Far Cry 3’s lead writer has responded to criticisms that the game’s story simply follows the well-worn trope of white colonialism.
In an interview with The Penny Arcade Report, Jeffrey Yohalem said that several clues throughout the game revealed that it was in fact a critique the white saviour narrative rather than a game that sought to reinforce it.
“GTA is a colonization game. You come to New York, you colonize New York. Most open world games function that way. Ezio comes to Rome and colonizes Rome,” he said.
“To take that to its extreme, exaggerating those tropes is how you reveal them. The exaggeration of that trope is what happens in Far Cry 3.”
The Alice in Wonderland quote from the game’s beginning was the first hint, as was the name of its locale – The Rook Islands – with "Rook" able to be defined as "fraud".
Yohalem expressed disappointment that such things hadn’t been picked up by majority of the gaming press.
“The story is itself something that can be solved, like a riddle,” he said.
“What makes me sad is that people don’t engage with playing the riddle, trying to solve the riddle. It’s like a scavenger hunt where people aren’t collecting the first clue.”
He wouldn't alter his approach next time though, but instead hoped to spark discussion in the video game community that would alter the players' expectations regarding game narrative.
“What I’m hoping is that through talking about this game and the Internet talking about this game, is that all this stuff will come to light, and the audience will say next time, ‘We want more of this,’” he said.
“This all comes from my sense that players shouldn’t be talked down to.”
“So what I’m hoping is, at least Far Cry 3 will create a conversation between people about what they expect from video games and how much the player can be involved in an analysis of the game,” he added.
“Once that happens, developers will have to deliver.”