Industry of Inclusion


It’s almost impossible to discuss race without pissing somebody off. There are so many emotions wrapped up in what genes you carry around with you – those delicious little gifts from your parents. These emotions – pride, fear, anger – often cloud the reasoning of otherwise rational people. All bets are off whenever race is on the table.

For me, though, my own race has been a non-issue. Although my father was full-blooded Italian, our family was never very entrenched in our Italian-American heritage, aside from the mean chicken cacciatore my dad made on Sundays.

Perhaps that’s why I never understood the uproar that Italian-Americans would level at artwork that they thought depicted them in an unfriendly light – The Godfather, The Sopranos and now New Media and Society found that African Americans and those of Latin heritage were grossly unrepresented in the games that nearly the entirety of America plays.

So do we stand by and ignore the fact that most minorities are forced to play games that do not represent them? Or do we point out that injustice, just like I used to tell my mom that she shouldn’t say the N-word?

In the 269 issue of The Escapist Magazine, we chose the latter by presenting many issues of race within the videogame industry. Saladin Ahmed, a self-described Muslim geek, investigates the depiction of Middle Easterners in games. Jamin Brophy-Warren makes a call for journalists to damn each social injustice and to praise the games that get it right. Chuck Wendig experiments with the character creators in many games to determine if it’s possible to create a realistic avatar if you happen to not be white. And Fintan Monaghan takes a closer look at Japanese game-maker’s recent trend of ethnically-cleansing any detail so that it appears more Caucasian.

Take a look and join in the conversation,

Greg Tito

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