Hilichurls, the fictional baddies in Genshin Inpact, according to some are very problematic because they are a racist representation of indigenous Americans.
First orcs now the Hilichurls from Genshin Impact. Isn’t there anything people don’t find racist? Or perhaps people have a valid reason to boycott the game with #BoycottGenshin trending. Are they making fun of indigenous people?
Genshin Impact, the popular free-to-play action role-playing game developed by miHoYo, is under fire as fans are calling to boycott it for the way it represents people of colour. The primitive baddies in Genshin Impact known as the Hilichurls are being compared to indigenous American folk.
Although some would argue that racism is in the eye of the beholder, in this particular case the developers were reportedly inspired by native American attire when they created the Hilichulrs.
“Many of the enemies within the game, especially hilichurls, are inspired by indigenous people. This is extremely harmful and demonizes indigenous individuals while disrespecting their culture,” an offended Genshin Impact fan wrote in an email directed at the developer under the #BoycottGenshin tag.
Genshin Impact is “whitewashed”
“Characters are also extremely whitewashed, with only two playable characters having darker skin and both of them being sees and sly or villainous and having colourist remarks about them by other characters. This is harmful to any player with darker skin and pushes the idea that darker skinned individuals are somehow lesser than lighter skinned peoples.”
The Adventure Handbook states that the Hilichurls are “primitive humanoid monsters” that can be found all across Teyvat. They are depicted with subpar intelligence because, according to the game’s lore, people have already given up on trying to communicate with the hilichurls, believing that they are monsters simply incapable of communication.
However, strangely enough the people behind the #BoycottGenshin game don’t exactly want you to boycott Genshin Impact but to rather send strongly worded emails to the developers. They love the game too much to simply stop playing it.
[Redacted] in Genshin Impact?
The boycott also brings into question the games alleged [redacted] themes. According to the email one of the NPCS known as Ulfr claims to be in love with a Flora who is depicted as a young child. Other fans have defended these claims saying that the game does not specify age of any of their characters.
The game wiki clearly states that Flora owns her own Flower Shop in city of Mondstadt which probably means she’s actually not a child although she appears young.
People are just angry because of the delay?
Genshin Impact has been out since November, 2020, so it seems strange that people are only talking about this now. Some believe that the #BoycottGenshin trend has more to do with people being upset because of delayed DLC and that they have to spend money on this free-to-play title and are therefor lashing out at the developer. It is even detailed in the aforementioned email.
“We’ve recently learned that new content in the game including a new storyline and Inuzama maps have been delayed for the sake of your company making more money. For the players that started the game for the storyline and for those who started for any other reason, this is upsetting and decreases morale for wanting to play the game. Character releases have been denied as well, and people do not want to continue to wait to be able to play,” the email reads.
Perhaps this call for a Genshin Impact boycott is just manufactured outrage to get the developers to release the delayed content, but it truly appears that there is some veiled racism in Genshin Impact. However, if this is just about the ‘content push’ then it is despicable that people are using racism to get the content released early.