Get Off Of My Cloud

Get Off Of My Cloud
You Got Your Race In My Videogame

Pat Miller | 1 Aug 2006 12:00
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All of a sudden, the internet is looking less like a colorblind haven and more like second grade, where everyone thought the two Asian kids in the class knew kung fu, could speak Chinese and were related. And maybe, just maybe, we could compare this to GTA: San Andreas again, and see what it would be like to roleplay the stereotypical black thug in LambdaMOO. How is it different when a white male racially performs as black? Or when an Asian male roleplays as white?

I'm writing this to you, videogame community, because I love you. I have played through the same stories as you. I have cursed King of Fighters boss characters like you. I have had controllers thrown at me, probably by you. I have borrowed games from you and not returned them because you lost my copy of Nights Into Dreams. I have owned you, and I have been owned by you. I see the same incredible potential for telling new stories with new technology that you do. I want a game to be truly Mature when it's labeled Mature, because I know just as well as you do that boobies and dead bodies aren't enough to hold on to my interest these days.

But sadly, amid our chatter of $600 PlayStation 3s, we're glossing over some of the important stuff, the ugly stuff, the revealing stuff, and, yes, some of the genuinely Mature stuff that we have in the games that are already out. We are so unwilling to take our beloved medium seriously, we just shrug and brush it off when we have to check our real-life identities at the login screen. Many of us just don't think about why this could be relevant to you and the people you play with.

Race and videogames may not quite be two great tastes that taste great together, but they're both here, and when they're staring us in the face it would be nothing but childish and irresponsible to ignore them.

Even in Ico.

Pat Miller has been doing this for way too long. Stop by his blog, Token Minorities, for more on race and videogames.

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