Rust, from the creators of Garry's Mod, plays a lot like DayZ in that it focuses on the survival of players and their ability to assimilate within more powerful in-game groups, also organized by players, but this new video showcases one reason I don't think I could play the game the way it's meant to be played.
In Rust, you must gather resources and craft items and tools in order to survive, to continue playing. You can collect food, wood, and even clothing, but the bandits in the video above have shirked that last item in order to force other players to remove their in-game clothes and participate in some pretty disturbing hazing rituals.
Players in Rust might die from starvation, drowning, extreme cold, wildlife, and even radiation, but instead of banding together to help others, the players in the video have decided their efforst are better spent humiliating anyone they come accross. If players don't comply, the Penis Bandits in the video kill the player outright.
That is some f***ed up sh**.
How bad is reality that someone would rather engage in such demeaning behavior to belong to a virtual group, one that likely won't help that person if he or she is really struggling with something grounded in said reality?
Rust has done very well for itself as an Early Access release via Valve's Steam platform, but I could never play the game like this. It just seems like disaffected youth have flocked to virtual worlds to form some sort of mad-sex-power-trip-escapism from an existence where power is primarily behind political veils, armies of public relations professionals, and corporate license agreements.
What if the excitement and energy these players showcase in forcing others to virtually disrobe could be put into our political systems or towards feeding the hungry?
I doubt I'll ever play Rust. If I were going to play a game like this, I'd probably go with DayZ's standalone release (which also features power-tripping maniacs). If I ever did play Rust (or if I eventually get around to DayZ) and I ran into this group, I'd just take the death and try again on another server.
Being in a virtual environment doesn't mean you should be forced to hand over your very real humanity.