Red Dead Redemption (RDR2)

Time Traveling Self

Content of the article: "Time Traveling Self"

Sometimes I think about if younger me could talk to me now, through time, & ask me about the video games I'm playing.

Me Now : I play this western game called Red Dead Redemption 2.

Young Me : Oh, cool. So you can challenge someone to a duel at high noon? Rob banks & stagecoaches?

Me Now : Um … no, you can't do that stuff. But you can hunt. & fish, and you get rewards for picking flowers. & herbs.

(looks dazed)

…I picked a lot of herbs.

Young Me : What the hell are you talking about? I thought you said this was a western game.

Me Now : It is. It's set in the old west. You can shoot people. With your six shooters. Pew. Pew.

Young Me: Oh. So lots of cowboys & indians stuff. I get it. So can you play as an indian? Or do you just fight indians?

Me Now : Well, uh, there's not really … any indians in the game …

Young Me : What? In the old west? How?

Me Now : I don't know. There's just cowboys. & some asian dude who'll sell you weapons.

Young Me : So there are weapons? Is it more of a Civil War thing? How are there no indians? Are you just in one town?

Me Now : No, it's like all over the old west.

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Young Me: But no Indians?

Me Now : No … but you can get a camera …

Young Me: Did they even have cameras back then?

Me Now : … & you unlock rewards for taking pictures of animals … & … stuff. & you can, like get a sample … like with a syringe …

Young Me : Animals? Oh, so like you're a cattle rustler. & you steal horses & sell them? Go on a big cattle drive where you brand the steers & you have to …

Me Now : Nope, no. You can't sell steers or horses or … do that stuff, either.

Young Me : & you're sure this is supposed to be a "western"? I've seen a western, so I know YOU know what a western is. There are western tropes.

Me Now : oh, yeah, sure. I mean, you can buy horses. & there's an animation where, every once in a while … the horse will uh, … poop. & the balls will shrink when he gets cold …

Young Me : Yours, or the horse?

Me Now : … & … you have to feed it. & brush it. & take care of it. & your character has to eat to. & you can craft medicine. & … you can buy clothes. Some you need gold for, which you can buy with real money.

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Young Me : In a game you've already bought?

Me Now : Oh, oh, you can be a moonshiner.

Young Me : Wasn't that more of an Appalachian prohibition thing?

Me Now : You can collect bounties.

Young Me : Great! Finally, something western. Now we're talking. So you can put bounties on people who shoot you in the back? Become a lawman like a marshal & save a small town?

Me Now : Mmmm … Not on other players. I mean, players can be bad sports & kind of get a bounty but it's not really worth it. Not like the real bounties. They're … more like missions. To make gold. So you don't have to buy it. & you can get a camp & be a Trader. & sell a bunch of animal skins. To make gold. So you don't have to buy it. & you can find collectables all over the map. To sell. To make gold. So … you don't … have to buy it.

Young Me : But they didn't think to put in indians? In your … western? Game?

Me Now : Uh … no.

Young Me : … The future sucks.

Me Now : You have no idea.

Check out this great video by an historian to see what we could be wearing in RDO.

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