Many videogames, in one form or another, are a type of simulated hunting. And I believe many people enjoy the hunting experience found in games because it satisfies a desire to hunt that has been part of genes (or at least the male genes) since our species began. Being a pacifist an animal lover, I have no desire to tote a rifle into the woods and shoot bambi. But, I can understand the attraction. I’ve felt the rush of the hunt, and the kill, in many games.

The PSP videogame “Monster Hunter Freedom 2” has been very satisfying in this respect. You hunt more and more dangerous prey. You strive to get better and better equipment to load the odds in your favor. Many instances, you have to find the monster before you can kill it. And sometimes, after it has taken enough damage, it runs away and you have to find it again.

But beyond fulfilling a primal urge, what else makes one want to take down more and more challenging quarries? Is it purely the challenge? Do we crave bragging rights, even though you may never have the opportunity (or desire) to brag to anybody? And why do the real, big-game hunters keep looking for their next, great challenge?

Well, whatever the reason, these monster continue to live in my PSP, always available to be beat and beaten again. And each time, I try to do it quicker and quicker, and take as little damage myself as I can.

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