Far Cry 3's Citra Is Straight From the Freakshow

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So, I'm going to guess, based on the comments I've read here, that there is not a single person attacking Mr. Rath here who has ever even been to, much less lived in or even bothered to learn anything about, the South Pacific. As someone who actually spent a considerable chunk of his life in the South Pacific and has befriended and spoken with quite a few Polynesians from quite a few cultures (in other words, someone who actually knows what he's talking about), I'm just going to say that Mr. Rath is absolutely, 100% correct in what he says here.

One of the problems with Polynesian stereotypes is that the world at large knows so little about the South Pacific and its cultures that people don't even know the stereotypes when they see them. To claim that Polynesians sacrifice virgins to volcanoes, dress in grass skirts and coconut bikinis while living in grass huts and forcibly tattooing white men is about as ignorant and racist as claiming that black people are related to chimpanzees, are all drug dealers and love to rape white women, but because most people have probably never even met or spoken with a Polynesian they don't know how problematic these stereotypes are. That Far Cry 3 missed the opportunity to truthfully portray the South Pacific is an unfortunate missed opportunity because it is so extremely rare to ever see the South Pacific done justice in any kind of popular media (the only case I can think of that even came close was The Descendants, and even that was a pretty white-washed portrayal of Hawaii).

I know it sucks to have to admit that something you didn't know was a stereotype is in fact a stereotype, but the truth is, whether you want to accept it or not, that the Citra narrative in Far Cry 3 does uphold an extremely backwards portrayal of the South Pacific, and if you think I'm wrong, why don't you try, I don't know, doing something crazy like actually bothering to learn something about the South Pacific or speak to some people out there to learn why these kinds of narratives bother them so much (and if you're going to tell me they shouldn't be bothered by it, then why don't you also go tell all the black people and Latinos in this country that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they always get portrayed as gangsters and drug dealers, and go tell Muslims that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they're always being portrayed as terrorists, because whether or not you think they should be bothered by it counts for pretty much fuck-all to them).

Now, let all the complaints about how I'm a whiny, liberal douchebag who can't appreciate how bad white people got it in this country begin...

anteater123:
So, I'm going to guess, based on the comments I've read here, that there is not a single person attacking Mr. Rath here who has ever even been to, much less lived in or even bothered to learn anything about, the South Pacific. As someone who actually spent a considerable chunk of his life in the South Pacific and has befriended and spoken with quite a few Polynesians from quite a few cultures (in other words, someone who actually knows what he's talking about), I'm just going to say that Mr. Rath is absolutely, 100% correct in what he says here.

One of the problems with Polynesian stereotypes is that the world at large knows so little about the South Pacific and its cultures that people don't even know the stereotypes when they see them. To claim that Polynesians sacrifice virgins to volcanoes, dress in grass skirts and coconut bikinis while living in grass huts and forcibly tattooing white men is about as ignorant and racist as claiming that black people are related to chimpanzees, are all drug dealers and love to rape white women, but because most people have probably never even met or spoken with a Polynesian they don't know how problematic these stereotypes are. That Far Cry 3 missed the opportunity to truthfully portray the South Pacific is an unfortunate missed opportunity because it is so extremely rare to ever see the South Pacific done justice in any kind of popular media (the only case I can think of that even came close was The Descendants, and even that was a pretty white-washed portrayal of Hawaii).

I know it sucks to have to admit that something you didn't know was a stereotype is in fact a stereotype, but the truth is, whether you want to accept it or not, that the Citra narrative in Far Cry 3 does uphold an extremely backwards portrayal of the South Pacific, and if you think I'm wrong, why don't you try, I don't know, doing something crazy like actually bothering to learn something about the South Pacific or speak to some people out there to learn why these kinds of narratives bother them so much (and if you're going to tell me they shouldn't be bothered by it, then why don't you also go tell all the black people and Latinos in this country that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they always get portrayed as gangsters and drug dealers, and go tell Muslims that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they're always being portrayed as terrorists, because whether or not you think they should be bothered by it counts for pretty much fuck-all to them).

Now, let all the complaints about how I'm a whiny, liberal douchebag who can't appreciate how bad white people got it in this country begin...

Oh, I highly doubt that will happen. I would hazard a guess that there's far more people here that agree with you than those, like me, that do not. Rath mentions how previous civilizations have engaged in the tribal, sacrificing maidens thing in the past...and? I'm an American of Italian heritage, and I for one am not offended by movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas for portraying people like me as ruthless sociopaths and criminals. Hell, The Godfather's one of my favorite games!
Every racial and ethnic group has baggage, every group has done crappy stuff in the past, and every group still gets negative portrayals. No one who has Puritan ancestors complains when we all agree that the Salem Witch Trials were horrible and we show that in media. And I'm sure Germans aren't too happy with all the Nazi killing we do in video games. The only way we can ever move past things is if we just get over it and stop getting so defensive whenever someone or something hurts our fragile sensibilities. While not the best example, to paraphrase Yahtzee, a truly tolerant society is one where anyone can say anything and no one gets offended because everyone can take a joke or accept that for the sake of a story, certain more unsavory aspects of a group are used for a narrative.

I was very concerned before playing the game that its themes might be somewhat racist, but when I played it, I felt like while the Rakyat did fall into an unfortunate stereotype, the game itself seemed, to me, to frame their behavior in terms of the locale being so dangerous that it tends to drive people crazy. Now obviously you could argue that this has its issues in and of itself, and you wouldn't be wrong, but I think it makes a difference in that it ties the Rakyat inexorably to Jason's personal development. In addition to Jason, consider Dennis, Dr. Earnhardt, and Willis.

So...I won't say it doesn't tie into some unfortunate history, but I don't have an issue with the game itself.

LysanderNemoinis:

anteater123:
So, I'm going to guess, based on the comments I've read here, that there is not a single person attacking Mr. Rath here who has ever even been to, much less lived in or even bothered to learn anything about, the South Pacific. As someone who actually spent a considerable chunk of his life in the South Pacific and has befriended and spoken with quite a few Polynesians from quite a few cultures (in other words, someone who actually knows what he's talking about), I'm just going to say that Mr. Rath is absolutely, 100% correct in what he says here.

One of the problems with Polynesian stereotypes is that the world at large knows so little about the South Pacific and its cultures that people don't even know the stereotypes when they see them. To claim that Polynesians sacrifice virgins to volcanoes, dress in grass skirts and coconut bikinis while living in grass huts and forcibly tattooing white men is about as ignorant and racist as claiming that black people are related to chimpanzees, are all drug dealers and love to rape white women, but because most people have probably never even met or spoken with a Polynesian they don't know how problematic these stereotypes are. That Far Cry 3 missed the opportunity to truthfully portray the South Pacific is an unfortunate missed opportunity because it is so extremely rare to ever see the South Pacific done justice in any kind of popular media (the only case I can think of that even came close was The Descendants, and even that was a pretty white-washed portrayal of Hawaii).

I know it sucks to have to admit that something you didn't know was a stereotype is in fact a stereotype, but the truth is, whether you want to accept it or not, that the Citra narrative in Far Cry 3 does uphold an extremely backwards portrayal of the South Pacific, and if you think I'm wrong, why don't you try, I don't know, doing something crazy like actually bothering to learn something about the South Pacific or speak to some people out there to learn why these kinds of narratives bother them so much (and if you're going to tell me they shouldn't be bothered by it, then why don't you also go tell all the black people and Latinos in this country that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they always get portrayed as gangsters and drug dealers, and go tell Muslims that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they're always being portrayed as terrorists, because whether or not you think they should be bothered by it counts for pretty much fuck-all to them).

Now, let all the complaints about how I'm a whiny, liberal douchebag who can't appreciate how bad white people got it in this country begin...

Oh, I highly doubt that will happen. I would hazard a guess that there's far more people here that agree with you than those, like me, that do not. Rath mentions how previous civilizations have engaged in the tribal, sacrificing maidens thing in the past...and? I'm an American of Italian heritage, and I for one am not offended by movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas for portraying people like me as ruthless sociopaths and criminals. Hell, The Godfather's one of my favorite games!
Every racial and ethnic group has baggage, every group has done crappy stuff in the past, and every group still gets negative portrayals. No one who has Puritan ancestors complains when we all agree that the Salem Witch Trials were horrible and we show that in media. And I'm sure Germans aren't too happy with all the Nazi killing we do in video games. The only way we can ever move past things is if we just get over it and stop getting so defensive whenever someone or something hurts our fragile sensibilities. While not the best example, to paraphrase Yahtzee, a truly tolerant society is one where anyone can say anything and no one gets offended because everyone can take a joke or accept that for the sake of a story, certain more unsavory aspects of a group are used for a narrative.

Apparently you missed the whole point of the fact that the narrative he's talking about (Polynesian women kidnapping white men and forcibly tattooing them) is a complete fabrication. No one of Puritan descent (which includes me) gets angry about the Salem Witch Trials because they were historic fact, so it's not even a valid comparison. I would think a white person was an idiot if they tried to deny the Salem Witch Trials happened and were a bad thing and I would think a Polynesian were an idiot if he tried to deny that human sacrifice used to happen and was a bad thing. That is completely different from factually incorrect narratives that lead people to believe you are an ignorant savage (something that you, as a white European - and yes, Italians are white - will never have to worry about). The narrative Rath is talking about is more akin to the extensive "research" in the 19th century that "proved" that black people were on the same evolutionary and intellectual level as chimpanzees, and if your idea of a utopian society is one where a hiring manager at a job interview can tell a black man that he doesn't want to hire him for the position because he's on the same intellectual plane as a chimpanzee and then tell him that he shouldn't get angry because we live in a society where people can say whatever they want, then your idea of a utopian society is really fucking stupid (and, by your own logic, you have no right to get offended at what I just said).

Thyunda:
This entire article made no sense!

Made sense to me.

I never saw the Rakyat as even close to any of the stereotypical tribesmen - neither barbarians nor helpless - I just saw them as thugs. Just like the pirates. Y'know the total lack of difference between Rakyat warriors and Vaas' pirates.

How you see the pirates doesn't really have much bearing on the false notions of Pacific Island culture that form the basis of the game's mythology.

But this research? This isn't research. This is "I read an article about tattooed men and it reminded me of Far Cry".

That doesn't preclude it being research.

Look, you're welcome to dispute Rath's opinion. But he presented some facts. Information. Things I'll wager a great deal of us didn't know before.

This. Is. A. Good. Thing.

Exterminas:
Taking that into account, it always seems kind of unfair to me to criticise this kind of media for racist tropes.
I mean really, what choice is there? If you display natives as in any way positive, you are playing into the noble savage trope. If you are displaying them as in any way bad, you are promoting the idea of the superior white man. If they are just kind of there, you are doing that Joseph-Conrad-Thing, where the natives are just the colorful backdrop for whities joyfull adventures.

You could, and I realize this is a radical thing that might be untested... portray them as a collection of individuals with a different culture, some of whom are good, some of whom are bad.

I know, right. It's just a game. Who has time for characterization, there's hang-gliding to do?

anteater123:
So, I'm going to guess, based on the comments I've read here, that there is not a single person attacking Mr. Rath here who has ever even been to, much less lived in or even bothered to learn anything about, the South Pacific. As someone who actually spent a considerable chunk of his life in the South Pacific and has befriended and spoken with quite a few Polynesians from quite a few cultures (in other words, someone who actually knows what he's talking about), I'm just going to say that Mr. Rath is absolutely, 100% correct in what he says here.

One of the problems with Polynesian stereotypes is that the world at large knows so little about the South Pacific and its cultures that people don't even know the stereotypes when they see them. To claim that Polynesians sacrifice virgins to volcanoes, dress in grass skirts and coconut bikinis while living in grass huts and forcibly tattooing white men is about as ignorant and racist as claiming that black people are related to chimpanzees, are all drug dealers and love to rape white women, but because most people have probably never even met or spoken with a Polynesian they don't know how problematic these stereotypes are. That Far Cry 3 missed the opportunity to truthfully portray the South Pacific is an unfortunate missed opportunity because it is so extremely rare to ever see the South Pacific done justice in any kind of popular media (the only case I can think of that even came close was The Descendants, and even that was a pretty white-washed portrayal of Hawaii).

I know it sucks to have to admit that something you didn't know was a stereotype is in fact a stereotype, but the truth is, whether you want to accept it or not, that the Citra narrative in Far Cry 3 does uphold an extremely backwards portrayal of the South Pacific, and if you think I'm wrong, why don't you try, I don't know, doing something crazy like actually bothering to learn something about the South Pacific or speak to some people out there to learn why these kinds of narratives bother them so much (and if you're going to tell me they shouldn't be bothered by it, then why don't you also go tell all the black people and Latinos in this country that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they always get portrayed as gangsters and drug dealers, and go tell Muslims that they shouldn't be bothered by the fact that they're always being portrayed as terrorists, because whether or not you think they should be bothered by it counts for pretty much fuck-all to them).

Now, let all the complaints about how I'm a whiny, liberal douchebag who can't appreciate how bad white people got it in this country begin...

Actually what would you say some of the differences are between the rakyat and real polynesians?

On a side note since this was an attempt at satire and thus critique of certain stereotypes I think we should really give the devs a pass. Just cause someone fails dont mean there bad right.:)

LysanderNemoinis:
No one who has Puritan ancestors complains when we all agree that the Salem Witch Trials were horrible and we show that in media. And I'm sure Germans aren't too happy with all the Nazi killing we do in video games. The only way we can ever move past things is if we just get over it and stop getting so defensive whenever someone or something hurts our fragile sensibilities.

This difference is that decendants of Puritans don't exclusively get characterized as witch burners. Germans don't get exclusively characterized as Nazis. Because we're familiar with them. Can you name the last time you saw a South Pacific Islander portrayed without stereotype? Would you even know the stereotype if you saw it?

For another thing, I think you (and a lot of people) are missing the point of Rath's post. These Critical Intel articles are not calls to hate popular games, they're attempts to inform players about real-world things they might not know about. I'd venture that a great deal of Far Cry 3's players didn't know how much stereotyping based on manufactured myths are in the game.

Katatori-kun:

LysanderNemoinis:
No one who has Puritan ancestors complains when we all agree that the Salem Witch Trials were horrible and we show that in media. And I'm sure Germans aren't too happy with all the Nazi killing we do in video games. The only way we can ever move past things is if we just get over it and stop getting so defensive whenever someone or something hurts our fragile sensibilities.

This difference is that decendants of Puritans don't exclusively get characterized as witch burners. Germans don't get exclusively characterized as Nazis. Because we're familiar with them. Can you name the last time you saw a South Pacific Islander portrayed without stereotype? Would you even know the stereotype if you saw it?

For another thing, I think you (and a lot of people) are missing the point of Rath's post. These Critical Intel articles are not calls to hate popular games, they're attempts to inform players about real-world things they might not know about. I'd venture that a great deal of Far Cry 3's players didn't know how much stereotyping based on manufactured myths are in the game.

To be fair as far as stereotypes go it was definitely blink and you miss it.

Considering my exposure to many Pacific Island cultures living in the Pacific's gateway to the Western World (New Zealand) the game did not portray the inhabitants of Rook Island in any stereotypical manner. They did share both language and certain culture types of MANY Pacific Island cultures - both good and bad.

Essentially I know better than to think it was attempting to paint Pacific Islanders in any particular way. Anyone who lives or has knowledge of the Pacific realises that the cultures here all share some similarities but also have some incredible differences. The only 'catch all' Pacific Islander trait is they live in the Pacific Islands.

The familiar British-Maori accent of the inhabitants, general body types, face tattoos and features reminded me of Maori, Tongan and Samoan folk. The crazy-kill-things aspects of the culture do not remind me of any particular Pacific Island culture - rather I would attribute it to the environment of a slaver-plagued island fraught with danger and hallucinogenic drugs... not because they people living there are Pacific Islanders. They had those issues because of WHERE they lived, not because of WHO they were. You will notice the non-natives also go crazy, Jason is a primary example of this... when he arrives he's the typical rich kid douchebag and before the end he's laughing like mad as he destroys gunboats and punches sharks to death. Jason didn't "go native", he "went crazy" - it was the place, not the people.

I, for one, found Rook Island totally unbelievable as a Polynesian island. Where the hell were all the Mormons?

Imagine crouching in the bushes, ready to make red slaughter on a pirate base when you suddenly hear from behind "Excuse me, sir, would you care to take a few minutes to hear about our Lord?"

Also.. wrapping up your Asia tour by going skydiving onto a Polynesian island is like finishing off your tour of the US by doing the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona (New York to Madrid is roughly the same distance as Bangkok to the western most edge of Polynesia).

Wait, THAT'S what that stupid fucking ending was supposed to be about?

Yohalem actually said that shit?!?!

Mother. Fucker.

Some arrogant asshole writer wants to "subvert stereotype", so I get a shitty, unsatisfying ending ON TOP OF THE FACT THAT APPARENTLY HE COMPLETELY FAILED.

I mean come the fuck on. Citra was NEVER a fucking damsel. You're not subverting shit, Yohalem.

AND REALLY? The guy who, not 1 hour prior, killed an entire building full of armed mercs, while wielding nothing but a knife and hullucinations doesn't have the reflexes to stop or dodge one bitch with a machete whispering OBVIOUS fucking death threats in your ear?

Fuck you Yohalem. Never write for the rest of your life.

.........

(Can you tell I finished the game about 5 minutes ago?)

Exterminas:
How could would a better use of these tropes look like?...I don't see any way you can tell a story that involves a native population without stepping in anyone of the dozens trope-traps.

Nicolaus99:
My god, there is no satisfying political correctness obsessives like you... You may as well link to TV Tropes and list the hundreds of ways you will never, ever be satisfied.

I described a case wherein I liked the depiction of natives. Check the first comment on the thread. Basically, you can offset negative stereotypes by showing a greater range of native characters over-all. Have other Rakyat characters offering contrasting perspectives - ones that show Rakyat as being something other than blood thirsty savages who like to ritually screw foreigners for their magic babies.

This is one of the most absurd accusations of insesitivity to racial stereotypes i have ever heard. you're claiming the game is racist or racially insensitive because of 19th century freak show tattooed men narratives? do you have any idea how obscure that is? This stuff isn't relevant to modern culture anymore. It's like somone getting insulted because you called him 'dude', since dude is originally a 19th - century racist term for immigrants.

in these things, context is everything. The author expressed the intention, and there is no overt racism in the game itself. The one interpretation that could be described as racist is the noble savage vs. evil savage. there are two problems with this interpretation:
1. the Rakyat are not savages: i never got the idea the rakyat are supposed to be savages. they are relatively passive in gameplay terms, sure, but no more so than most NPC factions in games like these are. they are passive in the same way the Saints are passive. you interact with them like you interact with most allied NPC factions in games. those interactions are coloured by cultural context, of course, which brings me to

2. there is no way to do it right: if you make the rakyat to passive, they are simple natives being rescued by the white man. if you mkae them too agressive, they are dangerous savages. the only way to portray them positiveky is by making them the protagonists. which would be interesting, but isn't the narrative of the game.

there is neither the intention of racism, nor racial insensetivity here. Rather, the rakyat are shown as having their own goals and methods to get what they want. That seems a welcome change for a group that is too frequently portrayed as passive and weak.

Katatori-kun:

Thyunda:
This entire article made no sense!

Made sense to me.

I never saw the Rakyat as even close to any of the stereotypical tribesmen - neither barbarians nor helpless - I just saw them as thugs. Just like the pirates. Y'know the total lack of difference between Rakyat warriors and Vaas' pirates.

How you see the pirates doesn't really have much bearing on the false notions of Pacific Island culture that form the basis of the game's mythology.

But this research? This isn't research. This is "I read an article about tattooed men and it reminded me of Far Cry".

That doesn't preclude it being research.

Look, you're welcome to dispute Rath's opinion. But he presented some facts. Information. Things I'll wager a great deal of us didn't know before.

This. Is. A. Good. Thing.

Of course. I didn't know anything about Victorian freakshows till now. However, I still think it's a major stretch to claim Citra is in any way relevant to the Tattooed Man or to racist perceptions of Pacific Islanders at all. Y'know, with all the lack of forced tattooing she does. Given that it was a Liberian immigrant to the US and THEN to the island that you wake up to, and not a tribesman at all.

Overthink games if you like. Thinking is good. But don't make silly claims like this and then have people dismiss any criticism as "We should think about games more." Portray Islanders as warlike tribesmen, and that's racist. Portray them as peaceful, oppressed folk and that's also racist. Portray them as mostly civilised traditionalists and you're now even more racist.

I don't understand this. At all.

I find this whole "You found racism because you looked for it" trend and many of the responses to be a mixture of laughable, revolting and ultimately dangerous. This article simply seeks to point out why this plot was chosen and why its bad that it was chosen whilst simultaneously declaring that there was no deliberate harm and that the game is still good overall.

Its not saying the game should be banned, its not saying the game was a bad game, its not saying any harm was deliberate, it is merely pointing out several issues with the narrative.

Can we please, as a species, stop hating intellectuals and knowledge.

Good article overall.

Quick heads up, if someone quotes me to respond, for some reason my computer is freaking and I cannot directly quote people. Its why this was a generic response and not a specific response to some of the claims in this thread. The quote button just refuses to work.

Great article. If There's ever an argument for the inclusion of different peoples with different cultural perspectives in the video game industry this is certainly it. Far Cry 3 could have been used as a very interesting tool to teach us more about an under-represented culture but instead they perpetuated a tired stereotype.

Saxnot:
This is one of the most absurd accusations of insesitivity to racial stereotypes i have ever heard. you're claiming the game is racist or racially insensitive because of 19th century freak show tattooed men narratives? do you have any idea how obscure that is? This stuff isn't relevant to modern culture anymore. It's like somone getting insulted because you called him 'dude', since dude is originally a 19th - century racist term for immigrants.

You seem to have missed the part where this isn't about overt racism at all, but institutional. These stereotypes - based on complete fabrication - wove their way into the narrative of a game attempting to subvert different racist stereotypes. It's an interesting tidbit of information behind the surface of the game.

You probably don't know that the word "Hot Dog" has a racist origin? It does. Does it take away enjoyment of Hot Dogs? No.

It doesn't mean that anymore.

But it's interesting to know where it comes from if you take a closer look.

RhombusHatesYou:
I, for one, found Rook Island totally unbelievable as a Polynesian island. Where the hell were all the Mormons?

Imagine crouching in the bushes, ready to make red slaughter on a pirate base when you suddenly hear from behind "Excuse me, sir, would you care to take a few minutes to hear about our Lord?"

Alternate ending where Jason leaves Rook Island and works at the Polynesian Cultural Center to put himself through BYU Hawaii.

Dude, you are officially my favorite person today. I cannot stop laughing at this.

Forgive me for asking a stupid question but by what standard and by who's perspective do we call anything in FarCry 3 "Savage"

PS the tribe stuff IS the same kind of fabrication as voodoo magic (mainly in Hollywood) the difference is in the game it it's pure fantasy and not meant to be taken seriously while the later was used to increase fear and ingnorance.

maninahat:

Exterminas:
How could would a better use of these tropes look like?...I don't see any way you can tell a story that involves a native population without stepping in anyone of the dozens trope-traps.

Nicolaus99:
My god, there is no satisfying political correctness obsessives like you... You may as well link to TV Tropes and list the hundreds of ways you will never, ever be satisfied.

I described a case wherein I liked the depiction of natives. Check the first comment on the thread. Basically, you can offset negative stereotypes by showing a greater range of native characters over-all. Have other Rakyat characters offering contrasting perspectives - ones that show Rakyat as being something other than blood thirsty savages who like to ritually screw foreigners for their magic babies.

Ok, lets reverse that and see what comes of it.

A male Rakyat who is well educated/cultured/civilized who does not screw foreigners and does not believe in magic or magic babies. This person can replace Citra in FC3.

So... yea. Good luck marketing that. Is the story more interesting as a result? + or - I get the feeling that would be a lopsided poll.

Just goes to show you, try to be clever on the internet and someone will point out how stupid you are.

jmarquiso:

You seem to have missed the part where this isn't about overt racism at all, but institutional. These stereotypes - based on complete fabrication - wove their way into the narrative of a game attempting to subvert different racist stereotypes. It's an interesting tidbit of information behind the surface of the game.

You probably don't know that the word "Hot Dog" has a racist origin? It does. Does it take away enjoyment of Hot Dogs? No.

It doesn't mean that anymore.

But it's interesting to know where it comes from if you take a closer look.

Right, I agree with you. But the tone of the article seems more accusatory than interested to me. I got the idea the writers of Far Cry 3 were being critisised for not knowing about this and taking it into account, rather than giving a cultural and historical perspective. There is no racism intended and no racism propagated by this game, is my point. If there are obscure racist undertones that are only relevant if you know about 19th century tattooed men in freakshows, that is too obscure to make valid critisism out of.

Katatori-kun:

Exterminas:
Taking that into account, it always seems kind of unfair to me to criticise this kind of media for racist tropes.
I mean really, what choice is there? If you display natives as in any way positive, you are playing into the noble savage trope. If you are displaying them as in any way bad, you are promoting the idea of the superior white man. If they are just kind of there, you are doing that Joseph-Conrad-Thing, where the natives are just the colorful backdrop for whities joyfull adventures.

You could, and I realize this is a radical thing that might be untested... portray them as a collection of individuals with a different culture, some of whom are good, some of whom are bad.

I know, right. It's just a game. Who has time for characterization, there's hang-gliding to do?

Well having some of them be good would somewhat undermine the whole point of Far Cry 3. Everyone in the game is a negative stereotype. I get where the article comes from but it ignores how everyone else in the game is portrayed. Yes the natives are a riff of various negative cliches but so are the all the non-natives. For example all the Americans are either moronic tourists far out of their depth or are psychotic imperialistic spies.

I'm not saying the games not problematic but that's part of the story it's telling. Quite frankly if it's offensive to anyone it's South Africans, not the inhabitants of a fictional country.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
Wait, THAT'S what that stupid fucking ending was supposed to be about?

Yohalem actually said that shit?!?!

Mother. Fucker.

Some arrogant asshole writer wants to "subvert stereotype", so I get a shitty, unsatisfying ending ON TOP OF THE FACT THAT APPARENTLY HE COMPLETELY FAILED.

I mean come the fuck on. Citra was NEVER a fucking damsel. You're not subverting shit, Yohalem.

AND REALLY? The guy who, not 1 hour prior, killed an entire building full of armed mercs, while wielding nothing but a knife and hullucinations doesn't have the reflexes to stop or dodge one bitch with a machete whispering OBVIOUS fucking death threats in your ear?

Fuck you Yohalem. Never write for the rest of your life.

.........

(Can you tell I finished the game about 5 minutes ago?)

Noooo she was NOT a damsel. THAT was the point. read again.

maninahat:

Exterminas:
How could would a better use of these tropes look like?...I don't see any way you can tell a story that involves a native population without stepping in anyone of the dozens trope-traps.

Nicolaus99:
My god, there is no satisfying political correctness obsessives like you... You may as well link to TV Tropes and list the hundreds of ways you will never, ever be satisfied.

I described a case wherein I liked the depiction of natives. Check the first comment on the thread. Basically, you can offset negative stereotypes by showing a greater range of native characters over-all. Have other Rakyat characters offering contrasting perspectives - ones that show Rakyat as being something other than blood thirsty savages who like to ritually screw foreigners for their magic babies.

Except that they werent all really like that at all. your blowing it out of proportion. About 20 percent of the population were crazy and the rest were kind of just living there lives and not wanting to get shot....and wanting jason to kill there daughters boyfriends and stuff. But still the natives were cool.

Saxnot:

jmarquiso:

You seem to have missed the part where this isn't about overt racism at all, but institutional. These stereotypes - based on complete fabrication - wove their way into the narrative of a game attempting to subvert different racist stereotypes. It's an interesting tidbit of information behind the surface of the game.

You probably don't know that the word "Hot Dog" has a racist origin? It does. Does it take away enjoyment of Hot Dogs? No.

It doesn't mean that anymore.

But it's interesting to know where it comes from if you take a closer look.

Right, I agree with you. But the tone of the article seems more accusatory than interested to me. I got the idea the writers of Far Cry 3 were being critisised for not knowing about this and taking it into account, rather than giving a cultural and historical perspective. There is no racism intended and no racism propagated by this game, is my point. If there are obscure racist undertones that are only relevant if you know about 19th century tattooed men in freakshows, that is too obscure to make valid critisism out of.

I think part of the problem is this -

As an educated Pacific Islander, I'm well aware of these issues. Actually before I was college aged, I was aware that such stereotypes exist. You could find the grass skirt virgin sacrificing savage as recent as in a Saturday morning cartoon (where my people specifically were portrayed as savages with spears). The issue as that many don't know about it, and don't see it, since they aren't the ones being passively pointed at.

And most of the time, not only is it unintentional, it's completely innocent. Example - here in Germany they call Chicken Fingers Obama Fingers. They have no idea about the cultural racism and stereotypes around African Americans and chicken, and don't know that it would be offensive. Why is it called Obama Fingers then? He's President of the United States, and Chicken Fingers are an American dish. If McCain won it'd be McCain fingers - that's what they tell me. Completely innocent. But because that stereotype exists, people may be accidentally regurgitating and continuing damaging stereotypes without realizing it.

So since I've been taught - since I was young - that I'm the dog eating savage with a grass skirt and a spear - and I grew up as an American in California - I could have internalized that a bit too much and not understood my own culture. There's a reason that stereotype exists - but separate the stereotype from the authentic, and you got a whole lot more interesting stuff underneath it all. This article attempted to teach a piece of that.

It sounds accusatory - possibly (I'm assuming, feel free to correct me) - because it's attatched to a piece of media you like or enjoy, and you can't separate problematic implications from your enjoyment of that.

I'll answer that simply -

I still love eating Hot Dogs.

Even though I know that it's a term that had put my people down and justified its colonization.

Hot Dogs taste good.

rbstewart7263:

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
Wait, THAT'S what that stupid fucking ending was supposed to be about?

Yohalem actually said that shit?!?!

Mother. Fucker.

Some arrogant asshole writer wants to "subvert stereotype", so I get a shitty, unsatisfying ending ON TOP OF THE FACT THAT APPARENTLY HE COMPLETELY FAILED.

I mean come the fuck on. Citra was NEVER a fucking damsel. You're not subverting shit, Yohalem.

AND REALLY? The guy who, not 1 hour prior, killed an entire building full of armed mercs, while wielding nothing but a knife and hullucinations doesn't have the reflexes to stop or dodge one bitch with a machete whispering OBVIOUS fucking death threats in your ear?

Fuck you Yohalem. Never write for the rest of your life.

.........

(Can you tell I finished the game about 5 minutes ago?)

Noooo she was NOT a damsel. THAT was the point. read again.

No, I know. That's what I'm saying. Yohalem says Jason (and by extension, the player) was supposed to think she WAS until the end. However, NOTHING in the game suggested that at all. She NEVER appeared to need saving, so there was no illusion to be broken by the terrible final scene.

I'm not even half way through the game and I'm reminded of a quote from a Fifty Cent song;

"You should love it way more than you hate it"

Well I don't, as much as there is to like about it, I hate it way more.

It's so annoying because it seems to be such a step in the right direction but it gets so many of the basics wrong it's almost as if they didn't know why they were doing what they were doing... they just knew if they didn't want to be aother COD-clone they had to do this.

And sorry Ubisoft/French-people but this is very much the French style of storytelling. Overall it might be better than the typical safe American/English style of storywriting but you're more likely to end up with Bullshit like this. But I couldn't care anyway.

It's so... empty. The game is just not engaging - not as engaging as it should be - and I simply do not care about the characters or what happens. The most enjoyment I've had in the game is messing around like the 3 Stooges island vacation... only forever alone. It's fun to pretend the bad guys all dressed in Red Shirts are either hapless Enterprise security crew, or an army of Duke Nukems. And the funny mistakes in the game are my favourite, like how the rebels all seem to be identical twins, triplets and hexuplets, etc because they were too lazy to make different character models.

Citra doing something like that, eughhh, I've been putting off meeting her because I knew it would just be a "freaky for the sake of freaky" encounter and have another writer mistake "shocking" for "compelling".

jmarquiso:

I think part of the problem is this -

As an educated Pacific Islander, I'm well aware of these issues. Actually before I was college aged, I was aware that such stereotypes exist. You could find the grass skirt virgin sacrificing savage as recent as in a Saturday morning cartoon (where my people specifically were portrayed as savages with spears). The issue as that many don't know about it, and don't see it, since they aren't the ones being passively pointed at.

And most of the time, not only is it unintentional, it's completely innocent. Example - here in Germany they call Chicken Fingers Obama Fingers. They have no idea about the cultural racism and stereotypes around African Americans and chicken, and don't know that it would be offensive. Why is it called Obama Fingers then? He's President of the United States, and Chicken Fingers are an American dish. If McCain won it'd be McCain fingers - that's what they tell me. Completely innocent. But because that stereotype exists, people may be accidentally regurgitating and continuing damaging stereotypes without realizing it.

So since I've been taught - since I was young - that I'm the dog eating savage with a grass skirt and a spear - and I grew up as an American in California - I could have internalized that a bit too much and not understood my own culture. There's a reason that stereotype exists - but separate the stereotype from the authentic, and you got a whole lot more interesting stuff underneath it all. This article attempted to teach a piece of that.

It sounds accusatory - possibly (I'm assuming, feel free to correct me) - because it's attatched to a piece of media you like or enjoy, and you can't separate problematic implications from your enjoyment of that.

I'll answer that simply -

I still love eating Hot Dogs.

Even though I know that it's a term that had put my people down and justified its colonization.

Hot Dogs taste good.

I understand how somone who grew up knowing these depictions of your people and the racism behind them would be more sensitive to them. But context is important in these cases. I'm Dutch myself, and most depictions of Dutch people fall either into the sex/drug addict, or wooden clogs and windmills stereotypes. while that's certainly not as bad a treatment as polynesians get, there is a similarity here.

All peoples get some stereotypes attached to them. the question is whether the intent of use of a stereotype is racist or insulting. I think that very few people who go to the netherlands actually expect everyone to either be wearing wooden clogs, or spend all day blowing and having sex. It's a stereotype, sure, but it's mostly a humorous one, that very few people actually take seriously.
Likewise, i don't think anyone these days still takes seriously the depiction of polynesians (or any 'savage' people) as cannibal monsters. While it was certainly true in the 19th century, times have changed, and that idea doesn't have the same creditability or value anymore, to my mind.

If there is no racist or hurtful intent, i feel you should give a work or depiction of your people some leeway.

As for the accusatory tone: I wasn't a huge fan of the game, but what specifically gave me the impression that the tone was accusatory was this line:

'Though he uses racist narratives in the plot of Far Cry 3, I believe that he was either unaware of their history, or that in using them he hoped the to critique the culture of excess and stereotyping prevalent in many videogames. If it's the former, he should've done his research, if the latter, his reach exceeded his grasp.'

to accuse the writer of laziness or incompetence based on his lack of knowledge of 19th - century freakshow narratives just seems an absurd suggestion, as well as a bad precedent, because it decreases the impact of the word racism (i.e: if this can be called racism, isn't making fun of germans for their obsession with grundlichkeit racism as well?).

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:

No, I know. That's what I'm saying. Yohalem says Jason (and by extension, the player) was supposed to think she WAS until the end. However, NOTHING in the game suggested that at all. She NEVER appeared to need saving, so there was no illusion to be broken by the terrible final scene.

I'm pretty sure that she says you will be the "savior of our people" or something like that (full disclosure: I've only watched my friend play the game, so please correct me if that's not in there.)

Also, just an aside @Therumancer: I would love to see where you are getting this "colonialism was helping, we were wrong to leave" concept from. I think all of the wars for independence that African, Asian, and American nations fought against their colonial rulers show that idea false on its face.

jmarquiso:

You probably don't know that the word "Hot Dog" has a racist origin? It does. Does it take away enjoyment of Hot Dogs? No.

I can't find a source on that anywhere. The closest thing indicating a racial slur is used by white canadians agaisnt white americans as "Hot Dog" eater

http://www.rsdb.org/race/americans

It's a wikipedia article I know, but the compendium of sources are quite comprehensive on the origins of "Hot Dog":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_dog#Etymology

I think this is a bit like the myth that "Picnic" used to be a term for racist lynchings when that was in fact 100% made up, Picnic doesn't have a single violent or racial connotation to it:

http://www.snopes.com/language/offense/picnic.asp

To spite sites like cracked writing a story (without sources) that it is actually racist, some people tell stories that are just not true.

SO yeah, it was never racist. And I don't think it was ever even co-opted as a racist term.

And we can't treat all racism different. Brits often make jokes about how their royal family is German, but while technically racist, that's not in the same league as what gives racism it's worst reputation of using race as a basis for extreme exploitation like chattal slavery and extreme scapegoating violence like "ethnic cleansing".

The reason the racism in this story is bad was these myths where what that lead to policies that denigrated these cultures, with pretext to use armed force to move them off land and force religious conversion and exclusion from positions of power and so on.

So let's keep this all in perspective.

Samuel Newkirk:

Also, just an aside @Therumancer: I would love to see where you are getting this "colonialism was helping, we were wrong to leave" concept from. I think all of the wars for independence that African, Asian, and American nations fought against their colonial rulers show that idea false on its face.

Technically correct, but that's not an argument to invade countries and practice colonialism (I don't know what he actually said, jsut homing in on the "helping" part).

Colonialism was "helping" only after it had already torn everything else down, there was nothing left of any kind of infrastructure or the economy or even the ecology. Simple things like the colonial powers coming in and banning one form of currency (shells, beads) and replacing them with fiat currency.

They had NOTHING. Because we took it. Or superseded it.

Realise part of the reason all the colonial powers left was because they couldn't afford them any more. They certainly were no financial benefit, they were a burden. You don't need to manage an entire country to get a single mineral mine. This isn't the white man's burden myth, they were doing just FINE, it's not that "we have to invade to save them from themselves" but that it was our burden because it was OUR MESS!

Difference with American War of independence was "Americans" made up the establishment. In British African countries, it was quite clear that white Brits were still running things in whole or significant part. People who complain about bureaucracy haven't truly experienced the levels of corruption and waste from a country where all the bureaucrats suddenly left. You get a positive feedback of without good bureaucracy the population don't get well educated, then you have a smaller a pool to draw from for a larger bureaucratic infrastructure.

But we (western powers) had to leave. Look at the countries who refused to leave, particularly France who got embroiled in several awful conflicts to try to hold onto power, particularly in Algiers and Vietnam. Some small states did remain part of the commonwealth, but one reason Britain kept them was because they were small.

Samuel Newkirk:

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:

No, I know. That's what I'm saying. Yohalem says Jason (and by extension, the player) was supposed to think she WAS until the end. However, NOTHING in the game suggested that at all. She NEVER appeared to need saving, so there was no illusion to be broken by the terrible final scene.

I'm pretty sure that she says you will be the "savior of our people" or something like that (full disclosure: I've only watched my friend play the game, so please correct me if that's not in there.)

You may be right.

Even so, I see that as the idea that Jason is simply helping to rid them of Vaas and Hoyt because they don't know him, not that anyone is really helpless.

The game was about a milquetoast's transformation
into a bloodthirsty baddass, not about the lifestyles
of indigenous islanders. I played the game and was
bored to death with any character who didn't swing his
arms in the air and talk like he just snorted a barrel of coke.

You idiots bring your magnifying glasses and your color wheels
to every game evaluation. By doing so, YOU MISS THE THEME
completely, and make false accusations. The majority of the
islanders of the game lived in TOWNS. They ran shops, drank in
taverns, congregated in the square, and did normal activities
like anyone else. The wore t-shirts. If anything, Citra was an
outcast-psychopath with only a handful of followers. She held no
influence anywhere else on the island.

Just face it. You couldn't see the forest for the trees, and now you
want to burn it down. You wrote a ridiculous screed on the designer's
insidious subconscious attempt to patronize and vilify minorities,
when publicly, in reality, the only theme he intended to explore was
the duality of human nature.

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