Ubisoft Hired a Mohawk Cultural Consultant for Assassin’s Creed III

Time’s Techland blog has an interesting article about how the Ubisoft Montreal team went about creating and developing Connor, Assassin’s Creed III‘s Mohawk protagonist. It is nice to read about how the developers recognized that their own lack of knowledge about Mohawk culture could cause them to default to stereotypes, even though they mean well. Ubisoft hired consultant Thomas Deer to help them create an authentic character and avoid causing offense. Deer hasn’t seen the game, though, and jokes in the article that, “I’ll only really know, once the game comes out, if they listened to me.” Let’s hope so!

Assassin’s Creed III’s Connor: How Ubisoft Avoided Stereotypes and Made a Real Character – Time Techland

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Alex posts some of her sewing projects and cosplays on her Tumblr; you can also find her babbling about sewing and games and Parks and Recreation on Twitter.
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10 Responses to Ubisoft Hired a Mohawk Cultural Consultant for Assassin’s Creed III

  1. Ari says:

    I really can’t think of a way that this isn’t fantastic news.

  2. 8mph Ansible says:

    Yeah~

    Given video gamedom’s track record with Native portrayals, I have my doubts they’ve listened well enough. Or that even if they did, we’ll still see the same bullshit tropes–have their cake and eat it too, indeed.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t understand your use of the phrase “have their cake and eat it too.” They don’t WANT to produce a stereotype, which is why they hired him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was behind them taking scalping out of the game.

      • 8mph Ansible says:

        I mean, as in they manage to have some respectful material concerning Natives but still manage to slide in some of the same ol’ stereotypes and tropes.

        Sorta like the first Prey. Yeah, and different take on Natives you saw in games until then but you still hade some of the same old tropes as well.

        That help or do you want me to explain further?

        • Alex says:

          Using that phrase makes it sound like they /want/ to use stereotypical tropes when it’s clear from the article that that’s not true. That’s why I was confused.

          • 8mph Ansible says:

            Ah~ think I get what you mean.

            Guess it does sound accusatory, and probably is, I’ve just been faced slammed it too much time and again, followed by the handwaving or hand wrigging.

            But even if they’re not intentional then the skewed perceptions of Natives is so ingrained or influential that the negatives will still find some way to slither into the work when the team isn’t looking.

  3. rho says:

    While I’ll be reserving some amount of judgement until after I see the game, that they’re making this sort of effort has got to be a good thing. So congratulations to Ubisoft, and I hope we can congratulate you even further when the game comes out.

    (And this reminds me that I really need to finish Revelations.)

  4. Hot damn. I am so, so excited for this game.

  5. Laurnetius says:

    Certainly interesting approach since in previous AC games they weren’t shy of pumping them with stereotypes sky high and slapping “team various beliefs and cultures” as a I don’t know ….excuse for biggest oceans of stereotypes put in one game without a trait of self control and awareness.

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