Square Enix Responds to "Racist" Deus Ex Character

Greg Tito

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Square Enix Responds to "Racist" Deus Ex Character

Some critics took umbrage with the portrayal of an African-American in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Letitia is fairly well dressed for a "Trash Lady." In playing through Deus Ex, Adam Jensen will meet her on the streets of 2027 Detroit and when pressed she will offer her insight on what's happening in the city. She does so by using a colloquial mode of speaking that is perhaps more identified with 20th century deep South, and her accent caused Evan Narcisse of Time's Techland blog to write a scathing attack on the developers for including such a "racist stereotype" in an otherwise excellent game. Today, the publisher of Deus Ex Square Enix said that they had no intention of offending anyone.


"Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a fictional story which reflects the diversity of the world's future population by featuring characters of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds," Square said. "While these characters are meant to portray people living in the year 2027, it has never been our intention to represent any particular ethnic group in a negative light."

I can't speak for Evan Narcisse who also objected to the black zombies in Resident Evil 5, and I have yet to play through all of Deus Ex, but I can see people arguing that there is nothing overtly racist with the clip in the video above. Letitia is certainly a strange character, but her exaggerated speech is not that different from many of the people that I encounter in North Carolina - both white and black. What do you think? Is Letitia a harmful racial stereotype?

Narcisse compares Letitia to the caricature of Amos and Andy and minstel shows of yore, but I don't think you can equate a single character in a videogame with hundreds of years of racism and discrimination, especially when there are other characters of a similar ethnic background in the same game who do not act this way.

"The horrible broken English Letitia speaks is so far removed from any actual slang that it renders the character practically extra-terrestrial," Narcisse said. "It's not from an alien planet, though. That slang harkens back to the worst blackface minstrelsy of the last century."

Letitia is certainly an easy way to write a character - and I agree that her dialogue and voice-acting are inferior - but to object so vehemently to her portrayal would mean you'd have to object to Mario's Italian characteristics and the Asian stereotypes in Cooking with Mama.

Source: Techland [http://techland.time.com/2011/08/31/the-worst-thing-about-deus-ex-human-revolution/#ixzz1WjHzCk8u]

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Onyx Oblivion

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Sep 9, 2008
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Hey.

The Deus Ex vocal racism is funny as hell to me. Breaks my immersion a bit. But makes me laugh.

I, personally, didn't feel that anyone should be offended, then again...I'm a white male.

Besides, remember the accents from DE1?

Yeah...

 

Ghengis John

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Okay, so an easily offended lack man was just offended. It's not like I can't understand where hes's coming from but I live in california and I encounter people who speak like Letitia almost everyday. I was unware that I had traveled to another planet or utilized a time-machine. As a mexican american I'd say the game has a remarkable tact for displaying people as they really are, Cabron.

Of course the real damage here is that his rampant hyperbole is going to misrepresent the game to thousands of people who'll have no idea just how wrong he really is. Oh well.
 

RollForInitiative

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Honestly, she struck me as a pretty laughably racist stereotype when I ran into her. I was kind of surprised that they'd left her in. Am I offended? No, just surprised.
 

Waaghpowa

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I don't remember anyone complaining about racism in the first game over the Chinese accents. I'm Chinese and I didn't see it as a big deal, people need to relax about these kinds of things.
 

Sylveria

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I'd be more offended by the people saying "This woman is an african-american stereotype" than by the actual character itself. You must be pretty darn racist to see something that over the top and say "Yup, that's what black people sound like."
 

Ghengis John

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I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
 

plus2exp

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A quick google search on Evan Narcisse reveals that he went to high school and college in New York. Obviously he hasn't spent much time down south, like Alabama for instance, which just so happens to be where I live. There is nothing racist at all about the character's portrayal in that video. I encounter people who talk like that every single day here.
 

Carlston

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Unless she breaks out in song of "Mamma's little baby."

It's nothing like black face.

Sorry it's not racial stereotyping being black, on the streets in a future of massive poverty.

Sounds like another special interest group looking for a dollar. Ignore um.

Course you want racists and stereotype...

When is the last time a GERMAN was in a name and NOT a nazi? Hmmmm?
 

Dogstile

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She was actually one of the more memorable characters in the game because she had a damn personality.

I love how that personality screams racist nowadays.
 

Gigano

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Seems there are no actual problems left if this is what people get offended over these days.
 

Paragon Fury

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Jan 23, 2009
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Ok, so she is a homeless person digging through the trash and is obviously poor and probably lacks a proper education, but we're going to complain about how she talks and that she might be a racial stereotype.

I mean good light, you find her right outside the fucking ghetto, where her English sounds god damn music compared to some of the gangsta' trash you hear while sneaking around up on the rooftops.

Would the guy have even blinked an eye if she was Chinese? Or European?
 

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Where is the racism? Have any of these people ever been to a large city? Is it racist to talk that way? So to all the people who speak differently than you do, THEY are racist??

EDIT: Does this mean Bill Cosby is racist for making Fat Albert?
 

No_Remainders

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Onyx Oblivion said:
Hey.

The Deus Ex vocal racism is funny as hell to me. Breaks my immersion a bit. But makes me laugh.

I, personally, didn't feel that anyone should be offended, then again...I'm a white male.

Besides, remember the accents from DE1?

Yeah...

That was actually hilarious.

OT: I don't think it's that racist. It's a character in a video game talking in a certain way...

Why is this being called racist?
 

Woodsey

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I thought the game handled race pretty well.

AND they got the British accents right! Which was quite surprising, considering Rocksteady - a British studio - have hired bloody Nolan North to do a (crap) cockney accent for the Penguin.

Even most of the Chinese accents were pretty decent.
 

Fujor

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i laughed. and thought it a terrible stereotype. It was like something out of the 50's

but really, all i could muster is shame on the developers for ruining what is for the most part steller voice acting. You can buy information off her, i just walked away before i heard any more.

did i find it racist.. no. but my god it's awful. and yes i could see how some people could find it racist.
 

Saulkar

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They do realise that by pointing at this "stereotype" character, if she even is one, will no doubt continue to make racism exist if we allow ourselves to be so sensitive and make controversy out of nothing? Then again, many people would be out of a job if we killed off racism.
 

Ragsnstitches

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Waaghpowa said:
I don't remember anyone complaining about racism in the first game over the Chinese accents. I'm Chinese and I didn't see it as a big deal, people need to relax about these kinds of things.
Ha... yeah. That's not going to happen.

OT: If that's racist, then I should to argue every portrayal of Irish people in American Media is racist.

But I, frankly, am too drunk to.
 

astrav1

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Onyx Oblivion said:
Hey.

The Deus Ex vocal racism is funny as hell to me. Breaks my immersion a bit. But makes me laugh.

I, personally, didn't feel that anyone should be offended, then again...I'm a white male.

Besides, remember the accents from DE1?

Yeah...

Woercome to tha rucky mony!
 

ImprovizoR

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What is this world becoming? People find offensive things everywhere! And being offended doesn't even mean anything. It doesn't do anything. When you're offended nothing happens. Nothing at all. Get over it pussies. Grow the fuck up and get over it.
 

ChildofGallifrey

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plus2exp said:
A quick google search on Evan Narcisse reveals that he went to high school and college in New York. Obviously he hasn't spent much time down south, like Alabama for instance, which just so happens to be where I live. There is nothing racist at all about the character's portrayal in that video. I encounter people who talk like that every single day here.
Louisiana native here, and you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Having probably never met anyone who talks like that in New York (where I live now), he might have assumed that nobody actually talks like that. It's hardly race related either. I've met throngs of white, Latin, and Asian people that talk like that.

Remember: Stereotypes are colorful exaggerations of certain aspects of a particular culture, but they have to come from somewhere.
 

Greg Tito

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Well I would think it was racist, but I happen to have actually heard Ebonics and people who genuinely talk like her. This very much falls into that mildly uncomfortable category of 'is it bigotry if it's true?'

Also take note: Having dark skin and being educated DOES NOT make you omniscient and infallible in all matters concerning people with the same skin colour as you.
 

DaxStrife

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Well considering I live in Detroit and I've encountered homeless people who sound exactly like that, I wouldn't call it a racist character. All stereotypes have an ounce of truth, after all... this is just one we wish didn't exist but still does. Whoever is complaining about this is just making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
 

ASnogarD

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Wut ?
Next we iss gonna be forcin all them pee cee vidya games to be speakin that there fancified Eenglish becoz all them folks be hatin' .

People are all too eager to toss out the racist card to get attention, they especially love to jump on popular bandwagons and try hitch a ride out of obscurity.
Game should be protected as a form of art and communication, and unless the game specifically encourages players to be racists ( like say a KKK propoganda disguised as a game ), then in game dialouge should be treated as acting a role.

I get offended at some games attempt to portray a proper enlish accent in games, dont hear me ranting about racists yanks messing up my lingo :p
 

OtherSideofSky

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This isn't quite as dumb as the RE5 complaints("How dare they perpetuate the stereotype that black people live in Africa!"), but it's pretty close. As many other people have pointed out, there really are people who speak like this and I've met some of them.
 

Ian Caronia

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She calls him "Capt" because he was the leader of a SWAT team and a cop before.
She says nothing racist the entire time, not about black or white people.
She is poor, so she digs in the trash. I come from a family who took me with them for bottle collecting when I was young back before we had a home.

Evan Narcisse, you have offended me more than any stereotype from the 50s ever could. How DARE you tell me my background and my past friends (who spoke much like this NPC does) are "racial stereotypes"? Who do you think you are saying people who act like this NPC are living stereotypes?
By saying this character is a sign of racism, that's EXACTLY what you're doing. You're saying those who act like her are stereotypes. THAT is racism. I am NOT a stereotype, and neither are the guys I used to hang out with!

You've grossly offended me to the point where I am going to email this to you. Or to Time's Techland blog. Likely both if possible.

You confused bad voice acting with racism, and made remarks that imply anyone who is stricken with poverty to have to dig through trash or ask for hand-outs, as well as anyone who speaks with a certain slang, is a walking stereotype. I demand an apology.

Sincerely, Ian Caronia.

...And I will email that to this person ASAP. Looking for an address to do so now.

EDIT: Oh, I get it now. You can't contact the blog unless you subscribe. That's very shrewd of them. Post rediculous content that gets people mad enough to subscribe just to confront you. It's actually a diabolical business practice. Too bad there are other communication outlets I can work through to show this guy how much he offended me.
 

GeorgW

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This guy lost all credibility to me when it was revealed that he thought RE5 was racist. Holy shit, there are black people in Africa! Anything else would be racist...
 

winter2

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I fail to see what is so racist about that. I encounter plenty of people that talk like that and sometimes with an even heavier.. shall we say... accent.

So where this dude is coming from I have no idea. It might be that he is the one that is out of touch with reality.
 

Beryl77

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Oh it's just some easily offended person. This is just as ridiculous as the RE5 racism claim. Maybe I would agree here if every black person in the game talked like that but since that's not the case, I don't see the point in saying that this is racist. I'm damn sure that Eidos never had any racist intentions when they made the game.
Narcisse's claim is just the product of too much political correctness.
 

Sixties Spidey

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Yet no one was angry about Gunther or Anna Navarre's voice acting in DE1 being obvious allusions to racial backgrounds (Namely, German/Austrian for the former and Russian/Serbian (I think?) for the latter). Or the various OTHER accents that Deus Ex 1 did?

I bet these are the same people who said RE5 was racist because there were black zombies in the game, yet they didn't bat an eyelash towards RE4's endless cavalcade of Spanish zombies. Shows what they know, I guess.
 

GnarlyNerd

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@plus2exp

Thank you! I live in Mobile, AL and can assure you that TONS of black women talk like that. Not just black women, either. I hear white people, Mexicans, even a couple Vietnamese girls I know talk just like that. It may be a tad exaggerated, but it's based on an actual dialect that, despite what he believes, still exists today. Maybe he should throw a fit for people still talking that way.

Also, I fail to see how this can make the developers racist since there are a few more black women in the game who have good jobs and speak proper English. Letitia clearly does not represent the entire black population in this game.
 

Deathfish15

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My job has me talking to people on the phone all day, from across the entire nation. And I talk to at least 2-3 people DAILY that have that same accent. It's not racist, it's including a culture. Being racist would be including only white people in the game while the only minorities would be those being killed.
 
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Of course it's racist, because everybody knows possible racism = definite racism.

In fact we should go light these people houses on fire, racist pricks allways making premature judgments based on something superficial! That'll teach tea- oh wait.
 

ProfessorEkim

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If you ask me, this "Evan Narcisse" fellow is the racist one here. Like OP said, both white and black people have that accent, it's only racist if you let it.
 
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...so?

there were tons of poor "white trash" characters in the game/other games, am i supposed to get angsty and up in arms over that?


fuck no, jesus christ, it's a game.
 

2fish

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Racist? I ride with three of this lady on the bus. And they are LOUD, I can hear them through my headphones. So not racist but creepy seeing as they must have recorded this while I was on the bus.
 

Outlaw Torn

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The only offensive thing in that video (and I'd imagine the rest of the game) is the uncanniest of valleys.

Declaring things as racist is beginning to lose any weight, people are just throwing it around for the tiniest of things it would seem. Then again, 'racist' only appears to apply to horrible acts against black people when the media is concerned (unless you are Italian-American of course). If you want all races to be of equal footing then be prepared to take a little hit every now and then, everyone has their turn at being the fallguy then.
 

Weaver

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What if that's just how her voice actor legitimately spoke?
 

Stalydan

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Racist? No. A bit manly? ...Depends on your definition of "a bit" O_O

I'm sorry but easily offended people need to stop spewing their bile on to the internet where people can actually see it. Don't let him see TF2, he'll have a field day on how "racist" and "stereotypical" it is .__.

Why any time that a black person is portrayed in a video game as a bit street or as an enemy do people start getting all "PC" about it. It's not PC, it's just stupid. I mean really, isn't it more racist to start saying that you can't put a person in a video game because they're a certain colour? Black protagonist killing white enemies gets stamped racist because it portrays a "negative racial stereotype" about black people. White protagonist killing black enemies also gets stamped as racist because it portrays "white power". When you start doing stuff like that, you just further that agenda that people are different because of their race.

But of course there are many people too stupid to listen to that who will always further a stereotype by either being a racist or too easily offended when it comes to racial issues.
 

AzrealMaximillion

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As a black male I can say, that's not racist. But the voice acting for Lelita is absolutely horrible. People who complain about stuff like this need to get off their high horse.
 

Nimzabaat

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Now my question is: Why is she digging through garbage after I paid her 2,000 credits for imformation???

Oh yeah, and racist troll is racist, I get that.
 

TheAmazingHobo

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Here´s a fun idea:
maybe people who know fuck-all about linguistics should not utilize it to call other people racist.

The "so far removed from any actual slang that it renders the character practically extra-terrestrial"-comment alone is so mind-numbingly dumb that I actually had to read it twice.
Does this guy have the faintest idea how many different "slangs" can be identified in, let´s say, a single American city of moderate size ?
What is an "actual slang", anyway ?
One that you just happened to hear in your short life, in which you interacted with a very small subset of some speakers of a few language ?

DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
I like to think his throat got crushed and they had to implant him with a voice-chip, that due to a design-error was loaded with Christian Bale doing Batman. Made the game so much more enjoyable.
 

ace_of_something

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Weird, when I went to Detroit half the people i talked to had a psuedo-southern, or to be honest, Ebonic accent. Even though most of the people i talked to were white.

I'm pretty sure 16 years in the future people in Detroit that accent will still be prevalent.

I haven't played the game but maybe the character in question has a backstory that she's from rural Alabama or something.
 

imnot

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DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
Well he didget thrown through a glass panel and shot in the head, also I like his voice :3
 

thethingthatlurks

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DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
He received the gratuitous "Christian Bale's Batman" augmentation for it. Or maybe he smokes too much, dunno...
EDIT: Goddamn bloody ninjas. *bat anti-ninja spray*

Anyway, I did not perceive Letitia as a racist caricature at all when I first ran into her. If anything, I thought she was a male to female transperson. Something about her voice pattern (specifically its depth) and the relative blockiness of her face...dunno, that was my first thought anyway. But hell, even if that were the case, there's still nothing wrong with her character! She's genuinely interesting, and fits quite well into that distopian version of Detroit (oh hang on, is there any other way to describe Detroit?). Besides, the rest of the melanin spectrum is also represented in the ranks of the local homeless population. So I fail to see the problem.

In all seriousness though, has Mr. Narcisse ever run into a homeless person before? They hardly if ever speak proper English. I also find it quite interesting how he considers himself to be speaking for all black people in decrying some nonexistent racism in a bloody video game. But hey, whatever he can get off to...
 

Exius Xavarus

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There was hardly anything racist about that video or that character. There ARE black folk in the world that sound like this, hell I've met WHITE folk that sound like this. Quite a bit more than I thought, actually. I don't see why this character would cause any problems. I've never come across any character in the game that speaks like that(mostly because I never knew Latitia actually existed, never seen the character before), so why is it such a problem? It's not like they're making all the black NPCs like that.
 

Greg Tito

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You can hardly call this game racist when You have an African American character who is quite intelligent, works for a billionaire company, and spends his free time giving away VERY expensive medicine to augmented people in need.
 

Stilkon

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The first time I talked to her, I thought "Wow, a transsexual character! What a nice touch of diversity!"
 

Greg Tito

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Talk about fucking first world problems.

If these people are so concerned about the African-American race that the portrayal of a minor character in a single video game enrages them then why don't they devote their lives and resources to helping the poor African-American communities who were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, or the thousands of other under-privileged peoples. Seriously wtf is up with some people, that stupid minor issues enrage them, yet they take the huge ordeals some people take in everyday life for granted?

Seriously someone give me the e-mail address of these critics I'd very much like to say it to their faces.

[sub]DISCLAIMER - I appreciate that their is the possibility that some of these critics might have done so, but ask yourself, is it likely?[/sub]
 

LilithSlave

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These types of characters do happen a bit too often in media though, and have spread some negative stereotypes about black people that will be hard to undo.

Like Barret of Final Fantasy VII, it's not racist perhaps in and of itself, but it could be seen as part of a larger trend that is negative for black people.

Speaking of calling racism where there is none,
http://www.gameology.org/essays/the_orientalist_perspective_cultural_imperialism_in_gaming
According to this, if you like ninjas there's a good chance you're partaking in imperialism.

You know, I do agree that in a globalist world, British culture does get a little bit of privilege. And that Japan has had a history of imperializing Asia. But the point they're taking it is simply ridiculous demonization of innocent things. As if the West is enslaving Japan and Japan is enslaving Asia or something. I'm getting flashbacks to Code Geass. It's utterly ridiculous and why I cringe everytime I hear statements like "cultural imperialism". Because I've run into far too many experiences with the term being used to mean "the West sucks".

Honestly, the West and Japan aren't as bad and don't cause near as many problems as some people say we do.
 

WaysideMaze

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I could understand his point if all the hobos in the game were black, but they weren't. There were plenty of white hobos around the streets aswell.

why is it a problem just because the one he interacts with is black? It's not like she's a minstrel or something.
 

Prof. Monkeypox

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I can see why someone would think the character's racist- and I do find the oddly exaggerated speech patterns annoying and unnecessary.
On the other hand, it's not like every black character in the game speaks like that (in fact, I'm pretty sure she's the only one), and she is from the slums of Detroit and is working as a garbage collector, so it's not like her speech patterns come from nothing.
 

Griffolion

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I didn't find it to be racist at all. I believe racism is in the eye of the beholder, and what you find racist and what you do about it very much determine whether it's you that are in fact the racist.
 

Kungfu_Teddybear

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Onyx Oblivion said:
DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
He really likes The Dark Knight.
Oh man, there should totally be an unlockable batman costume for Jensen.
 

Jacob Haggarty

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The only thing that i find strange about it is that it sounds a lot like a man doing the voice. Other than that, it's just the first few seconds of her talking that really have some stereotypical spin on them (DAAAAAAAAAAAAYAM!)

The only thing i find offensive is that he doesn't pay her. Thats just plain DAAAAAAAAAAAYAM rude.
 

Jumplion

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Ghengis John said:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
Not wanting one extreme =/= wanting the other extreme. I get that some people argue that, but it's a really annoying fallacy that I see crop up every now and again.

"Oh, so you don't like black people in the game? Well how about NO ETHNICITIES WHATSOEVER? Does that satisfy you?!?!"

I can see where the person is coming from, when I first met Letitia I was like "Yeesh, bit heavy on the accent there." I mean, when you hear her go "Shyyyeeeeeiit" it's kind of hard not to laugh at how overly characterized it is, especially compared to all the other characters in the game. I can see how some would say "Oh, so she's black, that means that she has to have this crazy accent while everyone else is just normal?" You can have her talk in slang and whatnot, moderately I guess.

But regardless, I wouldn't say that her character is racist as that word gets tossed around so much that it's lost meaning. What I do think it is is just overly flamboyant, with hints of stereotype in it. Not really racist, I think.
 

crepesack

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Sylveria said:
I'd be more offended by the people saying "This woman is an african-american stereotype" than by the actual character itself. You must be pretty darn racist to see something that over the top and say "Yup, that's what black people sound like."

That's how maybe 10% of black people sound like. It would be a lie to say otherwise.
 

jyork89

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Why does the thought of every black character in gaming speaking like that crack me up? Now THAT would be racist!
 

VanTesla

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Stereotyping one person does not equal racism... With this arguement you could say Zeke is a racist caricature of the hispanic community... Some people are actually like that and that is how certain stereotypes start. If they do it with every person of a certain ethnic group, then that is racist, unless it's a comedy skit.
 

mjc0961

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Greg Tito said:
I can't speak for Evan Narcisse who also objected to the black zombies in Resident Evil 5
Yeah, I think that makes things clear. This guy is just overly sensitive. There is clearly nothing racist about that video clip and there was clearly nothing racist about black zombies in a game set in Africa. The only racist here is likely Evan Narcisee, because it's usually the real racists who constantly pull the race card on every little thing like this.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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More butt hurt idiots worshiping at the altar of the PC gods(oh wait we can't use that word we might OFFEND somebody!), or a massive troll (both are equally worthless and undeserving of any attention). Move on people, nothing to see here.
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
17,032
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Thedek said:
More butt hurt idiots worshiping at the altar of the PC gods(oh wait we can't use that word we might OFFEND somebody!), or a massive troll (both are equally worthless and undeserving of any attention). Move on people, nothing to see here.
I'm so used to console/PC wars, that I didn't realize you meant Political Correctness instead of PC gaming until a good 20 seconds after.
 

cynicalsaint1

Salvation a la Mode
Apr 1, 2010
545
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You know whats funny?
She is such a small part of the game that I didn't even notice her on my first playthrough.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Onyx Oblivion said:
Thedek said:
More butt hurt idiots worshiping at the altar of the PC gods(oh wait we can't use that word we might OFFEND somebody!), or a massive troll (both are equally worthless and undeserving of any attention). Move on people, nothing to see here.
I'm so used to console/PC wars, that I didn't realize you meant Political Correctness instead of PC gaming until a good 20 seconds after.
Oh yes, how verbally clumsy of me.
 

Operations

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Woodsey said:
AND they got the British accents right! Which was quite surprising, considering Rocksteady - a British studio - have hired bloody Nolan North to do a (crap) cockney accent for the Penguin.
Could be worse, they could have gotten Don Cheadle "Blinder".
 

mesoforte

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There is a difference between the portrayal of a character and a portrayal of a race.

If this is within the character, it only applies to that character, not to an entire race of people. Just because a character is portrayed a certain way does not mean its bringing everyone down.

I wish people would stop identifying an individual as anything more than that.
 

Cain_Zeros

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Ragsnstitches said:
Waaghpowa said:
I don't remember anyone complaining about racism in the first game over the Chinese accents. I'm Chinese and I didn't see it as a big deal, people need to relax about these kinds of things.
Ha... yeah. That's not going to happen.

OT: If that's racist, then I should to argue every portrayal of Irish people in American Media is racist.

But I, frankly, am too drunk to.
Except Irish isn't a race, it's a nationality. Yes, it would be nice if there were portrayals of Irish people other than Leprechauns and drunkards, but even if you were serious it wouldn't be racism.
 

Chasmodius

Rogue Commentator
Jan 13, 2010
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I was all set to agree with Narcisse, because minstrel stereotypes are very clear and distinct forms of racial shoe-horning -- however, after actually listening to the provided clip, I'm not sure I'm with him there. Yes, the voice acting on that character is a little strange, it doesn't quite fit anyone I've ever spoken to, and it edges toward some of the minstrel accents I've heard; however, it isn't really all that outlandish, nor is it so much like a minstrel accent to be plainly obvious. It is a strange set of mannerisms, but part of that, I think, comes from a disconnect between the voice (and situation) and the character's appearance. Without looking at the video, the style of speaking brought to my mind a much... larger woman. I don't know, maybe that's just me. For some reason, she just didn't look much like what I think of for a street person.
 

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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I know loads of black people who talk like that.

Its not racism, its just a simple fact. Its a dialect. I dont see a problem.
 

thethingthatlurks

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mesoforte said:
There is a difference between the portrayal of a character and a portrayal of a race.

If this is within the character, it only applies to that character, not to an entire race of people. Just because a character is portrayed a certain way does not mean its bringing everyone down.

I wish people would stop identifying an individual as anything more than that.
This.
There's a distinction between an individual and an entire group. If all black women in the game had sounded like Latitia (ie vaguely transsexual), we would have a problem. This of course applies to RE5 as well (granted, I haven't played it).
Heh, just imagine if all Caucasian characters in the game had sounded like Adam *amateur Batman impersonator* Jensen...
 

Ranooth

BEHIND YOU!!
Mar 26, 2008
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So people aren't concerned about the fact that you can impale her with weird augmented arms, or the fact you can shoot up a whole police station or brutally murder an old women with a fridge but they are with someone's voice and the colour of their skin?!

This is one weird world indeed . . .
 

JdaS

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Other than the fact that the voice doesn't fit the character model, AT ALL, I don't really see a problem here.

Damn, that "WEEEELL SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT" got me good... Oh, you.
 

BlueMage

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DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
Augmentations require you to gargle with gravel. Every day. True fact.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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So, a game has a flash of bad voice acting, what else is new in the world?

The race card is becoming one of the most annoying things in our politically correct society. To quote one african american way, way cooler than me (and yet one who could no doubt be seen as playing to the stereotype):


 

swimon

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Bribase said:
Carlston said:
When is the last time a GERMAN was in a name and NOT a nazi? Hmmmm?
Hmmn... 2000?

Yeah because if there's one thing you can say for sure about Gunther Hermann, cyborg psycopath, it's that he's not a german stereotype. Also he is not in any way an ersatz (get it? Because he's german... he, he, he) nazi.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Err, no. Sure, if all the black characters in Deus Ex acted like that, that would be racist stereotyping. But it's one character, which means the fact that it matches a stereotype is probably incidental.
 

JAWZxZ

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Oh shit, everyone drop everything, somebody was offended by a character in a GAME. How dare they offend me, I need to be as vocal and annoying about this as possible.

The character isn't "racist" calling someone a racial slur or attacking them because they're different than you is racist. This could be a misguided stereotype, and I find it laughable. Anyone who gets genuinely offended by this sort of thing needs to get their priorities straightened out.
 

Mr.Pandah

Pandah Extremist
Jul 20, 2008
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q fucking q. Honestly, People like this just bother me. They're always looking for something. I can't believe that people still get bothered by things like this. So, close your eyes and imagine she's white if it bothers you that god damn much while you're playing this game.

I know why people look for stuff like this, but I still have to ask... WHY DO PEOPLE STILL LOOK FOR STUFF LIKE THIS!? It boggles my mind.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Yep, that's pretty fucking racist. Don't get why all these white males think it's anything but.
 
Dec 27, 2010
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dogstile said:
She was actually one of the more memorable characters in the game because she had a damn personality.

I love how that personality screams racist nowadays.
Exactly. If anything was actually racist in this game, it would be that Chinese prostitute with the terrible voice-actor or the offhand referral to an Irish man as a "Mick" (an insult that hasn't been used since the eighties, and wasn't even that offensive then), but I don't see people go up in arms over things like that. To quote "To Kill A Mockingbird"; "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand".
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
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I thought they'd get more up-in-arms about the whole "Ancient Chinese Secret" comment >.>
 

Greg Tito

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Sounds to me like she was inspired by Bubbles from The Wire, considering he sounds exactly like that, and he was a police informant.
 

iniudan

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F.A.T. Larry's last line perfectly say my sentiment toward what this guy is saying.
 

EvolutionKills

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dogstile said:
She was actually one of the more memorable characters in the game because she had a damn personality.

I love how that personality screams racist nowadays.

Agreed. I also loves how he completely ignores the other black female you meet in Detroit, Jenny Alexander. The one that is in deep cover as a prostitute, while working in Internal Affairs and getting Jensen to help her out with her case against O'Malley. You know, a strong and dedicated police officer. Whoops, a crooked cop named O'Malley in Detroit? Good god, hope he isn't Irish, or else STEREOTYPE!

*roll eyes*
 

thedoclc

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LilithSlave said:
These types of characters do happen a bit too often in media though, and have spread some negative stereotypes about black people that will be hard to undo.

Like Barret of Final Fantasy VII, it's not racist perhaps in and of itself, but it could be seen as part of a larger trend that is negative for black people.
I'm leaving out your comments about cultural imperialism as that is a different can of worms.

Actually, Square back then did catch some flack for Barrett. There was backlash and defense on both sides. Now, I am not an expert on Japanese culture, but I have a passing familiarity with it. (No, watching anime and playing JRPGs does not make you an expert on Japanese culture, folks.) The Japanese often include stereotypes completely unironically and without even realizing they could be taken as offensively. RE 5 is without a doubt the obvious example. I think almost every American developer would have had a little red flag go up. Even if it isn't racially offensive, the Mighty Whitey protagonist shooting up native Africans with his Not Too Black hottie (braindead) sidekick just has to be handled with kid gloves.

I do not believe the Japanese get that.

American developers aren't much better, to be frank. I just conducted a little informal survey of my current gen games. Of, sure, Louis and Rochelle of L4D are minority characters who don't stumble all over themselves as racial stereotypes. Lots of shooters have the Black Heavy Weapons Guy who plays second fiddle to the white-as-snow commander. Prey was almost stunning in its preachy "native Americans good - and totally a stereotype" vein. I counted that in 33 of 35 games where there was a defined protagonist AND the game isn't in a fantasy 'verse, he was white. (ME, Rockband, sports games, etc all create a protagonist or play a team. A fantasy 'verse might excuse the lack of racial minorities. Etc. I'm counting games where there is one or two clearly defined protagonists.)

This line up is whiter than a 1920's golf course. And females? Doing better than minorities, which should not be mistaken as doing well.

And then, the exceptions: Garcia Fucking Hotspur, a character so disgustingly full of stereotype he comes around again into full parody mode. Tommy, the Cherokee from Prey so hackneyed and forgettable I had to look him up, and the black cop from House of the Dead: Overkill, a character so busy speaking jive and saying ************ I can't be assed to look him up.

Against these stereotypes, what well rounded, non-white, non-Japanese characters can I spot? I can spot a couple of token black guys in shooters. Jacob Taylor may be an annoying character, but at least it's not due to an attempt to portray race. The captain from Dead Space, also so forgettable I don't care to find out his name.

And no, I don't want to hear about Carl from GTA; that series can't clear up its hammy ethnic gangs by having one minority protagonist, especially when he's a criminal.

Yeah. This industry has a long way to go on this. Still, while it seems to me Japanese developers tend to load up on walking stereotypes almost unintentionally (just look at the Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter or Soul Caliber line-ups, OK?), western developers just don't even portray well-written minority characters.

And Gracia Fucking Hotspur? Seriously, did no one on that team decide that making a Mexican character who speaks maybe twelve words of Spanish, eight of them obscene, regains health by drinking tequila, and who speaks with an accent more stereotyped than Speedy Gonzales was a wee bit much?
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Mr.Pandah said:
q fucking q. Honestly, People like this just bother me. They're always looking for something. I can't believe that people still get bothered by things like this. So, close your eyes and imagine she's white if it bothers you that god damn much while you're playing this game.

I know why people look for stuff like this, but I still have to ask... WHY DO PEOPLE STILL LOOK FOR STUFF LIKE THIS!? It boggles my mind.
Because they have no merit as a person and have to start shit for anyone to pay any attention to them at all. It's funny to me, as it makes me even more indifferent to a person when they act like this. PC acting morons can, live, be successful, be happy, be unhappy, kill themselves, die a natural death, die by car crash, by fire, by any number of ways and I honestly simply could not care any less about them or their fate.

Whiny, squeaky wheel, type people with no real valid grievances are a sad excuse for a human being, with all the more they could have possibly been. It's a vast waste of potential.
 

Mr. 47

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I HATE it when people declare things like this racist. PEOPLE TALK LIKE THIS IN REAL LIFE. Very, VERY stupid statement. One of the scientists in the game was African-American, there were many different african-american characters in the game, and because ONE talked like she was from the deep south, it is instantly racist? There isn't even anything racist about a southern accent for crying out loud! There was a guy with a strong Irish accent who said 'Lad' and 'Wankers' they must also hate the irish, huh?
The heart of the vast conspiracy of the game is in Montreal! Damn them Canucks!







(slap yourself if you are offended by this, it's a joke, and I AM CANADIAN!)
One of the bad guys is crippled! Damn their not malfunctioning bodies; taking our tax money and killing millions.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
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Sober Thal said:
Does this mean Bill Cosby is racist for making Fat Albert?
The way she talks, I nearly expected him to walk on stage.

"Hey, hey, hey, what's going down Adam?"
 

GiglameshSoulEater

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Whoever thought this was racist is either an idiot or someone looking to make a quick buck from publicity.

Either way, they can bugger off, and the game developers should tell them aas such.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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she sounded more like a guy to me =/ but I have to be honest there is a definite stereotype there.
 

McMullen

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One slum-dwelling black character does not a racist game make. I've met black people like that, and I've met black people who have got their shit more together than I do and will probably go much farther in life than I will, and I've met black people who are just plain people. It would be racist to claim that categories 2 and 3 don't exist, but it's not racist to include an example of the first category.

People are putting so much effort and time into finding things to get offended about that I imagine the time and energy lost to this ridiculousness is causing more harm to humanity than the things they are getting offended by.

To be honest, I'm more shocked at how bad the lip-synching and character movement is. I think 1998 was the last time I saw animation like this, in the original Half-Life. The voice acting is probably meant to be a parody of the action genre but it fails as hard or harder than that of Just Cause 2.

And it's one of the brownest games I've ever seen.

Why was there so much interest in this game?
 

thedoclc

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iniudan said:

F.A.T. Larry's last line perfectly say my sentiment toward what this guy is saying.
Ha! Forgot this one!

The IP this was based on stumbled over backwards trying to be progressive, then went with flat out Hollywood versions of so many cultures it included in its games. I really like VtM: Bloodlines and WW - and I still can't think of any non-white characters who aren't a cookie-cutter stereotype. Lessee, there was that one black guy in Nines' bar, oh, and Nines himself.

Other than that, there was the Japanese schoolgirl demonhunter who used gratuitous Japanese even when she spoke English, the crazy Chinese soldier who ran a "herb store" and sold guns, the half-assed Asian mystic, the mysterious Asian businessman working for the zaibatsu, and Ming Xiao, who could have been the Dragon Lady in any given bad pulp bit from the 30's. And LA had, well, one Hispanic character who had a speaking role?

...at least it wasn't a worthless, throw-away character.
 

duchaked

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Dec 25, 2008
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I almost burst out out laughing when I first played the video

but like Greg, I hear that accent from different ethnicities (okay maybe not always so strong but still)
 

castlewise

Lord Fancypants
Jul 18, 2010
620
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A Gent of Villainous Intent said:
I'm more offended from the fact that she sounds like she's voiced by a man.

"Well SHEEEEEEEET"
Word. Her character is a trope, but not a negative one.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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What year is this again? 2011? For a second I thought it was 2000, with people bitching about racism.
50 bucks says the critic was black.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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So yet another person can't tell the difference between "here is a character who is black" and "here is a representation of all black people ever".
 

kajinking

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I have someone I work with who comes from South Carolina who sounds just like her! It's a called a accent, not racism! Someone could claim "but why is the homeless person black?" and someone could just as easily point out the 30+ white hobos found throughout the same damn level.
 

Faux Furry

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Apr 19, 2011
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It's more sexually discriminatory than racist. How so? That voice acting job could have gone to a woman.
Voice acting gigs,even for bit parts and supporting roles, are just one way to bring more women into the video game industry.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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bah! there are pleanty of homeless all through this game, both black and white.
sure, this is the only one who's character is built upon, but so? should they have not done that because she's black? it's like RE5, yes it's full of black people! because it's set in africa! and africa - you may have heard - is full of africans! do people want their respective races to be excluded from the popular culture just so developers can avoid petty backlashes like these? you can't have it both ways, if you wannna be included, you won't always be portrayed surrounded be flowers and rainbows.
 

Gather

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It was racist? I always just through she sounded like that because she's an uneducated homeless bum. You know, one of these days calling things out like that should be racist on itself. You know, like that episode on south Park where Chief noticed the problem but the kids didn't.

It's only racist till you point it out; until then no-one will notice.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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I'm deeply offended by the fact that there are a lot more white hobo's in the game... I call reverse racism.... I'm deeply offended by their gravel and slurred voice acting.... yada yada yada...

Please...
1. Go to a hardware store.
2. Buy a bag of ready mix concrete.
3. Swallow and harden the hell up.
 

dexxyoto

New member
Mar 24, 2009
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I personally coming from Canada figured that she did sound a bit stereotypical for sure, but that's mainly because i'm not living in the south where that is more common in terms of a speech pattern.

To claim she represents centuries of racism though is turn your eyes away from the fact that many folks still speak in this fashion normally and like the OP says it's not entirely uncommon.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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There is a fine line between having a black character use the term Muthafucka to make them sound "urban" and having them say, "Sho 'nuff missuh android!"

Yes, there are plenty of silly accents all around Deus Ex but lets put this to the "Fakename-test": Can you say this line out of context without sounding like a douche?

E.G Quentin Tarantino's famous line in Pulp Fiction.

I though so.
 

Lilani

Sometimes known as CaitieLou
May 27, 2009
6,581
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castlewise said:
A Gent of Villainous Intent said:
I'm more offended from the fact that she sounds like she's voiced by a man.

"Well SHEEEEEEEET"
Word. Her character is a trope, but not a negative one.
Thank you! Finally. Stereotype is not the right way to describe this character. She is a caricature--a woman who has parts of her personality skewed and emphasized for the sake of making a more entertaining character. Just like a caricature you can get at a carnival, it's the most extreme version of a person. The result, which takes the little quirks about the way you look and puts them in their most extreme form, is entertaining.
 

TokenRupee

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Sylveria said:
I'd be more offended by the people saying "This woman is an african-american stereotype" than by the actual character itself. You must be pretty darn racist to see something that over the top and say "Yup, that's what black people sound like."
Exactly. Like someone else posted in his comments, why does he see every person as a symbol of their race? That is what will actually lead to more racism.

Ghengis John said:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
It would if this were Oblivion.

Carlston said:
When is the last time a GERMAN was in a name and NOT a nazi? Hmmmm?
Red Dead Redemption. Then again, the guy was a jerk. Oh no! I'm part German so I should be offended by this portrayal. And while I'm at it, since I'm part Irish, I should be offended by Irish for making us all look like drunks!
 

Kargathia

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DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
He sounds a lot better before the whole augmentation thing, so I think we can reasonably conclude that some doctor accidentally left his tools (or watch) in his voicepipe.
 

NotSoLoneWanderer

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I don't mind if things happen to come across as racist as an African (not African American) male but this sounds voiced this way on purpose.
 

Hugga_Bear

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How is it racist? I mean...what?

Fuck people are dumb. Portraying a black person as poor is no more racist than portraying a white person as poor. I hate the fucking misuse of the word because it becomes meaningless, if this is racist then what are the KKK? Just racist too right? It's not racist, it's nothing. Yeah if every poor person were black then my eyebrows would certainly raise and I'd hope for some underlying commentary but just one person? GTFO.

Reminds me of the bollocks over RE5, shooting white people is fine but black people? Oh that's racist. Yup.
 

liquidsolid

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Would all the people who cry "racism" be happier if there weren't any black people in the game at all? There would be no opportunity for "racial stereotypes" that way.
 

Jake0fTrades

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I haven't played the game, but so long as she's not the only African-American in the game, I don't see the issue.
 

SenseOfTumour

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Having every single black character in the game have some comedy stereotypical accent, that'd be racist.

Having characters who sound different to each other. Just no.

Some black people will sound a bit like that, just as if you really search you can find a tiny number of people in parts of london who sound like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

So long a game set in the UK wasn't entirely populated by cock-er-ney chimmerney sweeps, I'd have no problem with a few in there in the games East end levels.
 

TheAmokz

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Apr 10, 2011
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Ghengis John said:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
^^^^
THIS.

Evan Narcisse is the guy who is being racist.
 

Joseph Alexander

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Jul 22, 2011
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Carlston said:
Unless she breaks out in song of "Mamma's little baby."

It's nothing like black face.

Sorry it's not racial stereotyping being black, on the streets in a future of massive poverty.

Sounds like another special interest group looking for a dollar. Ignore um.

Course you want racists and stereotype...

When is the last time a GERMAN was in a name and NOT a nazi? Hmmmm?
TF2, hes the medic.
actually i think germans are usually cast as either nazis or doctors, which is an amusing dichotomy if you think about it.
 

Ipsen

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Listening to this again, I can't see this as racist. Even if Letitia has a certifiably Southern American accent, there's no reason she cannot be from Detroit.

What DOES bug me about this interaction is that the two just don't seem like they'd ever speak on cordial terms, at least not without A LOT of history of cooperation. There is a sense of history between them, but they still seem to be speaking out of their own worlds. Adam still speaks like a gruff and defensively, while Letitia speaks with an upbeat, open, almost pleasant attitude. Perhaps it can be seen as both of their defense mechanisms, but I just found it jarring.
 

HyenaThePirate

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EVERY SINGLE RELATIVE I have in the states sounds EXACTLY like her to the point that I didn't even notice the "offensive" accent. I'm black and I don't understand how ANY black person with family in detroit, chicago, or any place outside of New York for that matter, has the gall to be offended.

I think this dude was just LOOKING for an excuse to complain, since you can't create a black character to represent yourself.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
12,070
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Well, shit. Ridiculous racism claims strike again. Surely the only way he could claim this as racist is if every single black character spoke the same way, and even then it's only racist if that's not due to them living in the same geographical area (as regional accents tend to be based around regions, y'know).

Unless he's trying to argue that the character itself is racist, and shouldn't hold such negative stereotypes of the other races in the game?

(Only good point about being at work - I get my apostrophes back :D )

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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TheAmokz said:
Ghengis John said:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
^^^^
THIS.

Evan Narcisse is the guy who is being racist.
^^^^
This this.

He's not a racist - he's just pointing out that all black people are incapable of speaking that way, and instead they all sound like Carlton from Fresh Prince.
 

jpoon

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Good lord, this is the lamest shit I've heard in weeks. Whiners will whine about anything and EVERYTHING...
 

mattaui

New member
Oct 16, 2008
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The diversity police strikes again. Heaven forbid black people ever be portrayed as poor, uneducated criminals. I guess only dumb white rednecks are allowed. Of course, I guess it doesn't matter that the black couple taken hostage in the first mission are wealthy, powerful and educated?

This is what happens when you clothe yourself in identity politics and take all slights upon all people that share your race/class/culture/etc as a personal affront to you, regardless of the truth of the matter.

Of course, I've also been told by members of the professional victim racket that as a white person, I can't ever comment on such things, precisely because of my white skin.

That's totally not a double standard!
 

coolman9899

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Ghengis John said:
Okay, so an easily offended lack man was just offended. It's not like I can't understand where hes's coming from but I live in california and I encounter people who speak like Letitia almost everyday. I was unware that I had traveled to another planet or utilized a time-machine. As a mexican american I'd say the game has a remarkable tact for displaying people as they really are, Cabron.

Of course the real damage here is that his rampant hyperbole is going to misrepresent the game to thousands of people who'll have no idea just how wrong he really is. Oh well.
Spice and Wolf Avatar?!?!?!?!?!?!?

OT: Yeaaaaaah I found that rather not racist cause its just a sterotype and people are bloody sterotyped all the time... besides If I drive to the Tim Hortans branch office, should I get pissy with them for including racial sterotypes in their commercials. No, then why should this person do it cause its in a game'.
 

LordRoyal

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I found it a pretty funny racist stereotype though I'm surprised people are going crazy about it.

I mean games pull this shit all the time
 

Total LOLige

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So is the deep south non-existent in the Deus Ex world? If it is then it is very probable that she just moved to where ever this is.
Also the fact that this dude bitched and moaned about black zombies in Resident Evil 5 says a lot, the game is set in Africa where the majority of the population is black.
 

emeraldrafael

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I kept expecting her to just come out and say got some water mellon, or beans and cornbread or something of that nature.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Mar 16, 2011
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I was kind of thinking maybe the accent was a little offensive when I got to that point but then I thought well I've never been to Detroit or met anyone from there so what do I know.
 

samsonguy920

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Considering Time is doing its best to become more a trash mag every day, this doesn't surprise me. After watching that video I found myself trying not to laugh my ass off. I honestly have not encountered anyone like that and it made me feel I was watching something off of Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network.
Racist? Hell no. Silly and outrageous. Yes.

Mr. Narcisse needs to get over himself and move on.
 

mental_looney

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Shrug I haven't talked to her in game but on hearing it if I talked to her in game wouldn't have seemed racist just that she was from somewhere in the south, but it's just one character that's a hobo and there are lots of hobos of different races.
 

The Random One

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Yeah, we all laughed at her when she was talking about the racist RE5 zombies, but then we got to the part where we were fighting guys straight out of Birth of a Nation and we were like, oh shit, the crazy activist chick was right.
 

Total LOLige

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SenseOfTumour said:
So long a game set in the UK wasn't entirely populated by cock-er-ney chimmerney sweeps, I'd have no problem with a few in there in the games East end levels.
If not chimney sweepers then it would probably, inner city black "yoofs"
 

Gralian

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Sep 24, 2008
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You run into two black people before Letitia, both of which are hostages and both of which are employees of the high profile Sarif Industries, which is an extremely prestigious corporation - one which you would have to be exceedingly intelligent to even be considered for a position in.

Both of the black hostages speak perfectly normal.

If you're going to attribute the portrayal of all blacks to a single character, why overlook the fact that the two hostages were executives of one of the most powerful corporations in America? Surely that would give the impression black people are intelligent and that equal opportunity is alive and kicking.

To pick on a single differential and make it a straw-man just because it happens to offend you does not make it offensive to everyone. To overlook the fact people are different and that not everyone are highly spoken well-educated individuals is to sugarcoat reality, which is far more ignorant than any portrayal of a single character, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or orientation.
 

Hawk eye1466

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I played the xbox version and honestly didn't notice anything, but I dunno the computer version sounds different to me.
 

Ignatz_Zwakh

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There's a bag lady who lurks around the front of the videostore I work at. She herself is pretty much a shambling stereotype.
 

Elf Defiler Korgan

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I am pretty sure there are poor African-American women with Southern accents.

So the game is racist for including a very real and possible character, in the future of a quite divided society? She struck me as a real contrast to Sarif, and some of the thugs. Leticia has some street smarts, knows a bit about what is going on, and is trying to get by.

Yep, accents and unusual ways of speaking do exist.
Jensen is also in a sub-culture of his own, a corporate slave from a somewhat thuggish cop background who speaks far too curtly, but whom doesn't want to sound too inferior to his well-educated peers. He isn't stupid, but he isn't the best educated and most eloquent person around either. A good choice for a protagonist I suppose, not going to alienate too many people. He is tough, but smart, and doesn't risk being culturally offensive except by being so gravelly.
 

Staskala

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Knowing Deus Ex's voice acting "the horrible broken English Letitia speaks" probably wasn't even intentional.
After all, I too was offended by Günther's terrible German accent. Also offended by Deus Ex were the Chinese, the French and pretty much everyone with a nationality that appeared in the game.

Clearly Ionstorm/Eidos is racist against the entire world!
 

RhombusHatesYou

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I haven't laughed so much since some mob accused Jango Fett of being an offensive Hispanic stereotype... despite being played by a Maori who speaks with a typical kiwi accent.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Staskala said:
Knowing Deus Ex's voice acting "the horrible broken English Letitia speaks" probably wasn't even intentional.
After all, I too was offended by Günther's terrible German accent. Also offended by Deus Ex were the Chinese, the French and pretty much everyone with a nationality that appeared in the game.

Clearly Ionstorm/Eidos is racist against the entire world!
Bah!

They didn't include a single painfully fake Aussie accent... You know, the one where the the director has said to the voice actor "Okay, do half-arsed cockney... right... now do it with extra nasal. Perfect."
 

Logan Westbrook

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Feb 21, 2008
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What depresses me about stories like this is that people don't take the time to read them properly. No one is saying that Deus Ex is a racist game, or that the people who made it are racists, just that the character in question draws on old racist imagery. Seriously, listen to her speak, she sounds like a character from Huckleberry Finn. It's probably not intentional, and there are some very positive African-American characters in the game, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't point out the mistake.

Oh, and for the record, the problem with Resident Evil 5 wasn't that the zombies were black - the game is set in Africa, of course they're black - it was, again, the imagery used to portray them, which strayed into "Dark Continent" territory.
 

swtstar777

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Oh my god, again with the complaining. This is racist! That is Sexist! They're homophobic!
It. Is. A. Game.
You don't like one tiny thing in a game you have bigger issues in your life.

As the saying goes "If you don't like it, don't buy it."
 

Staskala

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RhombusHatesYou said:
Bah!

They didn't include a single painfully fake Aussie accent... You know, the one where the the director has said to the voice actor "Okay, do half-arsed cockney... right... now do it with extra nasal. Perfect."
Are you sure about that?
No one left Deus Ex unscathed.
 

Sniper Team 4

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Can I call the Chinese people racist then because of the way they speak? Slightly broken English when they are speaking English to me in that game? I was very offended at that! :)
 

Gralian

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Sep 24, 2008
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Logan Westbrook said:
What depresses me about stories like this is that people don't take the time to read them properly. No one is saying that Deus Ex is a racist game, or that the people who made it are racists, just that the character in question draws on old racist imagery. Seriously, listen to her speak, she sounds like a character from Huckleberry Finn. It's probably not intentional, and there are some very positive African-American characters in the game, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't point out the mistake.
Why is it a mistake? Are you seriously telling me that absolutely every individual living in an inner city area doesn't speak with such heavy affectation and slang? Because even here in the UK, people from the inner city areas, particularly around London, do have a significant "street speak" about their dialect. It's not just black people, either. White people who are brought up in the inner city who associate with what was generally seen as 'black culture' also adopt that way of speech and how they carry themselves. While Letitia does have something of the fifties about her, i think it's a bit myopic to not see inner city culture having its roots in what was once hyperbolised by the privileged majority. I would've considered it to be more jarring if she spoke with perfect diction. She already looks a little bit too neat to be a hobo as it is. (Then again, all hobos in Detroit seem to have that problem)



Oh, and for the record, the problem with Resident Evil 5 wasn't that the zombies were black - the game is set in Africa, of course they're black - it was, again, the imagery used to portray them, which strayed into "Dark Continent" territory.
Africa is still a third world country by most standards. I appreciate the mud hut villages and savage portrayal of native Africans throwing spears and such is upsetting, but what else would you expect to find? Sprawling cities and paved streets? If Capcom didn't want to draw on that imagery, they shouldn't have chosen Africa as the stage. What bothers me is how people claim to have no problem with the game being set in Africa yet fail to recognise such imagery would be inevitable given the location. It's not even as if the entirety of the game was that one painful trudge through the mud hut villages; before that you had a reasonable shanty town and later on an escapade through a vast military complex.
 

Ragsnstitches

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Cain_Zeros said:
Ragsnstitches said:
Waaghpowa said:
I don't remember anyone complaining about racism in the first game over the Chinese accents. I'm Chinese and I didn't see it as a big deal, people need to relax about these kinds of things.
Ha... yeah. That's not going to happen.

OT: If that's racist, then I should to argue every portrayal of Irish people in American Media is racist.

But I, frankly, am too drunk to.
Except Irish isn't a race, it's a nationality. Yes, it would be nice if there were portrayals of Irish people other than Leprechauns and drunkards, but even if you were serious it wouldn't be racism.
Hence my comment... what is depicted in the game is a stereotype of a social class, who happens to be black. It's about as racist as depicting a person who is good at math, who just so happens to be Asian.

For me, its the same as showing a middle-class Irish American in a pub with a pint of guinness on hand.
 

Olorune

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It's pretty funny, but they could've used a voice and dialect that is less associated with offensiveness/racism.

Offended as a black person? A little. Gonna make a big deal over it? No.
 

soulfire130

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If every black person in Deus Ex was like her then, yes that is racist. But since its only one black person like that in the game then it actually realistic.
 

SyphonX

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Mar 22, 2009
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Why do people like this exist.

Oh, you're offended by something that doesn't matter in the slightest? Oh, well, how about you shove a pineapple up your ass, because no one cares.

You're supposed to take 'offense' to something that matters. For instance, I take 'offense' when a government-payed law enforcement officer assaults a prisoner. I take 'offense' when politicians pass laws that benefit themselves at the great disappointment to the thousands of people that are affected as a result.

What I don't take offense to, are things like this. This person isn't really offended, not at all. What they're doing is latching on to the diluted mindset that makes them 'think' they should express themselves as being offended, because gee whiz 'someone must' or 'there will be no justice in this world'. Some people call it liberalism, but anyone with a modicum of sense knows it's something more than that. Call it manipulated emotions, or a concentrated effort at destroying the fifth estate from within. Whatever it is, I'll just call it bullshit.
 

Irony's Acolyte

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Mar 9, 2010
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So a black woman with a Southern accent who is not in the best position financially is racist? I mean it's not like there might be black women from the South who are poor right? Nope, can't be, it's just impossible.

Sure, it's a fine line to walk. When does it become racist? When she's singing gospel music for now reason? When she's chowing down on KFC and watermelon? I don't know the whole context of the character, but I don't feel that having a character who makes sense (there are plenty of people of African decent in the US South, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are poor) is racist. Sure it's rather stereotypical, but I don't see that as offensive. Even if I am a white male, I still think people are over-reaching.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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I suggest black people make more of their own games instead of whining at the white Canadian developers. That way they can input their own view into the industry.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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jeretik said:
I suggest black people make more of their own games instead of whining at the white Canadian developers. That way they can input their own view into the industry.
You forget that making games,writing books,directing or acting in films requires actual work and skills on their part. Bitching about everything doesn't.
 

Blood Countess

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seems to me someone is just wanting to be offended so they have a story to write. I would bet some people do sound or talk like this in real life so should we exclude them cause it might offend? they wouldn't in a movie or book I bet, why should a game be judged differently then that movie or book? Sorry it's not offensive cause I see it happening in real life, grow up and deal with it
 

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Blood Countess said:
seems to me someone is just wanting to be offended so they have a story to write. I would bet some people do sound or talk like this in real life so should we exclude them cause it might offend? they wouldn't in a movie or book I bet, why should a game be judged differently then that movie or book? Sorry it's not offensive cause I see it happening in real life, grow up and deal with it
Even if nobody speaks like that, it's an artistic right to make it that way. The dude is just a troll, looking for quick money and fame.
 

Baresark

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***** *****, whine whine. Why does anyone pay an credence to that moron. The company should do the best thing they can do and not answer any of these people. You give credence to what they say by defending it. You should never end up on the defensive in a situation like this.

Edit: Also, this was not a broad portrayal of black folks, it was a defined character with actual speaking lines and interaction. If the black street walking NPC's were all like this, maybe. But not a single character.
 

DementedSheep

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*sigh* having one character that fits a stereotype is not racist. There are actually people like that. When every character or most that belong to an ethnic group/religion/gender/whatever are being portrayed a certain way then there may be a problem but one character on its own is not. If you?re going to get in a rage every time a character is stereotypical you?ll be raging all the time.
Also many stereotypes exist for a reason.
 

ACman

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I'm not sure that it's racist as opposed to utterly, immersion breakingly ridiculous. I've got no problem with the accent just with the amount of inflection placed on it. She's like the black version of the "Yes Guy" from The Simpsons.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Staskala said:
RhombusHatesYou said:
Bah!

They didn't include a single painfully fake Aussie accent... You know, the one where the the director has said to the voice actor "Okay, do half-arsed cockney... right... now do it with extra nasal. Perfect."
Are you sure about that?
No one left Deus Ex unscathed.
Fuck, I was only thinking about DEHR and totally forgot that.

Now my ears are bleeding.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Irony said:
So a black woman with a Southern accent who is not in the best position financially is racist?
With what she charges for information I'd hardly say she was in poor financial shape. Perhaps she's eccentric and likes rifling through bins.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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You never hear about people getting up in arms about stereotyped white people. Why is that?

I mean whatever.
The woman in the game actually seems intelligent and has some respect for herself. I think that's more important than what pronounciation she uses.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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soulfire130 said:
If every black person in Deus Ex was like her then, yes that is racist.
If you type in 'kkk 14/88' during the end credits after they've finished all the black NPC perform a musical number.

I'm almost certainly lying about that, though.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Akalabeth said:
You never hear about people getting up in arms about stereotyped white people. Why is that?
You need to troll more right wing forums if you think no one does.
 

Yoshisummons

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That's not a Black racial stereotype, that originated from the impoverished white people speaking this way and African American's adopted it. Somehow the thing got attached to blacks, oh well. I want bad guy's to not use a British accent, it is racist and stereotypes very pale folk!
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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RhombusHatesYou said:
Akalabeth said:
You never hear about people getting up in arms about stereotyped white people. Why is that?
You need to troll more right wing forums if you think no one does.
Well, it's just not publicized in my experience. Though most of my video game related news comes from here or Reviews on the Run and neither place has mentioned it from what I know.
 

agiganticpanda

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I'd say if that was the only black character in the game then it's not very smart on the developer's part. I'm white although I know there are plenty of negative stereotypes that people can drawn on but that doesn't mean people are speaking about me specifically.

Although the character is pretty easy and low brow to write, it's hard to write a gritty drama if you're trying to have all these characters be "civil" and PC.
 

Helscreama

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Ghengis John said:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
This was my first thought while reading the article.

I didn't see her and automaticly think "She's speaking like that because she's black"

I thought "She is homeless"

Why must people see racism everywhere?!?!
 

kouriichi

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I am African american. I dont find this racist.

In fact, i LIVE in Detroit Michigan. I have for most of my life. I will tell you right now, i know half a dozen people who talk like that. Im related to several of them.

But it is great for a laugh.
 

Irony's Acolyte

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RhombusHatesYou said:
Irony said:
So a black woman with a Southern accent who is not in the best position financially is racist?
With what she charges for information I'd hardly say she was in poor financial shape. Perhaps she's eccentric and likes rifling through bins.
I just figured that she was rifling through a bin and asking for money that she needed to scrounge for finances/food. It could just be she's an eccentric though.
 

Unhappy Crow

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I found the way she greeted him laugh-my-ass-off funny. Truth be told, I didn't find this scene offensive. It was just funny.
 

dtthelegend

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1. Im from Florida and people talk like this here. I actually find her performance
to be better than some of the other voice actors they hired. She sells me on the idea
that she is there in the future talking to him rather than in a recording studio talking
about where to find a group of prostitute kidnappers.

2. Ive been to Detroit present day and this is how people are! There are
people huddled around trashcan fires. they talk like this.They sleep on the
streets and hate the cops. This game comes off as genuine.

3. It would be more offensive to me if the streets were filled with all "proper white folk"
because you would be ignoring the population of people who are like this and, by not giving
representation to those people, it would be like saying that those people are not
important enough to be represented. which would come off as bad.
 

Moosejaw

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The best solution to this problem and to anyone who gets 'offended' at something that doesn't hurt anyone is to ignore them! Unfortunately that is not going on here and it should be happening far more often. Give these sorts of cries attention and they'll find a racist under every rock.
 

Clive Howlitzer

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I just started playing this game but as soon as I saw that character I KNEW someone would start a big deal about it.
 

FoolKiller

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Cousin_IT said:
Sounds like Dave Chappelle.
Exactly... it sounds bad. The accent didn't bother me but it sounded more like a guy trying to sound like a chick. And she sounds older.
 

Iron Mal

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Ghengis John said:
I might also add, she's a trash lady, would it sell the character better if she spoke like an ivy-league graduate?
Well this is a valid point to make, if the way she currently sounds isn't acceptable under grounds of it being 'racist' then what is acceptable exactly?

They could have given her any other accent and odds are on that someone would still have found something to complain about, if not with her character then with something (or someone) else in the game.

There are some people out there who just need something to complain about and unless they can suggest a way to actually improve it then pointless, petty complaining is all it probably is.
 

punipunipyo

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um... THINK, if this voice is not used on a Afro-American character... would you have used a Chinese model? a White cowboy? it's just for plot sake, geez! calm down people, they want to show variety in there characters... no more, no less...
 

Kuth

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I would possibly see an argument of this, if she was the only black chick to be seen in Detroit or the entire game. Guess what? That's not the game. One of the odd things I noticed when I played the game was how MANY blacks there were.

I am only giving out a rough guess but take a look at the streets, the locals, the Seriff security guards. How many blacks were there in Detroit alone? I would say a good number of them, hell you even saw a few with green mohawks. And when you hit China, did you see blacks there? Yes. There were blacks in nearly every node you were at and not a single one of those blacks were used to shown to be racist, just this one.

You can't point a trash rat black girl that sounds pretty much spot on(Source: people from the south and my own damn family) and say it's racist. It's not. It would be racist if she was the only black chick in the entire game, but she is far from that.

Deus Ex has possibly more blacks then I can recall and that's a first. If Letitia is the only black woman this person is going to ***** on, out of the sea of black people in the game, then this has got to be the worst attempt on political correctness I have ever seen.
 

SillyBear

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RollForInitiative said:
Honestly, she struck me as a pretty laughably racist stereotype when I ran into her. I was kind of surprised that they'd left her in. Am I offended? No, just surprised.
This.

I'm a black woman, and I don't get offended over racism - I just laugh at it. And this made me laugh and it did make me surprised. Do I think it is racist? Yes, I do. It's over the top and it's ridiculous.

But they can put it in their game if they want. It doesn't make me hate them for being racist, it makes me dislike them because they have awful design choices. The scene broke immersion.

kuth said:
You can't point a trash rat black girl that sounds pretty much spot on(Source: people from the south and my own damn family) and say it's racist. It's not. It would be racist if she was the only black chick in the entire game, but she is far from that.
Your logic makes no sense. It doesn't matter how many black people are in the game, there could be a thousand. None of that changes the fact that this character is ridiculous. You also admit the fact that if she was the only black character then it would be racist. Well, that means it's racist. That means you acknowledge the fact that this character is awful and is laughably racist. Racism surely must be judged on the qualities of the character and the way they are executed by the development team. It isn't judged by the number of people normal black people vs the number of ridiculous black people.

And you aren't the one who gets to define what is "racist". No one is. Obviously it isn't racist to you, because you're white. I know some black people who think that this isn't racist. I do think it is racist. Perception of racism is entirely subjective.

Bottom line, the character is ridiculous and is poorly acted. And yes, in my opinion, the rationale and execution of the character is slightly racist. I'm not offended, I'm amused that they somehow thought it was a good idea to leave such a poorly acted character in the game.
 

Lancer873

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*sigh* Let's get one thing clear, folks. Including a stereotype, bringing it up, all of that, that's not racist. Saying that women tend to like dresses, that's not sexist. What is racist is when you claim all people of a race conform to that stereotype and refuse to accept that any could deviate from the stereotype, or that it in some way makes the race inferior to some other race. Some people need to get that idea. Yes, oriental people often get mixed up in translation and use "engrish." This isn't racist, this is a factual statement. There is a language barrier because the structure of oriental languages is fundamentally different from english, as are the pronunciations. Yes, many people of darker tones of skins tend to be poor, due to the fact that less than a century ago they were discriminated against. The existence of stereotypes does not constitute bigotry, and until we, as a society, can accept this, we're just going to have more attention whores like this crying racist whenever a stereotype pops up.
 

feeqmatic

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As an African American i dont necessarily find it racists, but without playing the game and knowing the full purpose behind her character i do find it in bad taste. But for the most part im not all that concerned.

Not classy... but not worth getting angry over
 

AdumbroDeus

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Heh?

When I listened to this I expected it to be a major throwback, like something I'd hear in a shirley temple movie (saying something like "oh lordie", like those movies always have african americans act).

What I got was modern ebonics.


I'm sorry, this type of speech is so prevalent (to greater or lesser degree depending on the individual) that people go out of their way to eradicate it.

ex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_KKLkmIrDk


Granted, it varies somewhat from area to area, but it's prominent in urban centers and I hear it all the time in NYC.


It's obviously not homogeneous and it's not everywhere, but it's definitely there.
 

SillyBear

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Lancer873 said:
*sigh* Let's get one thing clear, folks.
If there is anything I would love to get clear, it would be the fact that your definition of racism is not law, and means next to nothing. You can't come in here and act like you wrote the text book on racism. It's an incredibly complex thing and everyone's definition is different. Just because someone has a different definition to you doesn't give you the right to bring in the old *siiiigh*s.

Lancer873 said:
Saying that women tend to like dresses, that's not sexist.
So it's not racist if I say black people tend to be illiterate and borderline retarded?

I think it is.
 

twaddle

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on on one hand it's not that racist but then again square enix have been pushing racism boundary for a while when it comes to their black characters and can't seem to get out of the 70's when it comes to them and has them constantly in sort of a semi comic relief setting. Can you see where were coming from. I wonder if they can allow a black character to be portrayed as normal person and still contribute significantly to the plot one day....
 

MovieBob

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This is "Resident Evil 5" all over again, and it's the same basic problem: What you are looking at in the video IS an ethnic caricature, and a fairly specific one - a 'minstrel' archetype of the late-19th/early-20th Century. They almost-certainly didn't "intend" the association, but put THAT voice in a black character - with bonus points for making her a 'street person' - and that's what you get. "Author's intent" can only excuse so much.

Now, that doesn't make the game or it's developers "racist"... but it makes them look pretty careless: How did NOBODY at any point in development 'catch' this before it went into pressing? Granted, thus far every piece of voice-acting I've heard from this game has been uniformly horrible - like, late-1990s hastily-translated Japanese arcade game horrible - But the the sheer tone-deafness of this instance boggles the mind.
 

Parnage

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Black people in a game? Must be racist!

Southern accent?! Of course it must be racist!

God I wish I was so simple minded as to think in that manner. It'd make me reading this awhole lot less enraging. It's not racist. People are just easily offended. Simple as that.
 

SinisterDeath

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So, its racist, having a character that talks that way.
And its not if you have 'white trash' npcs? or any other chracter who just happens to portray a 'stereotype'? What about all the asian doctors? Is that racist?

If they had a character in the game that is actually playing a racist character, Is it racist of them for adding that charcter in the game? Should every character be Politically correct? Talk Politically correct?
Should all books, movies, tv, games have no characters you aren't meant to dislike becuase they should all be politically correct?
 

The Youth Counselor

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The first person who broke this story was our very own Jim Sterling, and everyone on Destructoid agreed with him then. But the Escapist shifts all the focus on Evan Narcisse and now all the commentators call him "an easily offended black man."
 
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Is it impossible for a person to sound like that? No? Then how is it racist? If an ACTUAL black person naturally talked like that would that make them a racist caricature?

Have I really been talking in only questions for this whole post?

Not anymore.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Mar 16, 2011
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Heroic One said:
Game takes place in Detroit, and there's only like six black people.
lol okay
Erm there are tons of black people...most of random NPC's you see when walking about are black I noticed.
The very pretty undercover cover cop you help is black, Most of the Gang members on both sides are black, The professional couple you save fron the hostage situation are black. The arms dealer is black. Your janitor is black...

The list goes on.

Like I said earlier the character offended me when I came across it but than I realised I don't really know anyone from America so I'm not really in a position to judge what is correct. Mostly everyone who doesn't work at the corporation buildings are down on their luck in that first area so she fits in enough.

I don't know why they chose that accent I think it is a southern one? Seems a bit of an odd choice if anything. Perhaps if they had changed that it would have been a bit less dodgy.
 

Lancer873

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SillyBear said:
Lancer873 said:
*sigh* Let's get one thing clear, folks.
If there is anything I would love to get clear, it would be the fact that your definition of racism is not law, and means next to nothing. You can't come in here and act like you wrote the text book on racism. It's an incredibly complex thing and everyone's definition is different. Just because someone has a different definition to you doesn't give you the right to bring in the old *siiiigh*s.

Lancer873 said:
Saying that women tend to like dresses, that's not sexist.
So it's not racist if I say black people tend to be illiterate and borderline retarded?

I think it is.
Well for starters, black people do not tend to be illiterate and borderline retarded, and secondly, that actually constitutes something offensive, and, as I mentioned later in that post, would make it clear that you hold blacks to be an "inferior" race. The fact that a significant amount of females tend to get an enjoyment out of fashion-based subjects that most men do not understand is not offensive, and is actually true. What I'm saying is that, statistically speaking, many stereotypes exist because they hold some semblance of truth. It's not wrong to acknowledge that there are differences between the majority of one group, and the majority of another group. It's wrong to hold this as proof that the other group is "inferior" in some way to the other, or to believe that there are no exceptions to the statistic. Let's put it this way: If I say "women have nipples that are larger than men's," am I being sexist? No, because this is true. The extra X chromosome that women have tends to do that. If I say that "Men, on average, are stronger, in terms of upper-body strength, than women," am I being sexist? Most people would think I am, but statistically and scientifically speaking, this is true. Testosterone increases muscle buildup, especially in the upper-body. It would be sexist to believe that it is impossible for a woman to be stronger than me (most women are probably actually stronger than me in terms of upper-body strength. I'm not very strong), or to claim this somehow makes a man who is weaker than a woman "inferior" to other men.

Now, there may be some stereotypes that are being enforced in a sort of way in today's society. I, too, realize that it's sick for women to be idolizing people with eating disorders and for men to idolize steroid abusers, these stereotypes are wrong, but that is because we are viewing these stereotypes as "better". We cannot ignore the fact that there are differences between races, sexes, and religions. I do not think that racial sensitivity means we should try to pretend that everybody is on even grounds, because that's just not the way the world works.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Lancer873 said:
No offense but what I think the guys is trying to say is that this Stereotype ISN'T accurate. It's actually pretty bizzarre in fact to have a street lady with an ancient deep southern accent wandering around 2077 Detroit?


btw I don't like dresses or fashion! /rasp! ;p
 

AdumbroDeus

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Parnage said:
Black people in a game? Must be racist!

Southern accent?! Of course it must be racist!

God I wish I was so simple minded as to think in that manner. It'd make me reading this awhole lot less enraging. It's not racist. People are just easily offended. Simple as that.

Errrr

That's not a southern accent... at all.


It bears some resemblence to a southern accent but it's actually mostly regulated to urban centers.
Lancer873 said:
SillyBear said:
Lancer873 said:
*sigh* Let's get one thing clear, folks.
If there is anything I would love to get clear, it would be the fact that your definition of racism is not law, and means next to nothing. You can't come in here and act like you wrote the text book on racism. It's an incredibly complex thing and everyone's definition is different. Just because someone has a different definition to you doesn't give you the right to bring in the old *siiiigh*s.

Lancer873 said:
Saying that women tend to like dresses, that's not sexist.
So it's not racist if I say black people tend to be illiterate and borderline retarded?

I think it is.
Well for starters, black people do not tend to be illiterate and borderline retarded, and secondly, that actually constitutes something offensive, and, as I mentioned later in that post, would make it clear that you hold blacks to be an "inferior" race. The fact that a significant amount of females tend to get an enjoyment out of fashion-based subjects that most men do not understand is not offensive, and is actually true. What I'm saying is that, statistically speaking, many stereotypes exist because they hold some semblance of truth. It's not wrong to acknowledge that there are differences between the majority of one group, and the majority of another group. It's wrong to hold this as proof that the other group is "inferior" in some way to the other, or to believe that there are no exceptions to the statistic. Let's put it this way: If I say "women have nipples that are larger than men's," am I being sexist? No, because this is true. The extra X chromosome that women have tends to do that. If I say that "Men, on average, are stronger, in terms of upper-body strength, than women," am I being sexist? Most people would think I am, but statistically and scientifically speaking, this is true. Testosterone increases muscle buildup, especially in the upper-body. It would be sexist to believe that it is impossible for a woman to be stronger than me (most women are probably actually stronger than me in terms of upper-body strength. I'm not very strong), or to claim this somehow makes a man who is weaker than a woman "inferior" to other men.

Now, there may be some stereotypes that are being enforced in a sort of way in today's society. I, too, realize that it's sick for women to be idolizing people with eating disorders and for men to idolize steroid abusers, these stereotypes are wrong, but that is because we are viewing these stereotypes as "better". We cannot ignore the fact that there are differences between races, sexes, and religions. I do not think that racial sensitivity means we should try to pretend that everybody is on even grounds, because that's just not the way the world works.
You're incorrect.


Actually, there are a variety of reasons that stereotypes pop up, only one of which is that it's more common in that group then others. For example:

1. It could be a media portrayal thing (ex. serial killers are commonly stereotyped as being smart and well-educated because they're most commonly portrayed that way in the media, the majority aren't).

2. It could be a trate that was observed in at least one, and is considered undesirable, so people push it for self-affirmation and confirmation bias (mexicians are lazy is probably a good example, especially since every ethnic minority except Asians have this, and it clashes with the "model minority" ideal).

3. It doesn't occur in a group, but misunderstanding of their practices makes people believe it anyway. Again, usually negative and pushed to make people feel better about themselves. (ex. catholics worship saints).


I'm sure there are many other reasons, though these are the first that come to mind. With so many other possibilities then it actually being more common among that group, statistical analysis is needed to figure out whether a given group actually more commonly falls under that steriotype.



xXxJessicaxXx said:
Lancer873 said:
No offense but what I think the guys is trying to say is that this Stereotype ISN'T accurate. It's actually pretty bizzarre in fact to have a street lady with an ancient deep southern accent wandering around 2077 Detroit?


btw I don't like dresses or fashion! /rasp! ;p
Except that's not ancient deep south, that's modern Ebonics.

Ancient deep south's dialect didn't use cursing (that's the first hint) and the linguistic construction of said curses is unique to Ebonics.
 

Kuth

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kuth said:
You can't point a trash rat black girl that sounds pretty much spot on(Source: people from the south and my own damn family) and say it's racist. It's not. It would be racist if she was the only black chick in the entire game, but she is far from that.
Your logic makes no sense. It doesn't matter how many black people are in the game, there could be a thousand. None of that changes the fact that this character is ridiculous. You also admit the fact that if she was the only black character then it would be racist. Well, that means it's racist. That means you acknowledge the fact that this character is awful and is laughably racist. Racism surely must be judged on the qualities of the character and the way they are executed by the development team. It isn't judged by the number of people normal black people vs the number of ridiculous black people.
A mix of words on my part but I don't see this as much of being racist. In my intial paragraph I said it would be a good argument if she was the only black woman in the game. Several down I changed the tone with out the intent to from my orginal statment. So to make it clear, If she was alone in the game, the argument would be valid, yet only on the argument.

Even if it was donw to that, I highly doubt I would see it as racist.
And you aren't the one who gets to define what is "racist". No one is. Obviously it isn't racist to you, because you're white.
So you are assuming I am making this some sort of universal foundation of what racisim is instead of it being my opinion? What is up with you? It's my opinion, and you seem to be straight off on that opinion to begin with. Also white?

Calling me white really just destroys much of whatever you are trying to pass on me, yet I will give credit. You did get 50% right. Now if you can properly get the other 50% of my ancestry in the next try, you may have a chance of redemption of not being a bigot. You called me a white person, now I expect you to finish your guessing game, since you seem to have some interest in what a persons skin tone is to have any form of legit argument.

I know some black people who think that this isn't racist. I do think it is racist. Perception of racism is entirely subjective.
Racism: 1.
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. In order to call it racist, you need to claim that a bunch of Canadians have a thing against black people. Not only that, you need to show that it belittled. Proceed.

Bottom line, the character is ridiculous and is poorly acted.
Mediocore acting, but not much argument in that department.
And yes, in my opinion, the rationale and execution of the character is slightly racist. I'm not offended, I'm amused that they somehow thought it was a good idea to leave such a poorly acted character in the game.
I doubt amused is quite the emotion you are broadcasting. It seems you are taking this character a bit strongly despite you are 'amused' by it.
 

Agayek

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Oct 23, 2008
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DanielBrown said:
I'm more bothered with the protagonists voice. What's happened to his throat?
Adam Jensen makes a special point to gargle ball bearings every night before he goes to bed. It really stimulates the vocal chords.
 

crimsonshrouds

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I live in Kentucky and work at a wal-mart. To say this is an average speech pattern to hear would be an understatement -_- their is no racism ignore the troll and move along.
 

Greg Tito

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Greg Tito said:
...to object so vehemently to her portrayal would mean you'd have to object to...the Asian stereotypes in Cooking with Mama.
First, point of accuracy; it's called Cooking Mama; no "with".

Second, that's a rather strange thing to say, even for the purposes of exaggeration in an analogy. It's a Japanese game and that's a real Japanese woman speaking actual terrible English. It's not any kind of attempt by the Japanese devs to portray their own culture in any way at all. It's just gratuitous English like in so many Japanese games, as badly done as usual.
 

Lancer873

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xXxJessicaxXx said:
Lancer873 said:
No offense but what I think the guys is trying to say is that this Stereotype ISN'T accurate. It's actually pretty bizzarre in fact to have a street lady with an ancient deep southern accent wandering around 2077 Detroit?
Wasn't it 2027? And mkay, I can respect that, but it's not like there couldn't be one in 2027 Detroit. It's not really any more of a stretch than... say... the idea that some religious people would go to violent lengths to stop a company from performing controversial human augmentation. =3

btw I don't like dresses or fashion! /rasp! ;p
Mkay, and nice! Like I said, sexism would be someone saying that it's wrong for you to be like that.


AdumbroDeus said:
Alrighty, I get your point. Still, the point I'm trying to make is that there are some differences between races, sexes, and religions, and that they should be respected, but shouldn't be socially enforced. I apologize for attempting to be a bit blunt in my previous posts, but my ultimate message is one of acceptance, not of division.
 

Aiberg

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not racist. bad voice acting. also it kills the immersion when a homeless is so helpful. how come she looks and talks so normal and is very good looking?
 

Hyperactiveman

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Yeh but fuck if i care or anyone else should anyway. A lot of games are doing this and at the same time games that are tackling this are getting scrutinized so I honestly think it's a load of bullshit that we just can't touch because there are too many different cases that wouldn't help anyone justify any point in finding a way of drawing the line between what is and what isn't racism in games.

Having said that I am surprised the devs weren't noticing that they were totally shooting themselves in the foot with this one. I mean it's not just that character... Most bums on the street in the game are black and I can't think of any major or influential characters that are not only intelligent but also not white.

That just spells racism! -_^

Imma gonna hide behind this chest high wall made of magic now.
 

Greg Tito

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Even the first game had these sort of stereotypical accents. I get why people get angry about it but I personally don't have much of a problem with it.

Btw I really like Adam Jensen's voice acting, it is gravelly but I don't mind it, I think the voice actor did a good job.
 

Greg Tito

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I lived in Detroit. Totally not racist. These people exist, and claiming that portreying them at all is a sign of racism is racist in itself.
 

DeathWyrmNexus

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Heh, opposing black zombies in Africa basically is a pass to ignore everything you say. So if this person is basically angry to get reactions, IE trolling, why are we paying attention?
 

LHZA

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I didn't like the zombies in RE5, they did offend me just a tad, but this I'm okay with. I think it's mostly laughably bad voice acting more then anything else, but hey, I'm from Canada and so far removed from that kind of accent I kind of find it hard to believe it actually exists. I remember the first time I heard a brooklyn accent. That was cool. The first thing I thought was "Just like in the movies".
 

Madara XIII

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Sober Thal said:
Where is the racism? Have any of these people ever been to a large city? Is it racist to talk that way? So to all the people who speak differently than you do, THEY are racist??

EDIT: Does this mean Bill Cosby is racist for making Fat Albert?
Nope. It means that idiots will always try and look for racism where it doesn't exist.

So ya know what I say?

"FUCK IT!" I'm done with this racism issue, because no matter how much logic or rationality you speak to them, they'll always find some reason to claim a particular personification of a character is racist.

THANK YOU F*CKING AMERICA!!!
 

Sicram

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The only thing annoying me is the southern accent. I really, really dislike southern american accent. That character could've been of any race or gender and I'd still cringe at the accent. Don't know why but I borderline hate it.

I guess I don't take any offence seeing as I'm a european or I just happen to be insensitive... although I do react to overplayed stereotypes. And that sentence more or less contradicts me but I haven't actually encountered many (or any) black people with deep southern accent.

Change her voice to something less (in my opinion) mind-grinding and all will be fine, for me at least.
 

Thespian

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The point here is that only one of the black people in the game has this accent. It is totally possible for one person to have an outrageous, hilarious accent. It is not indicative of their entire race, and Deus Ex doesn't suggest it is.

Ragsnstitches said:
If that's racist, then I should to argue every portrayal of Irish people in American Media is racist.

But I, frankly, am too drunk to.
Funny, I was so enraged by being misrepresented I was going to go and do the same, but I'm too busy getting into fights outside a pub.
 

Drakmeire

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I don't think it's racist, it's just a character and people are looking too deep into it. Sad thing is I live near Detroit and MANY people do talk like that whether they be white, black, or anything else.
Hell, put this Lady/Man/I don't know into a game and see the public respond, it's not a stereotype, it's just how the person is it would be racist if EVERY character of African decent was like that in the game but just one makes a character.
<youtube=C0lLsEM-knA>
Yes, this is taken off the local news in MY town. Living near Detroit is weird.
 

Thespian

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Hyperactiveman said:
Yeh but fuck if i care or anyone else should anyway. A lot of games are doing this and at the same time games that are tackling this are getting scrutinized so I honestly think it's a load of bullshit that we just can't touch because there are too many different cases that wouldn't help anyone justify any point in finding a way of drawing the line between what is and what isn't racism in games.

Having said that I am surprised the devs weren't noticing that they were totally shooting themselves in the foot with this one. I mean it's not just that character... Most bums on the street in the game are black and I can't think of any major or influential characters that are not only intelligent but also not white.

That just spells racism! -_^

Imma gonna hide behind this chest high wall made of magic now.
Really? I honestly... Hang on.
*smashes chest high wall*
I honestly never noticed any more bums being black than white, and as for influential characters... I'm not too far in, but Van Bruggen seemed fairly important to the plot. It sure couldn't have continued if he wasn't
Intelligent enough to keep security footage of Zhao as an insurance policy.
 

Superior Mind

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I don't know why that's any more offensive than the portrayal of Zeke Sanders or the Chinese traders in that game. Narcisse seems to me like the kind of guy who'd object so someone over-emphasising an accent or using ethnic coloquialisms. I'll remember not to say "bro" or "chur" around him.
 

Daniel Beckeman

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Bribase said:
Carlston said:
When is the last time a GERMAN was in a name and NOT a nazi? Hmmmm?
Hmmn... 2000?

What about this one?

On topic, i don't really think there's much offensive about this, i see the chinese characters as more racist even.

Why would you get upset over a game.
 
Feb 9, 2011
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Drakmeire said:
<youtube=C0lLsEM-knA>
Yes, this is taken off the local news in MY town. Living near Detroit is weird.
I laughed...I laughed a lot at that. Good god...

Look, at this point people just pick and choose where they want their racism to be. Everything is racist to somebody, especially in this god forsaken land we call America. I say fuck it all and we start making games just like the Boondocks (the animated cartoon/former comic strip) and just load a game to the brim with racism. If they want to nitpick everything and call it racist, we'll give them more racism then they can handle.