NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

March 16, 2009 -

Yesterday, GamePolitics reported that the mainstream (i.e., non-gaming) press was beginning to weigh in on the race issue in regard to Capcom's just-released Resident Evil 5.

As we noted, the AP's Lou Kesten was concerned. The Huffington Post's Earl Ofari Hutchinson was angry.

Seth Schiesel is the video game reporter for the New York Times. Like Kesten, he has a foot in both worlds. You can't any get more maintream than the Times, yet gaming is his daily beat. Schiesel, who reviews RE5 this morning. believes that the race issue is overblown:

Let’s get this out of the way: Resident Evil 5 is not a racist game.

For at least a year some black journalists have been wringing their hands about whether the game... inflames racist stereotypes because it is set in Africa. The answer is no... Resident Evil 5 exposes the perhaps uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too, just like anyone else... The point of the story is that the indigenous people have become the innocent victims of evil white people.

All that said, Resident Evil 5 could not possibly have been made in the United States. Racial sensitivities and prevailing political correctness would have had American game executives squirming in their Aeron chairs the minute they read a budget proposal for a game featuring African zombies.

Not so in Japan, apparently...


Comments

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

For god sake, who started this resident evil5 is racist crap! who ever did, get a sodding life and stop bitching, im sick and tired of political correctness, its simple accept each other for who they are!. Im from England, and this country is too busy trying to kiss everyones backsides for the sake of oversea relations, to take care of there own people. just last week our soliders were welcomed back home from the war in afgan. and they did a public march. Only to have muslim extremist cursing them and theatening them. What the hell! and the authorities have done nothing about it. If I went to there country and acted in the same manor I would have been stoned to death. One message to all those extremists out there. England is a Christian country. your welcome to live and commute in our country, And show us the respect we give to you. but if you don't like our religion and politic stature, Then f*+k off back to your own  country!, if you dont accept our beliefs and way of life, then why should we accept yours!!!!!!

now to point out why resident 5 evil 5 is not racist, the game does not dislpay racism, because, 1 racism is when 1 human discrimanates against another for there race, ie african french german whatever, 2 the enemies in resident evil 5 that you fight whislt playing the game are infected with a virus that mutates them, so they are not in actual fact human anymore, so how is it that the game is racist then? if the enemies are not even human!!!!

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

This is BS because when R.E.4 came out you dint here no Mo-fos say anything that its was against spainards or mexican or latinos . This is just a F-ing video game and its always blck people that have to get HURT... i mean arnt they all tough?? Fucking pussies (i mean to thoes that are willing to make a FUSS about it)...couldnt even handle a joke if you ask me its just good clean fun .... shit and if your educated you would know their is no such thing as a pure race.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

You know what?

I think it's racist.

In fact, I think the only debate is "is it a little racist - or a lot racist?"

Put it this way:

White Zombies = shambling shells of their former selves, rotting brainless husks.

Black Zombies = able to speak, be organised, ride motorcycles, basically no different from how regular Africans have been portrayed in NA media.

What this says to me is that Africans have no need to be monsterized to be viable targets to kill.  Apparently they're plenty scary already.


Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Either you're an idiot, sarcastic, or you never played resident evil 4.

The higher functioning zombies were still able to talk.  They were still doing gardening work when you came upon them in the first little hamlet.  They were able to drive (remember the trucks?).  They were even able to use firearms (the military zombies had crossbows).

Way to make a half formed argument.  You should go hang out with that guy from Huffington mentioned earlier.  God, people are really dumb these days.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Is this sarcasm, or did you skip RE4?

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Also revealed today

Psychics are full of it.

Astrology has major flaws in it.

There's not enough evidence for UFOs.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Its refreshing to see mainstream publications with sense. Any way for the record:

Naturally if a zombie outbreak occured in Africa the majority of the zombies would be black. Simple as that.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Thank you! I mean god damn, that was too long coming...

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

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

"All that said, Resident Evil 5 could not possibly have been made in the United States. Racial sensitivities and prevailing political correctness would have had American game executives squirming in their Aeron chairs the minute they read a budget proposal for a game featuring African zombies.

Not so in Japan, apparently..."

Good. Political correctness is messing up our country. You can say or do anything without some idiots honking "racist" at you. The fact is that good, evil, stupidity, and even zombification knows no single race. We're all human for better or worse.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

"This is why we NEED Japanese developers.  Because without them, all we have is Cole Train."

Good point.  Where was the outrage against Cole Train?  He actually *is* a stereotype, and an offensive one I imagine.  But natives in Africa wearing paint, masks, and spears?  That's just how it is.  Not ALL of Africa, obviously, but some at least.  Who hasn't seen some tribal people on the cover of a National Geographic?  Is National Geographic racist?

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

What about Tyler from Indigo Prophecy, he practically SCREAMS stereotype.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

"For at least a year some black journalists have been wringing their hands about whether the game... inflames racist stereotypes because it is set in Africa."

I thought it was set in Haiti. I'm guessing it's not a good idea to get your black people mixed up when making an argument against claims of racism.

Not that I think Resident Evil is racist.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

I haven't played it but as far as I can tell from searching around, it actually IS set in Africa. I remember people saying it was set in Haiti when the first trailer came out that started all this crud, but either they got it wrong or the setting changed.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

You're right. I stand corrected.


Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

 

Oh thank goodness, somebody with a common sense.

All people who said this game was racist calling Seth Schiesel a KKK member or a Oreo cookie in 3...2...1

"Let’s get this out of the way: Resident Evil 5 is not a racist game"

That's what we've been telling these dickweeds, and hypocrites.  But no, they still stick with the "it's racist" shit.

"For at least a year some black journalists have been wringing their hands about whether the game... inflames racist stereotypes because it is set in Africa. The answer is no... Resident Evil 5 exposes the perhaps uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too, just like anyone else... The point of the story is that the indigenous people have become the innocent victims of evil white people."
 

That's true.  A virus that turns you into a zombie does not focus on ethnicity, they turn you into a zombie because you are a living organism not because of what race you are. 

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

"All that said, Resident Evil 5 could not possibly have been made in the United States. Racial sensitivities and prevailing political correctness would have had American game executives squirming in their Aeron chairs the minute they read a budget proposal for a game featuring African zombies.

Not so in Japan, apparently..."

 

Just thought I would add to this not so in Japan is right, I mean if you want to find a rape simulator what better place to go to then Japan, sad isn't it?

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Thank you thank you thank you!  Finially, some freaking commen sense shines threw!

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

My own sentiments echo many of the other posts already made on this topic.

The whole black/white debate about zombies has actually been studied in film studies, particularly in films like Day of the Dead et al.  I'll have to find the article again to verify which movies they looked at but the gist is this: whiteness became a signifier of death and zombification.  When a black man was killed and zombified, his skin took on an ashen "white" look that stood in sharp contrast to the living black hero that survived the zombie hordes.

So, there's a background for this whole racist zombie argument.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

It's a well thought out arguement.

Who wants to bet it will be ignored when the poopie hits the proverbial fan?

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Oh man, if the New York TIMES says it, we're in the clear.  Who cares about some old jackass who wrote a book about Obama when the most powerful newspaper in America says there's no racism?

Seriously though, I'm already getting sick of this bullshit.  I'm in chapter 3, and I haven't seen anything that could REALLY be misconstrued as racism.  Although I did enjoy the beard on the new Gigante.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

"The point of the story is that the indigenous people have become the innocent victims of evil white people."
 

 

The game is racist. Once again my white brothers are cast in the role of the evil oppressor. Rise up my anglo brethren and rant in web blog's forums and the like. Let your voices be heard.....

I'm not white BTW, and the above is sarcasm

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Anglos?!  What about us Saxons?!  RACIST!

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

I want some zombie equality. For years, I slaughtered countless white zombies in Racoon City and the surrounding areas, and they were all shuffling, bumbling buffoons.

When are white zombies going to get the opporutunity to become the far more intelligent, armed, capable and coordinated zombies of Resident Evil 4&5?

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

But I am evil...

-- Add a marker to the start of your signature.

--
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

FINALLY mainstream media that gets the game.

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Finally, someone sees sense.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

This is why we NEED Japanese developers.  Because without them, all we have is Cole Train.

Japanese developers may appear insensitive to other cultures at times (How many times have I fought and killed god in a JRPG?), but they are essentially free from the same kind of bullshit focus group testing that would have panicked the development team into saying "Okay, fine... let's go back to an all caucasian cast and make people happy."

Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too

I find this point somewhat amusing, RE5 has apparently shown us the truth about zombies, what those fictional creations? It sort of implies that RE5 has shown us the truth about real life, when it's all fiction. Regardless, considering that zombies originated from Haiti (there is technically a real-life type of Zombie, read about coma induced Haiti residents) it is strange that most depictions of zombies don't show black people as zombies for fear of being called racist.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

My mind wants to explode. The only difference is, the person is an educated person on the matter unlike the others who aren't traditionally exposed to video game material.

Someone that can speak some sense! *head explodes*

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

On a mainstream news publication no less! Which means more eyes are going to see the news.

GameSnooper

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

''The answer is no... Resident Evil 5 exposes the perhaps uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too, just like anyone else... ''

 

THANK YOU!

been saying this forever.

But apparently its NOT racist for critics to suggest that the progenitor virus should selectively only infect NON-black humans.  Go figure.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

 Amen! Japan's never had to deal with racist issues like we do. Racism in Japan is debilitating, because they strive by doing business with other countries. Plus, they've always admired America and have thought it to be the melting pot we've always claimed to be (unfortunately, unsuccessfully). 

It shouldn't matter if they're black, white, red, green, purple, or yellow. Zombies are zombies. (I know these guys are something else, but you get my point).

If we do want to be that melting pot, blacks are going to have to take it like everyone else. The activists didn't speak up about RE4, which means they don't care about racism, only that blacks are treated no less than the most upstanding citizens. 

-"You can lead a horse to water, but not a jackass."

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Wel, they're certainly doing better these days on how they depict people of different races.  But I'm not ready to give Japan a pat on the back quite yet.  They have a strange dichotomy in Japan.  They're greatly dependant on trade, and they're fascinated by Western culture.  But the average Japanese person is mildly xenophobic.  I've seen it on tv, and I felt it when I visited the country and tried going off the usual tourist paths.  Plus, I'm a little tired of the US being used at the "Evil Foreigners" trope in just about EVERY anime...

Back on topic, I'm glad a newspaper actually ran a review that uses some common sense.  Still, I don't mind the controversy, because it's a great opportunity to open dialog on racism.  I think this review will do just that, questioning the Political Correctness that is stiffling progress.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Evil foreigners have been a part of storytelling since there were stories to tell. Relax.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Except there's an entire world of nations to pick from, but when they need an Evil Foreigner in anime, it's always American.  Trust me, I've watched a lot of anime.  I think they very occasionally use Chinese, but rarely.  Meh, just a personal gripe, nothing major.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Well, the US did drop multiple atomic bombs on their country. I don't want to start a debate about whether Japan had it coming or if America overreacted, but an event like that must have some long-lasting impacts on a country's culture. Just look at the whole radioactive Kaiju film genre.

This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Actually, I may have an answer for you as to why you got that xenophobic vibe in Japan. 

When I was living in Japan (my family was military), any place that Americans, particular American kids, frequented you would get some hostile, paranoid shopkeepers watching your every move.  Part of it was the number of military kids that would go off base and basically rob a shop blind via shoplifting if they shopkeeper wasn't watching.  It was idiotic and took advantage of the lack of anti-theft devices you see in stores in the US.  Also, lots of underage drinking and other stupidity that served to reinforce these negative stereotypes of Americans/gaijin.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

 Maybe, but you see my point. Activists are grasping at straws, trying to find something to stand for.

What happens when a cause has reached its goal? When you fight for freedom all your life, what do you do when you finally achieve it?

 

-"Call me Ishmael."

Re: NY Times: Resident Evil 5 Not Racist

Usually you try to make sure that while everyone is free, you are more free than others... you also make sure to that you are more equal then others...

I mean its not like you want to lose your job or anything...

 
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