Genshin Impact developers have come under fire after a number of critics believe one of the game’s enemy types is inspired by indigenous people.
MiHoYo’s open-world game has proved to be one of the sleeper hits of 2020, pulling in millions of players from all over the world. Since then, Genshin Impact has featured numerous updates and additions to its ever-growing roster. The world of Teyvat is absolutely brimming with all kinds of colorful characters, unique quests, bloodthirsty bosses, and devastatingly powerful weapons.
Despite its huge popularity, the game has received its fair share of criticisms. Usually, these frustrations arise from the game’s abysmally low character drop percentages, time-gated content, and lackluster end-game. However, this time the current backlash is aimed at the design surrounding one of Genshin’s enemy types – that of the humble Hilichurl.
Genshin Impact Hilichurl design backlash
Hilichurls are Genshin Impact’s most common enemy type – in fact, these goblin-like creatures can be found all across Teyvat. There are also several varieties of this basic enemy type, with many utilizing both ranged and melee attacks. They also differ in both size and strength.
For example, the mighty Mitachurls are much bigger than their common Hilicurl counterparts and wield gigantic axes, while Samachurls utilize magical attacks to outwit their opponents. However, criticisms have started to pop up online that claim that the Hilichurl design is distasteful.
“I want to talk about the #BOYCOTTGENSHIN tag,” says @EM0GOJO. “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.”
i want to talk about the #BOYCOTTGENSHIN tag. as an a 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 +
— ًsage | ia (@EM0GOJO) April 6, 2021
This has led to the #boycottgenshin hashtag trending on Twitter, with both fans of the game and critics chiming in on the matter. Many critics believe Genshin Impact’s Hilichurl design is hurtful to indigenous people.
The Twitter user went on to write state that “ 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.”
— ًsage | ia (@EM0GOJO) April 6, 2021
There has even been a video circulating online of Hilichurl dancing, which critics have stated is clearly inspired by native dances. However, a lot of fans have also defended miHoYo as one user, @manangalexxx, noted that “Every native dance HAS a tapping foot dance step.”
“And hell, the video that’s been circulating around, has only 20-seconds of that comparison you people have been complaining about. If you want to present your facts properly, actually do a clear presentation with clear details and facts.”
So what got me thinking is that's so cool they're dancing. When I saw the comparison video of the hilichurl model and a very pixelized old Native American video, the Hilichurl was just tapping it's foot. Every native dance HAS a "tapping their foot" ++
— alexsycho✨ (@manangalexxx) April 6, 2021
As of writing, the #BOYCOTTGENSHIN tag has 56.8K Tweets and continues to gain traction as both sides argue their points. Some outraged fans and social media users have even gone as far as emailing the developers themselves.
Whether miHoYo will make a statement on the matter remains to be seen, but for now, it looks like the Hilichurls are here to stay.