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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:28 PM   #1
Louis XXIV
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The Lost Civilization

This is in the PAX Conference thread, but I feel it deserves its own thread. I'll give a quick sum up.

At the conference, they had a discussion about the attempt to include the Pueblo in Civ5: BNW. Apparently it would have been Popé as the leader and some attempts to include the Anasazi as well inside. They went so far as to have leader, unit, and unique improvement. However, when they tried to track down a voice actor, they ran into some difficulty from the Pueblo Council, who took offense at the idea of their great cultural hero being in the game. They tried to explain how Civ5 has an educative function and how many people who didn't know about Popé could learn about him through the game. But, in the end, they decided to cut them out.

Now there's some ambiguity about whether the whole Civ got cut or just the leader. He specifically said "we had to cut a leader." However, they also talked about the wasted work for art and animation and how one roadblock was the voice actor, so I suspect they cut them entirely.

So what do you think? What would you have thought had they been included? Provided they could have found a speaker, did they make the right call cutting them? I personally would have loved to see them, but I appreciate that they're willing to be sensitive to the wishes of other cultures. I guess we'll have to mourn them as the civ that isn't to be.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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They've cut Popé as a leader, that much we know for certain. However, if they have run into issues with the voice actor as you say then they could very well have removed the whole civilization. However, if they were so far in as to have the civ flushed out then they would be reluctant to do so. Maybe they've simply switched it to the Anasazi or something, which would have a different language and thus different voice actor, avoiding the whole issue?
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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To repost what I said in the PAX thread:

While it is unfortunate that either Pope or even the Pueblo civ itself won't be in, I am glad that the devs are trying to be respectful to the group in question, which is something that sometimes doesn't always happen for other video games that portray various groups in a humiliating way. Of course, that's not to say that the Pueblo civ was intended to humiliate the Pueblo people obviously, but it's good the devs had this under consideration - frankly, given how little people know about the native americans in the US and how they're still stereotyped, this is maybe much, much more than I expected.

tl;dr: It's rare for video game designers to be this sensitive when it comes to depictions of foreign cultures, and while I believe BNW's depiction of the Pueblo would have been fun and educational and respectful, I think they made the right call and I really applaud them for that.

Though what I wonder is whether they'll re-use the assets in making a nearby civilization (such as the Apache or Comanche) if indeed this means no Pueblo.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pouakai View Post
They've cut Popé as a leader, that much we know for certain. However, if they have run into issues with the voice actor as you say then they could very well have removed the whole civilization. However, if they were so far in as to have the civ flushed out then they would be reluctant to do so. Maybe they've simply switched it to the Anasazi or something, which would have a different language and thus different voice actor, avoiding the whole issue?
Two problems there.

Anasazi is Navajo for Ancient Ones. They are also referred to as Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Their language is either unknown or it's the Pueblo language. That's why the Pueblos had some attributes of the Anasazi in their UA. So the language problem would remain either way (as would the cultural sensitivities).

I hope (Firaxis, if you're reading this!), they at least show off some of the artwork they made just so we can see a little more taste of what was to be.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:44 PM   #5
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Hrm, true. Now that you mention them, the Navajo could be cool - they seemed to have a fair bit to do with the Pueblo, and gained technology (In the game sense) from them
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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First of all, I've lived and taught history in New Mexico for about seven years and have visited many ancient puebloan sites (like Mesa Verde, etc) and also visited some of the communities still occupied.

If you go to the pueblos today they are very strict about what you can and can't take pictures of. For instance, when I visited Acoma Pueblo we could take pictures of the houses but not the graveyard. Traditional Native peoples still would rather not have their picture taken because of their beliefs regarding how it disturbs the spirit world. I can completely understand and respect why the elders would be against the inclusion of Pope.

Perhaps Civ 5 wanted to dodge the possible negative press or even a lawsuit if they went ahead without the official go ahead from the tribe. Last year the Navajo people were up in arms about Urban Outfitters using the word "Navajo" to describe some of their styles/prints which they turned into panties and hip flask covers among other things.

There are still thousands of people who speak the puebloan languages they just probably aren't voice actors . . . and the people who the know the languages the best are probably the most traditional spiritually.

Here is a Hopi Elder speaking his language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2aikgtskX0
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:50 PM   #7
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It's the tribe's call if they don't want to be represented. The game favors a European concept of what makes a people: apparently all true nations start as city-states and implement a formal trading economy while transforming the land for their use. Obviously it's a game and needs a common ruleset for all the players but I can see where even a positive representation still wouldn't sit well for a Pueblo person.

This did turn out to be the most interesting part of the panel and I'm glad Firaxis talked about it.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrxkhan View Post
To repost what I said in the PAX thread:

While it is unfortunate that either Pope or even the Pueblo civ itself won't be in, I am glad that the devs are trying to be respectful to the group in question, which is something that sometimes doesn't always happen for other video games that portray various groups in a humiliating way. Of course, that's not to say that the Pueblo civ was intended to humiliate the Pueblo people obviously, but it's good the devs had this under consideration - frankly, given how little people know about the native americans in the US and how they're still stereotyped, this is maybe much, much more than I expected.

tl;dr: It's rare for video game designers to be this sensitive when it comes to depictions of foreign cultures, and while I believe BNW's depiction of the Pueblo would have been fun and educational and respectful, I think they made the right call and I really applaud them for that.
Does anyone know whether the inclusion of Hallie Selassie was either controversial among Rastafarians or cleared with their religious leaders?

Quote:
Though what I wonder is whether they'll re-use the assets in making a nearby civilization (such as the Apache or Comanche) if indeed this means no Pueblo.
They've already got a Native American graphic style from the Iroquois; leader and unique graphics are presumably not transferrable, and from what I've heard of what was said at PAX, the UA will probably not be reused.

Quote:
If you go to the pueblos today they are very strict about what you can and can't take pictures of. For instance, when I visited Acoma Pueblo we could take pictures of the houses but not the graveyard. Traditional Native peoples still would rather not have their picture taken because of their beliefs regarding how it disturbs the spirit world. I can completely understand and respect why the elders would be against the inclusion of Pope.
They'd run into a similar issue if they ever tried to create an Australian Aboriginal civ, as some have suggested in the past. Traditional Aboriginal beliefs find photographs/video of people who are now dead upsetting (Australian TV issues disclaimers warning if people who have since died are featured in a programme's footage); I don't know if these extend to other depictions, but they would probably encompass computer games depicting now-dead leaders as alive.

Last edited by PhilBowles; Mar 23, 2013 at 09:58 PM.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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My guess is it was cut completely. They discussed this specifically during the "ideas you had but then scrapped" portion. Perhaps they just scrapped the whole Civ to avoid any issues at all instead of attempting to dance around the Pope/voice part.

Too bad, too. Tons of people end up learning about other civilizations and gaining huge respect just for seeing them in the game.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Apache would be an interesting choice. They could get a bonus for raiding land based trade routes. Then a bonus for melee combat by learning snake blocker training. Maybe some type of barracks building trains units faster and gives them this bonus or a free promotion.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:04 PM   #11
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I think leaving them out, given the facts we know, makes sense. If there's no voice actor, it doesn't matter if you find another leader.

Moreover, I can certainly understand how it might be deemed as offensive to be included in the game; I imagine if they ever tried making an Aboriginal (Australian) civilization, they'd hit the same roadblocks, and rightly so, for trying to fit that culture(s) into a very European conception of 'civilization'; a conception that was used as legitimization for their dispossession.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:04 PM   #12
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it's thier call. If they don't like the representation then they have to respect that. Civ is all about representing the other nations in a politically correct way. If there is no way to have them in, then so be it.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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I still think its too early to rule out the Pueblo, but it certainly looks less certain. I was one of the few on these forums prediction that an iteration of the Anasazi/Pueblo/Hohokam would be in this expansion and I could still see them making it into the expansion, but its much less likely now.

Someone has already tweeted them a question about this (if they just scrapped the leader or the civ as a whole), but I encourage others to tweet tomorrow during Firaxis's Q & A session to find out more about the Pueblo and if they were truly scrapped.

There are some proud (I don't want to say nationalists, but its the closest word I can think of to describe it) ancestors of these people that makes it no surprise of the Council's decision. As I understand it, "Anasazi" isn't even a proper Navajo word. Rather its a conglomeration of Navajo terms made up by Anglo anthropologists. In short, a made up name. It could be worse, the "Pima" who were ancestral neighbors [And could be grouped together as a Pueblo people] got their name when European descendants thought that a Oodham was responding to "What people are you". In reality the Oodham native couldn't understand the strangers and replied with the word "what" in his language and from then on in American textbooks/anthropology their people have been called "The What"
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:07 PM   #14
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I think leaving them out, given the facts we know, makes sense. If there's no voice actor, it doesn't matter if you find another leader.
I think the confusion has come up regarding the wording of it, which was explicitly talking about how they didn't want the leader ingame as he was a religious and spiritual icon for the people and was revered. He doesn't mention what the Pueblo elders opinions were on the Pueblo as a civ in whole
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:10 PM   #15
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I guess another question to ponder, given the confusion, is whether it would be worth having them in the game if they can't have that particular leader?
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:10 PM   #16
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And the Pueblo languages were fairly diverse. Even if they couldn't find a voice actor, they could have found one of Pueblo's cousin tongues.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:16 PM   #17
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Right. But then the question is, as Pouakai mentions, whether the inclusion of the Civ as a whole would be offensive. I just think it is a bit of a stretch to think that during the "things we cut" discussion they would talk about a Civ in BNW, cutting the potential leader, and still including it anyway. I mean think about it: It would essentially be announcing one of the new BNW Civs in this completely separate panel dedicated to scrapped ideas.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:18 PM   #18
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I guess another question to ponder, given the confusion, is whether it would be worth having them in the game if they can't have that particular leader?
I'd say it would be, if it's true that they had other leaders in mind during production. The settling bonus near mountains (And the apparent different city graphic with cave dwellings) would be awesome to have ingame
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:26 PM   #19
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Of course they were cut completely.

The Pueblo Council's objections aren't likely to vanish just because the leader becomes some other hero of theirs. Firaxis clearly didn't want to act agains their wishes, and by their account the Council wasn't terribly open to discussion.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 10:29 PM   #20
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Its possible - Pope was a medicine man as well [Some other leader could still be fine, I think you are projecting on the limited amount we heard]. There are other more modern leaders from certain Pueblos they could have suggested to Firaxis. I can understand Pope being off limits. But he certainly isn't the only one. They could have suggested a early 1900s leader who had to deal with a new wave of settling and seizure of fields and canals - Would be no religious connotation problems there related to the Kivas
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