Before I take a weekend-long break from writing Avadon to spend a weekend with the family in my favorite place in the world, I wanted to talk about my latest gaming obsession.
Red Dead: Redemption
Since I'm an enormous fan of Rockstar's violent, objectionable sandbox games, and the only person you will ever meet who actually played Grand Theft Auto IV all the way to the end, I'm surprised it took me so long to get around to playing this. It's Grand Theft Auto, but in the old west. So instead of stealing cars, you steal stagecoaches! Instead of killing hundreds of Mexicans in fake L.A., you kill them in real Mexico!
What was more surprising, though in retrospect it should not have been, was how instantly attached my eight year old daughter became to the game the moment she caught an unlucky glimpse of me playing it. Of course, it makes perfect sense. This is a game where you own a horse, ride your horse, take your horse out into the brush, find wild horses, capture and tame wild horses, and make one of those horses your new horse.
So she wanted to play it. A lot. But it's a Rockstar game, with all of the obscenity, gruesome violence, and graphic sexuality that entails. (Along with an unusually high frequency of rape, which I don't consider an improvement.)
So I let her play the game, but only in sandbox mode. She got stuck early on in the missions, and I haven't helped her. Thus, the things she are exposed to while questing for horses are only damaging, not totally traumatizing.
Of course, when I walked into the living room yesterday, I saw her chasing down a pack of bandits and shooting them all in the back in an admirably businesslike fashion. Also, she is trying to hunt down every animal in the game. She'll say, "Daddy! I shot a snake! And an armadillo!" And she'll bounce up and down like the happiest little girl in the world.
So I either suck at parenting or am really fantastic at it.
Two Key Differences Between Red Dead: Redemption and Grand Theft Auto
In Grand Theft Auto, when I left my car to go on some dangerous mission and returned to it later with like eighty guys chasing me and a need to get away very quickly, I never found that my car was missing because it wandered off to eat a particularly tasty clump of grass a half a mile away.
In Grand Theft Auto, when I was peacefully driving somewhere, my car was never suddenly killed by a cougar, who then ate me.
I mean, sure, sometimes gang members would shoot at me, but this was never really a problem. Gangbangers with AK-47s are a walk in the park compared to cougars. Cougars are serious business.
Oh, and Some Shameless Self-Promotion
In October, we had our 15th anniversary sale, celebrating an alarmingly long time being in the business of writing Indie role-playing games. The sale was a huge success, one of the best sales we've ever had. As a result, and as a thank you to everyone who has been nice enough to keep us in business all these years, we are resuming the most popular part of the sale: the big discount on CD bundles. For the entire month of December, all of our Game Collections on CD are 25% off.