Video Games and Cultural Appropriation


Every time someone mentions Cultural Appropriation when it comes to Video Games, I roll my eyes so hard that they might just roll right out of my skull. Haven’t these people heard of multicultural societies? Someone’s culture is not owned or copyrighted by a single group or persons. And it not like the human race has cultural borders, as a whole, every single culture on earth has conquered, assimilated, remixed, borrowed, and improved upon ideas between thousands of different groups of people for thousands of years. I grew up in South Africa, a country with over eleven official languages, and I was equally influenced by many other cultures. Including the indigenous African cultures, Europian, and American cultures. The general thought process that: “This is ours and you can’t do this because you’ll take it from us.” is a really retarded notion to me.Most examples of Cultural Appropriation we have been shown in Video Games are more akin to “assimilation” or “diffusion”.  Taking ideas from other cultures and adapting them into your video game is generally healthy, and a sign of an open-mindedness by the developers. It is not a process that should be vilified. The alternative to risking some “assimilation” or “diffusion” in video games seem to be “everyone stays in their own box and does not step outside of it” if you do you will most certainly be killing all creativity found in Video Games today. I also think using other cultures in a video game can help enrich and inform gamers. Prime example being the Assasins Creed franchise, a franchise that actually piqued my interest when it came to European cultures and their history. Rather than simply defining myself narrowly as being a white male gamer.

I like to think of myself as a human being first and foremost. That irrespective of my race, sex, beliefs or culture, we are at the core human beings after all. And avoiding other cultures because according to some we aren’t allowed to partake or enjoy certain aspects of a culture because we weren’t born into that cultural. And does the above not sound awfully like segregation based on race and culture?  The fact that your culture originated something doesn’t give you eternal right to declare it off limits to Video Game developers and people who enjoy said video games. It also does not magically allow you to tell people whether or not we are allowed to enjoy it or not. And developers should be allowed free reign when it comes to designing and creating video games.  Your “feelings” and political agendas should not be part of any of the creative processes in Video Games….

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About larch

I am a cucumber in a fruit bowl.
This entry was posted in Gaming, Politics, Rants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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