I’m all for players being able to role-play a variety of topics in games. I’m okay with elements of morality. Even including the topic of slavery doesn’t bother me. However, it does make me skittish in a game that’s going to have a lot of realism, including the ability to capture other players. In a recent article for [REDACTED.TV], I discussed what we know so far.
Here’s an excerpt…
While diversity in game-play may make MMOs go ‘round, I admit to being surprised about the planned slavery mechanic in Star Citizen. Though it’s not the first MMO to include this theme, to my knowledge it is the first where it will play out with actual avatars. This particular fact makes it creep into an uncanny valley for me. It’s not something I’d ever want to be involved in roleplaying on either side of the coin – for or against. However, since it’s a planned feature, we should all be aware of its existence.
SLAVERY IN EVE ONLINE
EVE was the first MMO I played that included slavery in a present day storyline for one of the playable races. In the lore, almost one third of Minmatars are enslaved by the Amarr Empire. This conflict is reflected in missions. Minmatar are Amarr opponents in Faction Warfare.
In EVE, this all plays out as chits in your cargo bay since outside of a player’s instanced hangar no one has an avatar. You are your ship. Non-player characters are a ship. Transporting what EVE categorizes as livestock, appears as token in your cargo bay. A line of text. A stick figure icon. In Star Citizen, however, that won’t be case as it’s a first person MMO with avatars.
SLAVERY IN STAR CITIZEN
We’re likely to see avatars as slaves in Star Citizen. Slaves and indentured servants are legal in the Banu culture. We have present day lore discussing locations where slave activity occurs. We have a ship, the Banu Merchantman, capable of “displaying cargo” from a viewing room and conducting sales transactions while aboard the ship. This doesn’t sound to me as though slavery is going to be an off-screen mechanic.
Slavery is discussed in the official Star Citizens Writer’s Guide Episode 5. You can hear a narrated version in my SoundCloud library where I narrated the entire series. This was my first attempt at narration, a precursor to Casual Citizen. The sound quality isn’t the best but should suffice for learning purposes.
The Writer’s Guide tells us that there are two phases to a slave’s induction. First they are snatched, which can happen most anywhere, even in populated cities. Next the captive is transported, which results in a variety of methods depending on the sophistication of the trafficker’s operation. They may be shipped in cages if they’re being transported in a system where slavery is legal. Or anesthetized and shipped in scan protected sleeping coffins when it’s being done covertly…
Want to read more?
Head on over to my article on [REDACTED] and tell me what you think. Is this something you’re going to engage in? Do you feel it’s necessary to support this type of storyline and game play?