Hero Or Vigilante?
That’s right, it’s off topic Friday, which means we get to have some fun away from gaming for a bit! But first: Obligatory payment of respects to Nelson Mandela. I’m one of those who believes in keeping such things personal and not plastering them everywhere because then what’s the point of it, but I digress. Moving swiftly onwards.
Today’s question is more of a concept or idea rather than a fully formed thought. You see, I was sitting in the car a few days ago while my brother and I headed to a nearby shopping mall, when I heard on the radio, something about Batman saving lives. I thought to myself, “But that’s not right. Batman is a vigilante.” And so the topic was born, where I thought, afterwards, “Hmm, that’s an interesting concept to consider.”
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A hero is someone who saves lives but a vigilante is someone who fights crime. See, we tend to mix the two together because crime-fighting has the knock-on effect of saving lives. But the differences come in the motivations of either type of person. See, a hero is motivated to save lives and will strive to do so. They might not necessarily even stop the crime in progress but if they’ve saved everyone in danger then that’s their job done. A vigilante on the other hand, wants to see justice served, and if it means killing then that’s what they will do, although that might not always be the case.
I’m using ‘hero’ instead of ‘superhero’ because some heroes are not super at all. Consider the passing of a recent ex-president. That man was a hero in every definition of the word, but was he super? Maybe in those exaggerated documentaries, but I don’t recall him flying or lifting up trains.
These contrasts between hero and vigilante are everywhere. In comics you get the hero Superman against the vigilante Batman. In videogames you get the hero Paragon versus the vigilante Renegade. There are so many examples here.
Now, my question to you all is, which is preferable? Which do you personally tend to side with? Let’s say, gun to your head, you had to pick between being a hero or a vigilante. The hero would value life above all else, whereas the vigilante would be the same with justice. The hero might let a few crimes through whereas the vigilante might let a few lives through.
Which would you choose? Comments section, go. (And no, you cannot be the villain. We already have a Trebzz.)