Home | Contents | Photos | News | Reviews | Store | Forum | ICI | Educators | Fans | Contests | Help | FAQ | Info

Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Tak returns in Amazon adventure


October 24, 2005

If the idea of sweltering in the Amazon jungle while competing in various challenges gets you excited, then you might want to dive into THQ's unusual game, Tak: The Great Juju Challenge.

In the last two versions of the franchise, Tak had to risk his hide to protect the Pupunanu tribe from the dastardly despot Tlaloc. However, this game focuses on Tak entering a sacred tournament in which he competes against three other tribes to earn the protection of the devout Moon Juju for the next 60 years.

To win, you must solve puzzles to advance to subsequent challenges. They're all time-based, so a higher score is awarded to the player who finishes the fastest. But don't be put off by these time limits, as most players will finish each challenge with plenty of time to spare. When you've passed enough challenges, the games switches to a destruction-derby-type competition, with the loser's tribe eliminated from the contest.

This is the first game where players can control both Tak and his buddy, Lok. You can switch between characters at any time to use their special abilities. For instance, Tak can use magic attacks and swim, while Lok can toss Tak to otherwise-unreachable places and clamber over obstacles. Most levels will require you to switch between characters several times to advance.

Tak: The Great Juju Challenge isn't groundbreaking, but it's a humorous family game that's best played cooperatively.



Rob's comment
Giving Indians magical abilities is a tried-and-true technique, even though it's somewhat stereotypical. The problem here is labeling Native beliefs "Juju" or saying Natives worship the "Blue Juju." Not only is this factually incorrect, it implies Native beliefs are primitive, superstitious, and tainted with evil.


Juju (sometimes spelled ju-ju) originated in West Africa, and, specifically—as far as there can be any specificity—Nigeria. It is defined as 'any object that is worshiped superstitiously and used as an amulet or fetish'. Just as important is the magical power attributed to this object and, often, a ban or taboo effected by it. The Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend says that juju is "the spirit dwelling within a made object or fetish, in the belief of the Ibo of the lower Niger. The term is applied generically to the ghosts and evil spirits of Southern Nigeria."

Related links
"Primitive" Indian religion

* More opinions *
  Join our Native/pop culture blog and comment
  Sign up to receive our FREE newsletter via e-mail
  See the latest Native American stereotypes in the media
  Political and social developments ripped from the headlines

. . .

Home | Contents | Photos | News | Reviews | Store | Forum | ICI | Educators | Fans | Contests | Help | FAQ | Info

All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.

Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.