Crispy Gamer Calls Out Resident Evil 5's Racism

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So far, most of the reviews I've seen for RE5 have been largely positive, and mostly fail to mention the racism allegations that surfaced when the game was announced.

The Crispy Gamer review, however, is almost exclusively about the racist undertones present in the game: http://www.crispygamer.com/gamereviews/2009-03-12/resident-evil-5-xbox-360.aspx

Sure, the reviewer doesn't think the game is much of a leap past RE4, but the large portion of his problems stem from the perceived racism. Having not played the game and seen only a few videos, I can see where he's coming from (I definitely saw infected Africans with spears and spiked shields) but I wonder if those of you who've played the game were as appalled as this reviewer was.

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush. The Crispy reviewer seems to think this comes out of the global cultural ignorance of Japanese game developers. So, what is this game? A genuine step back from Heart of Darkness, a "teachable moment" for the Japanese game companies, or an overblown controversy?

[Please Note: I am only asking questions. I have not played this game, and only have a brief impression based on videos I've seen online. I'm not wearing my crucifixion pants today, so go somewhere else if you intend to flame.]

All three?

Be warned. Your going to get a lot of hate for this post.

And yes, thoughs images of the african zombies with spears and shields did scream ignorant racism.

"First things first: I'm a big white dude. Aside from a small amount of Native American blood, I'm as white as white gets. So I'll say this as clearly and as honestly as I possibly can: As a big white dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of black people in Resident Evil 5. "

What a stupid and irrelevant way to start a review.

I'm not going to read on, it's just wrong.

It's a game set in africa, if there's no africans, i'd be f***ing worried.

-Joe

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

I'm sorry. I simply do not see racism in RE5 (I haven't finished beating the game, though I have played through a good part of it).

Africa has black people. If Africa had a zombie outbreak, Africa would have black zombies. You can't deny reality just because you're scared of stepping on a few toes. I think Yahtzee made an excellent point when he said nobody gave a shit about the Spanish zombies in RE4.

What amazes me the most, however, is that virtually every outcry about racism I've seen has been from a white dude. It's pathetic, really, that people are so insecure about this kind of crap. I don't think anyone should take this seriously until the NAACP gets involved.

Who cares its just a game, a game set in Africa, it annoys me that people still try and find racist undertones in stuff, just drop it already...

NoDamnNames:

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

Well...Yeah, if it was set now.

NoDamnNames:

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

Valid point... if Europeans were ever slurred with the phrase "bow-shooter". They weren't. With the history of racism the way it is, an African with a spear is far different from a European with a bow.

haha, and we had a 7 page thread where people kept thinking the racism debate would NOT be re-ignited.

The best we can do is IGNORE this, because it's all been done to death.

CrafterMan:
It's a game set in africa, if there's no africans, i'd be f***ing worried.

Protip: not all Africans are black. I think you mean, "If there weren't any black people, I'd be worried."

NoDamnNames:

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

Indeed, what's racist about depicting something wich is simply...well, real, true. Spear-chucking Africans exist:
image
(sure they don't wear that stuff every day, but you get the point)

So what's wrong with infected spear-chucking Africans? Are Zulu's and Masai immume to infection for some reason?

CrafterMan:
"First things first: I'm a big white dude. Aside from a small amount of Native American blood, I'm as white as white gets. So I'll say this as clearly and as honestly as I possibly can: As a big white dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of black people in Resident Evil 5. "

What a stupid and irrelevant way to start a review.

I'm not going to read on, it's just wrong.

It's a game set in africa, if there's no africans, i'd be f***ing worried.

-Joe

As a big white dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of black people in Resident Evil 5.

Now watch this

As a big white dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of white people in Resident Evil 1,2 and 3.

As a big white dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of Spanish people in Resident Evil 4.

You wanna call one out for using the appropriate race in whatever setting you choose you gotta call it out for all. Sad thing about it is crap like that is what truly makes RE5 racist not the game itself.

harhol:

CrafterMan:
It's a game set in africa, if there's no africans, i'd be f***ing worried.

Protip: not all Africans are black. I think you mean, "If there weren't any black people, I'd be worried."

Well I don't know what tribal village the game is set in, and I wouldn't say something that crude haha.

That reviewer is exactly the kind of pretentious self-absorbed moron who perpetuates racism. So, if I don't find this racist, I'm an ignorant bigot? The wording of the first part of that review made me retch.

These people who keep drawing lines between the races in a bid to gain moral brownie points are the real problem.

It seems more like it's a little indicative of what we are as a society. You can't say that there aren't still african tribes that use the shield and spear, and you can't say that there wouldn't be those in africa who live in even the larger cities who wouldn't still train in them as a point of pride in their warrior heritage. They're there, and it's no different than an Englishman learning to use a longsword, or a Frenchman learning fencing, or a Japanese man learning to use a katana. They're weapons that are their own, they built up huge fighting styles around them, they used the hell out of them. The problem stems from the negative image we associate here. The shield and spear are what we associate with the historic image of the primitive tribesman, and that goes into slavery, and we all end up feeling squeamish. It sucks. Then again maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm an idiot and don't know what I'm talking about. I kind of hope that I am.

All enemies in all games must be white or developers are insensitive bigots who were beaten up by gangstas in grade school. That's just how it is.

Sounds like someone trying to stir up some lame controversy to get more site traffic.

It's actually funny, because, apparantly, the people who did the voice acting are speaking out against the perceived Racism in the game. Haven't seen the interviews, though. Anyway, no, the game, in my opinion, is not racist. Think about it. In Africa, in any place like the villages (excluding the most advanced African cities), what is the skin color of the majority of the population? If you say anything but black, please, get of the internet. Now, in these villages, has a more traditional clan culture survived? From what I understand, it has, though not entirely intact. It has evolved, but it is still there.

Now, for the burning question. Was RE4 Racist? No more then RE5. RE4 had a bunch of Spanish peasents running at you with farming tools and shouting in Spanish. Who would have thought? Rural Spanish people speak Spanish.

The above is essentially the same as there being black people in Africa.

SomeBritishDude:

NoDamnNames:

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

Well...Yeah, if it was set now.

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't most zombie lore originate from native African tribes in the first place? And are there not several self secluded, uncontacted, as well as undiscovered tribes of Africans still sporting spears and ancient tradition?

NoDamnNames:

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

You mean like the Cross-bow wielding medievil styled Europeans in RE4?

(Puts on Jeremy Clarkson hat)
This racist stuff is bullshit. Resident evil 4 played up Spanish and religious zealot stereotypes massively, it was set in Spain. This game's set in Africa so naturally it does the same thing but to African and tribal stereotypes. Just because they're black doesn't mean you have to be nice to them.
(Takes off Jeremy Clarkson hat)

It's so nice that people can waste their time looking for perceived racism in video games (Resident Evil, no less) when actual racism still exists

I'm glad I don't have this much time on my hands

CrafterMan:
"First things first: I'm a big white dude. Aside from a small amount of Native American blood, I'm as white as white gets. So I'll say this as clearly and as honestly as I possibly can: As a big white dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of black people in Resident Evil 5. "

What a stupid and irrelevant way to start a review.

I'm not going to read on, it's just wrong.

It's a game set in africa, if there's no africans, i'd be f***ing worried.

-Joe

Agreed. Anyone who's starting a review like that seems like a closet racist to me.

In my opinion the Zombies don't care about race, so who cares?

Guess what? it's Africa. There are still Africans who run around with spears and shields. Watch Mark and Olly. Stop being ashamed of your race and projecting it onto all of us.

I am a big white dude with GERMAN blood. I feel uncomfortable with subhuman portrayels of africans or any other racial group. And this game is not racist. Let it go.

PS: The Subhuman depictions are SUPPOSED to make you uncomfortable, it's a Zombie game. It's a HORROR game. Horror = UNCOMFORTABLE. Your missing the point.

im playing RE5 right now and i don't think its racist. People say that its wrong that ur killing black people but uhh ur in Africa. If you killed only white people and were in Africa people would say its racist because there are no black people.

Sorry for another post but:

Crispy Gamer says

"The African zombies, in contrast, look underfed and hollow-eyed. Their lips are puffed and cracked; their bloodshot eyes practically bug out from their skulls. The physical contrast between the game's heroes and villains -- light skin versus dark skin (even Sheva, who's African, is light-skinned); civilized versus savage"

Yea he's definately a closet racist. It's People vs. Zombies, nothing more.

"Things get more troubling when a scream erupts from a nearby alleyway, and Chris and Sheva spot a zombie dragging off a white woman by the hair. Chris and Sheva give chase. When they find the woman, something has happened to her. She falls limply into Chris' arms. "Are you OK?" Chris asks repeatedly. The woman, of course, promptly transforms into a zombie. She has been infected."

So there's white zombies in this game? This won't stop him pointing fingers and calling people racist.

Cpt_Oblivious:
Sorry for another post but:

Crispy Gamer says

"The African zombies, in contrast, look underfed and hollow-eyed. Their lips are puffed and cracked; their bloodshot eyes practically bug out from their skulls. The physical contrast between the game's heroes and villains -- light skin versus dark skin (even Sheva, who's African, is light-skinned); civilized versus savage"

Yea he's definately a closet racist. It's People vs. Zombies, nothing more.

"Things get more troubling when a scream erupts from a nearby alleyway, and Chris and Sheva spot a zombie dragging off a white woman by the hair. Chris and Sheva give chase. When they find the woman, something has happened to her. She falls limply into Chris' arms. "Are you OK?" Chris asks repeatedly. The woman, of course, promptly transforms into a zombie. She has been infected."

So there's white zombies in this game? This won't stop him pointing fingers and calling people racist.

I find his description of the zombies hilarious because isn't that what zombies are SUPPOSED to look like? RE5 is the first game to make use of next gen hardware, thus the zombies are simply more detailed.

Honestly, the racism is really only there if you go looking for it; and that says a lot more about you then it does about the game

fix-the-spade:

NoDamnNames:

Dr Spaceman:

Honestly, those spear-chucking Africans I saw in the Escapist's own review supplement seemed to be something that would even make Joseph Conrad blush.

So using the same logic would Medieval bow wielding Europeans have been racist if it was set in England?

You mean like the Cross-bow wielding medievil styled Europeans in RE4?

Yes, the same ones held up in a stereotypical medieval fortress that lay siege on you with period weapons and catapults. Not to mention is controlled by stereotypical power hungry religious fanatics who skim donations, steal money, and take political hostages.

I really don't see a racist argument here. As the racism seems to be in the eye of the beholder. Have any African Americans actually complained that the zombies are not white anymore, or is it just white people with to much time on their hands trying to sound as intelligent and un-racist as possible by accusing this game.

so you guys see absolutely nothing wrong with a white American guy & his buddies going into an African village (where everyone is "infected"), massacring the populace and being portrayed as a hero? this is risky ground already, without even going into the way that africans are portrayed in the game (apparently appealing to long-forgotten stereotypes). to completely dismiss any suggestion of racism is just silly.

I have been playing this game all night and honestly, I was a little offended by how UNRACIST it was. Let me explain.

It is set in Africa. Therefore, there are a lot of black people in Africa. But when I am killing zombies I'm not killing black people .. I'm killing everyone! In fact, the very first person you come across on your side is middle eastern. It feels as though Capcom was so concerned over being racist that they made sure to throw in every race under the sun.

I am ALL for equality but when people start crying that we are killing black people when the game is set in AFRICA!?!? Come on! That's like being upset at killing asian people in a game set in Japan.

I want to play a game that feels semi realistic. Sure octo-worm things are popping from guys/girls heads but, aside from that ... it's pretty real! :)

harhol:
so you guys see absolutely nothing wrong with a white American guy & his buddies going into an African village (where everyone is "infected"), massacring the populace and being portrayed as a hero? this is risky ground already, without even going into the way that africans are portrayed in the game (apparently appealing to long-forgotten stereotypes). to completely dismiss any suggestion of racism is just silly.

No, for a simple reason: skin color DOES. NOT. MATTER.
This so called anti-racism is one of the things wich keeps actual racism going, the urge to (for some reason) protect people because of their skin color. Not being racist means treating people of different skin colors the same.

harhol:
so you guys see absolutely nothing wrong with a white American guy & his buddies going into an African village (where everyone is "infected"), massacring the populace and being portrayed as a hero? this is risky ground already, without even going into the way that africans are portrayed in the game (apparently appealing to long-forgotten stereotypes). to completely dismiss any suggestion of racism is just silly.

His buddies? Isn't Redfield alone throughout the entire game? (Besides Sheva, of course)

And isn't the whole plot behind the game just another Umbrella conspiracy?

If it's not, feel free to correct

Not disagreeing, by the way. We all know that people would get upset over this; but you gotta wonder if there's really something there, or are people just grasping at straws?

Its set in Africa.
Yes there are Africans.
Yes there are African tribe people with spears and shields.

Your not going to find some native white man in the area are you!
No one jumped to the defence of the spanyards in Resident Evil 4 so drop the bloody arguement. Its set in Africa and yes there are Africans its not racist its just what is around the area.

There was a video I saw somwhere proving RE 5 Isn't rascist,

Was it JesKid?

If anyone finds it link it up it proves a point in a very funny way.

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