Capcom doesn't care about black people…?

At least, that’s what Roberto Lovato, contributer over at AlterNet, is saying. And though the evidence he presents for his case is rife with misinformation and most of the arguments he makes are specious, there may be at least something of value to the idea of a little more cultural sensitivity in video games.

From the article:

Like many of the most popular games, including Kung Fu, Warcraft 3 and Shadow Warrior which depicts Asian and black immigrant bad guys, most video games deny humanity to the nonwhite, especially Latinos. A comprehensive content-analysis study of video games conducted by Children Now, found that while 56 percent of all human characters in the games were white, only 22 percent of all human characters were African American and only 2 percent were Latino.

Of course, his examples are ridiculous, as is, I’m sure, most of Children Now’s research. I mean, Warcraft 3!? Where are the black bad guys there? Are the Orcs meant to be black?

However, it is undeniably true that there is a dearth of non-white main characters in games. The Solid Snakes and Leon Kennedys of the video game world far outnumber the Carl Johnsons, or that guy from Shadow Man. In fact, I’m having trouble even coming up with many other black main characters in a video game outside of Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, who is of indeterminate race.

Then, this is a problem that plagues Hollywood productions at the same time. There is a massive imbalance in racial representation across the entertainment spectrum. Now, our task is to figure out where the line is between being sensitive to racial issues and being overly sensitive.

It’s ridiculous to say that no minority can ever be a bad guy. But it’s simultaneously a little messed up that nearly all of our heroes are white and most of their black sidekicks are jive-talking, over-stereotyped messes.

[via Joystiq]


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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