Hunting is a great American tradition, but there's so much effort involved. Sportsmen must rise early in the morning, trudge through the woods, find an actual animal to kill, then deal with gutting the carcass, and packing it home. Perhaps all that unpleasantness explains the otherwise inexplicable appeal of the Big Buck Hunter arcade game, which allows would-be hunters to gun down an entire menagerie from the comfort of their favorite neighborhood watering hole.
Expect all manner of virtual animal slaughter tonight at the Lucky 7 Sports Bar in Kirkland. The latest version of Big Buck Hunter -- "Big Buck HD" -- will be unveiled in Seattle, and will be accompanied by a tournament and cash prizes, according to a press release.
The premise of the game remains unchanged. Players still wield a plastic pump-action rifle, and must mow down wildlife that ranges from deer and elk to cheetahs and wildebeest. Now, however, shooters can experience the carnage in stunning 1080p HD. Here's the blood-spattered trailer for the new game. (Note the unintentionally hilarious slides that pair scantily-clad women in faux-safari outfits with various types of big game): I recently spent three years living in the Midwest, where Big Buck Hunter is wildly popular -- and not just among bored barflies; serious players compete in a national championship that awards a $15,000 top prize -- but the game still baffles me. I'm not opposed to slaying computer-generated critters (the old Duck Hunt and Oregon Trail games still have a soft spot in my heart) but Buck Hunter unabashedly glorifies poaching and overhunting. Plus, at $2 a round, it always seemed terribly overpriced.
Then again, $2 is vastly more affordable than a guided safari, and killing digital endangered species is relatively guilt-free and far less messy than the real life hunting experience. So yeah. If that's your thing, get your blood (and/or beer) thirsty self to Kirkland tonight at 7 p.m.