Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism Controversy

February 6, 2009 -

The debate as to whether the upcoming Resident Evil 5 contains racist imagery has raged ever since Capcom released a controversial trailer for the game at E3 2007.

Eurogamer, which has a detailed hands-on preview of RE5, reports that there is additional room for concern over images in the retail version:

There's also the spectre of the old racism debate, hovering the background. That debate is only going to get louder and more urgent once the game is released...

One of the first things you see... is a gang of African men brutally beating something in a sack. Animal or human, it's never revealed, but these... are ordinary Africans... Since the Majini are not undead corpses... it makes the line between the infected monsters and African civilians uncomfortably vague. Where Africans are concerned, the game seems to be suggesting, bloodthirsty savagery just comes with the territory...

Later on, there's a cut-scene of a white blonde woman being dragged off, screaming, by black men... If this has any relevance to the story it's not apparent in the first three chapters, and it plays so blatantly into the old clichés of the dangerous "dark continent" and the primitive lust of its inhabitants that you'd swear the game was written in the 1920s...

 

All it will take is for one mainstream media outlet to show the heroic Chris Redfield stamping on the face of a black woman, splattering her skull, and the controversy over Manhunt 2 will seem quaint by comparison. If we're going to accept this sort of imagery in games then questions are going be asked, these questions will have merit, and we're going to need a more convincing answer than "lol it's just a game."

Resident Evil 5 will be released on March 13th.


Comments

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

You are a racist and a troll...

You are even more racist than we can ever be...

I´m from Mexico, and my people were enslaved for 200 years, and we are not bitchin about it nowdays. We got the Holy Spanish Inquisition for Christ sake...

Even black people in the past enslaved their own kind. I don´t know why people still push with the "that´s racist, lol" crap when nobody is kissing their butts. Injustice is injustice, not matter what color or culture you are.

That´s what is Resident Evil about. About evil that man can do to others.

And why is nobody talking about Shiva, the Chris partner in this game? Is she not etnic enough or what?

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

No, according to the article, she isn't black enough.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

LOL, black racism...

That kind of view is the same kind of statements that causes genocide over african countries.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

There are a lot of black people who are called "color-struck"--who focus on the lighter blacks being the most successful, the most beautiful, the smartest, the brightest... etc.  A lot of people in the black community try to fight against this idea, since it suggest the closer or are to looking European in descent, the more valuable you are as a person.  For the african antagonist to have a british accent and to be the lightest native african you've ever seen, this is just another way to say "You are only valuable if you are light-skinned."  

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cultural gaps that no one in America likes to acknowledge, and then in a situation like this it's hard to explain why it offends the way it does since no one has talked about it in the first place.

www.20sidedwoman.blogspot.com

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

I'm the troll? You copy paste your post calling me a racist. Now see my response to your previous post. And resident evil is about zombies, always has been

Edit: I wasn't calling you racist. I don't know where you got that idea. And the plural we? I'm sure I didn't insult them either.

Second edit: See d20sapphire's post. That's what I mean.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

OK, the double posting was too much, I can accept that...

But I still think you are lazy trying to blame a videogame for racism just because it is set on Africa, because it is. It´s just that. A piece of fiction, and fiction is not a political message, even if is about racism or black people turned on zombies creatures.

When they make the game setted in any other country, I bet that country will be complaing, too. 

And yes, many videogames are about fight evil. If you want to see a simple game as a political statement, you are wasting your time.

IT IS JUST A GAME... LIVE WITH IT.

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

There are many instances were works of fiction are political messages, including Dante's Inferno and Animal Farm.  Fiction is not free from making any kind of intelligent statement.

www.20sidedwoman.blogspot.com

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

That´s reader-watcher-player choose. Any author can´t make you to think the way he/she thinks.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

At what point does it become not racist?

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

When it's a black woman, I guess. But srsly, you don't see anything wrong with the image of a white woman dragged into an alley by a  bunch of black man?

 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

When CAD gets it right, they get it REALLY right.

www.20sidedwoman.blogspot.com

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Very good, EZK! I got some laughs from that when I first read it.

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Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Isn't that itself racist? That it isn't ok for a white woman to be dragged by a group of black men, but suddenly ok when it is a black woman? 


Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

It's about the image. And the image of black women dragged away by black men has never been used in racist imagery. Or at least isn't a wellknown racist sentiment, namely that of the black men stealing white women.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

How about the imagery of Africans savagely dragging away an outsider regardless of their color?  OH, wait, I'm sorry, that's something you can witness in real life if you go to the wrong parts of Africa.

You, sir, are the only racist here.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Above comment. Read. This image is wrong and used by racists throughout the centuries. Yes, in some parts of Africa you can be dragged away if you're an outsider, but that happens everywhere. What's wrong about this picture is that it's plays to old sentiments. This goes way back.

And don't call me a racist. Calling people racists isn't helping this discussion and certainly won't help when the MSM tear this game apart. Of course who could let this devolve into an all out flame war but that isn't what Gamepolitics is about.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

To be truly color-blind, one has to start by decontaminating the image. RE 5 is a pretty good place to start - it's a way for our generation to abandon the stupidity that is politically correct reverse racism.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

We tried that in my country. Now we have politically correct moral relativism and a countermovement that really is racist. I'm doubtfull this can end well.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Stealing her away? what about "We're going to kill this outsider?"

Apparently, you're the type that only agrees with violence if it against the same skin color, which itself is racist.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

No I'm not. Read the Far Cry example. And be civilised. Calling me a racist isn't exactly helping your case and won't help when you have to defend this game to the MSM.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Yes, I read the example, but what I don't understand is that is racism from your point of view, but that's only because of the skin color and the images displayed, but for that to exist, it has to show for the viewer to find fault in the image because of what? Skin color, which you apparently see as a problem, and thus racism since that is the term of racism. To treat something/someone differently because of race.

Defending this case against the MSM is a lost cause because of people that have the same mindset as you.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

I wouldn't have found fault with if it wasn't used before. Example: Swastika. Religious symbol of a Hindu cult. However, In Europe, carrying a swastika is wrong. Reason: It's contaminated.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

About as wrong as the image of a white woman dragged into an alley by a bunch of white men...or chinese men...or eskimo men...or japanese men...etc, etc, etc.

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

The problem with this is the context of history.  In a country where drugs were outlawed partly on the fear of black men getting high and raping white women/committing violent crimes while on that high, this image is taking us years back, reverting a lot of progress we had.  The image of a white woman being gang raped by black men is something that people found okay to even joke about for a long time, and only recently are interracial unions not questioned in America.  It evokes an image that reminds us of a harsh, brutal past that many Americans are ashamed of, and many American minorities would not want to relive.

The de-vilification of the black man in American culture is a slow progress, and images like the ones mentioned above do not help us get through it any faster. 

www.20sidedwoman.blogspot.com

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Thing is though it isn't an image of a white woman being dragged to be raped by black men all we see is the dragging, and since they are zomies we know that she was killed not raped.  therefor it is an image of a bunch of zombies dragging a woman away so that they can eat/kill her, that image is used in zombie movies all the freakin' time the screaming victim being dragged away to be horrible killed and eaten, possible crying and begging for the hero(s) to save her.  the zombies skin color is a product of the setting not of racism by Capcom.

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

I don't think so. In real life it's all equally horrible, but in fiction it is used to portray black men negatively.(or more precisely, the thought that black men want to "steal" white women) It's the same imagery as in The Birth of a Nation. Now before I get flamed more, I do believe Birth of a Nation is truly irredeemably racist and a Klan recruitment tool. RE5 is not, but it still perpetuates notions that should have died out years ago.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

The only 'notion' that should've died out years ago is the notion of protected class.  Oh no, Africans treating people who are different badly?  There's no history of that in Africa, hell no.  People in Africa didn't drag naked Delta Force Operators through the street and parade them about before publicly skinning them.  Crazy, where would this idea come from?

Its just as bad if the woman is black, white, yellow, green, or purple.  Grow the fuck up.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Maybe they dragged the delta force through their street not because they were white, but because they were foreign soldiers of an unfriendly superpower? I said it's just as bad when the woman is another color, however if it's fiction, the image has connotations. And I'm not saying black people can't be enemies, I'm saying this perticulair imagery makes no sense and is wrong.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

They dragged them through the street after the soldiers had been guarding humanitarian aid.  I suggest you learn about African history before you talk anymore. 

In Africa, it's not uncommon to treat people like that for 'wronging you' in certain manners.  But because its done in fiction, it's so much worse?  Your argument is idiotic.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

This white woman has wronged black man? It's not about the reasons. It's about the image. As for the humanitarian aid thing, I apolagize, I was to hasty. I thought this was about the black hawk down battle.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

The first 2 operators dragged through the streets were killed a week before the Battle of Mogadishu.

Wronging someone in Africa means that you're on their land, in their area, all sorts of ridiculous things.  There are a thousand different tribal greetings, and if you don't know which one to use you get a lovely 7.62 round to the face if you're lucky. 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Overgeneralisation. Maybe in Somalia, but Losetho or Ghana? not a chance. Not all African countries are THAT tribally divided.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Oh wow. Look at this, that's just so sickening. You're accusing RE5 of containing racist imageries by consisting of white people being dragged around by black people, and then you turn around and say, "Oh, these Delta Force guys? Nah, nothing to do with the skin color."

That same logic could be applied to RE5. Maybe they're just dragging the white woman away because she's a foreign person, she might be a missionary (OH NO, BAN THE GAME, IT'S GOT ANTI-CHRISTIAN MESSAGES), etc.

Indigneous people of less-developed countries have been known to treat missionaries badly.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Once again, I'm not calling for a ban of the game. Religion is not the same as ethnicity. And I thought you meant the black hawk down operation. I don't know about other occurences with the delta force losing (except the Iraq embassy situation).

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Indeed, I don't like the prospect of "hate" crimes and all that crap and how we can't suddenly do this and yet it is reverse racism in that manner.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Seconded, it is only a race thing if you make it that in your own head.

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Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

Honestly, the whole debate over this game just goes to show that if you go out looking for something to be offended by, then you will ultimately find it. People see racism in this game because they want to. I just see Resident Evil.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

I see a tag team of a white man with a black woman. Doesn't look racist to me.

GameSnooper

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

I couldn't have said it any better.

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

I only see a biohazard that has to be dealt with. I don't see racism.

I also see diversity and people of different races working together bad or good.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism

*claps*

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

Because if only violent white people appeared in games, that wouldn't be racist!

 

I mean everything they say about the games enemies applies to those in Resident Evil 4 and I don't recall anyone claiming racism back then?

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

Read the piece. The white woman dragged away by a gang of black men is racist. Non-infected also being violent is weird for a RE game. The black person who is supposed to make this better is way less black than the enemies (and doesn't talk with a African but with an English accent). N'Gai Groal was right: nobody black worked on this game. There probably aren't that many black people in Japan, maybe that's the reason RE5 is so insensitive.

Edit: about the spanish in RE4: Eurogamer said it best: the spanish don't have a history of being thought of as primitive subhuman creatures.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

Ever considered that it's making the point that this group of people are racists and they're attacking her because she isn't one of them, that race card swings both ways y'know.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

It doesn't matter what their motive is, the image is just wrong.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

The image is fairly common in the shanty-towns of Africa.  As for Farcry2, that's probably because there were a lot of missions about killing white people in it too, you know, like the unit you had to intercept in that shanty town?

Or maybe its because farcry 2 wasn't as big a release as Resident Evil 5?

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

white women being attacked in African shanty-towns? doubt it.

Edit: white women being in African shanty-towns of course. Doesn't seem like a common occurence.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

Considering that most of the 'humanitarian' aid that comes to Africa is from European and American nations, and that most of the people that bring it over are 'white' people?  It's more common than you think.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Imagery May Generate Renewed Racism ...

I doubt that charitative organisations whould just let that happen. Maybe with an escort? I don't doubt it happened at times, but the image (here we go again) is just wrong to me, when used in fiction.

 
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