Thank for checking out my column here on Beneath The Tangles. Every week I will do my best to highlight different games of Japanese origin or deal with common gamer issues. Please let me know in the comments what you would like me to write about, as I am very attentive to every word my readers share. God bless, and let me know what you thought below.
This time I will be tackling a sensitive topic that is evident throughout the world, but not found often in video games. There are a few games that talk about it, but personally I believe Valkyria Chronicles (Senjō no Varukyuria) brought prejudice to light in a good way. If you have never played this game, it was released on Playstation 3 in 2008 (also on PC in November, 2014) and is part of the war/strategy genre. The game was received well by many video game publications and has two sequels (as of this writing), a manga and an anime! It’s not common to find a game that an anime is made from, it’s usually the opposite.
There are quite a few topics I could pull from Valkyria Chronicles, from the power of friendship and being part of a team to knowing how to be a leader. Instead, I wrote about discrimination because it’s highlighted well in this game. I will try not to spoil too much of the game, but basically the Valkyrians (a race of beings in the game) won a war against the Darcens (another race of people) and had them be used as slave labor. Their last names were removed and they lost their jobs and property. Not all are slaves, as some have gone on to have better lives and live amongst the regular race of humans.
The Dark Hairs
Isara Gunther, sister to the main character Welkins, is a Darcsen. She was adopted by Welkins father but has to deal with prejudice on a daily basis. You see it most with the enemies of the game and one of the main characters, Brigitte “Rosie” Stark. She cannot stand Isara or her kind because of an incident that she blames Darcsens for from her past. It’s interesting to see these two characters play out their differences and see real racial stereotypes in the game. It’s a big part of the story, and one that many games fail to address, yet instead make a mockery of (insert racial stereotype game here).
Valkyria Chronicles takes into account that racism is a real issue, but many times here in America we like to live in our little bubbles and pretend like it doesn’t exist, or that was something from “years ago”. We can look to the news and see that racism is still alive here and overseas. Christians are murdered for their faith while people of different colored skin or nationality are persecuted and insulted because they don’t look or speak the same. This topic is personal to me because I myself am Hispanic and not of European descent, which is where most Americans are from. I haven’t dealt with racism myself, but I have seen its effects.
I wonder how it would be to see a world free of racism, but if we can learn one thing from Valkyria Chronicles and the Darcsens, it’s not to stand for it. If you find yourself treating others differently, catch yourself and stop. Welkin Gunther, the games main character, always defended his sister when others picked on her because he never saw the hatred they did in her. He only saw her as she was, even though her hair and other features were different.
Whether it’s something small like the other person’s accent, skin tone, height, weight, or other physical features, know that God made all of us in His image. God isn’t white, black, Japanese or American. He is the God of all who desire to live for Him and receive forgiveness from His Son Jesus Christ.
9 And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
I hope that this post will help open your eyes to the differences of people all around the world. Know that we are all different, and that’s just fine, because God loves us all just the same. Love others as He loves us, unconditionally. Pour out that same love He gives us to others that may not look, talk or walk like you do.
(Watch this video to get some of the history of the war mentioned above. Forward to 3:00 min. to see some of the racial tension present between Rosie and Isara)