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Title: Black Egyptians and White Greeks?: Historical Speculation and Racecraft in the Video Game Assassin's Creed: Origins
Authors: Banker, Bryan
Keywords: race
science fiction
video games
Assassin's Creed
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: MDPI
Abstract: Recent portrayals of ancient Egypt in popular culture have renewed attention concerning the historical accuracy of how race and racism appear in representations of antiquity. Historians of the antiquity have robustly dismissed racist claims of whitewashing or blackwashing historical and cultural material in both scholarship and in popular culture. The 2017 video game Assassin's Creed: Origins is a noteworthy site to examine this debate, as the game was designed with the assistance of historians and cultural experts, presenting players with an historically accurate ancient Egypt. Yet, if race is a fantasy, as Karen Fields and Barbara Fields' racecraft articulates, then what historians have speculated in their study of race and racism are presentations of a proto-racecraft, borrowing from historian Benjamin Isaac. This essay argues that Assassin's Creed: Origins racecrafts through the paradigm of historical speculation. As historians have speculated on meanings and operations of race and racism in ancient Egypt, Origins has made those speculations visible through its depiction of a racially diverse Ptolemaic Egypt. Yet, this racecraft is paradoxically good, as the game does so to push back against the hegemony of whiteness and whitewashing in contemporary popular culture.
ISSN: 2076-0787
Appears in Collections:WoS İndeksli Yayınlar Koleksiyonu / WoS Indexed Publications Collection

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