The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

February 11, 2009 -

In what is likely the first of many mainstream media outlets to weigh in on the topic, a blogger for The Atlantic seems convinced that the upcoming Resident Evil 5 contains racist imagery.

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes:

Seriously, I have no idea what the frack Capcom was thinking, when they went ahead with Resident Evil 5...

 

the whole "it's only a game" defense--which people always raise--is so lame... if we're going to allow video games to enter into the world of adults, if we don't want to looked upon as boys in the bodies of men, then we have to be serious... You can't ask people to at once respect the creativity of gaming, and then tell them they can't critique it.


Comments

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I'm sorry but this is just another case of racist blacks trying to have it both ways. In fact this reminds me of the whole violence against women controversey that blew up right after Vice City was released 6 years ago. To the blacks complaining about this? You wanna be equal that's cool and I'm fine with that but you can't have it both ways. You can't say you wanna be equal and demand affirmative action, or always claim that when the cops arrested you that they beat you up or planted evidence on you, and you can't claim that something is racist because it's set in Africa and features black zombies/infected. If your seeing at as a white man killing blacks instead of a man fighting for survival against a group of infected then YOU are racist. The fact that race is even being brought up in this is really just moronic. Also Capcom is a Japanese company and even though this game and series is designed to appeal to western audiences, Japan does not have the same history as we do with racism against blacks. Stop all this crap about how it's ok to have white zombies just because whites don't have the same history of being oppressed/slavery. One of the biggest lies being spread around is that we went to Africa and kidnapped the blacks and forced them to cover over here. While that did happen, most slaves were bought from OTHER Africans who also had slaves. Also what about the Arabs who also had a massive slave trade as well? I don't see any black hatred towards any Arab nations, why is it just whites? I didn't even think racism when I saw the trailer, I saw it as a man defending himself against infected. The main villian is a blonde haired white guy, so what is the problem here.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

The skin-deep accusations - that RE5 is racist purely for being set in Africa - are easily rebuked. But what interests me are the deeper statements - that showing Africans performing acts of violence is racist. But this accusation necessarily comes from a mentality that freely makes the connection between blacks and violence.

It's easy to read too deeply into any sort of zombie game, movie, or book. Night of the Living Dead (released 1968) was both criticised and celebrated for showing a black man as the most capable of an otherwise white group. In reality, Duane Jones simply gave the best audition. In the Day of the Dead remake, a black man levels a gun at a non-zombified white woman. I don't recall hearing accusations of racism about that.

Similarly, if you analyse any zombie book or game too hard, you'll start finding racist connotations. An Eastern European friend of mine complained about the "THEES EES HOW WE FEEX" attitude of the Russians in World War Z. I hadn't been aware that using machine guns and tanks against zombies was a stereotypical Russian behaviour. I doubt anyone complained that in the Land of the Dead video game, a dead black man reanimates in your basement - implying that he broke in somehow? Again, making these accusations of racism can only come from believing in certain racist stereotypes.

 

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Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

From now on all video game characters should be beige.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

The problem that I have with this issue is that I don't understand how the problem can be fixed.  Let's take the accusations seriously for a moment.  Let's assume that RE5 is racist.  How do we remove that feeling without changing the whole concept of the game?

Should the main characters be different?  What race and nationality should they be?  Can the zombies be black without it being racist?  Can we have mixed races in the game?  

I'd like to hear an idea for the game that could be considered non-racist, without changing the location of the game.  Any ideas?

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

To be honest, I'm doubtful of how much this is concerned about racism.  Controversies like this have a habit of having people who run about 50 feet behind the bandwagon.

M. Carusi

Capitol Gaming

http://capitolgaming.blogspot.com

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

"[...]Seriously, I have no idea what the frack Capcom was thinking, when they went ahead with Resident Evil 5..."

They simply decided to send the game into an african setting, you know, where a majority of black people lives? And not whites?

And.. Really. Are you serious? "Frack"? Battlestar-fuck you too!

 

As a whole, racism is the issue of equality among men being challenged by one of the races against another.

I don't like the idea black people (in this instance, zombie ones) cannot be as equally antagonists as white people, which would be racism in itself ; if we can't let them be the antagonists, does that mean they don't have the right to be?

Wether you be asian, white, black, gray(Hi there visitor!), we all eat, drink, sleep, mate, bleed, die and are all susceptible to fall victim to the next oncoming zombie-virus spread!

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

For the sake of all things that are true.  People, please.  This is the Resident Evil series.  You know, the one that brought us squeaky voiced midgit Napoleon.  If you take this series as anything serious, you deserve to be slapped upside the head with a dead fish.

Not to mention, the whole controvercie only comes in when a white guy is shooting black people.  If a black guy were to go on a killing rampage against white people in a game, its just "haha, look its funny".  or even a black guy/white guy, shooting people of their same skin color "Oh look, its funny / Oh look, its meant to teach us a lesson".

You know what lesson I learned from Dead Rising?  Throw any person who keeps running around asking for their dog off the freaking roof of the building.

Its a video game people.  Video game.  Not real life.  If it were real life, then we would never hear about it, or care for that matter.  "In international news today, a single white man killed the entire population of a region of africa."

If it ever happens in real life, I have this to say in advance.  "Let the man go.  He obviously is way too skilled to ever be captured for any length of time, and I want him destorying something very far away from me.  Or just bomb him into glass.  Either way."


"Listen, I don't care if you think Obama is the second comming of Jesus, and I don't care if you think he's the anti-christ.  I don't care.  If either one of you utters one more word about it, I'm going to stake you, encase you in lucite, and drop you down a abandoned mine shaft, which I will then blow up with explosives!  CAPICHE!!" - Camarilla Quote

 

"If you really want to enslave people, tell them you are going to give them Total Freedom." - L. Ron Hubbard

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

A friend was showing me this video of "A Classroom Divided" and I thought if anyone was curious about how to understand why some people may find the images in RE5 offensive, you can watch it here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6189991712636113875

Also, Jane Elliot, who started this whole experiment with eye color to show discrimination, I think says something relevant to the discussion in an interview that can be found here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/crusade.html

I think white people aren't aware that racism isn't just wearing white hoods and burning crosses. It's also fixing the system so that black votes don't get counted. It's refusing to open the polling places in precincts where most of the eligible voters are people of color. It's outlawing affirmative action at the state level even though it has proven successful. It's building more prisons than we build schools and guaranteeing that they will be filled by targeting young men of color with things like the "three strikes" legislation in California, and the DWB -- "driving while black." These are problems encountered by young black men all over this country. It's the fact that there are more children attending segregated schools in the U.S. today than there were previous to Brown vs. Board of Education. It's white flight and red-lining by financial institutions. It's television programming that portrays people of color as villains and white people as their victims. It's ballot-security systems, which are used to intimidate minority voters and so result in the very activities which they are supposedly designed to prevent.

I think it can help people relate a little bit better on the other side.  I agree with Terrinblaze that people should be able to feel any way they do about this game, and Capcom can still put the game out without censorship, despite how offended anyone is by it.  I just think people need to understand each other.  If someone has a good link to show their side of the issue, and why they think this issue is inflated, I would love to see it.

(Sorry it's United States specific)

www.20sidedwoman.blogspot.com

-

The Ta-Nehisi Coates!?

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Finally after months of reading about it I am going to weigh in on this controversy. As a African-American male and with Nigerian family members I understand why some people would find this offensive. They are not video game players they do not care about the story line all they care about is the imagery. On a continent that has a history of having all it's resources raped by people of European descent the imagery portrayed so far can be painful.(The fact the he has a black side kick doesnt really matter as Europeans normally have african sidekicks while in Africa) So it does pain me to see my beloved gaming community brush it aside as cry baby controversy when the antagonist being displayed has hundreds of years worth of greivencies with the race "shown" dominating them. So on that note I really can understand some, not all of the disdain shown towards this game. On the other hand I am the strongest believer in free speech and so i believe this game has just as much right to be on the market as any other and that people have just as much right to protest it as any other. And the people who call it a crybaby protest has the exact same right to voice that opinion. I personally dont care i will enjoy killing black zombies as a white man as much as I enjoyed killing white cops as a black man(a la San Andreas) because for me race means no difference there are too many other criteria a game must meet in order for it to be enjoyable to me. So for all the protesters keep going thats your right, to all who think this is just a crybaby argument some of your post seem more racist to me than anything the protesters have written and i wish you would pick a different way to debunk their argument lord knows there are many but as always thats your right as well. As for me I just cant wait to get to the bottom of this Umbrella conspiracy I've been knee deep in it since i was a pre-teen and if it leads me to the cradle of civilization with a bunch of African zombies then so be it I'll pay my 59.99 and kill em all because thats my right.(p.s. sorry for the bad grammer tried to hurry and type this on my break so plz attack the merit of my arguments not my 3rd grade grammer teacher.)

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Again Resident Evil 5 is racist but GTASA isn't?

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I'm personally above this.  If individuals want to be immature and stoop so low to claim it is racist imagery then that is fine.  I'm better than that.  I have a extremely diverse set of friends and none of them have agreed with these racist claims.  I'm almost convinced that a particular blogger GP reported on displayed signs of racism herself, even though her blog seemed to rant against it many-a-time.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

It wouldn't surprise me if the game has racist readings, but then, media is what you make of it, and if the game wasn't intended to be racist then that says more about your cultural paranoia and the sensibilities of the cultural mob than the underlying motives of a team of japanese game devs.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I believe you have perflectly stated the reality of the situation in one simple and compact statement.  ::e-cookie::

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

It would be interesting to see what the response was if Capcom released a patch replacing all the black zombies with white zombies, would that then make the issue of mass slaughter okay? It would be likely that many people would prefer the decision but then we would have to question whether they were racist to support the change. (Like someone mentioned it sounds a lot like the South Park episode).

A lot of people who talk about racism in the game are basically saying killing lots of white people is okay, killing lots of black people isn't. Sounds kind of racist to me.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

No surprises here of course.  People are fighting issues in the virtual realm (feminists vs fat princess, various parties vs "racism" in RE5..) because they can't be asked getting off their fat asses IRL and fighting about actual racism, or actual sexism...

Not going to bother to trot out all the rational arguments as to why this entire "issue" is a load of bullshit, I honestly feel that these wankers who makes the complaints are really only doing it to troll the blogosphere...  Their news releases are the fattest trollbait I've ever seen...

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

The game is Africa. What are they going to do? Put asian or green people there?

BAWWWWW, BLACK PEOPLE DIE IN THIS GAME 

They should have a lot more things to worry about.

=========================================================================== Jack Thompson is vanquished!!!

=========================================================================== Jack Thompson is vanquished!!!

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

My comment from The Atlantic:

Your free to critique a video game! Lets keep in mind here, the meaning of the word (from the New Oxford American Dictionary):
critique |kriˈtēk|
noun a detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
verb ( -tiques |krɪˈtiks|, -tiqued |krɪˈtikt|, -tiquing |krɪˈtikɪŋ|) [ trans. ] evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way : the authors critique the methods and practices used in the research.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (as a noun): from French, based on Greek kritikē tekhnē ‘critical art.’
I look forward to your critique of the final version.

Just a polite reminder of the definition of "critique", something that the author didn't seem to grasp.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

(I also posted this in the article's own comments section)

If you can scrutinize hard enough, you can find racism in just about anything. I don't mind when people rip apart the video games and the creators, but when many people accuse RE5, and therefore Capcom, to be racist, this is a bad attempt in trying to read the minds of game's creators.

I never noticed a race issue until people pointed it out to me. Furthermore, there is a difference between something that is blatanly racist and something that can be used to satisfy racist ends. For instance, a Klansmen would enjoy shooting black people on a whole different level than the average gamer. But that wouldn't make the game racist towards black people. The average gamer wouldn't see color- they would see the undead.

Incorrect statement: "Capcom was racist in making the RE5 game"
Correct statement: "RE5 is a game that can be considered racist to some people"

I have some Spanish roots and didn't see any racism at all with the last Resident Evil, where the heroes go to Spain and take down a lot of Spanish zombies, among other enemies. It would be a little crazy to think that Leon was secretly enjoying some kind of racist fantasy when asked to extinguish the source of these evil creatures.

Video games are entertainment, and they have no obligation to be any more meaningful than just that.

GameSnooper - now no longer taking 6 weeks to load!

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

If this was the first game in the series I would be more inclinded to say that it was racist, but as there have been other games in the series then it is hard to say so. If RE5 is racist then so is RE4. But isn't it actually racist to say that black people can't feature in a game like this? If people see black people as equal then surely out of equality black people should be allowed to be zombies as much as white people. It makes me wonder how racist the people calling the game racist are, because they are able to look at black people as unequals and seem to be well versed in racist imagery.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Ok, I just have to ask: is there anybody else out there who like me didn't even notice the race issue in Resi 5 until it was pointed out to them?

because honestly even after playing the demo all i saw was a man killing zombies, not a white guy killing black people.seriously I didn't even notice the token white zombies until they were pointed out

This whole thing kinda reminds me of an old south Park episode that dealt with the same issues 'cept it had to do with racist imagery on a flag.

Is there anybody else who feels the same?

 

Playing violent video games alone does not teach you how to maintain,operate or effectivly use any modern firearm, nor bestow unto you the resolve to shoot a human being. Give our public schools some credit people!

Playing GTA alone does not teach you how to maintain,operate or effectivly use any modern firearm, nor bestow unto you the resolve to shoot a human being. Give our public schools some credit people!

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I feel the same way, and I don't even play Resident Evil normally.  Survival horror isn't exactly my favorite genre.  However, my boyfriend loves them, and with the co-op available I played the demo with him.

My thoughts the entire time were along the lines of:

Ah! Zombie!  It's climbing the fence! KillItkillItkillItkillIt!  Ah!  It's eating me! Getitoffgetitoffgetitoffgetitoff!  Oh!  A barrel!... I'm going to blow you up now... >:O

Childish-sounding, for sure, but that's how it went.  The whole time I thought in terms of "zombies" and "its," even though I knew about this controversy going in.  There was no white/black/hispanic/blue/green/whatever in my eyes.  Just the undead.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I think something like "racist imagery" is in the eye of the beholder. Some see RE5's imagery as racist. Other's don't.  As long as no one tries to force Capcom to alter its game, I don’t have a problem with people who see something I don’t.

My feeling is: if you're bothered by it, save yourself $60 and don't play it.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Yet, it won't stop people from bitchin' about it, Andrew

 

Life is sometimes like Russian Roulette... with a bullet in every chamber.

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Ok so lets have all white zombies in afracia, dead black people and a few evil black charatcers..or jsut nto sue black epopel at all...then waht...the game would would still be rasicst becuse there are no black people....

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


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Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I am more upset he said, "Frack" instead of "Frak."  When people reference pop-culture and don't do it right is a pet peeve of mine....

 

That and you can only be offended if you want to be.

 

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

What better time to state racism than in the middle of Black History Month?

BTW, I don't see race, I just assume all people are Mexican and ride them twice as hard. ;)

(I am a Supervisor)

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

To paraphrase Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation, was Resident Evil 4 any less racist with it's wall to wall Spaniard murdering?

And besides, the game is set in an African villiage. Obviously, the zombies/possessed are going to be African, just like the enemies in RE4 were going to be Spanish.

*Jack Thompson loves it when people argue with him. He whacks off to it! DON'T FEED THE TROLL!*

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I thought there was some controversy around RE4. Maybe it was just Capcom trying to say that it wasn't actally set in Spain, and in their own fictional country instead.

Obviously, there was a lot less controversy though.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Alright, I guess nobody can depict Africans as bad guys anymore. I mean, it is kind of offensive. Oh, but if the Africans are white, then it's ok. And as long as the person killing the black Africans is of a skin tone darker than that of his victims, that's OK too. But his sidekick cannot, under any circumstances, be of a "holywood approved" light black skintone. Because that would be racist. And they had better have a real accent too. Almost unintelligible if possible. In fact, let me make a diagram of racial order. The people to the left cannot, under any circumstances, kill any people to the right of them without being racist or a bigot or feeling guilty. Here it is

White<--Hispanic<--East Asian<--Native American<--Central Asian<--Black<--Eskimo<--Anyone in a wheelchair.

 

I hope that clears things up. Isn't this better than just not whining and generally being little bitches about retarded shit like this?

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Capcom's thinking: "Lets get out of the mansions and urban areas like we did in RE4 and go somewhere exotic! We did a european setting in 4, so what's next?" "AFRICA!" "Okay, now remember to make all the people there the right ethnicity or people might get mad that we set a game in Africa and only had white zombies."

Seriously, if you're going to cry foul because Capcom wanted to try and be accurate to the setting then you're not giving games a chance to prove their worth as a medium. I saw the trailer and I just thought of Lord of War and Black Hawk Down, not how a zombie game is suddenly racist for making most of the zombies African whilst in Africa.

It'll be nice if someone raised a real concern, not just whipping out the race card for a chance to get website traffic.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I have to admit, I did recoil a bit when I first saw the trailer. But then I thought about it, and I asked myself, "Wouldn't it be way weirder to set a game in Africa, and then proceed to take all the black people out of the setting?"

Of course, they could switch it to a different setting, but wouldn't that be racist in it's own right? Wouldn't they then be changing the setting simply because there were black people there?

What is Racism?

This debate will keep going round and round (and surely did in the other threads here on GP) for one simple fact – to borrow a bit of Wittgenstein: We’re not playing the same language game. The author of the blog post (and likely countless others that will be posting) is the assumptions that everyone has the same definition of racism). This is dangerous.

Essentially, it’s nonsense for any of us to argue whether this game is racist (or at the very least contains imagery that is racist) without first coming up with a workable definition of racism that we all agree on. The reason we’re having trouble here is because what we’re all actually arguing about is:

What does racist mean? And it’s not as easy as cut and pasting a Webster’s definition. Once we all agree on what it is, then this question of the game’s racist imagery simply… disappears.

And then, once we agree on a definition, there is a moral decision that needs to be made. We now know what racism means, but is it inherently wrong / bad / good/ right? IE, if it is racist, does that mean that it should or should not happen?

 

So, GP, what does racism mean to you?

Re: What is Racism?

"What is Racism?"

A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk, have at you!

(Every time someone asks "What is..." I am sorely tempted to say that. *facepalm*)

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: What is Racism?

I think you're overcomplicating it, and I think most of us would agree that racism can very easily be defined as "Different treatment of individuals based on race or ethnicity". I think this is a definition we can understand and agree on, for the most part.

Using this definition I find it hard to imagine that any uproar about this game isn't racist in and of itself because those decrying any supposed "racism" are implying, whether they know it or not, that we should somehow treat people with dark skin differently than people with white skin.

Quite frankly, I very strongly suspect that if I was of African descent I'd be offended by the idea that somehow it's not appropriate to have dark-skinned zombies, or that people of African descent can't also, somehow, be involved in a story line like this. I think I'd probably be even more annoyed at this idiotic knee-jerk bullshit than I am now, as a caucasian.

Re: What is Racism?

I don't think anyone's asking for different treatment; for instance, I notice that no one was in an uproar about the inclusion of African-American slavers in Fallout 3. Part of this stems from the fact that a wide variety of ethnicities are portrayed across all spectrums of morality (or lack there-of) in the game. This kind of balance of characters shields the game from criticisms that ethnic stereotypes are being used as a kind of gimmicky short-hand to get across ideas of barbarity or savageness.

Contrast that with what we know about Resident Evil 5. The antagonists are overwhelmingly black, the main protagonist is white, and the sidekick is essentially Halle Barry in videogame form. It's a little hard not to believe that the makers of RE5, who have seen just as many, if not more, movies than the typical person, don't get the use of crazy black people as a visual shorthand for savagery, chaos, and violence. or that setting it in somewhere deep in the heart of Africa is another typical, "Heart of Darkness" like locale for lack of humanity and civilization. The argument that "of course there are blackz peoplez in aFrica lolz" doesn't tread water; they chose the locale for a reason, the same reason why they chose the Basque country of Spain in RE4; rural and backward territory that the protagonist has to somehow survive to get back to civilization.

Do I think Capcom set out to make a morality tale about the African continent? No. Do I think they tried to offend as many people as possible? Not really. But that doens't mean they haven't traded on classic, racist imagery in order to inspire fear and dread in audiences, regardless of whether or not they meant to be "racist".

Re: What is Racism?

 See, that’s exactly my point. Even the quick and dirty definition you threw out (and I understand you’re not trying to make an objective claim there) “Different treatment of individuals based on race or ethnicity” has a ton of room for misconception. Chiefly, it’s not taking into the moral component tied to racism – that it is a “bad” thing.

For instance, sickle cell anemia largely occurs in blacks, so the studies, medicines and depiction of this disease is usually conducted on blacks. They are being treated differently based on race, which by the definition you threw out, is racist. Yet no one in their right mind would say that this disease, or the treatment and study of it, is an any way racist.

And then there is the whole other problem of ethnicity. How is that different than race? Is it racist to treat someone according their cultural norms and not the norms of your society?

In light of that, you’re left with “well, its not always bad to treat someone differently based on their race. Just most of the time.” And therein lies the ambiguity which is at the heart of this problem.

There seems to be (at least) two different definitions of racism at work here:

1. Racism (or racist imagery) is that which makes one race look bad by portraying them as criminals and rapists and is clearly meant to show that all members of that race will act as such. This is a more passive sort of racism where RE isn’t coming out and saying “Blacks are all rapists”

2. Racism is Neo-Nazi, KKK, hate speech that explicitly states that one race is better than another. This is a very overt, in your face kind of thing.

Most seem to fall in between those two, so that when you look at the game, you can see:

1. A scene in Africa that happens to contain black people being nasty to white people. Which has happened in reality and thus is not necessarily racist.

2. The creators of the game have clearly decided that blacks are bad and have built the structure of the game to convey that they are, in some way, no better than zombies.

3. As you said, only allowing whites to be victims, bad guys, and good guys is racist because it down plays the fact that other races of people can be bad as well.

Each seem valid in their own right, and therein is the reason that no one can decide on this. As I said, the author of the blog post and the post he quotes, assumes his audience has the same definition of racism and that its just a matter of seeing it in the work “it’s either there, or its not” as he says. But this is not like being pregnant or the moon coming up… its not that easy…. It might be there, it might not be there, it might be both. Impossible to say. Ambiguity abounds.

It’s elucidating that in the quoted article, there is an issue raised that the black protagonist female is somehow not actually black because she’s light skinned and “talks like Lara Croft” with an English accent, implying that an English accept makes you less black. There’s a lot going on here and the reason this is such a sensitive topic is because its not only white people that have no idea what racism really means, its every race from blacks that hate other blacks for being lighter skinned and talking “too white” to whites we hate each other because of whatever European country their ancestors came from 100 years ago. At the end, it’s a bunch of people arguing about something that they don’t have a clear definition of, which end up in confusion, and at worst, fear.

Clear definitions lead to less confusion. Or, as old Wittgenstein put it best – “Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.”

Re: What is Racism?

To a certain extent, one can even one-up that.  In terms of calling RE5 racist, it is based on prior things that were (most likely) racist.  I say that because I don't have a catalog of everything in the game that could be labeled.  But suffice to say if it occured in the film Birth of a Nation, we can say "yes" to the racist point.

 

Anyway, we don't see RE5, and take it at face value.  We have to run it through the PC machine that has been built in our head by society.  Obviously each PC machine, in each society, is going to be different.  To a certain extent I feel sorry for Capcom, since Japan as a whole hasn't had to focus on a world wide PC initiative like the melting pot of the US.  But that is the point.  Being from Japan, where I doubt anyone has ever heard of Birth of a Nation outside of a Film History class, the whole notions that we have grown up with were never installed. 

 

To top this off, going back to Birth of a Nation (BoN).  We use this as sort of a sign post as to what is racist (and yes there are other racist things out there, but BoN is one of the big ones).  In other words, RE5 isn't in itself racist, but because of a prior image from a moive made around 94 years ago, THAT makes it "racist".  I use the quotation marks because I disagree with the whole notion of it being racist.  So in other words, without our notions of film history in terms of racism, this is would be perfectly acceptable.  Remove BoN, and RE5 is fine.  Insert BoN and it is "racist" (again not really but for the PC machine it is). 

 

Foaming at the mouth

Foaming at the mouth

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Right, you heard the media and read the knee-jerk reactions.

From now on, no more games set in Africa, no more visible minorities as villains/bad-guys and the only time violence should be depicted the victim should be white.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Capcom could make this the most controveral game ever, but I think they could suppess it if they try hard. I wonder what Capcom will do.

It's all in the way they advertise it.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

"The whole "it's only a game" defense--which people always raise--is so lame... if we're going to allow video games to enter into the world of adults, if we don't want to looked upon as boys in the bodies of men, then we have to be serious... You can't ask people to at once respect the creativity of gaming, and then tell them they can't critique it."

I see..so I guess racial stereotypes is okay only in movies, books, television, and music then?

 - Warren Lewis

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Most zombies in a game have always been this pale blueish green color, and never really white or black.  Movies tend to be focused on the racial aspect but when I think of zombies in a game, i usually imagine them greenish.

Again, people outcry racism when there is a STORY to the game.  You think Zombie outbreaks can only happen in rural US?  And to be honest, an entire city of white people and no other form of race is a bit far-fetched.

And how is it not racist that we can only kill white zombies?

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Well, this is getting old. But I think this will be real news when it hits the mainstream news like CNN, Fox and others. That´s when the real show will start.

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

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I think that is we just all sit down and PLAYED Resident Evil 5, and realize that there is a African woman fighting allong side of you, and the main boss, might just likely be a White guy, then we can just see how much of their controversy really holds any ground.

Can't wait to see what Capcom has in respond to those critics who would most likely bash a game regardless if they played the game or not.

 

Even though I am not on the argument of "It's only a game." I am more on the argument of "Have you ever took the TIME to PLAY the game?"

 

Because bashing a game without playing it is worse than bashing a book without even reading it.

And only serves the argument that there are just some people out there who will bash the game for sensationalism and never care if they are wrong about their arguments, because in their unstable minds they are always right.

TBoneTony

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

I can't wait for this game to come out, I've no interest in getting it but shortly after release 99% of the people complaining about it will have moved onto the next "band wagon of moaning because it makes me feel morally better, just don't ask me any difficult questions about facts" so anyone genuinely concerned about the content can actually look at it properly.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

No that can't be true, I mean just look at all the movements decrying bully and manhunt 2 and gta (insert rest of title here) and look at how those 'get it banned' campaigns kept going even after the game has long since been released.

Oh wait that's backwards.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Chiming in on the 'this is ridiculous' front. I don't understand how people can get this upset about black people appearing in Africa.

You know what we need? We need a game, let's call it "Zombie Meanace: Racist Imagery". It'll have a nicely detailed storyline that places it in central africa, where the player is tasked with surpressing a zombie outbreak. The game will generate zombies randomly based on recorded demographics, so it should acurrately produce the correct proportions of age, gender and race.

The special feature, though, is 'PC Mode' where any character that should be black is then instead made Simpson's yellow, and given a static, round smily face mask instead of an actual face. That way, it won't be racist to kill them. Sound good? Alright then.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Sounds more like Manhunt 3.

Re: The Atlantic Weighs in on RE5 Racism Controversy

Seriously, this is all I can say:

http://www.ctrlaltdel-online.com/comic.php?d=20090204

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

 
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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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