Primal Rage was a game released by Atari to arcades, and then released again to several home consoles. It was awesome. The game takes place in an alternate timeline where a meteor strike has messed Earth up big time. Now the humans that are left all follow one of seven monsters that came up from Earth’s crust and fight each other. In the game you control one of the seven fighters and compete against the other ones. Also a multiplayer function exists where you and your friends can fight against each other with these beasts. Obviously, the idea of law in a society like this is very basic. I’m going to examine laws we currently have now and how they might apply or be altered by Primal Rage’s society.
One possible comparison to make is between the monsters fighting in Primal Rage, and the people that practice mixed martial arts fighting. Currently, every state other than New York allows mixed martial arts fighting. There are certain rules the fighting leagues have to follow to be legal in those states, like getting licenses and making sure no one under the age of 18 can fight. Sometimes a state will prohibit betting on the matches. States can implement rules on how long matches are allowed to last, and they can institute rules as to what happens when a fighter is injured. Theoretically they could make up all sorts of rules. There is no federal system in place to govern mixed martial arts fighting. It doesn’t look like states, let alone nations, exist anymore in the universe of Primal Rage. We have seven warring factions that each worships some god-beast of their choosing. That is probably as close a parallel we can draw between our society and society in the game. It also seems fair to assume that it is legal for these terrors come to life to battle with each other. That seems like their problem solving system. So in the world of Primal Rage, we do not have to worry about the legality of their fighting. In our world, practitioners of mixed martial arts still have to worry about the legality of their fighting.
What if there was some higher power in Primal Rage that controlled the fighters? What if you, the player, were considered the owner of the monster? This probably brings us closer to the reality of dog fighting or cockfighting. Actually, Sen. John McCain was once quoted as saying that the UFC was “human cockfighting.” In 2007 the United States passed a federal law that forbid interstate dog fighting. Cockfighting was a state issue in America, and now all of the states have made it illegal. Thirty-three states have made cockfighting a felony like dog fighting. The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act (which was absorbed by a bigger bill) actually made it a felony for you to bring a child under the age of 16 to any animal fighting event. Some United States territories like Puerto Rico still allow cockfighting. It has a long and storied history in those territories that have a history of being Spanish colonies. Primal Rage would probably be comparable to these colonies in the hypothetical created in this paragraph. The fighting between the monsters is used to settle disputes and they seem to be the leaders of the world. The fighting is legal and it is respected.
That’s all this week. Just a short little article about scary monsters that can beat each other up with impunity and then a cursory overview of American fight culture between both man and animal. Maybe one day we can live in a world as simple as the world of Primal Rage. Maybe one day writing will be useless.