Far Cry 6’s cockfights are disgusting
Far Cry 6 appears to be the most Far Cry game in Far Cry. Although it seems to lean more into the political nuances of the series, presenting you as a guerrilla fighter facing a tyrannical regime on Yara Island – a place visually inspired by Cuba, with a sense of “guerrilla fantasy.” Taken from the Cuban Uprising, but with a political commentary meant to be broader and less focused on Cuba in particular. Personally, I think it sounds a bit disgusting to use a pastiche of a very real socialist uprising and then try to distance your game from the specific politics of that movement for something more watered down and safe, but I get it. . Politics is complicated. What I get less is the insistence on wedging the wacky, wacky Far Cry into a story that wants to be taken seriously. Whatever your stance on this admittedly controversial issue, there’s one thing we probably should have agreed by now – cockfighting is fucking disgusting.
Far Cry 6 contains a few annoying elements that I’ve already written about before launch. The DLC tied to Stranger Things and Danny Trejo’s taco truck, for example, or How the Cute, Silly Dog is an unnecessary distraction from the tough political stance the game wants to take. But cockfighting is not tonally bothersome. It’s not something that just doesn’t fit with the big ideas of Far Cry, or that makes it hard to believe the sincerity with which the game claims to treat its story. It’s just, again, disgusting.
I don’t think I should have to expand on this or find other ways to phrase it. It is to make the animals fight each other in bloody and brutal fights for the sport. It’s not just a passing thing mentioned by the game either, nor just a throwaway line in a file that only the most dedicated gamers will encounter. There is a complete Tekken style fighting minigame where you take control of a rooster and try to claw and peck your opponent to death as they howl in agony, bloody feathers flutter. PETA Latino has spoken out on this issue, but few others have.
I am not a vegan. I’m trying to incorporate more vegan substitutes into my diet, both for environmental and ethical reasons, but I understand that I always eat meat, and some of those animals that the meat comes from have probably been treated poorly. There is no ethical consumption under capitalism. But cockfighting is not the same. The ways to change the way animals are treated in the meat industry are to go vegans where possible, to pressure companies to be more ethical, and to seek organic, free products. course and cruelty-free. The ways to change the cockfighting industry are simple – don’t do cockfighting.
Cockfighting is not even, as some horse riding enthusiasts like to claim from their own sport, a way to bond with the animal or give it a purpose. It is cruelty in its lowest form. Whether it’s in the game is bad enough – it feels like someone has Googled “Latin culture” and pulled out the five coolest things and pasted them into a PowerPoint on Yara. But not only to be glorified as a minigame, not just the one you witness, but the one you actively participate in by tearing a rooster to shreds, it’s disgusting, even for video games. Ten years ago, that would have been a bit too much. In 2021, it’s so outdated that everyone seems ready to dismiss it altogether, out of sight and out of mind. It’s almost too much rude, that to mention it sounds vulgar. But such things should no longer happen in our midst. I don’t care how much fun it is. Where are our standards? Where are our strict minimums?
Video games have an incredibly violent past, but actively spotlighting cockfighting and delving into the apparent stupidity of those with the Tekken aesthetic is (just once again) disgusting.
Why is this something we agree with? Why is this something happening? The joy that comes with cruelty to animals is far more overwhelming than the graphic violence for which many video games, Far Cry included, are known. It’s senseless violence, in the service of nothing but cheap laughter, and it’s the absolute worst of the medium. I’ve taken some pot photos in Far Cry before, but it’s all fun. I understand that people like the mix of serious themes and absurd action, even if I find it hard to swallow. This however? Virtual cockfights in a triple-A game in 2021? We’re better than that, or at least we should be.
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