I recently attended a talk by Boston-based voice actor and ethnographer Khadeja Merenkov about the need to use cultural artifacts accurately and respectfully in video games. Don’t just use a mosque because you like mosques, she advocated; recognize what those objects represent to the culture they come from. I hadn’t previously considered that the inspirations one draws from when creating a fictional game or story need to be taken in context. I asked her onto Polygamer to talk more about how different (non-American) cultures and peoples are portrayed in games. Our discussion ranged from President Obama to Jake Gyllenhaal to Star Trek‘s Captain Sisko.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Khadeja Merenkov on Twitter
- Codename Cygnus & Children of Liberty
- ‘Indieology’: Indies in the Boston Area
- Boston Indies Lightning Talk: Khadeja Merenkov
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"
- Peggy McIntosh’s "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
- Khadeja’s AlterConf profile
- Women in Games Boston
- The Complete Djinn Story
- Jagged Alliance 2 by Darius Kazemi on Kickstarter
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weinersmith