|03:38:39 Aug 2nd 07 - Sage Trynton:
Resident Evil 5 stirs concerns of racism
For all their focus on gore galore, zombie movies have traditionally been rife with social commentary and allegory. George Romero's Living Dead series of films have touched on terrorism, class warfare, rampant commercialism, and in the original Night of the Living Dead, race relations.
The two subjects are intersecting again, as the recently released trailer for Resident Evil 5 has a number of commentators concerned about how the trailer portrays a white hero--the returning Chris Redfield--against hordes of black zombie foes in what could be an African village. In an editorial for The Village Voice's Runnin' Scared news blog, Bonnie Ruberg notes one forum-goer's concern that gunning down mobs of angry Africans could be "subtly racist." Ruberg herself says she finds the trailer "strangely disturbing."
"It's not just that these zombies are black, but that the uninfected black villagers are zombie-like too," Ruberg wrote. "See all those spooky shots of the villagers before they get infected? It's as if race itself were a disease. The white protagonist has to fight back or be infected."
She also notes that according to the zombie mythos, the barest contamination, a bite or a single drop of blood in an open wound, spells doom for a person. That could be a parallel to Africa's ongoing HIV and AIDS crisis, Ruberg wrote, or a reminder of the segregationists who used a "one drop rule" stating that black ancestry of any sort was justification enough to deny a person access to basic rights.
Ruberg is not the only commentator to blog on the issue. In a post titled "Blackface Goes HD?," Jason from Microscopiq takes issue not only with the race of the parties involved in the trailer, but also in the setting.
"With all the positive steps being taken of late to raise awareness of the good things happening in Africa as well as the urgent need in some parts of the continent, we really can't afford this kind of step back. We need to find ways to humanize Africans, not dehumanize them."
On Black Looks, a group blog focusing on African women and social concerns, Kym Platt briefly recaps the trailer, noting that it's apparently the white character's job to destroy the black people and save humanity.
"This is problematic on so many levels," Platt wrote, "including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young...fearing, hating, and destroying Black people."
Platt's blog--like the others--has spurred a number of responses, most overwhelmingly in defense of the game or against the original author. One response to the "Black Looks" post points out that the Resident Evil series has seen its share of zombies of European origin.
"According to the statistics of racial make-up in the world, I'd actually say that whites have been unfairly discriminated against in the series, if anything, since so many of them have been enemies in RE," said one commenter. "It only seems fair that Africans get treated equally, and with only one game full of primarily black enemies to six games full of primarily white, from a racial viewpoint I'd say that the Africans are getting off easy."
"There is plenty of real racism alive and well in the world today and words cannot describe how disgusting it can be," wrote another, "but it is garbage rants like this that take attention from real problems. It is absurd and insulting to everyone to suggest this game is in anyway being designed to teach anyone to hate black people."
A third poster merely commented, "That game looks so awesome."
Over on the Village Voice blog post, one commenter approached the issue from another direction, writing, "Many of these games, including [Resident Evil 5], are being made in ethnically homogenous Japan, where concepts of race are hugely different from those in America. On some level, I think Japanese developers simply don't understand how potentially flammable these kinds of scenarios could become, let alone some of the even more blatant stereotyping often found in Japanese games (think Barrett's penchant for Ebonics in [Final Fantasy 7], just for starters.)"
|03:58:27 Aug 2nd 07 - Lord Senturu:
and i needed to know this why? Seriously, does it matter? its a game. people should shut up about it, geeze man, its retarded to start somethin like that, does it matter? i just wanna shoot somethin
|04:05:01 Aug 2nd 07 - Sir Gaius Septim:
"It is an outrage, I am gonna shoot something!!!"
*Septim shoots a bystander
|07:38:59 Aug 2nd 07 - Mr. Houston:
WTF, Don Imus gets fired for saying a comment that is still debated as if it was even racial as the Rutgers team made it to be. And This *beep* goes unharmed.
|08:03:59 Aug 2nd 07 - Sage Trynton:
you seriously think its racist for a game that takes place in africa to have blacks as enemies? so it wasnt racist when RE4 massacred an entire village of spaniards? and by massacre i mean stabbing them in the face with pitchforks and pinning them to the wall
don imus called them nappy headed hoes, thats clearly a racial comment. trying to say that a game thats been around for like 15 years and has always been that you cant get bit by a zombie or your infected is related to the aids problem is *beep*ing rediculous
|08:32:05 Aug 2nd 07 - Ms. Spoon:
Lmao at the third poster.
|08:37:41 Aug 2nd 07 - Sir Gaius Septim:
a bite or a single drop of blood in an open wound, spells doom for a person. That could be a parallel to Africa's ongoing HIV and AIDS crisis
I thought that was how it was in pretty much every zombie related thing out there...
|08:41:34 Aug 2nd 07 - Sage Trynton:
theres actually a lot more than 5
|08:42:50 Aug 2nd 07 - Sir Gaius Septim:
The "Just one bite" thing is what I was aiming for...
|15:37:57 Aug 2nd 07 - Mr. Breadlord:
well they need to be something if you ask me its bull*beep* they have to be some colour right in resident evil 4 they where all kindof hispanic and bofore that they where all white so whats the problem.
|20:09:46 Aug 4th 07 - Sir Bruto Cikayson:
Whites are being discriminated against!
Political Correctness is a pain.
|18:53:54 Aug 8th 07 - Lord Sanosuke Sagara:
people who see this new game as any form of racism have to take alook at themselves and their own perceptions.
A) it is just a game, and if you have been following the storyline it makes sense for it to be in africa....spain of course is close to north africa and it doesnt take much for diseases etc to cross the very small body of water between them. Very pheasable.
B) Resident evil 4 was based in spain, why is it because they are a developed country and are not black that people don't make an issue of it?
C) There have been many films based on africa, would you consider them rascism? and no this is not out of context....video games are a form of media/entertainment, and as the story is fictional based on an alternate reality where AIDs is not an issue to the plot of the story. (and even if it does play apart to the story that does no emphasis any discrimination at all)
D) People who make a big deal about this need to think about their own perceptions and why you think it's rascist, and in retrospect they will see that infact it is they who is rascist. They are the people who are discriminating and they are the ones with the problem.
PS- I have not read this thread prior to making this post, and it isnt directed at any one, this is merely my take on the subject as i have heard many reports in other forums etc about this.... thanks
|01:13:45 Aug 9th 07 - General Konichiwa:
kill them all!!!!!! .... damn zombies
|03:20:12 Aug 9th 07 - Sir Bruto Cikayson:
I'm curios as to know how non-infected African villagers act.
|13:35:02 Aug 9th 07 - Mr. Justanius Fontainius:
its only a game get on with ur lives everyone and play the game regularly
|11:56:29 Aug 10th 07 - Mr. Breadlord:
Its a pretty good market move to attrackt some rednecks.
|19:24:50 Aug 10th 07 - Sage Trynton:
a redneck with a ps3? thats good
|16:42:10 Aug 13th 07 - Mr. IM Cool:
its a game man if it was white guys blacks started to fear and kill there would be no dicusion
|22:04:15 Mar 31st 08 - Mr. Threadlord:
yea let blacks kill eachother like always and everybody is happy
|22:20:40 Mar 31st 08 - Lord Zombie Marche:
Respect for the Zombies, people! :(
|04:41:31 Apr 1st 08 - Mr. Atreides:
Wtf...that's so racist it's unbelievable. How can you all actually just pass it over? I mean...LOOK at those pictures! There's a lotta black guys! And look! You're expected to kill them!
|05:11:48 Apr 1st 08 - Sir Erunion Telcontar:
|06:44:50 Apr 1st 08 - Mr. Justin:
@ Atreides & Erunio
U guys are so retarted. every time there is a race invovled in a game ppl get pissed off. So let me get this straight so b/c tehy are black its racist, so u would rather have it be a different race?but that is also being racists. no one cares if they are black its a GAME u dont like it dont even play it or even look in this thread. go cry about it to ur mommys b/c apparently its only women that are complaining about it. On the other hand i cant wait till it comes out cause i wanna kill some zombies. idc if tehy are black im gonna blow their heads off
|07:04:09 Apr 1st 08 - Lord Zombie Marche:
@Atreides: Yeah, its damn racism at its worst. Here I am, a white zombie, who has always dreamed of acting in such a game, but whats this? Noooo. I can't play, because I'm to white! They denied my spot in the game, only because of my colour! Truly, where has our world gone to that even poor white zombies can't get spot in such a game only because they are white.
|07:08:57 Apr 1st 08 - Mr. Justin:
lol u tell him Lord Zombie
|23:12:32 Apr 1st 08 - Mr. Atreides:
|23:51:53 Apr 1st 08 - Sir Erunion Telcontar:
This message has been brought to you by the government of hyper-sensitive and mildly retarded imbeciles.
sarcasm (plural sarcasms)
|00:19:31 Apr 2nd 08 - Mr. Justin:
i can understand sarcasm u horse humping punk, but only when i hear it. i dont go through these threads saying them outloud and finding if they are sarcastic remarks. i have more important things to do then trying to go through ever thread finding sarcastic remarks
|00:27:15 Apr 2nd 08 - Sir Erunion Telcontar:
Wow.... Are you really high, are are you just this stupid all the time???
|00:41:49 Apr 2nd 08 - Mr. Atreides:
Errr...I really thought the last bit gave it away....I mean, I said something like mild racism in a game is much more important than anything in real life....
|01:38:46 Apr 2nd 08 - Sir Shinigami:
Actually, I knew they were joking from the get-go and their wording proves as much. How did I get it and he didn't? Well, I didn't go to a government school, that was a big help. ;-) Though there's this newfangled thing called 'common sense', that's pretty cool too.
|01:53:04 Apr 2nd 08 - Sir Erunion Telcontar:
Ah, but as I'm sure you've noticed, Common sense isn't that common...
|06:49:02 Apr 2nd 08 - Sir Shinigami:
Yep, I've noticed and it's way too true.
|11:09:24 Apr 4th 08 - Mr. Threadlord:
anyways if this is racict than so is resident evil 4 agains spanish/or Mediterranean ppls.
|11:10:58 Apr 4th 08 - Mr. Threadlord:
i enjoyed Resident evil 4 does that make me a racist? :p
|11:12:04 Apr 4th 08 - Mr. Threadlord:
Resident evil 6 with germans?? :P
|17:11:00 Apr 4th 08 - Sir Soccerispeaceful:
VU is a racist game! This era especially! I am up against two kingdoms full of darks!!!!!! those dark players need to die!
shall we ban this game as well?
|17:39:54 Apr 4th 08 - Mr. Elfy:
Lol, i think its disgraceful that so many people make such big deals out of 'racist' things. In england blackboards,dolly wogs, and minstrels plus many more things have been banned over the years for being 'racist' minstrels were people who painted themself half white and half black and were a form of entertainer so how they we racist towards blacks is beyond me, a dolly wog was a black doll (only white dolls are allowed, black dolls are evil and racist??), and a blackboard explains itself (hence anything thats black or has black on it, is racist and should be burnt...)Its pathetic for the goverment to make such big deals out of such little things.
Most black people dont even care about these kind of things, i mean its not even racist, the zombies have to be from somewhere forgodsake lol.
|17:41:42 Apr 4th 08 - Mr. Elfy:
Next thing we know black people themselves are going to be called racist towards black people.
|18:42:12 Apr 4th 08 - Mr. Bezza:
it is stupid what the goverment in england deem 'racist' i mean my sister took a child care course and they told her your not allowed to sing the nursery rhyme bah bah black sheep you have to change it so its a diferent colour. how many fricken green or purple sheep do you know of?
|18:58:13 Apr 4th 08 - Sir Erunion Telcontar:
What in the blue blazes?!?!?! "Bah bah Black Sheep" becomes "Bah Bah Purple Sheep!?!?!?" Or is that racist against purple people!
|19:07:04 Apr 6th 08 - Mr. Threadlord:
dude black ppl are very racist already ...
|01:37:47 Apr 8th 08 - Mr. Plushy Puppy:
Trynton just had to ruin one of best horror series ever.
|04:09:55 Apr 8th 08 - Mr. Dakarius:
did noone catch that he necroed a zombie thread? ;)
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