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Monster Hunter World Shines a Light on Our Guilt

As a newcomer to this series, the first time I saw an injured monster in Monster Hunter World lying down, like a dog crawling under the deck to die, I thought its AI had glitched out. After all, this was a video game enemy, a ‘monster’ – it’s in the name. It shouldn’t lie down in defeat, it should keep fighting me, tooth and nail, until one of us drops dead. As a relatively unimportant part of Monster Hunter World’s ecosystem, that was surely its destiny.

But it didn’t. It lay there, having limped away, its body torn open by my weapon, muscle shredded and flesh skinned. I hesitated, but admit to a brief flash of selfish glee – it’s given up! I can kill it! – and swung my sword at its resting head. After another short skirmish to finish it off, I was rewarded with a ‘Main Objective Complete’ popup – here we were, back in Video Game Land, where things made sense – and I was soon skinning its corpse for parts. That first time, I admit I didn’t really enjoy doing it. I mean, I attacked it when it was lying down.

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