“When Empathy comes from the Last Place You’d Expect.”

At Polygon, Eirik Gumeny writes about Red Dead Redemption 2 and life with a terminal illness. “I actually learned to avoid characters I might relate to when I was growing up with cystic fibrosis, as they never seemed to exist as people. They were instead used as props, tragic plot points for the real hero to emote around. I had long given up on seeing anything close to an emotionally accurate representation of terminal illness in pop culture….It turned out my desire to pretend to be a cowboy, and revenge-murder every cougar I saw for what they did to my horse in the first Red Dead Redemption, proved stronger than my fear of being triggered into a post-traumatic anxiety spiral. Besides, this was a video game. How “real” could its portrayal of a fatal bacterial disease really be?

Red Dead Redemption 2 presents the most nuanced and accurate portrayal of life with a terminal illness that I’ve ever seen, in any medium.”

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