Although it’s likely many Civilization fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Rise and Fall, this expansion for 2016’s award-winning Civilization VI game has already been criticized due to the way it portrays a Native American nation known as the Cree.
The Cree were recently announced by developer Firaxis as being one of eight new civilizations included in the Rise and Fall expansion, and are skilled when it comes to diplomacy and trade in the game.
However, Cree headman Milton Tootoosis recently voiced his disapproval about how Firaxis is representing his people in the game. “It perpetuates this myth that First Nations had similar values that the colonial culture has, and that is one of conquering other peoples and accessing their land. That is totally not in concert with our traditional ways and world view”, Tootoosis told CBC News (via PCGamesN).
Of course, it’s clear that Civilization has not always been true to history, and players have long complained about the fact that it was possible for spearmen to take out tanks in the first Civilization instalments, and also that a pacifist leader like Gandhi was so fond of using nuclear weapons in the game too…
It’s also curious that a Cree nation official would be offended by the inclusion of this civilization in the game, as previous entries in the series have featured the likes of the Shoshone (Civilization V) and a Native American civilization led by Sitting Bull (Civilization IV), and did not stir controversy.
No, it’s likely that the idea of the Cree and their leader Poundmaker engaging in a war of conquest with former colonial powers like Britain and France in the game might have rubbed some the wrong way due to another reason.
This is because the Cree nation is currently hoping that a treason conviction of their leader Poundmaker in the 19th century is overturned by the Canadian government, although Milton Tootoosis is hoping the Cree’s inclusion in Civilization VI “helps more than it hurts the cause”.
What’s clear, though, is that Firaxis made the wise move of not portraying the Cree as an aggressive or war-like civilization in the game, as the Cree are one of the game’s civs to benefit more from diplomacy, and also get some nice trade bonuses as well. So hopefully this matter will be settled soon, and Civilization VI: Rise and Fall will end up being another good expansion in the series when it’s released next month.