April 11, 2008

shooting black zombies is racist, part durrr

Some of you may remember this idiotic story a few months back, the Village Voice and some black blogger were throwing self righteous tantrums about Resident Evil 5, because the game is set in Africa, and the protagonist is white and there are black zombies.  Funny that the Village Voice would threw a shitfit over RE5 given recent events...

In any case, this time our grievancemonger is a tech guy at Newsweek who took this long to realize that crying racism and trying to make news out of a non-story is a good way of filling your story quota and pull in traffic.  Congrats, fucktard, you've got your wishThis interview with the Newseek guy is now being linked to gamer news sites everywhere, most of the site editors seem to be crumbling and leaning toward taking his side.  Thankfully, it looks like a fair number of people in the comments are telling the guy to get bent, and are siding with Capcom. 

He swears he's doesn't think a white protagonist shooting black zombies is automatically racist, yet that's pretty much where he goes in this interview.  He goes on and on about how the trailer, yeah, not the game, a trailer released in July of 2007 hearkens back to old racist imagery and dehumanizes the African villagers.

Douchebag laments that us ignorant gamers are just too stupid to see it. 

It’s not as simple as saying, “Oh, they shot Spanish zombies in ‘Resident Evil 4,’ and now ‘black zombies and that’s why people are getting upset.” The imagery is not the same. It doesn’t carry the same history, it doesn’t carry the same weight. I don’t know how to explain it more clearly than that.


It is if you're looking for racism where there probably isn't any, and this douchebag is.

He then goes on about there being no black protagonists, despite the fact he hasn't played the damn game, and there may be black protagonists not featured in the trailer for all he knows.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x73/doubleplusundeadmeenu/Racist-1.jpg
Screencap of me playing the racist flash game The Last Stand, which makes me a racist now.

He then bitches because the game, from what we've been told by Capcom, does take some cues from Black Hawk Down.

I don’t want to put down the Capcom team that’s working on it. I hope they did more research than that. But based on that trailer, it’s very difficult to tell. And Black Hawk Down was a very problematic film among a handful of critics and particularly among African-American viewers and African viewers when it came out because of the sort of narrow focus of its portrayal.


Why was Black Hawk Down problematic?  It was a dramatization of a real event, if any African and African-American viewers have a problem with a portrayal of a real event, they can go fuck themselves. 

I think, again, the point is not that Capcom can’t or shouldn’t make a zombie game set in what appears to be an impoverished country where the majority of residents are black. I’m not saying that. But what I am saying is that if I was Capcom, I wouldn’t have suggested to put out that trailer. I would have said, “You know what, this has tremendous capacity for being misunderstood, and we want to signal that this is not what you might think it is” — and they didn’t do that.


Well, gee, you seem quite interested in filling in the context for them, maybe they figured they didn't need to. 

This sounds like a veiled threat to me...

I think releasing that game is going to be very difficult. I think there are people and organizations who aren’t very understanding of games that if that imagery is brought to them they’re going to be like, “Wait, hold up. I don’t know how you could put that out.” Then you have to say, “Does Wal-Mart want to deal with that? Does Target want to deal with that?”


Read as, because these are black zombies, get ready for the black grievance lobby to throw a fucking tantrum and start bringing political pressure to censor it or lash out at the industry.  Don't cave to this bullshit, Capcom.

I’m not saying that censorship is the answer.


Yes you are.

I’m saying that the same rights that allow Capcom to put the game out are the same rights that allow people to bring pressure on people who might release that game.


In other words, you want to throw your weight around at a game developer who is developing a game you know nothing about in order to make them censor it, or else the grievance lobby will use it's political power to lash out at the industry, we gamers know what the fuck this is about. 

This is why it is important to whoever works in the American office of a company like Capcom to be able to show this is the history, this is where this comes from, this is where we need to be more sensitive. I’m not sure they’ve done that yet.


Read: Censor yourselves or else.

What is stunning is that during the first wave of the ZOMG!!!1! SHOOTING BLACK ZOMBIES IS RACIST!!1!1ELEVENTY!1 stories, both of the two sites I link to today came down on the side of the developer, but now that some tech guy from Newsweek has spoken the divine word, they all fall to their knees.  They'll sell out and join the grievance lobby like a bunch of lemmings, I guarantee it.  Worthless tools.

I do know this, I don't have a 360, and even if I never do buy one, if Capcom tells the race/grievancemongers to get buggered and put out this game without neutering it, I'll still buy a copy to show my support.  And if they do cave, I won't be buying Capcom for a looong time.

UPDATE:  Actually, I sat back and thought about this for a second...this guy might not the utter fucking retard I think he is.  What better way to get an inside scoop on a highly anticipated game then to stir up a long dead controversy by crying racism and declaring that the developer needs to reassure people that they aren't making some racist thing...or rather, assure one person, who happens to be the tech reporter at Newsweek

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