Monday, January 8, 2018

Saskatchewan First Nation outraged as video game depicts legendary leader

 A YouTube still image of Chief Poundmaker from the new video game.Sid Meier's Civilization/YouTube

A First Nation in Saskatchewan is considering legal action against a California video game company over the forthcoming release of Civilization VI, a game in which people can play at colonialism and imperial expansion, but as an Indian character.

It is a new twist on the debate about Indigenous cultural appropriation, which is typically focused on visual representations like head-dresses, not political behaviour.

The new instalment of the game Civilization, due out next month, includes a main plot line about the Plains Cree, under the leadership of Chief Poundmaker, in which players advance by developing trade routes, building infrastructure, forging alliances, and other elements of statecraft.

But this use of an historical figure, and the name of a modern First Nation, without the consent or involvement of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, is a dishonourable method of making money off a culture that was nearly exterminated by the Canadian government, according to a community leader...

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