The Western United States and it’s rich storied history, has been the inspiration for classic works of fiction throughout history and across all mediums. From Cowboy folk-tails, to radio shows, television show, movies, books, paintings and of course, you guessed it; wild west games.
We have a variety of sub-genres here as well! This includes shooting games, rpg games, fighting games, games for kids and more! The Western genre takes place, typically, during latter period of “American Frontier” ranging from the mid 1850’s to the end of the 19th century. This was a period in American history when the West was largely unexplored and entirely untamed.
As a genre, the Westerns usually share certain themes. Mainly, they revolve around stories where law and order and installed in territories which were previously lawless (or devolving to such a state). This was symbolic of American’s idealized understanding of how the “west was won”. In these stories the notions of law and justice are usually not institutionalized laws but rather law achieved organically by private justice and honor codes – also similar to the American sense of individualism. Along those same lines the hero, or frequently “anti-hero” is usually a loner cowboy whose skills and prowess allow him (rarely her) to overcome injustice.
The typical settings for the Western genre are usually harsh desert terrains, turf occupied by savage “Indians” (not politically correct), towns sieged by outlaws and forts. The character, heroic and villainous are typically found at a saloon gambling (usually poker), fighting, having quickdraw duals and visiting prostitutes. With all the danger and vice associated with the genre, it is no wonder that there are so many wild west games!
The Wild West genre is so large that it actually hosts many subgenres. The most notable is the Spaghetti Western. These are Italian movies (though usually shot in Spain) and are known for being extremely low-budget. Despite that, many famous American cowboy Actors have appeared in westerns of this sort, this even includes Henry Fonda and Clint Eastwood. Most recently, Quetin Tarentino created a movie in the style of a “Spaghetti Western” in his hit movie Django Unchained.
Though the genre is seen as extremely influential itself, it has some very interesting influences. Many similarities are noted between Japanese samurai movies and the American Western, such as the protagonist lone cowboy and classic Japanese Ronin. The most famous example of this dichotomy is the Magnificent which is a direct lift of the classic Japanese Seven Samurai. In fact, those movies are seen as the origin of the “team gathering” plot structure that is seen in many movies today such as Oceans Eleven.
This is only a brief history, there is much more to learn about! Now it is time for you to dive head first into these stories by playing some wild west games!