The video game website Polygon.com has been showcasing a 12-part series called Human Angle since April of this year. The series looks at the people behind a given video game. In its last episode, released on June 19th, Human Angle profiled actor Rob Wiethoff and his journey from small town Indiana to becoming the voice of lead character John Marston in the acclaimed Western game Red Dead Redemption, which was released by Rockstar Games in 2010.
Set in 1911, the central narrative sees the player as John Marston, a former outlaw forced by the federal government to track down his former gang as part of a larger state and corporate initiative to “civilize” the American West. Red Dead Redemption was the first rural-based “open world” game for Rockstar and the created landscape is immersive – regions that parallel the Great Plains, western mountain regions and the Southwest are traversed and Marston will also enter Mexico on his mission.
John Marston – Lead Character in Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Red Dead Redemption explores a number of major ideas that, while set in an era when the “Old West” was fading, still connect to contemporary North American society. Such ideas include the encroachment of central government and corporate industry into rural areas….Indigenous territorial rights and the presumption that Christianity was necessary for the “betterment” of Amerindian peoples…. and that both government and revolution in the “name of the people” can be co-opted by those seeking personal gain.
Following the game’s release and subsequent success – it won numerous Video Game of the Year awards in 2010 – Wiethoff has returned with his family to his hometown of Seymour, Indiana. Here is the Human Angle feature on Rob Wiethoff, entitled Finding John Marston (2013):
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)