PUBG establishes its revised, slightly gratuitous canon with a new cinematic trailer

Luke Hardwick

3 years ago

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There's something about giving context to a scenario in which one hundred human beings drop into an active war zone with the sole purpose of killing one another for sport that I find intrinsically unappealing. However, that is exactly what the folks behind PUBG have done with its newly established lore.

As can be inferred from the trailer, the character known as PlayerUnknown was, as a child, the lone survivor of an island-wide massacre brought on by an anonymous, albeit noticeably organized militant group that invaded his home of Erangel. Why exactly was his homeland targeted and its civilian population callously murdered? Uncertain, and it's never bothered to be explained. The important takeaway, as far as I can tell, is that this traumatic experience, which cemented his identity as a "survivor", motivated PlayerUnknown to A.) become filthy rich and B.) use his wealth to host a deadly bloodsport on the battle-torn ruins of his former home. By the end of the trailer, the camera pans out to reveal an aged PlayerUnknown looking on as hundreds of mercenaries kill one another in his name. The only thing that could have possibly made this more groan-inducing would have been the inclusion of a fluffy white cat being menacingly stroked as he looked on in demented satisfaction.

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Despite the grim origins of what would become Playeruknown's Battlegrounds, the real victims here are the many fans who had previously devised their own backstories - some of which are infinitely more thought out than this newly appointed canon. Personally, I feel like letting the events of PUBG exist in its own fictional world is a detriment to its appeal. Maybe it's because I don't get joy out of taking control of a character that I now know is capable of such unmitigated violence and motivated only by pursuit of victory by any means. Before this lore was established, it made more sense to me that PUBG existed only as a battle royale simulator with no attached consequences or meaning to the player's actions. Now, it seems, we are expected to derive some sort of higher purpose out of beating another human to death with a frying pan.