Vegetarians and Virtual Killing Sprees
Some players have reported that the carnage in the Monster Hunter: World game is off-putting to them. To others, it is an outlet for the unexpressed carnivore within.
The truth is, there are many vegetarians who enjoy a little big-game hunting. Those who play Monster Hunter: World, a video game for the PlayStation 4 which sees you heading out into the wilderness and hunting down dinosaur-type creatures clad in their bones, scales, and fur which has been made into armour are who I am talking about. There are massive differences in the activity in the virtual world and the one as it plays out in real life, however, and just because you are a veggie it doesn’t mean that you have to stick to playing fruit machines like Aristocrat online pokies. Although we can’t see anything wrong with that…
You are Hunted Too
The first, and possibly most important, point of difference is that the hugely powerful animals frequently eat the gamer as well, sometimes managing to do so a number of times before a player-victory occurs. Also, the majority of the hunting is done with an axe infused with lightning that is able to transform itself into a sword, and not a semi-automatic rifle that gives the beast no chance at all.
Also, It is Make-Believe
The fact that it is all made up is an important point, too. Players’ entertainment does not come at the cost of any suffering in the real world whatsoever, and no possibility of ecological catastrophe or extinction is increased by their actions.
Killing is the Name of the Games
Since the earliest video games, replete with beeping, abstract alien life forms and miniscule spaceships, conflict and killing have been a very basic part of how players interact with the worlds that games create. Sometimes it is abstracted, as in the case of Space Invaders, but it is also frequently framed as justified, with players killing bad guys in order to save the world.
The Glorification of the Kill
It has to be said that Monster World will have you revelling in the creatures you destroy. You will be fashioning wearable trophies from your victories, and the creatures in its world have realistic natural behaviours and quirks that are recognisable when you are not being hunted yourself.
In practice, however, it is not as gruesome as it sounds. This is thanks to the violence being not only bloodless, but tempered with humour, as well. There are foolish cat mascots, preposterous fashions that have you resembling a fluffy milkman, and ludicrous weaponry in the form of enormous crossbows and swords.
It is also a fight that is more than fair. The monsters you will be hunting are by no means easy prey, and the only way that you can defeat them is by perseverance and skill. While you may feel a twinge or two when, at the end of a protracted fight, a visibly hurt dinosaur is limping back to its lair to repair itself and you are following close behind, preparing to kill -or capture- it, for the most part you will have earned your victory and can enjoy a trouble-free conscious as you increase your survival skills in the brand-new world the game creates.