing my cabbages.

But now I have to worry about being tossed on the compost heap in favor of AI-powered avatars trained on vast datasets. I can’t compete with that kind of dark magic! Rumor has it Lorik the Blacksmith has already been replaced. I overheard some of his conversation when I got stuck on a barrel near the armory earlier and, by the gods, it was sparkling. He was using allusions, subtext, irony; I even heard him recite an original poem while he was hammering out a spear.

Who’ll want to chat with poor old Yarvik about annual rainfall when they can discuss philosophy of mind or Baroque art? But enough about my troubles. Let’s get back to our reliable and perfectly adequate exchange.

Press △ to help clear out those blasted bandits who keep stealing my cabbages
Press 〇 to share some of the finest blueberry mead in the land
Press X to continue

I tell you, when I looked at Lorik the Blacksmith I saw my own bleak future in his clever lips. It was a feeling I can’t describe. It was like when you expect to harvest 14 cabbages and you only harvest 12 cabbages.

Look, a traditional NPC may not have the raw generative power of an advanced neural network but with me, you know what you're getting: One to three different reactions based on how many townspeople you’ve robbed and how many animals you’ve harassed. And while I may not be able to write you a short story in the style of Mary Shelley that features all the characters from Full House, I can offer you 20 gold pieces to take care of those blasted bandits once and for all.

What do you say?

Press △ to take care of those blasted bandits once and for all
Press 〇 to buy me another blueberry mead to steady my nerves
Press X to tell me I have a drinking problem

My wife Blorta thinks I drink too much, too. We’ve been married twenty long years but I think there's something she’s not telling me. I found a love poem in her cupboard written in the style of Keats but with the rhyme scheme of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme. Whoever wrote it found a suspicious number of things to rhyme with “Blorta” including something about how she arouses his aorta and something obscene about a speartip.

You see? Not even my marriage is safe from this scourge. Will you help me? Or will you be a rotten cabbage about it?

Press △ to e-sign this letter to Congress demanding an immediate halt to AI research and integration until the dangers can be further studied
Press X to continue

Well, that’s a fine attitude to take after punching all my chickens.

Press X to continue

I bet Lorik doesn’t have to say “Press X to continue” does he?

Press X to continue

Well then, if you don’t mind this may be the last poorly rendered sunset I'll ever see before I’m replaced for good. So I'll just slowly lower myself into this chair to enjoy it unless you interrupt my movement action in which case I may get stuck running in the corner for a while.

Unless of course… You still want to help?

Press △ to take this dagger and insert it into Lorik the Blacksmith’s impressive new brain
Press X to alert the guards

Relax! It was only a suggestion. Now where were we? I believe we were discussing cabbages.