The hashtag #boycottgenshin is currently trending all over Twitter as gamers have begun discussing potentially problematic aspects of the hit game Genshin Impact.
Since its mid-pandemic release in September 2020, Genshin Impact has amassed a huge following on mobile, PC and PS4, with many fans comparing its style to that of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Within its first month alone, the free-to-play game earned more than $US245 million in revenue via in-game microtransactions.
But now it appears some players are ready to boycott the game altogether as allegations of racism, inappropriate relationships with perceived minors and the encouragement of gambling have surfaced.
In less than 24 hours, the hashtag #boycottgenshin amassed more than 65,000 tweets. So what exactly are the claims?
The allegations of racism and colourism are the main qualms that players have with the game, with some users asserting that the game’s Hilichurls (described as “primitive humanoid monsters” that are “incapable of communication”) are allegedly based on Indigenous people.
Now-viral footage of a studio tour video from October 2020 appears to depict an animator working on the infamous Hilichurls’ dance. But if you look closely, you can see what looks like footage of an Indigenous community dancing in the background.
— moved to IN7MAKIS (@venluvr) April 6, 2021
The footage quickly amassed more than 700,000 views on Twitter, prompting more claims of racism and colourism from developers.
#boycottgenshin it just pisses me off bc we have been sitting on this information for ages. hilichurls being based off indigenous people, gross npcs, colorism, it’s not NEW news yet we’re only talking about it now bc what??? chasm got pushed back??? what the fuck
— key (@X1NY4N) April 6, 2021
100% indigenous person here! please listen! as someone who would be considered a “whale” i feel nothing but pure anger at the fact that my people were the basis for fucking hilichurls. im devastated because i have a big hyperfixation on this game. but im not+
— des ☕️❄️| ????important (@despressoh) April 6, 2021
Following the viral footage, many fans called out the lack of in-game diversity.
Genshin Impact features 30 different playable characters, however, only two of these characters — Xinyan and Kaeya — have darker complexions.
Additionally, fans have pointed out that Xinyan’s skin tone changes dramatically throughout the game.
— nonbinary denji (@makidni) April 6, 2021
And to make matters worse, the pair are described as “exotic” and “scary” in the game’s lore, which has led fans to make further accusations of racial microaggressions.
However, fans of the game have defended these descriptions, asserting that Xinyan is described as “scary” because of her “resting bitch face” and punk aesthetic.
since so many of you are taking things out of context, here are screenshots of xinyan’s voice lines, character story and her in-game face that ACTUALLY explain why people find her scary.
— piz ???? log in for web event Pls (@alatusnemexiaos) April 6, 2021
There are a fuck ton of problems with #boycottgenshin but i just wanna say: Xinyan is viewed as scary cause of her punk-rock aesthetic not cause of her dark skin, hilichurls and other creatures similar to them in other fantasy games will NEVER be good representation to (1/?)
— What are you doing here (@kaizurii) April 6, 2021
In addition to the racism claims, gamers have alleged that the relationship between Ulfr and Flora depicts an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
— gummy (@gummyphos) April 6, 2021
It’s worth noting that the game doesn’t specify how old Flora is in any part of the lore, but she does appear to be a minor. However, fans have been quick to point out that she was an adult in the beta version of the game.
kinda tired of the ulfr & flora debate in genshin.
before genshin was released, flora had an adult model. that was the "person" ulfr is in love with. but upon release, they changed flora's model into a child pic.twitter.com/2HllZFXBtK
— victon subin (@NewWorId_VlCTON) April 6, 2021
Following the backlash, thousands of fans have flocked to the hashtag to defend the game and, unsurprisingly, hijack the hashtag to share their horniness.