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Genshin Impact players call for boycott amidst Hilichurls controversy

Why is #boycottgenshin trending on Twitter? Find out everything about Hilichurls, indigenous people references, and why people think that miHoYo is racist.
Genshin Impact players call for boycott amidst Hilichurls controversy

Genshin Impact is undoubtedly one of the most successful games the last year, coming out from seemingly nowhere and finding millions of fans across every platform.

In less than six months after its release, the game surpassed $1 billion in revenue just on mobile platforms (not including the PS4 and PC), which is the third-highest revenue for a mobile game during the first six months, after Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile.

With tens of millions of players around the world enjoying adventures across the world of Teyvat, it is bound that some issues will arise from time to time, and it seems that several of them are currently troubling the player base.

Why is #boycottgenshin trending on Twitter?

Genshin Impact Hilichurls indigenous cultures
Is there racism behind the design of Hilichurls? (Picture: miHoYo)

On the 6th of April 2021, hashtag #boycottgenshin started trending on Twitter, with more than 50,000 tweets using it at the time of writing.

But what are the issues players are concerned about and why are they calling for a boycott?

Apparently, it has been discovered that some elements of Hilichurls, goblin-like monsters in Genshin Impact, take in some part inspiration from Indigenous tribes, with some elements of their dancing and clothing inspired partially by indigenous cultures, and that's something a number of players see as racist and wrong.

The problem stems from the fact that Hilichurls in Genshin Impact are monsters and enemies, represented as savages and almost animal-like.

"The primitive wandering inhabitants of Teyvat's wildernesses.
They look very similar to humanity but seem to have lost both their intellect and spirituality," reads the game's Archive system. "Their presence on the continent has been recorded for over a thousand years, and yet they have neither history nor civilization."

Genshin Impact Hilichurls indigenous people cultures
The controversial part of the video where a developer uses indigenous dance as a reference. (Picture: miHoYo)

The evidence of this "inspiration" has been spotted in the miHoYo Tour 2020 video, where a developer can be seen working on the animations of a Hilichurl while watching a video of tribesmen dancing as a reference.

While this is the main reason behind the Twitter outrage, several other reasons can be seen paired with #boycottgenshin, including things like "creepy and pedophilic NPCs" and description of Xinyan (dark-skinned character) as scary and exotic.

genshin Impact Pedophilia flora
Flora was an adult in the beta, but a child in the launch version of the game. (Picture: miHoYo)

Some of these things are explained as changes from the closed beta (In regards to Flora's age who was previously an adult and then changed to a kid, but the romantic dialogue was mistakenly left), while Xinyan is seen as scary because of her music, not because of her appearance.

And while fans are arguing and taking sides on Twitter, at the time of writing, miHoYo is yet to comment on these concerns.


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