Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Shame on you internet, I thought you were cool

I found a great blog today as I was reading up on Resident Evil 5 reactions. It's called microscopiq, and combines my two favorite things: art and video games into one cool blog. The article on RE5 is also stellar, as he points out many of the issues inherent with the concept of the game. The best point against the game is how the characteristics of the super zombies of RE4, transferred to a black person, creates a zombie that resembles many of the negative black stereotypes.
"With bulging eyes, simian super strength, and a room temperature IQ, we’ve been portrayed as savages beyond redemption."
What is not so cool, and that has made me as angry as a space banished Hulk, are the comments on that post. This post has gotten waaaay more attention than any of the other posts on the blog, and the majority of the comments are telling him how wrong he is. All I can think is "How dare they." What gives these people the right, to come to his blog and tell him that he is wrong; that he shouldn't be offended by obvious racist imagery. Most of the comments boil down to, "No. You don't/shouldn't feel the affects of racism, shut up!" It's inconceivable. Who else would feel the affects of the imagery in this game if not an African American. Commenter after commenter kept admitting to being white and claiming that they have never know anyone to be racist, that racism doesn't exist, and that these images of a race that they don't belong to aren't racist. Well of course you don't feel it if you're white, but it exists. It exists when you go onto an African American blog throwing your whiteness all over the place and saying not to talk about things like racism and be a good boy. Does anyone else see the absurdity in someone defending a game where a white person goes into a black space and starts wrecking havoc, when they themselves are going into a black space and wrecking havoc. This sounds like the perfect game for these people, right up their ally. It's pretty clever of the power structure to admit that racism is bad, but then also claim that it doesn't exist. This leaves those who are affected by racism without even a voice to speak out against it, because, according to the power structure, there's nothing to speak out against. A good rule to follow from now on is that if any marginalized person calls out some sort of oppression of their group, maybe everyone else should just shut up, listen, and at least consider the possibility.


Calabar said...

Oh my. I knew about RE5's setting, but the implications of black zombies never crossed my mind. It doesn't help that the protagonist is a white guy...

My major concern is that the "zombies" have not reached a significant level of decay yet. They look waaay too human for my taste. Just looking at the third screen shot on microscopiq, it seems as though the player is shooting into a crowd of (extremely angry) living people. No good.

Shions_Glasses said...

agree, they don't resemble decaying zombies of the past, and in RE4 it was clear that there was something wrong with the people, they didn't seem normal. (i.e. chainsaw woman) In RE5 they look like starving impoverished people. I was also a little disturbed when I saw him shooting into that crowd. Overall the game has not been presented in the best way.

Murex Brandaris said...

What nationality are you?

I'm white. I don't give two shits about the color of the zombies I'm shooting, and if you truly weren't racist as you so vehemently claim, you wouldn't either. I don't care if I'm shooting watermelons at a congregation of fully alive black males garbed in jerseys and baggy pants, smoking menthol Kools while they dine on fried chicken, as long as its FUN. The thing is, you are wrong. So is this other guy. Yes, I have the fucking right to say that. How dare I? I'll tell you how.

People like you see it necessary to stick up for minorities, something I FULLY SUPPORT, OKAY? BUT. You do it in the wrong areas. It is a fucking video game. It's not going to set the blacks back any more than they are now. If you really want to help black people, donate to groups like the NAACP. Go into the ghetto areas of your neighborhood and help underprivileged youths. Volunteer at a Boys and Girls Club or something. Bitching about stereotypes in gaming is not going to help black people. Taking action to help them is.

100LittleDolls said...

While everyone is justified to their opinion, I cannot agree with yours. In fact, I think you really need to examine your own personal bias and racism. The point is that pop culture does have a lot of implications, and it would do you well to think about how it actually does affect people. You should also consider why people examining race in video games bothers you so much.