In all of my previous blog posts I have been talking about how the video game companies and communities have always portrayed negative stereotypes about aboriginal peoples. In this particular blog post, I wanted to talk about a specific video game that goes against the norms of the stereotypical aboriginal video game ideal. I personally did not know about this game till a close friend had mentioned it to me. When he told me about this game I was interested and thought it could be a potential great blog post, so I decided to get the game and try it myself.

                Prey, is a game that was developed in 2006 and I find it to be one of the only games that I have played that shows some potential truth about aboriginal heritage and culture in a more modern culture. The game is premised around a main character named Tommy who is identified to be a Cherokee. Tommy was also identified as a  US soldier, Tommy currently lives on  an Reservation and makes it quite evident to the player that he dislikes his life and wants to leave and start a new one. The introduction on this game that depict all of this is more informative of the lifestyle of aboriginals than any other game I have played. Prey properly depicts the feeling and emotions of both the positives and negatives of being a Cherokee on reservation land. Tommy wants to leave and start a new life while the girl he loves tells him she will not leave because she is bonded to this land and that it is sacred. Although the game revolves around trying to provide proper ideals of native Americans, there are still some Native American spiritual power myths. These powers are not used to stereotype the native American culture but try to further the players ability within the game. I find the game to be of importance to aboriginal culture because the main character, Tommy, at first did not want to have anything to do with his Cherokee culture. While he progresses through the game he finds the value and importance of what and who he is. Also, unlike many of the other games I have blogged about, Tommy’s attire is nothing like any of the other games. He is not depicted with feathers in his hair or faces painted. The creators of the game tried to create an appropriate and accurate portrayal of an aboriginal person within modern society.

            Class Relevance: This blog post was inspired by a number of readings. Impressions of an Indian Childhood by G Bonnin and Unfolding the Lessons of Colonization by Post-colonialism edited by Cynthia Sugars. Bonnin touches upon the childhood of Native American people on the reserves and their opinion on how much they dislike the way they are being ruled and watched Over. Similarly, Sugars talks about what it was like during the colonization and how aboriginal people death with their experiences. Th reason that I chose to do the game Prey is because I though it fit well with these readings. The game shows what it was like for Tommy,. an aboriginal living on the reserve and how he wanted to change his life., while at the same time ending up realizing who he is and being proud of it.

  Out of all the games I have played that involve aboriginal people, I believe that Prey is the only game that accurately portrays an aboriginal person. Along with this accurate portrayal of aboriginal people I also believe that this game incorporates proper aboriginal morals and ideals.

Here is a Link to the Introduction of Prey to give you an idea of how Tommy sees himself originally being a Cherokee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tph1FX1fBQg

This is a picture of Tommy:

tommy

Anthony Maglietta

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                As seen in my previous blogs about how aboriginal women specifically were diminished within video games, there is a similar occurrence with male characters. Although it is not necessarily as sexist as the female, there are still many misrepresentations of male aboriginals and their cultures. What I mean by this is the way that characters within games are portrayed, this will inevitably lead an everlasting impact for those who are not educated with the proper culture dress codes and values of aboriginal people.

                I personally, as a child was raised in a very friendly gaming household. I have played many videos games, specifically fighting games such as mortal combat and street fighter. As you may be wondering, how does this have any relevance to what I am talking about. In both fighting games there are your stereotypical aboriginal traits in which video game developers use to help the public audience identify that they are of aboriginal decent. Mortal Kombat was one of first street fighter games that ever  made. In this game there was a character also known as Knightwolf. He was easily identifiable because of the feathers in his hair, face paintings, clothing and skin colour. Along with his looks, the game also uses different attributes to further increase the amount of stereotypes of aboriginal people by making one of his special fighting moves of him shape shifting into a wolf. This stereotype was intended to show how aboriginal people were very similar to animals and in a sense close in nature to them, following the victory in the game you can hear a shout with Nighthawk holding a tomahawk in the air. Likewise within one of my personal all time favourite arcade games, Street Fighter, has their own representation of an aboriginal male character named Thunder Hawk. Thunder Hawk has very similar traits as Nightwolf, he has a feather in his hair, similar clothing and even the old fashioned moccasin boots. Between the two characters is very prevalent that video game developers do not take into account of the different aboriginal cultures, meaning that there are different ways of dressing and styles of aboriginal communities. Game developers use aboriginal stereotypes to help ensure that their audience understand that these are what aboriginals look like. Unfortunately, those who have not been properly educated in what different cultural aboriginal people actually dress as believe that this is the correct appearance.

Class Relevance: Similar to my previous blog post I couldn’t get my mind off of the reading Jagged World Views Colliding by Leroy Little Bear. The reading itself was so intriguing and I cant help but use it in another of of my blog posts. Not only do I love the way that Little Bear draws his audience in with amazing information and correct fact, it is perfect for relation to these two characters ThunderHawk and Nightwolf. Little Bear throughout this reading describes the proper philosophies and values. Similar to my other blog post about female characters being improperly sexualized, this blog is almost the opposite and describes how make characters are improperly portrayed.

                In my opinion I believe that video game developers need to start taking into account the different type of aboriginal cultures and use that to properly portray aboriginal people within video games. Currently, in our society there are more people than ever who play video games and the number is only rising. It is my belief that there should be a proper law put in place so that these types or stereotypes do not get shown to the public. Although that may sound absurd, It is the only way to ensure that there is some proper information being relayed to millions of people throughout the world.

This is a picture of Nightwolf (Left) and ThunderHawk (Right)

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This is a youtube clip of one of Nightwolf fighting moves in Mortal Kombat. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS HAS VIDEO GAME VIOLENCE. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mh9BQ-Tgdo

 Anthony Maglietta

Info: As seen in my previous post, aboriginals, especially women have been objectified and looked down upon throughout many video games. Similar to my other post, this blog post will show how many other video games that objectify aboriginal women.  You will see within this blog, how women are depicted as sexualized objects rather than a proper representation of an aboriginal women.

History of the Game: The game I will be talking about is Darkwatch’s. Darkwatch was a first person shooter game created in 2005 for the XBOX and the PlayStation 2. The reason I will be using a first person shooter as my example is because of one of the mian characters the game allows the player to use. Her name is Tala. Tala being one of the main characters within the game gives the player many opportunities to play her.

My Opinion on the Game: The reason I believe that the game Darkwatch sexualizes women is because of the character Tala herself. She is not only a major representation of what an aboriginal women is truly like but she is also overly sexualized to appeal to a younger male demographic. It is sad to say that a character of specific ethnicities have to be changed or adapted in order to meet to societies wants. Tala has been seen throughout the gaming society as a very sexual character in which is supposed to represent an aboriginal women. She is seen in many images as big breasted with a feather in her hair. This is a constant interpretation of an aboriginal sown, as seen in my previous blog post. Even in Custers Revenge, the premise of the female characters are drawn and created in the same way. This leads me to wonder why aboriginal women are portrayed this way. Is it because this is the way society wants them to be seen? Or is it because society has been so used to seeing aboriginal women being portrayed this way it is what they expect because they do not know any better? Either way this is an issue. The misrepresentation of aboriginal women is becoming very serious especially throughout the rising gaming community. Thousands of people are playing video games and being exposed to the wrongful images of aboriginal women. There is a fine line between creators making “sexy” characters and making them too sexualized to the point of misrepresenting an entire ethnicity.

Class Relation: This blog post was originally inspired by Jagged World Views Colliding by Leroy Little Bear. The reason that this reading had inspired me to use this particular video game is because of the clear cut differences there are between what the philosophies, values, customs, cultures and even dress codes are. Little Bear talks about the truth of culture withing an aboriginal culture while video game developers clearly going against the truth in order to help depict incorrect stereotypes. Unfortunately, although Little Bear is a famous person, the reality is that many more people play these types of games and take the images they see as true.

Examples of Tala: The following images were created by designers or adapted by outside sources in order to help increase the amount of sexual attraction. However, this is to the cost of disregarding the proper dress code of aboriginal women.

Tala-Darkwatch This is Tala.

About:

On average in all of our minds video games is something that brings up together as friends, families and individuals. From time to time video games can be violent, objectify women but never in any of my years of my gaming have I ever crossed paths with a game that rewards players for raping Aboriginal women.

Disclaimer:

AS A WARNING THIS CONTENT IS VERY DISTURBING AND PUSHES THE ENVELOPE BEYOND ANYTHING I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED IN THE GAMING ATMOSPHERE.

History of the Game:

Custer’s Revenge, was a video game developed in the early 1980’s, by a gaming company called Mystique. The game was played on the Atari 2600, which during its time was the pinnacle of gaming software. Custers Revenge was designed for the sole purpose of discriminating against the Aboriginal culture. The game literally consisted of Custer, the main character within the game, achieving his goal of raping an Aboriginal women. Yes, this statement seems observed, and even too vulgar to talk about, but the game was mass produced and sold to many people around the world. Custer, was obviously related to the George Armstrong Custer, who took part in the American and Indian Wars in the 1800’s. Custer was in charge of the American onslaughts against Aboriginal communities.

Premise of the Game:

The games premise, is to dodge shooting arrows, in a desert wasteland, to try to get to a tied up, Aboriginal women. Oh, did I mention, that both the characters are completely naked? Even though the game was created with an 8 Bit engine, the gamers can easily establish the body parts of both charters. Custer, whom which the payer is controlling is clearly depicted butt naked with an erection. Whereas the Aboriginal female is depicted as being tied up to a cactus, naked and big breasted. I know what your thinking, this game couldn’t possibly get any worse right? Wrong. As the player is playing Custer he/she is in charge of evading an endless amount of arrows coming from the sky in order to reach his “goal”. One Custer has reached his goal, he then proceeds to literally, rape the Aboriginal women while she is still tied up and helpless. The words part of it is, there are no other goals or objectives in the game, the only difference is in which the Aboriginal women is positioned while being raped.

My Opinion of the Game:

In all honesty, it is very hard to explain without using much vulgar language, on how disgusting and discriminating this game is towards the Aboriginal culture. The whole games premise is to repeatedly rape an Aboriginal women, while at the same time being rewarded for doing so. From the background of the game, to the characters themselves, it displays tons of racist elements which in my opinion are unforgivable. The background of the game is designed to show the dominance of the while male in the west, the depiction of the Aboriginal women is designed to show that not only her, but the entire culture is at the mercy of “the white man”. The fact that the game was mass produced and made available for millions of gamers to use baffles me. This game is THE MOST RACIST video game ever made, I believe that this game diminishes aboriginal culture. If it was any way possible, this game should be banned form being sold or passed around, as it only influences the white superiority over aboriginals that is still unfortunately seen in modern days.

Class Relation:

This topic was inspired from the class reading As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs written by Zinn Howard. The reason that I related the reading and this game is because of the importance of the lesson that the reader and player learn from both of these sources. Zinn talks about how society within the 1800’s thought that it was important to try and remove aboriginal people from the population. “The Indian, not needed-indeed, an obstacle0 could be dealt with sheer force, except that sometimes the language of paternalism preceded the burning of villages”. Both this reading and the game itself are a match in representing how aboriginal cultures were seen as lesser than other cultures.

See it for yourself:

As another warning, this is a YouTube clip of the game being played. It is indeed for a mature audience, although It is made in an 8 bit gaming system and most of it is pixelated I would not suggest anyone under the ages of 18 watch this.

Custer’s Revenge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY2AqKCpGkk

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Submitted By: Anthony Maglietta 0485344