Square Enix Responds to "Racist" Deus Ex Character

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Noone seemed to complain about Dead Rising 2 when the black lady you have to escort would randomly blurt out phrases like "Say whaaat?" I don't see how this is any different.

As far as I am concerned, if it was not MEANT to be racist, then it isn't racism.

The KKK are racist.
Neo nazis are racist.

"There's a different group to get pissed off at you in this country for everything your not supposed to say. Can't say Nigger, Boogie, Jig, Jigaboo, Skinhead, Moolimoolinyon, Schvatzit, Junglebunny. Greaser, Greaseball, Dago, Guinea, Whop, Ginzo, Kike, Zebe, Heed, Yid, Mocky, Himie, Mick, Donkey, Turkey, Limey, Frog. Zip, Zipperhead, Squarehead, Crout, Hiney, Jerry, Hun, Slope, Slopehead, Chink, Gook. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those words in and of themselves. Their only words. It's the context that counts. It's the user. It's the intention behind the words that makes them good or bad. The words are completely neutral. The words are innocent. I get tired of people talking about bad words and bad language. Bullshit! It's the context that makes them good or bad. The context." - George Carlin

I fail to see why it really matters in the grand scheme of things how someone (especially a fictional character) is portrayed in a game.

What all these politically correct morons need to learn is that no matter who you are, if you live on this planet, you are fair game to be made the bad guy or have the piss taken out of. NO EXCEPTIONS!

I'VE MET PEOPLE WHO TALK LIKE THAT. Jesus Christ, what a kneejerking sanctimonious fuck.

Chronologger:
As far as I am concerned, if it was not MEANT to be racist, then it isn't racism.

The KKK are racist.
Neo nazis are racist.

"There's a different group to get pissed off at you in this country for everything your not supposed to say. Can't say Nigger, Boogie, Jig, Jigaboo, Skinhead, Moolimoolinyon, Schvatzit, Junglebunny. Greaser, Greaseball, Dago, Guinea, Whop, Ginzo, Kike, Zebe, Heed, Yid, Mocky, Himie, Mick, Donkey, Turkey, Limey, Frog. Zip, Zipperhead, Squarehead, Crout, Hiney, Jerry, Hun, Slope, Slopehead, Chink, Gook. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those words in and of themselves. Their only words. It's the context that counts. It's the user. It's the intention behind the words that makes them good or bad. The words are completely neutral. The words are innocent. I get tired of people talking about bad words and bad language. Bullshit! It's the context that makes them good or bad. The context." - George Carlin

Goerge Carlin gave us so much wisdom. Gotta rewatch all his performances now :D

I'm amused that people are freaking out over a character I never even met in the entire game. I didn't realize you COULD talk to her...

Treblaine:

I wonder would he consider this racist:

Hmm, they're talking in "broken english" therefore Steven Spielberg and Alice Walker are RACISTS!

Seriously? You're using The Color Purple to make that point?

This isn't the double post you're looking for. Move along.

That South Park episode about the flag comes to mind.
Really, if they stop paying attention to EVER SINGLE black character in EVERY SINGLE game, it will just stop being a big deal and nobody would give a damn that the character is freakin' black.

Onyx Oblivion:
Hey.

The Deus Ex vocal racism is funny as hell to me. Breaks my immersion a bit. But makes me laugh.

I, personally, didn't feel that anyone should be offended, then again...I'm a white male.

Besides, remember the accents from DE1?

Yeah...

Hahahaha. Thanks for reminding me of so much I've forgotten. I might even re-play it soon (for the 20th time full play through or something).

EDIT: OT: Say whaaaaa? No, I don't believe it's racist. Just like I don't believe that it's sexist when Oprah caters to women, or smartish when Jeremy Kyle caters to chavs.

It's a STEREOTYPE. A stereotype for a reason (it actually existed), and it's played with a straight face. We're not 'poking fun at the blackies', we're just looking at a possible outcome of society.

Why in this modern day and age, can we have serial killers in our games, but as soon as we put a woman with an apron behind a stove, everybody jumps?

So what if that particular character spoke weird. So Jensin, with his deadpan gruff voice was a portrayal of all white people? Or are all the other characters in the game just "portrayed more PC", and the developers crossed the line on just one? There are gang bangers in my town for example, who intimidate and make everyone else feel uncomfortable, is there anyone who would say that they are representing everyone of that culture? Reviewers love to show how worldly they are by mentioning these things they see in games. Not a representation of all reviewers of the race they belong to, but they as a single person are not smart and lack critical thinking skills. Letitia isn't the problem, Racemongers are.

I'm going to Kentucky tomorrow and pretty much everyone from around there talks like this, black and white.

is it not racist to assume that they are trying to portray black people as a whole?

there are plenty of black people in this game and only one of them is her.

I've seen people talk like that, usually drug users
( or i assume they are or perhaps just a bit dimwitted and lazy / weird with their speech )
i don't see anything particularly racist, a little over exaggerated voice acting perhaps but that's not a crime
( although sometimes it should be )

frankly, the human race isnt grown up enough to be worrying about possible accidental racism in computer-games we make so many elementary mistakes on a daily basis and insult people by accident that really, what's one computer game npc?.. really?

Lancer873:
snip for length

What is wrong with expecting artists and writers to present characters that are valid on their own terms, and don't appeal to tacky stereotypes?

The execution of this character is appalling. It's overly cliched and offensively stereotypical. How can we get past racism and race divisions when this type of classless shit is going on? When every time someone creates some one dimensional character that has one character detail:

Stereotypically black.

Answer is we can't. Defending this is defending the stereotype, but more annoyingly, its defending the amount of effort and work that went into this character. It's cheap, it isn't classy and it is degrading. Like I said earlier, I'm black, and female and no this doesn't offend me. It's nowhere near enough to get offended over, it's nothing major. It just annoys me. We need to be better than this.

But the real annoying thing is that there are so many people defending this. I don't care if you don't think it is racist despite many black people believing it to be so. I don't care if you aren't offended. I only care about the fact that you apparently see nothing wrong with this rubbish. Surely you can't condone the characterisation here? Surely you are in favour of presenting in depth characters and putting thought into this art form?

Racist or not, this was an issue that really broke immersion for me in game and put a smudge on what otherwise was a game I enjoyed. I don't like to see my race portrayed like this, because I know the evil and the persecution that is behind these stereotypes in the first place. I don't beleive the writers were intentionally being racist, and they probably have no malicious bone in their body - but they are being tacky. And I don't like it, especially because it is my own race they are being tacky with.

I just like to think that characterisation is past this. It's apparently not.

When I first met that character, I honest to god thought it was a man. Wasn't so bothered by the racism, but slightly creeped out that the only gift you could give the poor woman was beer. Lots of beer.

I was playing that game with a friend a few days back, and we did that 'slow, disbelieving look at one another' thing when I initiated a conversation with that colourful personality.
I'm not one for gratuitous political correctness, but that sho' was a bit fucked up, suh.

Logan Westbrook:

Treblaine:

I wonder would he consider this racist:

Hmm, they're talking in "broken english" therefore Steven Spielberg and Alice Walker are RACISTS!

Seriously? You're using The Color Purple to make that point?

Why not? Is it because it's a big Hollywood production and DXHR is a lowly video game peasantry that should never be compared with film since - as the infallible Roger Ebert said - video games CAN NEVER BE ART!

No, the comparison is fair.

It demonstrates that you can have black characters in a fictional work, speaking the way many real African Americans do, without being branded as racist. It is WHAT they say, not HOW they say it that matters.

Films gets such a free reign while video games are considered an acceptable target for any supposition. Look at how the media reacted to an incredibly tame love scene in Mass Effect. Got the console labelled the "SeX-Box". This double standard stifles creativity in a growing medium.

wangtron5000:
So what if that particular character spoke weird. So Jensin, with his deadpan gruff voice was a portrayal of all white people? Or are all the other characters in the game just "portrayed more PC",

As a PC gamer I am disappointed, as it looks like this DX sequel...

*puts on sunglasses*

...isn't very PC.

image

So a black person acts like how a black person is likely to act in real life, and that's called racist?
It's ONE CHARACTER! ONE! Every other character, even in fucking china, are at least partly deep and realistic. Of all the fucking games to call racism on, you do it on this one?

People need to learn to lighten up, the developers gave all characters of all races various accents, most are stereotypical, some are probably the voice actors speaking normally.

Unless they actually went and got voice actors from all over the world to record voice acting in their normal accent then all the voice acting is based on stereotypes.
Not everybody from certain states or counties or regions talks the same, they just have stereotypical features in the way they speak which voice actors can use to speak in that accent.

Bottom line - Almost ALL voice acting in EVERY MEDIUM is based on stereotypes.

The game has much bigger problems than that. Racism in a videogame is par for the course, anyway.

The industry better watch it though, you're little jabs at African Americans is gonna bite you in the ass one day. And the bigots on the game sites can't keep sweeping it under the rug.

The way she talks may be a bit exaggerated, but it's still around. People DO talk that way. It's more a southern thing i think, though not nessessrly exclusively so. And it may be a bit exaggerated, but that may be the vault of the voice actor not knowing how to properly pull the accent off.

Treblaine:

Logan Westbrook:

Treblaine:

I wonder would he consider this racist:

Hmm, they're talking in "broken english" therefore Steven Spielberg and Alice Walker are RACISTS!

Seriously? You're using The Color Purple to make that point?

Why not? Is it because it's a big Hollywood production and DXHR is a lowly video game peasantry that should never be compared with film since - as the infallible Roger Ebert said - video games CAN NEVER BE ART!

No, the comparison is fair.

It demonstrates that you can have black characters in a fictional work, speaking the way many real African Americans do, without being branded as racist. It is WHAT they say, not HOW they say it that matters.

Films gets such a free reign while video games are considered an acceptable target for any supposition. Look at how the media reacted to an incredibly tame love scene in Mass Effect. Got the console labelled the "SeX-Box". This double standard stifles creativity in a growing medium.

Wow, way to put words in my mouth; you should get a prize for that. It's frankly a little ridiculous that you would level that accusation at someone who writes about videogames for a living.

But to answer your question: No, it's not because The Color Purple is a film, it's because The Color Purple is a film set in 1930s Georgia that looks at the racism, discrimination, and social repression that African-Americans faced at the time. Yes, it's a work of fiction, just like Deus Ex, but that's pretty much where the similarities end.

ultimateownage:
So a black person acts like how a black person is likely to act in real life, and that's called racist?
It's ONE CHARACTER! ONE! Every other character, even in fucking china, are at least partly deep and realistic. Of all the fucking games to call racism on, you do it on this one?

How many racist characters does a game have to have before it's a problem?

I don't mean this as an attack, just a question.

Sorry Greg Tito, but I am gonna call foul on you here. It's not the accent that she speaks in. It's the fact that she speaks in that accent while having black skin and DIGGING THROUGH THE FUCKING GARBAGE FOR SOMETHING TO EAT! How can you claim to have a balanced view of this situation while completely neglecting to mention this obvious point?

When was the last time you saw a white person in a video game say something like, "well gosh durn, lemme jes put on mah ten gallon hat and put mah rabbit stew on the faihre then we can go hunt down some gay cahples, god bless amen" ???

Yeah i dont think there is anything racist about someone having an accent. >_>
What next the scottish complaining 'cause a pale skinned ginger has a thick accent?

"OMGZZ SUM1 HAZ AN ACCNET! CREATORS MUST BE RACISTZ!"
Evan Narcisse, how can we develop characters with personalities if they have no accents and no quirks, they'll be dull and vanilla

Sylveria:
I'd be more offended by the people saying "This woman is an african-american stereotype" than by the actual character itself. You must be pretty darn racist to see something that over the top and say "Yup, that's what black people sound like."

This statement is so incredibly genius and correct that everyone should now bow down to Sylveria. NAO!

No sarcasm, I'm serious! As I've found out, people who are offended by 'racial stereotypes' are often more racist themselves than those who make jokes. Of course, an exception would be to those kind folks in the KKK, etc who make actual statements...

Carlston:
Unless she breaks out in song of "Mamma's little baby."

It's nothing like black face.

Sorry it's not racial stereotyping being black, on the streets in a future of massive poverty.

Sounds like another special interest group looking for a dollar. Ignore um.

Course you want racists and stereotype...

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

When it was Gunther Herman

GErman?

Ok, nevermind. You're right.

Logan Westbrook:

ultimateownage:
So a black person acts like how a black person is likely to act in real life, and that's called racist?
It's ONE CHARACTER! ONE! Every other character, even in fucking china, are at least partly deep and realistic. Of all the fucking games to call racism on, you do it on this one?

How many racist characters does a game have to have before it's a problem?

I don't mean this as an attack, just a question.

I don't consider it a number, more of a ratio. There must be hundreds of black people in the game, so only having one of them being slightly racist is a pretty good ratio. One almost-racist character, which is really just portraying how people may likely talk in real life, out of hundreds and then you pick out that one character only says something about how sensitive that person is. It's not like they're all going around eating chicken and watermelon.

I think it has a lot to do with lack of education/research on the subject, and a lot of script writers don't help the situation. I remember auditioning for a era film earlier this year where all the black characters talked that way (You be, I is, etc), but when I asked a fellow actor if his lines for the grand wizard had any similarities in vernacular (which they most likely should), he told me "Nope, perfect English". Needless to say, I turned that movie down. A lot of script writers seem to half-ass their research, and one of the only film scripts I've seen that tried to keep in mind that most southern white and black people of the time spoke about the same is "O Brother, Where Art Thou" by the Coens. Scripts can be social powder kegs if the writers get lazy.

Yes, it's over the top (and strangely tones way down as she keeps speaking), but given that literally every other black person in the game speaks normally (NPC and Main quest), I fail to see it as racist.

But enough of that, how DARE he say is racist! I speeeeel mai dreenk, but he is not care then!

Logan Westbrook:

Treblaine:

Logan Westbrook:

Seriously? You're using The Color Purple to make that point?

Why not? Is it because it's a big Hollywood production and DXHR is a lowly video game peasantry that should never be compared with film since - as the infallible Roger Ebert said - video games CAN NEVER BE ART!

No, the comparison is fair.

It demonstrates that you can have black characters in a fictional work, speaking the way many real African Americans do, without being branded as racist. It is WHAT they say, not HOW they say it that matters.

Films gets such a free reign while video games are considered an acceptable target for any supposition. Look at how the media reacted to an incredibly tame love scene in Mass Effect. Got the console labelled the "SeX-Box". This double standard stifles creativity in a growing medium.

Wow, way to put words in my mouth; you should get a prize for that. It's frankly a little ridiculous that you would level that accusation at someone who writes about videogames for a living.

But to answer your question: No, it's not because The Color Purple is a film, it's because The Color Purple is a film set in 1930s Georgia that looks at the racism, discrimination, and social repression that African-Americans faced at the time. Yes, it's a work of fiction, just like Deus Ex, but that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Sorry, didn't mean to put words in your mouth, I was just being a bit speculative for emphasis.

I hear what you are saying, but do you mean that it's OK to have these accents only if you are making a commentary specifically on racism?

Or are you saying these accents only existed in 1930's Georgia? Because many will testify that residents of Detroit even today speak with such inflections. It's not racist to hear such accents either in real life nor in fiction... PEOPLE ACTUALLY SPEAK THIS WAY!

If a work of fiction is all the similarity there is, I say that is similarity enough.

:\ I never even met this character. Sort of glad, the actress they got to do the black characters' voices sounds oddly masculine. Not that she does a bad job, or anything, but it sure does sound weird--like she's about fifteen years older than the character speaking.

Cain_Zeros:
Except Irish isn't a race, it's a nationality. Yes, it would be nice if there were portrayals of Irish people other than Leprechauns and drunkards, but even if you were serious it wouldn't be racism.

What term do you propose instead? Nationalityism? Not a word. Nationalism? Something different. Xenophobia? That's fear of all people of a different nationality to your own, not of one specific nationality. Hiberniphobia? But we're not talking about the fear of the Irish, only their inaccurate characterisation.

I'm happy for racism to refer to the discrimination of more narrowly defined ethnic groups that are not necessarily races, where the discrimination is of the same sort usually referred to as racism. I don't understand the reluctance to allow the meanings of words to change over time, as they have always done; it seems like an apologist move to me.

When anyone makes a point similar to yours ("Islamophobia is not racism" is a common one) it seems to me like their implication is "it's not racism, therefore it's not as bad as racism."

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