Would you play a game with foreign protagonists?
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Poll: Would you play a game about non-Americans?

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This question is crazy, some of the best selling video game franchises had non-American protagonists. Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, No One Lives Forever...hell technically any game set in interstellar space features non-American main characters, since being born on another planet would make you about as non-American as possible...

yes because:

america: media = milla jovovich : resident evil movies

I'd say the poll is perfectly conclusive.


ToTaL LoLiGe:
Gear of War's protagonists aren't American, they're not even from earth. I think it's just the modern FPS genre that likes American heroes.

First you demonstrate that modern FPS games don't use American heroes. Then you conclude that modern FPS games use American heroes.

Come... again?

I actually think this is a lot less of a trend than it seems. Gears isn't American (although you'd be forgiven for thinking it was), Resistance: Fall of Man is British, half of the MW2 campaign was spent with Brits, half of the MW3 campaign was Brits and the other half was Russians, a few of the Battlefield 3 missions are as a Brit and a Russkie, Red Faction isn't on Earth, where does that leave us? Bioshock, Uncharted, and Fallout?

Hardly hallmarks of the FPS genre.

Regardless, there are far more foreigners out there, in our FPSes and out of them, than it might seem.

Gears of War is a Sci Fi shooter. I meant games like Battlefield and CoD.

Um, of course. :-/ Most of the games I play are Japanese, or fantasy oriented.

The reason most game protagonists are 24-35 yr old male white "american" (in the sense that they are english speaking) is that the majority demographic of video game players is thought to be composed of 24-35 yr old male white americans

as for op I would buy any game that featured Canadians. As I have yet to find one if anyone knows of one please let me know.

Yeah considering the monuments in Europe built to honour Canadian soldiers, you'd think there should be a few games featuring them. Well maybe not featuring but at least showing up somewhere.

I don't really care all that much, but it would be nice to see more titles where americans aren't the only ones saving the whole world while other countries presumably pick their noses the whole time. Now that i think about it, most of the protagonists aren't really american in the games i play. Geralt is from Rivia, Nicko is Russian, Shephard isn't even from Earth and i don't even remember where from my poor abandoned Skyrim character is supposed to be.

as an englishman i hate that most games are about americans, i mean dont get me wrong theres nothing wrong with them but they're not the centre of the universe as many of them think

just like when i met some that had no idea what language people speak in ENGLAND the home of THEIR language...i mean its like a french-canadian not knowing the language of france but then again thats hopefully a minority

The Last Melon:
Is your average Massachusetts twenty-something committed to playing only Navy SEALS, or would he be willing to try something like a game about the French Foreign Legion or Joint Task Force 2 (the Canadian special forces)?

Your average Massachusetts 20 something is about as liberal as it gets in America. We aren't the blind patriotism, boners for the american military type. We're practically Canada. Not exactly the best state to ask if they have a problem identifying with non americans.


Do post-apocalypses like Fallout and Enslaved count? It's America, but only in terms of geography.

I just have to say that Fallout is super american, so much of the artistic choices are form 1930's and 40's americana style. The music is form that time, the Valut boy is styled by the advertising, the robots are styled like old american science fiction movies. Plus there is the American tradition of seeing there famous structures being destroyed.

as for op I would buy any game that featured Canadians. As I have yet to find one if anyone knows of one please let me know.

There is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, thats all I can think of though.

Yes! Give me Jade Empire 2 >:(



Do post-apocalypses like Fallout and Enslaved count? It's America, but only in terms of geography.

I just have to say that Fallout is super american, so much of the artistic choices are form 1930's and 40's americana style. The music is form that time, the Valut boy is styled by the advertising, the robots are styled like old american science fiction movies. Plus there is the American tradition of seeing there famous structures being destroyed.

There's Americana and parody of America, but it's certainly not America as we know it. I wouldn't call any of my Couriers or Vault Dwellers American. It's ultra-violent, tribal, slaver-infested, and mostly lawless.

It does resemble America in the 1800s, but with better technology. You have tribals, small settlements, and a government trying to spread and take over the "frontier".

This is an interesting debate, and might would make a good thread of its own.

you didn't grow up in the .....

The Last Melon:

[EDIT: Wow, did I get drowned in titles here. I was referring largely to military shooters in this context, and was thinking specifically of some of the hoo-rah of the Modern Warfare games.]

oh .... you mean that tripe ....

assuming you could get me to play one(this would probably take some form of fire arm place to my head), yeah probably, player character race shouldn't matter in relation to enjoyment of game

but, even if they did make such i game, i still wouldn't play it. we have to many such shooters as is. -.-

Umm, Assassins creed ring any bells?
(We don't talk about Desmond Shush.)
As I'm not American, I don't see a problem with playing a character who isn't from America.

Of course, the latest games I've played were SkywardSword and Xenoblade Chronicles so that pretty much sums it up.

You're talking about military shooters...the genre most known for tossing story aside for the sake of explosions...who the fuck cares what you play as? You're still shooting things, the story is still going to suck.


Sorry, I had to do that, but yeah, I would really like to play as a non-american for once, most FPS games have a American soldier as the protagonist (Apart from Call of Duty), and I would like to play as a soldier from a different perspective, how about a game where you actually play as a Nazi soldier? (Or would that be too controversial or immoral when you spray American/British soldiers instead of the other way around?)

seeing as I myself am a 'foreigner' (English) I would definitely like to buy a game that was about people from our country, or maybe even more exotic ones. though if I remember correctly, 1/2 of COD 4 had British SAS members

I'm pretty sure most people in Skyrim are not American...so yes

Ummm...The Assassin's Creed franchise comes to mind.

So far, we have taken the roles of an assassin in the Middle East and an Italian one, both awesome in their own rights. Soon we will be able to play as a Native American assassin. So, I don't know how this question came to mind.

Even before AC series, does anyone remember playing as Aladdin on the Genesis/SNES?

I think the FPS craze is starting to get to a lot of people.

Not only would I play a game with foreign or non-white protagonists, but I would be more inclined to play one if there was because frankly, it'd be a breath of fresh air.

Edit: The captcha was an advertisement and it made me type the name of the product. That seems... particularly evil. I feel used.

Let's see here:

God of War - Greek
Metro 2033 - Russian
Amnesia: The Dark Descent - English
Penumbra - English
Asura's Wrath - Asian
Assassin's Creed - Arabic (Altair), Italian (Ezio)
Tomb Raider - English
Kira Kira - Japanese
Grim Fandango - Mexican
Team Fortress 2 - Scottish (Demoman), French (Medic), German (Medic), Russian (Heavy), Spanish (Pyro, presumably)
Octodad - Octopus
The Elder Scrolls - Black Marsh, Cyrodiil, Morrowind, Hammerfell, Summerset Isle, Valenwood, Elsweyr, High Rock, Skyrim
Transformers: War For Cybertron - Cybertronian
Disgaea - Netherworld
MediEvil - Gallowmere
Destroy All Humans! - Furon

In short: No, I wouldn't. As a British person I say, Americans only!

You really should have specified earlier that you were targeting the "modern military shooter" genre. You can't just start talking about video games in general and expect people to associate that with that specific genre, especially since people tend to look down on it these days.

To answer your question, Call of Duty 4 is still to this day the best modern military shooter, and its cast of characters is mainly British, not American. The Americans, while still very present, have a secondary role. Of note is also the fact that there are "friendly Russians", as one of the characters puts it, with whom the British and Americans are cooperating. One of them, "Codename: Nikolai", is a character that returns in both sequels to the game, a feat only accomplished by two other characters in the series.

So, if even a Call of Duty game (the best of the franchise anyway) can avoid being too pro-America, then I think your complaint is misplaced. You should just try out other games.


Well...americans are not a race, but a group compromised of every race on the planet.

But we still have a distinct culture.

No we don't. America is a melting pot of hundreds of different cultures. The closest thing to authentic American culture are southern countries and fuckin' rednecks. And that's not something to be proud of. We don't even have much of a history. And the little we do have is not all that interesting to be honest. Look at China, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, England etc. if you want to see countries with rich history and culture. But what do I know. My parents immigrated here from Europe.

Ummm...The Assassin's Creed franchise comes to mind.

And it is ultimately about Desmond.

But no. I don't care about nationality in video games.

Well, Mario is pretty popular

I am currently playing Yakuza 4.

So yes, I would...

When people say "Americans" what they REALLY mean is the Default Perfect White Character.

This. Argh, how I wish we had more variety. Granted, the games where you make your own protagonist, mine's pretty similar, but... Anaksha Dark Angel was AWESOME. We need other characters with more depth than 1 dimensional good/bad guys.

All in all, it doesn't bother me, since I've played as a fuckton of things. Including plants. And they weren't even american! Ha!

Well I'm British, so I'd prefer a game with non-Americans, especially if the Americans were the bad guys.

My ideal game would feature a British protagonist with an American bad guy, especially if at first he looked like he was a good guy.

You sir are a genius but I believe that the British protagonist be from some other part of the military than the SAS. While they are the best soldiers on earth, I'd like to see a game with RM or Paras or Gurkha.

I can't think why it would matter to anyone, since in the common military shooters you don't actually SEE yourself very often and your protagonist doesn't speak either, so why should it matter?

I think your problem is that you are generalizing most gamers as the kind of people that play the popular games or the games that "everyone plays". Sure MW3 sold a lot of copies, but Skyrim was very successful as well and that is a fictional world that is very un-American.

War games tend to focus on Americans as the main characters because America is the #1 supplier of war in the world, it just makes sense. A war game about Canadians staving off an American invasion because the CIA posed as Canadians and bombed the eastern seaboard, would probably not be that popular. Just like a game where you play as a group of guerilla soldiers in the middle east trying to fend off the overwhelming offensive from American invaders, would probably not be as popular.

American war games just seem like Americans showing off how good at war they are. I wish MW3 had stayed with MW2's theme that Americans are war mongers, and the british are the good guys. At least that was different enough to set off the "AMERICA. FUCK YEAH" syndrome that most war games have.

Disclaimer: Both the above game ideas are mine! /shoo!

The Last Melon:
This is just a random thought of mine, but it occurs to me that the gaming industry is oriented almost entirely around male Americans, at least in terms of its protagonists. I don't think I need to list examples, but the going theory seems to be that the average consumer would be scared off by a game that wasn't focused on the United States in some way or another.

I have to wonder: is there actually such a real demand for America-oriented products? Is your average Massachusetts twenty-something committed to playing only Navy SEALS, or would he be willing to try something like a game about the French Foreign Legion or Joint Task Force 2 (the Canadian special forces)?

Part two! I remember that games in the Call of Duty series have a reasonably good record of branching out a bit to other nations in a way that I particularly appreciate. I enjoyed the Canadian and Polish sections of CoD 3 considerably (the former largely due to rampant patriotism on my part). Are there any other games that do anything interesting like this, or is it all Americans or space marines with American accents out there?

[EDIT: Wow, did I get drowned in titles here. I was referring largely to military shooters in this context, and was thinking specifically of some of the hoo-rah of the Modern Warfare games.]

It's because the world can associate itself with America, and we are the dominant world power, at least for the moment. The issue isn't just one of America being the biggest market and Americans only wanting to play games involving or about America, but because of the way the rest of the world views itself and the other nations in it.

To put it into perspective, some typical guy in say Korea, and some typical guy in say Portugal probably have no real knowlege of each other's cultures, never mind say Canada or Poland or wherever else, however BOTH of them know the US. What's more while not popular everyone knows that the USA could roflstomp pretty much anyone else on the planet if we really wanted to (our losses are mostly caused by our own morality and lack of appropriate action, we basically don't do the things you see us do in most video games even if we could in many cases). Both have heard of the Navy SEALS and are going to respect that as an incredibly dangerous special forces unit that has been known to be active all over the planet, and what it could potentially do if we ever actually used it to it's full capacity. In comparison you mention Task Force 2, and it's doubtful either of them will have heard of it, they are not going to have any respect for it, and will probably scratch their heads going "WTF Canada".

Likewise when it comes to locations, most people recognize major US cities like New York, LA, Seattle, and others and can respect and associate with those locations to an extent. The same doesn't much apply to cities in other countries, for example your typical guy from Thailand would probably boggle at the mention of Alberta Canada, yet they would recognize "New York City" and it's importance. There are a FEW other cities that are used to similar effect outside of the US such as Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, London, and others but in general that recognition only comes from a couple of very specific landmarks which almost always have to be present in any feature involving them for the sake of the international audience.

When your releasing a game internationally America is a "safe" bet for the widest possible audience being familiar with the material. Despite criticisms we're also the most tolerant people on the planet, and probably the most tolerated despite our "arrogance". In general America isn't involved in the same kinds of blood feuds a lot of other nations are. If you say had a game protaganist from India, you have to worry about slotting off Muslims a lot more than you do with the US despite "The War On Terror". We've been at it for a decade or so, India and Pakistan have been at a nuclear deadlock and low scale warfare even longer, and the Hindus are #2 on the Muslim hit list right under the Jews. You pick a British guy, and you have some issues with Asia because it was the Brits that invaded and were involved in the Opium wars and so on. China still goes off on the UK for the trivialization of eastern culture up to this point due to the supreme arse kicking throughout the region, yeah the Brits were forced to fall back, but it took this long for Asia to recover. There are dozens of other little slap fights out there that can affect marketing of a global product, to which America is safe. The "hate" of America isn't the same kind of burn you see for a lot of other ongoing conflicts, and honestly part of the reason why we're hated is that we have prevented people from continueing a lot of these grudge matches... "how dare you step in and stop our ethnic cleansing you bloody yank cowboys"

Despite comments about American ignorance, Americans are actually the most well informed people on the planet when you get down to it, something that doesn't always make us popular, especially seeing as we tend to be pretty honest about telling things as they are (or we were, the left wing is kind of ruining that). In the US chances are you know more about the rest of the world, and stuff going on in other countries as far as military units, geography, cities, and other assorted things than people in other countries do about the rest of the world. In the US you could probably make a decent number of correct (if very basic) comments about say Korea, Poland, Canada, Japan, China, and numerous other countries. Ask someone from Ukraine about those places and odds are they would know less about them than you do from a video game perspective.

To an American or Canadian saying that a game about "Task Force 2" for example might work, makes sense from the perspective of knowing something about it, but to someone on the other side of the planet, or even your average European?

It might sound like I'm blowing the USA's horn here, and I guess I am, but I'm pointing this out mostly as a marketing reality. America sells.

Well currently I play Naval War which features a Norwegian naval commander (and being a Dane that's probably the closest I'm ever going to get to a protagonist of my nationality without it having to be a bloody Swede).

So yes. But I'd extent it to I'd play a game where the protagonist isn't from one of the superpowers (USA, Russia OR the UK). I'd love to play as a german protagonist serving in the GSG-9 (Grenzschutzgruppe 9 or Border Protection Unit 9), or perhaps even a Swedish (OK maybe Swedes aren't that bad) fighterpilot scrambling his J-35 Draken to intercept whatever bogey is incoming.

Well I am English, so obviously yes.

Let me put it to you this way. I don't really care whether or not the protagonist is American or not. I'll chose the more interesting game. If two games came out, one had an American protagonist, the other had, say, a German protagonist, unless the games were the exact same, I'd chose the one that looks more interesting. If they were the same, I'd probably chose the American protagonist, and that's only because I live in America.

Grey Day for Elcia:

Well I am tired of the story every game has

"Oh nu! de evul ruzzians aree attackung and den deh guud guy americansnnzn save de dey"

And I got off track but yes I would play a game where I am a non-american.

Russian spy! Get 'em!

Oh no! Lenins waxy corpse save me!

I played a game starring a Canadian, it was called Mass Effect.
Then I played STALKER, damn Ukranians.
Then Morrowind, does a Khajitt from Cyrodil count as foreign?

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