Hashtag 'BoycottGenshinImpact' has over 10,000 tweets after claims of racism.

17:33, 07 Apr 2021

Genshin Impact, upon its release in September 2020, proved to be quite a hit. The open-world RPG that revolves around the use of magic and characterisation has quickly become popular, especially among the Asian and Eastern-European gaming communities.

However, the developers have recently come under fire, after the hashtag "boycottgenshinimpact" has gone viral on Twitter after claims of racism, colourism, and paedophilia are all deployed within the game. 

With over 10,000 tweets on the matter, here's why it started trending.

Much of the controversy has revolved around a Tweet shared by "venluvr" in which it depicts a video of a MiHoYo artist working on the designs of Genshin Impact's antagonist hilichurls. Within the clip, it becomes clear that they reference material of what appears to be dancing indigenous Americans.

Such clip has sparked debate over how Genshin Impact potentially uses real-world minorities to influence the design of its fantasy races. The antagonist race in the game are depicted as wearing stereotypical tribal clothing and conduct tribal dances and ceremonies, whilst being portrayed as evil and harmful - as they appear to be based on "indigenous Americans", the developers have been accused of wrongfully stereotyping the race.

Further criticism has come through the way that Xinyan and Kaeya are portrayed in the game. Xinyan, who has notably darker skin than most of Genshin's characters, is often referred to as having a scary aesthetic. Kaeya is also referred to as "exotic", a term that often associated with semantic fields of "foreignness" and therefore being put under pressure for perceiving the characters as racist.

Finally, an in-game NPC named Ulfr has also been criticised by the public. The adult character admits through dialogue to be in love with Flora, who is a child in the game. Despite originally being designed as an adult before the developers chose to depict her as a child, Ulfr's feelings have been called into question by fans.

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The boycott of Genshin Impact has seemingly severe intentions. The developers have since yet to comment or make any in-game changes.

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Image via miHoYo

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