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horizon zero dawn

Year: 2017

Platform: PlayStation 4

Genre: Action RPG

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Guerrilla Games

Notes: Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in the 31st century, where humans are forced into tribal societies after apocalyptic weather events. One event in the game, “Haere Mai”; refers to a programme created by the New Zealand government, to encourage young people to return to New Zealand. According to the Horizon Zero Dawn wiki, “The program was conceived by Prime Minister Tama Ngata, whose merit was to accelerate the revival of Auckland and Christchurch following the Citarum disaster through high-risk investments in the nanotechnology construction industry.”

Overall Rating: I think I can get behind a video game which imagines a Maori wahine as Prime Minister, and also features giant, Haast’s Eagle-like robots. However, watch out for tokenizing and fetishizing aspects of other people’s cultures, given the “lapse into primal cultures” tone of the game.