'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' Tries, but Fails, to Tackle Its Own Colonialism


Satire talk should be taken to another thread IMO, although honestly the original argument - that Far Cry 3 is satirical - has already been dismantled by the repeated assertion that it too closely mimics the thing it’s meant to be satirical of, thereby making it, at best, bad satire, and is therefore indistinguishable from the subject of critique, no further discussion necessary.


This “dismantling” is leveled at basically all satire, all the time. Which is to say it’s a totally toothless critique at best, and at worst the grasping at straws from people embarrassed when they discover a joke went over their head. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with arguing something is bad satire. I think Starship Troopers is terrible satire. But I take umbrage at the people who try to deny the possibility of satirical intent.

Too often in games writing ANY thematic intent is hand waved away as “bad design” or laziness/incompetence. It’s troubling when the critical apparatus for an entire medium often seems intent on infantilizing both the audience and the creators by jumping to these conclusions. Frankly, it’s a brand of narcissism to think you, the critic, noticed a problem 200 people working 4 years of their lives never did as your starting assumption.


I disagree with everything you’ve said, every step of the way, and have nothing more to say, except: in the interest of everyone reading this thread, you should start a new thread if you sincerely want to continue this discussion


While I was listening to the article read I kept having a bunch of questions.

Just for some background - I’m Latino, my dad was born in Mexico and has a Mestizo heritage. I don’t claim to be indigenous, I grew up with my mom (who is white), and have a sort of complicated relationship with my Latino identity because my parents were separated for a long time and I didn’t spend a lot of time around my LatinX side of the family. That’s changed as I’ve gotten older and I’m thankful for it. I’m going to visit the town where my dad grew up in Nyarit next year.

But I kept wondering while listening, and I’m legitimately curious because I haven’t done research and don’t know, what do indigenous peoples want in the modern world?

How do you reconcile the idea that we’re all humans sharing one planet and wanting acceptance and understanding and cooperation between people, while also believing that indigenous peoples should be left alone without any interaction?

Like, I know it’s naive to believe that we’re going to make it to some post-scarcity Star Trek future with the state of the modern world, but the cat’s out of the bag at this point - we’re never going back to tribal nomadic societies.

Obviously colonialism was awful and horrid, but what’s the long-term solution here? That’s what I always end up wondering about. Can we start thinking about the big picture and the fact that human beings are quite literally the only intelligent life that we know exists in the universe?

Is the idea that if we ever get to the point of space colonization that we just leave behind those that didn’t contribute to the technology that gets us there? That doesn’t sit right with me.

If the answer is some sort of moral relativism, that each culture can decide what’s best for themselves, how can you ever justify that certain things are for a greater good? Why bristle and fight against some middle eastern country’s treatment of women?

I’m legitimately curious because I really don’t have an answer, other than an unrealistic future world-wide council type situation that gives a voice to each nation/group/etc… But again, how do you come to any consensus?? I’m not saying any one group should be able to decide what’s best for everyone, but…how do we move forward?


It’s more like different cultures have to respect each other instead of one just swallowing up or eroding the identity and existence of said culture and turning them into second class citizens within their own - which is what basically happened to everyone in the US who isn’t Christian or white, and we’ve all seen how that went. Cultural pride and identity is vital for marginalized groups to even exist and gain some form of power.

In this case, peoples that have been victimized by colonial powers deserve the right to govern their own lands as they see fit and preserve their way of life, because entire languages and customs are just disappearing the more people have had their roots and identity wiped away. You can’t trust other cultures to preserve them or keep them going, only absorb you into theirs.

As for moving forward, I’d argue equality can only occur if we have some sort of respect for one another’s cultural identities, because not having that respect becomes a dehumanizing factor that leads to racist drool and justifications for genocides. After we figure that much out, then we can work on more unified moral lines. The way things are now, that sort of thinking by a large cultural power leads to stuff like China putting their Muslim population in camps and the endless horrors that is the history of US intervention in other nations.


I appreciate the response and agree that there needs to be respect for other cultures without homogenizing them with your own.

However I still wonder about the idea of “the right to govern their own lands as they see fit”, it just makes me wonder how you don’t apply that idea more broadly. Is there anything that would warrant some sort of intervention? Not just regarding indigenous peoples, but any culture? Are all cultures throughout time to be treated exactly equally, full stop?

Isn’t it also a narrow perspective to believe that because a group of people happened to evolve and end up in a particular part of the Earth that they’re the only ones that can ever live there/use it’s resources and that no one else should ever enter that space? Weren’t those lands taken from someone else at some point if you go back far enough?

I hope none of this come across as in bad faith, I’m seriously trying to think and work through these questions.


I highly recommend you (and everyone else that has similar questions) read the book An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz as it goes into a lot of the questions you’re asking. It should be a good entry point into a lot of this discourse.