Mafia II Protestors: Only Italians Face "Rampant" Stereotyping

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
1
0
Mafia II Protestors: Only Italians Face "Rampant" Stereotyping


Unico National says Italian Americans are the only group in the U.S. for which "overt stereotyping" continues to run rampant, which is why it plans to continue its protests of Mafia II [http://www.amazon.com/Mafia-II-Collectors-Pc/dp/B003NG5K8A/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1283877511&sr=8-6].

The Italian American organization staged a protest [http://www.unico.org/] outside of the game's launch party. Despite the assertions of Unico's Andre DiMino that its actions resulted in the "dismal failure" of the launch party, it's safe to say that most gamers weren't even aware of the protest and that among those who were, the reaction was one of befuddlement. Why protest a historical fact?

"There is no denying that, in the period portrayed in Mafia II, there were Italian Americans in organized crime - but, the problem is, that it was not the exclusive domain of Italian Americans, as is constantly portrayed by the media," a Unico representative explained in an interview with Paranerds [http://paranerds.com/?p=787]. "It is this constant and unrelenting exhibition of Italian Americans in the mob that creates the stereotypical perception that it is a unique characterization of only Italian Americans.

"During this period there were plenty of murderous thugs and criminals in organized crime that were not Italian American," he added. "But that is not what is portrayed."

The rep made a point of stating that Unico objects to any and all forms of stereotyping, but claimed that Italian Americans face unique abuses. "It is painfully apparent that Italian Americans are the ONLY group in America where overt stereotyping is so rampant in today's society," he said. "It is now not politically correct to use pejorative terms or stereotypes about other ethnicities, religions or races. But, on a daily basis, we find Italian American negative stereotyping and defamation in many venues."

Unico's efforts are not focused on games specifically, the rep said, pointing out that its campaign against the MTV reality show Jersey Shore [http://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Shore-Uncensored-Season-One/dp/B003IB0FUS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1283877657&sr=8-1] resulted in the elimination of Italian American references and stereotypes from the show's second season. But games are of special interest because of the impact they have on young children, who, the rep claimed, will inevitably get their hands on them.

"What does concern us greatly is that a videogame WILL be played by young people, including teens and pre-teens - regardless of the M rating (which probably makes it more enticing for young people to want to play it!)," he said. "This means that a whole new generation will be exposed, for hours-and-hours and days-and-days, to the perception that it is ONLY Italian Americans who were murderous thugs and criminals in organized crime. This is not an appropriate perception that should be implanted into the subconscious psyche of young people."

Mafia II is out now for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Thanks to Vault Citizen [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/profiles/view/Vault+Citizen] for the tip.


Permalink
 

Nimbus

Token Irish Guy
Oct 22, 2008
2,162
0
0
It's painfully obvious that they haven't even played the damn game.
 

Fensfield

New member
Nov 4, 2009
421
0
0
Well, at least these people are actually aware videogames have a rating system.
 

uppitycracker

New member
Oct 9, 2008
864
0
0
ya know, i'd be pretty damn proud to be stereotyped as an incredibly smart, ruthless person who can maintain an empire inside an empire, and fairly effectively, too. but yeah, overall it's pretty stupid. especially in the gaming world, we see stereotypes of all sorts, and i hardly find this "stereotyping" to be in any sort of negative light.

not to mention the fact that he straight up admits that italian americans were indeed largely involved in the crime scene for this particular era. sure, there were other nationalities running their own mobs, but this was the most prevalent that i've ever heard of. and if it takes focus on the italian americans involved in it, then i suppose it only makes sense for them to be the focus, right?
 

Crimson_Dragoon

Biologist Supreme
Jul 29, 2009
795
0
0
The only group that is overly stereotyped? I'm pretty sure other groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims) would like to argue with you on that. Or does this organization really think they're the center of the universe?
 

InitHello

New member
May 4, 2010
14
0
0
So all those yakuza games I've heard about are just a myth? I think, with no disrespect intended towards italian-americans, that they're taking this just a little too seriously. And as the lady or gentleman above me pointed out, the cosa nostra is easily the largest and most prominent organized criminal group, and it was founded in sicily.
 
Feb 13, 2008
19,430
0
0
Andy Chalk said:
Unico National says Italian Americans are the only group in the U.S. for which "overt stereotyping" continues to run rampant,


Right, and there is no-one who dresses all in green for St. Patrick's day, no-one who thinks Jews are mean and definitely no burning crosses.

Or English people cast as villains.

Or Irish Cops.

Or Health-Obsessed Californians, or Rude New Yorkers, or gun-Crazy Texans.

It's just those damn Italian Americans and their money, success, guns and sexual prowess. Oh, how the U.S. hate them!
 

Woodsey

New member
Aug 9, 2009
14,553
0
0
They're right.

There's certainly no Irish gang, or black gang, or white-American gang and the player character in the DLC is certainly not a white American. And of course, Steve who works with Derek as an associate to the mob is definitely not portrayed as an associate of the mob because he's not Italian.
 

Jonci

New member
Sep 15, 2009
539
0
0
Can someone please school these idiots in the game they are protesting? Black, Irish, and Chinese gangs are also present in the game.
 

JUMBO PALACE

Elite Member
Legacy
Jun 17, 2009
3,552
7
43
Country
USA
Uhh I'm pretty sure there are other groups. Hmm.. Black, Hispanic, Muslim, Russian, German, British. Just to name a few.
 

BaldursBananaSoap

New member
May 20, 2009
1,573
0
0
It would be awesome to be stereotyped as a ruthless ladies man gangster with a cool accent. At least it's not the Irish stereotype of being drunk all the time, or the French stereotype of being homosexual surrender monkeys.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
5,630
0
0
...They never seen how the south of America is portrayed at times? They need to get over themselves...
 

wooty

Vi Britannia
Aug 1, 2009
4,252
0
0
Well, they may as well boycott The Sopranos, Goodfellas, Mafia, The Godfather trilogy, Once Upon a Time in America, Eraser. No matter how much you boycott or scream about it, they will never change the stereotype of the 1930's-1960's Italian American. Stereotypes exist, I guess people must learn to deal with them and shrug it off if they think its untrue.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to pick up some tea and get my bowler hat from the drycleaners before I meet the Queen and discuss what parts of the world to colonize.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
13,768
0
41
Oh for the love of...

Up to this point their squawking has been mildly irritating. But now they're just spouting straight out bullshit.

In conclusion, Unico National can go suck a donkey.
 

joystickjunki3

New member
Nov 2, 2008
1,887
0
0
Crimson_Dragoon said:
The only group that is overly stereotyped? I'm pretty sure other groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims) would like to argue with you on that. Or does this organization really think they're the center of the universe?
There is a difference between "overly" and "overtly." But maybe that was just a typo on your part, and if so, my bad.

OT: What about Road to Perdition? That movie prtrayed a ruthless mob that was not made up of Italian Americans.
Also, the Irish Americans and Polish immigrants are still stereotyped overtly too. This activist group is ridiculously self-centered.
 

VanityGirl

New member
Apr 29, 2009
3,472
0
0
Yes, Italian Americans contributed more than just organized crime to America, but you're playing a game call MAFIA... Don't you think the men featured in that game are going to be in, well, the Mafia?


Rampant stereotpying only happens to Italians? When did this become a fact?

I guess blacks and Southern Americans never get stereotpyed either. Stupid protestors.
 

Quid Plura

New member
Apr 27, 2010
267
0
0
So it holds racial stereotypes... And?

It's a game. People who play games know that they are playing a game. I've never met someone who thinks that all Italians are mobsters, or all Russians (GTAIV). Neither do I know people who think that all black people are zombies (RE5). Place a disclaimer in the gaming manual, should make them happy.