Valve Writer Hits Back At 'Racism' Editorial

Last week, a Houston Chronicle writer referenced Left 4 Dead 2's setting choice - New Orleans - in an opinion piece lamenting the perceived insensitivity of several games. Valve has responded.

Chet Faliszek, the Valve writer on Left 4 Dead, got very candid with Destructoid when asked about the implied accusation that New Orleans, because of Katrina, was "too soon" territory.

There are mixed races of zombies, there are all different races of zombies that you shoot, and since we placed it in New Orleans, that makes it racist? I honestly re-read the paragraph about five times... but when two of the characters in your game are African-American, it's a weird thing to be accused of. We're like, 'how does this work'?

Further, any connection to Katrina is only the perception of others, not Valve's intent, Faliszek says. "This is a videogame, those are real people's lives, we are not trying to make a statement with that," he said. "It's a place we love, it's dear to our hearts. We would not cheapen it. It's not a brick-for-brick representation of New Orleans; it's a fictional version, and I love that city."

Destructoid's take is felt by a lot of people - "you can't do anything involving black people these days without some moron (usually a guilty white person) screaming about racism." I leave that to others to argue.

The finer point I'd put on it is, if every time the ethnicity of a video game foe is going to be wrought into a charge of racism, institutional or otherwise, you're going to have either all-white casts of characters, or gratuitously diverse protagonists that conspicuously interfere with the story being told. That's chilling effect 101. Here's hoping it isn't felt.

Valve Responds to Left 4 Dead 2 Racism Accusations [Destructoid via Blue's News]


Comments

    So is this guy (not the valve guy) saying that black people should be "segregated" from video games?

      Which of course would then also be called racist.

      Really what needs to happen here, is the media needs to stfu. Not about games, about everything. Forever.

    You couldn't go to the extreme of having all white people in a game, because then you'd have morons saying it's racist because it's excluding all other races. I think they've done a fair job of putting 2 black people in. 1 token black guy is enough of a cliche to be potentially racist these days, but more than 2, and you run the risk of having a black massacre on your hands :0
    You can't win either way.
    It's just a game though.. I recall beating up black people and girls during a game of Crime Fighters in public arcades when I was a kid. Noone cared then.. and funnily enough, I don't go round beating up black people and girls now :0

    +1

    Second

    Ever read "The Six Sacred Stones" or something like that? Yeah, that's what happen when you try to be culturally sensitive--you get a fat piece of crap that just plain suck, and is very artificial in creating diversity.

    Chet is well known amongst certain forum circles and I can tell you the New Orleans setting was no suprise as it is his ex-hometown and he loves it. How can it be racist to set your game in one of your favorite places? Stupid article...

    lol, i reckon valve should just come out and say something like:

    "FINE, we're taking out all the "black" people. HAPPY? do you want everyone to be racially ambiguous like the mass effect guy/the rock/vin diesel?"

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