Red Dead Redemption 2 has been accused of inciting violence towards women. Do we agree?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is under fire for alleged displays of violence against women. The western action title, released in October by Rockstar Games, is rife with violence and adult themes. However, recent reports have accused the game of inciting violence towards. Is this a fair assessment of one of the biggest games of the year?

Depictions of violence towards women in video games are common. Since the bloom of the gaming industry, many have been quick to accuse the industry of inciting violence towards women. It should not be surprising that Red Dead Redemption 2 has fallen to the same fate.

The controversial video, seen above, has gathered nearly two million views

The accusations have sparked from a YouTube video. Uploaded by YouTuber with over 600,000 subscribers, the video has amassed over 1.8 million views since it was reinstated after an initial ban by the website.

The video is not to be condoned. It is easily contended that the provocative title wanted the negative attention it received. The backlash on the video is well deserved. The clear displays of a misogynistic attitude is outdated. Steps taken to reduce misogynistic views in modern societies are pushing forward. For such reasons, the video has not been linked in this article so to avoid bringing more attention to the uploader.

Despite having a male protagonist, the game features incredibly strong females

However, the video has ignited claims that Red Dead Redemption 2, in its entirety, depicts violence against women.

Red Dead Redemption 2, like a lot of Rockstar Games titles, is violent in its nature. Much of the gameplay includes the assault and murder of male characters, but it does not encourage violence against women.

It is true that the player can attack NPCs (non-playable characters), male or female. Players are not prompted to attack or assault female characters, but they can. 

Many sources have been incorrect in saying that this can be done ‘without repercussions’. The game features something of an ‘honour’ system, where players will be rewarded our punished depending on their actions. Players will be sought out in the game for their dishonourable actions.

So what is the solution? Make it impossible to assault female characters? Perhaps.

So, does Red Dead Redemption 2 encourage violence towards women? No, it does not. These are the actions of a singular male who had no better use of his time. Does this speak for all video games or all male gamers? Absolutely not, and we should not push the idea that it does.