The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
o.pwuaioc
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Racism and Video Games

by o.pwuaioc Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:43 am

Despite the outrage many express over sexism in video games/gaming circles and the number of women to be rescued, etc., there doesn't seem to be any outrage heard about the shitty way black people are represented in video games. There are tons of strong female protagonists, but just take a look at the very few black protagonists.

http://www.mobygames.com/game-group/pro ... t,0/so,1a/

Only a handful of these games qualify as decent, and good ones even rarer (GTA:SA, Todd McFarlane's Spawn was good to me, OK to many others).

This is not to mention the piss poor representation of blacks, and I'm not even talking about the overt national stereotypes, seen even now in video games. And then you have in various fantasy games - Bethesda is best at this - races that correlate negatively with real peoples of color. The Redguard are clearly Moorish, and -in Oblivion - have less intelligence and - in Skyrim - are athletically exceptional.

Resident Evil 5 is something that has been hacked to death, but then there's the controversy surrounding Bioshock Infinite, concerning which I'm simply shocked that many of you didn't pick up on when you issued it your GotYs (or top 5s or whatever).

http://starburp.tumblr.com/post/4688248 ... when-white

Will racism in video games ever receive the attention that sexism has?
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dsheinem
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by dsheinem Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:47 am

Race/Racism has received a fair amount of attention at various times in gaming's history, but gender issues are currently a more visible talking point right now.

Here are some previous thoughts from a thread I made a while back: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=37056

Edit: LOL - viewtopic.php?p=594776#p594776
o.pwuaioc
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by o.pwuaioc Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:50 am

Touché. We need to resurrect this topic in earnest, especially with that first link showing the pitiful number of games with black protagonists.
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Sload Soap
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by Sload Soap Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:49 am

What is particularly worrying is that a lot of those games are sports games or licensed games. Very few original black protagonists knocking about.

Even as a big Elder Scrolls fan, it always seemed off that intelligence equaled magical ability. Why not just, you know, magic as the stat and that unintentional pot-hole can be avoided? Must be a D&D hang over, glad it was disposed of for Skyrim.
It might amuse/depress you to know the Redguard are also noted for their "quickness of foot".
Menegrothx
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by Menegrothx Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:48 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Despite the outrage many express over sexism in video games/gaming circles and the number of women to be rescued, etc., there doesn't seem to be any outrage heard about the shitty way black people are represented in video games. There are tons of strong female protagonists, but just take a look at the very few black protagonists.

http://www.mobygames.com/game-group/pro ... t,0/so,1a/

Lack of representation has nothing to do with racism, what matters is how those characters that exist are represented (like you mentioned yourself)
o.pwuaioc wrote:And then you have in various fantasy games - Bethesda is best at this - races that correlate negatively with real peoples of color. The Redguard are clearly Moorish, and -in Oblivion - have less intelligence and - in Skyrim - are athletically exceptional.

What's the point of having different "clans" of humans in a RPG if there is no difference between them?
I can understand the Elder Scrolls example, but generally I think that it's a form of racist thinking itself to see racism in fantasy games because some fantasy race matches the cultural traits or stereotype of some real life ethnicity.
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Erik_Twice
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by Erik_Twice Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:06 am

Bioshock Infinite handles racism poorly because it's a game about murdering people not because its creators are ignorant.
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Luke
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by Luke Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:58 am

I don't like the way Germans are portrayed in video games. We're always Nazis.
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jfrost
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by jfrost Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:20 am

I remembered the other day when I was reading one of the A Song of Ice and Fire books and they mention that the inhabitants of the Summer Islands, which are "ebony-skinned", and can't seem to avoid having sex all the time. Because if you're black you can't be prudish, you'll just fuck like a rabbit in front of everyone :D

Now, I see a problem with the way most RPGs are organized, in which the race determines what your character is good at. It's almost impossible to avoid racism with those mechanics.
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MrPopo
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by MrPopo Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:37 am

Luke wrote:I don't like the way Germans are portrayed in video games. We're always Nazis.

I'm still pulling for a WWI game.
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Gunstar Green
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Re: Racism and Video Games

by Gunstar Green Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:46 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Touché. We need to resurrect this topic in earnest, especially with that first link showing the pitiful number of games with black protagonists.


It's the same with American movies where you're either a white protagonist or Will Smith.
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