One Nation Under ‘Dog’: 3 Perspectives on ‘Dog’ from Fallout 4

Our writers weigh in on the winner of E3: Dog.

Written by Richard Clark / Published on June 17, 2015

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Love to the End of the World

Part of what makes the relationship between dogs and humans unique is that our relationships strengthen in times of difficulty. Dogs know when to comfort, protect, and love us, and the process they use to recognize when we need them most is remarkably similar to our own.

If you’ve owned a dog, you’ve probably experienced this dog sixth sense; when we need someone to help us, our worst moment becomes their moment. That’s what I want from Fallout 4’s Dog – an animal that’s more than mere companion. I want a reason to continue living. Forget radiation monsters, insane humans, and Hell-spawn creatures. If Bethesda can create a dog that loves me when I can’t love myself, Fallout 4 will be more than just an open-world RPG. It‘ll be a game that shows why loving an animal is so important and how dogs know exactly how to love us when we most need it. Fallout 4’s misery will be overwhelming, bleak, and treacherous, but a dog’s only thought is a balm to my soul: “Love my owner to the end of the world.” – Nathan Valle

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For Man to Be Alone

It is not good for man to be alone.” Bethesda seems to have slowly figured this out—their open-world games have opened new doors for companionship. In Skyrim you could get married, build your house, and generally settle down. Now with Fallout 4 we’ve seen a new emphasis on a universally loved companion: the dog. It’s not exactly the suitable helper we see in the book of Genesis, but the dog seems designed for two purposes: the pragmatic and the empathetic.

On the pragmatic side, the dog will help you fight the terrible things trying to kill you, collect various things, and maybe perform other minor tasks.

But empathy is the real name of the game. Tried-and-true in Hollywood, we care about dogs (see John Wick, Marley and Me, and I Am Legend, to name three different genres that used this trope with some success). Oddly enough, we tend to care more about virtual dogs than virtual people. I wonder if this is because a virtual person is still too far removed from the real thing. Perhaps digital recreations of dogs are just real enough to make us care.

Either way. Fallout 4 is happening. And I get a dog. You won’t hear a complaint about that from me. – James Arnold

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I Am Dog. I Am an not Your Object.

“Hey, head over there.” My owner says this immediately after roping me in with a tickle under the chin and a congenial suggestion that we “stick together.”

“Grab that,” he insisted, pointing at a wrench.

But dude, we just met.

I will admit to being unhappy. I was all alone in a vast wasteland, left to fend off mole rats on my own. Still, I never wanted to be a cog in this man’s massacre machine. He uses me to distract raiders while he blows their friend’s head off. Then, when he gets bored, he pats me on the head and tells me he loves me.

You don’t love me. Admit it. You just need my help with your meaningless tasks. Take the hint, man. We’re at the end of the world. There’s nothing left for you to do. If you really love me, you’ll learn to just exist with me. Let’s build a beautiful house together. Let’s put up some shiny lights.

Trust the universe to take us home. I’ll fetch a ball you’ve thrown, but I’m done fetching wrenches. I’m not going to help you strive any longer. – Richard Clark

About the Author:

Richard Clark is the online managing editor of Christianity Today, a co-founder of Christ and Pop Culture, a regular columnist at Unwinnable, and a former staff writer for Kill Screen. He can be reached at deadyetliving at gmail dot com or followed on twitter @deadyetliving.

  • Daniel Menjivar

    I know ED-E was basically my most favorite of companions in New Vegas, I don’t know if this “Dog” can replace the ever constant vigilance of a robotic champ with lasers.