History: Rated M (Politically Incorrect, Massive Violence, Strong Sexual Content, Smoking)

For you readers who get your gaming news from Variety:


For those of us who speak English: Variety’s Ben Fritz posted a web article mouth agog that Firaxis is actually making a game called Colonization. Who would ever make such a game? The chutzpah! Such vile calumny has never been seen before!

A game about colonization that’s entirely about controlling the settlers can either force the player to do horrific things or let him avoid doing it and whitewash some of the worst events of human history. Either option is offensive.

So, my first thought: funny, the author doesn’t look Native American. Maybe he thinks that his ancestors arrived via Transwarp drive. Then again, judging from the background, he lives in Los Angeles, which has no history of imperialist aggression whatsoever. So it’s an easy mistake to make, assuming that your entire way of life isn’t predicated on “some of the worst events of human history” — clearly, slavery and the Holocaust being mere warmups to the exploitation of millions of helpless, peaceful native peoples whose only crime was to never research the Bronze Working and Ceremonial Burial technologies.


However, my feeble historically based snarkiness is nothing to the all-consuming fiery NERD RAGE that is the Internet gaming culture insulted.

From the bemused

How can you possibly be the designated computer game blogger for a major media outlet like Variety and not have even heard about the original Colonization until a couple of months ago? That’s like getting hired by the New York Times Review of Books blog and making your first entry “I have just heard about a very shocking book celebrating pedophilia. Apparently it’s called ‘Lola’ or something.”

…to the analytical

The original Colonization had a brilliant historical narrative regarding native/European relations. The way the mechanics worked, immediate hostility on the part of the player would be met with quick defeat. You need the natives to survive the early game because they outnumber you, they can train your colonists and they will help you. But as you grow, you will inevitably encroach on their lands and relations will deteriorate. You can win without destroying the natives, but you are forced to make tough choices along the way. I am in no way implying that the genocide of the native peoples was the inevitable result of historical imperatives. But if any game has captured the dynamic between European colonists and the native population, Colonization was that game.

..to the somewhat angry

Just like FPS games aren’t murder simulators, this isn’t a genocide simulator. If you really can’t see that, the least you can do is stop posting your trollish type posts on the internet where I’m subjected to reading them.

Given Mr. Fritz’s righteous fury over Firaxis’ daring to model the founding of every single nation in North, South, and Central America, one can only think that his wrath over Niko Bellic’s journey of assassination, prostitution, and Irish family drama would be terrible and wondrous to behold.


Oh, wait.

“Grand Theft Auto IV” marks a huge leap forward for videogames as an immersive experience while making little more than a few tweaks to the ultra-successful franchise’s formula. The technological prowess and artistic detail are so phenomenal and the sheer amount of content is so staggeringly deep that players will find themselves drawn into Liberty City like no other fictional place. Such deep immersion sometimes highlights the flaws in “Grand Theft Auto’s” well-worn formula, but that will be little more than an asterisk for the millions of gamers sure to be carjacking their way through “GTA IV” for a long, long time to come.

Well, come to think of it, I don’t think Niko actually colonized anything. Well, you could colonize Playboy X’s Manhattan loft. That kind of counts, since you have to kill a member of a minority group to take their land. I think this calls for a re-review.


But then again, maybe it’s just a struggling blogger trying to get hits and public notice through judicious applicaion of NERD RAGE. Silly writer, that never works.