Critics are using the hashtag #BoycottGenshin to discuss their issues with the game, which involve enemy characters being inspired by indigenous people, racism, and colorism, while there are also calls for gamers to email miHoYo with a template outlining their complaints.
However, fans of Genshin Impact are hitting back at the critics, who they say are misunderstanding important factors.
Hilichurls Inspired by Indigenous People
One issue that critics have with Genshin Impact is that the Hilichurls, a group of enemies in the game, are supposedly inspired by indigenous people.
The Hilichurls are described by the game as being: “The primitive wandering inhabitants of Teyvat’s wildernesses.
“They look very similar to humanity but seem to have lost both their intellect and spirituality. Their presence on the continent has been recorded for over a thousand years, and yet they have neither history nor civilization.
“Since the pitch-black calamity from five hundred years ago, they have begun to spread in large numbers across the land. They are not very strong, and they lack organization, but they nonetheless bring sizable trouble to humans every once in a while.”
Gamers have taken offense because they believe that aspects of these characters, such as their clothing and dancing, have been inspired by indigenous groups.
Twitter user @EM0GOJO said: “I want to talk about the #BOYCOTTGENSHIN tag. As an indigenous person, I just want to say that the Hilichurls being inspired by indigenous people is absolutely not okay. People used to laugh at their dance and just people (including me) now finding out about this is really hurtful.
“It makes us feel like we are being mocked for something that means so much to us. our culture is not something for you to take and just use miHoYo. It is not okay, it’s not funny, and I’m really disappointed. A lot of us are.”
Racism and Colorism Claims
Critics also say that there are only two playable characters with darker skin in Genshin Impact, Xinyan and Kaeya, with the former being described as scary and the latter being described as “exotic.”
Some people are criticizing the fact that despite being the two darker-skinned players, Xinyan and Kaeya are still pale, raising issues about racism, colorism, and representation.
However, fans of the game have defended Kaeya’s being described as “exotic,” pointing out that he is from Khaenri’ah, which is not part of the continent of Teyvat. Others point out that Xinyan is considered scary because she dresses like a punk rocker, not because of her skin tone.
Accusations of Pedophilia
Some gamers say that there are elements of pedophilia within Genshin Impact because an NPC says that he will confess his love for Flora, who is a child in the game.
However, others have pointed out that Flora was an adult in the beta version of the game. They believe that while Flora’s character was rewritten as a child, the NPC’s dialogue was accidentally not updated to reflect the character’s new age.
Criticism Facing Backlash
However, fans of Genshin Impact are hitting back at the critics. As well as the previously mentioned defenses, many are pointing out that the game is not supposed to be an accurate depiction of reality, while others say that the critics are searching for problems where there are none.
Twitter user @Kep3natan said: “people need to know that the grass in Genshin Impact is mocking the real-life grass we know today. how it waves and it grows back after being burned is not real and it’s utterly blasphemous !!”