Far Cry 3’s perilous island paints an – at times – stereotypical view of certain races and cultures which has raised some questions. However, the tribal nature of the game is actually a statement on how we perceive such cultures, says the game’s writer Jeffrey Yohalem. He’s concerned that we’ve all missed the point of what he was trying to say. Get his musings below.
Speaking with Penny Arcade Report, Yohalem discussed his motivation and the messages he was trying to convey in Far Cry 3.
On the issue of how developers treat gamers when coming up with high game concepts, Yohalem said, “What I’m hoping is that through talking about this game and the Internet talking about this game, is that all this stuff will come to light, and the audience will say next time, ‘We want more of this.’
“This all comes from my sense that players shouldn’t be talked down to. For me, there’s a kind of caustic relationship that’s developed between players and developers. It’s really a bad, abusive relationship, because developers say ‘Players won’t get it anyway, so we’re just gonna do something that holds their hand.’
“It doesn’t respect them, and then players say ‘I hate this,’ or ‘I hate that,’ or ‘This game sucks,’ and that hurts developers. So it’s like a cycle. It also feels like critics aren’t looking for meaning in the game, either. So it’s like all sides have just stopped listening to each other.”
On the game’s setting he added, “It’s set on an island in the South Pacific. So immediately the thing that comes to mind is the white colonial trope, the Avatar trope. I started with that, and it’s like, ‘Here’s what pop culture thinks about travelling to a new place,’ and the funny thing is, that’s an exaggeration of most games, they just don’t expose it.
“For example, GTA is a colonization game. You come to New York, you colonize New York. Most open world games function that way. Ezio comes to Rome and colonizes Rome. To take that to its extreme, exaggerating those tropes is how you reveal them. The exaggeration of that trope is what happens in Far Cry 3.”
But still Yohalem is concerned that gamers and critics missed this commentary on the open world genre. What’s your take on what Far Cry 3 symbolises or attempts to say? Let us know below.