Valve has spoken out following a Houston blogger’s accusations of racism in Left4Dead 2.
Race in videogames has recently become a touchy subject following the uproar caused by Resident Evil 5‘s depiction of Africa and its people and when Willie Jefferson, videogame blogger for the Houston Chronicle, wrote a post about racism in games, he re-ignited the discussion with a fresh wave of controversy.
The main point of his article was his dismay at western-themed FPS Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood‘s use of the Confederate flag, which he regarded as a symbol of hate, but early on in the post, he cited Left4Dead 2 as a game with racist undertones saying: “One of the games that comes to mind is ‘Left 4 Dead 2.’ Though the game isn’t out yet, it’s already causing an uproar. Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies – with several of them who appear to be African-Americans.”
Predictably, this view on their game has Valve somewhat mystified and writer Chet Faliszek has spoken about the accusations in an interview with Destructoid.
“Utter insanity,” said Faliszek. “There are mixed races of zombies, there are all different races of zombies that you shoot, and since we placed it in New Orleans, that makes it racist? I honestly re-read the paragraph about five times … but when two of the characters in your game are African-American, it’s a weird thing to be accused of. We’re like, ‘how does this work’?
I know where I stand on this, but let’s hear what you have to say. Do Call of Juarez and Left 4 Dead 2 strike you as racist?