Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

June 20, 2008 -

While the issue of race in the trailer for the upcoming Resident Evil 5 has received no small share of attention in recent months, it continues to spark outrage among some members of the black community.

On Your Black Writers today, Tolu Olorunda takes exception to the RE5 trailer:

What I witnessed [in the RE5 trailer] was nerve-wrecking, painful, mind-numbing and heart-racing... It wasted no time in capitalizing upon the long history of blatant depictions of Africans as savages and helpless imbeciles. The trailer featured a Caucasian male mutilating African villages, along with Africans. With the not-so ancient history of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Africa, the issue of racial insensitivity and indifference must be brought to the centerfold...

Olorunda also raises the issue of under-representation of African-Americans in the video game industry:

The Video Game industry is one which has profited immensely from the casualty of black on black hostility. Notable products of its faculty include, “50 Cent: Bulletproof,” “Def Jam: Icon” and “Grand Theft Auto.” This $10 billion market owes the majority of its inspiration to the tragic decisions of young black and brown teenagers...

 

A 2005 survey suggests that Blacks constitute 2% of the demographic makeup of Game Developers, with Latinos making 2.5%. How ironic is it, that this reality does very little to punctuate the disproportionate consumption of video game products by Black and Brown teenagers...

 


Comments

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Chris Redfield? Who's that? If it's the games main character, I apologize, I don't care for Resident Evil.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up:

Jonathan Freedman (2002)

Block and Crain (2007)

Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I could spend 30 minutes tinking of a witty, intelligent comment with regards to this situation, but this image already sums it up pretty nicely.

/Quick, Generic Sidekick-Boy! TO THE LOGICMOBILE!!!

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

as an african american, i see where he is coming from but i dont fully agree. he does not know the full story of why the main character is in an african village. the violence actually did not look to me as slaughter but as survival. i think there are more serious and verifiable racist issues in the video game industry like the issue of Cole's (from Gears of War) character being derived entirely from stereotype.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

This discussion has been beaten to death, but I want to say something.

THis guy claims that the game depicts a white man slaughtering a black village.

What I saw was a white man entering a black village, walking peacefully by many black villagers not once raising his weapon.

Then I saw, two black men attacking another black man and injecting him with something. Then a whole bunch of black zombies attacked the white man and he defended himself.

It wasn't until the zombies attcked that he started shooting.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

exactly, you can't cry racism in cases of self-defense

岩「…Ace beats Jack」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Apparently you can.

 

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up:

Jonathan Freedman (2002)

Block and Crain (2007)

Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I'm sorry... but I just think that anyone who says that African-Americans aren't represented in gaming just isn't paying attention.

In the Halo series, African-American Sgt. Avery J. Johnson is a huge story character, critical to the games and the universe of the games. And for that matter how does anyone know that Master Chief or any other Spartans aren't black?

In Gears of War (which won scores of awards and critical acclaim), Cole is black. He may not be a "main" character but I don't think he's a "token black guy" either.

I'm sure I could come up with any number of other examples. But that isn't my point.

I'm an artist who wants to get into the gaming industry, and I know a few people who already work for gaming companies. I really don't think that anyone working on RE5 is going "No, that white boy isn't pasty enough — and hey, make those zombies more black." The setting is in Haiti. I'm pretty sure that is what they're trying to work towards. The artists and developers for these companies just want to make something that people will enjoy, not cause huge debates over race.

* The World Just Spins Faster Than Me *

* Words, Bernardo... words. There was a time when I believed in words. *

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

 As I said before, I don't think the game or the makers are racist BUT.

People of color ARE underrepresented in games in terms of main characters.

Yeah there are some major supporting cast members, but how many major games (as in, not based on a rapper) are there where the main hero is non-white or non-asian?

Especially if the character isn't very stereotypical?

There is under-representation.

Now, that said, I think it's probably going to solve itself.

With "Create a character" becoming more and more prevalent, and better and better all the time, it's easier to make a character who represents any ethnicity you want.

That and "characters without a face" (guys who never take off their mask and such) and thus represent "everyone" are probably the wave of the future, a way to represent every ethnicity as much as the players wish.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I agree. I think the whole "what's behind the mask" thing was what made MC so cool, since you could put yourself in that helmet of his. I don't know if the books helped that though...they sorta described him as looking very...white. To me, that took away alot of the mystery that made him cool. I remember I was hoping they'd show his face in the last game!!!!!!SPOILER!!!!!!, but they never did!!!!!END SPOILER!!!!!, and I think it was better for it. As for cultural stereotypes, they are prevelant, but not just in games. Every form of entertainment has 'em. Thing is, most people aren't interested in seeing or playing "Successful Black Man", or "Friendly Italian Gentleman". I do think it would be cool if we had more diversity in our heroes without resorting to stereotypes, but this sorta "cry racist" crap doesn't help. This comment is poorly organized...I apologize for that.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman (2002)Block and Crain (2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Ch

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Oh, and I think we both forgot about women in games. There are very few female main characters in games who don't have stereotypical attributes.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman (2002)Block and Crain (2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I don't think that the devs of this game sat around their computers thinking,  "How racist can we make this one?!" If this moron would look at the backstory of this game then maybe he;d understand.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I'm gonna buy 5 copies and share them with everyone I know to spread the racial hate that is resident evil 5!! MUHAHAH .. I only know 5 people.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

*sigh*, my hopes on humanity dwindles with nonsense like this.

With the new upcoming generation of children, the gap between the races closes ever more, I really don't its a cause for concern after 40 years or so since we begun to accept our cultural diffrences a lot more.

As a Mexican (which means my ancestors had a high probabilty of being spaniards), one of my favorite games is RE4, while it had spaniards in the game, the most insult I had was the type of spanish dialect in which Los Ganados spoke. Geographical/Cultural accuracies aside, I have one last thing to say.......

Why again are we talking about race, when its about a pathetic asshole more likely exploiting race for his selfish cause without research?

I will contemplate this while I punch myself in the balls reading blogs on it.

NO INSULT, I just wanted prove my manliness!!!

 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

"As a Mexican (which means my ancestors had a high probabilty of being spaniards), one of my favorite games is RE4, while it had spaniards in the game, the most insult I had was the type of spanish dialect in which Los Ganados spoke."

Those Ganados wanted to make me into picadillo, one of my favorite foods!

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Funny how many comments a blog can get from just having the word racisim in it :D

Well I can sort of understand how the dude would be pissed with the trailer showing black guys all crazy and shit but technically speaking they are infected so they should be crazy, plus due to the location of it I don't really think having crazy asians and white folks would make much sense :D

I must say there are quite a bit of black people that keep spouting how theres so much racisim in a certain subject when there really isn't, sorry if my comment has offended any black reader or of any other race.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

just wait till next week when a story gp covers  about jack thompson and video game racism!! there will be no end to the comments !!!!!

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

People get offended by this a lot yes, but what really irks me is that they're seeing something Capcom doesn't see, and thus you can be offensive simply by what is interpreted and not what is intended. Please don't complain to people about something you see when they are unable to see it.

I bet if Sex and the City were about four black women, some black people would cry out loud over the slutty image these women are portraying. We have done enough to provide equality, and now by defending certain racial groups we are elevating them above others, and not treating them equally.

This may not have happened have they been RE fans to begin with. Knowing about the backstory to the series does help, I know it's surprising. Capcom takes care in not offending anyone with their games. In particular with Devil May Cry 4, the fictional religious group might have a few Catholic qualities but it was made to look as vague as possible.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

First of all, the locale of Resident Evil 5 looks like Haiti ((maybe it is?  didn't read much on it)) or something close to it, where violence and genocide run rampart.  Secondly, if it is to represent such a place, a majority ((if not all)) of the ignorant, violent people living there are indeed black.  Not too mention the fact that they're being "infected" and just like in every other Resident Evil game, they become mindless, blood thirsty individuals.  So once again the people crying "racist" on this matter are the same people who felt bad for Rodney King.  Nevermind the fact that he didn't stop for police and was as high as a kite doing double the speed limit.  He was black and mistreated.  Someone call these douche bags a "Wahhh"-bulance.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Hey, Capcom can only tackle one social statement at a time! That's why they made Chris Refield a homosexual.

Now, if they made Chris Redfield black, female and homosexual, they would have the perfect PC trifecta and no one could bitch about anything.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Those statistics are entirely meaningless unless we're also given the percentages of other races as well. For all this guy's willing to say, there could be 1% white game developers and 98.5% Asian.  It means nothing without a proper context to put it in.

To claim that the majority of the video game industry is inspired by "...the tragic decisions of young black and brown teenagers..." is quite frankly, stupid. Does this guy have any experience with video games other than what he sees on Fox News?

It's like he doesn't even know that Residant Evil is a series of zombie games. Of course they're going to act like "savages". Kind of like how, you know, the white zombies from the earlier games acted?

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I can see the point being made here but fact is there is no racist agenda in this game.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

The Video Game industry is one which has profited immensely from the casualty of black on black hostility. Notable products of its faculty include, “50 Cent: Bulletproof,” “Def Jam: Icon” and “Grand Theft Auto.” This $10 billion market owes the majority of its inspiration to the tragic decisions of young black and brown teenagers...

The videogame has someho profited even more from the "casualty" of white on white hostility. Notable products the majoity of the games out there. Hollywood also has made money from black on white violence (take the Blade trilogy, was there even a single black vampire in these movies?). I don't remember anyone making a fuss about either.

Truth of the matter, some people will see racism will not. Racism sensitivity can be educated but knee-jek reactions won't help anyone reach a better understanding of each others.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

"(take the Blade trilogy, was there even a single black vampire in these movies?)"

 

Of course not.  If movies have taught us anything, it's that all vampires are Eurotrash who spend most of their time at raves.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I hate the Blade movies, but IIRC.

There was Blades mother in the first movie, plus some more in some of the big ensemble scenes.

Not sure about the sequels.

But of course one could make the case that there's not any black major villains because then people would think of them as "Black movies".

 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Note to self, preview comment and spell check next time.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

wow this is a shame Im black and I didnt feel any offence when I watched the re5 trailor. I hate when my people wanna use racism as a way to solve their problems I know it exists but I dont care as long as noone comes at me with that crap its like you cant put anything in a video game or this  or that race might get offended everyone has problems I get looked at like a ghost or harrassed by police when i go to a mall but I dont bring race into something has noothing to do with it

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

You can shoot white people and russians and everyone says its not hurting anyone but once you shoot black people then it becomes racist. -.-

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

The Video Game industry is one which has profited immensely from the casualty of black on black hostility. Notable products of its faculty include, “50 Cent: Bulletproof,” “Def Jam: Icon” and “Grand Theft Auto.” This $10 billion market owes the majority of its inspiration to the tragic decisions of young black and brown teenagers...

You have nobody to blame but Black people for making this possible, lets be reasonable here hmmm no 50cent bulletproof if 50cent wasn't already a Rap Icon already inspiring many teens with his Gangster Rap. Def Jam:Icon well uhhh yes and you have nobody to blame?? Def Jam is filled with RAP icons that also profted from the Music Market inspriing kids. and well ummm lets see we have Majority of Black Rappers alot of time escpecially 50cents and many other famous rap artists who are pretty skilled but singing nothing but Sex, Violence, Gang Banging and all that stuff so you really have nobody to blame but Black people for inspiring the vast majority of the Ghetto Neighborhoods. After all it was Black people and gangsta rap that inspired such Travesty's in both gameplay, and story for 50cent Bullet Proof and Def Jam Icon.

the gaming market has also profited Immensely from just games where you have to kill people no matter which color. Whites kill Whites all the time and even asians and also germans and the list goes on. This doesn't mean at all that they are racist. It just means games were you kill people and or things usually profit more.

A 2005 survey suggests that Blacks constitute 2% of the demographic makeup of Game Developers, with Latinos making 2.5%. How ironic is it, that this reality does very little to punctuate the disproportionate consumption of video game products by Black and Brown teenagers...

Well so are you saying that if more black people are game developers these things wouldn't happen? I mean games that are inspired By Black people in the first place?

Yes it's true the video game Industry doesn't have many Blacks and Latinos, but honestly you have to ask yourself the question, how many Black people have a good College Education compared to White and Asians or are even remotely interested in Game Developing?

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

You have some legitimate points in there, but for the love of all, try some proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, it'll make your post legible enough for people to read and realize that you have those legitimate points to make in the first place.


 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Respecting this guy's opinions and all, I find it quite hard to come up with any critisism against this without feeling at least a little stab of cultural guilt.

In short, as has been said by many people here, racism won't die until we stop poking it with sticks.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

The funny thing is, I'm betting that just like Resi 4 the actual black villager killing will represent only the first 25% of the game. After that it's mutant freaks and huge genetically modified bosses to plug full of lead!

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I don't know what i hate more about these kinds of post. The writer or the obnoxious echo chamber that is the blogsphere. Or the inane ramblings of people that say they don't see what the huff is about. That somehow they are immune to seeing race while the whole world is not. Everyone thinks that racism is some prick in a bed sheet with a noose. When its also holding assumptions that are amazing ignorant like the game is made by Japanese people therefore it isn't racist? How do you respond to someone who claims to be not only an expert is American history but holier than thou? Both the author and most of the responders hold the same absolute position about race. That its them and us. Which would explain the reactions. I bet though if you played a where you played a Palestinian shooting an American or Israeli there would quite some huff about how its propaganda, racist this and that? But most people live in an ahistorical vacuum and themselves as the objective viewer so whatever.

 

 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

i wouldnt mind a game like that really long as it had good game mechanics and graphics and a proper story line. any more for me race aruguments are just kind of meh. i really just dont care anymore if your white good for you if your black good for you if your asian good for you i dont care. If you treat me with disrespect i tend not to care what you have to say what ever your race i can see where you all your all coming from but really i still kinda dont care yall can live your lives the way you feel you need to live them. what ever your race, age, religion, political view and or life style if your a pos your pos no way around it. i dont believe we as homosapians will ever really stop killing and hating each other on some random basis. Weve done it since we where little more than cave men throwing sharp rocks at each other and i have no reason to believe that we will change any time soon. its the human condition.  I EAT BABIES!!!

 

had to throw that in there for a good ol redvsblue refrence.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

"I bet though if you played a where you played a Palestinian shooting an American or Israeli there would quite some huff about how its propaganda, racist this and that?"

You mean kinda like all those games where you are killing Germans? Oh wait, I don't see any huff about that... oh shit it is even based on real life events! Holy hell, man, how did we all miss THAT one?

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

 After reading the entire blog post, I have come to the conclusion that the writer is a lunatic.  The whole thing is pseudo-science, nonsense, and conspiracy theories.

 

 For one thing:

"To say the least, Resident Evil 5 producer, Jun Takeuchi, appears to be a card-carrying member of that classic club which pride themselves in being comfortably uninformed of the racial realities that engulf the societies in which they exist."

 I find it perfectly reasonable that the developers didn't see the controversy coming.  It is likely that they've never seen a black person in real life, let alone dealt with Caucasian-African relations.  He lives in Japan, and is not conspiring with the music industry to further the 'desecration of young Black/Brown imaginations.'

 This guy is a complete nutcase.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

If this guy was complaining when it was all white zombies getting shot and hacked from the past, then he might have a leg to stand on. But since he is just throwing it out there, without looking at the history of the series, then his point is not valid. Every game is different, and puts the character in different places around the world. Wouldnt it be a little strange if there was no blacks in the new RE game, but they were in Africa or Haiti? I think so. Arent we trying to recreate the area that the main character is in to maintain the games authenticity? I would like to have a long talk with Tolu Olarunda so that we can hash out any of his OWN racists thoughts against whites, and his inability to carry on intelligent conversation. Because of HIS racist banter, i am going to purchase the game for just that reason. I might not have thought of it that way, but now i will.. cheers. thanks for being another crappy racists TOLU AKA asshole.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Sigh, I guess Capcom is going to have to hire George Lucas to digitally replace all African Americans in RE5 with walkie-talkies after all.

I knew this course of action was due once the "blog outrage" hit the newsband about RE5 last year.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Just as long as those walkie talkies aren't black!

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Oh man. I completely forgot about that. What's a neutral color... ah yes. Gray. The walkie-talkies shall be gray.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

Ooh a blending of black & white eh? Brave choice...

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

My 2% of a dollar:

1) How do you mutilate a village? Cut off the last half a dozen houses on one side? Villagers sure but an actual village?

2) Serious question: Black & Brown people? As far as I've seen, what everyone describes as black (morgan freeman, ice t, micheal jackson... oh wait) is actually brown. The closest I've seen to actually black skin is some of the sudanese refugees who live in my town & even then they're still brown (basically the difference between milk chocolate & cooking chocolate). Is brown supposed to be middle eastern, half black/half white, latino?

3) Since we've not seen the full game, there could well be one of those religious missionary groups or red cross kind of organisations there to mix up the black & white balance. That'd be a fairly realistic way to add racial diversity & give you the chance to shoot honkey-zombies as well.

4) There was a good routine that David Cross did on a CD (I think its on "Shut Up You Fucking Baby") about racism & zombies. Something about segregated graveyards in the south of america and when everyone rises as zombies, the white zombies not letting black zombies join in on the mayhem.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

This blogger has good intentions albiet coupled with ignorance and lack of research.  I think he's been lambasted enough already.  He just stepped into murky areas that he thought he knew and stumbled greatly.  I'm sure he realized what he did wrong and I'm not gonna lambast for his knee jerk article.  I would have done the same if I was in his position and didn't have any idea about video games. 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

my head hurts from all the facepalming

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

What I think sums up what I think about people who try to make..

You know what, instead of wasting an entire paragraph on why I disagree with the person who wrote the blog, I'm going to put up a url to a video that basically sums up what I would say.  Note: I have nothing against Black people, I have friends who're black.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I'm a tad offended by it myself. Let's be honest now: if the game took place in Israel and involved an American slaughtering Jews, some folks here would be upset. Africa has a long history of murder and oppression by white powers who "knew what's best."

Is it intentional in this case? Of course not, but it's remarkably insensitive.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

I see your point myself.  It would be definately wrong for the setting to be in Israel in many people's eyes.  The game would be lambasted by the press.  There's a double standard here.  While RE5 will be blasted by the press it would not compare to the attention it would recieve if it was in Israel.  

I would bet that if they had set the game in Israel many more gamers and mainstream news outlets would have criticized the game.  This game is subconciously slightly offending even though in our concious minds its not as we reason through the facts given to us.  But subconciously you kind of see a white man dominating colored people. 

A lot of blacks and other groups that have been historically abused by whites are subconciously disgusted by RE5 even with the reasons given behind the setting.  Listening to the subconcious is often not advisable when dealing with preconceptions from an older era. 

 

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

How do you know that Resident Evil 5 isn't supposed to be a commentary on America trying to police the world? Oh, that's right. Nobody has played it yet.

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

They aren't killing black people, they're killing black zombies, and not because they're black. If the next game takes place in Isreal, with Isreali zombies, it will be no different. They will be killing zombies, regardless of race. Matter of fact, if the game takes place in Isreal, hell, it might be kickass. You could be fighting zombies AND Muslim extremists!!!

 

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up:

Jonathan Freedman (2002)

Block and Crain (2007)

Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Resident Evil 5 Race Controversy Resurfaces

How can you be sensitive to people who are determined to find something be offended by?

I don't see why a Resident Evil game couldn't be set in Israel.

 
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