Right, Mike's official statement on #KingdomComeDeliverance by @WarhorseStudios. Expect to get my head metaphorically kicked in, but here goes. A series of points...
#KingdomComeDeliverance came under fire for a perceived lack of ethnic representation in the game prior to release - no People of Colour, etc. You've got a lot of blogs like this. newnormative.com/2018/02/07/kin…
One of the @WarhorseStudio devs, and #KingdomComeDeliverance's creative directors, @DanielVavra was also accused of supporting #GamerGate, and, well, leaned into that...
Now, I might get to the whole art/creator problem later, but I'd like to address the critiques of lack of diverse representation first. The thing that you have to keep in mind is that the setting of this game isn't a sprawling world. It's just not.
The 'world' of #KingdomComeDeliverance is a small patch of Czech countryside in the year 1403, centering around a few villages and towns, a monastery and a castle or two. Moreover, it's a rural backwater, about 50km away from Prague.
It's wrong to say that people didn't move about in the Late Middle Ages. Many people traveled in the 15th century - traders, pilgrims, soldiers, traders, diplomats, nobles, etc. They could walk up to 25 - 30 km a day, far more than us by foot. machaut.weebly.com/travel-in-the-…
However (and this is a big one), long distance travel was restricted to main routes, dictated by natural resources, landscape and population centres. If you didn't need to be there, you didn't go - the risks were too great. Bandits, wild animals and natural hazards lay in wait.
What does this mean? Away from the routes themselves - even as far as a few kilometres - people largely kept to what they were doing and didn't travel far. There were obligations - farming, trading that meant travel was restricted to short(ish) distances, at regular intervals.
Medieval European travel - heck, travel up to only a few centuries ago - was heavily granulated. A lack of speed and energy required to get people from A to B quickly and efficiently, coupled with poor roads, kept people close to home.
In the game, linger around a tavern long enough and you'll hear two farmers talking in wonderment about a black person that one saw on a rare trip to Prague (I think?). No erasure or abuse here - these guys just never had access to places where travelers from afar congregated.
Now, if we were talking about a game set in Prague, things might be different. In the late medieval period, it was, for a time, centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Odds are, you would come across foreign merchants and people of colour. (Image: Prague, Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493)
However, there's very few reasons for PoC in the form of traders to visit places like Rattay, Uzhitz or Ledetchko, let alone places clustered around an monastery, like Sasau. I'm not saying it never happened, but it would be a huge deal. (Pictured Sasau/Sasava Monastery)
The thing that nails it is that the game is set prior to the Hussite Wars. Sigismund, King of Hungary, has abducted the rightful king, Wenceslaus IV. As the game begins, Sigismund is systematically hammering any supporters of Wenceslaus with mercenaries. (Pictured: Sigi & Wen)
Now, these mercenaries largely comprised the Cumans, a people from the Eurasian steppe, known as strong, powerful soldiers - put it this way, they were one of the few peoples to seriously resist the Mongol hordes. encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?li…
Throughout #KingdomComeDeliverance, you battle these Cumans, and Sigismund's other forces, as they burn, pillage and plunder their way through the game world. You are living and fighting in what is very much an active war zone. (Pictured: Cuman warrior reenactors)
No wonder you're not seeing PoC and people from a long way! Why on earth would they come to a part of the country that is frequently breaking out into violent conflict?
Look, dudes, I'm the guy who told @PrisonPlanet that he was Wrong About Black Romans In Britain, but I am absolutely fine with the depiction of medieval Czechia here. It is, by all accounts, accurate. telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/2…
I'm all for diverse representation, but there's nothing worse than when character/s feels jimmied in to a setting.

Here, it probably would, and that would detract from them. It would be a bigger point of contention than the current controversy. Damned if you do, etc...
I think there's a million stories that could be told about medieval PoC in Europe they would be absolutely fantastic. I urge creators to get in there and make it happen. Hell, give me games set in medieval Africa, China, the Pacific - I long to immerse myself in the global past!
Now, as for a creator I disagree with? Can I separate the art from the artist? Well, we each have to individually have to make a call. Personally, if I blackballed any art from a creator I personally disagreed with, life would be pretty dull.
Here's a good piece on that art/artist dynamic, specifically as it relates to #KingdomComeDeliverance. heavy.com/games/2018/02/…
Let me just say one more thing though - in the game, I've embarked on quests that seriously look at the issues raised by refugees, portrayed in a sensitive manner. I've tried to talk heretics out of martyrdom and argued passionately about zealotry
...for a game supposedly dripping with 'toxic white male supremacy', the game can be incredibly 'SJW' at times. It's got me to think not only about the world of 1403, but our world, and what I can to leave it a better place.
So, to sum up, I think the @WarhorseStudios have created something that is accurate, true to the spirit of the time and place, but also an incredibly immersive, thoughtful experience.
Thank you, good night, and LOOK IT'S HENRY, GOD BLESS YOU HENRY!

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