This Land Is My Land appeared on my games radar last year and being an ignorant Brit, I added the game to my Steam wishlist because I liked the idea of having native American Indians turning the tables on settlers stealing their land. Please bear with me here as I simply throw in ignorant Brit because what I know about the native American Indians’ plight in the early 19th century could be written on a postage stamp and all that knowledge, such as it is, has come from Hollywood. But that isn’t the point of this article, although I think it’s generally accepted that native American Indians like so many indigenous peoples around the world were treated shamefully.
Described thus by the developers:
Take your trusty bow, fast mustang, and take back your lands. Fight the patrols, Sneak into forts and settlements, Explore the beautiful world, Craft weapons and medicine, Hunt animals, Lead your loyal companions to victory.
One of the best early access launches of 2019 – This Land is My Land will let you experience the journey of a chief of a small Native American tribe resisting the changing world.
The game is in early access and is developed by a team of four based in Ukraine and that’s the first important detail. The cancel culture, social justice warrior locusts are not happy about this aspect and are insisting that a native American Indian be included in the team because, if not, the SJWs would insist on the game being cancelled. This is in spite of the fact that Ukraine is about as far away from a native American Indian reservation as you can get, with the possible exception of Antarctica. As you would expect, this ignited a typical Internet/social media flame war with everyone jumping on the bandwagon, with ill-informed bar stool lawyers taking the front seats. Other SJW complaints about this game include the insistence that the developers, Game-Labs, should consult with native American Indians prior to including them in a game that concerns their ancestors. The irony here is that this is one of the only known games that actually diversifies away from the trope of cowboys and Indians, and turns it on its head. And there I was, an ignorant Brit imagining social justice warriors as diversity seekers, quite wrongly as it turns out.
Let’s face it, the Indians have always been portrayed as the ‘baddies’ in modern culture, particularly in Hollywood films, with the possible exception of Soldier Blue and one or two others. But when a game studio in Ukraine takes on such a hefty subject, it’s also accused of being racist and of cultural appropriation, a worn-out phrase that is designed with a very broad brush to cover a multitude of so-called sins, including racism of course. As I write this, my eyes are actually boggling out of my head at the twisted thinking behind these attacks, not to mention the self-made traps that these social justice warriors have laid for themselves, in their quest to cancel everything and anything that doesn’t meet their manufactured Utopian ideals.
Quite rightly, Game-Labs has replied that the game is not specific to any one tribe, it takes place as a fictional scenario with no historical accuracy and that no native American Indians were consulted during the game’s design. These are important points in much the same way that, for example, Crysis and Homefront The Revolution to name just two fictional games, did not have any North Koreans working in the development team and to my knowledge, Kim Jong-un wasn’t consulted either.
Cancel Culture Diminishes Diversity
Referring back to my first sentence in this article, a game that actually reverses factual events and puts the boots firmly with the native American Indians is, on the face of it, a commendable ideal because it places the initiative with the underdogs and downtrodden, so to speak. I for one believe that the idea should be applauded and I know for a fact that it has piqued the interest of thousands of gamers for the very reasons I’ve just stated. Another irony in all this is that the same SJWs have always screamed from the rooftops about the white man stealing land from the native American Indians. Or as they used to say in Hollywood, the paleface stealing from the Redskins. The plain fact of the matter is that cancel culture warriors will go out of their way to twist a narrative to suit their own misguided agenda, promote racist attacks and comments arising from the ensuing arguments, and very often simply step back and observe the predictable explosions.
Have I Bought This Land Is My Land?
In order to comment objectively on the chasm that exists between the fair-minded and the clearly malicious, one has to have knowledge of the subject matter in hand, so yes, I have bought the game and hope to produce a review in the near future. Taking on the role and being supportive of the underdog feels natural to me and in this case, may help to dispel the many myths and tropes surrounding this period of American history where the cowboys and cavalry were always portrayed as the heroes. It could also be related to the fact that I’m Welsh by blood and that in the 19th century, the English banned the use of the Welsh language in Wales, but that’s another subject altogether.