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Rootin’ tootin’ time

Historically accurate video game explores real world issues

Riding through the Wild West on horseback, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and all of your cowboy gang friends while a euphonious soundtrack plays in the background, sounds like the perfect way to spend my day. Luckily, there is a game where I can do that and so much more. 
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a video game in an ongoing series set around 1899 based on a fictionalized version of the Wild West. 

Though many video games are filled with fantasy violence or jumping on turtle shells to save a princess, which I have nothing against, Red Dead Redemption 2 stays true to the history and cultural norms of the Wild West while maintaining a captivating story that fully immerses players. 

The game tackles problems such as racism, sexism, and struggles with one’s identity. 

The historical accuracy enhances the already beautiful storyline and gameplay to the extreme, resulting in a beautiful experience. 

The game has a side quest where the protagonist, Arthur Morgan, helps several women protest for the women’s suffrage movement. In this quest, the player has to drive a stagecoach to the mayor’s residence to advocate for women’s rights. 

When asked what he thinks about women being allowed to vote, Arthur Morgan says, “Women voting? Sure, why not. Anyone dumb enough to want to vote should be able to,” further highlighting Arthur’s advocacy for civil liberties. Though the game mentions real-world problems, it does so in a way that is appealing to players through the use of humor through Arthur’s witty character.

A part of the main storyline is that there is Native American land that anti-native federal forces are attempting to take unlawfully. A large part of the game is that the player’s cowboy gang attempts to run from the law, but the law is corrupt and full of hypocrisy, as demonstrated by the story. 

The player has to help the Native Americans, who are part of the fictional Wapiti tribe, and players get an inside view of the government’s corruption in moving Native Americans to the alleged plentiful reservations. 

Throughout the game, Arthur Morgan is taxed with choices that determine his moral compass. Honor and how the player is treated by others determine crucial parts of the storyline. 

Players can choose whether or not they want to help certain people, which increases or decreases Arthur’s honor.  The game has four different endings, which are also determined by the player’s “honorable” or “dishonorable” choices throughout the game. 

This mechanic demonstrates how every decision affects the outcome of your life, adding a philosophical and motivating layer to the game.

It is so cool that such a fun game is also educational and historically accurate. Though I initially thought the game would be boring because I’m not a huge history buff, I was captivated by the beautiful story web in which I was entangled. I recommend Red Dead Redemption 2 to anyone who loves history or who doesn’t. It is a beautiful game that should definitely be on your wish list.  

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Reily Dominy
Reily Dominy, Editor
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