Lesser-Known Cultures/Communities in Games

I was thinking today a bit about portrayals of obscure communities in video games, particularly as I am a Romani gypsy and got thinking about Assassin’s Creed Revelations, the only time I’ve seen a significant portrayal of Romani gypsies in a video game.

It’s been bloody ages since I played Revelations but I recall that stuff being handled with a surprising amount of thoughtfulness, considering most media portrayals end up being someone throwing a curse or some nonsense, or just being portrayed as thieves or criminals. I bloody appreciate they didn’t choose the Romani to act the games Theives Guild.
I remember there being a mission to retrieve some stolen gold for the Romani, and they do this interesting thing of basically the Romani mission giver saying, ‘yeah everyone think’s we’re witches and shit so we’re gonna fuck with them real good’. You as Ezio have to poison guards undetected to convince them that the gold they stole from the Romani is cursed. At the time I thought was a surprisingly nice little subversion and I enjoyed that mission quite a bit.

Anyway, can anyone else think of any lesser known /underappreciated portrayals of communities or cultures in games?

Interesting! I fell out of the Assassin’s Creed series around Brotherhood, (The arbitrary way they killed off Lucy left a really bad taste in my mouth) but isn’t the main character in 3 Native-American? That makes me wonder if they actually did/said anything culturally interesting with that, but I don’t know if I have the stones to play through what is by all accounts a dark era in an otherwise rather worrying franchise…

Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, from what I’ve seen, looks like it’s gonna have one of the first honest and grounded depictions of a leftist/communist group I’ve seen in a game. Hoping it doesn’t go for a “the truth is actually in the middle” approach, but the content they’ve released hasn’t suggested they would.

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Good shout, I forgot about that bit in the trailer. There’s a series of Karl Marx missions in AC Syndicate, but only played a couple of them so no idea if that gets any deeper than Assassin’s Creed’s famous figure cameo thing they like to do.

Assassin’s Creed is gonna get mentioned a lot here I think! I should do some googling, there must be some good write-ups on that aspect of 3 since it was such a prominent part of the game.

AC3 gets a lot of due shit, but there really is a great game at the core; it just happens to be one of those things you have to meet half-way. It was rough, super ambitious, and quite frankly before its time. But it’s become one of my favorite video games of all time, and I find myself replaying it at least once a year.

AC3’s America was pretty multi-cultural and not at all black-and-white, not even in the Assassins vs. Templar feud. It didn’t sugarcoat colonialism and its definition of “good guy” was relative af, except for Connor who was pretty Lawful Good and was only acting with the interest of his people’s safety at heart, but even he ends up pretty crestfallen by the end of the game.

It had a lot going on and I can look past its flaws to appreciate some of it. If ever you do decide to try it, I recommend not plowing through the main story, as the game really shines in its side content.

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