Houston Chronicle: Is Racism Becoming a Norm in Gaming?

Yesterday’s edition of the Houston Chronicle’s Game Hack blog ponders whether racism is becoming a norm in video game design.

Blogger Willie Jefferson expresses concern over 2009 releases Resident Evil 5 and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (pic at left) as well as the in-development Left 4 Dead 2. RE5, of course, has already been the subject of much debate over its depiction of African villagers as zombies. Jefferson writes:

I am disturbed by the growing trend of racist undertones that are cropping up in video games.

One of the games that comes to mind is "Left 4 Dead 2." …Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies – with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath…

The game that really inspired this blog entry was Ubisoft’s "Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood." The game starts out with players assuming the role of Ray, a Confederate officer… the Confederacy, as far as I am concerned, wanted to keep their cheap slave labor and the like. I can not stand the Confederate flag… To me, the flag represents hate — and offends me and many others to no end. [It] made me wonder how much research Ubisoft did for this game…

As a minority, had the South won, I wouldn’t be in this position I am today…

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  1. Logan says:

    The problem with Cole is that he’s a modernized version of the "Buck" stereotype, a big, strong, skilled black man who defies orders and is loud and boisterous.  His actions were stereotypical and often comedic, falling into another stereotype, that of the comedic black sidekick, existing for a good laugh, then disappearing before any trace of actual humanity are allowed to peek through.

    I really wish that people would understand that RE5 wasn’t about the zombies being black, nor was the protest against Left 4 Dead.  RE5 based nearly every enemy character on black stereotypes (with regards to facial composition), and even had the nerve to dress up the secondary character in a tribal outfit with bones around her neck.  This is without even mentioning that after a certain point, a majority of the attacking infected start wearing grass skirts and throwing spears.

    This is not about zombies ethnicity.  This guy is being oversensitive, yes, I fully admit that he is.  He’s trying to make a point about New Orleans being a bad choice for the game because of the disaster that still affects people every day, but still, it could have been done better.

  2. Logan says:

    Racism is not in the eye of the beholder.

    I guess we got basic human rights, the ability to vote, and elected one black man to the Presidency…all’s supposed to be good, right?

    There are so many things wrong with this idea, and it’s such a widely held view by people who are stuck in their self-normative viewpoints.  This is an assumption that needs to die.

    Racism will still be around and identifiable until there are a few things changed (including but not limited to): the disparate conditions of living areas inhabited by minorities versus non-minorities, evolved redlining pricing and over-loaning keeping minorities out of decent housing, people using their latent biases to inflate prices of goods for minorities where possible, the misconduct committed by adversarial police squads that assume minorities are guilty before assessing the entire situation, the disproportionate number of minorities arrested and jailed for the same offenses that non-minorities are simply fined/ticketed/put on probation for, the quality of schools along with the quality of school supplied materials, the fact that it takes more effort to get a job if you don’t have an "anglo" sounding name, and the list goes on and on.

    It’s not just gone because some people are tolerant.  Racism has had over 200 years to bake into nearly every structure in this country and it’s not going to go away until it’s talked about and actually acknowledged as a real problem.

  3. xMrAx says:

     Trust me this newspaper is hated by all of us. We stopped subscribing when they printed a story about a dead servicemen after interviewing his family. They literally insulted the serviceman over and over in the article. The family was not happy. 

  4. mdo7 says:


    You forgot


    Quantum of Solace: that game has Bond killing Black Soldier and a black leader.  So therefore James Bond is racist and he represent slavery and symbol of British making blacks slave (end sarcasm)

    Why haven’t this guy point out Quantum of Solace (both the game and the movie).  Somebody show him Live and Let Die and ask him "is this racist?"

  5. vaminion says:

    Now you have me curious what Capcom put in there.


     -P, never played RE and no interest either

  6. vellocet says:

     People who want to be offended will always find a way to be offended.

    I’m in the mindset that if I’m being attacked by zombies, I’m going to shoot whichever’s closest.  Regardless of their skin colour.  I don’t think people run around in the game only killing the black zombies and letting the white ones live.

    In general, I think of people who call racism the same way I think of racists – Their behavior says more about them than who/what they’re criticizing.

  7. Flamespeak says:

    There were several reasons for the South trying to break off from the North. Lack of proper political representation, taxes that were viewed as unfair, slavery (although this didn’t really become a major fighting point until the war was underway), and just overall dissatisfaction with how they were being represented in their nation. 

    I find it funny that you compare mentality of Southerns Today with those of Yesteryear, especially when the Southern states are still pretty much shunned when it comes to public funds for education and urban growth. Of course, so are a lot Mid-western states.

    Kind of off topic, but I remember reading about how the South tried to seceed when Andrew Jackson was in office. He told the people that made the threat that if they even considered it while he was in power he would personally march his forces down to their door step and hang each of them from the nearest tree.  Given his reputation, the South decided to be quiet until someone with a little less backbone and A LOT less crazy was in office.

  8. lumi says:

    Generally speaking, I agree with you, but quite honestly, RE5 did screw the pooch.  I didn’t believe it until I actually bought it and played it, but they quite literally put in probably the most offensive imagery they could have possibly come up with in response to the premature shitstorm that followed N’Gai Croal’s initial commentary.

    (The stuff Croal saw in the trailers was a poor basis for calling racism, and I believe the generic gaming community was right in objecting to his accusations.  Unfortunately, Capcom then went and released a game with plenty of other stuff that Croal hadn’t seen…that happened to confirm his accusations, just not for the reasons he made them.  It’s pretty sad.)

    Inclusion of multiple races is good.  Inclusion of black zombies, in a zombie game, set in a place where the population consists largely of black people, is a good and right thing.  As long as the protagonists aren’t shouting "Sweet!  Blew away another darkie!" when they get a headshot, I think we’re okay.

  9. Austin_Lewis says:

    No shit. It’s fine for her to have made racist comments in the past, and she can be a supreme court justice, but if someone questions her comments, they’re racist.  Yeah. 

  10. Adrian Lopez says:

    Whatever other issues may have existed at the time, the prevailing motive for secesion was slavery. Far from being "not even a secondary concern", it was, in fact, the primary concern.

    Quoting Wikipedia: "South Carolina did more to advance nullification and secession than any other Southern state. South Carolina adopted the ‘Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union’ on December 24, 1860. It argued for states’ rights for slave owners in the South, but contained a complaint about states’ rights in the North in the form of opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act, claiming that Northern states were not fulfilling their federal obligations under the Constitution. All of the alleged violations of the rights of Southern states were related to slavery."

  11. jedidethfreak says:

    Can we say, Sonya Sotomayor supporters?

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  12. jedidethfreak says:

    States’ Rights was way more than slavery.  The U.S. Government was considering legislation to control the cotton industry to the chagrin of the states that actually produced it.  Considering they couldn’t get a lot of support in Congress, they rebelled.  As I posted below, slavery was not even a secondary concern.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  13. jedidethfreak says:

    Lincoln didn’t make it about slavery.  Former slaves did.  They had stated that they’d fight for the Union if they abolished slavery.  The problem is there were a few Union states that still had slavery (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri (wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_state)).  That’s why the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves.  The way it was worded, it only applied to states not actively controlled by the Union, i.e. Confederate states.  Seeing as how the Confederacy didn’t recognize the rule of the Union, it had no weight whatsoever.  The reason was that the union was afraid that if they did try to abolish slavery, they would cause the four slave states in the Union to seceed as well.


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  14. Adrian Lopez says:

    "On top of that the civil war was not about slavery it was about state’s rights to leave the union if the union doesn’t repersent them anymore."

    Considering the "state’s rights" in question all had to do with slavery, to say the Civil War was mainly about "state’s rights" is nothing more than rhetorical sleight of hand. I’m surprised you even bothered to trot out that silly canard.

  15. gamadaya says:

    I was more angry with the Call of Juarez complaints. Even if the confederacy was evil (I think it was), is it necessarily bad to put the player in the point of view of one of it’s soldiers. Like you said, not every southerner was a slave owner. Most were just fighting because they were were told to, or because they were tricked into believing that the North’s goal was to deprive them of their homes, livelihoods, and guns (hey, look at that, things haven’t really changed much).


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  16. Adamas Draconis says:

    We have noticed this ourselves. Methinks yon Chronicle doth need a swift kick in their foolish postierers.


    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  17. Beacon80 says:

    I’ve run into a person who believed only white people were racist.  The irony of the statment was, of course, lost on him.

  18. Austin_Lewis says:

    No, then we’ll all be racists for playing a game with no diversity or some such other bullshit.

  19. CyberSkull says:

    Left 4 Dead’s zombies are all randomly generated based on statistics of who is likely to be in the area of the stage. There are black zombies in L4D1, they are just a little harder to spot than in the designs and setting for L4D2. If all of the zombies were white, the complaint would be "why aren’t black people represented in the game?".

    As for Resident Evil 5 and Call of Juarez, I have played neither so I can’t comment.

  20. gamegod25 says:

    I’m disturbed by how damn sensitive people are these days.

    If you don’t like a game (or something in it) then don’t play it. Simple.

  21. josh111888 says:

     I wouldn’t choose to do that just because I’d get shot while mocking my kill. Then my killer would do the same thing to me and we’d have some sort of necrophilia spree going on.  

  22. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    That was really weak. I mean, lame pull of race card aside, of all the actual examples of racist stereotypes, you pull out these games?

    One of the games that comes to mind is "Left 4 Dead 2." …Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies – with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath…

    There are black people in New Orleans. Black people are not immune to the zombie virus (if they were that would be downright unfair to the other races…). Do the math. It’s not some tongue in cheek mockery of what happened with Katrina, it’s a zombie game.

    The game that really inspired this blog entry was Ubisoft’s "Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood." The game starts out with players assuming the role of Ray, a Confederate officer… the Confederacy, as far as I am concerned, wanted to keep their cheap slave labor and the like. I can not stand the Confederate flag… To me, the flag represents hate — and offends me and many others to no end. [It] made me wonder how much research Ubisoft did for this game…

    The Civil War was a story rich part of history, and if the game takes place in these times of great impact on so many lives, it should be in the game. I’d also like to point out that being in the Confederate military wasn’t always voluntary, and regardless of that, an otherwise villainous character can have protaganistic characteristics that can allow for a somewhat heroic portrayal in a story.

    As a minority, had the South won, I wouldn’t be in this position I am today…

    They would have been conquered by Mexico in a few weeks and begging for the North to take them back, and that’s really irrelevant to your points anyway.


  23. Ratros says:

    I agree.


    What enrages me is that when racism is ever talked about, most of the time blacks jump into peoples minds as if they are the only race that is discriminated against.  Discrimination of any kind is bad in my book, be it against blacks, whites, women, men, or any others, but then we get people who take it to such extremes over stupid crap like this, and it makes real cases go unnoticed.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  24. NovaBlack says:

    ‘…Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies – with several of them who appear to be African-Americans.’



    Um.. so you are angry that some zombies are african american?


    What are the other options?


    Either A) all zombies are african american, then you’d complain it was racist.

    or B) no zombies were aftican american. Then youd complain it wasn’t racist.

    So the developers go with C) SOME zombies are african american (therefore accurately reflecting real life) and you complain its racist.

    Please PLEASE enlighten me on what possible way the developers could have tackled this problem WITHOUT it apparently being racist. GOD im so SICK of ppl who see racism where there is none. GROW UP.



  25. xMrAx says:

     Don’t listen its the Houston Chronicle. Both sides of the political spectrum in Houston thinks its editorals are stupid. Heck many of us stopped subscribing because it got so bad.

  26. sirdarkat says:

     Yeah I never got that; I mean I would shit talk to people in Quake and UT but I don’t ever remember the desire to run over and dry hump them.

  27. The-Adder says:

    What enrages me is that some times there is a genuine reason to take offense, but people like this cry wolf so often that when there is something that is genuinly racist, people disregard it the same way they do this.

  28. GrimCW says:

    wow.. its only racist if you MAKE it racist for crying out loud.

    i even made an off remark on welfare in one forum and someone IMMEDIATLY took it as a slur against black people… i NEVER brought race into it, i merely stated i hate welfare mongrels who leach off the system, as in ANYONE who does it without intent to get a job (my sister until recently was one such a-hole)

    if you take it as racism then it becomes racism in your head. people need to stop looking for anything they can misconstrue and back off.

    Cole in GoW is NOT racist just because he uses OLD slang… how that can even be racist i don’t know, but theres a few things against it besides its a FICTIONAL character, theres also its a FICTIONAL world and real world terms of slang do NOT apply. maybe the makers felt more at ease with a less racial slurring slang as most of todays has a negative spin to a lot of its wording.

    and out of HORDES of zombies in L4D2 SEVERAL are black? its racist because its set in new orleans and theres are only SEVERAL out of a HORDE of some 100+ zombies that are black?

    ummm what again? whats wrong, there should be more black zombies? or is it just because there happen to be black zombies that its racist?

    oye, the moment we all drop the "THATS RACIST!" accusations the better off we’ll be… this is really getting outta hand lately.

    next thing you know we’ll hear its racist that theres only 1 black guy in DoA games and not so many either in other titles…

    or is it only racist to include them? i’m lost now.


    Edit: oh and BTW, how is it racist to set a game in a period whereing there was indeed heavy emphasis on racial slurring and such and continue to include period specific referances?

    if removed isn’t that the same as removing all mention of the same material from a book set in said period? school text books included?

    why is it racist to merely depict a true enough past in a modern way?

    IMHO its just a cry to erase and ignore, or leech and make cash off exploiting past issues and raise contraversy over something pointless so someone can cash in on a lawsuit over it by bringing it out.

  29. GoodRobotUs says:

    What makes me laugh are 12 year olds’ who spew out homophobic comments and then, when they actually get a kill, go and hump their opponents face regardless of gender.

    Ahhh.. The Hippocrisy of youth 😉

  30. F__ked up says:

    Good god, Well I guess that this should have been expected especially in todays day and age where playing the racist card is your joker, trump, wild, beat all card. If you feel that an injustice has been placed upon you as a minority pull out the racist card and you win. Dave Chappelle had truth in jest when he did that skit.

    Honestly whats with people today? Can anyone think critically anymore? Has it been completely removed from our education system since authoritans hate it when students question the authority of teachers?

    I have not seen an answer from all these people claimming racisim on what will make this not racist. If you want to stop these so called racist attacks have a solution and make sure that solution is reasonable, not just reversing the racisim. I know that some will just want it to be Blacks killing white people and yeah your doing a great job their of stopping racism.

    What next? We cant have Chinese Zombies in China being killed by a Japanese Protagonist since its to close the Rape of Nanking?


    I am a critical thinker not a dumb ass inbred conservative or a jackass liberal

    Pedophiles are the new Nazi / Communist. Labeling someone a Pedophile will get them blacklisted even though there is no evidence.

    Murder is not a crime when done in self defense, a time of war, or when done by court order (death penalty). People cry murder when fetus are aborted. How about when the mother could die? The mother is 13 years old? The mother was raped? The child is a product of incest? Is foster care really the best answer for children who’s parents cant take of them? How many children actually end up in foster care when their parents are dead beats?

    A 14 year old is child when they have sex but is an adult when they commit murder?

  31. Kendra Kirai says:

    I guess the fact there are black people in louisianna doesn’t matter to him, and he wants every single zombie to be pure white as the driven snow.


    Then he’d bitch that there were no black people in the game.


    Racism goes both ways, buddy.

  32. Tom says:

    But but but… they’re zombies!  It would be irresponsible NOT to kill them!

    Seriously, though, this guy has no understanding of perspective and probably just a slim grasp of social realities.  Whoever said it above is spot on – if they had made a zombie game set in New Orleans that didn’t feature a good amount of black zombies, people like Jefferson would be crying foul over the lack of racial variety.  That he is immediately reminded of the aftermath of Katrina is his own issue, not mine or the developers.  There are a lot of horrible things that have happened in my lifetime that I am reminded of by pieces of popular culture.

    I don’t even want to go into the whole Call of Juarez issue.

  33. sirdarkat says:

     Great xkcd comic and just like xkcd we can’t leave it alone he’s wrong dammit and he must be insulted and berated for it.

  34. saregos says:

    Ok. He’s wrong. We can accept that, can’t we? He’s wrong, he’s a moron, he’s obscure and he’s already been told off a large number of times. The fact is that he’s reading too much into these games… which is stupid, on his part, but it’s only cutting into his enjoyment and not anyone else’s.

    Racism is, at this point, almost exclusively in the eye of the beholder.


    — Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known

  35. Ratros says:

    These days your lucky to see a person like that of ANY race, so it’d fit since games are supposed to be about fantasy.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  36. sirdarkat says:

     Its very simple you can only show black men as being well educated harvard profs that smoke a corn cob pipe and speak with the eleogant tongue of a man smitten with Shakespeare.  Any other repersentation is Racisit because you might imply they are not the pinnacle of human society and are just as normal as everyone else.

  37. sirdarkat says:

     On top of that the civil war was not about slavery it was about state’s rights to leave the union if the union doesn’t repersent them anymore.  Since the states had polarized and the southern states couldn’t get a dem elected they felt the union didn’t repersent them anymore and they wanted out.  Lincoln made it about slavery in order to get support from the north because frankly he didn’t want to go down as the president that destroyed the union but he couldn’t get the north to support him because they agreed that the southern states had the right to leave if they wanted too.  In fact we probably would have seen much similar reactions if a Republican would have been elected instead of Obama in the Northern states (and Cali).

  38. Alex says:

    One of the games that comes to mind is "Left 4 Dead 2." …Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies – with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath…

    OH NO, STOP THE PRESSES, EVERYONE! SOME OF THE ZOMBIES IN LEFT 4 DEAD 2 ARE BLACK! Clearly this is an injustice to African-Americans everywhere. Let’s all be outraged!

    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.

  39. Neeneko says:

    As a minority, had the South won, I wouldn’t be in this position I am today…

    Actually the columnist would probalby be in a better position today if the south had won.

    Slavery was on the way out one way or the other.. but the Civil war spawned so much bad blood and blame that blacks became a focus of all that rage.  Groups like the KKK would have been much weaker if there was not this whole meme connection humiliation and economic dispair with civil rights.

    Not saying things would have been rosy, and it would have taken an extra generation or two to elimitate slavery.. and racism would not simply vanish.. but a lot of the fuel that took racism to such extremes would potentially not have been there.

    A similiar parrell can be made in WWII… if not for humiliation of how WWI ended and the crushing economic policies on germany post WWI, anti-semitism would not had nearly as much energy behind it.

  40. Daria_C says:

    The only racism here is coming from Willie Jefferson. As a causasian women I am insulted by his insinuation that it is only proper for my race to get killed. One would hope that we lived in a world where all ethnicities are allowed an equally chance to be mowed down in a video game. *sigh*

  41. lordlundar says:

    And the sad part is, if the game had the main character exclusively black, all the zombies caucasian and with every zombie he killed he yelled some phrase like "suck it cracka’!", the author would look at it and say "racism? what racism? I don’t see any racism there".

  42. chadachada321 says:

    This has got to be either the largest troll ever or the biggest racist on the internet ever.

    I need a few minutes (days probably) to gather the reasons why, because there was way too much stupidity in those TWO PARAGRAPHS that I just read.

    Jesus Christ was that bad…(oh wait, I might offend people if I say Jesus >.>)

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  43. M. Carusi says:

    What is it with black ZOMBIES being the only thing that people cry foul over?  Someone already listed a long number of games that you make vague claims of racism over, yet when they’re zombies, all bets are off?  I think I’m missing something.

    M. Carusi
    Capitol Gaming

  44. Zerodash says:

    Exactly how, in this mindset, would the racism be removed from L4D2 or RE5?  Would a depiction of New Orleans or Africa with ONLY white people be considered okay?

  45. DarthCadeous501 says:

    I am disturbed by the growing trend of racist undertones that are cropping up in video games.

    Which ones? The way people of every different skin color get treated in games equally?

    One of the games that comes to mind is "Left 4 Dead 2." …Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies – with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath…

    This is a game about killing zombies, not a social commentary about Hurricane Katrina. Oh and the game takes place in other places in Louisiana as well.

    The game that really inspired this blog entry was Ubisoft’s "Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood." The game starts out with players assuming the role of Ray, a Confederate officer… the Confederacy, as far as I am concerned, wanted to keep their cheap slave labor and the like. I can not stand the Confederate flag… To me, the flag represents hate — and offends me and many others to no end. [It] made me wonder how much research Ubisoft did for this game…

    Now I may not be Southern, but I have some issues with your analysis. So you start out as a Confederate officer. Did you miss a certain game called The History Channel Civil War: A Nation Divided? You could actually play as a Confederate soldier. The Confederate flag also isn’t a symbol of hatred to some. For those people, it is a sign of southern history. Did you ever stop to think that some people fought for the Confederates because the South was their home? They had families to feed and protect. But I guess every single person below the Mason-Dixon line had slaves.

    As a minority, had the South won, I wouldn’t be in this position I am today…

    ………….Thats irrelevent in my opinion.

  46. Snipzor says:

     Okay, why is this person complaining about a historically inspired videogame? That’s along the lines of grasping straws.

  47. Papa Midnight says:

    I feel inclined to call bullshit on this article. Now if it had come from the perspective of "racism rampant in video games online", then we may have had something there. Racial undertones in Left 4 Dead 2 because many persons are African American in the setting which is in New Orleans, a city with a large African American population? Are you serious?

    This is about as legitimate of a claim as those who said Resident Evil 4 was racist against Mexicans. The ironic thing is that there is a large amount of people who actually believe they are killing Mexicans. Funny part about Resident Evil 4 is that they are Spaniards.

    Resident Evil 5 got knocked for the imagery of Africans… in Africa?

    Wouldn’t surprise me if someone suddenly called Call of Duty: World at War racist against Japanese, Call of Duty xenophobic to Germans, and Call of Duty 4 racist to Middle Easterners.

    But hey, while we’re on a role with it, let’s point out other things:

    Wanted: Weapons of Fate; French xenophobia.

    Gears of War; stereotypical black guy

    Left 4 Dead; stereotypical black guy

    Left 4 Dead 2; stereotypical black guy

    Fallout 3; xenophobia, facism, overt racism, elitism

    Grand Theft Auto 3; Racist to Italians because you kill Italian mobsters

    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; Okay, admittedly this one did encourage you to kill the Hatians just a little bit more strongly than any other racial group in the game.

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; I don’t even know where to begin

    Grand Theft Auto 4; classic FOB eastern-european illegal immigrant.

    Seriously, can we just look at a game for its artistic value for once? Next thing we know, someone will be saying "Six Days in Fallujah" violates National Security.

    Papa Midnight

  48. Logan says:

    Last I checked, no one likes to be called something by anyone else.  It’s much more acceptable to name yourself versus having someone else name you.

  49. Logan says:

    It’s clear by now that gamers are flat out refusing to see that people are not claiming that the enemy characters being black is racist.  They are attempting to change the discussion into those terms, but the issue has been the design of the characters since the beginning.  The infected in grass skirts, chucking spears?  Not one person has even remotely acknowledged that they exist…simply put, they refute the argument that it’s just because they are black that people are upset.  In terms of RE5, of course.

    On the L4D2 point, this guy is a reactionary idiot. 

  50. Logan says:

    "So in this FANTASY world where people become ZOMBIE-LIKE the people of that locale turn in to ZOMBIES. Sounds simple enough."

    Would have been simple enough were it not for the tribal garb and grass skirts to match the spear chucking…did you even play RE5?  The issue is not that the players are black, or that the enemies are black, it’s that the infected are walking around in the most offensive of African stereotypes, the secondary character has an outfit that literally has her walking around in an animal bikini with a bone necklace, and the story is an allegory for the European domination of Africa.  It’s the overly simplistic amongst gamers that devolved it into the most simple terms, ie Black zombies = racist.  That is the only way that the people en masse can argue that the game does not draw on racially insensitive stereotypes and imagery.

  51. Logan says:

    Wow.  I know you didn’t go there with the black colleges comment.

    Take two seconds and educate yourself.  Black colleges came about because blacks were not allowed into white colleges (like every school in the country basically).  This is the same thing that the Irish did (ever hear of Notre Dame), that the Catholics did, and it’s essentially the first step towards achieving some kind of equal status in society.  Remember that America treated every new group of immigrants as a distinct race for a while, and they were all pretty much discriminated against.  Just so happened that blacks were (and still are, which is something people seem to ignore) the bottom rung of that ladder in terms of treatment.

    Also, if you would take a step off of your high horse for a second, I’d like you realize that it might not be the viewpoint of every black that they are being segregated.  Also consider this: if you are white, you oftentimes can, if you so choose, to lead a life where you do not interact with a single minority.  That’s becoming less and less possible, but it still is possible.  Essentially, there are hundreds of thousands of "whites" that go their entire lives without interacting with a single person of color…kind of what you’re impugning blacks for here.  You could probably do better than unleashing your rage at "wrongs" you feel that blacks have done that you disagree with.  That’s something that I’ve seen at every juncture when it comes to race and racial discussion.  There’s this huge undercurrent of white rage that comes along with finding out that in most cases, there are a ton of advantages that they can be assured of without even knowing.  There’s a guilt trip involved in finding out that just being themselves has entitled them to something, and even more upsetting, to find out that it creates resentment among those who don’t have the advantage at all.  For a white male to preach about equality in the manner that you have in your post is about as close as the pot calling the kettle black as we can get.

    And no one cares about the color of one’s skin…until it starts to erode some of the perks that you didn’t know you had.

  52. Areian says:

    The current streak of controversy over racism in video games is really starting to annoy me.
    It amazes me that every time a black guy get’s killed people cry fowl, but it’s somehow OK when it’s white guys being shot. Equality means that you don’t treat people differently based on some differential aspect.
    RE5 had lot’s of black guys being infected, sure, no one is denying that, but seen in the context of the other games in the series, it’s no different from the Spanish people in RE4 or the citizens of Raccoon City in the previous games. It’s a result of the location rather than a racist agenda by the developers.
    The same goes for Left 4 Dead 2. When you set a zombie game in a location such as New Orleans, where a majority of the inhabitants are African-American, then of course a lot of the zombies will be of African-American origin as a result.
    This is not being racist, but being true to the setting of the games. To be honest, I would have been more offended had the majority of the infected in RE5 been white, not because of there racial origin, but because it would have been a clear indication that the developers where trying to a peace people who are too easily offended.

    And as for the issue about the protagonists of Call of Juarez being Confederates, I think it’s important that we don’t paint a picture of all confederates as evil, but rather as people following misguided ideals. And this goes for other "villans" with strong political motivations as well.

  53. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Why of corse the more sterotypes of all races and creeds are brought in the more insipied bigotry there is, its simple, keep it out as many races and creeds as you can!!

    A no brainer!!




    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..


  54. axiomatic says:

    I seriously doubt the developers of RE5 had any aspirations of racisism at all. It’s a locale people. The indigenous poeple of Haiti (where RE% is set) are African American. So in this FANTASY world where people become ZOMBIE-LIKE the people of that locale turn in to ZOMBIES. Sounds simple enough.

    Look I hate racisism in any form… but this is blatent PROJECTION of racisism where none was originally intended.

    I believe it is overly POLITICALLY CORRECT people like some in this forum and the author of this Houston Chronicle article who are turning this issue in to racisism.

    (Side Note: Being a Houstonian myself… I apologize for this idiot author from my city. We are not all idiots down here in Houston.)

  55. Adamas Draconis says:

    Ahh but an african-american/black person can call themselves that.

    Lets call a spade(shovel) a spade (shovel), I’m a bloody MUTT, heinz 57, metis, mongrel, mixed up cake mix, I AM HUMAN!

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  56. CBell says:

    When I read the title I thought the guy was talking about how black people are portrayed in games.  Like the sterotypical way they talk and act, and I was like, "Yeah, I agree 100%." 

    Then I read the article and realized he was a typical reactionist douche.

  57. Coach says:

    Come to think of it, how did Eulogy Jones (a black man) running a slave camp in Paradise Falls in Fallout 3 manage to fly under the radar?  I guess since it was a black man enslaving white people it was okay.  The message from the black community being slavery is okay as long as it isn’t black people who are the slaves.  I have no doubt if Paradise Falls was run by a white guy who had black slaves they would have been outraged.           

  58. Alex says:

    My county has a "black chamber of commerce."

    I have no earthly idea why.

    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.

  59. Kabyk says:

    For RE5, it was more racist to change the game after-the-fact and include white people in the enemy roster, because it does so in with the idea of racism in mind. If they were left as all black, then it would be a geographically and culturalistically correct game with no burden of thought about racism being viable.

  60. Arell says:

    I’m more concerned about the blatant racism against Elves depicted in the upcoming Dragon Age game.

  61. Nocturne says:

    Blade on PS2: Run around as a black guy killing mostly white undead = no complaints over Racism

    L4D2: Run around as a black or white guy killing both black and white undead = RACISM!!!!

    welcome to Bizarro world folks

  62. Mech says:

    I think the author is too much of an idiot to understand more than a word or two of what you wrote. Logic is an incredibly difficult thing for a bigot to understand.

  63. Mech says:

    Moron gets access to a computer, said moron makes a post on the internet that is mornic. People laugh at the moron. 

    Case closed.

  64. Gaffit says:

    Is Racism Becoming a Norm in Gaming?

    No, but it is becoming the norm in mainstream blogging. I can understand why someone would be offended by it, but what I can’t understand is why they wouldn’t silently put it away and stop playing it, or maybe even go back and get a refund, if the author of that article even bought said games in the first place and isn’t simply reacting to what he’s read.

  65. MrKlorox says:

    Ugh. I just finished up a gory forum battle with a black guy who kept perceiving racism in everything. There’s a sociological mental disorder festering in America and I’m not talking about Republicanism. It seems like all the people who demanded others get past racism are stuck on it themselves. What absolute hypocrites.

  66. iceman654 says:

    If black people can’t handle being the villians then what it really displays is the lack of their own willingness to intergrate and be apart of society as ‘one’ rather than a ‘color’.

    People really are just making something out of nothing. Oh look there are black people in the game, RACIST! Oh look there are no black people in the game, RACIST! 

    Killing or playing only as white people is what’s racist. Blacks complain about how they’re being segregated yet who are the ones that invented black colleges, black this and black that? The blacks. If they don’t want to be segregated then why are they bringing it upon themselves? Make an effort and get rid of these ‘black only’ organizations. Stop referring to caucasians as ‘whites’ if you don’t want to be referred to as ‘black’. It’s rather simple.

    I mean seriously, this is 2009, nobody gives a flying fuck what the color of your skin is. You’re being delusional and stirring shit for the sake of it.

  67. ikillchicken says:

    Who else here appreciated the irony of his complaining about racism while simulaneously implying anyone who was part of the confeteracy was a hateful rasict and a slave owner?

  68. Longjocks says:

    "[It] made me wonder how much research Ubisoft did for this game…"

    Much like how that quote makes me wonder whether Mr. Jefferson actually played the game. Research, eh? Too bad you don’t take your own advice.

  69. Father Time says:

    "The game starts out with players assuming the role of Ray, a Confederate officer… the Confederacy, as far as I am concerned, wanted to keep their cheap slave labor and the like. I can not stand the Confederate flag… To me, the flag represents hate — and offends me and many others to no end. [It] made me wonder how much research Ubisoft did for this game…"

    So because they gave confederate soliders in the civil war the confederate flag they didn’t do enough research.

    The stupid, it burns.


    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.

  70. Ratros says:

    Describing someone as black can be seen as racist….and how I wish that was a joke.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  71. DarkSaber says:

    Oh for gods sake, souds like some attention-seeker who was too late to jump on the RE5 bandwagon.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  72. Wormdundee says:

    Ok, since I think the fact that this guy is stupid and doesn’t know what racism is has been covered enough I want to open up another topic for discussion.

    with several of them who appear to be African-Americans

    Does anybody else think this is one of the more stupid terms to appear? Motherfucker, they are not ‘African-American’, they are black alright? I’m betting a miniscule amount of black people in north america have ever been to Africa, it’s just stupid. Am I supposed to demand that people call me European-American? Also, how moronic is it to use the names of continents to describe someone’s skin color? Guess what, not everybody in Africa is black, and not everybody in Europe is white!

    To me, an African-American is someone who has citizenship in both Africa and the USA. And that’s all it should ever mean.

  73. MaskedPixelante says:

    Very well. Should I ever make a video game, I will be sure that every character is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white person.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  74. Logan says:

    Punch-Out’s coach is a pretty stereotype laden character too.

    Big, bugged out eyes

    Dark skin

    Big pink/red lips

    Stereotypical recording lines

    Not exactly a good example to choose.

  75. Alex says:

    To quote Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Grinch, "It’s because I’m GREEN, isn’t it?!"

    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.

  76. Logan says:

    You had a good one, right up until you made your "British Flag" rant.  Firstly, under what authority are you speaking to all blacks/people who find the Confederate flag offensive?  Secondly, has the British flag been adopted as the symbol for any type of hate group in the United States?  The Confederate flag has.

    And to answer your question about black comedians, the answer is like this: if someone is performing and you don’t like the performance, you leave.  Same thing that people are saying about games, don’t play them if they offend you.  Now, I will say that it’s rich for people to complain about blacks making jokes about anyone considering for the last 150 years up to and including these days, blacks have been painted as sub-human, less intelligent, less compassionate, more likely to commit crime, etc etc.  Not to mention facial structure has been mocked, the entire ethnic group has been told that they are closer to apes than men, horrible things have been said or done in this decade that should make it obvious that racism has not died down, and we are still a long way from equality.

  77. Austin_Lewis says:

    Guys, guys.  Don’t you all realize?  These days, only white people can be racist.  Otherwise, we’d have to admit that people like Sotomayor, Jackson, Sharpton, the jackass that wrote this article, and many, many comedians are terrible racists. 

    Seriously though.  Why is it okay for a black comedian to craft an entire set about white jokes (complete with racism and stereotypes), but when Michael Richards snaps and shouts a racist slur a few times, it’s the worst thing anyone could do?  I’m not saying what he did was right, but what the hell guys? 

    Personally, I think we need to remember MLK a bit more, and what he stood for; he didn’t stand for reparations, he didn’t stand for affirmative action, he stood for EQUALITY.  In all ways.


    Oh, and one more thing.  Shut the fuck up about the confederate flag.  If you don’t like it, then don’t fly it outside your house.  Don’t put a confederate flag bumper sticker on your car.  But don’t bitch when others do.  I’m from an Irish family that suffered atrocities far worse than most slaves at the hand of the British, but I don’t get pissy when I see someone with a british flag on their car.  Why?  Because it’s not a big deal.  It’s a piece of fucking history for people, so grow up and stop demanding everyone conform so you don’t feel bad.

    God, these people need to have someone follow them around all day and just shine the world’s biggest spotlight on their insecurities until they decide to live the life of a hermit.

  78. Adamas Draconis says:

    well, since the common wisdom is that for every pathogen there is at least 1% of the human population having some form of immunity/resistance factor, it is possible that such a genetic trait could make a person unsuitible as a host.

    (This science moment brought to you by coffee!: *BOING BOING BOING*

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  79. Monte says:

      Don’t forget, you have to be careful with how you portray them as the main character… otherwise it can come off as racist. They probably can only be portrayed as being the nicest most non violent people you’d ever meet and not stereotypical in anyway…

    So if you want a violent character as a main hero… he can’t be a minority… though with all the above given points, then minorities don’t get a role in the game… and to exclude minorites is probably racist…


    Conclusion… all games that do not have a really nice minority main character are racist!

  80. thefremen says:

    Actually one wonders if the carrying of one of the genes that cause sickle cell anemia might grant someone immunity from the virus in L4D. Not that all African Americans are carriers but that mutation is more common amongst African Americans.


    I think it’s just plain odd to include L4D2…


    Also, Louis is the "everyman" in L4D if you ask me. 

  81. Firebird says:




    (Yes… that hypocrisy is obvious.)

  82. IsoNeko says:

    By that logic: Unless we place all the Minorities as the main star. Then were racists.

    I swear those who whine about racism from their arm chairs are often racists themselves

  83. CMiner says:

    Imaginary violence against any minority is wrong.  Placing any minority in the role of a villain is wrong.

    If a game has either of these, it is racism.

    If a game lacks a minority protagonist, it is racism.

    Any minority role that resembles a sterotype, despite the fact that stereotypes are, on occassion, accurate, is racism.

    Of course, constantly protraying older white males as evil, corrupt CEO’s is perfectly acceptable.

  84. State says:

    We do seem to be getting onto this idea that "black people as the bad guys" is racist, are we ever allowed to let black people assume the role of villian, doesn’t it then become racist not to allow them to become villians. The article points out that some of the zombies are black, so the rest must be white then, but how comes it isn’t racist against white people that there are white zombies?

  85. Ratros says:

    So black people can’t become zombies?  Does this pertain to a certain black community in a certain location (African-Americans/Italians/yougettheidea) or is it just those that live in Africa?  And what about those who are mixed with other races?

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  86. Alex says:

    "Molehill mountaineers?"

    I like that. I think I’ll steal it.

    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.

  87. GoodRobotUs says:

    I watched a movie the other day, set in the Bronx, it was about Gangs.

    It was terrible, all but two members of this gang were black!

    Of course, this had nothing to do with the fact that ‘minorities’ statistically get the short end of the stick when it comes to finding employment, and everything to do with the fact the program was racist…

    Whoever wrote this has really had to reach to find racism, and that annoys me, because, as some people have pointed out, molehill mountaineers such as this distract from real problems that crop up from time to time with race-presentation. We all have to look out for stereotypes, but this is more like treating someone as though simply ‘being non-white’ in a computer game is somehow racist.


    Edit: To put it bluntly, if you have to ask yourself ‘Is this racist?’, then the chances are extremely high that it isn’t.

  88. Im_Blue says:


    I agree with Craig on this point. COD4 really really doesn’t approach the issue of war all that deeply, its certainly on the Rambo side of things.

    1: Havent played it in a while but all I can remember is the ‘witty’ comments such as "Are we shooting the good Russians or the bad Russians?" Not to mention the ridiculous comm-arab-terroist enemies with the red hammer and sickle flag, but moddified to be two Persian swords or something. I Really couldn’t take the game that seriously.

    2:More to the point COD4 still rewards you for killing people which pretty much garuntees that its on the Rambo side of the fence. Granted Saving Private Ryan contains entertaining action scenes (I think Full Metal Jacket or Apocalyspe Now are better examples) but these are used to complement the more serious issues it tackles. It’s pretty much the opposite for COD4…. It has a few ‘engaging’ scenes to complement the true purpose of the game which is to have fun killing people.

    Im sorry but IMO anyone who thinks that COD4 is some really engaging war commentry is just shitting themselves.

  89. Craig Ostrin says:

    I loved Call of Duty 4, but I think there were only a few moments in that game that achieved something on the level of a Saving Private Ryan: The nuke and the gunship. Maybe the execution at the beginning too. However, I’m not entirely convinced that it was on purpose, since the rest of the game is more standard video-game action.

    Also, from what I’ve seen and heard about Modern Warfare 2, it seems like they’re not necessarily going to follow up on the more provocative parts of CoD4. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong though.

    And if there are other games out there that expand on the best parts (in my opinion) of CoD4, please fill me in.



  90. The Hangd Man says:

    Apparently Craig, you never played Call of Duty 4. We’ve had a few "Private Ryan"s and "Thin Red Line"s. Maybe you just haven’t played them. And I do agree with you about the Confederate bit, it’s just a small piece a much bigger story and not worth raising cain about.


    I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn’t it meat?

  91. Craig Ostrin says:

    You’re right that action movies do the same thing, but the difference between games and movies, at least for the moment, is that the movie industry has its Rambos and its Saving Private Ryans. Games only have the former, and we haven’t yet shown that we can take on the themes of conflict as seriously as films can.

    And let’s face it. Call of Juarez is not trying to provoke any serious thought or discussion about what it was like to be a Confederate soldier. At the most, they probably thought it would be cool to stir up a tiny bit of controversy to generate some buzz. Also, you barely play as a Confederate. It’s just a prologue, at the end of which, the two protagonists desert the army and are hunted by them for the rest of the game.



  92. Mech says:

    Everyone knows white people are the only people on this planet allowed to be shown in video games in a negative manner. Get a clue you fucking stupid racist.

  93. IsoNeko says:

    Does the fact that there are also Black people playing the protagonists in L4D2 mean nothing?


    Is Violence only accepted when it’s White people getting shot? Now who’s the racist?

  94. MrKlorox says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if exactly that happened. I mean some games have details down to the accurate phase of the moon on a specific date.

  95. MrKlorox says:

    Speaking of which, I found the Transformers robots to be much more offensive than any videogame character… and they were fucking METAL.

  96. Kincyr says:

    it’s only racist if you play stereotypes as well, e.g. successfully using stuff like fried chicken and rap CDs to lure the black zombies away from you

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  97. MrKlorox says:

    Ganondorf is black? He always looked kinda olive green to me; like an ork.

    But the only actually black character I can think of is Coach Louis from Punch Out. Typical casting black people as athletically inclined. RACISM!! Where are the black protagonists in the couch-ridden cheetos and diabetes sims?

  98. Saxy says:

    Ohmigawd! this guy is right! And you know what else is racist?


    Nintendo. Think about it. How many black people are in their games? I can think of one, and it’s Ganondorf. Coincidence? I think not!

  99. Krono says:

    I’d be pretty confident that some people north of the line would have owned slaves

    Pretty confident? The North had several slave states that elected to remain with the Union.


  100. asmodai says:

    As previously noted by another poster, the American Civil war was more about the possible succession of the south than it was about slavery.  And it’s inane to think that every young lad that went off to war was a land and slave owner.  I’d be pretty confident that some people north of the line would have owned slaves just as surely as some people south of it would abhor slavery…

    Which is all besides the point, the Civil war occurred and setting a game in it (as a historical event) is not racist unless you deliberately looking for racism in everything you see.

  101. Ratros says:

    If that was a comment about me, then I’m afraid you misinterepreted.  I said pretty much the same thing and went on to say that if it bothers a person that they are shooting a certain race instead of the fact that they’re killing people, then there is something seriously wrong here.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  102. jedidethfreak says:

    How is killing black people in an area where a lot of black people live racist?  That’s like saying playing an FPS game that takes place in Minnesota is racist against whites, or one that takes place in Japan is racist against Japanese.

    To prove my argument about people who say this is racist are morons, I present the following:


    This is probably the most unbiased look at "racism" in gaming.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  103. The Hangd Man says:

    With the racist message being what here? That minorities are not immune to a zombification virus, much like the rest of the "majority"? I’d say that not having black zombies at all is more racist than having a large mix of zeds of all races.

    I’m sorry, it seems that people are really stretching to label things as racist if it has even one minority that you can kill, regardless of the context of what and where the storyline is taking place. If people would take just one brief moment to look at the context of the story (zomg frakkin’ zombies in populated areas!) then you can determine whether or not the actual thought behind them is racist.


    Black zombies in africa? Holy sh*t! Say it ain’t so. Black zombies in New Orleans? Omg, both of those are so racist. On the other hand, black zombies in Salt Lake City would be a bit of a stretch….


    I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn’t it meat?

  104. Ratros says:

    I seem to have mis-spoken.  What I meant is that it’s disgusting for one to think that its wrong to kill one race while its alright to kill another, and I was not trying to point you out in any way or form. 

    When I brought up Jack Thompson I only used him as reference since he is an avid anti-game legislator (albiet a bad one).  I only brought them up because it was important to note that the thoughts that you had posted coiencided with the thoughts of these groups, and although it may effect people of certain youths (though this has yet to be proven, I still think it’s a bad idea to take a ten year old to an R rated movie or let them play something like Gears of War) most of us know the difference between fantasy and reality, thus such things that were racist in terms (though I have yet to see one) would only appeal as a form of satire with massive sterotypes, or to those who are racist.

    But to see something where one person shoots a black person in a region where black is NOT a minor ethnic group but instead a major one, is disgusting and disturbing on more than one level. 

    Also note that my comment wasn’t intended for Mr. Jefferson who I consider, for the lack of a better term, an blind moron who’s learned to use a keyboard (insulting but when someone posts something stupid, it makes me think they themselves are stupid), but for you Mr. Ostrin cause your take on the situation was interesting and different.  I apologize if you felt insulted in any way, but was merely interested in your take on the conditioning that could appear in games.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  105. Craig Ostrin says:

    I didn’t say it bothers me, I just think there’s something to learn here.

    Though you do make an excellent point. If we call a contextually appropriate game "racist," because it applauds you for killing minorities, shouldn’t we be even more uncomfortable with the simple fact that the game cheers you for killing?

    However, I think you miss the point when you try to bring the Thompson angle into this. Willie Jefferson, the blogger, wasn’t saying that he thought these games were conditioning us to hate minorities; he was uncomfortable because he thought they contain a racist message.



  106. PumaFau says:

    About the Confederate thing


    Sometimes gamers want to play the bad guy not jsut the hero


    The person who wore the article is retarded

  107. Adamas Draconis says:

    Sucks when you use all your ammo too early then something that deserves it more comes up doesn’t it.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  108. deathvanquished says:

    The "journalist" that wrote this article is racist against everybody who isn’t black apparently.  He sees no problem killing countless Japanese in CODWAW, or Germans in Medal of Honor, and Middle-Eastern Muslims in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand.  I’m pretty sure that if it was in an African-Muslim nation he would bitch about it and yet he wants developers to give gamers the option to choose their side?!  You and others like you would condemn a game that give people a choice to gas Jews or save them. 

    He calls Left 4 Dead 2 racist because there are black zombies in the game.  Well, where are the feminist groups complaining that there are female zombies?  Oh yeah, most people aren’t as stupid as this "journalist."  Not to mention that 67% of New Orleans is made up of black citizens.  They are not a minority there.

    He calls Call of Juarez racist.  Is a film racist when it realistically portrays what happened during the Civil War?  Does this "journalist" think that Danny Glover really beat Whoopi Goldberg when he watched the Color Purple?  Does he think that Edward Norton really was a skin head?  They portrayed people who were terrible to the black men, doesn’t that make them racist in this man’s eyes?  I mean, what fictional world does this "journalist" live in?

    What hasn’t been said about Resident Evil 5?  You go to Africa and guess what!?  There are Africans that you must kill in order to survive.  Remember, just because you are a minority here, you are not a minority elsewhere.

    Oh and forgetting and avoiding your history means that you refuse to learn from your mistakes and that is a dangerous way of thinking.  If you try to forget the past, you are doomed to repeat it.

    One more thing, play the game before you condemn it.  It sounds like you didn’t get far in Call of Juarez due to your own ignorance.  If you did, then you would know that the character leaves the Confederacy early on in the game and you kill the people that are sent after you for leaving.

    Integrity is something that is supposed to be a cabiot of Journalism, apparently The Houston Chronicle disagrees.


  109. Beacon80 says:

    See, if I were making this game (and for all I know, this is what Valve did), I’d look at the recent Census data and use that when populating the game.  So if it’s 61.3%, then that’s the percentage of the zombies that would be black.  And if anyone said it was racism, I could reply "No, that’s realism!"

  110. Austin_Lewis says:

    So Left 4 Dead 2 is racist, but are Nagin’s comments about how he envisioned a chocolate Nawlins racist?

  111. TheMouse says:

    It’s only racist ’cause you MAKE it racist..

    Yes.. in New Orleans some of the population will amazingly be African-Americans.. and in a fictional zombie war world.. it’s possible that some of them might be effected by the reanimation plauge just like anyone else of any skin color..

    I swear.. some people need to grow thicker skin, just ’cause there are black enemys in a videogame dosent mean the next step is slavery.

  112. Baruch_S says:

    Pretend that certain parts of history never happened?

    Sadly enough, a lot of people would like that.

  113. hellfire7885 says:

    The answer my good sir, has been there all along. Don’t play the game.

    And Call Juarez takes place during those times as I recall. What do you expect them to do? Pretend that certain parts of history never happened?



    And honeslty, I don’t mind it. It kind of roots out some people who don’t realize they are racist, and thatis those who are bitching about it and calling attention to it. In fact if they never mentioned it no one would likely think about it.

  114. Tom says:

    There is an interesting conversation there, but the guy who wrote the initial blog post isn’t having it.  Unfortunately, his reactions are completely knee-jerk and baseless.

    However, I completely agree with you about the reward system of games – we are consistently considered "winners" if we kill whoever or whatever we’re supposed to kill and there are generally neither repercussions nor degrees of "uncomfort."  That’s not necesseraly a bad thing, though.  Most throw away action movies (like most throw away action games) present violence as the driving conflict in a sanitized way because it’s entertainment.  However, that also allows certain movies and games to turn the system on its head by doing exactly what you suggest – making it uncomfortable.  Oftentimes that uncomfort is enahnced when it is contextually appropriate because it hits home that there is a solid factual basis for what you’re seeing or doing virtually – ie somebody actually did these horrible things that I’m uncomfortable pretending to do.

  115. Beacon80 says:

    There are dozens of games where you can play as Nazi Germany, and very few people seem to care.

    The Civil War is an important and interesting part of our history.  People make movies and books about it, so it’s not surprising that video games are made, too.  And most war-based games let you live out both sides of the conflict.  I think treating this any differently, just because slavery’s involved is a bad thing.

  116. Ratros says:

    If this bothers you, it should bother you for the fact that the game is cheering you on for killing people, NOT because you kill someone of a certain race.  This is what Jack Thompson, the Eagle Forum, and several other anti-game entities are afraid of.  It’s the fact that we can distinguish fantasy from reality that keeps us sane and not shooting people in real life.  Something that anti-gamers don’t understand.


    I find your comments on the killing of certain races instead of killing in any way highly disturbing and disgusting.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  117. Craig Ostrin says:

    Before we all roll our eyes at just another knee-jerk mainstream guy (edit: too late), there’s actually a valid discussion to be had here. I think the issue is that games are typically affirmative of all player actions. "Yeah! You killed those Yanks! You beat the level! You got an Achievement! Go you!"

    So, whenever you do something in a game like, say, shoot a black person, even if it’s historically or contextually appropriate, the fact that the game is cheering you on the whole way can make people uncomfortable.



  118. FlakAttack says:

    All these people crying about racism in games are forgetting that for a very long time, black people had no representation AT ALL in games. Now, more and more black characters are showing up and IT’S RACISM!?

    GTFO, seriously. This is exactly the opposite: gaming companies are spreading their wings a bit. It has nothing to do with racism, they’re trying to include more people.

  119. JustChris says:

    When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath…

    I, meaning, that’s an account for yourself. Not everyone else’s personal reflection. He is clearly feeling offended because he is a minority.

    Satire works in the same way. If it’s satirizing the Iraq war, families of war victims may be offended. If it’s satirizing toilets, maybe someone knew a relative who died in a freak toilet-related accident and he would be offended. There are few things, if any, that you can talk about, that will not have anyone saying it hits ‘too close’ to home.


  120. Ratros says:

    This guy doesn’t even understand that doing the exact opposite would be racism to a worse degree (not that I believe that those games are racist to begin with).


    It should also be noted that slavery was only a small part of the war as it was also about trying to keep the South from Succeeding from the Union and to keep the United States whole.  But than again it is probably easier to look at a part instead of the whole picture and complain about inane ****.  *sigh*  There is no equality, just a pleasent illusion.

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  121. doewnskitty says:

    Because context doesn’t matter and in reality, there are no black people in Lousiana or anywhere in the world, thus there cannot possibly be black zombies and that means they were inserted as zombies just so people can have fun shooting them for no other reason but that blacks are meant to be shot?

    Seriously, what the hell?  It’s like black people can’t exist in any form that can possibly be construed as negative without it being seen as an issue of race, regardless of any context.

    And the remarks about the Confederacy don’t seem to have any real basis except that the guy just takes umbrage at seeing the design of the Confederate flag.

    This smacks of a "Politically Correct" mentally gone too far into the concept and diving into the fucktard end of the pool.  Good show!

    Maybe I should write a note of complaint to him about how his last name is Jefferson, which happened to be the first name of the president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, Jefferson Davis.

    How dare he have that name, the son of a bitch!

  122. Brokenscope says:


    Remember children, everyone who fought for the confederacy was evil and owned multiple slaves all of whom they constantly beat and starved.


    Why isn’t this guy upset by twenty years of hex and turnbased strategy games that let you pretend to be a southern general?

    Oh wait, this is just another misinformed hack who wants to bitch about something.

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