Assassin's Creed III Used to Have Scalping

Thomas Deer is a cultural liaison officer at the Kahnawake Language and Cultural Centre. He helped Ubisoft out on Assassin's Creed III, and did one hell of a job making sure it became easily the best representation of Native Americans in a video game.

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According to this report in the Montreal Gazette, Deer "was brought on board fairly early in the process of fleshing out the game", and was responsible for overseeing the implementation of a culture often overlooked, if not presented inaccurately, in modern media.

This job meant overseeing the way Ubisoft's developers were handling the inclusion of Native American tribes in the game, but Deer says he stepped in directly on two matters, one which impacted gameplay, the other a little less direct.

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The first was scalping. It was originally going to be a part of the game, a seemingly obvious one given the practice's awareness in Western culture, but once Deer says he pointed out that the Mohawk people in question didn't actually scalp (Connor/Ratonhnhaké:ton's people are Mohawk, part of the larger Iroquois confederation), it had to go.

Note: this seemingly contradicts statements made earlier in the game's development, where it was said scalping was cut because it felt "too brutal".

He also had to request a change to a cutscene, in which the developers wanted to portray Ratonhnhaké:ton's village as wearing ceremonial masks. While these masks did exist, because they're a very "private" part of their spirituality, Ubisoft took Deer's advice and left them out of the game.

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Illustration for article titled emAssassins Creed III/em Used to Have Scalping

Other things he helped out on included working with a Kahnawake Mohawk translator on the game's extensive native dialogue, along with helping arrange for 20-30 contemporary Mohawks to record authentic songs and sounds of children at play.

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All of which seems to have paid off, as the game's reception amongst Native Americans, a demographic not usually treated with the utmost respect in games, has been positive. "It was the talk of the town - at least among younger people," says Deer. "For the first time, they actually got to play a mainstream video game that was honest about our culture, featuring a Mohawk hero they could be proud of, and gameplay in the Mohawk language. That's a phenomenal achievement.

Assassin's Creed 3's Mohawk character shaped by Kahnawake's Thomas Deer [Montreal Gazette]

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DISCUSSION

NoMoreMasculinity
NoMoreMasculinity

You know what I find hilarious about this? Ubisoft feels that they need to be respectful towards native Americans yet this game and even Far Cry shits on the US and Britain through it's "flavor text" constantly. Far Cry 3 keeps making statements about how the US is terrible with illegal immigration and they even mock John McCain at some point. AC 3 makes snarky comments about how George Washington was incompetent and Benjamin Franklin was a hopeless womanizer among many other things. I know what some of you idiots are going to say so I'm going to cut you off now and say you are wrong. We all want the same thing here. For things like bigotry and racism and the like to end. However, just because the Western nations are the big cheeses and cultures like the Mohawk are much much smaller doesn't mean it's ok to bash on the west and cuddle the small guys. We should either equally cuddle all or bash all none of this double standards shit. It's like how in this day and age guilt stricken liberal actually think they are fighting racism by demonizing whites based on their skin color (of course these liberals are white too and think it's ok) but it's not. Ideally we wouldn't speak in terms of colors but those idiots keep racism alive and well and don't even realize it. Anyway, my point is Ubisoft is part of this problem and full of shit. Much like all the writers and most of the readers of the Gawker network are.