As someone with no real gaming experience, it took me a while to find an RPG game that I could navigate and connect with. Frustrated with all the commonplace violence and what seemed to me like time-consuming navigation rules and unnecessarily dashboard complexities, I picked ‘The Wolf’ from among the many I ended up installing on my phone. I attempted going beyond the confines of the game through several tactics such as connecting with other online players in unusual ways such as attacking them or sharing my thoughts on killing the innocent animals. Despite embodying a white female wolf meant to hunt in order to climb the game levels and enhance her various skill levels, I tried acting uncharacteristically by chilling in nature and in between the bushes while watching small animals roam around, bathing under the waterfall, keeping a grieving deer company and staying put when approached by a herd of sheep which eventually ended up killing me.
As time passed, however, and I was subjected to the power and violence of the larger animals which I was not yet at a level to confront, I slowly channeled the feelings of defeat towards the smaller animals and found myself torn between whether or not I should be killing them to collect points. Needless to say, I alternated between killing and holding back and, what is more interesting, I caught myself going back to check my dashboard and redeeming points for higher skill levels more and more frequently.
Curiously, even as a ‘fake player’ who happens to be very skeptical of the gaming in general and was playing simply to complete an assignment, I was interestingly shaped to start adopting the very rules I was initially disinterested in and was disciplined through a layout that kept things boring and uneventful unless I moved around and kept me in a weak position unless I started hunting for points.
As an aside and my most interesting find on how the game was designed to shape my perspective in normalizing the act of killing, I realized my chat comments were being censored for using the word ‘kill’ while other players were well trained to use the term ‘hunting’ instead. Needless to say, it did not take long before I myself started viewing the main activity of the game as ‘hunting in nature’.