Sometimes It’s Exhausting Being a Gamer

Sometimes It’s Exhausting Being a Gamer

Good Afterevenmorn!

I know that greeting is nonsensical, but I do love it, so it’s staying. it’s a whimsical kind of thing… and I need that whimsy right about now. You see, I’m exhausted. It’s not just that I’m working several jobs while trying to get a creative career off the ground. But it’s also having to deal with some kinds of people that have flooded one of my favourite pastimes. Every so often, like when a new game trailer drops, for example, they rear their terrible little heads and with their full admittedly pigeon chests bellow at the top of their lungs that they were once again not centred and they’re boycotting said game because it’s gone “woke.” Whatever that means.

Let me add some context for this particular rant:

I’m sure you can guess what the furor is all about. Take a wild stab. You get one try.

Now, as soon as this trailer dropped I got very, very excited. I am a fan of the Assassin’s Creed Franchise, though I only entered the world with their newer stuff (Assassin’s Creed: Origins was the first of the franchise I played and I loved it). The best thing about this one is that it releases very close to my birthday, and I cannot be more excited to take the day off and play. I’m excited that it takes place in Japan (Ghost of Tsushima is one of my all-time favourite games), and I’m curious to see how, precisely, they link it to the world of Assassin’s Creed. There are a number of changes I’ve read about that make me a little nervous.

My excitement after the trailer was immediately quelled when I arrived on the internet to proclaim that excitement.

Well, didn’t the gaming sphere (this is a generalization. Not all gamers, obviously) explode at the sight of a black protagonist in feudal Japan. “Cultural appropriation!” was the cry from the mouths Cheeto-covered red faces who had absolutely no concern about that when white people were cast in what were Asian roles in a number of film adaptations.

“The protagonist should be Japanese,” roared the masses, apparently not noticing that one of the protagonists happens to be a Japanese woman (but they don’t like women protagonists, either, so that fact will not have mollified them, I’m sure.) “There were no black people in feudal Japan!’ screamed others, the same others who suggested that black people in medieval Europe was too much of a stretch.

Much like how so very wrong they were about the peoples of medieval Europe, they are very, very wrong about there being no black people in feudal Japan. There was at least one we know of — Yasuke. It is Yasuke who features as one of the two protagonists of Shadows. Yasuke was not only an African in feudal Japan, he was a Samurai. Quite famously so. When these mewling baw-bags are gently educated by Japanese people about the existence of Yasuke, and that he was, in actual fact, a Samurai, these folks grasp at straws to try and justify their blatant racism.

“Yasuke was not a Samurai,” they claim. He was a retainer to a Japanese lord… Which was a task performed by Samurai in feudal Japan, for goodness sake. My expertise is in the development of Celtic iconography, not feudal Japan, but even I know that Samurai is sort of a nebulous term that covered several different types of servants; all of them with a military function. It is largely agreed by the people who matter that Yasuke was considered a Samurai. It’s just these mouth-breathers angry at Yasuke’s very existence that appear to have an issue with that title.

For the record, a Japanese gamer has crossed my TikTok feed saying this very thing, and she has been shouted down in the comments enough that replying to them all is earning her some serious coin. So keep being mad, I guess. It’s good for someone.

I don’t know how she does it. I’m exhausted, and I’m not even in this fight. I’m just a gamer who’s super excited for a new game. Why does it have to be a battle? Why is everyone getting so angry that a historically black figure in feudal Japan is making an appearance in a game set in what is, basically, an alternate history version of feudal Japan? Why?

If anyone screams about historical accuracy here, I’m going to lose my mind. Near as I can tell, not one of those people screamed about historical accuracy when the Assassin’s Creed franchise had Leonardo da Vinci craft the second hidden blade for Ezio. For the record, that didn’t actually happen, lads and ladies.

Also, just to be clear, there isn’t a hidden battle between organized, murderous free-thinkers and an order of fascists who believe themselves to be the true heirs of a world built by god-like beings who now only exist in a simulation that has written our current simulation, either. Oh, and there aren’t weird, powerful objects that can obliterate people with a beam of light that keep getting lost, then rediscovered, for that matter. And people cannot warg into their pet raptors for a literal bird’s eye view of whatever keep they’re going to storm.

For goodness sake.

On the upside, I suppose I should be thankful of a long list of morons to block. Honestly. Imagine outing yourself as such a profound ignoramus for the whole world to see.

I was going to write a blog post about how excited I am to finally be releasing my serial on my personal blog (The New Haven Incident — first part is up now!), but here I am, writing about rabid, adult gamers throwing a very public tantrum because neither protagonist of a game from a long-running franchise set in an alternate history of feudal Japan looks like them.

Well, I’m going to be setting aside a bunch of money to finally buy a PS5, so I can play this game. As exhausting as the very loud sub-set of gamers are, I’m still excited to play, and I can’t wait to be jumping out of the shadows at people who deserve to be taken down.

Mark thy calendars — November 15th!

When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favorite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cat. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and a cuddling furry murderer. Her most recent titles include Daughters of BritainSkylark and HumanHer serial story, The New Haven Incident, uploads every Friday, and can be found here.


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Eugene R.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Carriere. My first regular interactions on Black Gate were loooong comments/replies to various breeds of “puppies” (sad, rabid), patiently explaining why some of us were not appreciative of their Hugo ballot-stuffing strategies in pursuit of Making SF Great Again.

Eugene R.

Regarding Yasuke, I ran into a mention of him on BlueSky a few months ago as the “first” African samurai/bushi, and a follow-up skeet related that the historical record about his life gets muddled because there were SO MANY African samurai/bushi active in Japan at the same time. History, for teh win!

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