Assassin’s Creed: A Multi-Cultural Read


  • Magy Seif El Nasr
  • Maha Al-Saati
  • Simon Niedenthal
  • David Milam


Video game playing is becoming a predominant part of popular culture. Games, like Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, released 2007), The Sims (Maxis, released 2000), Guitar Hero (RedOctane, released 2005), and World of War Craft (Bilizzard, released 2004), have attracted many players from different cultures and age groups. In this paper, we propose that the experience of playing a video game, like Assassin’s Creed, is a personal experience shaped through one’s emotional values, expectations, knowledge, and attitudes as influenced by culture. To validate this claim, we provide an analysis of the experience of playing Assassins’ Creed from the perspectives of this paper’s four co-authors, who represent two different cultural viewpoints: Middle-Eastern and Western, as well as different intellectual disciplinary backgrounds, including architecture, theatre, and computer science. To someone from the Middle-East, for example, the game aroused many nostalgic feelings through its simulated Middle-Eastern cities, the use of Arabic words, accents and gestures, and the detailed Middle-Eastern architectural design. While such small details meant much when viewed through a Middle-Eastern eye, their values were different when viewed through a Western eye. From a Western perspective, the game play experience was heightened through the beautiful architectural detail and the use of the environment layout as a function of gameplay, such as the use of rooftops for platforming, fast movement and flying-like actions, and stealth. Thus, apparently the way the game was experienced was very different when viewed through people with different cultural backgrounds. In this paper, we aim to show this claim through thorough analysis of the game as experienced by the co¬authors.






Reflection and Review