While there continues to be a push for greater diversity in games, many are wondering if IO Interactive did any research at all for their level based on America's most naively-white state.
Like legendary animals in an open-world RPG, those who have been to Vermont know that persons of color can only be found in specific parts of the state – namely UVM and Middlebury College. While the rhetoric of its residents may lead outsiders to believe otherwise, the truth is that Vermonters prefer to advocate for minorities from a distance, patting themselves on the back while crossing the street because the one black guy who lives in town is walking in their direction. Playing Hitman 2, however, you'd think the Green Mountains are a melting pot rather than a diversity deterrent.
Our setting for the level in question, “Another Life,” is the first offense – a cookie cutter cul-de-sac the likes of which can be found nowhere in the IRL state. Combine that with the background spread of enormous windmills that true Vermonters would scoff at erecting and you have clear evidence that the team at IO Interactive are all guilty of never knowing the state existed before Bernie's presidential run. Egregiously missing are the bearded men in flannels, the forest green Subarus with faded 'Obama '08' bumper stickers, and the cyclists traveling the wrong direction up a one-way street with their reusable shopping bags full of organic produce in tow.
Most glaring of all, however, are the houses filled with flashy computing devices and server racks that would, in the real Vermont, struggle to operate with the laughable internet speeds available in the Comcast-monopolized state, let alone serve as functioning crime stations.
It's a shame that “Another Life” fails so hard at displaying New England's most racist state that doesn't think it's racist. The one thing Vermonters can take comfort in is that the game has no sign of the heroin epidemic they try so hard to pretend doesn't exist, saving them the discomfort of acknowledging real problems while playing – real-world politics being, of course, every gamer's worst nightmare.
That last point aside, whoever was in charge of research for Hitman 2's settings deserves a lifetime of fake maple syrup and finger wagging from Bernie.
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