I have a broad question about appropriation in games which was inspired by the sand kingdom in Mario Odyssey. There are probably at least two distinctions here:
Firstly, when thinking about appropriation how should we view scenarios where a culture is used as the butt of a joke (I’m thinking of some of the culture here in America around Cinco De Mayo) versus something used by the creators as an “insert interesting colorful setting”.
Secondly, does the relationship between the culture creating the content and the culture being appropriated matter? My understanding of the historical relationship between Mexico and Japan is limited, but I don’t believe Japan has a history of oppression and conquest in Mexico the way the United States does. Would this lead you to give Mario a pass or view less harshly compared to if it had been by a studio in the US or if Nintendo had been using say a Korean setting?
This mirrors some of the chatter around Persona but I think is different enough that it could be a separate conversation. If this was discussed to death around the release and I missed it I apologize.