"Clearly No One Black Worked On This Game"

In line with the earlier post on race in video games, Newsweek journalist N'Gai Croal offers these insights about the Resident Evil 5 trailer:

I looked at the Resident Evil 5 trailer and I was like, "Wow, clearly no one black worked on this game." Because I wonder, and I haven't sort of really dug into it that much, but I wonder what sort of advice Capcom gave them. The point isn't that you can't have black zombies. There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery. What was not funny, but sort of interesting, was that there were so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn't see it. So how could you have a conversation with people who don't understand what you're talking about and think that you're sort of seeing race where nothing exists?

There's more. If you're interested, hit the jump.

There was stuff like even before the point in the trailer where the crowd turned into zombies. There sort of being, in sort of post-modern parlance, they're sort of "othered." They're hidden in shadows, you can barely see their eyes, and the perspective of the trailer is not even someone who's coming to help the people. It's like they're all dangerous; they all need to be killed. It's not even like one cute African — or Haitian or Caribbean — child could be saved. They're all dangerous men, women and children. They all have to be killed. And given the history, given the not so distant post-colonial history, you would say to yourself, why would you uncritically put up those images? It's not as simple as saying, "Oh, they shot Spanish zombies in 'Resident Evil 4,' and now 'black zombies and that's why people are getting upset." The imagery is not the same. It doesn't carry the same history, it doesn't carry the same weight. I don't know how to explain it more clearly than that.

Knowing Japan and the Japanese, I'm willing to bet this wasn't even on their radar. Hence, the problem. There're more of Croal's opinions on RE 5. Before commenting, you should read it.

N'Gai on the RE5 Trailer [Multiplayer]


    For all I could see it was some warlord type poor country in Africa, not "LOL YAY WE GET TO KILL BLACK PEOPLE". If people can't\don't see the "racism", then maybe it's because in fact because they don't consider skin-color a factor? And isn't that what the anti-racist people have been wanting all along?

    Bollocks. It's called apophenia. Just choose your cause and select the "facts" (filtered via perspective) that back you up.

    You see what you want to see.

    I would probably be right in assuming that this N'gai fellow is American, but this game was developed in Japan and that changes everything. The Japanese dont see it from an American point of view because they did not go through the same events that the Americans did. I'm not saying that makes them racist I'm saying that it means they dont carry the same kinda of burden around that makes them jump on the first sign of racism.

    This chap is seeing things where there is nothing to be seen, understandable but pointless nevertheless.

    I'm guessing this fellow hasn't played Uncharted then. Blowing the heads off of endless black and asian goons. And not a disease or zombification in sight for the most part. Is it racist? Nope, just set in the tropics where goons would be that colour.

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