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1997-09-04: Racial and Imperialist Overtones


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Racial and Imperialist Overtones

Author: Caliph Cie Published: September 4, 1997



I have been with the rather large Ultima Online beta team for a while now, and I've just noticed something about this game. It has extreme racial and imperialist overtones. Lord British, the man from another world, the British nation to be exact, has very light skin, the lightest skin of anyone that I've ever seen in Britannia. In UO, our only options available as far as skin color range from very dark, to a tanned appearance. But we cannot seem to choose Lord British's skin color. This is a very interesting turn of events. It seems as if Lord British, the monarch, has undisputed control over his darker skinned subjects. I can see a lot of parallels in post-renaissance Colonialism, particular the British Empire, and their control over the Caribbean Lesser Antilles. We can from here ascertain a few outcomes of this racial domination:

1) The subjects will accept, and we shall from here see a booming tourism economy, much like Barbados. Good things to come from those of you who wish to be inn owners, barkeeps, or merchants dealing in luxury items.

2) The people will peacefully protest, and Lord British will abdicate, or become an elected prime minister, depending upon what his political agenda is. There might also be a democratic or republican government run by the racial majority (under a very improbable possibility, are secretly paid off by white people, or tanned mulattos). Similar to islands such as St. Kitts.

In this case, tourism will be popular, but it will be a very limited source of income, as these governments wont have the powerful financial backing that a monarchy can provide. Perhaps one can do better exporting fine coffees, and many delicacies. In return, all imports will have heavy tariffs imposed, the money used to improve the infrastructure, which will help to attract foreign investment as far as tourism and such.

3) The people will wage an armed uprising, and either a military dictator, or a communist party leader, will rule the country with undisputed control. At first, the weapons trade will be a BOOMING activity, but once a provisional government is set up after British's abdication, arms and armor will probably experience severe bans, thus weapons and armor merchants will be in the poorhouse, unless they assemble production facilities and be the first to offer inexpensive and reliable contracts to the unelected government. Tourist trade will be all but dead, since people wont want to visit a country where military men are patrolling every street. But wait ... they already do that in Britannia. A chilling event of things to come? Only time will tell...