269: Praise Diversity, Address Inequality

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Praise Diversity, Address Inequality

The sad truth is that all races will never be represented in games unless we start changing how it is discussed in the public forum. Jamin Brophy-Warren is tired of wondering if too much criticism in favor of more diversity in games is "too much."

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there isn't more diversity because people dont really care and kick off at the wrong times

Resident evil was the wrong time its in Africa FFS

The reason so few characters look like you there aren't that many half black half Mexicans.

Hey almost no British characters sound like me their all londoners or scots oh wait there arent that many scousers very awkward analogy yes but its the same reason a minority by nature is a minority and so is pandered too less.

also more and more games are adding character creators than ever

Ed.:
there isn't more diversity because people dont really care and kick off at the wrong times

Resident evil was the wrong time its in Africa FFS

The reason so few characters look like you there aren't that many half black half Mexicans.

Hey almost no British characters sound like me their all londoners or scots oh wait there arent that many scousers very awkward analogy yes but its the same reason a minority by nature is a minority and so is pandered too less.

also more and more games are adding character creators than ever

Pretty much this.

Well put sir... Well put.

I didn't like how often people crowed about things in this article. Everyone was at it. I rarely crow about things, and when I do, it's generally to celebrate a victory (which is the only meaning of the word I've ever heard), from the rooster's crow, not just "saying stuff in a vaguely obnoxious way", from the crow's caw. It can also be an inarticulate cry of pleasure, according to mah googlings, but that doesn't make much sense in context.

I was more interested in the bit about racism within the gamer community, because I don't feel that it's just GIFT at work here. Your story about the guy insulting you for your race for no reason was affecting. I hear a lot of this kind of crap, even on more benign games, and it's annoying. It's mostly just maladjusted teens trying to be edgy and devil-may-care, but it's pathetic and ruins the game experience for everyone. The rest of the article is kind of echoed in the other articles this week, to be honest - maybe there was too narrow a focus for so many writers.

One has to wonder why one hast to wonder that there aren't any black little sisters in Bioshock (given the setting and all, rampant racism in Rapture is not unlikely, feels very in-universe to me).
And remembering the weird Resident Evil Controversy (Where the only level that in my opinion CAN be interpreted as latently racist has been mostly ignored), the depiction of black kids beeing creepy brainwashed little mutants that you can kill mercilessly...well, go figure.

I've quietly resented videogames for not including many characters that look like me

I think you're being a bit unrealistic here. A black hispanic mix isn't exactly common you know?

A lot of examples cited here aren't trying to be racist. While its not necessarily bad to talk about them, they shouldn't be reprimanded for it.

And with Bioshock, the lack of black characters makes sense to the setting. Rapture is a city built in the 1940s or so by rich white men, and filled with people they thought were the best and brightest. It makes sense in that context that these rich white men would not include black people.

Interesting fact about Augustus Cole; he is, actually, quite competent. According to TVTropes, he has actually refused promotion to a higher rank several times because he didn't want to be taken off active duty.

I still don't see what the problem was with RE5, though I do see how it could offend people. If you're shooting zombies in Africa, they are likely going to be black people. Strangely, few people had any problem with shooting Spanish stereotypes in RE4, but they did complain about Luis being stereotypically lecherous. I can't help but wonder what would happen if the RE5 zombies were all white. Would people complain that it should have black zombies?

Frankly, I'm not sure how race is supposed to help me empathize with a character. When Jade goes running around solving puzzles fighting soldiers, I can still feel for her, despite never having done any of that stuff. When Ratchet and Clank run around the galaxy trying to save the day with fantastic weapons, I really want them to succeed. And if my Black Mage is wearing a robe and wizard hat and can throw fireballs from their fingertips, skin color isn't really going to help me relate to them more.

Note how I'm not mentioning my own race here. That's deliberate.

As I have said before, it is easy to want to get past identity politics when your participation is not mandatory.

I think race should be wide open to discussion and that developers should have and be ready to express the reasons for making a character a certain race same as they should have reasons for making them a certain size, gender, alien species, etc.

However, when these questions are asked in an attempt to elicit change, are we potentially becoming too heavy-handed? As mentioned by others, there is often no intent to be racist or a good reason why only one race is represented. Should a game get a pass because it made an artistic or directional decision rather than one that was political or racial? I believe sometimes it should. When some critics wait until what is perceived as an especially egregious racial offense, is it more because they are necessarily blind to it or they don't want to trample on artistic license or pretend to know what was running in a director's head?

To effect desired change, I think talking about race in games will have a little bit of an effect, but will not help things at the source. Games are a mirror of the real world, and I believe addressing real, interpersonal issues may do more down the line to make games more diverse than addressing them directly.

Man, this made me think. Great article.

What I hate most about the race debate is that it draws the wrong sort of people into our beloved debate. Gamers and devs have a fairly decent debate going constantly, they take alot of input and feedback from us ask us what we want and I would say do a fair amount to be accomodating. The problem with the people who percieve racism where there isnt any is that they draw people into these debates who dont understand or care to understand the mendium.

Take the sex in games arguement and Mass Effect. Every gamer who played it or cared to understand it knew flat out it was benign, it was in context and it was a well executed piece of story and tastfully done. Yet we all remember the FOX news fiasco, where we all get painted like a bunch of perverts who press x to have sex with depictions of unrealistic beautiful women etc and suddenly were sexist and promoting an unrealistic view of women and so on....

Or even today I was reading the piece about the Anti-Mafia2 protesters and their "successful" ruining of the Mafia2 launch party. When they began protesting they hadnt even seen Mafia2 it was still in dev. Gamers know the average Italian isnt a power wielding Capo in the the mob shaking down his neighbours for protection, hell everybody with half a brain knows it. But no again, gamers are insensitive and promoting a filthy image of hard working Italian businessmen because this group of Italians says so and mainstream media doesnt care enough to understand a gamers perspective.

We cant burden every game by demanding a full color spectrum and equal ethnical represenation, and as you say bringing it up at every available chance just reminds me of tolerence camp in South Park. There are no black little sisters in bioshock, theres no asian ones either and if we start demanding there be little girls from every ethnicity to drain of Adam and if we are expected to do it at every turn your going to break canon very quickly explaining it all.

Barrat in FF7 is the black leader of a politically driven underground resistance movement fighting an evil corporation, led by white a white guy with red hair. You play a blue eyed, blonde haired protaganist in a game made by japanese people.

Coach and Rochelle and Louis from the L4D series are portrayed as perfectly normal people, Louis is wearing a shirt and tie, not hip hop gear and Coach is a positive male role model offering encouragement to the other chars, Rochelle speaks normally and looks like any other woman in the south of America.

While every corporate evil madman or evil scientist is a white, rich, supergreedy nutjob. I'm from north east England and I am always dissapointed to hear the "British Accent" portrayed in games, in reality the accent in England changes in nearly every city, quite drastically .

It's not racism it's because not every game developer has time to take a course in political correctness. Alot of them are white yes, not for any particular reason it's just that way atm, so they make white leads because they identify with white people? when India starts developing games you will see more Indian protaganists. Did you ever play Afro Samurai? have you ever watched The Boondocks? Played Defjam Fight for NYC?

Cole train is not an intentional charecture of black sports personalities he is simply the culmination of a writer's experience of male black football personalities from his only source, the modern media, the news, the sports channel, films, people he has met. Prejudice is hard to avoid when you want to include a character from a place or race, with which you have had little experience.

You wish game developers would be a little more culturally aware? Well first go fix the portrayal of ethnic minorities in modern media and when you've done that go give lectures on how not to accidentally alienate the very culture you are trying to emulate.

There is a line you have to draw otherwise you will end up ruining peoples artistic vision in the name of political correctness. Forcing people to deal with culture they are inexperienced with will ultimately create more accidental prejudice

Is it possible alot of game developers neglect ethnic minorities in their game from fear of getting it wrong and being viewed as prejudice? Gambling with setting your lead as a half chinese, half tibetan midget women is asking for trouble you might aswell call her "Su Mi" and watch your PR turn rotten like an underground cavern of farts.

Over reaction does more to segregate us than anything else. Many people become resentful of this forced sense of "white guilt" because a minority of our ascendants were dickwads. I know many people who are afraid to describe someone as black incase people think they are racist.

Prejudice exists because it is impossible to glean every nuance of a persons culture in the time we have. It exists because of misperception or misinformation and because not everyone can gain the same insights as you gain when you are part of that culture.

What I'm saying is you can't expect everyone to be culturally aware, you can only hope to avoid such accidental prejudice through education. Some people don't have the experience, some are ignorant, they both still have the right to make games and will be judged individually.

and perhaps a prodominantally white games dev team should not cast a black lead because thats just a big pot of accidental racism waiting to happen, not many are willing to pay for culture consultants either.

The problem is infinitely more complex than you think and saying "hey why aren't you making a black lead?" is probably the stupidest racist comment I've heard in a long time. If you want an accurate depiction of whatever minority its best that the minority in question handles the writing/storyline or someone who is PROVEN to be culturally aware.

The answer to a lot of your questions can be found pretty easily in your own article (both this one and the older Wall Street Journal one you linked).

Why aren't there more ethnic characters in video games? Because...

"[...] Ms. Flanagan says that to deal with violent images, particularly ones that involve people of color, the game should be nuanced and confront issues of race head on."

"He says the choice of race can be difficult and they wanted to avoid stereotypes."

"What about the dread-locked Mojya Corps of LocoRoco or the similar sambo-like characters in Patapon 2? What about maniacal, trash-talking Cole Train in Gears of War? I know plenty of black dudes just like Cole, but when he's the only one, it distorts who black folk actually are. All of these examples could be part of a strong case that racist imagery continues to pervade videogames just as it does all other forms of media."

The long and short of it is this: feature white characters, and tell the story you want to tell. Feature non-white characters, and tell stories about tolerance and racial issues.

"That comes down to a simple question for developers - why does this character look like he or she does? They should have an answer."

So... How do you answer this for non-white characters without getting accused of stereotyping? Why IS that particular character the ethnicity they are? What do you think the reason is for Alyx Vance being Black/Asian? For Faith being Asian?

"I know it's a fantasy world, but why aren't there any non-white Little Sisters in BioShock?"

The Little Sisters all share a model. They can ALL be white, or they can ALL be black, or they can ALL be Asian, etc. Which do you think they should be, and why?

I think race and all dimensions of minority inclusion within videogames is an incredibly thorny issue. On the one hand, the fact that characters, especially lead characters, are predominantly straight white men is undoubtedly worrying. On the other hand its difficult to see how exactly this can be fixed without someone making a conscious decision to start including token minorities. If Ubisoft decides that in the interest of inclusion and good press alone 15% of its videogames have to have a black lead character (or Asian, female etc)is this really a good solution?

Maybe part of the problem here is that most lead videogame characters are not particularly well characterised in the first place. Perhaps if there was a greater focus on the motivations and characteristics of the player characters then not only would more consideration be given to the race and gender of the character but hopefully that character would be more relatable on a level of empathy as well as just representation.

Of course, even if this was to occur it could easily be the case that representation doesn't improve if this doesn't fit with the story that the creative directors of games want to tell. I'd be interested to know how diverse the game development community is with regards to race and gender - perhaps the industry favours white characters because the people designing them find them intrinsically more relatable?

I think the one take-away point from this article though is how important it is to keep this issue alive through discussion. So long as some people feel alienated from the games they play its never a trivial issue to be thrown away, and the tendency of the majority of gamers to treat the status quo as totally fine so long as there isn't abject racism is I think very unhelpful. By making sure representation stays in the general discourse we can help to make designers consider this issue as they develop their characters in a way they might otherwise not.

People just need to complain about something. Anything, really. You give a game some "color" (loose terminology open to interpretation) and people complain. Don't give 'em enough and people complain. Game developers now have to sit down and choose between radicalizing the game industry by placing a person of color in the place of their Anglo-Saxon protagonists or taking the easy way out and slapping an all concealing fishbowl on the shoulders of some Mjolnir armor and calling it a day. In the end people are just fickle little bastards that need to shut the fuck up. If you dont like killing little African zombie dudes, then just go trade in your Resident Evil copy for Dead Rising and fuck up some pasty gray shits than one can only guess were caucasian at one point. Still bothered by that? Go kill yourself in the bathroom so that it comes up on the news and I can laugh about it. Seriously, I like to think that we all enjoy games for AMUSEMENT purposes, but when we start overthinking shit, we really kinda just perform exercises in futility, dont we?

Isn't the whole idea about racial equality that color of skin should not matter one way or the other? By making the arguement that there are few protagonists that are a minority and that developers should make more of them, i really think that is counter-productive towards that cause, even though i know the statement to be true.

As for the Bioshock little sisters: That has a setting that plays out in the 50's and Rapture was founded by and for scientists. Around that time there where hardly any black scientists so that takes care of that. In fact, it probably would have been more true to real life if Rapture would have black personnel that did all the menial jobs there. But that would be considered racist by some people.

As long as mostly white people make the decisions in game development, you will get mostly white protagonists. I dont think that that has anything to do with bias or catering to the market. It just is.
Look at the GTA series and it succes. It had an italian-american, a black person and an eastern european in it's last 3 big releases. I would hardly call those 'majority' protagonists. It doesn't matter to a gamer, as long as it's a good game.
The politics of race matter, but puh-LEASE keep it away from my favorite past time.

"VIDEO GAMES COME FROM JAPAN!" (Moviebob/GAme Overthinker)

How much writing about lack of diversity it too much? I believe in your freedom of speech, and I believe you can say too much all you want. That being said, almost any is too much. Let us tack your arguments about not finding characters of your specific racial mix into other media:

Leonardo De Vinci is a racist, because the Mona Lisa is not my ethnicity.
The Latins were racists for sculpting mostly Latins.
Charley Chaplin is a racist for only portraying white folk.
The Arthurian Legends are racist for not having blacks, Asians, or Mexicans.
...

I would propose that, instead of bitching, you personally change the medium. You want to see more mulatto statuary? You sculpt. Think that paintings look too Mediterranean and long for a Caribbean cupid? Paint. Not enough brown in books? Write. I guess there isn't enough black/Mexican mix in video games for you. I guess you should start making video games.

I do note and laud that you did just that (but as a player) the moment you could. I have no defense for others online conduct. I'm sorry you had to go through that. It should be noted, however, that the same part of Bill of Rights allowing you to write and me to add my cent allows them to disparage any ethnicity, creed, sexuality, et cetera they wish. I'm not saying it's good that they do that, but I am saying it's good that we can.

I don't mind playing someone that doesn't look like myself in any fashion.

There are multiple reasons why the main version of a game character is usually white and male. I'd suggest that the main reason is to avoid being called racist or sexist.

CitySquirrel:
As I have said before, it is easy to want to get past identity politics when your participation is not mandatory.

THIS. This can pretty much sum up almost every single post on every single thread on the Escapist dealing anything to do with race.

I'm surprised that Valve haven't had more of a mention in this and any of the other articles this week.
When you look at Valve's catalogue of games with this issue in mind you can see that they consistently build more interesting experiences through ethnic diversity of characters. It doesn't effect play particularly and you may never even notice it (such as in Portal), but it's generally a positive thing.

I can see why there are many people on the various comments boards this issue saying things to the effect of "Someone's got to be the good guy and someone's got to be the bad guys; what does it matter" which I can understand to a certain extent - it's arguably an issue to be fought elsewhere than in videogaming where core audience and constraints of the medium play a part, but with Valve providing such an obvious example of how devs can include various races and influences into games and enrich the worlds for it, I can't see how it can be be worth ignoring - whether it's an issue close to your heart or not.

I would assume that the reason most protagonists in core games are white and male is because most consumers are white and male. It makes it easier for the consumer to identify with a character who is similar to them, thus increasing interest level, which translates into money. It's basically the easy and cheap way out of having to add more characterization to generate interest. Is it racist? Only as racist as someone who complains about it, as they are exhibiting this very principle.

Cliff_m85:
There are multiple reasons why the main version of a game character is usually white and male. I'd suggest that the main reason is to avoid being called racist or sexist.

Wasn't that his point? Rather than try to deal with race, we avoid it. Also, the reason people get called racist and sexist is because they implement things in weird ways. A Japanese example: okay, so FF13 has some racial diversity in their otherwise racially ambiguous character group. Unfortunately he is the cliched wisecracking black dude with an afro and who gets as his vehicle summon thingy...a red sports car. Now, these were the Japanese, who tend to think culture is genetic, not Americans, but the point is that when they add racial diversity they cannot get past race as a role I mentioned in another thread.

Jamin Brophy-Warren:
Praise Diversity, Address Inequality

The sad truth is that all races will never be represented in games unless we start changing how it is discussed in the public forum. Jamin Brophy-Warren is tired of wondering if too much criticism in favor of more diversity in games is "too much."

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This picture sums up my thoughts nicely.

image

I think that if the character is custemizable and you make can them black it doesnt matter. If the game has a character already set up and hes white, dont worry so much about it. It's a set character and their race shouldnt affect your enjoyment of the game too much. I enjoy games where i can make my character too, it makes it feel more personal. Ive played as black characters and white characters and i personally couldnt care less if they were all purple. If every character was black i wouldnt really care. It just doesnt seem like much of a big deal for me.

CitySquirrel:

Cliff_m85:
There are multiple reasons why the main version of a game character is usually white and male. I'd suggest that the main reason is to avoid being called racist or sexist.

Wasn't that his point? Rather than try to deal with race, we avoid it. Also, the reason people get called racist and sexist is because they implement things in weird ways. A Japanese example: okay, so FF13 has some racial diversity in their otherwise racially ambiguous character group. Unfortunately he is the cliched wisecracking black dude with an afro and who gets as his vehicle summon thingy...a red sports car. Now, these were the Japanese, who tend to think culture is genetic, not Americans, but the point is that when they add racial diversity they cannot get past race as a role I mentioned in another thread.

I don't think there's a point to deal with race. It's a non-option, as such we shouldn't be ashamed nor proud of it. Same with sex, sexual orientation, and nationality. *shrugs*

Anacortian:
"VIDEO GAMES COME FROM JAPAN!" (Moviebob/GAme Overthinker)

How much writing about lack of diversity it too much? I believe in your freedom of speech, and I believe you can say too much all you want. That being said, almost any is too much. Let us tack your arguments about not finding characters of your specific racial mix into other media:

Leonardo De Vinci is a racist, because the Mona Lisa is not my ethnicity.
The Latins were racists for sculpting mostly Latins.
Charley Chaplin is a racist for only portraying white folk.
The Arthurian Legends are racist for not having blacks, Asians, or Mexicans.
...

The problem with this argument, is that Leonardo Da Vinci was from Italy, the Latins are from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, and the Arthurian Legends are from Europe. Each catered to the largely homogenous populations of their respective countries. Charley Chaplin is a product of a time that WAS racist, and therefore this argument is demonstrably fallacious. We live (or at least I do) in the so-called "Melting Pot" of the United States. There is an amalgamation of all races in this country, and it is what defines us as a nation. True, interracial marriages (and presumably births) in this country account for less than five percent of marriages. However, it is not farfetched to expect to see the fifteen percent Hispanic and thirteen percent black population of the United States represented in video games set in the present. Beyond that, as the United States (and indeed the world) continue to intermingle and intermarry, it should be noted that media set in the future should see MUCH more diversity in terms of race and ethnicity.
I'll concede that the author shouldn't expect to see several black/Mexican mixed race characters in video games, but the fact that such a mix is the second most common form of interracial marriage (behind white/Asian), in five to ten years time, this may not be such a farfetched expectation either.
On a more personal note, it is my personal feeling that it is very difficult for the caucasian populace to understand why this is so important to minorities. As a Hispanic, I yearn to see other Hispanics wipe out the alien horde, survive the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and fight his way through the zombies. No doubt anyone on this thread can give me the names of a few games that allow me to see this, to which I will give you several hundreds of games where such a thing is possible only with white male protagonists. Are those five or six games fifteen percent of several hundred? No.

I don't think the whitewashing problem that games have is the developers' fault. As someone who for some reason still has some faith in humanity's goodness (I'm not sure why, but I do), I try to give developers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to issues like this - even Resident Evil 5. After all, the game does take place in Africa, where lots of black people do live, and the main character was already established as being white from previous games. I think the problem lies more in the fact that games are only trying to not be racist rather than aiming to be fully inclusive. Frankly, I can't blame developers for thinking that way. It's a fine line to walk. If a game were to have a minority protagonist and a wide variety of ethnicity in their characters, it would be great. I don't really care what color character I'm playing as, so long as it's a good game. But if even one little thing could be misconstrued as racist in a game like that, special interest groups would be up in arms about it a la Mafia 2. It's all a big risk-analysis game.

For example, I could make a flash game - let's say it's a platformer where there's enemies that can hurt you, and you can eat food to recover health. Let's also suppose that, as a fairly common food, I put in a fried chicken drumstick as one of the things you can eat to recover health. Now, not thinking about the potential for a racial stereotype, I make my main character black in an effort to be racially diverse. Someone could come along and play my game and realize "A black character eating fried chicken to recover health?! It must be a racial slur!" where the two elements didn't even connect in my mind before releasing it. Note that it doesn't matter whether or not the slur was intended, or the fact that there's other food you can eat. All it takes is for someone with a semi-popular blog to say that my game is racist, and suddenly their readers will avoid my game. I then lose on ad revenue and have to play damage control, and no matter how hard I try some people will never play my game because they're convinced I'm racist.

Now, let's back this up a second. Say I instead made my main character white. Well, there's not nearly as many racial slurs connected to white people as there are other races, and certainly not one between white people and fried chicken. I release my game, I get my ad revenue, and all is well. The only thing I can be accused of is whitewashing - just like every other developer - or perhaps a few complaints about the dodgy physics engine or whatever.

tl;dr It's a lot safer to whitewash the cast of your game and be accused of whitewashing - just like almost every other game out there - than it is to make a diverse cast and have the risk of something being taken as racist and getting your game lambasted by some over-analyzing special interest group. The first rule of crisis management is to not let a crisis happen in the first place, and by blending into the crowd game developers prevent being accused of any more racism than any other developer. In an almost poetic bit of cosmic irony, it's people like Unico National that prevent games from having more diversity for fear of having a Mafia 2 on your hands.

Personally, I'd much rather have developers spend their time and budget on crap that matters in a video game, like content, rather than 40 billion different character feature combinations and whether or not I can properly be represented in a video game (half Irish, half Mexican--wanna talk about feeling left the hell out?).

AceCalhoon:
The answer to a lot of your questions can be found pretty easily in your own article (both this one and the older Wall Street Journal one you linked).

Why aren't there more ethnic characters in video games? Because...

"[...] Ms. Flanagan says that to deal with violent images, particularly ones that involve people of color, the game should be nuanced and confront issues of race head on."

"He says the choice of race can be difficult and they wanted to avoid stereotypes."

"What about the dread-locked Mojya Corps of LocoRoco or the similar sambo-like characters in Patapon 2? What about maniacal, trash-talking Cole Train in Gears of War? I know plenty of black dudes just like Cole, but when he's the only one, it distorts who black folk actually are. All of these examples could be part of a strong case that racist imagery continues to pervade videogames just as it does all other forms of media."

The long and short of it is this: feature white characters, and tell the story you want to tell. Feature non-white characters, and tell stories about tolerance and racial issues.

Interesting thought there. I'm not sure how much weight it actually holds but I can certainly see an outcry from groups who, when seeing people of different races in a game, would insist that 'They got it all wrong!' or 'didn't handle the characters correctly' when the goal is to make a game (first) and tell a story (second) and do the best job they can-without having to worry about getting everyone's panties in a bunch.

That said; I think it's a pretty short-sighted reason to keep things as is.

While I disagree with the article's premise of "When is too much crowing about race in games "too much?" The truth is that it is never too much," because being unable to recognize when it is too much is the mark of a zealot, I do agree that "Creating change is about building inertia. It's about taking every small act of unkindness or cultural ignorance and making it public."

Things don't shift overnight and I think keeping discussions like this afloat do help broaden our consciousness when it comes to exclusivity in the Universe.

Cliff_m85:
I don't think there's a point to deal with race. It's a non-option, as such we shouldn't be ashamed nor proud of it. Same with sex, sexual orientation, and nationality. *shrugs*

Well, then I refer you to my previous statement.

It's interesting to see how many of the posters are being, let's be honest, a tad condescending. Basically saying "What is teh big deal? Why should race matter?" etc., etc.

Truth of the matter is that race, or ethnicity, does matter. I don't whine about it precisely because of light handed responses this article seems to be getting, but even you guys do have a point.

There was an article, I believe it was in Destructoid, that pointed towards the overabundance of white protagonists with short brown hair and stubble. Just think about that.

It's quite simple yet that one single thing points towards a wide cultural divide in our society.

There is an expectation of achievment for the majority of the population, and then there's another for the minority. Unless there is a concise, directed cultural effort from both, the minorities will be swept aside. But I don't think it is so much as the majority trying to be insensitive more than the simple fact that its output swamps all available channels and the minority is still struggling with other things to put more of a concerted, directed effort.

Also, it can always be summarized as the following: If people of color want to be equally represented then, at the very same time they are creating social conscience, they should start making the games themselves.

But, who is making the games? Nerds, geeks, techies, or in short, very educated people.

What is the nerd, geek, techie stereotype?

Where are the mexicans, inidigenous, black guys, mixed, etc. Don't believe me? Watch a sitcom named Big Bang Theory that represents and pokes fun at its subject matter. But, hey, at least they've got an indian guy, right?

Again, proactivity within minorities is paramount, but the majority should take steps to facilitate the opening of the channels. That's it.

Although I agree that there remains a distressing amount of racism in society, I disagree with your call to constantly question the race of characters in games, questioning the reason why each character is which culture. Although that would cut down on the (obnoxious) stereotypes, it also screams the message "Race is a big deal!!!" which goes against everything that multi-cultural society teaches, which is that race is not a defining feature. It would force an even greater degree of political corectness on all of us, and would do very little to combat the actual issue: The racists, sexists, etc. in real life.

Smokescreen:

That said; I think it's a pretty short-sighted reason to keep things as is.

I'm not championing it as The Way Things Should Be. I'm pointing out that, the way I see it, an intense focus on race has led to a situation where the easiest course of action is to avoid the topic altogether.

When we talk about race we need to be moving the conversation towards things which are factual and actionable. If the problem is that there simply aren't enough X in video games, then there is only one possible solution: Mandate that a certain percentage of games must include X.

What we need to look for are the underlying causes of the problem. Are people not being hired because of the color of their skin? Not being promoted, or published? These are things we can solve, if they're brought to light. This is what we should be outraged about, not that there were 2% fewer minorities in corridor shooters this year as compared to last.

We also need to be cleaning up our perceptions of what is and isn't over the line. Every piece of objectionable content I've ever heard of in RE5 was also in RE4, but nobody cared. This sort of inconsistency only serves to hurt attempts at dialog.

Should't artistic freedom be more important than the skin tones of main characters? And why is RE5 racist and GTA:SA isn't? Why do people need to make such a big deal about these things? Are the Forgotten Realms novels racist because the Drow are black skinned. I realy don't understand, isn't racism about hate not just if your main character is black or not?

unabomberman:

Where are the mexicans, inidigenous, black guys, mixed, etc. Don't believe me? Watch a sitcom named Big Bang Theory that represents and pokes fun at its subject matter. But, hey, at least they've got an indian guy, right?

The Big Bang Theory, by the numbers:
Caucasian 3, 60% (Sheldon, Leonard, Penny)
Jewish 1, 20% (Howard)
Indian 1, 20% (Raj)

The United States, by the numbers:
Caucasian 65%
Jewish 2.2%
Indian less than 4.4% (considered part of the Asian ethnic group)

Perhaps they should have kicked out Howard and Raj for more populous ethnic groups?

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_American
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population

AceCalhoon:

unabomberman:

Where are the mexicans, inidigenous, black guys, mixed, etc. Don't believe me? Watch a sitcom named Big Bang Theory that represents and pokes fun at its subject matter. But, hey, at least they've got an indian guy, right?

The Big Bang Theory, by the numbers:
Caucasian 3, 60% (Sheldon, Leonard, Penny)
Jewish 1, 20% (Howard)
Indian 1, 20% (Raj)

The United States, by the numbers:
Caucasian 65%
Jewish 2.2%
Indian less than 4.4% (considered part of the Asian ethnic group)

Perhaps they should have kicked out Howard and Raj for more populous ethnic groups?

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_American
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population

That is a way to approach the argument, but by that same token I could say that Howard is white and society makes no more assumptions about him at face value than it does about Sheldon, Leonard, or Penny; and by contrast it would do so about Raj. That's teh sticking point here: society's view towards the other.

I could also say that I'm a mexican that tends towards the white spectrum and if you looked at me you migt be inclined to say that I might very well be a tanned white guy from, say, Spain, and I for sure wouldn't get treated much differently than my perceived pasty brethren. I would get Sheldon treatment, not Raj treatment (though on a trip to Arisona I already got myself a "spic" call once so who knows).

EDIT: Added this to avoid double post...

1015531r:
Should't artistic freedom be more important than the skin tones of main characters? And why is RE5 racist and GTA:SA isn't? Why do people need to make such a big deal about these things? Are the Forgotten Realms novels racist because the Drow are black skinned. I realy don't understand, isn't racism about hate not just if your main character is black or not?

I'm on the same boat as you, I don't see either RE5 or GTA:SA as racist, but that's me, yet even I can see how someone else might object to those portrayals and how I would have to take his/her oppinion into consideration. The world is not soleley based on my personal perceptions.

Racism is not about hate solely but about also willful ignorance and willful lack of sensitivity to other people's cultures and backgrounds of the ethnic kind.

As for the Drow, well, aren't they like the bad guys? Kinda like the LOTR orcs? If so, they are definitively racist 'cause, well, isn't the entire race evil?

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