Let the Games Begin!

April 25th, 2016

The ‘Games’ part of my blog’s title gets very little attention, but a new game came out this year that is of great anthropological interest. I’m surprised that it has not gotten much attention at all in the hip anthropologist community. I mention it now as a possible start for a future project here.

The latest Far Cry game takes the open world faction shooter gameplay to Mesolithic Europe. While this could have come out very poorly in terms of reflecting what anthropology knows, the game developers did their homework and added some nice touches, such as basing the languages of the game on Proto-Indo-European, the reconstructed language of that time. This link has a nice interview with the linguists hired for this job, Andrew and Brenna Byrd.

That is not to say that liberties are not taken on what we think life was like back then. The player can befriend a number of animals, from saber-toothed cats to owls, and even ride a wooly mammoth. And while humans were definitely in a lot of danger, they were not “the bottom of the food chain” as the promotional material says.

I have gotten into live streaming myself playing video games on Twitch, and one of my dream summer activities would be to play Far Cry: Primal and talk about anthropology while I do it.


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