In reading some of the many articles that were assigned in the class this week, the experience of being the “other” was focused on. Without room for these others in the games, a very one sided story emerges, but one that is very real when it comes to the context of the portrayal of the particular historical event. In examining many of the historical games that exist for people to play, it is easy to see that people like women, natives, and other minorities are left out. When Canadians for example look at events such as World War 2, it is much easier to examine and discover the efforts of the men on the war front than it is to see evidence of the work that was done by others on the home front. This is just the view that society takes. But this view can also change depending on who is looking at the event. This is seen through examples such as the article written by Joe Flood.1 Flood looks at the ways in which people from Pine Ridge Rez see the game the game Assassins Creed 3 and how it plays out to relate to the group of Native Americans actually living on the Pine Ridge Rez. People’s views change depending on how the particular content of the game affects them. Because of the proper portrayal of the “Indians” in this game, it appeals to a larger audience, in particular the people living on Pine Ridge Rez.
In the article by Williams et al2 , it shows many statistics on the gender, race and age of many of the popular characters in the games that are played. There is an obvious lack of woman characters, as well as minorities. As a female, I can see the obvious lack of certain groups in many of the popular games. For example, there are no options for female characters in many games. Even the ways in which storylines pan out, many minority groups are left out, or are just shown in a less positive light than the main character(s) are shown. The main characters are usually white men, who are of the dominating nature.
There is something to be said about the lack of diversification when it comes to the games and how we understand history and how history relates to the games. Most of the history written from the times that these games are portraying, was written by white, colonizing men, and that view is really present in the making of these games. Is this an accurate description of history? Most likely. The game companies have it right when it comes to these games. Though it seems silly, the lack of positive roles for the minorities is even encountered by historians studying these events.
By: Jasmine Renaud
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- Posted under Week Two - Historical Consciousness