Come on, Red Dead Redemption 2 fans. This isn’t the Colm O’Driscoll you love to hate. It’s just an unfortunate namesake, who only wants to live his social media life in peace.
Now, we all get passionate about our favorite games and franchises. That’s what being a dedicated gamer is all about. Sometimes, we take that concept too far, things get petty and vicious, and all kinds of regrettable life decisions are made. Somebody bad-mouths something you like? Not on YOUR internet, they don’t.
It’s about investment. Emotional investment and time investment. Some of these franchises have been running for decades, and they’re a part of gamers’ lives. You can understand why they’d get defensive. Here’s something along those same lines that you probably can’t understand: the relentless hounding of an unfortunate man online, who just happens to be named Colm O'Driscoll.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, of course, we meet a Colm O'Driscoll very early on, and he soon proves to be a bit of a… well, let’s just say that he doesn’t ingratiate himself to players. Our protagonist’s nemesis and rival gang leader was never going to be the community’s favorite character, but we’re taking things all the way to the extreme here.
The character’s unfortunate real-life namesake (who doesn’t even own an Xbox One or PS4) has been the subject of all manner of threats, snark, snarky threats, and threatening snark, mostly on Instagram, all because he bears the name of the notorious cowboy.
Talking with Eurogamer, he explained that he’s doing his best to take the whole thing in his stride. After all, it’s “just online trolls having fun,” as Colm put it. Nevertheless, with anything like this, there are always those people who can’t let a harmless joke be a harmless joke. Like the person who simply messaged Colm, You’re on my list of [redacted] to shoot on sight.
In the end, O’Driscoll – the real one, not the RDR2 one; try and keep up – has begun blocking some messages from strangers on social media, as he receives more and more of this sort of thing.
The moral of the story? As vast and engrossing as the game is (and here's our in-depth guide to bonding with your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2 to prove it), let’s not lose touch with reality over it. Or pretend to have done, so you can hound unfortunate souls online who really don’t know what you’re talking about and are getting a little scared.