Gaming news

Everything you’ve learned about historical pigs from video games is false

Historical realism is lacking in this tiny pig!

When it comes to how pigs are portrayed in video games with medieval settings, Peter Alexander Kerkhof, an assistant professor of historical studies at the University of Leiden, has a lot to say. The polygonal porkers of the past are overstuffed, stumpy, pink, and bare-chested. At least, that is what Kerkhof stated in a post published on the Leiden Medievalists Blog in August 2021.

Let’s go back. Organisms that we domesticate alter throughout time to reflect the traits we breed them for. The gigantic ears of corn used to make soda in America were developed from wild maize, which produced much lower yields. The brave wolves who guarded our ancient campsites are the parents of the sweet, cute little pugs with their squished faces and life-threatening breathing issues. Thank you, huh?

Through researching the time, Kerkhof has access to a wealth of information about the peculiarities of pigs in medieval Times and how they differ from sows now. They had tusks like wild boars and were slimmer, hairier, and rangier in general. Only breeding sows and their young were kept on farms during the medieval era; the rest of the pigs were allowed to roam the surrounding fields and forests.

If you want more information that this view is also not based on the work of historical artists, who were terrible at painting cats, check out Kerkhof’s wide bibliography, which also includes descriptions of the animal and modern art.

Kerkhof draws a vivid portrait of the ancient hogs. However, how those oinkers are depicted by modern developers completely disappoints us. There are pink, pot-bellied pigs in pens everywhere you look, whether it be in Assassin’s Creed, A Plague Tale, or The Witcher. All of our dedication to realism results in this.

Putting jokes aside, Kerkhof’s paper is intelligent. It serves as a reminder of how completely foreign the past is rather than just criticizing game developers. Why can pigs be exempt from the gulf of ages when language, morality, science, and even our perception of the passage of time were so different even just two hundred years ago?

I’ll be interested to see how Pentiment handles its oinkers, even though it’s probably okay if medieval games keep getting pigs “wrong.” We should always make room in our hearts for the pink-bellied grunters of today, as my partner pointed out to me. After centuries of genetic engineering work to make them into the ideal food, it’s the least we can do for them.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button