- Nov 8, 2007
There is a distinction between nationality, ethnicity and race, but there is a lot of overlap as well to confuse things. Racism is often used to describe prejudice against all of those things (and religion too), though strictly speaking it is meant to be tied to race - which is an arbitrary set of biological differences. The problem I have with the game is that it presents one group being racist against a group that looks the same. To the player, these guys literally all look alike. Now either the game is going for some commentary about the petty nature of racism [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi7QQ5pO7_A], or the game writers didn't sit in the same room as the character designers so it never occurred to them that they would need to make their characters have distinct racial traits.Michel Henzel said:How is there hypocrisy? You said it yourself, they depict racial discrimination, which, by definition, includes discrimination based on ethnicity and nationality. Since the Valkiria franchise clearly depicts other European based ethnicities I don't see your point in the slightest. And it actually fits in the setting as ethnic based racial discrimination is the most common type in Europe.maninahat said:I'm playing through Valkyria Chronicles, an enjoyable, if weirdly conceived, turn-based strategy game set in a fantasy WWII. There is a subplot in the game wherein a bunch of your squad members are bullying another squad member because she's Darcsen - some ethnic minority nobody likes. I've not finished the game yet, but presumably there will be some life lessons wherein everyone overcomes their differences through teamwork or whatever.
Anyway, what makes this subplot weird is how the racism is presented in the game in the first place; Darcsen people are literally identical to everyone else in the squad, except for having dark hair. If she dyed her hair, she could pass for any one of the gang. Come to think of it, even though there are dozens and dozens of characters, all of them have the same generic anime white skin (outside a couple with greyish tans) and there are no other distinguishable races. So my issue is this: how could the game developers come to the decision to talk about racism in a game with apparently only one race? Did they not think it was odd when they were designing the characters?
This is pretty much the exact same problem with the Witcher 3, in that the devs went to the trouble of depicting racial discrimination in their setting, but their setting is one where everyone is a white. There seems to be this weird hypocrisy behind criticising racism whilst excluding every other race from your game. How does this even happen?
People have countered that the Jews aren't a different race. But as far as the Nazis were concerned, Jews were a distinct race with distinct physical characteristics (with stereotypical eye and hair colour, skin tones, face shape, hair type etc) and the Nazis targeted people who "looked Jewish". If we saw a movie in which a gang of soldiers persecute one of their squaddies, we would also spot that the character at least looks stereo-typically Jewish. The art style of the game however means that everyone has the exact same generic looking faces, with hair colour often being the only variable.
All of this is to say as well that the game probably should have a bit more diversity in it. Perhaps they should have gone for an art style that lets them show more detailed and subtle facial characteristics, or maybe they could have included people who are obviously from a different race. this WWII fantasy permits women and openly gay people to fight on the front lines, but somehow this army also doesn't have any non-whites, whereas in reality the European armies had a lot of them (yes, even the Nazis had a few). To not have them is an oversight. To not have them in a game that talks about racism is a bigger oversight.
TLDR: A game tries to be conscientious about race but isn't conscientious about race.