oh lawdy what a mess
-the Kickstarter for Warhorse Studios vidya game Kingdom Come uses the word ‘realistic’ maybe a thousand times in reference to its circa-1403 story and promises the ‘ultimate character customization tool ever” & it’s just literally thousands of variations of a white guy
-medievalpoc points out (like they do, with all that sexy historical research) that European history isn’t nearly as uniformly white as we like to pretend & there’s plenty of precedent to include some nonwhite options, particularly in your ULTIMATE CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION TOOL, if you choose to
-plenty of FLIPPING OUT at medievalpoc, Anita Sarkeesian style, because it simply wouldn’t be ‘realistic’ because ‘historical accuracy’ and STOP CRYING RACISM &c &c &c
-check this out:
(It’s cool, though, the ability to “seduce local women” is built into the game from day 1)
So folks are expressing interest in non-white-guy player options (apparently a lot of folks!!) but Warhorse cannot simply change the story!, and they have to be realistic!. So if you want to play as a woman, you can do so in a side quest (if they hit twice their goal) and if you want to play as a nonwhite person, well, too bad, realism.
So let’s take a look at the story:
The year is 1403, and it is most certainly not the best of times. The old king is dead and his heir is weak. The new king’s brother, hungry for power allies himself with a faction of the nobility that sees this moment as an opportunity for advancement, kidnaps the king, invading the country with an army of his own to plunder this defenseless land. The aristocracy is divided between which side to support. Civil war is coming…
In the midst of this plunder and chaos, a son of a blacksmith will emerge as a hero. His home destroyed and his family murdered by the invading army, he must redeem his failure to protect those he loved and set things right again. Avenging the dead, safeguarding the kingdom’s rightful ruler, and restoring order will prove no small feat for our adventurer.
What, exactly, is realistic about the son of a blacksmith being swept up into tremendous adventure in the 15th-century and rescuing a king? In a realistic story, blacksmith’s sons become blacksmiths, marry, father children, and sometimes starve. Warhorse Studios is fudging historical accuracy, here, to tell an epic story that will please their audience.
So the issue isn’t “historical accuracy” or “realism”*, the issue is who Warhorse Studios considers their audience, and how it’s choosing to please them.**
In conclusion: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
*scare quotes, because they are abstractions and I find folks’ unwillingness to get that, yup, SCARY
**apparently with the least innovative story and setting ever?
- My favorite part of Henry IV, part 2 is when he gets saved by the son of a blacksmith.
- Or is it that he’s overthrown by the son of a blacksmith? Shakespeare’s pretty open world, and I think there are multiple endings.
- The £1,000,000 stretch goal has been reached, which means you will get a dog companion! Don’t you care about doge representation, SJH?
- There are Medievalists and there are hyperconservatives so pantspissingly terrified of the future that they want nothing more than to bury themselves headfirst in the chamberpot of consensus history. I think their stellar eye for accuracy makes it pretty clear which camp Warhorse Studios is in.
- Don’t you want to play Gendry: The Videogame?
- "Dungeons & No Dragons" is… I can’t even be sardonic about that; that is the worst tagline of all fucking time. WHY IN THE NAME OF FUCK WOULD YOU ADVERTISE THAT YOUR GAME HAD ZERO DRAGONS