So Square Enix is releasing a Native American War Bonnet in “Final Fantasy XV” and a forum thread titled “Please reconsider putting the Native American war bonnet attire in-game.” has amassed at least 63 pages of comments so far. These range from varying degrees of people claiming cultural offense is not being taken into account, as well as various counter-arguments, including the lack of outrage over other cultures wardrobes being portrayed in the game.
Now as per the norm, those arguing for the removal of the wardrobe are an extreme minority, and few if any of them are likely Native Americans. Final Fantasy as a series has portrayed many various real world cultural symbols throughout their games, from religious symbols and gods, to various wardrobes and outfits. You could say that Final Fantasy has “culturally appropriated” quite a number of things throughout its lifetime, enough for many groups to take offense. Of course, that isn’t to say some have not succeeded before. Games like “Final Fantasy VI” had names of spells like “Holy” changed to “Pearl” in the original US release to pre-emptively avoid offending people.
A Pope Hat? Shouldn’t There Be Some Angry Catholics Over This?
Something important to note about those taking offense to Native American War Bonnets, or any War Bonnet for that matter as this was not an exclusively practiced tradition among Native Americans, and the practice of this tradition is all but dead. It is no longer practiced anywhere near to the same degree it once was, in fact, you can buy several very authentic looking ones online. There are many arguments presented as to why the War Bonnet should be considered taboo, including this open letter about real world portrayals which compares Native American War Bonnets to military medals, which happens to be something we do make replicas of and wear for specific costumes as well as portray them in video games. Don’t even get me started on the myriad of fake college degrees you are able to buy, and place on your wall.
This is faux outrage disguising itself as a righteous cause, in order to defend the idea that a nearly dead cultural practice should somehow be kept sacred and not be portrayed in modern society and media to avoid offending people. This is a fantasy world, that has cultures in it similar to our own real world cultures but has their own individual reasons for being there. What is sacred to you in the real world may very well be just another fashion choice in a fantasy world.