Representation of Native Americans: From Literature to Video Games

Martínez Linares, Samuel. (2018). Representation of Native Americans: From Literature to Video Games Master Thesis, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España). Facultad de Filología

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Título Representation of Native Americans: From Literature to Video Games
Autor(es) Martínez Linares, Samuel
Abstract Native Americans have been an oppressed people since Columbian times, at the end of the fifteenth century. Even though indigenous cultures trace back further than the Neolithic period, the European colonisation brought about a threat to their way of life, traditions and culture; a threat that was later perpetuated in literature by means of the use of stereotypes and inaccurate misrepresentations, which, in turn, had a great influence on popular culture and, especially, on video games. The aim of this paper is to analyse how video games reinforce racial stereotypes, and how they can also be used to subvert such oversimplified conventions. The first section of this master’s thesis will briefly examine Native American history in order to contextualize the indigenous identity so as to reach a better understanding of the struggles Native Americans had to go through in colonial times exploring the assimilation and acculturation process they endured. We will continue to analyse how the Native American’s portrayal shifts from reality in literature for political or entertainment reasons, with the appearance of racial stereotypes in literary texts, ranging from Columbus’ letters and captivity novels to children’s and contemporary fiction, with the subsequent film adaptations, such as Peter Pan or the Twilight saga. We will continue to analyse how the oversimplified conventions of the noble savage, the great warrior, the spiritual shaman and the pan-Indian construct created by mainstream white society gain strength in video games, providing a justification of the importance of video games within popular culture as an industry that reaches millions of people around the world which has a powerful potential to raise racial awareness but not always accounts for racial diversity and tolerance, as seen in successful franchises such as Street Fighter or Tekken. Titles like Never Alone and Assassin’s Creed III, however, make use of this potential by means of faithful Native American portrayals. To conclude, we will ascertain that, despite the high number of Native American misrepresentations in the industry, video games can help subvert racial issues, promoting diversity, equality and tolerance, which can be achieved by means of a racially inclusive and collaborative game creation process.
Notas adicionales Trabajo de Fin de Máster. Máster Universitario en Estudios Literarios y Culturales Ingleses y su Proyección Social. UNED
Materia(s) Filología
Palabra clave native american
video games
Editor(es) Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España). Facultad de Filología
Director/Tutor Zamorano Rueda, Ana
Fecha 2018-03-13
Formato application/pdf
Identificador bibliuned:master-Filologia-ELyCIyPS-Smartinez
Idioma eng
Versión de la publicación acceptedVersion
Nivel de acceso y licencia
Tipo de recurso master Thesis
Tipo de acceso Acceso abierto

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Creado: Fri, 23 Mar 2018, 01:31:03 CET