“Arthur [Morgan] and I are connected by that controller,”
February 13, 2020 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Dutch’s real-life mom plays through Red Dead Redemption 2 [Polygon] “The 75-year-old mother of the actor who played Dutch van der Linde in Red Dead Redemption 2 played through the entire open-world game so she could understand what it was her son had done, and why millions hailed the work. And the essay she wrote about her experience is a wonderfully affirming, outsider’s commentary on fan culture, particularly in video gaming. Jessica Hoffmann Davis, an educator, playwright and author of four books about the role of arts in education, picked up a DualShock 4 controller after visiting FanExpo Boston in August 2019. Before that visit, Davis really had no idea of the depth of video games culture or why fans are so intensely devoted to them. “The only way I would get to experience my son’s celebrated performance was to learn to play Red Dead Redemption 2,” she writes.” [Essay via Reddit: Unsung heroes: Reconceptualizing a video game as a work of art.][**Contains Spoilers for RDR2**][Story Trailer for RDR2]
posted by Fizz (17 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just reading the synopsis made me cry. A mom entering a strange world to celebrate and understand her son and the work he does, and the way he touches others. Sniff.
posted by emjaybee at 7:03 PM on February 13 [12 favorites]


This is gonzo.
posted by pykrete jungle at 7:36 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Fizz.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:26 PM on February 13


This was wonderful. THank you for sharing it with us.
posted by Alensin at 8:35 PM on February 13


Mr. Roquette loves Red Dead Redemption. He watches a stream with a number of players. I watch sometimes. It’s fun.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:28 PM on February 13


Wait, so this game isn't actually about the 1917 October Revolution??

It's about cowboys?

What a waste of a great title!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:41 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Hey, this is cool. I know the actor who plays Dutch pretty well - we were counselors together at an arts summer camp for several years - and he's an all around great guy. Looking forward to reading her article.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:17 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


The last line of Dr. Davis' essay is "What a privilege to play."

As an "older" woman who plays video games (and has for years), it made my morning to read this, and to read how much she appreciated and enjoyed it. I hope she plays more. For all the flaws in the video game community, there is also no better way to connect with genuinely caring, generous people than through fandom.
posted by anastasiav at 5:26 AM on February 14 [10 favorites]


I love everything about this.
posted by Ruki at 5:37 AM on February 14


What a beautiful and poignant essay! Her pride for her son shines through this essay, and Dutch is ... yeesh.

My husband played through RDR and RDR2 multiple times (after the first playthrough of RDR2, he'd play up to a saved point near the end but not the end because YE GODS the tears we shed) and it's a gorgeous game to watch.

I grew up on video game consoles, but quit after PS1 because the controllers became too intimidating. This essay is inspiring.
posted by kimberussell at 7:15 AM on February 14 [2 favorites]


Hey video games industry. The elderly love games too, but if they can't read the text, if they can't read the action bar, if the subtitles are too small, and the volume slider has no way to adjust speaking volume and background volume seperately, especially gunfire, they are just another potential lost customer.
posted by Beholder at 8:09 AM on February 14 [16 favorites]


Beholder, not to mention, some people who were children at the very advent of video games are already aging adults. As more videogame appreciators get older and older, I have high hopes that games will become more accessible in that way naturally as more of us demand them. It's surprising to me that today's nursing homes aren't filled videogames for the residents to play. My boss recently had surgery and is out for 10 days, I jokingly asked him if he had planned to get a WoW account or something, but he doesn't play videogames. I couldn't help but think what a shame that was -- I cannot imagine a better way to pass sometime while trapped in a bed or have low mobility and high health risks. Watching TV and movies, even reading, don't occupy your body and mind in the same way videogames can. I haven't been to a hospital in decades, I am curious if they ever put videogames in the rooms. Last time I was in one I thought of how horrible it must be to be stuck in bed with nothing but daytime soaps and talk shows to sit through.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:36 AM on February 14 [4 favorites]


but if they can't read the text, if they can't read the action bar, if the subtitles are too small, and the volume slider has no way to adjust speaking volume and background volume seperately, especially gunfire, they are just another potential lost customer.

speaking of
posted by BungaDunga at 8:47 AM on February 14


The elderly love games too, but if they can't read the text

Not just the elderly. Some of us have congenital visual impairments and we'd love to game, too.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:05 AM on February 14 [4 favorites]


What a gorgeous piece of writing. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Pfardentrott at 10:14 AM on February 14


Fizz, I don't know you, but I love you. You're one of the main reasons I come here. #bindingofisaac4lyfe
posted by booooooze at 11:06 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a beautifully written essay. I know nothing of RDR2 but now I want to. But maybe I’ll save it for my 70s.
posted by penguin pie at 4:02 PM on February 14


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