Capcom Promises: No More Racist Games!

There were some that perceived Capcom's Resident Evil 5 to be a racist game. Not in intent, perhaps, but certainly in its imagery and execution. Well, Capcom have certainly learned their lesson!

Capcom's senior PR manager Melody Pfeiffer has told Gamasutra, "Since the RE5 controversy, we have become much more aware of how important it is that we are part of the asset creation process early on so that we are able to have a say in the end product". By "we" she means Capcom USA, so someone from outside Japan can step in and say "uh, no, this will displease people".

"We are also designing a lot of our own assets from this side of the pond, so that we are able to make strategic pieces of content that make sense for our market".

"We are working really closely with our producers in Japan to construct these materials for the West and they are open more then ever to hearing our thoughts and ideas for assets."

Say, Melody, while you're at it, can you ask them to let us move when we shoot when the next Resident Evil rolls around? Thanks!

Kotaku AU Note: No, sorry, Luke, I hope they don't do that. Because it would no longer be a Resident Evil game.

Games With The Power To Offend: Surviving And Stoking Controversy [Gamasutra]


    The RE:5 fiasco was one of the dumbest cases of overzealous political correctness i've ever seen. A whole bunch of morons who were probably white, and have probably never gone to Africa, complained that there were black people in Africa.

    A good mate of mine grew up in South Africa, and he's been to the various African country. He says that in central Africa (where RE:5 is set) there are ONLY black people. A zombie virus gets unleashed into an area entirely populated by black people, and you get, black zombies?!?! Shocking! It was probably more racist when they went back to add token white and asian guys.

    I find it funny that no-one complained that resident evil 4 exclusively featured backward eastern European zombies. I guess it's PC to slaughter white people

      Without wishing to reignite this debate, that's not at all what the complaints were about. The concern wasn't that that the zombies were black; it was the manner in which they were depicted that was troubling. Look at the opening scene again: even before Chris and Sheva encounter any of the infected, the black population of the village are portrayed as menacing others. They're to be seen as a threat to you even before they are turned into zombies.

      As N'Gai Croal explained so clearly in his writing on the topic, this is imagery drawn from centuries of white fear and oppression of black people. That's the difference between Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 4. And that's what Luke here is referring to when he says "Not in intent, perhaps, but certainly in its imagery and execution."

        I disagree David. Those residents in the town initially were already subverted but the ethos of the 'bad guys', whether they had been specifically infected yet or not. They weren't meant to be just happy black inhabitants, they were baddies.

          Regardless of whether or not this minor detail in the fiction is correct, it doesn't change how troubling many people clearly found this and many other scenes in the game.

            That's interesting. Wikipedia will have you believe RE5 is the best selling Resident Evil game of all time. I personally found nothing offensive about the game (apart from the token other races thrown in as an after thought which Steven noted above). One could potential argue that the sales figures indicate that most people were similarly unfazed?

              I'm sure most people were unfazed, given in which parts of the world the vast majority of games are sold. (Not sure if you've ever seen the episode of South Park titled "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", but that may explain the reaction.)

              But a much bigger factor in the game's sales would be the fact that RE5 was the first RE game released simultaneously on two major consoles.

                Well we agree that regional sensitivty is a factor.

                  What really drives it all home is the pillaging.

                  I was recently playing co-op, and the whole racist thing didn't come up until we found ourselves pillaging a small village - smashing up their belongings, stealing jewels, artifacts and going through their chests to find anything of value.


        I agree entirely with you, David. It always frustrates me when people just don't seems capable of understanding how imagery (among other things) can be indirectly racist.

        Despite the fact that the accusations leveled at the game were entirely valid and justified, you're guaranteed to get at least a few (if not the majority) vehemently defending the game against "political correctness gone mad" or "the REAL racists."

          Ooh, and as a side note - that scene early on in which you come across a group of black zombies dragging off a screaming, blonde, caucasian woman.

          Because that's not been a classically racist fear-of-Africa trope that's been found in literature and film for hundreds of years - we're just in Africa, and everyone's black.

          Apart from this one victim that the game takes time out to emphasise.

            Oh PUH-LEASE.

            "Ooh, and as a side note – that scene early on in which you come across a group of black zombies dragging off a screaming, blonde, caucasian woman."

            As with piece of evidence people attribute to racism in this argument you're just looking for things to whinge about here, the absurdity of what you're suggesting actually made me laugh out loud.

            Despite what you think this IS political correctness gone mad, this wouldn't offend anyone if they weren't looking for things to try and get offended by. Everyone needs to harden the hell up and realise they're pulling these offensive overtones out of their asses.

            I could choose to take offence to the fact that in a debate about racism you have decided to use the screen name "ape", when as I'm sure you're aware, both "ape" and "monkey" have been used as derogatory terms for black people in the past. My what a slippery slope we're on.

          What about the fact that the black zombies wear tribal masks and warpaint in later stages of the game - inferring that the brain damage resulting from the infection has caused them to revert to their "backward, savage ways"?

    Why do the press still use that old screenshot? That kind of scene never happens ingame well not on my version at least.

      I believe that image is taken from the game's debut trailer which what sparked the controversy in the first place. Certainly, it's what N'Gai Croal first responded to.

    As a side note has anyone played this game on the hardest difficulty? On co-op the "boss" battles are fucking insane, 1 hit kills you can't dodge, 57 deaths to that ogre guy and counting!

    Political correctness can get in the way of the story and immersion though.
    I found it somewhat annoying in Farcry 2 that despite being set in deep Africa, only one out of 3 people was black. It just shouted "politically correct" at the expense of an otherwise immersive game.

      The whole point though of Far Cry 2's story was that the local population had fled the country while it was being fought over by militia leaders and their well-paid foreign mercenaries, of which you were just one.

        Oh good point.
        Well ignore me then.

    A Zombie is a Zombie be it white, black, brown, yellow, green and if you don't kill it. it will kill you.

      Damn Straight!

    The whole racism debate was grade A retarded from the start, it saddens me that the PC-police will invariably get what they want and even scare developers into paranoia for their future titles.

    In the future all "baddies" will have to consist of enemies from a fictional country, race and political affiliation because "omg a german nazi dats so racist!!!111"

    People these days actively look for things they cry racism about, regardless of whether there was any intent or even logical path for this conclusion.

      I think I've explained the logical path above. I don't anyone is ascribing intent on Capcom's part, more ignorance and a lack of sensitivity.

    As a white person I found it disgusting that we were shooting white people for FOUR games! Such racism.

    Neil Williams AU Note: Sorry Luke, but Resident Evil 5 is no longer a Resident Evil game.

    Anyone saying there wasnt racism in RE5 is ignoring the part where you literally fight people dressed in mud with spears. It looked like something from some ooga-booga minstrel show.

    I'm amazed that anyone could complain about racist imagery in the game when there was so much more to complain about, like the godawful gameplay

    So with Capcom promising no more racism, does that mean they will stop making games with their racist "sticky" Japanese controls?
    Some of use "wide eyes" prefer a bit more fluidity in motion and camera control.

    This whole incident just show how ignorant people are and how fast they jump to conclusions.

    Good on you Capcom! Give the crazies even more fuel for their fire... the RE5 'controversey' was the most rediculous case of political correctness i had heard in a looooong time... its good to see the company listening to the idiots out there instead of standing their ground and calling it for what it is. *facepalm*

    Well you have got to laugh!!!!!

    Exactly how many RE games are there where its perfectly ok to kill white people and no mention of the word ' racist' ( well until RE5 that is )so whom is ' racist ' of whom ??????????

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