Something that just occurred to me now about Myst: Gehn, the quintessential colonialist in the Myst universe, believes that the Ages (worlds) that he visits are *created* by him in the act of writing the books linking to them, and this rationale is used to justify conquering/ruling/'educating'/enslaving the natives. In reality, the Ages were always there, operating on their own terms before he arrived, and owe him nothing. Atrus understands that he's only visiting, not creating, and (if I remember correctly) tends to engage with the Ages and their inhabitants more as a respectful outsider than as a conqueror.

Maybe it's just me, but "I see what they did there".
rivenwanderer: Image of person falling through star fissure in Myst (myst)
( May. 8th, 2009 04:12 am)
Just tried to summarize everything possibly problematic about the Myst universe/canon/backstory to Susannah. Highlights include me calling the D'ni "the underground white people" and her insistence that they must have worn pith helmets.

I'm not sure if it's useful to anyone but me to actually write out all of this, but here's what I could think of (Myst spoilers ahead) :

-Great Logical Underground White People Empire (I think this is handled well at times and poorly at times--there's a balance between "they were so cool! it's so sad they're gone!" and "they were so screwed up and xenophobic!" that I wish was more clearly maintained.)
-The stereotypical "primitiveness" of the native cultures in Ages
-The monkey-people in Channelwood
-The genocide on the part of the brothers--I have quibbles with how it was handled (BUT I haven't played Myst 3 or 4 all that recently, so more research is needed here)
-The way that Katran becomes Catherine and therefore white *REALLY* bugs me
-THE BAHRO OMG. Can we say Fantastic Racism?
-in general, there are lots of cases of "lots of people lived here, but now they don't" because it's an adventure game without many NPCs. OR it's a Single Settler's Outpost In The Wilderness. This is a pretty fundamental thing about the games, and I'm not sure what can be done about it.

I'm trying to categorize the obvious or maybe-obvious cases of fail because I'm trying to work my head around the part that are less clear-cut (to me). Like Ages that have never been inhabited (is it wanting the National Parks without having to worry about those pesky people who were living there when you showed up?) or Ages with ruins or suggestions of ruins.


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