174: What if the Player is Black?

Cyclomega

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Funny, I never felt that guilt at all, it's fiction, so anything goes...

Plus Saints Row makes you "choose your own ethnicity" and lets you customise it up to the degree ot caricature (it's easy to make a black character who looks like a Stormfront caricature, I spent half an hour tinkering with the options before deciding for an 'average joe' latino character who'll probably get a faceswitch as soon as I'm rich enough).
 

Vortigar

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Cyclomega said:
You forgot Sean from SFIII, who's clearly black, while Brazilian as well.
Yeah, there's a lot of doubt about actual ethnicities of many characters, especially Urien, he's been under debate on this since forever.

Potemkin is from a fictional country in an unsepcified location, so all bets are off in his case.

How the hell could I forget Sean though?
Lucky was from before I started playing KoF. I played Fatal Fury for way too long.

aside:
I'm still waiting for a Dutch character... As in anywhere. We've been taking top honours in various martial arts the last couple of decades, but it's reflected absolutely nowhere.

The Dutch stages in the various KoF's and CvS are hilarious though. Kinderdijk!
Littaly said:
Isn't Barret more than a hotheaded muscular black guy? From what I recall he showed a lot of emotion and care for his family as well, even though he wasn't maybe the most politically correct character he was not the least either.
It's a bit iffy here. But the fact he has huge lips, is the burly character type and fights with a cannon for an arm is more telling than his family side, which even then is entrenched in the 'looking out for you and yours' motif that's also often associated with black characters.
 

Skenvoy

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Nov 5, 2008
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Why do i feel like the oldest person on this forum but isnt the wizard from daiblo black.

The all powerful deamon crushing do-gooder wizard.

I mean sure all he says in the game is "your death will be avenge" to the dead villager when you get the butcher quest but even that dosent sound stereotypical.

Also thinking about blizzard isnt Duran?? in starcraft broodwars black to. And he seems pretty smart and manipulative.


Also fallout 3 rocks because of the awesome character custermisation (cough*spelling*cough) and totally equallity of cast members.
 

NecroManiac

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I'm quite astonished that no-one has yet mentioned Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, but then again it's a testament on how few actually played it.
 

SirSchmoopy

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The better question is why do people play Roleplaying games and try to ROLEPLAY AS THEMSELVES.

Maybe you don't want to be the black bimbo in Gauntlet Legends but man that character had the sweetest special attacks. People trying to Roleplay themselves do not understand RPG games to begin with. Come on, get some imagination. Sorry there isn't the proper color of your skin in every single video game when your skin tone comes in 64 different shades. Guess what? Neither is my hair color or style but I just grab some brown hair in Tiger Woods PGA Tour and I'm good then again, I don't design characters to look at myself, I make big fat characters in shorts that way I and giggle and laugh as the game tries to render the swings of my clubs.

The funny thing is this article has got it backwards to begin with. Black characters have afro and corn rows in games not because white developers think that's what black people look like but because that's what WHITE PEOPLE want to play when they play black characters. Why the hell would I be a Black Guy in a business suit with a nice modest hair cut when I can have a giant gold necklace and a an afro to swam dunk thoses baskets?

This article doesn't work for me due to the fact it depends on the game. Last time I checked, nobody has ever made a game called "AFRICA THE RPG", most RPG games play off on some mystery fantasy world with dragons and knights and white people. It's there fantasy game, if they don't want to put black people in it that's not racist, it's their game. How come there are no handicap people in games huh? Why can't the main hero in Typically RPG 4 be some guy with some crutches? Why can't I be blind and look at a black screen and play the game using just sound? You want games with 64 tones of black characters in them, make a game where it applies but don't cry about "Mystical Fantasy World" not having every shade of color so you can make a character look like YOURSELF.


The only reason white people can make game characters look like themselves is because if you make ONE white character and give him brow/black/blonde and red hair colors you capture the look of 99% of white people. It's nobodies fault that white people are easy to incorporate into games.
 

Pengy

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Mar 2, 2008
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What about Raven from Tekken-series? He is an exception I think. A black ninja. Say what yuou will about Namco and Tekken-series, but they at least think out of the box in this perspective. Usually ninjas have been from Japan (which is completely logical, I won't argue) or some caucasian male who has been studying the arts (which I do not argue either). Not that I know anything about Raven, but he doesn't seem like a typical hip-hop guy. But yes, he does look like a blonde blade. Never mind that, he is not a stero typical kick boxer.

I don't see why blacks/african americans always have got to be portrayed as hiphoppers, alwyas getting to be the "witty, cool people" though. I think Ben Croshaw had a point when he talked about "Call of duty 4" and "Silent hill - Homecoming" when the black people were just as annoying as one would expect them, judging from his (Croshaw's) comments, that is.

Other than that, I can agree to the article and it was great.
 

ThePlasmatizer

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Garth is indeed a good example of a black wisened wizard. Ultimately though he's an exception to the rule that most black character's are portrayed as stereotypical thugs and/or unintelligent.
Also it's a bit ridiculous they always have a token black guy sidekick to give a game an illusion of diversity.

Developers might not consciously cater to a specific race, but subconsciously when the society they live in is predominately their own race they will cater to people of their own race. Maybe it's a telltale sign that there isn't enough diversity in development teams when they resort to stereotypes.
 

FunkyJ

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Imagine if all Irish-American people were portrayed as drunken, fighting fools throwing up into their pot of gold. That's pretty much what we're dealing with here

But in videogames they are... Case in point: GTA IV

But lets go beyond black - my good friend is Russian, and the ONLY game where he's considered himself a hero is GTA IV. In most games (and movies, and comics and books) the Russian is someone to be shot at, if not the guy who will turn on you.

Not to mention the way French people are portrayed in ALL Western Media. And what about the Japanese? Chinese? Indians?

I could go on and on.
 

aaron552

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NecroManiac said:
I'm quite astonished that no-one has yet mentioned Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, but then again it's a testament on how few actually played it.
Firstly, Jade is not black. Secondly, she's not exactly human either... So unless you're talking about racism against aliens, I don't know what you're talking about.

However, if you're talking about stereotypes, Jade most definitely does NOT conform. For this reason (and several others) BG&E is one of my favourite games *ever*.
 

Brenda Brathwaite

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Feb 25, 2008
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It's hard to make a black character without people calling you racist. No matter what you do to make them politically correct, someone will always say it's a racist portrayal.
 

shMerker

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Well yeah, but no matter how many pies I make there will always be someone who says that Jerry Springer is Santa Claus. See how the statement has nothing to do with reality or what I've done? It's ok for people to say bad things about you when you aren't doing anything wrong. The challenge being put forward isn't to make characters that no one will think are offensive, but that have depth and resonate with real people.
 

shMerker

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Also, I have to say there are black people out there who just eat up the "gangsta" style depictions of blacks. In Renton, WA it seems like every black teen or young adult I've rode the bus with fell into that category.
 

Eldritch Warlord

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Kinda random:

How does the term "Negro" go over? To me Negro is the proper name for dark-skinned people and calling a Negro person "black" sounds sort of insulting. I know that Negro just comes from the Romans calling people from Africa black but still, it's proper.

Obviously gamers are among the more open minded of people (fanboys aside) so I'm really asking about how your family and friends would react.
 

Abtinx

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Nov 6, 2008
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What if the character is from the "middle-east"? If you are Iranian, Arab, Turk or Hindu you are either shooting a brother in the cloth covered face for placing bombs on some building or holding hostages. Now of course it's a valid question, but it could be a lot worse, and it is for us. I've been so angry just watching some of the games out their being played by my friends that it really makes me wonder who these people are and where they live. But there are a few games nowadays that are changing that (Prince of Persia, Assassins Creed(?). No thanks to the out right racist games like Tom Clancy's or Call of Duty 4 (Iraqi Killfest as I like to call it). Black people in games are usually gangsters or warlords and the people from south asia are crazed gunmen adept at placing explosives and toting ak-s in white peoples faces. Wake up and stop paying for shit like that before the crosses start burning
 

Abtinx

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Why is that? of course it's racist if the character does nothing but rob people, swear and deal drugs. That's racist. Now is Star Trek Deep Space Nine a racist show because the captain is african? Just making games that are all about the same brownish haired white man, now that's racist
 

shMerker

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Abtinx, are you responding to Xiado? Otherwise I don't follow where that comment comes from.
 

Low Frost

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Littaly said:
Isn't Barret more than a hotheaded muscular black guy? From what I recall he showed a lot of emotion and care for his family as well, even though he wasn't maybe the most politically correct character he was not the least either.
He was still the meathead of the group, only leader because of his strength and willingness for brash action alone.
A well-written article on an issue most don't bother with that is destined to be drowned out by whining fanboys desperate to defend their precious pasttime. I feel bad for the author.
 

babyblues

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Low Frost said:
A well-written article on an issue most don't bother with that is destined to be drowned out by whining fanboys desperate to defend their precious pasttime. I feel bad for the author.
Well-written perhaps, but not very well-researched. Sure, most black characters in games are stereotyped, but the author didn't even acknowledge the existance of characters that aren't.
 

Brenda Brathwaite

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Feb 25, 2008
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This article represents everything about racism.

You want blacks in games, you don't want them portrayed as negative stereotypes.

If you remove the stereotypes, how are blacks different from whites? Tell me that. Why is it bad that blacks are portrayed as criminals but its okay when italians are all mafia hitmen mobsters?

Why does this article try so desperately to cause a division among people?

What if the player is black? Why should it matter? Do black players have some sort of privilege over white players? Over Asian players? If your protagonist is white and you're not, will you refuse to play the game?

This disgusts me. As long as people such as the author of this article think like this, the world will never move forward in regards to racism.