What Far Cry 6 Gets Wrong About Cuba

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dude, a fantasy The Caribbean island, inspired by Cuba, is the setting for one of the biggest game releases of 2021.Far Cry 6. Run by an authoritarian dictatorship that has kept it isolated from the rest of the world for half a century, Yarra is “an island that has almost froze over time,” According to The game’s narrative director, Navid Khavari. in such a way, Far Cry 6 Offers a typical “tourist’s notion” of Cuba: a nostalgic wonderland where you can experience the past, 1950s cars and all!

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This is not surprising, because this same awe-inspiring vision of Cuba has remained in the imagination of game developers and many others for decades. But this dangerous misconception overlooks the reality of the Cuban people in the 21st century.

Indeed, historian Louis A. as Perez Jr. have argued, “It is not Cuba that is ‘stuck in time,’ but the American knowledge of Cuba that is ‘frozen in a bygone era’.” And this depiction of timeless Cuba is a common thread in popular culture broadcast around the world, from The Godfather: Part II To Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

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Courtesy of Ubisoft

Like the sequels of these movies, Far Cry 6 Works as expected of fans of the series. In this case, that means an open-world first-person shooter where they can control an alien setting by stitching together weapons and vehicles while calling upon the aid of various. human group And animal assistant-Think wheelchair wiener dog or punk-rock fighting cock. This time, plot revolves around a dictator who prepares his son to face mounting pressure from numerous opponents and rebels, while manufacturing and selling a tobacco-based anti-cancer drug to maintain an iron grip on power. Is.

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While you’re rolling your eyes, remember that the game comes from Ubisoft, the French-owned game publishing company that brought us such questionable depictions of Latin America as Call of Juarez: Cartel. But behind the making of Yara, is the development studio Far Cry 6 say put it in time and researched. The team spent a month in Cuba, where they circled the island and “met real former guerrillas.” Then, during the development process, they brought in collaborators and consultants to ensure historical accuracy and cultural sensitivity.

When Ubisoft employees were launching a public campaign against institutional sexual harassment, Including in toronto studio who led the development of Far Cry 6, the developers were aiming to create a completely new, fresh take on the Cuban-inspired open world, an open political game Balancing “mature, complex themes” with “excellence and humour” that was evocative and colonial and was part of the fight for social justice.

But you’ve been on this island before.

For decades, both the Cuban Revolution and the subsequent Castro dictatorship have been one of the most popular scenarios for representations of Latin American culture in video games.

This trope began at least as early as 1987 when Japanese developer SNK released guevara, a top-down shoot-’em-up arcade game featuring the adventures of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his fight against dictator Fulgencio Batista of the Cuban Revolutionary Forces. In a notable example of cultural and political localization, SNK changed the title, characters, and setting for the game’s US release, swapping communist guerrillas for an unknown force fighting against a king, and liberally dubbed it . guerrilla warfare.

And let’s be honest, there isn’t that much new on the way Far Cry 6 Portraits of Cuba. if you ever played guerrilla warfare-or, for that matter, goldeneye 007handjob Tom Clancy’s Ghost Reconhandjob just causehandjob call of Duty Black Ops, Or tropico Series—You’ve lived in imitation of revolutionary Cuba. And so you will get acquainted with the indicators that express the cultural and geographical landscape of the country in such games as: Far Cry 6: 1950s Cars, Bearded Revolutionaries, Tropical Foliage, Salsa Music, Guerrilla Warfare, Colonial Architecture, Bay of Pigs Invasion, Rum and Cigars.

Still, there are fresh and new facets of Latin American culture represented. Far Cry 6. It’s really notable that all the main characters – at all points along the game’s moral spectrum – are characters from Latin America, even though the island they call home is fictional. Yara is also divided into areas of cultural and natural diversity, allowing the player to engage with characters of different generations, races, genders, backgrounds, and abilities from different geographic locations. One day you’re working with Monteros, a tobacco farmer with country roots; The next day you are planning an operation with the urban university groups Maximas Matanzas and La Moral; And the day after that you’re allied with the heroes of ’67, camping deep in the mountainous hinterland of Yara. Best of all, when you sit at the Revolutionary Camp of Heroes, you can partake in some of the staples of real-life Caribbean culture by learning to play dominoes while listening to some Cuban jazz.

But over the years, totally different The series has rightly been criticized for its colonialist tendencies. For example, digital artists and game critics Ansh Patel explains that “malaria meter” is used in an African setting far cry 2 reinforces imperialist views of foreign lands as inherently hostile and in need of civilized intervention, while sports studies scholars Souvik Mukherjee argues that the representation of South Asia far cry 4 This shows that the depiction of video game history often relies on colonial practices and beliefs.

There is certainly evidence that Far Cry 6 The team has attempted to evolve in response to critics. They differentiated the “white male savior” narrative by featuring a Latina protagonist—though the player still has to hit the “gender button”, so to speak, to play as a female, and the choice is special. is in the form of Has little effect on gameplay and story progress. Likewise, the developers have strangely given some nods to colonial criticism of the game’s progress-through-annihilation gameplay. There is a reference to Puerto Rican independence leader Pedro Albizu Campos. Some—But why is that, instead of a reference to Cuba’s independence and national hero, José Martí’s own voice? And while the team is trying to appeal to Spanish-speaking audiences by incorporating non-translated Spanish dialogue into the game, a disproportionate amount of that dialogue is yelled at by unnamed yarns as the player shuts them down.

Courtesy of Ubisoft

Still, you can’t miss the fact that the Ubisoft team is making awareness efforts Far Cry 6. At the start of the game, the revolutionary Clara tells the United States about being expatriated to Dani, “Sure, the Yankees might pay you to park their car or pick their fruit, but you’ll never be one of them.” . The American Dream doesn’t come in our colors.” But this rhetoric of equality is a bitter pill to swallow in the context of this particular game: although Ubisoft seems to have brought in dozens of Spanish-speaking voice actors. Far Cry 6, it does not appear that there were any Cuban, Latin American or Latinx voices in the writers room.

Similarly, a lot of Latinx actors play small parts, but many of the major roles—including the main villain Anton Castillo, played by Giancarlo Esposito—went to actors who do. No Identify as Latin American or Latinx. (As an aside, it’s worth noting that actor Anthony Gonzalez, K. cocoa fame, offers a splendid exception to this rule In his performance as Castillo’s son Diego. And Esposito’s own diverse cultural background—he was born in Denmark to a Black American mother and an Italian father, and relocated to New York as a child—revealed of his award-winning acting.)

In Far Cry 6, there are often mistakes with the use of the Spanish language, “from the over-pronunciation of”admiral Benitez” (it should have been admiral) to a Spanish-speaking revolutionary, who addresses Castillo over the phone with the English accent, “Hola, fascistHearing this and the other characters’ fake broken English should give us all pause to think about who tells what stories.

What Far Cry 6 Serves neo-colonialism and cultural appropriation—with a wink.

An example is the “chicharrón”, a giant fighting cock with a studded collar and neon spurs that, along with its incompetent handler, Reynaldo, embodies some of the most obvious and tedious stereotypes. Far Cry 6. The emphasis on the violent and taboo practice of cockfighting degrades Yara-e-Cuba culturally. This is especially clear as Fighting Cock is combined with the supposed comic relief of native bumpkin Reynaldo, who lost his arm in an explosion from Chicharron, but still cares for the animal using his prosthetic claw. . These characters may earn a laugh or two for the game’s developers, but those laughs come at the cost of reinforcing harmful stereotypes about Latin American and Caribbean people, as well as people with disabilities.

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