Make Canoe my Homepage

Globe & Mail says Assassin’s Creed III “distorts history”

- November 15th, 2012

This just in: video games are not historically accurate.

In an editorial that sparked a minor twitter firestorm Thursday, the Globe & Mail lashed out against Ubisoft Montreal’s action-adventure game Assassin’s Creed III, claiming the game “distorts history” by imagining a Native American hero who fights against the British redcoats during the American Revolution. That sound you hear are thousands of gamers’ palms simultaneously slapping against their faces.

Don’t be fooled, youth of Canada. This Native American assassin killing redcoats as part of a secret war against the Templars, as experienced by a guy from 2012 who is inside a high-tech brain-scanning machine that also allows him to visit the First Crusade and the Italian Renaissance, is NOT historically accurate.

In the unsigned editorial originally posted Wednesday night on the Canadian national newspaper’s website, the writer said that “to suggest indigenous peoples rallied to the side of the colonists in their fight for freedom grotesquely twists the facts.”

The Globe & Mail also took umbrage with Ubisoft Montreal, saying that if even the game development studio – one of Canada’s largest – was familiar with Canadian history, “the size of the U.S. video-gaming market pretty much dictates who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.”

It’s not clear whether the writer of the editorial was aware the Assassin’s Creed series is fiction, and features a protagonist who uses a high-tech device to relive the the memories of his ancestors in different time periods, all of whom are involved in a clandestine war against a secret society called the Templars.

While loosely based on historical events and real-world places, the games frequently see their heroes interacting with famous figures, ranging from Richard the Lionheart to Leonardo da Vinci to George Washington.

Video game fans, developers and journalists were quick to react on Twitter, with the cheeky #GlobeEditorial hashtag becoming a trending Twitter topic in Canada as gamers came up with other possible video game criticisms for the Globe & Mail. A quick sampling:

- “Sorry, Mario, but your Princess is trapped in a regressive gender hierarchy that strips her of agency,” tweeted @pleasuremotors

- “Plants are unlikely to assist us in repelling the inevitable zombie apocalypse,” said @vickersty

- “Pac-Man’s insatiable appetite and non-stop snacking was a terrible example for a generation of Canadian youth,” offered @robannan

While we’re not sure who wrote the editorial, we do know it wasn’t the Globe & Mail’s usual game reviewer, Peter Nowak. So while you’re aiming your scorn-hose at the Globe, don’t douse poor Pete, whose (informed) Assassin’s Creed III review can be found here.

 

 

Subscribe to the post

Leave a comment

 characters available