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Zzoram
Member
(04-13-2008, 02:57 PM)
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Earlier this week GamePolitics covered the opening installments of MTV Multiplayer’s multipart feature on Black Professionals in Games.

And while Newsweek’s popular video game writer N’Gai Croal was the focus of the series’ opening article, MTV Multiplayer decided to devote a second installment to his perspective on whether or not there is racist imagery in the controversial trailer for Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 5.

GamePolitics readers will likley recall last year’s flap over the trailer which shows RE5’s white protagonist mowing down scores of zombies, all black. The game is set in Haiti.

Croal was very clear in his view that the RE5 trailer contains racist imagery:

I was like, “Wow, clearly no one black worked on this game.” …The point isn’t that you can’t have black zombies. There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery. What was not funny, but sort of interesting [about the controversy], was that there were so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn’t see it…

It’s not as simple as saying, “Oh, they shot Spanish zombies in ‘Resident Evil 4,’ and now ‘black zombies and that’s why people are getting upset.” The imagery is not the same. It doesn’t carry the same history, it doesn’t carry the same weight…

It’s very difficult in this country… to have a conversation about race. Everyone brings to it their own history, their own perspective… The music that they’re using in the trailer is very reminiscent of the music used in Black Hawk Down which was set in Africa — Somalia. That actually was one of the things that was most disturbing because it sort of had a feeling as like, “Wow, what research did this team do? Did they only watch Black Hawk Down and give it this kind of vibe?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYObhzZgzv8
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/22801.html
resident evil 5 extended trailer

Victor Godinez, who covers video games for the Dallas Morning News offers his reaction to Croal’s comments.

I am more than a little sympathetic to [some specific] objections [to Croal’s view]. On the other hand, anyone who watches that [RE5] preview and doesn’t feel at least a little uncomfortable probably isn’t paying attention.

As Mr. Croal acknowledges, all we’ve seen of this game so far is the preview… And it could well be that Americans are so unconsciously drilled on what is and is not acceptable in discussions of race that discomfort over the trailer is simply subconscious political correctness kicking in.

In the Arizona Daily Star, Phil Villarreal writes:

Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal – by far the deepest thinker and best writer in the field of video game journalism – sure seems to think [that RE5 is racist]. Judging from the trailer, he points out callous racial insensitivity that has apparently gone into, if not the game itself, at least its previews.

I think Croal has some valid points, but I’d say he’s being a little hypersensitive here. This is an industry that evolves around Mario, one of the most blatant ethnic caricatures imaginable. For whatever confluence of reasons, political correctness hasn’t been able to penetrate the video game realm as much as it has other media, and whatever racism you find is largely due to innocent ignorance rather than any calculated agenda.

UPDATE: An e-mail from a reader pointed out that while N’Gai Croal was speaking of racism in the RE5 trailer, this article might be read as Croal’s condemnation of racism in the finished game itself. That would be difficult, since RE5 isn’t scheduled for release until May of of 2009, according to GameStop.

Thus, I’ve edited this article to make it clear that N’Gai’s comments were about the trailer specifically. Personally, I believe that the trailer represents the game, or, more specifically, a segment of the game that the publisher, Capcom, felt good enough about to release at E3 2007 as the official representation of RE5.

Moreover, if the trailer imagery contains elements of racism, it would have to be chopped from the final game entirely to avoid placing those elements into RE5. This could happen if Capcom is thinking about potential negative reactions to the game in the U.S. market. N’Gai comments on this aspect:

I don’t know how Capcom feels about it. I think releasing that game is going to be very difficult. I think there are people and organizations who aren’t very understanding of games that if that imagery is brought to them they’re going to be like, “Wait, hold up. I don’t know how you could put that out.” Then you have to say, “Does Wal-Mart want to deal with that? Does Target want to deal with that?”

I’m not saying that censorship is the answer. I’m saying that the same rights that allow Capcom to put the game out are the same rights that allow people to bring pressure on people who might release that game. This is why it is important to whoever works in the American office of a company like Capcom to be able to show this is the history, this is where this comes from, this is where we need to be more sensitive. I’m not sure they’ve done that yet.

-----

Link to the source of the GamePolitics excerpts:
http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/...has-a-history/

-----

Is this really going to be an issue for Wal-Mart?
diunxx
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:02 PM)
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yeah I was expecting a lot of whites zombies in Haiti *rollseyes*.
∀ Narayan
the carnival of stupid
(04-13-2008, 03:03 PM)
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Well, by that logic - then so is Resident Evil 4.

People need to give this shit a rest.
Wollan
The reason why I will never ever be banned.
(04-13-2008, 03:03 PM)
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I have been blowing up Caucasians for the last ten years in RE, didn't bother me.

Seeing the RE5 trailer, they abducted their own to give them whatever bug/virus, didn't seem like the local folks were picky.

In regards to the events before the infections... I didn't notice anything. People were going about their business. Some stares at the white UN special forces dude.
Last edited by Wollan; 04-13-2008 at 03:13 PM.
DECK'ARD
Banned
(04-13-2008, 03:04 PM)
For fuck's sake.
Doc Evils
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by U K Narayan

Well, by that logic - then so is Resident Evil 4.

People need to give this shit a rest.


I'm surprised nobody picked up on COD4.
Spirit3
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:04 PM)
I must be a very vague human being because I do not see how this game has yet to have racist imagery. Okay, yes, you are killing black Zombies (or whatever). But isn't the game set in Africa? And aren't there a lot of areas in Africa that are reminiscent of what we perceive as Third World? And aren't there a lot of black people in Africa too?

I think this issue will fall flat on it's face, as do all video game related issues. Mass Effect's controversy died down quickly. It's just a bored journalist looking for a new news story.
Ysiadmihi
Banned
(04-13-2008, 03:04 PM)
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Someone is way too oversensitive. And desperate for attention it seems.
DubloSeven
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:04 PM)
No, N'Gai.

Fuck.

I thought you were smarter than this.
Zzoram
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:05 PM)
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He actually says it's not that the zombies are black and being shot by a white protagonist, but that the way they behave before they become zombies, as well as the setting, is what is racist in his opinion.

Personally I think the setting is fine, it looks like a 3rd world country, and that's where it's set. It wouldn't make sense for everyone to be in suits, driving SUVs and coming out of skyscrapers, otherwise it'd be set in New York or something. As for the way the people behave before becoming zombies, I don't know if that's racist.
Funky Papa
FUNK-Y-PPA-4
(04-13-2008, 03:05 PM)
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It’s not as simple as saying, “Oh, they shot Spanish zombies in ‘Resident Evil 4,’ and now ‘black zombies and that’s why people are getting upset.” The imagery is not the same. It doesn’t carry the same history, it doesn’t carry the same weight…

We get it N'Gai, devs can only make games with backgrounds and settings you are comfortable with.
123rl
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:06 PM)
All I read there was "It's racist" and not a single reason why he thinks it. It's set in Africa. Black people live in Africa. Chris is there to investigate and the citizens become infected. This makes them a danger to him and he defends himself. Yeah...that's full of racism. Seriously, it's SO racist
harSon
(04-13-2008, 03:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by diunxx

yeah I was expecting a lot of whites zombies in Haiti *rollseyes*.

Roughly 5 percent of the country is Arab, Asian, European, as well as "White descended" Haitians.
LCGeek
formerly sane
(04-13-2008, 03:07 PM)
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Mario despite being a streotype doesn't really come to the same level RE5 is clearly doing since it was shown. You're not killing mario, he's happy and a bit loony from all the shrooms he's doing.

For the RE4 argument the villagers weren't portraying any racist or streotype of spanish people necessarily. RE5 clearly to some not me, yes I'm black, is hitting a nerve that really shouldn't be touched down upon so lightly. I don't think it's intentionally racist but N'Gai is right some aspects are certainly walking the line of racism.
sprsk
force push the doodoo rock
(04-13-2008, 03:07 PM)
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Not to be an apologist (in which I'm sure many will accuse me of being one) This game is being made by people who don't know dick about what black people went through in this country. I seriously doubt the people designing the game have any idea they are offending anyone at all.



Anywho.
dalyr95
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:07 PM)
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Someone is trying to kill the main character in a country where an ethic group are the majority, be it white americans, black africans, or arabian iraqis, japanese er people in japan. As long as they are portrayed as having a reason to kill and be killed, I don't see the problem, its not like they are portraying blacks as killers for no reason

[EDIT] Its like Zero Punctuation seeing Uncharted as racist, some people over analyse things...
Last edited by dalyr95; 04-13-2008 at 03:14 PM.
DeaconKnowledge
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:08 PM)
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So I see people are going to jump to conclusions instead of reading what was said in the article.
SupahBlah
Banned
(04-13-2008, 03:08 PM)
Resident Evil 4 is racist against Spaniards.

This is why you can't do anything, black enemies? Racist. Black lead character? Racist.

Set games in Europe killing white people and no one cares.
Last edited by SupahBlah; 04-13-2008 at 03:12 PM.
Opus Angelorum
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(04-13-2008, 03:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by sp0rsk

I seriously doubt the people designing the game have any idea they are offending anyone at all.

This.
jett
D-Member
(04-13-2008, 03:08 PM)
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I like N'Gai, but no.
Variable
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:10 PM)
I'm not going to make any judgments until the full game is out, or until we have a good idea what the story of the game is.
Tobor
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A crack addict with a tag!
(04-13-2008, 03:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by sp0rsk

Not to be an apologist (in which I'm sure many will accuse me of being one) This game is being made by people who don't know dick about what black people went through in this country. I seriously doubt the people designing the game have any idea they are offending anyone at all.



Anywho.

I bet they do by now.
monkeylite
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:10 PM)
There is a difference between being a racist and stereotypical. I don't see anyone complaining that whites are often treated as red necks, smoking, foul mouthed idiots or Chinese being constantly portrayed as mobsters.
Onemic
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(04-13-2008, 03:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by 123rl

All I read there was "It's racist" and not a single reason why he thinks it. It's set in Africa. Black people live in Africa. Chris is there to investigate and the citizens become infected. This makes them a danger to him and he defends himself. Yeah...that's full of racism. Seriously, it's SO racist

Please read the article again and then come back and post.
FFChris
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:10 PM)
I'd be interesting to know what parts of the trailer contain the classic racist imagery, as I'm one of those people who 'literally couldn't see it'.

Maybe because I wasn't actively looking for racist elements of the trailer.

Originally Posted by monkeylite

There is a difference between being a racist and stereotypical. I don't see anyone complaining that whites are often treated as red necks, smoking, foul mouthed idiots or Chinese being constantly portrayed as mobsters.

Good point, I can understand where he's coming from if you talk about stereotypes in the trailer, but I guess it's entirely up to you if you consider it racist or not.

Originally Posted by Y2Kev

I definitely see where N'Gai is coming from, and I hope he jumps in the thread to defend himself. Even if the designers of the game are not explicitly "racist" in their intentions, the imagery of RE5 can definitely be construed in a way that would make a lot of people here say, "Stop whining."

Light and darkness? Africans being 'infected'? Ok, now I see it.
Last edited by FFChris; 04-13-2008 at 03:13 PM.
Y2Kev
TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
(04-13-2008, 03:10 PM)
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I definitely see where N'Gai is coming from, and I hope he jumps in the thread to defend himself. Even if the designers of the game are not explicitly "racist" in their intentions, the imagery of RE5 can definitely be construed in a way that would make a lot of people here say, "Stop whining."
vag 2.0
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:11 PM)
I can think of more blatant "racism" in videogames; look at the cast of zany racial stereotypes in Streetfighter II/IV.
F#A#Oo
Banned
(04-13-2008, 03:12 PM)
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Originally Posted by DubloSeven

No, N'Gai.

Fuck.

I thought you were smarter than this.

Yeah...I agree...

Btw Reggie is from Haiti...I wonder how he feels about RE5...
Log4Girlz
(04-13-2008, 03:15 PM)
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If the game is accepted it will only be because people are willing to ignore videogames to an extent and not judge them in the same way as film or television. I think this racial oversensitivity bullshit has to stop and we need to wait for the final game to see what Capcom turns out.
harSon
(04-13-2008, 03:16 PM)
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Is the Resident Evil 4 defense the only thing people can come up with? African descended people have been oppressed for hundreds of years whether it being in the United States, Haiti, or Africa itself. Bill Maher said it best, people can't come off of hundreds of years of slavery, oppression, and racism and expect to be on "equal footing". Like it or not, there is a difference between killing any race in a game (White, Spanish, Asian, etc..) and a white guy killing third world shanty town dwelling Haitians.
jett
D-Member
(04-13-2008, 03:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by Tobor

I bet they do by now.

Hopefully they don't alter the game because of some uptight whiny bitches.

Originally Posted by onemic

Please read the article again and then come back and post.

Have YOU read the article? There's not one example of this "racist imagery".
cw_sasuke
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by DeaconKnowledge

So I see people are going to jump to conclusions instead of reading what was said in the article.


it`s gaf....
Onemic
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(04-13-2008, 03:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by LCGeek

Mario despite being a streotype doesn't really come to the same level RE5 is clearly doing since it was shown. You're not killing mario, he's happy and a bit loony from all the shrooms he's doing.

For the RE4 argument the villagers weren't portraying any racist or streotype of spanish people necessarily. RE5 clearly to some not me, yes I'm black, is hitting a nerve that really shouldn't be touched down upon so lightly. I don't think it's intentionally racist but N'Gai is right some aspects are certainly walking the line of racism.

This man has it right.
rezuth
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:17 PM)
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Originally Posted by DubloSeven

No, N'Gai.

Fuck.

I thought you were smarter than this.

I lost my respect for him :\
Stop It
Perfectly able to grasp the inherent value of the fishing game.
(04-13-2008, 03:17 PM)
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Originally Posted by sp0rsk

Not to be an apologist (in which I'm sure many will accuse me of being one) This game is being made by people who don't know dick about what black people went through in this country. I seriously doubt the people designing the game have any idea they are offending anyone at all.

Anywho.

You do know that makes it worse right? If any media is going to cover a certain subject, at least do the proper research prior to it. IF Capcom are just thinking "Ooh, Haiti, Zombies, they come from there, lets set Resi 5 there!" and making the rest up as they go along, they deserve all criticism that comes their way.

I hope, really hope they aren't that stupid, especially based off what we have seen so far, the game itself may be great, but you can't go around playing to stereotypes and not expect a firestorm to follow it.
Y2Kev
TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
(04-13-2008, 03:17 PM)
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btw, haiti is a last minute cover up. reconcile haiti with that distinctly "muslim"/"arab" music of the trailer from july 2007
Ninja Scooter
bow down to the
Kings in Raider hats
(04-13-2008, 03:17 PM)
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what does he mean by the "imagery"? I mean, isn't there a woman that looks like Aunt Jemima in one of the trailers (seriously), is it stuff like that that is offending N'Gai rather than just the fact that you are killing a bunch of black zombies? I guess its the fact that its not just black people, but impoverished black people. It brings back the kind of imagery that is reminscent of the videos we saw on the news from aftermath of hurricane Katrina. I have to admit when i first saw it i didn't get offended, but i did think "Hmm, this is going to offend somebody...". Its a little touchy because of the history particularly in this country, but i still think its a case of oversensitivity.
Tobor
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(04-13-2008, 03:18 PM)
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This is only the tip of the iceberg. Wait until Capcom USA tries to market RE5 and more and more mainstream media pick up on it. Should be interesting.

How do you make a 30 second spot for this?
Virtua Ben
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(04-13-2008, 03:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zzoram

What was not funny, but sort of interesting [about the controversy], was that there were so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn’t see it…

I know people are bound to disagree with me, but I feel that if gamers don't see "racism" in this game, then it's a good thing. It means we've finally gotten to the point where we don't consciously evaluate everything on terms of race.

Anyways, I'm getting really tired of the topic of "racism" being brought into videogames. I thought games were the one haven I had were I could escape the drone of people claiming other people being racist. N'Gai, I like you, but this shit is stupid.
F#A#Oo
Banned
(04-13-2008, 03:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by sp0rsk

Not to be an apologist (in which I'm sure many will accuse me of being one) This game is being made by people who don't know dick about what black people went through in this country. I seriously doubt the people designing the game have any idea they are offending anyone at all.



Anywho.

Ofcourse do you really think anyone especially a big publisher and developer Capcom would go out of their way to offend?

Well there was that Zack and Wiki Islamic chanting sequence...Ohhh
Onemic
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by jett




Have YOU read the article? There's not one example of this "racist imagery".

Yes I have. He's not talking about the black people being zombies that's racist. He clearly says this multiple time in article, but it seems like no one cares to take notice.

He's talking about the section of the trailer before they turn into zombies. Honestly watch it again, and tell me that the people in that trailer don't already look crazy even before they've turned zombie.
Ysiadmihi
Banned
(04-13-2008, 03:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by harSon

Is the Resident Evil 4 defense the only thing people can come up with? African descended people have been oppressed for hundreds of years whether it being in the United States, Haiti, or Africa itself. Bill Maher said it best, people can't come off of hundreds of years of slavery, oppression, and racism and expect to be on "equal footing". Like it or not, there is a difference between killing any race in a game (White, Spanish, Asian, etc..) and a white guy killing third world shanty town dwelling Haitians.

Wow.
sprsk
force push the doodoo rock
(04-13-2008, 03:19 PM)
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What stereotype? People in poor country are poor? Being racist is saying all black people are stupid, because they're black. These people aren't poor or zombies because they are black. Hell, we hardly know anything about the game's story.

Maybe it's because I'm a white middle class Jew, but I just don't see it!
gofreak
GAF's Bob Woodward
(04-13-2008, 03:20 PM)
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I am sure I have played games where the only colour of the enemies skin was white. I didn't consider it racist.

Unless there is some history of a white cop going into Haiti or Africa or whatever and shooting up black zombies, I'm not sure if that is racist, or evoking past events of racism. Now, if the game was about donning a white hood and hanging black people from trees..then maybe I could see it.

I know there is a history of racism against black people, and I know people are thusly sensitive about the topic. But I don't know if that is really progressing things. No one is asking anyone to forget what happened before, but the day no gives a shit about shooting black enemies in videogames anymore than white enemies in videogames will be a day of true equality.
monkspider
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:20 PM)
N'gai is my favorite figure in games journalism and the one I have the most respect for by far. But I have to say I think he is a bit misguided here. I'm sorry N'gai, I still love you man, but I think you are a bit off-base with this.
∀ Narayan
the carnival of stupid
(04-13-2008, 03:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by Doc Evils

I'm surprised nobody picked up on COD4.

Or, from the looks of it, Metal Gear Solid 4.

Originally Posted by monkspider

But I have to say I think he is a bit misguided here.

Is he misguided, seeking attention, or is he simply a dumbass?
El_TigroX
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by N'Gai Croal

The imagery [in RE4] is not the same. It doesn’t carry the same history, it doesn’t carry the same weight. I don’t know how to explain it more clearly than that.

This line from N'Gai's article is what REALLY bugged me. So oppression of other races or violence against other races does not hold any of the weight or history as violence against black people? I think the Egyptians might have something to say about that - I think Native Americans would have something to say about that - I think Jewish people might have something to say about that.

He holds here, a bit of elitism about oppression - as if black oppression is at the top of some hierarchy pyramid.
flamesofchaos
Member
(04-13-2008, 03:21 PM)

Originally Posted by Zzoram

He actually says it's not that the zombies are black and being shot by a white protagonist, but that the way they behave before they become zombies, as well as the setting, is what is racist in his opinion.

Personally I think the setting is fine, it looks like a 3rd world country, and that's where it's set. It wouldn't make sense for everyone to be in suits, driving SUVs and coming out of skyscrapers, otherwise it'd be set in New York or something. As for the way the people behave before becoming zombies, I don't know if that's racist.


Well what if the Haitian people in the village are conditioned from being in a cult or sect like in RE4?? I this is one of the things that ticks me off about society nowadays either they judge way to quickly on a product thats not finished, blame almost everything on racism or some other BS excuse.
Y2Kev
TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
(04-13-2008, 03:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by GAZERK

I know people are bound to disagree with me, but I feel that if gamers don't see "racism" in this game, then it's a good thing. It means we've finally gotten to the point where we don't consciously evaluate everything on terms of race.

Anyways, I'm getting really tired of the topic of "racism" being brought into videogames. I thought games were the one haven I had were I could escape the drone of people claiming other people being racist. N'Gai, I like you, but this shit is stupid.

A lot of gamers have been pushing for a long time to have games evaluated as art. And if you want that, this is what happens-- video games will be evaluated as art.

I know it bugs a lot of gamers because they want critics not to meddle with their awesome zombie head-blowing-off extravaganza (hey, it's fun, I admit), but I think a lot of people are ignoring what this kind of imagery means to some people.
harSon
(04-13-2008, 03:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ysiadmihi

Wow.

There is a difference, and I'm talking strictly video games here (I hope you were smart enough to figure this out).

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