So I’ve just found out about a Tetris-ish like mini-game included in the game History 2 called “Slave Tetris” where you stack different “slaves” into a cargo ship. At first, I thought it was a stupid idea and it would go unnoticed but I was astonished at the slew of people criticizing the game for this small piece.
This reminded me of the infamous case back when Resident Evil 5 was released, when there was a huge backlash due to the use of the African community as enemies and targets. So my question is, in order to spread racial equality, should we use other races as enemies/targets in videogames?
There have been a lot of problems with Call of Duty, saying it’s “training our children to kill people” and that it’s “used to train young terrorists”, but it appears to me there is no one complaining about the absurd amount of russian and german soldiers that you kill in-game. The only closest thing to this was a response to the “No Russian” mission in Modern Warfare 2 where a terrorist group infiltrates and airport and massacre the people in there. No surprise, this comes from FOX News (The jesters of the news media), but they weren’t criticizing it for killing russians, they criticized it for just killing people.
What about Resident Evil 4? I’ve never heard anyone flip out for the countless killings of Spanish villagers in their own land.
My question is this: In order to spread racial equality, should we include different races as enemies in videogames? I fully support that we should, but I’d like to hear everyone else’s opinion.
"The universe is one big joke, and the joke is on us"
Don’t think this really matters and it depends on the vision of the creators.
For example, the Resident Evil 5 development team could have responded to the controversy by changing the race of the enemies but their critics would have still called them racist for “whitewashing”. The initial blacklash didn’t make sense to me because Africa is mostly comprised of people with dark skin so RE 5 was accurate in that sense.
Homefront is about a North Korean invasion of the U.S. Should it not have North Koreans as enemies?
In the GTA series, you can kill people of varying racial backgrounds. Is it trying to promote equality? In my opinion, no, because I think it is trying to reflect realism that the US cities are comprised of many different ethnic groups. You could argue the same for L.A. Noire as a period piece because LA was probably a mostly white city (infamous Compton was a white suburb) but you have blacks, latinos, and asians as supporting/background characters.
I think most of it is selected outrage. Russians, Germans, and Spanish peoples are considered “white” so they are not a minority to the politically correct. No shit, a black activist once said that “white nations” always have each others backs and don’t need help like black ones. They failed to mentioned all of the historical in-fighting and wars between “white” European countries who each have their own unique cultures.
History 2 could have been in poor taste but there is real racist shit like Ethnic Cleansing from 2002 developed by a neo-nazi organization. They were planning on creating a sequel based off the Turner Diaries (lack of imagination I suppose) but never took off because the first one was a piece of crap.
I mean, god, just read the exposition in the beginning and listen to the songs playing in the background. It’s all just stupidly laughable and bad so I find it hard to take offense. It’s just a sad testament to how ignorant people can be. We may have different color skin but we all bleed red.
Rabid ecstasy, 1997
It seems to me that what we need to focus on is the idea of ethnocentrism. Usually ethnocentrism refers to culture on the level of a country, but I think people need to start using it in terms of subcultures judging other subcultures. The main problem with “cultural critics” is the ethnocentrism on both levels. They judge Japanese games by American & Western values and they judge the gaming subculture by their own very limited cultural experience (usually feminism, academia, & media elitism). It’s very ironic that cultural critics are so uncultured. It’s a basic tenet of anthropology to try your best to check your cultural biases, especially when anthropologists looked at past their predecessors & saw how their narrow sightedness lead them to denoting other cultures as savage & immoral. When trying to judge culture, even you own, you need to check your biases; a thought foreign to modern culture critics (pun intended).
Now, if people stopped listening to culture critics who lack the self awareness & objectivity to critique media in a meaningful manner, we wouldn’t have the problem of people trying to censor artist. Current critics can never be satisfy cause their narrow ideological lens won’t let them see anything but racism, sexism, homophobia, ect. They’ll want mutually exclusive things (sex positivity, but dress the character like a Victorian Era Nun) and their “analysis” is just their interpretation (which many people will have the polar opposite interpretation). Worst of all, they’ll only look at data that supports their biases and make unsubstantiated claims that will take years of real sociological study to disprove. They speak for ignorance and their pleas for action are actually them poisoning the well of actual debate.
I think the current solution is to try and encourage games to be set in different continents, not just Russia and the middle East. Sure a lot of the more exotic locations are going to get flack, but eventually it will be seen as the norm. The only way to deal with a poisoned well is to wade through the water. When you come out the other side, proclaim that an idiot said it would be the end of the world & yet we still stand. It’s probably going to be a strategy that indie devs will have to take the lead on, might even help them get some attention in the current supersaturated indie market.
"Now, I’ve forgiven the world and myself, too. I teach myself to smile again. One day I’ll get there, I know I will. Even if it takes me not nine, but nine hundred lives." -Susan Ashworth from The Cat Lady
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