Death Stranding has been described in the weeks, months and even years leading up to its release as a game about the connections people make. In the final hours before its release, fans took that to heart — by gifting the game to others.
In the unofficial Death Stranding “subreddit” community, one user woke up feeling that message of Death Stranding. He made a post explaining that he wanted to give away a copy. What resulted was multiple people giving away copies to those who couldn’t afford it.
On Reddit, user /u/RamonesRazor made a thread titled simply, “I’d like to buy Death Stranding for somebody who can’t afford it.” After a bit, he edited the post to let people know that he’d arranged to send a copy, with one-day shipping, to someone who will be going under reconstructive surgery today. (Of course, fellow Redditors sent their best wishes and advice to this “winner.”)
But following this initial “giveaway,” others in the thread popped in to give their own copies of the game. Within this thread, RamonesRazor listed nine others as giving away at least one copy too. And throughout the day, others in other smaller threads gave away copies too; at least a baker’s dozen appear to have been given away. Given the game is $59.99, it’s understandable that there wasn’t a barrage of copies being given. But between the copies and the one-day shipping, basic math checks out to at least about $800 spent on fans wanting to give the game a whirl.
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Eventually, someone shared the events on Instagram with Tommie Earl Jenkins, who plays Die-Hardman in the game. Jenkins posted it on his Twitter; eventually, Hideo Kojima, the game’s famous director himself, retweeted Jenkins’s tweet.
But while a brief moment of fame seemed nice, RamonesRazor clearly did it for the community.
“When I woke up this morning, I felt the urge to do something kind today for a stranger in the spirit of Kojima’s message,” they said in their final edited insert of the post. “I’m so happy that feeling resonated with others here. I hope everyone has a great time playing the game. Cheers!”
Within the game, Death Stranding tries to convey its themes of “connection” through both gameplay and story. Your character fulfills contracts for Bridges, a company trying to “reconstruct” of America after essentially the apocalypse. In practice, there are in-game ways for players to help one another. Players can build tools and structures that help others online navigate tricky terrain, and those that use these can “rate” the construction.
While it’s not the same as building literal bridges, the act of gaming generosity does strike a similar tone. In dark times, media can act as a beacon of hope for many. The kindness of Death Stranding‘s community combined with Kojima’s themes of “connecting” makes for a game that’s already had impact beyond the console and screen.