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The Internet's In An Uproar Over Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact has come a long way from being written off as a Zelda clone, but it still has the internet in an uproar. Genshin Impact has been accused of shady business in the past, but this is a whole other level. The hashtags "#boycottgenshinimpact" and "#boycottmihoyo" are trending for reasons you probably won't expect. 


The biggest reason? Hilichurls. It has apparently been revealed that the main mob of the game, especially in the early parts of the map, were actually inspired by indigenous groups. The main controversy seemed to arise after a video began circulating on Twitter of a Hilichurl animation model shuffling around next to a video of an indigenous tribe, which was seemingly being used for reference. The original tweet has since been deleted, but the clip in question was taken from a video tour of Genshin Impact developer miHoYo's offices.

The problem for most people wasn't that indigenous groups were used for reference — it was actually about the depiction of the Hilichurls in the game. They're introduced as the main enemy that Travelers should kill on sight through the majority of the game. As Twitter user thebitterocean said, "the Hilichurls are viewed as 'evil, primitive bad guys who need to be defeated and driven out.'"


This sentiment sparked a lot of controversy. Some people agreed, arguing that miHoYo shouldn't use a race of people to be the inspiration behind monsters in Genshin Impact. Others vehemently disagreed, with some commenters pointing out that video game animators reference a wide variety of things when it comes to developing a game.

While the Hilichurl argument was going on, other fans were taking offense over an NPC that behaves inappropriately toward a younger-looking character. Popular Genshin Impact streamer AsianGuyStream addressed this by pointing out that the young girl in the scenario was actually an adult character in earlier stages of the game. This was changed at one point, leaving a very uncomfortable exchange, so now it's up to miHoYo to adjust the dialogue. 

Twitter user fischyan brought up another issue within Genshin Impact: "can we get more dark skinned characters and this time without such descriptions as 'exotic' or 'scary.'" Some fans have argued that these descriptions are of the character's personalities, not their physical appearance, but the issue remains.  

It should be noted that although miHoYo hasn't released a statement regarding these controversies, the company has a history of listening to players when it comes to making major changes in the game.