February 01, 2006

Video Games And Race

A Native American group is boycotting Activision, the producer of the recently released wester-themed video game Gun. I know several of my readers who have played Gun, and for those that haven't you can get a rough idea about what happens in the game from the article. This, to me, seems like a great opportunity to talk about race in games. Is there enough diversity in characters? Do people feel that races and genders are dealt with well in games, and if not what should be improved?

More after the flip...

Of course, most of the comments in the story where I found this quickly degenerated to people mocking the Native American group using all kinds of purposefully offensive "jokes". One poster did get in an honest criticism, however, saying,


We also play games that depic the world war two period in a realistic fashion, allow you to play nazis and kill allied soliders, etc, etc.

We play games like Civilization in which you can nuke the crap out of about any nation if you want to.

There are hundreds of movies in the Western genre out there that do that. They should just STFU.

Also, reading the article, the writer fails to mention several facts

a) Yes you kill the indians. then you find out they are right and help them to slaughter masses of white man. A whole lot more of them. You also free indians from prison, you support their attack against the a fort.

b) Yes Red Dead Revolver successfully cast a half breed as main character - so does GUN! The main character IS half indian.

c) The indians don't cry louder when they die, they just have a different voice actor

d) You can scalp anyone in the game, not just indians.

e) Indians are portrayed not worse than white men in the game. The most noble character in the story is an indian. There are sadistic, evil, murdering white men all over the place, many more than indians.

So the author should check his facts and actually play more than the first 5 minutes of the game and then rant on about how politically incorrect it is. It's not worse than Lucasarts Outlaws, or Red Dead Revolver. It's not a good game, by any means, it's ok - but it doesn't do any special things that haven't been done in other games and more importantly, tons and tons of movies.
So what do you guys think?

"My Tribe went down in the hall of fame
Cause I'm the one who shot Jesse James"

No comments: