Sep 30, 2007

Resident Evil 5: Discussing racism

What follows is an article Father Krishna sent me via this amazing new contraption called the e-mail, and one the good Father also posted here. What's more, it's about the lovely non-discussion of RE 5's rather obvious racist imagery. Have a read and speak your mind.
If the trailer for Resident Evil 5 released at E3 this year caused consternation among gamers, it was largely due to the frustrating absence of any footage from the game itself. Indeed, for the vast majority its new, apparently African setting seemed to be a refreshing and evocative change in location for the franchise, and easily the most interesting thing about an uninteresting promo. A few days after the shows conclusion however, the game’s developers were greeted with accusations of casual racism.

In an article for the blog Black Looks, Kym Platt claimed that, intentionally or otherwise, the imagery in the game’s trailer was highly contentious. “The new Resident Evil videogame depicts a white man, in what appears to be Africa, killing black people. The black people are zombies and the white mans job is to destroy them and save humanity,” Platt observed. “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 videogame is marketed to young adults. Start them young…fearing, hating and destroying black people.”

GamePolitics reported on the complaint and was immediately inundated with angry complaints, many of which were laced with the sort of racism their authors insisted was not present in the Resident Evil trailer. “Never have I been so harassed and insulted, and all because I questioned the imagery in this game,” Platt replied. “The response has been horrifying… They called me names like ‘nigger’, ‘bitch’ and ‘whore’.”

While this kind of ignorance doesn’t categorise gamers in general, any regular visitor to the medium’s more popular forums will no doubt have witnessed it before. Another blog, the Young Black Professional’s Guide saw the reaction as no great surprise. “Trying to talk about the sensitivities of race to a gaming demographic is extremely difficult,” it explained. “The majority of readers are young white males who are either too immature to have a clean conversation about it, or too illogical to draw comparisons. I understand the angle some of the mature gamers are taking. Resident Evil has always been about a white guy killing zombies, why should killing zombies in Africa be any different?” it continues. “On the other hand, the images used in the game- already disturbing because its Resident Evil- also reflect hateful images that were real and meant to evoke hate towards black people in the not too distant history of America .”

This seems to be the relevant point, and one that angry gamers are apparently missing. The imagery may not be not be intentionally offensive towards black people, but it is inherently offensive and that should be avoided with just as much diligence. Perhaps if it were a game asking you to guide a plane into a pair of large symmetrical buildings in New York City there would be a greater attempt at understanding. Perhaps if it were a man in military dress gunning down while, shaven-headed emaciated zombies in a Poish field those offended would be shown more compassion.

If Kym Platt’s cautionary words appeared to be reactionary at first, the the response they received was far more so. As the blog Microscopiq commented: “If LocoRoco’s Mojas were a kind of high-tech blackface, Resident Evil 5 takes blackface into the high definition era. Its horror alright, just not the kind of horror Capcom intended.”

Related @ Gnome's Lair: The Wind That Shakes The Barley, On video game reviews, Appropriately sick video games


  1. There's a prejudiced view of Africans as a violent, subhuman mob of gibbering animals. With RE5, Capcom definitely seem to be playing on this image. They're not doing it because they're a part of some global conspiracy to oppress Africans and ban Christmas - they're doing it unthinkingly, because they're prejudiced.

    These days people will only agree to it being racism if someone dressed in a white sheet is burning crosses. But this kind of 'casual' prejudice is just as bad - if not worse, because few people seem to recognise it for what it is.

  2. Games have given us the opportunity to blow the heads of child-like beings, batter prostitutes to death with baseball bats and garotte, blow up and disembowel our foes.

    Many game titles have placed us in the contentious role of Western soldiers slaughtering our arab and muslim brothers. No one cried stop

    But when the subject matter of a game becomes so unbalanced as Resi 5 appears to be then it's time to call halt. When people are openly condemned for voicing their opinion then it's time to shout even louder.

    I find it hard to believe the developers never considered the obvious, If no changes are made and the game passes the censors office then censorship ain't worth squat!!! but no difference this gamer won't be adding to Capcoms coffers... they'll be plenty of zombies to kill elsewhere.

  3. Anyone who says any game is racist is ignorant.

  4. "Anyone who says any game is racist is ignorant."

    Really? When the point has just been so eloquently summed up by Elderly (and Pacian for that matter) I find it hard to believe you could say that Funnyman...

    Thanks for posting the article Gnome!

  5. Why is it hard to believe? I am a gamer, not a racist.

  6. Oh dear... This was always going to be a difficult one... (and I'm sorry Gnome for thrusting something weighty into a usually lighthearted and upbeat blog)

    Funnyman, the accusation of casual racism is aimed at the developers at Capcom, not you. It's one of unintentional racism and playing around with imagery that has connotations of racism without malicious intent.

    To state that your a gamer and not a racist is something I'm very glad to hear... However, from the stereotypes within GTA:San Andreas, to the blackface stereotypes within Dragonball z and Pokemon, please remember that the gaming industry (like all other media) is prone to flooding the mass market with racist imagery.

    We should be vigilant about racism in all its forms, as it is an odious aspect of human nature...

    Even if the RE5 issue turns out to be a lot of fuss about nothing, then I'd rather raise a 'false alarm' than let casual racism go unchecked or unnoticed.

    As gamers, we should recognise our favourite media as an art form. But art can be, and has been used to promote all kind of agendas, and we should be wise to this fact.

    I think the wise and sage like Elderly summed up the situation most fabulously, and I'm struggling to find any words that will add to, or top what he said. Please re-read what he wrote, and spend some time reflecting on it.

    All of us are capable of being racist in one way or another, but the first thing we can do to change that is to recognise that fact and address it. In doing so we can then move forward.

  7. How would Capcom change the game around though?

  8. How would Capcom change the game around though?

    a) Rewrite significant portions of the game from scratch, retaining whatever they can. Something about that screenshot reminds me of the marvellous film City of God. If the setting was a multi-ethnic Brazilian favela, they might be able to retain that sense of something new and foreign (to both the player and the series) as long as "multi-ethnic" wasn't merely shorthand for "non-white" and the end result didn't resemble GTA too much. That's also provided that the spotlight of scrutiny didn't see them excoriated for making as an alternative something that they might have been lauded for were it sold as the original concept.

    b) Palette swap. I'm serious. Artistic concerns and cultural sensitivity go right out the window when there's a big name game to sell. We've seen games released with green/yellow/no blood or ham-fisted replacement of all Nazi imagery. Who's to say that Capcom aren't actually stupid enough to think that making the black zombies white in the US and European releases solves everything?

    c) Brazen it out. Refuse to engage with the debate, continue to promote the game on its atypical setting, but switch focus on the non-human adversaries such as rabid dogs, and heavily-mutated bosses in their future trailers. Most likely outcome IMHO.

  9. Pacian, I couldn't agree more. Well, actualy, I could if you had pointed out that the step from casual to proper racism is but a small one. After all the (mainstream) video games industry is generally biggoted and extremely pushy in its propaganda...

    As is usual Elderly dear, I agree with your point too. The slaughter of vast ammounts of non-Aryan people is indeed disturbing, even though white capitalists have done it for years and are still going on with their rampage. Especially the facsist attempts to stop the discussion are infuriating. As for censorship it aint worth squat no matter what...

    Funnyman, your comment doesn't even resemble an argument. Then again to put it your way "Anyone who says RE5 is not racist is a fascist". Happy?

    Father, actually I admire your calmness AND thank you for another chance at addressing some serious matters that have to do with video gaming. After all gaming doesn't happen outside society... Oh, and I'm not capable of being racist... Could split a fascist skull though... Happily.

    Wow kde, you provided me, Capcom and ross with a most impressive answer... Then again I don't believe Capcom will even care...

  10. Hmmm...interesting topic. I for one can't really say I find Resident Evil 5 racist. No need to convince me, I've read all the comments and got your point.

    Still the game takes place in Africa...where all the tribes, countries, kingdoms and whatnot have a mainly black population. So white people can't kill evil black people( in a game) just because that comes off as racist? So Africa is off limits to developers unless they have a black lead. Still many black leads have gone on killing sprees in Europe and America in a number of games.

    I feel sometimes this whole racism issue is blown out of proportion. Why does it always come to this when a black person is somehow hurt by a white person and at the same time it never comes into question when it's the other way around. Oh yeah we hurt them for fun and they do it because they're so poor right? please...

    I hate racism, I think it's stupid...but going to the opposite extreme is just as stupid. We need to find a balance.

  11. Actually I think there can't and shouldn't be balance. I see how you feel, but I just don't think one can forget centuries of oppresion, murder and inhuman exploitation, or ignore what's going on now. Yes, now. Did you know that in LA only there's more than one raceial hatred crime everyday. Obviously racial hatred isn't as general as it sounds. It's from whites towards blacks....

    So, you see, it's just not the same having a black shoot a white and a white guy shooting a black guy, especially one dressed in stereotypical clothing...

  12. I can't say I agree with any of you. I just don't see why we should make an entire continent off limits in gaming just because it pushes limits. Games are supposed to be an art form. How is killing zombies racism?

    At this point in the development process, it is too early to say what the game will be like. How can any of us know if the whole game is set in Africa, all about slaughtering zombies because they are black savages, not because they are infected with a virus? I agree that the trailer is in bad taste, but it's not fair to just say it shows racial prejudice. Why was there no outcry in RE4, when you were a white man killing Spanish savages? Or in zombie movies, such as 28 Days Later, why is there no problem with black zombies? Instantly saying that the developers of this game are prejudiced, unthinkingly letting their true racist views affect their game design carries this a bit too far

    I would find this a problem if only Africans were zombies, and no others, but there is no way to convey a sense of a virus spreading worldwide without showing people from all parts of the world. It is too early now to condemn the game, we need to wait until Capcom reveals more details about RE5.

  13. I doubt those are zombies in RE 5 ithmeer.

    There is no ambiguity in my comment gnome. I meant every word of it. I do not know how you can interpret my comment “Anyone who says any game is racist is ignorant” to mean “Anyone who says RE5 is not racist is a fascist.” That is a significant misinterpretation. The answer to your question an emphatic no. I am not happy.

  14. It is disturbing to portray a white man mowing down mindless black savages; it hits too close to home for far too many. There is real oppression and real violence being perpetrated against blacks by whites (and other blacks) all over the world. Playing to that stereotype isn't helping anyone move beyond this.

    I also agree that it is crazy to call a whole continent off-limits just because some people don't like it. This is not to say that the imagery in RE5 is not racist: it certainly is. The creators of the game should have recognized this and sidestepped this whole uproar.

    But if we recognize games as art then they should be protected from censorship; art is the expression of the soul, be it good, bad or ugly. This is a private company producing a work of art for the private consumption by adults (RE has an M rating). Adults are supposed to be sophisticated enough to understand the subtext of a work, to identify the authorial voice in a work, and to decide for themselves what to take away. If the game is trying to say something, I say let them say it.

    Sadly, I don't think RE5 is trying to "say" much of anything, and as such it ends up being blatantly racist imagery with supporting artistic point to justify it. In that case, it ceases to be art and is just pointless and racist.

  15. Ithmeer, I still believe its racist imagery, even though we can easily consider it art. After all both Nazi Germany and fascist Italy were quite strong on the art bit. Rieffenstahl for example. Oh, and as noted above, ages of abusing blacks, colonialism etc make the killing of a white zombie vastly different from a white one...

    Oviously red bull I agree with you. And obviously am against censorship of all kinds, regardless if its on art or anything else. Then again, criticizing is not censorshirng... :)

    I didn't say that funnyman... Read my comment again. Mostly hinted at your lack of arguments...

  16. Another possibility . . . make the protagonist black.

    I don't believe that Capcom is racist, or, more accurately, I've not seen evidence that they are.

    The problem is this: imagery is a very loose thing to play with. I assumed that the choice of Africa as a setting grew of out a connection with voodoo. I can see without thinking that they wound up with a white character shooting African zombies for non-racist reasons. The problem came in the review: they didn't think about different reactions or cultural perspectives.

    My flippant response with all the shooters, every ethnic group is bound to be a target. But that is the danger of the shooter game: it makes a very visceral statement that is hard to ignore.

    Take the genre and the skin colors of the protagonist and the zombies, and you have a very unsettling statement right there. It's so blatantly makes a statement about race that I find it hard to believe Capcom missed it. Do we really believe, for example, that Sony honestly never saw the racism in their PSP ad?

  17. I think it's time to stop thinking in black and white. Interpreting racism into things where it doesn't necessarily exist is silly, and seems more racist to me.
    It even sounds to me like some people are saying that the zombies are too similar to Africans (which doesn't need to be explained why it's racist and prejudice).

    Racism is an important issue, and something that should be prevented. But saying that there's a difference between a black man killing a white man, and a white man killing a black man is beyond me. Both are humans, nothing else. Blacks aren't worth more than whites, and whites aren't more worth than blacks.

    And I'm quite sure that there's black people in the game that are portrayed as "good".

    Also, if the zombies were indians/native americans, I'm sure no one would have cared about it at all.

    Again, this is silly. Censorship and anger should be saved for more important issues.

  18. Gnome, the racial tension in L.A. is mostly Hispanic gangs versus African-American gangs, not blacks versus whites.

    But if this is considered racist then RE4 should have been as well, since you are essentially doing the same thing as in RE5, only with Spanish people/zombies in place of the black (African or Haitian, wherever the location in RE5 is confirmed to be).

    At my local Wal-Mart however I remember Haitian residents were protesting against Grand Theft Auto Vice City.

  19. I think that most people who understand the argument properly do see the imagery as racist. But the question remains: what of it? What should Capcom do in response to the outcry?

    I don't know what they should do, but I can tell you what they will do: nothing. RE5 will sell a ton of copies to their core audience, made up primarily of young white men, who care more about playing what their friends are playing than they do about making abstract political statements by boycotting a product. The imagery is perpetuated, and stereotypes persist because they are just reflections of the cultures that are creating and buying these games.

  20. my fear red bull is that you will be proved absolutely right, that's probably why im so pissed, not that i'd imagine the imagery would be too popular with black gamers.

    I can only cringe thinking that in due course we'll be given the opportunity of rounding up concentration camp Zombies and gassing them, or flying a plane into twin skycrapers full of Zombies or... are we to become so de-sensitised to recent history that we fail to recognise the affront to our humanity... that make me incredible sad!!

  21. I apologize for injecting politics, but it's relevant as Michael Medved argues that, hey, slavery wasn't that bad.

    I mean, how far gone do you have to be to argue some of these points? Simply by contrasting it with genocide, Medved tries to portray slave owners as caring about their slaves' health and well being.

    Lee Atwater understood how to modify and use the rhetoric of bigotry:

    "You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say 'nigger'—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites."

    There is good reason minorities are pointing out these subtle and not-so-subtle images of racism.

  22. Are there any black people in the game that shouldn't be killed?

  23. Good points, all of you. There is a lot more to this than I first thought.

  24. I blogged about this way back in August.

    I dunno. I think that while the promos might be considered racist I do not believe that the people making the arguements against it are making a good case.

    The one woman said that this game is targeted toward children and teaches them to kill black people.

    Yes, you can say that people need to be aware of racist tones in games.

    There are certainly people that are still racist in the world.

    But, is limiting what game designers can do because some people might think it's racist really going to do anything to solve the problem? After this can we really have any games set in Africa were the player character has always been a white person?

    Games can be racist. Back in the day there was a huge backlash against a Nazi Concentration camp game for the PC.

    Is this RE5 game racist enough to support the killing of black people? No.

    Is it not racist at all? No.

    If I ever play the final game I will tell you what I think.

    It's tough for me to get my head around this because I live in the Northern parts of Amercia. What problems minorities have in this area seem to have been created by the drug problem that is effected everyone regardless of skin color, not racism by anyone else.

    I spend most of time at the library reference desk teaching basic computer skills to low income people of all colors. I do not see how censoring a game can make anyones life better.

    Alot of people are simply wasting time looking for racism and not solving the basic problems that ALL low income people have.

  25. Guttertalk: Make the protagonist black... Know what? It would certainly be much better I believe... As for Capcom being racist, I really wouldn't know but as you say this was striking imagery. Showing it to non-gamers (obviously and unfairly out of context) can be quite enlightening. BTW, I didn't find the PSP ad racist, though I can see why some people couldn't help but be shocked. Oh,and this blog you linked to.. oh dear... bloody fascists...

    Cactus: Life is indeed a virtue per se, but we're talking about imagery. The oppressor and the oppressed just can't be seen as the same thing. It would be like ignoring both history and the present state of things. It's thus a matter of social context. Oh, and indians would be the same thing exactly. As for censorship, well, nobody asked for it. One of the main points of the post was the attempted censoring of people criticizing the game's trailer.

    Ross: Actually I'm refering to the violence of "Aryan" fascist gangs and the LAPD versus blacks and South Americans. May I suggest having a look at "The Ecology of Fear" (or "City of Quartz" by SouthCall professor Mike Davis?

    Red Bull: Couldn't really agree more my friend...

    Elderly: A terrifying thought indeed dear Elderly and one I think will unfortunately soon be realized... Unless of course something happens...

    Chentzilla: Don't really and probably will never find out ;)

    ithmeer: :)

    Caleb: I do believe that racism is indeed a class issue. At least partially... Oh, and no, nobody asked for censorship... Generally I do agree agree with most of the points you raised.

  26. The protagonist can't be black. Chris was white as white can get in Code Veronica, so I doubt that he can change his complexion to black in a matter of minutes. Unless Chris wants to apply make-up or something. But doing that would be tedious. All of the black characters were either cut open or eaten by zombies in the first 3 RE games. RE 4 didn't have any black characters in it, so Capcom has to stay with Chris as the protagonist.

  27. Well, yes, but it's not so much on RE continuity but more on imagery...

  28. How very chap-ish! Tea it is then...

  29. yep tea cures alot... here ya go (hand Gnome steaming hot mug of tea...) mind your lips it's hot... kettles broken, had to microwave the water.....

  30. Interesting read Gnome. As you've stated, although the game is quite obviously not intentionally racist the imagery is nevertheless disturbing and portrays a negative stereotypical image. I would have like to have been a fly on that wall in some of the brainstorming sessions behind the design of the game - surely Capcom *must* have realised the controversy that this concept would cause?

    When described to non-gamers here in the office (I'm at work) my colleagues were unanimously shocked that a major company like Capcom would be as foolish to create a game in which you essentially play as a white military character in Africa massacring black 'zombies'. It's just asking for trouble.

    I agree with Ross that on a base level, the concept of this game is no more racist than RE4. However, when you place screenshots from both games side by side the imagery from RE5 is clearly more powerful and controversial, especially in these days of extreme political-correctness. The media will have a field day when the game is released – after all, the visual impact of the above picture is really stunning; I ask you - without prior knowledge of the R.E. franchise would you *really* be able to identify the people depicted above as zombies? The non-gaming public will see the image for what it visually represents; a white 'hero' attacking unarmed African/Haitian natives – and the game will no doubt be condoned for it by the media. No wonder Capcom keep on pushing back the release date...

  31. I absolutely agree James. Same thing happened with coworkes non console gaming friends of mine too... One of them even said it's "typical fascists bollocks" and went on mumbling about molotov cocktails and stuff... Weird bloke really ;)

    Oh, and didn't kow they were pushing back that released date... Guess they might have figured it out... Good.

    Thanks for comenting mate. Much appreciated. Cheers!

  32. You know what other game will have you killing black people almost exclusively? JAZZ: Hired Guns by GFI Russia (aka Mistland). They were making Jagged Alliance 3, lost the deal, and continued to make the game under other name. It takes place in Africa, but it's not elephants you are hunting...

    Don't know about actual JA3, though...

  33. You're kidding me right? That's way too much... Bah! If only Lenin had survived a few more years...

  34. "Games have given us the opportunity to blow the heads of child-like beings, batter prostitutes to death with baseball bats and garotte, blow up and disembowel our foes.

    Many game titles have placed us in the contentious role of Western soldiers slaughtering our arab and muslim brothers. No one cried stop.

    But when the subject matter of a game becomes so unbalanced as Resi 5 appears to be then it's time to call halt. When people are openly condemned for voicing their opinion then it's time to shout even louder.

    I find it hard to believe the developers never considered the obvious, If no changes are made and the game passes the censors office then censorship ain't worth squat!!! but no difference this gamer won't be adding to Capcoms coffers... they'll be plenty of zombies to kill elsewhere."
    --The Elder (here on this topic)

    I agree completely with what The Elder has said in the first two paragraphs. Games nowadays have always had an extraordinary amount of violence against the "good" (i.e. defenseless creatures), the "bad" (i.e. "bad" cultural groups), and the "ugly" (i.e. the "ugly" parts of society, like hookers). They won't stop either. People just keep loving the games too much.

    However, the last two paragraphs of what he had said disappoint me. You want to stop the violence against just the Africans? What about all the other cultural groups??? You think that only this group should be not hurt when other groups have been hurt so much more and SO MUCH MORE DIRECTLY?

    I honestly believe that if you want to stop violence against one group, you have to stop violence against all groups. And if you do not support this, then maybe you are the one who is actually prejudiced.

    This type of discussion always aggravates me. Everyone still makes these groups sound different when they should just be the same as everyone else. African Americans, natives, and others like these cultural groups who get so many "rights" when really, it is just doing the opposite... These "rights", "unions", and everything else tears them apart from everyone else. That is why others are still indirectly prejudiced and these groups still have problems like what we are discussing right now.

    All of what I said is why we still refer to them as "them".

  35. Vezira, let me just point out that not all "groups" are equal. Some are oppressing others and equalizing the oppressor with the oppressed isn't the greatest idea...

  36. You are meaning to say that prostitutes that sometimes have no choice to do what they do, babies, and Muslims that are not part of an aggressive force are all oppresive? Let me reiterate the Muslims part... Most Muslims are NOT bad, unlike what the American government is brainwashing you to believe.

    Ok, let me just say that I actually have no problem with people fighting all these different groups. All that I am trying to say that is one group should not be treated differently in being portrayed in games (i.e. the censorship of African zombies being shot by a white man) when there is some definite unfair treatment of other groups as well.

    I can understand why some oppressive groups are being shot at in video games. However, there are still some groups that are being shot at in video games just like the Africans that also have caused no harm.

    I'll now reiterate my argument: All groups that have caused no harm should be treated equally.

    (Thank you everone for not acting like an idiot (i.e. calling me a hag's b*tch or something like that lol) on this topic. I know it is a very touchy subject and so I'm glad people are acting so far!)

  37. Actually no, that's not what I meant to say. What I actually meant is that violence (verbal or not) against the oppressor is not the same as violence (verbal or not) against the oppressed. And I don't really like oppressors...

    Besides, I have nothing against prostitutes, Muslims and babies. It's invading imperialists that are my problem...

    Anyway, I see what you mean and -if I got it correctly- I quite agree.

  38. I'm disappointed that nobody addressed the issue, raised by several commentators, that nobody objected to the previous RE games, particularly the previous one wherein you killed Spanish zombies. Victimization and exceptionalism is a dangerous road to head down. What will we be left with? Bland games with no specifics, as it would certainly offend someone. And why stop with games? Television and literature could easily be subject to this sort of censorship as well.

    Keep in mind that I am sympathetic the objection to the imagery in the game, but I'm just all together disappointed that there is no nuanced view of the potential ramifications of this sort of thinking.

    Finally, to the person who wrote that they doubted the black people in RE5 were zombies: have you ever actually played a Resident Evil game? The villains are zombies-- that is what the entire plot is all about.

    (And yes, I know this is a comment on an old post, but I wanted to say a couple things.)

  39. Actually, I'm pretty sure I've answered on the topic raised...

  40. Wow, I just absolutely love the fact that people completely ignore the fact that Resident Evil 4 had you playing as a white man killing spaniards, yet, people completely bypass that and automatically say there's something wrong with RE5. I myself am of hispanic descent, and the fact that they were spanish in RE4 didn't bother me in the slightest way, not one bit. In fact, I liked it. Let's take some opinions from some black people, and see what they think.

    Capcom certainly knows what they're doing and is obviously prepared to deal with this sort of thing. I bet they KNEW people would react in this sort of way.

    And on another note, games will only affect kids who are very impressionable. Is it the games, and the game companies that are at fault? No. Blame the irresponsible parents for allowing their child to play the god damn game.

  41. Actually Chayanne, the comparison to RE4 has already been discussed. At length I believe. Oh, and it was blacks that actually started not really enjoying the games imagery... Check the links...

  42. We don't really know if Mr. Redfield is white at all. He could be, as I myself am, a very light hispanic. No one's ever said in-game that he was of any white descent.

    Before we go pointing fingers saying "Omg racist!" We should actually try to gather some information on Redfield's background.

    Some people have said that Redfield's mixed, others just say that because he looks white, he is white.

    Let's not judge a book by its cover here.

  43. I see what you are saying here anonymous, but I strongly believe it's another subject altogether. Let us not forget that what's under discussion here is the imagery and the attack towards people pointing out it's racist...

  44. My opinions have been changing a bit about this every so often, but as of now, this is what I could come up with:

    I think we should just wait for the game to be released, and wait until we actually see the plot and story behind all of this, I mean hey, to me, racism is fine, everyone's racist, there's no denying that.

    Granted the press will have a field day with RE5, acting as if this is the worst thing that's ever been done.

    But, I really don't feel we should begin pointing fingers, although I really hope that Capcom knows what they're doing.

    I really hope that all the controversy stops, and people realize that it's just a game, and it shouldn't be taken too seriously. I still have a huge intention on playing the game, and enjoying it to fullest extent, regardless of whether or not it makes me a "nigger killer".

  45. Actually, to me racism is not fine and is instead something that has to be crushed. Also not everyone is racist...

  46. I really do not see why this game is racist. It is not racist because we are killing zombies not humans.

    Whoever thinks this is racist is the one being RACIST, just because they are black all of a sudden it is wrong. These communities really have many rights that all the other communities and social groups. Do they not realize that they are not the only ones being victimized by video games, Muslims, Russians and Germans are constantly, game after game being killed by the masses by American troops. I can name tons of games such.

    Do they not not realize in San Andreas you are an African-American antagonist shooting and killing many innocent white people. To my opinion black people should lighten up. When you see a show making fun of Arabs or the Muslim religion everybody laughs and it is a big joke in the USA, all the Muslims do not like it but they are decent enough to let people have their joke. As soon as BLACKS are victim OH NO THIS SHOW IS RACIST on all the newspapers and everyone talks bad about it.

    My question is, Are we racist playing Call of Duty? Are we really the racist ones or do black people take advantage of racism for personal benefits?

  47. Please do not call me racist I am an African Muslim, so I am covered. I am also angry because many of the black people who waste their time saying things are racist are not real Africans and should stop considering themselves African. If your family has been in a country for more than 3 generations you can no longer say you are one of them. Africans are much better behaved then th black community I am seeing in America, and I, myself can not wait to play Resident Evil 5, I have been a fan since Director's Cut.

  48. Ok then. First I urge you to please reread the post and see that it doesn't claim the game is racist per se, but tends to focus on the way racist hysterically reacted when people actually pointed out the inherent racism in the trailer. Now, the easy part...

    "Whoever thinks this is racist is the one being RACIST, just because they are black all of a sudden it is wrong."

    Absolutely ridiculous. I could as easily claim that anyone claiming this game in not racist, is -well, you guessed it- racist. Oh, and it's rather obvious that the fact that the people being shot are Blacks in Africa did help people see the problem.

    "These communities really have many rights that all the other communities and social groups."

    Communities in Africa? Rights? What right? To die in their millions before they reach the age of 15?

    "Do they not realize that they are not the only ones being victimized by video games, Muslims, Russians and Germans are constantly, game after game being killed by the masses by American troops. I can name tons of games such."

    And so can I. Oh, and actually I agree. There are quite a few (though not that few) racist games and millions of militaristic/fascist ones.

    "Do they not not realize in San Andreas you are an African-American antagonist shooting and killing many innocent white people."

    Yes, that's quite racist, though admittedly in a very light-hearted way. The criminalized poor are after all just that. Criminalized.

    "To my opinion black people should lighten up."

    No. They shouldn't. And I sincerely hope they wont. Sorry.

    "When you see a show making fun of Arabs or the Muslim religion everybody laughs and it is a big joke in the USA, all the Muslims do not like it but they are decent enough to let people have their joke. As soon as BLACKS are victim OH NO THIS SHOW IS RACIST on all the newspapers and everyone talks bad about it."

    Actually it's the same problem when a whole group of people are so categorized. Besides, I don't think it's funny shooting Arabs. Or Blacks. Or Hispanics. Or whites. Nazis, on the other hand, feel just perfect. See? It's political...

    "My question is, Are we racist playing Call of Duty?"

    Not necessarily no.

    "Are we really the racist ones or do black people take advantage of racism for personal benefits?"

    Now you are being so stereotypically racist it's almost funny. Sorry. Didn't mean to offend you but...

    "Please do not call me racist I am an African Muslim, so I am covered."

    No, you're not.

    "I am also angry because many of the black people who waste their time saying things are racist are not real Africans and should stop considering themselves African. If your family has been in a country for more than 3 generations you can no longer say you are one of them."

    You have so missed the point. Africa in their case is like an ideal. A flag. It cant be erased. They were abducted from it hundreds of years ago, were enslaved and are still being oppressed and brutalized.

    "Africans are much better behaved then th black community I am seeing in America, and I, myself can not wait to play Resident Evil 5, I have been a fan since Director's Cut. "

    Better behaved? Are you serious? Behaved according to who? You? Ridiculous! Better go and wait for RE 5 methinks.

  49. "everyone's racist, there's no denying that."


    "Actually, to me racism is not fine and is instead something that has to be crushed."

    Racism is what keeps this world alive, and different. Whether it be a bad thing, or a good thing, racism is something that shouldn't be crushed, because without it, the world wouldn't be as diverse as it already is.

    Stop trying to be some sort of idealist hero.

    If you truly want to eliminate racism, you'd have to eliminate ALL Races.

    I'm going to stop here before I get ahead of myself, and forget what I else I have to say...

    Oh &
    "Also not everyone is racist..."

    What fantasy world do you live in, little gnome?

    Do you have unicorns running around in the streets, little gnome?

    Does everyone live in a little hovel, and are they also little gnomes, like you little gnome?

    I just laughed when I saw you say that everyone's not racist.

    Whether or not you want to believe it, it's true, little gnome.

    Go live in your fantasy world, with your unicorns, rainbow trees, and little hovels, little gnome.

  50. Before I go...

    "Africans are much better behaved then th black community I am seeing in America, and I, myself can not wait to play Resident Evil 5, I have been a fan since Director's Cut. "

    Better behaved? Are you serious? Behaved according to who? You? Ridiculous! Better go and wait for RE 5 methinks."

    BAM! There you have it, folks!

    THAT is an example of racism!

  51. Four Chun, do you even know what racism actually means? It seems that you most definitely don't. Oh, and just to give you a hint, racism isn't the mere co-existence of different races, you know.

    Tip 2: You can't imagine how easy it is to actually eliminate racism. Then again you obviously don't know the history of the phenomenon, so it would be rather futile trying to explain stuff.

    Tip 3: Expressing such obviously fascist ideas on the streets can be rather dangerous you know...

    And in my world, my city, little fascists don't last a bloody day, and apparently don't enjoy having their legs broken either. Arizona, you see, isn't (thankfully) the world.

    Now, try to find examples that actually make sense.

    Bah! Cretins...

  52. Arizona, huh?

    Well, that explains a HELL of a lot.

  53. THIS is why we don't let gnomes use the interwebs.

    Because of their tendancy to place themselves higher than others.

    Damn short little bastards...

  54. I could answer but it just wouldn't be appropriately polite... So, I'll pass.

  55. Ok here's the truth. I'm a minority too, but unlike most I will at least admit when things AREN'T racist. You need to realize it's just a game...a game that takes place in Africa. I don't think anybody in the African American community would even care if the game took place in a different place...let's say China. Would this even be a subject if the game was placed in China? No, it wouldn't. How about if the game took place in India? Nope, still wouldn't be racist. Truth is, the game isn't racist and if it is, then the rest of the Resident Evil games that were already made are racist towards white people. Since all the zombies were mainly white...

  56. A few points:

    1. The "it's just a game argument" has no meaning whatsoever. It's exactly on par with the "it's just a book" argument when describing Hitler's Mein Kampf really. It's not a matter of medium.

    2. What you think about the African American community doesn't matter either. Why should we care? Are you a sociologist? What data are you using? Besides, I could easily argue what you're thinking is 100% wrong.

    3. And the game would be racist if it took place in India.

    Now, if you would all bother and read comments posted so far... You just keep saying the same things....

  57. Looks like anonymous guy just owned you. He's right. It's in Africa, what do you expect? It's nothing racsist, it's just a change of scenary. Also comparing a book by Hitler and a game by Capcom is a bit extreme. If you really don't like the fact that you have to shoot black people, play Resident Evil 4...where you can shoot Spaniards, I'm sure you have no problem with that.

  58. Here's a real racist comment.

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


  59. You're boring me, sad little racists... I've already answered at the same thing over a dozen times... Bother to read...

  60. We've all read and we all know that you haven't once responded with a logical argument to support your theory that the game's racist. I'm with you on racism, I can't stand it. Although I hate people that wave the race card around at everything too. When you mention hundreds of years of oppression and all of that jazz... yes we're all very sorry for what the white man has done to you. Key thing is YOU'RE NOT BEING OPPRESSED ANYMORE. If having a whole month dedicated to the history of the people, being able to say whatever I want, rolling around in Escalades, having special college funds, musicians making millions, a part of "the struggle"; where do I go to sign up?

  61. Ok then, for the final time I'll say it again. The image of a white-man shooting blacks in an African is either intentionally or not racist. The whole point of the original post was how hysericaly racists actually responded to the thing. The game might not be racist, but it definitely can easily be conceived as such.

    Now, as I am neither black nor oppressed, but definitely know very well what's going on around the world, and I can definitely tell you that the vast majority of Africans is not only being oppressed but outright murdered. Now, if you don't believe me, frankly, I just don't care. Finding out what's going on is so damn simple...

    As for your lovely "democratic" country and the Blacks living in it, I suggest you read the "City of Quartz". Might do you some good...

  62. Calling somebody a racist is a big accusation. Everybody's a little racist...we all need to love eachother and get RE5. Maybe RE6 will be in Beverly Hills. =P

  63. I'll just add that I'm not racist at all and leave this discussion to die... Besides, I'm quite bored of the RE shallowness...

  64. The thought never crossed my mind that this game was racist. Maybe I would have made a joke about it: "OMGZ I'M KILLING TEH BLACK PEOPLE"....but it's placed in Africa...this is where Africans (black people) live. Holy crap, no way.

    You know what this means? Whenever someone is killed or stolen from, it's not because they were in the way or had something of value, no, it's because they were a different race.

    I'm going to kill you because you're a zombie...nothing more nothing less.

  65. So if I am understanding the general consensus out there it's this "no white guy / gal in anything resembling a uniform is allowed to kill or appear to kill one or more dark skinned individuals, if it appears their ancestry is African. If they are plainly identified as dark skinned Arabic's or Europeans then it's not as bad."

    So in other words all antagonists need to be amorphous blobs that are not identifiable as resembling: animals (ASPCA / PETA), people (Amnesty International / AACP / Antidefamation League), children (separate from people in general as they have their own protectors, UNESCO / Feed the Children) or of readily identifiable Earthly origin?

    Because the Danes (oops Danish) oppressed the Swedish,
    the English oppressed everybody (back then),
    the Americans oppressed the blacks (but now they have lawyers) / Hispanics / Native western hemisphere - northern continent indigenous people / Hispanic / Latinos from Central America / the Cubans / the Japanese / Arabs / Koreans / Vietnamese / Laotians / Cambodians,
    the Spanish and Portuguese oppressed anyone living in South America, Africa and many Pacific Islands,
    the Japanese oppressed the Chinese,
    the Chinese oppressed the Koreans / and each other,
    the Russians oppressed everyone to the west and east of them,
    the Africans oppressed each other (tribal based, still occurring today so that is why you can't have a black protagonist and a black antagonist),
    the jesish people oppressed everyone near them,
    the Catholics oppressed everyone not Catholic, the protestants oppressed the Jewish people (I didn't say Jews as someone might get offended),
    teh rich oppress the poor,
    the poor oppress each other,
    men oppress women,
    women oppress ... hmmm oh yeah other women.

    You know what I've noticed while writing this list? Everyone oppresses anyone who is not like themselves!

    So basically because everyone has oppressed and mistreated everyone else we really should not have any readily identifiable humanoids in games or movies. Pacman for games and really crappy anime for movies.

    Uncle Toms Cabin should be burned, the Bible should be burned , the Qumran (never am sure how to spell that as it seems to have multiple spellings every time I see it in print) should be burned. Any book, movie, poem or activity which somehow shows that people are different from each other or identifies how they have misbehaved towards each other should be removed from existence. Period!

    part 1

  66. part 2

    So where are we?

    Hmm in South America we have a basic Hispanic / Portuguese / Native population, so if they became zombies / infected with a virus that made them kill then I wonder what they would look like from a first person perspective? And if it was Europe is it possible they might be mostly fairly pale colored of skin? And if it were to affect those in China, Japan, Korea or anywhere in SE Asia (mainland mostly, not the islands) do you think they might look similar to each other?

    So lets turn our attention to the protagonist? Maybe we allow the player define their own skin color / sex or make that person look like a grey / gray Ziggy Stardust?

    And don't go all sanctimonious on me because I've seen racism in the Northern states of America worse than in the South. I've seen racism in Europe, I've seen it in white neighborhoods and black (and yes here is a shocker neighborhoods are sometimes segregated by race, income and education level < gasp > whoda thought. Guess who primarily persecutes Latinos in America? Whites? hahaha NO! Blacks.

    So in conclusion. it's a game, it has a protagonist from < somewhere > who is in < some country >, killing infected < mostly indigenous people because they are the ones who live there > zombies and killer monsters.

    Either you get pissed about ALL OF THE GAMES or you don't get carried away by any of them. You can not logically get offended simply because the locale changed!!!!! And you can talk your way around that all you want but that is the way it is, you must apply the exact same rules in all situations!

    Now respond how you wish because I stumbled on this thread and I'll likely never find it again. And it makes no difference how your respond because NO ONE has yet to create an internally consistent logical argument that this game is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT than any prior game. This is not the Sony PSP advertisement (which to me I saw as a woman and a man not a white and a black).