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The New "Civilization" Game Has Caused Controversy Over The Inclusion Of A Historic Korean Queen

"I like how you insult Koreans by making them use a shitty leader."

Posted on December 18, 2017, at 8:44 a.m. ET

So a couple weeks ago, popular strategy game Civilization VI released trailers for its new expansion, Rise and Fall.

One of the new leaders included in the expansion is seventh-century leader Queen Seondeok of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. She was announced in her own trailer.

View this video on YouTube

A quick history lesson: Queen Seondeok was the first woman leader of Silla, an area that now forms parts of North and South Korea.

Public opinion of the queen is unclear — while her domestic policies, such as encouraging arts and sciences, have been praised, her foreign policy, particularly her dealings with China, remains controversial. A lot of her life remains somewhat unknown and inaccurately reported.

When Queen Seondeok was announced, some people online started to get mad.

Some people accused the game of picking a woman leader to "please feminists" rather than for her skills...

"It's a stupid obsession with balanced gender representation."

...and accused the game developers of lacking knowledge of Korean history...

...and also failing to make the character actually look Korean.

However, other people felt that some of those complaining about the inclusion of a woman leader in the game may have been troll accounts. It appears the subject was posted about on various 4chan pages, though little conversation happened around it.

Discussions on Civilization Reddit pages have attempted to clarify the myths around Queen Seondeok and explain the backlash against her.

But again, there has been pushback.

It is also notable that while other historical women leaders are being introduced for the new expansion, they haven't received close to the same level of criticism as Queen Seondeok.

In what appears to be a move influenced by some of the backlash against Queen Seondeok's inclusion, the game's developers have updated her appearance before its release. You can hear this discussed below.

View this video on YouTube

BuzzFeed News has contacted the game's publisher for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.