All For No Reason, Just One Piece of Lead

I have a dream. It’s about Red Dead Redemption, a game I am yet to actually play – though I’ve ordered it and will hopefully have it soon enough. Today, renaissance man that I am, I was playing a Johnny Cash song on the ukulele (badly), “I Hung My Head”. It’s a song about a guy who accidentally shoots someone because he’s playing with a rifle and the whole thing spirals out of control and leads eventually to his execution (and his weird redemption, too, somewhat weirdly).

So the lyrics are things like:

I drew a bead on him, to practice my aim.
My brother’s rifle went off in my hands,
a shot rang out across the land.
The horse, he kept running, the rider was dead.
I hung my head.

_It’s a great song and it makes me think of video games and consequences, a never-ending topic. In particular, those of us who play them have undoubtedly had experiences like the above… at least up until “the rider was dead”. It’s easy to kind of “accidentally” shoot someone in a game like _Grand Theft Auto IV, either in a genuine slip, or simply not thinking it through, or for fun. But the consequences for what is, in reality, a monumental act, are pretty meagre. At worst you might lose the game (Assassin’s Creed), otherwise you might get chased by the cops a bit and maybe even temporarily arrested (GTA), or just nothing at all.

ANYWAY. My dream is that in Red Dead Redemption I’ll be able to live out the “fantasy” of the song. That I’ll accidentally shoot someone, regret it intensely, flee, be caught by the law, and eventually lynched.

I’d like that. (Don’t tell me if it ain’t so. You know: tread softly for you tread on my dreams.)

6 June 2010
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