American Culture Assignment
Red Dead Redemption The American West has been a fixture in American culture, but which perspective is true to history? Although cowboys, duels, and bandits are popular throughout movies, much of the common perception of the “Wild West” is disputed by historians. Red Dead Redemption takes place in the final days of “The Wild West,” in the early 1900s. Venture through Texas and Mexico on this incredible adventure and ultimately learn to separate fact from
Red Dead Redemption gamers, please answer the following 3 questions:
(1) In The American West, Murdoch provides several details of a “normal” person living in the Western US. Contrast the images in the reading with the images portrayed in Red Dead Redemption. Identify at least three differences between the book and the game, providing specific examples from each work to justify each difference.
(2) Much of the “Wild West” literature focuses on the fact that the West was a myth, exacerbated to stoke America’s imperialist tendencies. After the readings, would you say that Red Dead Redemption makes the problem worse? That is, does Red Dead perpetuate the myth that the readings claimed to have been created. If not, what is Red Dead Redemption? Is it a commentary on the myth itself? Is it a piece of fiction meant to pray on imagination? Is it meant to be historical in the first place? For this diary, please take a stand on how Red Dead Redemption specifically relates to the myth of the American West. Make sure to take 3 specific examples from the text and 3 from the game to justify your reasoning.
(3) Should game developers be clearer about the work they are presenting? What expectations did you have for Red Dead Redemption before you began playing and did they evolve? Were you led to believe that the game is meant to be historically accurate, and if so, why did you think so? Do you think game developers have a responsibility to be clearer about the content in their games? Assassin’s Creed games, for example, warn all players that their storylines, although have elements of history, are all fiction. Should games like Red Dead Redemption do the same to be accurate? Why or why not? After reading literature on the American west, was your experience in Red Dead hampered at all?