Crispy Gamer Calls Out Resident Evil 5's Racism

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hell, i go to an hbcu (pretty much 98% of my school is black). Not one person who was talking about this game even mentioned 'racist undertones" about the game. They just saw it as another game

Jumplion:

ElArabDeMagnifico:
looking at the absolute fucking madness that is RE5 threads...I wonder..

Could this racism controversy be avoided in any way possible?

I think you may be on to something, but for the life of me I can't find out what!

I think that's precisely my point, putting this in Africa, no matter how much Political Correct sugarcoating you could have put on it, would have ignited the flames of a racism debate no matter what, solely because the view of the social norm is so skewed already.

guys, the game's not racist

but it does have overtones that could be seen like that and capcom knew this ever since the initial trailer
really they should have spent time making sure to remove all conotations because it is risky ground and they haven't dealt with it very well

Still on this??

Boredom is a terrible thing

If your in Africa then there will be Africans and their skin is black. All the spears and spiked shields are from a fictional tribe i don't see what the big deal was,in RE4 there was a cult with flails and robes and no one made a big deal out of it. I don't even see why people are calling out rasicm

B T A M R D:
If your in Africa then there will be Africans and their skin is black. All the spears and spiked shields are from a fictional tribe i don't see what the big deal was,in RE4 there was a cult with flails and robes and no one made a big deal out of it. I don't even see why people are calling out rasicm

read other posts before posting repeated crap

AdmiralWolverineLightningbolt:

B T A M R D:
If your in Africa then there will be Africans and their skin is black. All the spears and spiked shields are from a fictional tribe i don't see what the big deal was,in RE4 there was a cult with flails and robes and no one made a big deal out of it. I don't even see why people are calling out rasicm

read other posts before posting repeated crap

Sorry but I don't have time to read six pages.

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."

They werent all black

B T A M R D:

AdmiralWolverineLightningbolt:

B T A M R D:
If your in Africa then there will be Africans and their skin is black. All the spears and spiked shields are from a fictional tribe i don't see what the big deal was,in RE4 there was a cult with flails and robes and no one made a big deal out of it. I don't even see why people are calling out rasicm

read other posts before posting repeated crap

Sorry but I don't have time to read six pages.

did you honestly think you were the first person to notice resident evil 4?

B T A M R D:
Sorry but I don't have time to read six pages.

Then you don't have the time to write a meaningful response, either.

-- Alex

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?

Yes, in the year 2009 XD

AdmiralWolverineLightningbolt:

B T A M R D:

AdmiralWolverineLightningbolt:

B T A M R D:
If your in Africa then there will be Africans and their skin is black. All the spears and spiked shields are from a fictional tribe i don't see what the big deal was,in RE4 there was a cult with flails and robes and no one made a big deal out of it. I don't even see why people are calling out rasicm

read other posts before posting repeated crap

Sorry but I don't have time to read six pages.

did you honestly think you were the first person to notice resident evil 4?

No,I'm just saying that it only seems that people call racism when there is Africans involved.

The issue with this game is about as overblow as the issue with the film 300.

dagens24:
The issue with this game is about as overblow as the issue with the film 300.

Whats the issue with 300???

Gamine:

dagens24:
The issue with this game is about as overblow as the issue with the film 300.

Whats the issue with 300???

that it's basically a rallying call for fascism.

Harhol, honestly why should I be ashamed? Why do you think we send millions of dollars of aid to the region as I pointed out?

Trust me, if Africa was a bastion of well fed, well educated, happy, people... just like us here except for the color of their skin... why the heck would the UN/USA be delivering all that aid? Why would it be a full time job for the peace corps. Are you trying to tell me that all of this stuff is faked, and that groups like The Red Cross are racist conspiricies out to promote a negative image of Africa?

By all means, next time we see a "OMG, we must stop the genocide" news report, jump right in there and tell everyone that it's a lie, and all those villagers and refugee camps and such are paid actors working for the worldwide anti-africa conspiricy.

Since by disagreeing with me, this is basically what your saying.

ElArabDeMagnifico:

Jumplion:

ElArabDeMagnifico:
looking at the absolute fucking madness that is RE5 threads...I wonder..

Could this racism controversy be avoided in any way possible?

I think you may be on to something, but for the life of me I can't find out what!

I think that's precisely my point, putting this in Africa, no matter how much Political Correct sugarcoating you could have put on it, would have ignited the flames of a racism debate no matter what, solely because the view of the social norm is so skewed already.

I think the similarities to Heart of Darkness are just too obvious to ignore. plenty of games have been set in Africa but none have an obvious Kurtz figure (Wesker) presiding over hordes of dangerous "savages" who do his bidding. if Resident Evil 5 was a work of art on par with Conrad's masterpiece then it would likely have avoided many of the accusations of racism & insensitivity (the book still faces criticism despite being one of the most revered works of 20th century fiction). but the sad truth is that it isn't; it's Resident Evil. and then you have all the colonial & imperialist baggage on top of that. all in all it was just a really terrible idea for a storyline.

The movie 300 is rallying cry for Facism? :P

Let me explain something to you, the US has gone soft and really all "300" did was show the differance between a true warrior attitude and what we have now. Granted it WAS a bit overblown.

It should also be noted that the whole reason why this was considered to be a legendary act of heroism is that had they not done this, the roots of democracy would have died.

The movie doesn't really focus on Xerxes or what the Persian empire was all about, but trust me... things like the US and our current ethics came from the Republics that only existed because Greece was never conquered.

The movie (and graphic novel) also focus on that one specific event, and on one specific king.

If I was you I'd read up on Athens and Sparta and what eventually happened between them and why.

squid5580:
It is ok to use any ethnic group to tell a story and you can portray them however you wish except the African people who are off limits.

not really... just look at the new season of 24.

Africa itself isn't the issue. Africans aren't the issue either. the problem I have with RE5 is with the metaphorical & allegorical implications of a white man from a rich country going to Africa where the locals are portrayed as being unpredictable & dangerous & in need of intervention from an all-knowing saviour.

sound familiar?

it's a colonial parable dressed up as a zombie shooter.

Gosh, so much eggshells

Therumancer:
The movie 300 is rallying cry for Facism? :P

Let me explain something to you, the US has gone soft and really all "300" did was show the differance between a true warrior attitude and what we have now. Granted it WAS a bit overblown.

A racially homogenous band of oiled sweaty he-men take on the multi-ethnic hordes (complete with monsters) lead by a glammy, androgynous king.

Therumancer:
It should also be noted that the whole reason why this was considered to be a legendary act of heroism is that had they not done this, the roots of democracy would have died.

The roots of democracy, however, weren't in Sparta (as much as some old French guys liked to pretend). And what's 300's take on Athens? Oh, yeah, that's right: "those boy-lovers". Go-go democracy!

Watch the old 300 Spartans. It's not an eye-candy-riddled goretastic slo-mo-fest and it makes all the mistakes that historical epics of its day made, but it's at least something that shows you how to capture most of the story without turning it into one big romp of masturbatory nationalist myth-making.

-- Alex

Therumancer:
The movie 300 is rallying cry for Facism? :P
If I was you I'd read up on Athens and Sparta and what eventually happened between them and why.

the fact that I interpreted something differently (from the way you interpreted it) must mean that I have a lesser understanding of the subject matter?

:/

I'm not alone on the issue of 300's (alleged) endorsement of fascism:
http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHMA_en-GBGB318GB318&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=300+movie+fascism

personally I agree with film critic Roger Moore - It's ok that it has a fascist aesthetic... So long as you know it's there.

less school shootings please.

Gamine:
Gosh, so much eggshells

It's really not all that hard to avoid them if you have a brain.

Most of the common tropes relating to Africa are pretty damn fucking racist.

A good writer understand tropes and knows how to avoid the bad ones.

A bad writer doesn't understand how to do anything but regurgitate tropes uncritically, and has only a vague awareness of what the tropes he's using actually signify, so he just slaps a bunch of them together at random and hopes they make sense.

In other words, they're too dumb not to make it racist.

-- Alex

I just bought resident evil 5 today and I still haven't seen my character once command a black zombie eating fried chicken to tend to the cotton fields, referring to the zombie as "N word" Zombie.

The reviewer is obviously a complete moron.
The enemies are appropriate for where the game is set. No'one slated Resi4 for killing spaniards after all. So I dont see a problem.
People are only seeing racism because theyre looking for it.

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.

This Resident Evil racism argument holds as much water as a sieve.

I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

No one complained when it was another race getting their heads blown off, this issue only seems to come up in this specific context. The game was set in Africa, so it was populated by Africans, simple as that.

Alex P:

I would point out that on a lot of levels 300 was accurate. Yes, the military of Sparta would have all been the same ethnicity. The armies of Persia were multi-ethnic because at that point Xerxes was attempting to conquer/enslave the entire world, and Greece was next
on his hit list. He was drawing his troops from all throughout his conquered lands.

Xerxes *WAS* very decadent, and probably had more slaves than just about anyone in history. It wasn't a bad portrayal given the source.

... that source being of course a COMIC BOOK, which was based on the historical events, and yes it was overblown. 300 was never intended as a historical documentary in anything but the most basic sense.

A more fair response would probably be to point out that it didn't really show the Spartans keeping slaves or anything, which they would have at that time. They WERE keeping the lines between the good guys and the bad guys fairly clear for the purposes of the film. Another more fair point you could make is that the movie also didn't show the various Greek wars of conquest (as they were defending in this one). What they did for civilization in the long run, guys like Alexander The Great were arguably just as bad as Xerxes, took as many slaves, and comitted as many genocides.

As far as the bit with Athens, well consider that this was before Athens and Sparta went at it, and I think those lines were intended to sort of show the beginnings of the tensions that would one day erupt. Besides for the purposes of that version they were setting up the ambassador to be a major bad guy.

I'm sure there are more realistic ways of having done it, but this was intended to be entertaining. It wasn't even remotely fascist, though I guess you could call it "Hyper Macho". I mean heck, the Spartans aren't even wearing historically accurate armor in favor of showing off body-builder type physiques simply because it looks cooler that way. :P

A historically accurate version of the battle would probably have involved 300 dudes standing in a couple of lines running people through with spears again and again. While they did this in the movie, it would have been boring if that was all they did. :)

Zombies are a proud people-before-they-died too you know! In a sense, all zombie games are racist. L4D being the biggest offender. /sarcasm

Apparently, Africa is off-limits. I've read from somewhere that the reason RE4 isn't deemed racist since them Spanish peoples don't have a history of oppression and they weren't enslaved. In fact, they were the ones doing the enslaving. Move the setting to Africa, then people are all-too willing to play the race card. Defending a race you're not a part of (ie. white guy asking for equality for black people), while a valiant effort, just screams hypocrisy, especially when it was YOUR race doing the inequality. Doing so will only make you look like an idiot, not NOT-RACIST.

I have an idea, if you ever see someone who is racist, call him Hitler. Let's see how they like it. Political Correctness can also be done in bad taste you know, anything in excess is bad for you.

Syntax Error:
Apparently, Africa is off-limits.

If you can't write your way out of a wet paper bag, it pretty much is.

-- Alex

It pains me to see so many people unwilling to put their knee-jerk reactions aside and actually engage in this debate.

The accusations of racism do not, and have never stemmed from the fact that the enemies you fight in Resident Evil 5 are black. It would be ridiculous to set a game in Africa and not include any black characters. What the debate has always been about is how those Africans are portrayed.

Also, bringing this up does not perpetuate racism. Racism will not go away if we just ignore it, racism isn't a bored child starved of attention and acting up so that someone notices it. Whether you agree that the imagery in RE5 is racist or not, dismissing it out of hand because you feel threatened does more to perpetuate racism than a million liberals crying foul.

Just to be clear on this, liking RE5 does not make you a racist, unless the reason you like it is that it lets you kill a lot of black people. It's perfectly natural to get defensive when something you like gets accused of racism, but you have to take a deep breath, put that feeling to one side, and try and look at the issue objectively.

We need to have this kind of debate if we ever want gaming to mature. The 'it's just a game' defense isn't going to work forever. Eventually we are going to have to face up to the fact that what goes into these games matters and we can't just dismiss it as harmless fun.

nilcypher:
It pains me to see so many people unwilling to put their knee-jerk reactions aside and actually engage in this debate.

The accusations of racism do not, and have never stemmed from the fact that the enemies you fight in Resident Evil 5 are black. It would be ridiculous to set a game in Africa and not include any black characters. What the debate has always been about is how those Africans are portrayed.

Also, bringing this up does not perpetuate racism. Racism will not go away if we just ignore it, racism isn't a bored child starved of attention and acting up so that someone notices it. Whether you agree that the imagery in RE5 is racist or not, dismissing it out of hand because you feel threatened does more to perpetuate racism than a million liberals crying foul.

Just to be clear on this, liking RE5 does not make you a racist, unless the reason you like it is that it lets you kill a lot of black people. It's perfectly natural to get defensive when something you like gets accused of racism, but you have to take a deep breath, put that feeling to one side, and try and look at the issue objectively.

We need to have this kind of debate if we ever want gaming to mature. The 'it's just a game' defense isn't going to work forever. Eventually we are going to have to face up to the fact that what goes into these games matters and we can't just dismiss it as harmless fun.

Nilcypher, I love you, can you have my babies?

I am in no way sucking up to you for a pony badge custom badge.....*cough*

But I completely agree, this is why I wholeheartedly embrace this kind of debate. Every medium goes through these kinds of issues like sexism, racism, and just basic stereotyping and storytelling. Let's face it, video games are so incredibly sub-par in maturity and maturity in story telling compared to film and books. If we ever want games to grow, ideally as an artistic medium, they we have to look into these debates and see what we could do to improve on the situation.

This doesn't mean that all issues are correct, but it's one step towards making it a more respected medium.

This is why I always hate it that whenever Jack Thompson or Atkinson bring up their "video games are bad!" crap that everyone starts going "video games don't cause violence blah blah blah! No matter how much of an asshole they are, they have one overall point; Video Games are imature. This doesn't mean we can't have imature games, but most "mature" games are even as good as a standard movie. Besides, any form of violent media can cause violence, and that includes video games. Everyone just gets defensive for no reason sometimes.

Bleh, I'm rambling on, sorry.

EDIT (2 techincally): And to support you even more for a custom badge, saying "it's just a video game!" is exactly why people like Thompson and other's go all gung ho on this kind of stuff. Video Games are the most interactive form of media the whole human race has ever yet to create! Why do you think they're so scared of kids getting a hold of these things? Video Games have the (potential) impact far greater than any passive medium that has gone through history. You can't mimic a book unless it has pictures and a perfectly detailed procedure. you can't Mimic a movie since most of it is special effects and it doesn't specifically show you it. But a video games makes you do it. I'm not saying that Thompson and company are right, but I get what they get their nickers in a twist for.

Jumplion:

Nilcypher, I love you, can you have my babies?

I am in no way sucking up to you for a pony badge custom badge.....*cough*

That's fortunate as I have no say in who gets it, note, if you will, that I am sans pony.

The original Progenitor virus was found in Africa.

That's where the story started, according to the various diaries scattered throughout the games.

There are still tribal societies in africa, and anyone who thinks that the "savage tribesman with a spear" archetype is antiquated is wrong. That image can be a offensive reminder in america because it was utilized to lampoon black slaves and black citizens. These images don't have the same connotations in japan, but that's not an excuse per se.

It's a fair point of debate, and you definitely have the right to voice a concern over what seems exploitive, but don't allow that concern to explode into a blind rage. There is a story to be told in Resident Evil 5 (I haven't played it, so I don't know if it was told properly or not, but there IS a good reason for them to be in Africa). Let it be told, try to take it in context, and THEN voice your concerns.

And for the love of god, if there is NO movement on either side of the debate, call it a tie, agree to disagree, because there are valid points on both sides.

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