Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Philosophy of Udyr

"Our rage is beyond your control!" - Udyr

Okay, let's be straight.  Udyr is not exactly a people person.  We learn from his lore entry that he grew up helping on his parents' farm, and that he felt the animals were more kindred spirits to him than the people of the town.  He would often spend his young nights sleeping under the stars with the animals, instead of home in his bed.  Finally, at sixteen years old, he set off to live alone in the forest, isolated from all other people.  Here he gave into his own animal instincts and rage, hunting, scaring off, or striking down any poachers or travelers who entered his territory.

Had it not been for the monk journeying through his territory and besting him in combat, Udyr might have never left his forest and joined the league.  It's said in his lore that Udyr's will was not untempered, merely un-domesticated.  His mind is not weak, merely freed of the shackles of societal conventions.  Udyr actively rejects the ways of society, and actively regards those who do not with both disgust and anger.

But why?

While we were examining Donkey Kong, we examined the benefits of leading a simple life.  But, though Udyr's life is quite spartan in its simplicity, he does not have the same laid-back, easygoing personality of Donkey Kong.  Udyr's lifestyle is that of isolation, and a rejection of his own kind.  I'm sure this is not actually an alien feeling for some of you readers.

Society can be a disgusting and difficult thing to deal with sometimes.  It has its benefits, yes, and I personally think the benefits outweigh the detriments.  But to some, the kill-or-be-killed, eat-or-be-eaten simplicity of nature can be very appealing.  Without the social constraints of morality, or cultural taboos, life becomes very easy to sort out.  Udyr's rage is understandable when you realize that he is on the outside looking in, seeing all the negatives humanity's societies have to offer.  Lies and deceit, wastefulness and consumption, double-sided morality and hypocrisy are all elements that plague society, and if this is all one focuses on, I can understand the indignant rage.

I, for one, am not endorsing isolationism.  I am of the opinion that you have a lot more to gain by accepting society for its benefits AND flaws, and reaping the benefits of such a life as best you can while avoiding the lows that you occasionally stumble upon.  However, it is possible to isolate yourself if you so choose.  We visited the skills necessary to survive independently, and with some practice, one can go to an isolated area and practice these well enough to live off of them.  Even without that extreme level of hermitage, it is still an increasingly popular notion to go "off the grid."

This blog is about me helping you become the person that you want to be, even if it's not the person I would choose to be in your position.  I hope that this short foray into personal isolationism has helped you to shape your own personal philosophies a bit.  If you have any more questions or ideas on this subject, please feel free to add to the discussion in the comment section below, leave a post on the So You Want to Be a Video Game Character facebook page, or hit me up on Twitter!

Tomorrow we wrap up Udyr, and take a look ahead to our next character!

Until then, continue to be awesome.

Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

Udyr, League of Legends and all  property therein are © Copyright Riot Games. 

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