Campo Santo: There Are People Coming At Us With The SJW Bullshit For In The Valley Of Gods
Campo Santo, an indie team based in San Francisco, California, had a great debut with the memorable first-person adventure game Firewatch.
During the latest The Game Awards in December 2017, we learned that the folks at Campo Santo have been hard at work on a new adventure game called In the Valley of Gods.
The announcement came with a stunning reveal trailer which showcased the two protagonists, Rashida and Zora, who go on a journey to make an incredible archaeological discovery in 1920s Egypt. There’s a huge new feature about In the Valley of Gods in the latest GamesTM magazine (February 2018, issue 197) and the interview includes Founder Sean Vanaman commenting on a certain kind of backlash the team received on the debut trailer.
Something that I’ve found really interesting is that when we showed the trailer, some of the first comments that I saw – and maybe this is coincidence, random and not at all predominant – were people wondering if Zora and Rashida were a romantic couple. That’s so weird!
I mean, obviously, there are people coming at us with the ‘SJW bullshit’ and being, like, ‘Oh you’re just going to make a game about minority lesbians?’ And I’m just like… what!?
First off, if you want to make that game you should make that game – nobody should feel precluded from making that game if it’s in their heart and are willing to go through the hell of making a videogame to do it. But I didn’t watch the trailer for Uncharted and wonder if Nate and Sully were going to fuck. Like nobody did and nobody does… it’s just gender bias, and it’s very strange.
This is a story about friendships and the friendships that are forged between people who need each other. It’s definitely an exploration of that; of thinking about the people that you need, not just the people that you choose to be with. The social facts of the era are definitely a part of the story. I think it would be pretty irresponsible of us to just present these two utopian characters who just happened to be successful, and then this is just some alternate history where them being women didn’t matter? Like, no. Them being women matters. These are unmarried women in the Twenties, who are in their late Twenties/early Thirties. So that stuff obviously matters to them because it matters to the world that they are in. They share that together. The story explores that and I want people to maybe have feelings about friendships and relationships… not a lot of people tell stories or make games about female friendship – and not to say people don’t because there are lots of good examples – but it’s just not something that gets explored a lot.
This isn’t the first time Campo Santo had to deal with some angered community members. Back in September, they filed DMCA against Firewatch gameplay videos made by YouTuber PewDiePie after he made the now infamous racist comments, and in turn, Firewatch got review bombed on Steam.
In the Valley of Gods is scheduled to launch in 2019 for PC (Windows, Mac OS and Linux), with console ports likely coming afterward.