C’est La Guerre – Why The Wacky World Of 18th Century Politics May Interfere With Your X-Box


Why Madame Pompadour, You Look Ravishing Tonight!

Why Madame Pompadour, You Look Ravishing Tonight!

The launch of the new Assassin’s Creed game – Assassin’s Creed Unity – has run into a few problems. Personally, I blame the French. Oh, I know what you’re saying. “It’s all very well blaming the French, Mike”. And I would agree. Yes, it is all very well blaming the French. In fact, it is never wrong to blame the French for anything. Factually incorrect perhaps, but never actually wrong, morally speaking. But I digress.

When I say that the launch has run into a few problems, I’m not talking about the hilarious glitches such as the one shown above. Gamers secretly love these, so that’s not going to affect sales much. The problem the game is running into is that its historical accuracy is being called into question by the only people who give a toss about it: the French.

Not all of the French, of course. They are not rising up against Ubisoft as one nation, like they did against the Aristocracy back in 1789. France being something of a Socialist utopia – albeit a Socialist utopia paid for by the Germans- it’s the French far left that’s raising the objections. And in a Socialist utopia, the far left are really far left.

The French far left’s objections to Assassin’s Creed Unity start off as nit picking. Revolutionaries are shown waving The Tricolor in 1792, long before it was adopted. They are heard singing “The Marseillaise” before it became the national anthem. That kind of thing. But the main thrust of their objection is that Maximillian Robespierre – “The Father Of French Democracy”- is portrayed as a blood thirsty psychopath. Just because he oversaw at least 40,000 beheadings between 1793 and 1794. Outrageous.

Ubisoft released the following statement on the subject : “Assassin’s Creed Unity is a game for the mass public. It’s not a history lesson”. I thought this was needlessly diplomatic of them. What they should have said was: “There weren’t any time travelling, virtually indestructible assassins knocking about during The Revolution either. It’s just a game. Fucking grow up.”

That would have been a reasonable response in my opinion. Another reasonable response would have been: “If Robespierre was ‘the father of French democracy’ and ‘a man of The People’, why did The People cut his head off in 1794?” That’s just politics, I guess.

© Copyright Michael Grimes 2014


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About thedailygrime

At that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.

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