In mid-July GamePolitics reported on Houston Chronicle game blogger Willie Jefferson’s assertion that video games are increasingly possessed of "racist undertones."
In support of his claim Jefferson mentioned the much-debated Resident Evil 5 as well as the recently-released Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. Jefferson also pointed to Valve’s in-development Left 4 Dead 2 (screenshot at left):
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…
In the wake of Jefferson’s charge, a writer for L4D2 has fired back, reports Destructoid:
While visiting Valve this past week, we asked how they felt about the [racism] accusations, and Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek was quite frank with his response.
"Utter insanity," says Faliszek… "There are mixed races of zombies, there are all different races of zombies that you shoot, and since we placed it in New Orleans, that makes it racist? I honestly re-read the [Houston Chronicle] paragraph about five times … but when two of the characters in your game are African-American, it’s a weird thing to be accused of. We’re like, ‘how does this work’?
"… As far as Katrina goes, if you go down to New Orleans, Katrina’s still going on. I mean, it’s messed up, it is crazy that the city is still in the state it’s in, and we treat that with the utmost respect… It’s a place we love, it’s dear to our hearts. We would not cheapen it. It’s not a brick-for-brick representation of New Orleans; it’s a fictional version, and I love that city."