Thursday, February 02, 2006

American Indian's Boycott Gun

Gun, developed by Neversoft, is set in the old west. In an attempt to breathe life into the genre, designers have developed a game molded after the John Wayne model, stereotypes and all. The only problem with this, is that the model is flawed. The stereotypes the game embodies represent "whiteman's" perspective on the Native Americans without the ever important discussion of the Native Americans point of view. This has upset the Association for American Indian Development.

In an effort to protest the negative response caused by these images, they have organized a boycott. I admire their efforts, but it seems the real issue is a miscommunication caused the image. This is where libraries come in. We can place displays of Native American accounts and "Cowboy" narratives on display to foster the sharing of accurate knowledge.

The American Indian's boycotting this will inevitably draw more attention to the game, probably causing its sales to go up instead of decline. As an American citizen I believe in the rights of everyone, and freedom from "Derogatory , Harmful and Inaccurate Depictions". As a relation to an Indian tribe I am concerned with the stereotypes of Native Americans in "Westerns." Just as concerned as African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans are with the stereotypes of their heritage.

This boycott may do little to change Gun, but it will start to change the Game Design World. Already talks have been held about the role art and marketing plays in reinforcing conventions of the past.


Jami said...

As a follow up:
Activision has appoligized for the historical depictions in video games, movies, television shows, and other media. It appears that is all they will do.

News Article Here

Jami said...
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Jami said...

More Follow Up.