harperkingsley: (Aphrodite smile)
Harper Kingsley ([personal profile] harperkingsley) wrote2015-12-09 07:02 pm

Why my knee-jerk reaction to the Xenoblade Chronicles X trailer was "Ugh"

I have not played the game. I don't care about the game. All I've seen is the trailer popping up on TV. Yet every time I've seen it, my instinctive reaction has been "Ugh" and I didn't know why.

But then I started thinking about it. About the phrasing used in the commercial and the visuals shown. And I think I've figured out what's been bothering me:

Colonialism.

Humans show up on an "alien" planet and immediately start claiming territory. There's already native lifeforms doing their own thing, but of course, humans take priority in choosing where they want to live and what resources they want to use. It's like, "You're not human, so GTFO" to the beings that were there first.

And from the commercial, it looks like the native lifeforms are fighting back against the encroaching horde of human settlers. Yet the humans have Skel (?) suits, some kind of exo-armor that makes them stronger and deadlier than the natives, and using their more advanced technology the humans take over.

Considering the way white settlers treated the natives of America, Africa, Alaska, and even Canada... is it no wonder that the trailer rubs me the wrong way? It's my instinctive reaction to lash out against the game and tell the Kid "No, you're never playing such awfulness. EVER!" which is, I admit, a bit unfair.

Because, looking at the Wiki entry for the game, I'm relieved to see that there's an outside xeno threat that chased the last remnants of humanity off Earth and attacks them, leading to the crash landing on the planet Mira. The humans attempt to coexist with the indigineous lifeforms while being attacked by the Ganglion.

So I don't know how much of my anti-colonialism feelings are or aren't justified, but I'm going to hold back an opinion on Xenoblade Chronicles X until I've got more information.