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…