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LONG BLOG

Combating Lawlessness in the Wild West of Red Dead Redemption

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After a specifically rousing completion of the Tesoro Azul bandit hideout, my friends and I stood in the center of the walled town checking our ammunition and debating which town next needed our liberation. As we did, a friend cried out in alarm as he took a bullet from a stranger riding down the hill. Grouping back up, we all took cover behind a bevy of boxes and aimed our weapons at the main gates. The bumbling player came bursting through the gates awkwardly, stunned to see a whole line of soldiers waiting for him. So stunned that he didn’t even fire right away, but fussed with his horse trying to turn back around. But we didn’t fire either. Instead, all the player heard was my comrade shout “Hold your fire!”

Everyone stood still for a moment, having found ourselves in the middle of an accidental Mexican standoff. After a moment - each person half-expecting a trigger to have been pulled by now - I stood up, holstered my side-arm, and spoke clearly to the stranger.

“No one has to die.”

Sure, it was a line stolen from the campaign and probably half a dozen western films, but the player seemed stunned by it. Again, if the characters could emote, this portly cattle rustler would look at least a little bit shocked. Considering past experiences, I expected him to simply call me a fag, try vainly to hit me with his rifle, and then follow us around for the next hour trying to avenge his pathetic death. But, instead, the out-matched stranger silently reared his horse in place, pulled the reins to the right, and kicked his steed into a full gallop straight back out the gates. He made no further attempts to bother us.

Again, there was nothing to gain out of not shooting the blundering outlaw, besides avoiding creating a temporary enemy who would nip at our heels for petty revenge for the remainder of the session. But, instead, we opted to avoid doing precisely what annoyed us: random killing. We had added our own layer of ethics, however shallow and marginal, to which we followed rather diligently. We didn’t like being killed at random, senselessly and idly, so we refused to take part. We’d chosen the good-natured path despite the opposite being at least marginally beneficial and certainly significantly easier. We had given Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer a morality system.
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About AwesomeExMachinaone of us since 6:13 PM on 07.28.2009

Twenty four years ago I was adorable. Now I'm inquisitive and hilarious.



I have a plastic tooth to replace one lost in a mosh pit during my more ridiculous high school years. I speak shitty German and I ride a bike. My Xbox gets so much use, I'm sometimes embarassed. But I'm unemployed, so my time is spent writing blogs on the internet, reading good literary fiction, and playing video games.

In the grand scale of things, I'm a late-bloomer. My parents banned all consoles from my house as a kid. See what you've done? Now I game constantly to make up for years of lost time.

I won't list my favorites, because you've probably seen ten lists like it before me.

There's a life-sized Boba Fett standee in my living room.

No Clip Series:
Grand Theft Auto IV
Fallout New Vegas
Red Dead Redemption

Journalism!:
The Slapstick Cephalopod: An Interview with the Octodad Team
Chicago Night Fights: Marvel vs Capcom 3
Inventing the Paint: An Interview with Author Tom Bissell
Top 10 Greatest Tiny Video Game Characters

Front-Paged Monthly Musings:
Groundhog Day: The Liberty to Pursue
Teh Bias: Critical Errors at Surface Level
Alternate Reality:Time for a new job
Something About E3: Imaginings from 20 Years Ago
The Great Escape: Tiny plastic guitars and wiimotes
My Expertise: Latent Racial Bonus
The Future: Overdoing the Over-the-Top
Love/Hate: A Gentleman's Baffling Love for Collecting Furniture
Nothing is Sacred: Games Taking Themselves Too Seriously

Worth reading:
We Are Destructoid
Writing on the Wall: How Graffiti Builds Universes
Combating Lawlessness in the Wild West of Red Dead Redemption
Being a Coward on Purpose
What Bringing About the Fictional Zombie Apocalypse Taught Me About Game Design
Why Video Game Designers Need to Watch the Road Warrior
The Needless Shit We Gamers Do

Xbox LIVE:The Disco Pony
PSN ID:The Disco Pony


 

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