Like any industry, representation is a problem in the gaming world. Although there have been some huge steps in the right direction to fix this problem, not enough is being done. AAA games by major studios are the main thing to feature this issue. We don’t see much representation of minorities in major Sony and Xbox games. But, Horizon Forbidden West is the one title that has broken this tradition. The game represents a lot of different cultures and we found a huge reference to a Muslim holiday in the game recently.
Horizon Forbidden West has a quest that directly references the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr. Stemmur, one of the characters, calls it the “feast of the crescent moons” — a pretty apt description of the religious holiday for Muslims. This reference comes in Horizon Forbidden West when Aloy has to unlock the mystery of the ornaments. When Aloy collects the ornaments, she goes to Stemmur to solve this puzzle. He attaches the ornaments to a device that he found a few days back. This turns on the lights which signify some of the holidays that the old ones used to celebrate.
Aloy is given an option to choose from one of the holidays and among them is Eid al-Fitr. If you choose this option, a beautiful sky filled with a crescent moon appears. It’s an amazing sight in the game and an even better one for the Muslim community around the world. But, Eid al-Fitr is not the only under-represented holiday we see in Horizon Forbidden West.
The options panel, which shows us the holidays the old ones used to celebrate, also features Bodhi Day. Seeing the Buddhist holiday in a major game like Horizon Forbidden West is really amazing. It also further signifies how Guerilla Games nailed the representation of different societies in Horizon Forbidden West. Not only do we see the holidays of different cultures, but their traditions also appear throughout the sequel.
Sales of the game are also huge, so diversity doesn’t seem to impact the numbers in any way. In a time when most games don’t feature diversity, Guerrilla Games has made it a core principle of their product. It’s tough to find any other big games in the industry that feature as much representation as Horizon Forbidden West. This might not translate directly to reviews and sales, but it means a whole lot to the people who play these games. Hopefully, this trend continues in the future.
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