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Call of the Wild West

Call of the Wild West

Grin and Bear it…


The Patient Hunter

Lonesome days have passed. The bugs are gone. All the Master Hunting challenges are complete. Sod the natural. Nature gave humans brains. Brains gave humans weapons. Ergo, weapons are a product of nature. A gun is as much a tool as a knife. I stuck Lobo the wolf with a knife. I peppered Gordo the boar with buckshot. Khan the jaguar got a rifle bullet in the torso. I fed Brumas the bear dynamite.

There is a new quarry on the map. They call him the Mad Man on the Mountain. No they don’t. But I like to think they do. A player with the title ‘Lord of the Flies.’ Who dropped everything he was doing. Went outlaw. Killed dozens of lawmen and civvies in Blackwater town. Got himself a bounty of over $2000. Climbed up to snowy Nekoti Rock, one of the highest points on the map, just to wait in a bear’s cavern with a sniper rifle, some TNT and bones for company. Whoever kills him first collects the experience points. He waits.

First, WHITE_POWER016 tries to collect. His ascent. Dodging a TNT blast he eventually nears the top, only to receive a belly full of lead from one of those new-fangled high powered automatic pistols. I can tell you this because I was there. I saw it. His six-shooter isn’t a match. He respawns. Calls for his horse. His horse is shot in the head from under him from what looks like a mile away. WHITE_POWER016 flees and doesn’t try his luck again. I can’t say I’m sorry he failed. The Mad Man has a black character avatar. Fuck off, white power.

Then noblestrangerman tries to collect the bounty. He arrives in a wagon pulled neatly by a couple of horses. The Mad Man takes some pot shots and noblestrangerman has to abandon the wagon to take cover. Oddly he doesn’t fire back. This gives him a sheepish, puzzled air, like a Japanese businessman who has gone trail-blazing by mistake. I can tell you this because I was there. I saw it. Before he can ascend to the sadist’s nest, before he can pass the corpse of WHITE_POWER016 and the half-dozen identical bodies of the Mad Man’s horse repeatedly respawned and remurdered, before noblestrangerman even has a chance the Mad Man takes out his last stick of explosives and throws it at the wagon. Aiming to kill the horses and the bounty hunter in one terrible blast. Without waiting to watch for success he leaps from the mountain top, turning ragdoll half-way down. Finally, he cracks his neck against the ground by the wheel of the wagon. The bounty is gone – it only lasts one life. Nobody can claim it now. The noblestangerman, who has miraculously survived the blast, can only whistle for the respawn of his horse and mournfully saunter into the dark, glacial woods. There is no romance in RDR. It’s a harsh world in single player and multiplayer. Nobody rides off into the sunset.

I can tell you that this was what the Mad Man had learned. He was not really mad. He merely realised that it was dog eat dog, that nature was nasty and brutish. In his own way he too believed that all animals were equal. That is, that none were exempt from nature, from predation. Not human players, not their horses. Not Lobo or Gordo or Khan or Brumas, and not himself. I can tell you this is not the Mild West. This is the Wild West. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. I can tell you this because I was there. I saw it. Because it is what I thought when I went completely Colonel Kurtz. When I became the Mad Man on the Mountain.

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    “We hunt out of necessity, and not for sport” – need only when you are dying of hunger. And if the house has the money – go to the supermarket!

  • >> Or do you put a round in their belly to make sure they get the message? In doing this would I be breaking the first rule? Since humans are animals too, and I can’t kill any animals even when attacked?

    What if it is a human shooting you? You will not shot back, according to the same rule?

    Animals activists, as you are one in the game, however should probably not be too conscious about hurting animals for matters of self-preservation. Which include being on the verge of getting killed by a bear, having the need to dress leather, or needing to feed yourself.

    - What use will you be animals preservation and human consciousness, if you get killed by a pack of coyotes?
    - Nylon hasn’t been invented yet, cotton is very expensive and other fabrics are used mostly by the rich or as underwear. You’ll have to wear leather if you don’t want to die of cold or wearing wild west pajamas while trying to convince people of animals preservation.
    - You are carnivorous. Omnivorous. But you aren’t herbivorous. That’s humans. And especially humans in the Wild West. But even if you don’t want to project into the game a wild west persona, you will still feel uncomfortable about the fact it’s implicit your game character eats meat. Unless, of course, you stop with the “don’t kill animals under any circumstance” and get real.

  • That was fantastic fun to read, thank you.

  • Thanks.

  • >>Unless, of course, you stop with the “don’t kill animals under any circumstance” >>and get real.

    Get real in a computer game? No way! ;)

  • Brilliant writing. Very enjoyable read.

  • Great story. Mr Mad Man, you made my day ! Thank you.

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