"When was the last time you actually saw an Australian city replicated in a
video game? Not something in the background, but a 2D or 3D space that you
could walk around and interact with, one that actually mirrored the spirit of
Forza Horizon 3
was probably the closest depiction of an actual modern day
Australia with Surfers Paradise, provided you could forgive the creative
license that placed the Victorian Twelve Apostles just north of Byron Bay.
There’s Terror Australis
, a tabletop RPG set in the 1920s which incorporated
a good amount of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and
legends — but in a Call of Cthulhu
setting. There was Civilization 6
added John Curtin and outback stations — but not Indigenous Australians.
So what we mostly get in video games is deserts, thick bogan accents, car
chases, machine guns. It’s still a recipe for a good video game. But it’s not
really Australian. It doesn’t represent the melting pot of cultures that make
Australia so unique to other countries. It doesn’t replicate the native stories
told by our First Nations people, the oldest civilisation on Earth. Our laconic
sense of humour occasionally appears — sometimes to great effect like in Golf
— but it’s usually through an individual character, a piece of DLC or
part of the supporting cast.
Some games have tried to highlight elements of Australia in their own way, but
the industry, mostly, treats Australia as something that has to be watered
down. It’s too much for an international market; people wouldn’t “get it”.
That’s part of the problem that Broken Roads
, the post-apocalyptic,
philosophical RPG set in Australia that’s following in the steps of the
original Fallout games, is trying to solve."
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics