Crispy Gamer Calls Out Resident Evil 5's Racism

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The only racist things I can see are:

1) Barely dressed, spear wielding, grass skirt wearing, face painted African zombies? There may be ONE person like that left in Africa. Even most of the tribes who still live like tribes have some form of modern clothing on them.

2) Sheva seems, as Yahtzee said, like she's been dipped in tea. She's a light-skinned black person with a British accent. Is it me, or was she only put in the game in order to avoid cries of racism by being the token black "good guy"? It is in a way similar to pointing to your black friend when you are accused of racism and saying "See, I have a black friend; I can't be racist!"

Honestly, I think that the game was made into a co-op game at the last minute for the reasons listed above, thus resulting in some really shitty AI and what Capcom so heavily advertises as bein great co-op coming across as rushed and gimmicky (due to the advertisement).

Like many have said, if the game where in Africa and all the zombies were white, that would make no sense at all. They did Africa because the same settings for games get old. We've been through cities and Spain and all that stuff, so we need a new setting. I'm actually disappointed that the first thing people would think is "OMG RACIST!!!" as opposed to "Well this is a nice change of pace." Seriously, I can't beleive that people are so closed minded that they would point out "offensive" content when it's not even there. If RE5 is racist, then so is Grand Theft Auto (black dude shooting up white cops??) or Call of Duty (White guys shooting up German people?) so people need to lighten up and play the fucking games.

"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 -- makes cutting down hordes of the infected with a submachine gun a complicated and troubling act."
This dude is completely forgetting that they look fucked up because they're MONSTERS. It's not about them being black, this guy's just pulling hidden meanings out of his ass.

SuperMse:
The only racist things I can see are:

1) Barely dressed, spear wielding, grass skirt wearing, face painted African zombies? There may be ONE person like that left in Africa. Even most of the tribes who still live like tribes have some form of modern clothing on them.

Very incorrect, as i stated in a previous post there are MANY tribes that fall under the following categories: Self Secluded (chose to be secluded from society to practice their own beliefs and culture), Un-contacted (known ancient tribes still practicing their cultures that have not been contacted by the outside world but are known to us because of satellite and aircraft imagery), and Un-discovered (Tribes that have not been discovered that have been practicing their ways for centuries, they find one of these every few years).

In short there are LOTS of people in Africa living with Ancient cultures, rituals, hunting methods, and garments.

The biggest failure to any race is the fact so many people don't know these tribes exist. Depicting these people as zombies is no more racist than depicting Amish as Zombies.

I've played a ways into the game and I came across a diary written by a village boy. He talks about how, after being infected, the village men started dressing like that and wearing war paint. The parasites caused them to regress mentally but gave them enhanced physical abilities.
This happened in RE4 as well with the ganados. The villagers and the guys in the castle all wore old style clothes and lived in shacks. In the case of the zealots they lived in the castle. They had spiked shields and used medieval weapons.
So I don't know if this is so much racism as it is just an effect of the plagas.

NoDamnNames:

SuperMse:
The only racist things I can see are:

1) Barely dressed, spear wielding, grass skirt wearing, face painted African zombies? There may be ONE person like that left in Africa. Even most of the tribes who still live like tribes have some form of modern clothing on them.

Very incorrect, as i stated in a previous post there are MANY tribes that fall under the following categories: Self Secluded (chose to be secluded from society to practice their own beliefs and culture), Un-contacted (known ancient tribes still practicing their cultures that have not been contacted by the outside world but are known to us because of satellite and aircraft imagery), and Un-discovered (Tribes that have not been discovered that have been practicing their ways for centuries, they find one of these every few years).

In short there are LOTS of people in Africa living with Ancient cultures, rituals, hunting methods, and garments.

The biggest failure to any race is the fact so many people don't know these tribes exist. Depicting these people as zombies is no more racist than depicting Amish as Zombies.

I havn't played the game yet, and I admit that maybe I was exaggerating, but you have to realize that the chance of Mr. Redfield meeting one of those people is slim. Especially if they are secluded. Be it Las Plagas or the T-virus, the chance that some African tribe out in the middle of nowhere would get infected is low. I honestly think that Capcom isn't being overtly racist, but is being a bit sloppy with what could be seen as subliminal racism. What's next, gay zombies in ballerina outfits =P ?

SuperMse:
What's next, gay zombies in ballerina outfits =P ?

That, added with the tentacle aspect of new RE games and the abundance of hentai tentacle porn that is out there would lead to some of the most disturbing video gaming I can fathom.

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. ]

Why is it more racist that Africans are wearing their cultural clothes? and why isn't it racist when every single lower rank criminal in movies and games are black?

i don't think it racist at all. If anything it makes more sense with spear brandishing Africans than without.

Resident Evil has always been racist. I mean come on, ALL the zombies were white, WTF is up with that? Hating on white folks.

Second thought: when are we going to see oriental zombie ninjas?

Okay his first paragraph is irrelevant if Resi 5 was racist it wouldn't matter what ethnicity he is. He basically trys to put across that because he's white and feels a game where black people are the main antagonists is racists then it must be super-racist, that's not how racism works I'm afraid Crispy, it's either racist or it isn't.

Okay then he tries to comapred the pyscial differences by saying that basically the heores look health and those that are infect don't (well doy!). Also when talking about the primitive nature of the infected in this game I'm pretty sure that the Spanish in Resi 4 was pretty mich the same.

Paragraph about natives, look at the 12th post.

However I agree with his points that the Japanese do seem to be quite ignorent these days but hey even Western Developers stick to sterotypes (see Deputy Wheeler in Silent Hill Homecoming).

The game is set in Africa, so obviously majority of the enemies are going to be black. I've played through the entire game and I wouldn't even think that this game is racist. It was actually kind of weird to see Arab and white enemies. Even on of the supporting characters, Josh, is a black BSAA solider that helps Chris and Sheva along their path. I'm was under the impression that Sheva is only half Africa, not only because of her light skin, but because of her British accent. You aren't fighting regular people, you are fighting a people that have been forced into taking in the Las Plagas parasite, just like the Spaniards in RE4. Sure, Chris is from America, but he is the main character and part of the Resident Evil series, which until RE4, took place in America. What do these reviewers want Capcom to do, give all the African's baths, nice clothes and give them chap stick and eye drops? What's next are they going to say that the game is cruel to animals because you can blow dogs and hyenas away with grenade launcher? Or that this game is a Nazi game because Wesker wants to give birth to the master race by killing everyone with a new virus?

harhol:

squid5580:
If they use the N word or one of the white folks says something like "who cares if they are infected, they are black so kill'em all and let God sort them out" then I would be the first one calling for a boycott. Or if there is a KKK robe for an unlockable costume.

not all racism is blatantly obvious. in this case it's all about parallels. white hero vs. black "savages" is just too imperialist for my tastes.

Actually the main antagonist is white and all the main enemies are villagers and tribals that are infected with a parasites. The story fully explains that Umbrella did tests on villagers and tribes as a new experiment, which caused these people to become violent and aggressive. What you need to do is play through the game before you go around making judgments based upon screen shots and videos.

People who try to say this game is racist, and attempt to justify said claim by saying because they appear tribal, they're different than the heroes etc etc... just please, stop procreating.

Hold your head underwater until you feel sleepy.

You'll be doing us all a favor.

SomeBritishDude:
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.

But then again, like Yahtzee hinted in his first review that was put on the escapist, Japan is filled with xenophobic dicks.

The Bandit:
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.

On a lighter note:"How can the NAACP get involved. Their to poor to own a console!"

Seriously though, all these outcrys about RE5 piss me off, not because it offends Black People, but because, A)I'm half-spanish and B)No one gave a shit about the spanish zombies in RE4 (hell, not even I cared when I was playing it on my hyper advanced etchy-sketch, aka the Wii.)

The Amazing Orgazmo:

SomeBritishDude:
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.

But then again, like Yahtzee hinted in his first review that was put on the escapist, Japan is filled with xenophobic dicks.

So is America.

Its clear to me that killing white people anywhere else is completly fine

Just from the first page i can tell this person has played at most the original RE as he doesn't know what else Chris was in, and as for his comments on the appearance of the zombies in this game there are a multitude of files on why everything is as it is that any real fan of RE would take the time to read.

This next quote i like a lot

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.

First off he asked once, and secondly, zombies don't discriminate, so this is irrelevant.

Also it seems that he played this on easy the way he described the actions of his AI since i do not suck at games i play at a high level of difficulty, which in turn provides better AI to not suck with, the only problem that i really ever have with her is her inappropriate choice of weaponry once in a while.

And lastly as Assassinator pointed out spear throwing africans still exist. Ok i lied tis time it is really lastly haven't we been slaughtering old white guys since the 90's that were significantly less dangerous?

You know Ive heard of of crap about this being racist but I think its just alot of hype and whatnot i mean

killing 1000s of white "honky" zombies wasnt racist
killing 1000s of Spanish cultist zombies wasnt racist...(hell I doubt that thought came to anyone playing RE4)
but as soon as it comes to killing about of African americans "blacks whatever" in the country they came from...is automatically racist...If we decided to kill abunch of black zombies in I dont no Europe...Asia...Australlia fine I see your point but no...its africa...
what they hell do you want to kill a ton of asian and american zombies in the slums of africa...NO!! thats unrealistic...

AS soon as they zombies have afros and fried chicked as a look/weapon then go for it scream racist but till then L2P

Let me start by saying that it's not racist.

But it is highly provocative. Given that in Africa millions die from diseases like Malaria and Aids every year it is clearly insensitive for Resident Evil to portray their fictional disease as having come from there.

When you add on the history of European colonisation and the old western prejudice of "Deepest Darkest Africa" it all gets a little seedy. I still wouldn't call it racist but it is in incredibly poor taste.

And the ooga booga language the black zombies speak doesn't help matters.

Does blowing the heads off a group of enemies that are predominantly black bug me?

Only as much as blowing the heads off a group of Spaniards did. It twinges me a bit, but not for my sake: for the sake of a lot of idiot gamers who could be desensitized to racial violence.

But if you didn't say anything about the legions of Spaniards you killed in RE4, you need the sit the hell down and shut the hell up about RE5.

ETA: Also, I remember someone much smart than I finding RE5 fascinating as an example of Africa being used as a weapon and how the world needs to lend them more help to prevent such taking advantage of their poverty and problems.

LadyZephyr:
Does blowing the heads off a group of enemies that are predominantly black bug me?

Only as much as blowing the heads off a group of Spaniards did. It twinges me a bit, but not for my sake: for the sake of a lot of idiot gamers who could be desensitized to racial violence.

But if you didn't say anything about the legions of Spaniards you killed in RE4, you need the sit the hell down and shut the hell up about RE5.

ETA: Also, I remember someone much smart than I finding RE5 fascinating as an example of Africa being used as a weapon and how the world needs to lend them more help to prevent such taking advantage of their poverty and problems.

when it comes down to it...we are killing people...semi-innocent people being killed by a Bulky guy and some chick (with a very nice booty)

SuperMse:
The only racist things I can see are:

1) Barely dressed, spear wielding, grass skirt wearing, face painted African zombies? There may be ONE person like that left in Africa. Even most of the tribes who still live like tribes have some form of modern clothing on them.

Yeah, it's about as 'authentic' as setting RE6 in Ireland and having a fuckin' zombie leprechaun throw potatoes at you.

squid5580:

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.

Now watch this: As a big white English dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of Irish people in Resident Evil 6.

There's nowhere near the unfortunate history of portraying Spanish or white people of a place like Racoon City as subhuman as there is when it comes to black people. The one white group that's been depicted by western civilization along the lines of black people are Irish Catholics--subhuman, they breed too fast, they are prone to cultish behavior, etc.

I'm pretty sure that if an RE game was set in Belfast or Derry and they sent in an English character, a lot more people would 'get' the race issue.

The Bandit:
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.

Exactly. I mean, really, once again it's in AFRICA, they would be accused of racism if they -didn't- put black people in Africa. It's like Left4Dead is set in America, but all the white people don't cry for discrimination when the zombies are white. They're zombies in a game, no one was trying to offend anyone else, can we be a little more mature people?

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

That sums it up quite nicely and in regards to the tribal looking ones that someone mentioned. http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes/zulu.htm and http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes/maasai.htm

Ugh, screw you guys and your talk of racism.

I'm going back to play Resident Evil 5 now.

Japan is ignorant,rightly so, to our percieved racism problems ,for the most part, the U.S. has(i.e. they have gotten over it)

off topic, This reminds me, for some reason, of the motorcycle. Before it was known to be a death trap the Japanese released it ONLY in the USA... lets just say A LOT of people died the first year, revenge for the A-Bomb if you ask me.o_O

sorry but that was stuck in my head for like a month now I had to post that.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

squid5580:

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.

Now watch this: As a big white English dude, I was uncomfortable with the subhuman portrayals of Irish people in Resident Evil 6.

There's nowhere near the unfortunate history of portraying Spanish or white people of a place like Racoon City as subhuman as there is when it comes to black people. The one white group that's been depicted by western civilization along the lines of black people are Irish Catholics--subhuman, they breed too fast, they are prone to cultish behavior, etc.

I'm pretty sure that if an RE game was set in Belfast or Derry and they sent in an English character, a lot more people would 'get' the race issue.

So devs should use kid gloves when telling these stories because of history? That strikes me as racist. Stuff happened. Can't deny it some bad stuff happened to some innocent people way back in the day. I just don't think there is any need to tip toe around something completely unrelated to the history when it involves those specific races. Especially when no one seems to have any problems whatsoever when it comes to Germans and WW2 games.

squid5580:

So devs should use kid gloves when telling these stories because of history? That strikes me as racist. Stuff happened. Can't deny it some bad stuff happened to some innocent people way back in the day. I just don't think there is any need to tip toe around something completely unrelated to the history when it involves those specific races.

Neither do I. However, there are degrees of tread in between "tip toe" and "stomp around like a drunken elephant"

Especially when no one seems to have any problems whatsoever when it comes to Germans and WW2 games.

Um, Germany *actually was* our enemy in WW2, and we don't associate modern Germans with Nazi-era Germans unlike the way the racism we find in history towards blacks is still with us.

harhol:

squid5580:
If they use the N word or one of the white folks says something like "who cares if they are infected, they are black so kill'em all and let God sort them out" then I would be the first one calling for a boycott. Or if there is a KKK robe for an unlockable costume.

not all racism is blatantly obvious. in this case it's all about parallels. white hero vs. black "savages" is just too imperialist for my tastes.

Nope it isn't. We need people to tell us it is racist so we can see it ourselves. If it wasn't for the media jumping all over the whole trailer thing I never in a million years would have saw it. Alot of my friends of all different races didn't see it until then. So which type of racism should we worry about? The burning cross and swastika or the perceived racism of those who can't see past a white person killing black people in a story that is based in a country with a black majority?

I'm really failing to see the racism in RE5. The portrayal of Africans wielding spears is side by side with said africans having giant parasitic organisms sprout from the space where there head used to be and proceeding to eat the entire top half of Chris' well toned body (which must have been a chore to chew when you consider the colossal size of his biceps). The point I am trying to make here is that the fact that you kill africans in RE5 is a sidebar to the fact that they are in fact, Zombies. The misconception here is the focusing of them having black skin instead of them just being zombies, which seems to me a sort of racism in and of itself. Why must we focus on them being African? Would it be okay if both main characters were black? Should Sheva be darker, would it then be okay?

So from now on we can only set games in place were there are primarily caucasians, so obviously no more games in the entire continent of africa.

As someone from a minority group myself, I find that mildly insulting, a kind of reverse-racism.

And yes, I am not so naive as to believe that there is no prejudice or racism in the world, but I am also not so pessimistic as some to believe that that prejudice should affect the way we do things. Debates over whether something is racist does not reduce the racism in the world, just makes it more visible. Making the point that we should at least consider the possibility of racism does not sound productive to me, and let me qualify that.

Let's say for a moment, that Capcom is racist, and wants to set RE5 in Africa just for the excuse to kill Black people. Now say that you, who have not a single racist bone in your body, buy the game and enjoy it quite alot. Are you now a racist? Obviously not. The playing of the game didn't magically make you want to kill africans (though one Mr. Thompson would say otherwise). The point here being that the racism is in the eye of the beholder, the only racism is created and percieved by those who want it to be there for one reason or another, and debating their argument only fuels their own ends. It could be argued that there is a moral dilemma in rewarding a company for such racist behavior, but their acquiring of your non-racist money is dependent on you NOT seeing the game as racist, and developing a pattern of killing africans would kind of tip their hand.

RE5 is not racist. I stand firmly behind that.

The only thing that can be considered racist about this game, providing you force it a little is people of Africa becoming slaves mainly because of he virus that makes them lose all common sense and want to kill you and only you outside o the cut scenes. Also the one behind the virus spreading is Caucasian if or German i really don't know.

"spoiler warning"
and on a note based on what i have seen in videos they throw down their shields and spears and use guns and rocket launchers, however i don't know if that classifies as savage.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

squid5580:

So devs should use kid gloves when telling these stories because of history? That strikes me as racist. Stuff happened. Can't deny it some bad stuff happened to some innocent people way back in the day. I just don't think there is any need to tip toe around something completely unrelated to the history when it involves those specific races.

Neither do I. However, there are degrees of tread in between "tip toe" and "stomp around like a drunken elephant"

Especially when no one seems to have any problems whatsoever when it comes to Germans and WW2 games.

Um, Germany *actually was* our enemy in WW2, and we don't associate modern Germans with Nazi-era Germans unlike the way the racism we find in history towards blacks is still with us.

The only reason it is still with us is because we aren't allowed to let it go. I am not saying to forget what happened and sweep it under the carpet. What I am saying is skin color doesn't matter anymore and the media needs to let this shit go. Come on they went on for months about Barak pre election. Not because of his credentials. Not because he may be good or bad for America. The only thing you heard was OMG HE IS BLACK. Now explain to me how that is fair and equal when it comes to race issues, but RE5 isn't? I applaud Capcom. They are treating the game with equality. The MC goes to Africa because that is the source of the virus. So of course he will find savage black infected people. Who knows what they were doing before he showed up? Doesn't really matter since the story doesn't start before Chris shows up how can Capcom be accused of it's portrayl of normal African people? They are showing African infected people.

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