Okay, so there’s this. In case you’re a non-clicker-reader, that link talks about yet another irritating outsider writing up a loony article about racism in games. “Why is it loony?” you might ask, heart all a-flutter. Not because there’s not racism in games, oh no. It’s because the examples they pick out are absolutely, one hundred percent off the mark and racist free. Let’s take a quick look, shall we?
The first “Racism In Games” media outbreak I heard of was when early footage of Resident Evil 5 was shown:
It basically showed our hero Chris Redfield shooting a bunch of angry black people. If you were just given the clip out of context and were the kind of black person constantly on the lookout for any sort of an affront to your skin color so you could feel like you’re a part of the Look At Me And My Hurt Feelings Special Forces Brigade, then the video probably looked pretty bad to you. However, let’s look at it in context:
It stars Slab of Man Chris Redfield as the controllable main character, who is white as the driven snow. He is white because he is from Colorado. In case there are people here who are not aware, Colorado is home to a total of four black people. Chris has lots of experience with viral outbreaks that turn people crazy and deadified, so he’s called in to Africa to deal with with the situation when one rears its shambling head. Now, I’m not on the Capcom team, but I’m pretty sure they chose Africa because that place is home to every single massively horrifying and deadly disease this world has ever seen. See: Ebola, AIDS, Nigerian Email Spam. Turns out, as is usually the case in the Resident Evil universe, in order to sort this mess out and stay alive, Chris has to shoot a lot of infected people in the face. Now, I have it on very good authority that there happen to be quite a few black people in Africa. Ergo (and now try to follow me here, easily offended attention seekers), Chris is going to be shooting a lot of black motherfuckers in the face. I would also like to point out that not every person that is infected that Chris shoots in the face is a black person, as it takes place in South Africa and that is home to a fairly sizable international contingent.
Now, let me point out a couple things here: First off, Capcom is a Japanese company, and Resident Evil is made by Japanese people. Trust me: if Capcom was actually going to do something racist, you would fucking know it, as Japanese people to this day have no fucking clue about anything resembling racial sensitivity. It stems from the fact that there’s only one race on their little island. They don’t have any black people at all (well, that’s not true, they have Bob Sapp). This leads me gracefully into my next point: By being whiny little attention faggots, they made Capcom make the game WAY more racist than it was before.
What Capcom ended up doing was including a black sidekick named Sheva to tag along with Chris. This seemed to quell the uprising, which is maximumly silly. “Now a black person is shooting black people as well, so there goes all the racism” is a retarded sentence. What these twats inadvertently ended up doing was basically forcing Capcom to create and flesh out an African native black person, which is a recipe for culturally insensitive hilarity. Amazingly, Sheva on her own is a fine character. However, when one looks at the alternate costumes and weapons one can unlock for Sheva, one of them is, I shit you not, a leopard skin tribal bikini and bow and arrow weapon, complete with face paint and bone necklace. Capcom was one baby step away from putting a fucking bone in her nose and naming the getup her “oogah boogah” outfit, I’m sure.
What’s funny about that is that no one said a fucking word. Not a soul. She was a black person shooting black people, so everything is a-okay. This proves that these people don’t fucking give a shit. They saw something and went “HEY I CAN RUN MY MOUTH TO GET ATTENTION” and then as soon as they filled themselves with all the attention they could get, they wandered off to pass out and digest it all. If they actually did care about rooting out racism in videogames, they would have leaped on Street Fighter IV the very second it came out.
There was a grand total of one black person in pre-Super SFIV, and he was a retarded thug boxer. Moreover, Dhalsim is like what a Japanese person would come up with if he had never seen an Indian person or their culture before but had them described to him through a game of telephone. Zangief is just as much a caricature. El Fuerte is the third most racist videogame character I’ve ever seen (right behind SNK’s Lucky Glauber and Square’s rendition of Jim in their NES Tom Sawyer game). He’s a luchador who loves cooking and all of his moves are named after Mexican food. Oh, also he’s also an idiot and bad at both things he does. Hell, even Americans get it bad: There’s a rich blond pretty boy, a blond guy in the military, a fat stupid blond biker, and a cold-hearted businesswoman.
That’s just THAT installment. Street Fighter has a long tradition of culturally insensitive characters and not a WORD has been uttered in its 25 years of existence. Birdie was black in the Street Fighter Alpha games, but was white in the original Street Fighter. Capcom’s reason? “He was sick that day” (no, I’m not joking). That’s not how black people work, Capcom. Dudley is a snooty British guy from old money fighting to win back his family’s Jaguar. Sean is technically Brazilian, but he’s really dark skinned, has dreadlocks, and fights with a basketball so I’m counting it. Dee Jay is a Jamaican with such a toothy grin he might as well have been named “Sambo” and is such a stereotype that he pulls out his maracas the instant he wins a fight, like he has them on him at all times. T. Hawk is a huge American Indian who’s name is basically “Tomahawk”, and who wears face paint and hair feathers all the time like any Indian actually does that anymore. Cody is dumb blonde American white trash who got thrown in jail because he was too violent. With the release of Super Street Fighter 4, Capcom’s finally gone so racist that they aren’t even offensive anymore. Hakan is a Turkish oil wrestler who’s beet red and has plastic hair that looks like a Katamari. No explanation is given, so we’re to assume that Capcom hates Turkish people that much.
It doesn’t stop there. In Megaman 6 for the NES, one of the Robot Masters was Flame Man, who was decked out in a turban, pointy shoes, curly moustache, and shot oil. His stage consisted of oil pits and oil barrels, against a muslim mosque arabian backdrop. And don’t get me started on Oil Man.
There’s all that out there plain as day, and the first time anyone ever uttered “racism” and pointed it at videogames was because black zombies were getting shot? Their credibility is zilch. The worst thing about this? By shoving Sheva in where she wasn’t needed as an AI character, Capcom turned what could have been the game to dethrone Resident Evil 4 into Adventures in Babysitting: Angry Black People Edition. You’ll be lining up a shot and positioning yourself perfectly, and Sheva will need a zombie detached from her neck because she tried to headbutt it or kiss it or something. After you get it off her, she’ll go “Gee, thanks Chris!” and use an entire health spray to recover that critical sliver of life she lost. You’ll give her a machine gun and lots of ammo, and she’ll try to shoot an infected African dude with a sniper rifle from 5 inches away. At least you could throw Ashley in a dumpster and forget about her.