African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

August 1, 2007 -
Capcom's Resident Evil 5 hasn't even got a release date, but it' s already drawn the ire of a blog devoted to African women.

Black Looks calls into question the game's setting as depicted in the trailer, first shown at this year's E3 in Santa Monica:
The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white man’s job is to destroy them and save humanity...

This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.

The point has been made by some gamers as well. In fact, GamePolitics reader Quad9Damage raised the same issue in a letter to GP just the other day.



UPDATE: Bonnie Ruberg has an article on this topic in the Village Voice.

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Comments

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

All the prior commentaries have been either from a black person or a white person regardless of them being in support of the issue or against it. I am going to add a little brown to the mix. Kindly read what I have to say completely as I am taking an open minded approach to the issue.

Resident Evil 5 is a game; a violent one. You have to kill to survive. Due to the immense amount of gore and violence, I would say the first people to write negatively about it should have been the people that write negatively about games such as GTA 4 due to its so called "negative psychological impacts" on people.

Even though the main character in the game is a caucasian, the actual player could be black, white, brown, blue, yellow etc. So therefore, if a black person were to be playing the game, I highly doubt that he would be "fearing, hating, and destroying..." other black people as being portrayed bye the African Women's blog.

A zombie is inhuman regardless of race. A black zombie wouldn't be more scarier or dangerous than a white one. 

These African Women's Blog participants discuss about fear and hatred of black people, but what they fail to realize is that by creating issues out of nothing, they are putting fear in people of other races. This fear would not allow a worry-free or a care-free interaction between a black person and a person of another race. The person of another race would be in constant fear of offending the black person.

The world does not revolve around black people, nor does it around whites, and nor does it revolve around any other race of people at least in this day and age. Racism still does exist in this world today, but people like the African Women's bloggers do not help in solving the problem by blogging against bullshit. I bet their blogs aroused a lot of hatred among gamers towards them. Now if a white gamer got pissed off at them for the inconvenience, you can't call him/her racist; its just another person that doesn't like you not because of the colour of your skin, but because you caused them some sort of inconvenience or there is a difference in opinion.

The game takes place somewhere in Africa. Unfortunately, it is not as multicultural as the USA, hence, mostly black people inhabit the continent. Since one should not judge a book by its cover, why should one judge a whole game based on its trailer? 

I am really flabbergasted by the amount of idiocracy and hypocracy by the African Women's Blog.

 

 

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer



When I first saw resident evil 5 I couldn't stop crying, my hands shook...I was so happy.  Quickly slipping my white power T-shirt and adjusting my swastika armband I thanked Jesus ( Jesus was white by the way, theres pictures to prove it and everything ), that I could pop a cap in Black Africans asses.

OK enough of the sarcasm.

I think any person who finds resident evil offencive or racist is small minded and probably a closet racist themselves, I think when Capcom were looking into creating another Resident evil they were looking for another interesting location, they have done the white American back water town and then the Spanish village so maybe when one of them was watching TV they had an idea, " wouldnt it be great to base the game in a poor African shanty town ", you know the kind of place that's out of site to the world, where someone could get away with running an illegal experiment ( to some degree ).

I'm 200% sure that Capcom's motives were 100% pure, I think people who are crying racism should give it a rest, your an embarrassment to sane, integrated and well adjusted black people, get a life or shut up.

 

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

you know this is just a video game that that is trying new thing  just because they have a white man killing black people  doesn't relly mean alot. 

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

Goodness you guys are missing the point. In previous games, white zombies were getting filled with lead. In RE4, Spanish-speaking, caucasian Europeans infected with parasites were the targets of STARS. Now in RE5, the zombies are black. And you guys are saying white or black zombies are getting killed and it's racist. What about them being zombies themselves? I'm sure the zombies or parasite-infected in the world are getting tired of hearing about popular game franchises like RE and Silent Hill where their kind is always getting killed, regardless of race.

 

Anyway, similar to Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica, I have a feeling this game is not going to take place entirely in Africa and the setting will eventually move to a country with caucasians.

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

Capcom is owned by the japanese, the japanese are making this game, and actually pay attention to the resident evil story lines, they are zombie games, so how is a white man defending himself against zombies racist?

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

I just wanna said a on thing:"The racist is the fact of see a difference, the skin color doesn't matter"... Stop claim anything about racist, it's a human kill a other human. Damn shit we're in 2008 and the people can't consider then we're human not a Nigger,Jap,white or anything else. If you are angry about my therm place you front of miror and check you face idiot you've dream,opinion and emotion like me,like you, like you're mother and mine...That's the humanity.

Re: African Women's Blog Critical of Resident Evil 5 Trailer

Hi all,

First, im a white man (im french). My grandfather and grand mother were italian. So im a little in the middle of the nationality. Im 23 years old, i play videogames since im 4 year old (amstrad, amiga, nintendo with mario 1 etc etc :P). I have many real friends, and many virtual friends. Some of them are white, some black, some yellow, some pink, and some are green with little antenna on the head. I DONT CARE, they are all my friends and i have a lot of fun with all of them.

I played GTA 3 (AWESOME GAME) , i was a black gangsta killing white people (like me), yellow people, and green people with little antenna on the head -> no probleme here.

I played RE 4 (AWESOME GAME), i was a white special force guy killing some spanish zombies -> no probleme here.

I'll play RE 5 (IT' LL BE AWESOME), im a white guy killing black zombie -> probleme here. Why?

Many friend i play with are black. The first thing they told me after seeing the trailer is : this game will be awesome. NO ONE OF MY BLACK FRIENDS TOLD ME THAT HE WAS OFENDED BY THIS TRAILER. The only rascist people here are kym platt and co. Will the hate machine stop one day? Im really bored of the rascist card every rascist people play with. We are all equal now, so why i shouldnt kill black zombie WTF ? When a white people have a probleme with another white people its ok. When a green people with little antenna on the head have a probleme with another green people with little antenna its ok. When a black people have a probleme with another black people its ok. When a black people have a probleme with another white people its ok. But when a white people have a probleme with black people (in this case its zombies..) its rascism?

Let me tell you one more thing, im glad that many black players post comment to defend the game. Gamers are smart (unlike you).We all want a better futur for the world, and i hope one day, everyone will enjoy living, playing, and talking together.

When I first saw the trailer like this, sadly the first thing that popped in my head was "awww hell, some idiot is going to use this as some damn racial flame war claiming the white man is beating down on the black man again!". Pathetic.

People should look at it this way, the second thing that popped into my head.
There was a great movie put out in 1988 called "The Serpent and the Rainbow" which delved into the zombie-like practices of witch doctors in Haiti. This trailer for RE5 reminded me of that as many of the zombies reminded me of the Haitians in TSATR.

Im black and I experience racism from ppl all the time, I have learned to deal with it. White ppl like to rationalize that it isn't that much of a problem,(I guess it helps them sleep at night). I agree with the alot of the comments made above. We as blacks are a bit overly sensitive about the issue, but I think whites are also a bit insensitive about it too. Remember you were not on the receiving end of organized racism. And even though legal segragation ended in the late 60's early 70's. Racist attitudes in every sense of the word still exist in our great county.

Guys,

Note that the blogger in question is in Africa, or at least is fighting for African equality. I'm assuming that after apartheid they're still having quite a few race equality issues like the ones we in America had during the 60s. Now a lot of us really don't care so much about race (because there's so many other reasons to not like each other!) but for her she's always watching for when the next infringement might make her life more difficult in her homeland. Now she's made some VERY racist statements after that ("All zombies should be white from now on") as well as a particularly boneheaded statement ("I'd love to play RE4, let me get it from my 10 year old nephew") but we may be able to chalk it up to frustration, but honestly this entire fiasco could stem from the fact that she just doesn't know any better.

Why don't we find offense in BET TV? I doubt Humanity will ever leave this issue (racism) behind them.

Look i have played many games which i killed white people. i am black, african. and i find nothing wrong with the game. We blacks did not have a problem killing white people in the other resisdent evils so why should there be a problem in killing black people this time. its only fair. but also in the spirit of fairness, WHY ISNT THE MAIN CHARACTER BLACK THIS TIME?

Parents are the one who buys these games and supervise them. Dipshits. And what kid is really going to hate blacks from this? I bet all the black kids that played RE2 (lol white zombies) never had any racial distress. So why does it work in reverse? They're now judging us because were white. Why do they have the right? If someone wants to bitch at me my email is techno_jes@hotmail.com

Go ahead. I looooove hatemail.

The most ridiculous part of this whole shitfuck, is that the game isn't even out yet, this whole PR mess is just due to a fucking trailer.

WOW this is STUPID!!!!!!!!!

so what if a white man wrote the song "read a book" i wonder how everyone would react.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN2VqFPNS8w

i also wonder if this Kym person would pat her self on the back if chris redfield was a black person

p.s. and i was at this black look website and i quote comment mrs. kym made

Yes… I am more comfortable with the zombies being white. In fact, ALL zombies should be white from this day forth.

SO not cool

http://www.blacklooks.org/2007/07/resident_evil_5.html

If these type of people want equality, why is it these equality groups are always the 1st ones to make an issue of skin colour or sexuality. In a perfect world someone would look at the video and go "that guy is killing zombie" but these groups who demand equality look at it and split that white/black line all over again. Its groups or ppl like them that keep racism alive.

There have been African-American supporting characters, including STARS member Kenneth Sullivan. More recently we've seen Federal communications expert Ingrid Hunnigan in RE4, who got a surprised reaction not because she was female or African-American, but because of her age.

I can now see where the knee-jerk reaction would be "there is a greater purpose behind this," and I'm -quite- sorry for that. Resident Evil is survival/horror and not everyone's cup of tea; furthermore, knowledge of the series gives context to a lot of the unease I've seen. However, it's a pity that people who speak up about things that seem disturbing to them get such sharp hostility equally centered on race.

I hope we can discuss things like portrayals of peoples in video games in a calmer forum someday, and I hope that RE5 thoroughly puts people's misgivings to rest and is much enjoyed by those disturbed who give it a try.

I have a solution: during the game, Chris picks up an alternate costume where he is a black guy.

http://askthisblackwoman.com/2007/08/01/more-on-resident-evil-5.aspx

"More on Resident Evil 5
Posted by Black Woman at August 1, 2007 11:52 AM and is filed under In the News,Racism
Last night I posted a short piece on the new video game Resident Evil 5. I linked an article in the Village Voice by Bonnie Ruberg, a self-proclaimed white person, who questioned the possibility of racially problematic images (racist?) in the game. I also posted the piece at Blacklooks. Never before have I received more hateful comments by angry gamers who called me everything from a "nigger" to a "black hooker" for agreeing with Ruberg that these images of Black people (Black zombies) are problematic.



The response from gamers around the world was shocking. While I think we could have an intellectual debate about racist imagery in video games, there is no debating the blatant racism from many of Resident Evil 5's supporters. Their comments were hostile and violent...much like the game itself. The ability to post comments, both on ATBW and Blacklooks, had to be disabled. Here's a direct quote from a gamer who disagreed with my post: "Get back into the cotton fields, you filthy nigger."

I am not the first or the only person to question the imagery in Resident Evil 5. Check out this post by blogger Jason Ellis at microscopiq. Ellis' post is an interesting look at the images of Black people throughout modern time.

I confess I don't know much about video games, gamers, etc. I don't play video games, but I occasionally play solitaire on my gf's PC. However, given the response from gamers... I think we should all be very afraid. Many of these folks seem like the type who would try to reenact scenes from Resident Evil 5. Can you say Columbine?"

The comments at the Black Looks article have now been disabled, which tells me that they're not very open to discussing the issue. Sure, the spammers are annoying, but you don't cut off all discussion because of them, you just ignore them.

i mean truly give it a break this game is awesome!! i downloaded the trailer on my xbox360 and i am def. going to reserve the game.
i would feel sorry if im the son of Kym because i wont be able to have this game. luckily my parents could see that this game is just a game and that only people that are mental in the head are going to reinact ?spl? everything that chris does.

so i throw this question to Kym (the person who started this)= where were you when San Andreas came out. oo wait now i remember the character is a black man that is part of a gang and kills people everyday, so it must be ok.

this is the new trailer. the game play is a masterpiece.
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/22801.html

Are you kidding me with this? Stop crying you silly c*nt. typical racist BS. People like you suck you race card pulling jerkoff.

If anyone is interested, here is Kym's website. http://www.kymplatt.com/

She sounds like some hippie racist. This girl cares the hell out of me.

Well said sharky, well said. Anyone who thinks racism doesn't exist need only read some of the more outrageous and blatant comments in this very thread. Probably one of the BIGGEST threads on GP to date.

I personally PREFER racism to be blatant and in your face because then its easier to identify. When its subtle, like when 90% of protagonists in media are portrayed as white in this country, then you have a harder time pointing out WHY its racist.

We MUST remember that this is a video game that hasn't even been released yet and that those among us who are true gamers come to this site to discuss topics JUST LIKE THIS so that others will learn from it and gain a better insight into video game culture and those who partake of it rather than rush to judgement and broad sweeping generalizations like the author of the Blog entry this thread is discussing.

this is stupid...

You open up the can, expect to get the worms.

"I confess I don’t know much about video games, gamers, etc. I don’t play video games, but I occasionally play solitaire on my gf’s PC. However, given the response from gamers… I think we should all be very afraid. Many of these folks seem like the type who would try to reenact scenes from Resident Evil 5. Can you say Columbine?”

Solitaire? You're fucking 1337.

How the hell would gamers reenact fucking RE5? For one there would have to be zombies, something that doesn't exist (yeah, she's a learned one). Secondly they'd have to be in Africa, which is loaded with third world countries, which means no video games, video gamers, or, you know, development.

I think the governments of these countries are much more apt to cause mass violence against these African communities, but we can't really play the race card when it's black leaders committing genocide against black civilians, can we?

Or maybe you'll just blame the game when something like that happens. Stay off the internet until you get some reading done, you aren't doing anything except instigating more racism.

"Can you say Columbine?"

Yes, it's name is Kym.

That's not good. I like Resident Evil series but black people as zombies ? Scary. That's like racist or something, jeez. Not good at all.

Ok so, did you ever notice that if you're white and you say something like, "That guy is ugly." And then he happens to be black you get called racist, but the other way around people just agree with you. I mean, for some reason people still take into account the effects of slavery, which was abolished HUNDREDS of years ago. Many people still think white people are racist, and they call us that. Really that is racism, making an assumption about somebody because of their race. People are too damn touchy. It is annoying. And anyone who complains about someone being racist because that person is a different race should... die. They are contradicting themselves... idiots.

i knew this was going to happen

some how i just knew

but this game is NOT INTENDEND

i knew this was going to happen

some how i just knew

but this game is NOT INTENDEND for children it intended for adults

"I confess I don't know much about video games, gamers, etc. I don't play video games, but I occasionally play solitaire on my gf's PC. However, given the response from gamers... I think we should all be very afraid. Many of these folks seem like the type who would try to reenact scenes from Resident Evil 5. Can you say Columbine?"

Such a tolerant blogger to say this of gamers.

Source: http://askthisblackwoman.com/2007/08/01/more-on-resident-evil-5.aspx

i knew this was going to happen

some how i just knew

but this game is NOT INTENDEND for children it intended for adults

You guys all sound pretty racist to me. There's no intelligent thought behind most of these comments, I'm guessing most of you are very young else god save us all.

The reason that people are offended about this is because it is a white person killing black people. Any oher version of resi has been white on white with maybe a token black involved. Anyone who thinks that the many years of oppression has no bearing on the injustice we feel today, obviously has no idea what it is like to be oppressed.

I'm not actually bothered about resi5, even as a black person I can see that this is just nonsense, but I'm not about to call anyone who is seriously offended by this stupid. We all have our own perceptions and they should be respected even if we do not agree with them.

Think about it, how many of you would buy a game depicting a yardie rasta gunning down the white suburban folk of Essex, regardless of how rabid they may or may not be. Actually that sounds like fun....

[...] A post on Blacklooks (via Gamepolitics) that was apparently a  response to a Village Voice article that had originally brought it to their attention, indicates that they have a big problem with the Resident Evil 5 trailer. “The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white man’s job is to destroy them and save humanity. “I have a job to do and I’m gonna see it through.” [...]

Wait wtf... she was born in Ohio and moved to NYC? The few shreds of innocence I thought she may have had just went away. She has all the resources she needs to delve into the situation and decided to take the loud, moronic way through this. And here I thought she lived in South Africa and was a part of their struggle... Eff that, she can go away now.

As a black gamer, I'm a bit torn here.

On one hand, I think that the Resident Evil 5 trailer, when taken at face value, can obviously be seen as offensive to black people and really anyone who doesn't take well to scenes of a white guy killing truckloads of black people. I can fully understand why people would see such a game as being degrading and setting bad social precedent. I think that the people who on this thread who have made comments along the lines of "black people complain too much!/what about all the white zombies?/etc" have a fundamental lack of understanding concerning America's racial history, the use of institutionalized racism as a buffer for white privilege, the effects of those things on the present-day black mindset.

At the same time, I think that black bloggers who are dismissing Resident Evil 5 as unbridled racism are displaying a (severe) ignorance of the greater context here. As others have noted, Res Evil is a Japanese game developed by a Japanese company. In light of that fact and considering the very different pool of cultural experiences the developers of the game share (as opposed to, say, Grand Theft Auto's developers), it's reasonable to assume that this backlash was neither intended nor unanticipated on the part of Capcom. Without knowing more about the game, it's a bit foolish to assume that this is another attempt to vilify black people. Long story short, people on both sides of this debate need to do their homework before spewing their rhetoric.

As for all the complaining about black people complaining, when is society going to understand that black bloggers (you could replace "black blogger" with "Jesse Jackson" or "Spike Lee") don't speak for all of us? People are taking what appears to be a vocal minority and interpreting their viewpoint as that of some sort of fictitious monolithic black mass. Think before you rant.

An openly-lesbian female in south Africa? You must be new to this planet.

@Ezza

"Think about it, how many of you would buy a game depicting a yardie rasta gunning down the white suburban folk of Essex, regardless of how rabid they may or may not be."

San Andreas starred a black guy killing white guys, and it sold 9 million copies.

@Ezza

Remember the stupid Haitian controversy over GTA: Vice City. Remember how Take 2 balked and took out the references like "I'm gonna kill all you god damn Haitians"? That's the reason to get pissed at this bitch right there, cause stupid shit like this hurts the games immensely. Plus it's not like she's particularly virtuoso herself.

"I occasionally play solitaire on my gf’s PC." -Kym Platt, Gaming Expert

"this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people." -Kym Platt, Marketing Consultant, Capcom of America

"Yes… I am more comfortable with the zombies being white. In fact, ALL zombies should be white from this day forth." -Kym Platt, White Zombie Supremacist

You can't be this fucking stupid on the internet and expect not to get fucked with.

This is what happens when Africans start using the Internet. They just don't understand entertainment, fiction and video games (obviously) and all that other stuff.

The internet is serious business!!!!11oneoneshift+one, to them...

But I agree with the fact that they see anything with "blacks" as being racist. For example these "blacks" are saying that the recent media attention on Micheal Vick is related to his color... Funny how they totally missed the entire Lindsey Lohan situation that also had just as much, if not more, media attention...

Anyway these African complainers should contact Jack Thompson and call him out to Africa so they can cry on his shoulder. If we're lucky, they'll all be eaten by lions and we can enjoy our 'entertainment' without the drama...

"But the point isn’t to smack one more label on mainstream video games (violent, sexist, racist). The point is that—for this white girl, at least—the Resident Evil 5 trailer is strangely disturbing."
http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/runninscared/archives/2007/07/zombies_...

Now I bet the white girl is racist too.

This lady needs to get her facts straight. There is no way this game is being marketed by kids or young adults. If she wasn't so ingnorant she would know that the average gamer is in his 30s. This is just crazy and I agree with what most say in here. It's a double standard that needs to be pointed out not to mention the simple fact that IT'S JUST A GAME!!!

so killing a white man is good, but not a black man? wtf... this world is crazy... get over it.

I'll also add a couple more things.

1) I'm not offended by the trailer, if my commentary in my last post wasn't transparent enough.

2. Capcom could make a lot of this go away - and not sacrifice much in the way of creative vision - by simply making the protagonist black.

@ Shoomduck

"This is what happens when Africans start using the Internet. They just don’t understand entertainment, fiction and video games (obviously) and all that other stuff."

Do you suck at jokes or do you just suck at making comments that aren't completely fucking asinine?

When I first saw this article, i was in awe. I knew that something like this would crop up sooner or later. But even still, you watch that trailer, and you will see not only black zombies getting shot, but also white (the guy who Chris punches in the face, he's white.)

This is truly pathetic and petty, trust someone to play the "race card" once again because their fragile little disillusioned world has been shattered by reality. Resident Evil 5 is set in Africa, and guess who live in Africa? The majority being BLACK people! I think that Capcom should stand strong and not change it because of being feared "racist". Its not like Chris is in there armed to the teeth intending to slaughter every man woman and child based on them being black. They become infected and he has to defend himself. Case closed.

"As for all the complaining about black people complaining, when is society going to understand that black bloggers (you could replace “black blogger” with “Jesse Jackson” or “Spike Lee”) don’t speak for all of us? People are taking what appears to be a vocal minority and interpreting their viewpoint as that of some sort of fictitious monolithic black mass. Think before you rant."

People react to them because they're the only ones speaking out about it. Just like the game industry, when only the clueless are the only ones who are talking, you have to listen to them.

It's stupid, but it's not like we've seen it before.

Wow, a lot of comments for this artical, lol. I hope Capcom doesn't change it, that would probably push back the release date.

@ Terrible

thats one game, i was sayin they barely appear as a main character or someone in the limelight, but i wouldnt expect your dumbass to understand that cuz it looks like u cant even read

I think the company is just trying out a different setting. It just happens that most of the population in Africa is black, so it makes sense to make zombies in Africa black.
 
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