November 23, 2009

Last Indian Village video game

Last Indian VillageIndian Apache tribe who are defending their last village from the invasion.

"We were here first! Defend your peoples by building armies and going to war. Would the Native Americans have done better if you were in charge?"

Game Instructions

Set up a strategy to develop agriculture, handle transactions of agribusiness, trade for guns, train the troops, and send commanders and troops to the battle against the attackers.

Comment:  This online game is a bad mishmash of stereotypes.

The game takes place somewhere on the East Coast, with the arrival of the first Europeans. But the initial screen shows a camp of tipis. And if you go to the Belugerin Studios site, where the game originated, you'll find it described as an Apache village.

The main characters--visible on the "Select Your Language" screen and the image below it--are:

  • Wambleeska, a Plains chief in a superhero-style action outfit with a giant axe. According to a website, "Wambleeska" is a Siouan expression meaning "white eagle."
  • Kachada, a buckskinned elder with flowing white hair and a war club on a horse. According to a website, "Wambleeska" is the Hopi word for "white man."
  • An Apache-style warrior wearing a headband and shooting a bow.
  • A half-naked warrior covered in scary warpaint with a sword (?) and knife.
  • Aiyanna, a sexy Indian babe with feathers and a flower in her hair. She's wearing a two-piece outfit that bares her midriff and bearing a rifle. According to a website, "Aiyana" is a Native American name meaning "eternal blossom."

  • So far there's nothing authentic about this game. But it's not all bad. After selecting your language, you get a pro-Indian narrative about how the evil Europeans came to plunder the land. The "last Indian village" looks like a classic Algonquian village such as the one below:

    And if you scroll around the Indians' territory, you can see one Indian engaged in farming and another engaged in iron mining (!). Which implies these Indians have a reasonably complex culture; they aren't just mindless savages dancing around a fire.

    Only trouble is that the game's village has a tipi in the middle of the houses. And beyond the village itself, there's a palisade around the territory with skulls above the gates. Skulls appear in a couple other screens too--because Indians are all about horror and death, presumably.

    Finally, the game's main screen uses a buxom picture of Aiyanna as the game's guide. Even more than before, it's clear this character is a pure sex object--a non-Indian's exotic fantasy of an Indian maiden.

    I didn't bother playing the game to see how many more stereotypes I could find. The comments on the game site describe it as slow and boring. If anyone wants to play it and send me a report, feel free.

    The fact that Indonesian is offered as a language suggests Belugerin Studios developed this game in Indonesia. This gives us a good idea of what people think about Indians in general. Namely, that there's one continent-wide Indian culture consisting of chiefs, warriors, maidens, horses, tipis, weapons, and skulls. This continent-wide culture was dominated by the Apache and the Sioux, who apparently were the southern and northern of the people. Nice.

    For more on the subject, see Video Games Featuring Indians.

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