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Even Dutch's Mom Played Red Dead Redemption 2

Dutch van der Linde evolves into a pretty terrible human being in the later stages of Red Dead Redemption 2. The actor who plays Dutch, however — Benjamin Byron Davis — is actually a pretty good guy. And Davis' mom? She, ladies and gentlemen, is a national treasure. At 75 years of age, she played through the entirety of Red Dead Redemption 2. Not only that, she wrote a gigantic essay to describe how she felt about the experience.


Davis shared the essay over on the Red Dead 2 subreddit. We're not kidding when we say it's enormous. It's also a real thinker, and actually gives us some behind-the-scenes details of what Davis had to go through to play the part.

"My son, actor Benjamin Byron Davis, worked on the Red Dead Redemption 2 project for five years," wrote Jessica Hoffman Davis, Benjamin's mother. "Five years of flying back and forth between Los Angeles and New York, memorizing countless lines (the script was 2000 pages long), rehearsing in locations on either coast, performing in black spandex 'mo-cap' (motion capture) suits, gun belts at his side, riding a saw horse that would appear as a Tennessee Walker or an Arabian, imagining in a warehouse studio space, the vast landscape of the wild west."


A 2000 page script? Now we know why Red Dead 2 was over 40 hours long. And though it's probably typical in motion capture, we can't help but chuckle a bit at the thought of Davis sitting on a saw horse pretending it's an actual steed. Ah, video games.

The essay is also incredibly touching

Perhaps the most moving part of Hoffman Davis' piece is where she shares a text she sent to her son following her completion of the game. It perfect sums up exactly how tragic the tale of Red Dead Redemption 2 is, and why it may stand as one of the most impressive video game stories of its time.


"Like other works of art," Hoffman Davis wrote, "we never capture it all in one encounter, we can return and find new things over and over and the questions the work asks us are never fully answered, fraught with possibilities for interpretation. For me, this time, my question is: 'where was redemption among these murderous heroes, these virtuous criminals, these friends to the end or not?' These outlaws, dealing death left and right, but so moved by the losses of each other. Evil and goodness all around, no clear lines between. Arthur's dream, a triumph against the winds and tides of the rest. And my triumph by the way, learning something new for which I had no experience or ability, awakened by the challenges and delight of this extraordinary creation."


She ended her text to Benjamin with the following line: "What a privilege to play."

Reading those words, you can get a sense of how much Red Dead 2 meant to different people, and why players are so eagerly anticipating the next adventure to come out of Rockstar. We'll be keeping an eye out for any word on the studio's next title. In the meantime, though, we may have to send Jessica Hoffman Davis a job offer. It seems she has a knack for this kind of thing.