“Where are the magicians?” My cousin asked me, at a half-hour family screening Daring. I saw where he was coming from. The film has all the trademarks of high fantasy: battles on green hills, warriors dressed in chainmail and carrying wooden clubs, lack of modern technology and a strange ancient local language. There will be no magic, I explained; The film was set only in Scotland in the Middle Ages. His frustration was evident.

The next day, after surveying my collection of fantasy movies and video games, I realized that they were all set in a place like 13th century Scotland. The Lord of the Rings To Skyrim To Game of Thrones. Fantasy is the only genre that gives writers an unlimited creative license to dream of the wild world, why do we see the same tired clich वेळ from time to time?

The modern fantasy template was created by JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, a pair of British medievalists who studied together at Oxford and formed societies divided by race, following the ideology of their time. The fact that you are an elf, dwarf, human or orc defines your morals and physical abilities – and racial differences can be sufficient support for war. Like today’s fictional mega-IP Harry Potter, Game of Thrones And games from Monster Hunter To Vichar All follow this tradition. They are steeped in European mythology and focus on white heroes.

‘The Witcher’ follows the rules of fantasy gaming

The games are unusual because their fiction is generously drawn from Japanese mythology as well as European, the result of that country’s crucial role in the history of the industry. Yet other mythological sources, be they Latin American, African or Arabic, have been ignored without being useful as a window-dressing for Western developers. This is a loss of gamer and richness of imagination in those cultures.

This is now changing with the rise of game developers outside of the traditional industry hubs who are weaving new ideas out of their own history and myth quilts. Earlier this year, Mexican studio Lenzo was released Aztec: Forgotten GodWhich envisions a sci-fi world where the Aztecs have never been conquered. Raji: An Ancient Epic Includes Hindu mythology and draws inspiration from Mahabharata and Ramayana. Mरीori developer Naphtali Faulkner created the stylish Umrangi Generation, A photo game set in New Zealand in the near future. Meanwhile, Orion: Legacy of Corey-Odan And ambitious upcoming games The Wagdu Chronicles Both explore complex African mythology.

In the image from the video game, a giant meconoid creature flashes spotlights on a small human figure

‘Aztec: Forgotten God’ envisions a world where Aztecs have never been conquered

These games are important because they challenge the basic concepts of many fantasy games, which critics often echo up close to European colonial history: come as a powerful white outsider in a foreign land, extract resources, and establish dominance over the locals. In a recent discussion on the subject, game writer Meghna Jayant lists the “royal ideas” common to gaming narratives, which include the following: “The only meaningful way to live in the world is to be a winner, the only fun way to change the world. , “And” freedom for oneself and agency for others to choose. ” She provided an alternative framework with her work SableA mild game that draws from Arabic imagery, casting players not as singular heroes but as one in a world of many nomads, all looking for their own way.

This move does not end with gaming to resist the colonial DNA of imagination. It also appears in films like this Black Panther And the works of authors such as Saladin Ahmed, NK Jamisin and Marlon James. These creators understand that humans have the power of magic: the ability to imagine a possible world in which we can be liberated. Yet the dream of alternative societies carries with it a responsibility not to imitate the ideology that has led to so much oppression and inequality in the real world. Fiction can only shape our future, he says, if we re-discuss its colonial terms.