Square Enix Responds to "Racist" Deus Ex Character

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Ghengis John:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?

Well with the way the job market is going, it wouldn't be impossible

Bribase:

Carlston:

When is the last time a GERMAN was in a name and NOT a nazi? Hmmmm?

Hmmn... 2000?

image

Get To Tha Choppa !

Greg Tito:
Square Enix Responds to "Racist" Deus Ex Character

Some critics took umbrage with the portrayal of an African-American in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Letitia is fairly well dressed for a "Trash Lady." In playing through Deus Ex, Adam Jensen will meet her on the streets of 2027 Detroit and when pressed she will offer her insight on what's happening in the city. She does so by using a colloquial mode of speaking that is perhaps more identified with 20th century deep South, and her accent caused Evan Narcisse of Time's Techland blog to write a scathing attack on the developers for including such a "racist stereotype" in an otherwise excellent game. Today, the publisher of Deus Ex Square Enix said that they had no intention of offending anyone.

"Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a fictional story which reflects the diversity of the world's future population by featuring characters of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds," Square said. "While these characters are meant to portray people living in the year 2027, it has never been our intention to represent any particular ethnic group in a negative light."

I can't speak for Evan Narcisse who also objected to the black zombies in Resident Evil 5, and I have yet to play through all of Deus Ex, but I can see people arguing that there is nothing overtly racist with the clip in the video above. Letitia is certainly a strange character, but her exaggerated speech is not that different from many of the people that I encounter in North Carolina - both white and black. What do you think? Is Letitia a harmful racial stereotype?

Narcisse compares Letitia to the caricature of Amos and Andy and minstel shows of yore, but I don't think you can equate a single character in a videogame with hundreds of years of racism and discrimination, especially when there are other characters of a similar ethnic background in the same game who do not act this way.

"The horrible broken English Letitia speaks is so far removed from any actual slang that it renders the character practically extra-terrestrial," Narcisse said. "It's not from an alien planet, though. That slang harkens back to the worst blackface minstrelsy of the last century."

Letitia is certainly an easy way to write a character - and I agree that her dialogue and voice-acting are inferior - but to object so vehemently to her portrayal would mean you'd have to object to Mario's Italian characteristics and the Asian stereotypes in Cooking with Mama.

Source: Techland

Permalink

Narciss is a tool. People move from Georgia to Detroit. David Cross did it. It isn't unfathomable that people move around. Hell, there are southerners living in friggin' Indochina. Calm down.

Have you heard the Asian voice actors in this game?

They aren't much better. I don't think its people being overtly racist. Its just some black lady. Shes uneducated, unrefined, and uncivilized. How better to portray that than to have her speak broken English and just act in a dumb manner.

Racism isn't really something thats done by acting. Racism would be pointing to that display of acting, and saying "all blacks are like that because they're inferior". Blackface pretty much did this for comical effect. This just does it because it felt like doing it.

If you honestly think this is racist, you need to step back, get off your high horse, and get in touch. Pointing to things people do isn't racist. Even if it is a feature exhibited by a certain racial group. Do you know why stereotypes exist? Because a good chunk of them are accurate to some degree of a population.

Portraying a black person as an idiot isn't racist. There are black people out there that are idiots, just as there are whites, asians, hispanics. Racism would be pointing to them and saying "All blacks are dumb because of they have a different pigment in their skin"

Ill even go a step further, and go back to RE5. Portraying African tribals in leopard skin clothing isn't racist. Its been done before. And guess what - there are still African tribes who use spears. Spears didn't go extinct. There are still civilizations of people who live off the land, in makeshift houses with makeshift materials.

To be honest, I find it stupid that issues of race, sex, etc. can ever come up because there are actually people of a race, sex, etc. who act that way. If you find anything that doesn't overtly point to a race and say "they are inferior because they are different", you need to re-evaluate some things.

ITS. A. GAME. GET OVER IT PEOPLE

I want to know who hired Batman to do the voice acting for the guy.

I want to know who hired Batman.

The reason that people are offended is not simply that the character is black and sounds stupid. It's that Latisha's (very stylized) dialect, her attitude toward the white protagonist, and her low social status all align her very closely with the history of minstrelsy. That tradition is racist. It seeks to make black people seem like childish, subservient simpletons, thereby stiffing calls for social equality and economic justice: Look how happy they are serving us!

The classic minstrel incarnation of the subservient black female is the mammy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ybT1xIYgPk&feature=related). Again, Latisha sounds more than a little like those old characters, and that's not a coincidence. There is a long tradition of helpful black women sounding like that in media.

I don't think for a moment that Latisha is meant to be a minstrel character per se, and so her inclusion in the game is not exactly racist. It's just historically illiterate, culturally tone-deaf, and moderately irresponsible.

The history of minstrelsy is a long, complicated one that we don't walk about much here in the United States, in large part because it is so uncomfortable. As a result, our own citizens don't understand it very well, and people in other countries (such as Canada and Japan, say) often don't understand it at all. Hell, they still show reruns of Amos 'n Andy in Australia, from what I hear.

So the people saying "THIS IS RACIST" and those saying "THIS IS NOT RACIST" are missing the point in equal measure. Square Enix and Edios Montreal and everyone else involved in the game probably had no idea that they'd handled this character in such a loaded way. But they did, and the history that Latisha accidentally taps into is a very real and very racist one.

Latisha is the result of a little bad writing, and a lack of due diligence, plain and simple.

I'm looking forward to the day when some company CEO or something along those lines, in a situation like this one, just comes forward saying something like "Oh please. Will you crybabies just grow the fuck up?".
That's all there is to it. Stop wearing your nerves on your sleeves, please. Everything is not there simply to offend you.

I'm looking forward to the day when some company CEO or something along those lines, in a situation like this one, just comes forward saying something like "Oh please. Will you crybabies just grow the fuck up?".
That's all there is to it. Stop wearing your nerves on your sleeves, please. Everything is not there simply to offend you.

Thanks for bringing back the memories of the RE5 thing... No shit, it is set in an area that is predominantly one color, the developers aren't going to make all the people purple to avoid pissing off a couple of people.

To all of you who are sitting there in your comfortable chairs in white suburbia commenting on how racists this is, Go out and actually talk to homeless people before you judge too harshly. I put in several hours a month at a shelter, and let me tell you this is more spot on than you would probably think. This is a half assed columnist trying to make a name! That is all.

PhoenixVanguard:
I'd just like to clarify something to those dozens upon dozens of you using the defense that essentially boils down to, "Well I know people who actually talk this way so it's not racist." This argument does not in ANY way, shape, or form qualify something as not being a racist stereotype. Stereotypes emerge BECAUSE there are a large number of people fitting the given epithet. What, do you think people make up random character qualities about a group of people and then HOPE they come true so they can all laugh at it later? Really now. Lots of people from all races enjoy fried chicken and watermelon, are good with math, and try hard to save money, but that doesn't mean that these aren't stereotypes aimed at SPECIFIC groups of people. Please, please, PLEASE stop making this ridiculous counter argument. It's utterly baffling to me.

That being said, while this is the first jarring racial stereotype you run into in this game, it's far from the only one. I was initially impressed by Hengsha when the first few NPCs I ran into were speaking Chinese, then immediately broke out into hysterical laughter at the onslaught of horrible "engrish" accents I was assailed with shortly thereafter...especially from the local prostitutes. And in fairness, it is important to point out that while there are quite a few eyebrow raising accents in the game, the game also has more than its fair share of respectable people in those same races.

When I saw that this was written by one of the many jackasses who claimed that having black people in Africa is racist (None of whom ever made mention of Sheva's overtly racist AND sexist "Clubbin" and "Tribal" outfits), I was almost immediately dismissive, but he makes a good point here. And in fairness to him, he actually reviewed the game very highly overall, so while he does take time to point out that this is racist, he's not trying to start a protest or even dissuade people from buying the game.

I saw this, and decided I had to reply... despite knowing that it's a waste of words, entirely, what with the discussion being ridiculously pointless.

Stereotypes, like cliches, exist for one simple reason: They Work.

When you want to describe something in a way that someone understands, you use a cliche. When you want to create a character that represents an idea, or some sort of social group, you borrow a stereotype. These things happen because people UNDERSTAND what you are portraying. They understand what the character is supposed to mean, or the description is supposed to depict. There are literally BILLIONS, TENS-OF-BILLIONS of stereotypes getting used every day.

The problem arises because people think THEIR ideas... their feelings... their beliefs... somehow warrant receiving PERSONAL attention. I don't care if you're a scrawny, chicken-hating black dude who is allergic to fruit, or a bi-lingual Chinese hooker: the stereotype exists because someone -knows- that guy. Somewhere, that guy who loves fried chicken exists. Somewhere, that Chinese prostitute who can barely slur out four words of English exists. In multiples. And someone said: "We want it to be obvious this person is one of those."

People use stereotypes because they want to portray a specific group, without having to make secondary characters too involved. Stereotypes exist because people need ways of making an individual character representative of a certain group... without having to invest time into developing a back-story for each of them.

Stereotypes aren't the problem. It's the sensitivity.

People who get all up in arms over stereotypes are the source of this problem, because they've gone too far the other way. It's one thing to defend people from mindless hate and oppression. It's another when you stand around picking apart everything in search for the Red Herring we call Racism these days.

Racism is the white cops kicking the ass of a black guy because he's black. Sexism is women being paid less to do the exact same thing a man does. Classism is all the wealthy rich folks getting away with murder, while we throw poor kids off the street in jail for selling stolen shoes.

There are PLENTY of real incidents, plenty of ACTUAL cases.

When we start getting -truly- offended over stereotypes... it's usually because they hit a little too close to home. It's usually because we see something of ourselves in them, and we start to feel uncomfortable with it. Some people, like the man who wrote the article about which this news-post originated, are obviously just whoring themselves out for attention.

Another stereotype, by the by: "Guy who'll call anything racist if there's an (insert race here) person in it."

In either case... the right choice is simple. Remind yourself that these stereotypes aren't creating the problem. You are. Every time you get all up in a huff because you don't like something getting stereotyped, you remind a MILLION other people why they hate folks JUST LIKE YOU. And then you create a -new- stereotype. Only this time, it really IS a negative one... and it really IS focusing on you.

If you want to fight for a cause, fight against mindless hate. Fight against people who abuse others based on gender, sexuality, class, and creed. Fight against oppression. Fight against whatever cause you see fit.

But fighting against stereotypes is the problem here, and it's its own problem, because they're made by all of us, every day. There are far too many 'types' out there for our brains to comprehend. Most lack the ability to understand just how big a number of people there are. So we naturally condense others down into more manageable groups. These groups often have defining characteristics... and those characteristics are STEREOTYPICAL.

And sure, Stereotypes -can- be mean-spirited and mindlessly hateful. I'm not so naive as to claim that racists can't make stereotypes too. But racism isn't hard to spot. Racism is blatant. Hate doesn't have much room for subtlety. When you see a black woman digging through the trash, talking in an (and I will agree -horribly- voice-acted)obvious southern/midwestern accent... that's not racism. That's representing poverty in the 'City Built on Promises'.

And since she's a minor character, she didn't warrant -that- much backstory. She's an informant who worked with Adam Jensen prior to his leaving SWAT. That's all you need to know. In fact, most of the bums have ridiculous accents in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Even the white ones.

As a writer, I find myself more offended by the quality of the writing than anything. And that's not even overly much. For most places, the writing is excellent. But the dialogue is a weak-spot that has existed throughout the entire series.

Stereotypes exist for a reason. They're not going away. Continuing to fuss about them only serves to hinder the cause for which people who TRULY suffer under the heel of racists further, by creating a distraction from the true source: human failings.

We hate because we fear. We fear that which we cannot understand. We have difficulty understanding that which is different from us.

I know just as many racist black folks as I know racist white folks. I know just as many sexist women as I know sexist men. Bigotry doesn't stem from being on 'one side or the other'... it stems from being human, and terrified of other humans.

Meh. That's all from me.

Most folks won't read it all the way through, anyways.

More kneejerk bullshit by the politically correct crowd. Also, so what if you're offended.

"We're all offended, all the time, and we don't have a fucking right not to be offended!" - Penn Jillette

Jake Martinez:
I'm constantly surprised as to the visceral response of a bunch of privledged white people on the internet when questions like this come up. Not in a good way either.

Anyway, for me, I find the entire character very uncomfortable, because as it has been pointed out, it seems so dead on to an old Amos 'n Andy, shuck 'n jive, sort of racial stereotype. I also know that not many people who are watching this will have that same context to call back on, so they won't have the same visceral emotional response.

Suffice it to say, for those of us who do make the connection, it's offensive. I don't really know if people (especially journalists) should keep using the term "racist" in cases like this. It's hard to say what the game developers were trying for. As other people have pointed out some of the asian cast voices from the original DE were so bad they bordered on racial stereotyping as well. At what point does ineptutude and insensitivity just remain that and when does it turn into racism? It's hard to say.

So tell me.

Considering the actual point of the character was a "street wise informant" who knew the area and the people well enough to be of use to Jensen. How exactly would you have depicted them? Keeping in mind this is a person who is supposed to have spent most of their time if not their lives on the streets. Just which of the various types of people we have in this world would you choose to depict as homeless, vagrant and street wise ? Then ask yourself how that depiction would have been any different in terms of the "effect" you are aledging its having on you. I mean do you think there are no homeless people in Japan? but if you used a Japanese person to depict that would you be stereotyping them? Particularly if you had them speaking a coarse local dialect with coloquial innotations?

My point is, who do you think your going to find on the streets of an American city other than Americans ?? Do you dispute that people like her even exist ? Then if they do exist how is that stereo typing and not observational?

NEWS FLASH... Hells Angels dress themselves!! Their mums dont dress them. They choose to put on the garb of a certain type of person and then go out behaving in a way that fits that image. Same as all of us. I think your time would be best spent looking in a mirror deciding what it is that you dont like about yourself that causes you to feel uncomfortable. No one imposes that ne you, you decide to have those feelings for yourself.

Phantom Echo NAILED IT!!

"The problem arises because people think THEIR ideas... their feelings... their beliefs... somehow warrant receiving PERSONAL attention. I don't care if you're a scrawny, chicken-hating black dude who is allergic to fruit, or a bi-lingual Chinese hooker: the stereotype exists because someone -knows- that guy. Somewhere, that guy who loves fried chicken exists. Somewhere, that Chinese prostitute who can barely slur out four words of English exists. In multiples. And someone said: "We want it to be obvious this person is one of those."

Never a truer word spoken.

It's typical hysteria, coupled with white guilt; the borgeouis critical elite use any excuse to find faults with a game. I didn't hear any howls of discrimination when Resident Evil 4 let you mow down thousands of Spanish people.

I do agree the dialogue is laughable however.

peruvianskys:

grammarye:
I've witnessed & experienced a fair bit of racism (I have worked in Bradford, for those that know the place), and sure, some people will always be bigoted & prejudiced - you think that's unique to racism?!? - but it cuts both ways, and if you give airtime to the problem, you make it something that's attributed nationally, instead of 'that jackass down the road who hasn't got out of the 19th century'. Racism does happen - but if you create & perpetuate a culture where it's always highlighted, always worried about, it will never be marginalised in favour of everybody just getting along and seeing fellow human beings; similarities not differences.

The problem is that in America and around the world, racists are not "the jackass down the road." They're politicians, businessmen, preachers, cops, lawyers, judges, school teachers, plumbers, etc. Racism is pervasive; you can't marginalize something that you can easily find in every sector of American culture. You're right that a society where racism is relegated to a few idiots per thousand might not need to focus on it, and you'd even probably be right to assume that it's actually doing more harm than good. But that's not the reality of the situation. The fact is, clearly racist sentiment is found in every group in every strata of my society and "ignoring it" has been the strategy for 100 years at least - obviously it hasn't worked. As long as we pretend that racism isn't inherently a part of American mass culture, we let it grow and fester instead of confronting it.

This character is a clearly racist stock persona from the days when "stupid negro" was an acceptable definition for a character. So we have two options, ignore it (and along with it, all the other obvious racist overtones that pervade our media) and let people pretend it isn't there, or say "hold the fuck on for a second" and point out the truth, mainly that this is clearly racially insensitive and absolutely inappropriate. Saying that we shouldn't focus on racism is essentially demanding that we pretend racism doesn't exist when it clearly does. To see something that is clearly offensive and then ask people to not discuss it is to demand that you sweep a real, important problem in our culture under the rug.

.

Actually there doesn't seem to be anything stupid about the character at all, granted she's lower class, but doesn't strike me as being paticularly "stupid" even if one can guess she isn't well educated.

Like it or not poor people from the lower classes don't come accross in a very positive light no matter what ethnicity they happen to be. The only reason why people are trying to make an issue out of this is because playing the "race card" in the US where racism is pretty much dead in any mainstream sense is a great way to get attention... for a long of reasons, chief among them that there are plenty of people whose power depends on the perception that racism is still a big deal when it's not.

Really if they had replaced this character with a redneck, hillbilly, or good old boy... you out your typical "white trash" nobody would have batted an eye, even if there would fundementally have been no differance. Nobody would have tried to make an issue out of it because there just isn't a "market" to sell the rant to in exchange for five minutes of fame.

This character was not meant to represent an entire racial group, and there are plenty of black people just like that, enough where it's perfectly believable in the context it's encountered in.

Really though, next time someone does a "killer white trash" movie with cannibal hillbillies or rednecks, who are obviously highly inbred, I think we should form a massive protest about how this can't be allowed to slide because it's offensive to white people, and *obviously* the very existance of such characters are intended to represent everyone with low melatonin levels.

Waah, there's a black person in a video game and she doesn't have a Ph.D or something, I'm offended!

Surprise, an overly sensitive individual has an initial knee-jerk reaction to the presence of a black person in what can be seen as a less than positive/stereotypical light in a video game.

That guy's site is now racist for his being a stereotypical mingebag.

Seriously, if you are going to harp about one or two games having allegedly racist components, both of which are solid games by the way, you are just an uppity dick. That character in Deus Ex is as racist as any game that portrays a white guy as being an aristocratic megalomaniac, bent on social/economic/world domination.

Please think of other ethnicities as well if you are going to be a harpy for anything that can be twisted to be presented as racist.

mokmoof:
The reason that people are offended is not simply that the character is black and sounds stupid. It's that Latisha's (very stylized) dialect, her attitude toward the white protagonist, and her low social status all align her very closely with the history of minstrelsy. That tradition is racist. It seeks to make black people seem like childish, subservient simpletons, thereby stiffing calls for social equality and economic justice: Look how happy they are serving us!

The classic minstrel incarnation of the subservient black female is the mammy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ybT1xIYgPk&feature=related). Again, Latisha sounds more than a little like those old characters, and that's not a coincidence. There is a long tradition of helpful black women sounding like that in media.

I don't think for a moment that Latisha is meant to be a minstrel character per se, and so her inclusion in the game is not exactly racist. It's just historically illiterate, culturally tone-deaf, and moderately irresponsible.

The history of minstrelsy is a long, complicated one that we don't walk about much here in the United States, in large part because it is so uncomfortable. As a result, our own citizens don't understand it very well, and people in other countries (such as Canada and Japan, say) often don't understand it at all. Hell, they still show reruns of Amos 'n Andy in Australia, from what I hear.

So the people saying "THIS IS RACIST" and those saying "THIS IS NOT RACIST" are missing the point in equal measure. Square Enix and Edios Montreal and everyone else involved in the game probably had no idea that they'd handled this character in such a loaded way. But they did, and the history that Latisha accidentally taps into is a very real and very racist one.

Latisha is the result of a little bad writing, and a lack of due diligence, plain and simple.

Here's the thing.

1. The accent and speech style is common today (ebonics, look it up).

2. The reality of homeless people is most want to SURVIVE, so they will perform services. Try going to a subway in NYC, homeless people will very commonly perform or do some other type of service to make ends meet in addition to simply begging.

The reality is this, the suggestion the connection to the minstral shows basically says you cannot write an african-american homeless person (which are unfortunately very common in cities) who perform a service to survive (not quite as common but still there) and who speak in ebonics (pretty damn common in urban centers regardless of social class). So you're telling them that writing a realistic character is an unintentional reference to a minstral show... no.

Furthermore, the implications that people are drawing from her dialect (namely that they imply lack of education and sub-subservience) extremely ignorant of black urban culture or openly racist. The message is this, if you want to be judged as an equal, you need to talk like a white person, a different speech pattern automatically identifies you as inferior. On the other hand, other unusual ways of speaking english are nowhere near as looked down upon.

Why? Because it's the African-American way of doing it, and we as a country are taking that linguistic tone which is merely different as confirmation of the idea that African Americans are inferior in a variety of ways. In the same way as people who write letters to supermarkets about incorrect use of the words "their" and "there" to feel superior about themselves, white culture treats ebonics as uneducated to feel superior about themselves.

Granted, some people haven't been to urban centers and don't have any real experience with ebonics and don't understand. The anti-ebonics movements are racist however, except for the ones instead the African-American community, which is instead a drive to become accept by white america by meeting white america on it's terms, however there will always be another "issue" with the African-American community until racism is dead and buried.

Question is, would there be any fuss about 'racism' if it was a hillbilly redneck looking through the trash? It looks like the only reason there's a fuss about this is because the character is black, which ironic really.

danpascooch:

Ghengis John:
Okay, so an easily offended lack man was just offended. It's not like I can't understand where hes's coming from but I live in california and I encounter people who speak like Letitia almost everyday. I was unware that I had traveled to another planet or utilized a time-machine. As a mexican american I'd say the game has a remarkable tact for displaying people as they really are, Cabron.

Of course the real damage here is that his rampant hyperbole is going to misrepresent the game to thousands of people who'll have no idea just how wrong he really is. Oh well.

Yeah, I think this is total bullshit. Yes there are people like her, as long as every African American wasn't portrayed as her, it's not racist.

After all, look around Detroit some time, pretty much EVERY hobo is white, hell, if anything, having only ONE Letitia is underrepresenting the realistic population of African American homeless that would be in Detroit.

I hate when people overcompensate for racism

There was a black hobo in one of the back alleys. She told me to "Get away, white boy." ... there was two less hobos in Detroit that night. (Explosive tipped revolver shot, took out her and the one standing next to her. trololol.)

hmm well i was more jarred by the randomness of the encounter i was minding my own business checking the trash for ammo etc and accidently clicked on her glad i did... busting in the front door of the cop station guns blazing probably would not have been the best idea lol.

as for Evan Narcisse he's a troll plain and simple ignore him and he'll go away.

really folks why do people get so bent out of shape about these things. if u find her a racists element to the game u are probably a racist.

there is no black and white we're all just shades of grey.

Lokithrsourcerer:
hmm well i was more jarred by the randomness of the encounter i was minding my own business checking the trash for ammo etc and accidently clicked on her glad i did... busting in the front door of the cop station guns blazing probably would not have been the best idea lol.

as for Evan Narcisse he's a troll plain and simple ignore him and he'll go away.

really folks why do people get so bent out of shape about these things. if u find her a racists element to the game u are probably a racist.

there is no black and white we're all just shades of grey.

Huh? Bringing culture to task on percieved racism doesn't make you racist in general.

Though in this case it can, because the suggestion that ebonics use implies being uneducated and inferior is racist.

I laugh how there are two black characters in the game that are well educated and with the most authority at a processing planet in the game that don't speak with any sort of broken english or denotable accent and he just ignores that completely. One character seems out of place!!!!!!!1!!!!! Seriously, this guy is a moron.

AdumbroDeus:
the suggestion that ebonics use implies being uneducated and inferior is racist.

Of course it implies that the speaker is uneducated. It's a bastardization of the language, and more to the point, makes the speaker sound stupid, even if they're not. As far as inferiority goes, that's a matter of opinion and it appears to be yours in this case. I guess you're racist by your own definition.

Harbinger_:
I laugh how there are two black characters in the game that are well educated and with the most authority at a processing planet in the game that don't speak with any sort of broken english or denotable accent and he just ignores that completely. One character seems out of place!!!!!!!1!!!!! Seriously, this guy is a moron.

It's almost surprising he didn't complain about the Thorpes. "What, the black woman is taken hostage by a Latino terrorist?! RACIST. What, her husband knows an illegal weapons dealer!? RACIST."

skohl:

AdumbroDeus:
the suggestion that ebonics use implies being uneducated and inferior is racist.

Of course it implies that the speaker is uneducated. It's a bastardization of the language, and more to the point, makes the speaker sound stupid, even if they're not. As far as inferiority goes, that's a matter of opinion and it appears to be yours in this case. I guess you're racist by your own definition.

"Bastardization" is only a comparison to the common language of the day. Language evolves, shakespeare was a bastardization in his time as well.

There is NOTHING inferior or uneducated about ebonics, especially as compared to other "valid" dialects of English. There is nothing inherent in the dialect that makes it that way, it's merely an impression gleaned because that particular dialect happens to be spoken by a group that people in America have a desire to feel inferior to.

Your accusation of racism is a complete non-sequitar cause I never argued ebonics was inferior nor implied it's speakers were inferior.

GeorgW:
This guy lost all credibility to me when it was revealed that he thought RE5 was racist. Holy shit, there are black people in Africa! Anything else would be racist...

I wouldn't say merely having black people is a problem, and the occasional whites among those black people? Actually truth in television. The problem does come later when you FIGHT JIBBERING BLACK PEOPLE IN MUD HUTS WHO THROW SPEARS AT YOU.

No, seriously.

I actually agree to most of what you said there Phantom Echo, which is why at the end of my post I make sure to point out that despite Narcisse decrying the racism he sees in the portrayal, it's ultimately not overly important because he still very enthusiastically recommends the game as a whole. The main point he brings up is a true one, though...Leticia's mannerisms in the game are a near mirror mimic of black faced, Amos & Andy "mammy" style send ups of black people. Whether it personally offends you or is reminiscent of real people, the fact of the matter is that it's unarguably an allusion to some of the most racist fiction in American history. And further, while there are sects of people who speak that way, her particular spiel is so poorly written and poorly acted that it comes off as an over-the-top caricature. And once you deviate from realistic portrayal to practical cartoon spoof, it qualifies as racist and potentially harmful.

Personally, I believe it's unintentional and relatively harmless, but I can't reasonably make the argument it's not there. I can only say it's not that big a deal, and that even the writer of the article doesn't seem to think as much of it as the people on this forum. My primary point was simply that the counter argument of "Well SOME people talk that way so THERE!" is inherently flawed. While I'm at it, I'll go on to say that as a black gamer that was raised in the south...YES...there IS something inherently wrong and inferior with ebonics. It's not a matter of being politically correct or a matter of expression. All languages have their own proper grammar and syntax. If you deviate...it is wrong. Period. There are times where expression may create exclusions...songs, poetry, art in general, but if you speak that way on a day to day basis...you are factually WRONG. No better than abbreviated 1337 net speak. No two ways about it.

Isn't that Evan guy the same guy who posted that RE5 was racist? I laughed my ass off when I read that blog. If anyone is a racist, it is him. By his point of view, its okay to see millions of white people slaughter brutally, but put one black person in the mix...IT'S RACIST! See? Two can play that game. I'm sure he would have been crying "RACISM" if there hadn't been black people in the game, seeing as how it took place in Africa. This whole thing is nothing but a load of bunk to stir up pointless controversy.

James Crook:
I'm black and I laughed my arse off at this.
It's not a racial stereotype but rather something to do with the fact it's bloody Detroit...

I agree, it sounds more like a bad attempt at a regional accent than anything.

Also, as much as many in the right wing (and probably the left as well) would to think otherwise, let's face it, this guy isn't overly sensitive, he's just an annoying attention whore. And by giving him attention you (everybody on this thread) are only giving him lulz.

Also, I can't find it but somebody said something like "I wish a CEO would these whiny crybabies to shut the fuck up".

You know what? I wish somebody would whiny developers and CEOs and the idiots who defend them to SHUT THE FUCK UP. I'm sick of people saying "but if it's not CoD people won't buy it!" Guess what, I see no reason to pay $60 for a lesser quality rip-off of something I ALREADY FUCKING HAVE! CoD itself isn't even that good, and I have given it TWO chances, Neither MW2 or BO were good enough to earn the $60 I paid. And it isn't "just not my thing", I actually like the first Modern Warfare, the pacing, characters and story all DIDN'T FUCKING SUCK in that game.

And before you say "don't fix it if it ain't broke", the thing is it has always been broke, unbalanced and buggy... *cough* javelin glitch *cough* care package glitch *cough* Commando A.K.A. legitimized knife glitch...

PhoenixVanguard:
---

I was horribly offended by the German accents I ran into.

...

No, I wasn't.

I was offended by the fact that the last antagonist was a woman, that is so sexist.

No. Wait. I wasn't.

Sorry for quoting you here, but you seemed to be both dismissive of the whole idea, yet understanding where he comes from. Though I do NOT understand where he comes from. I support the theory that everyone is allowed to be treated equally. Whether that means we have white antagonists, black antagonists, German antagonists or characters with "stereotypical"... I mean, am I allowed to be offended when a white woman is painted in bad light? No. But a black person is allowed to be offended when another black person in a GAME is painted in something they consider offensive.

If everyone has to start turning over their writing five times to make sure it is fully "offence free" we will stop seeing single moms, adopted kids, drug victims, rape victims... and the list goes on.

So.

Yeah.

No offence, but being offended by a game is ridiculous.

when i close my eyes, this is a video of batman talking to a woman audtioning for the next "Eat Dat Watermelon!" video. I can see the underlying racism here, but I honestly don't think it was intended, I think it's a matter of poor writing meeting poor VO work with someone so desperate for money, they don't care if they disparage their entire race.

I was hoping for a 'No! You're racist' reply from Square Enix... Oh well. I personally just think it adds to the 'diversity' of characters so to speak. Not every black person can sound like the old spice guy.

The only thing i object to here is that he didn't pay her! D:<

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