Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 presents a world of opportunity for your player, whether you want to rob banks and live the life of an outlaw, or want to try to make the most out of visiting each town and helping people out. But it also lets players run wild however they see fit -- and one particular example has created an uneasy situation, thanks to a particular YouTube user.
This was brought up by Vice's Motherboard site, in which it discussed a historically accurate aspect of the game - feminists pushing for their right to vote. Since the game takes place in 1899, there are a few female characters within the game that believe they're inclined to register their opinion, namely suffragettes in activist roles. It adds a sense of accuracy to the game's era; but, at the same time, presents an opportunity for players to treat them like dirt.
Back on October 28, a YouTuber by the name of Shirrako stirred the pot by posting a video in which he walked up to one of these suffragettes and punched them unconscious. The video had been viewed more than 1.2 million times, with all sorts of comments.
These include Joker Productions noting, "I killed that lady too. Every time I went to the tailor right there I had to listen to her yapping. Got fed up so I took her to lunch...except the only thing served was buckshot."
Silly Goose made things even more uneasy. "You could take this small portion of the game, stretch it to full AAA game length, charge me $60 for it and I'd pre-order it with a season pass," he explained.
Since that time, Shirrako attempted to upload even more videos, including attempting to feed a suffragette to an alligator and lassoing and leaving her on the train tracks to, you guessed it, be run over by a train.
The videos got so much controversy that they have since been taken down by YouTube, with Shirrako's account being terminated shortly thereafter. (You can see the discontinued link here, showing that everything's long gone.)
The YouTube user has since sounded off on the matter, explaining to Motherboard, "I know you're probably expecting some political answer but the truth is it was simply a funny moment from one of my streams which I've decided to upload as a separate video. Not sure if it was intentional by Rockstar Games but the NPC is made to be rather annoying, when you try to shop for clothing in the game, your dialogue with the shopkeeper keeps being interrupted by her shouting, so I simply wanted to shop in peace, I'm sure that as a gamer you're familiar with these annoying NPC situations."
He did note that some people saw the videos as a joke, but the comments provided a mixture of both toxic and offended responses. "I mean obviously I don't agree with the sexist comments, but there is not much I can do about them, I don't like censoring people's opinions, regardless if I like them or not," he explained.
Rockstar isn't a fan of this type of behavior, obviously. Granted, you can get away with a whole lot in the game, even though bounties begin piling up, and you could be in real trouble if you're ambushed by bounty hunters. But there's a line, and it looks like this YouTuber crossed it, resulting in the takedown of videos and termination of his account.
To conclude the piece, the author, Emanuel Maiberg, noted, "I don't think video games alone can be blamed for real-world violence, but they are a part of our cultural infrastructure that allows someone to roleplay as an anti-feminist murderer (a very real, ongoing problem in the real world), upload a video of it to YouTube for profit, and allow others to use that video as a jumping off point to discuss how much they hate women in the real world."
You can read the piece here. It brings up some interesting points about what you should and shouldn't be able to get away with in a game, and points out some of the toxicity against female characters. Well worth the read.
(Hat tip to Motherboard for the details.)