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The more Western countries insist that they are doing all they can to resist racism, the more video game designers and creators seem to traffic in historical racism and colonialism. And as Zack Kotzer of Motherboard notes, video game fans tend to lash out more at those who call out racism than those who actually create racist imagery. This could have something to with the fact that the majority of video game die hard users are white males.
In one instance, when Canadian Veerender Jubbal pointed out how the cover art for Far Cry 4 was racist because it trampled on darker skinned natives with a white overlord, he was the target of vicioυs attαcks.
“In a week I had more than a thousand mentions,” says Jubbal. “I had vitriol. I had derogatory slurs. I had deαth threαts. People were talking about me on NeoGAF. There was a blog post written about how I should be punched in the face. People are telling me to man-up, that I was being overly sensitive, that I was just complaining about a non-issue. I wrote two tweets. I had responses for ten whole days.”
And it’s not just colonialism, but also white supremacy, as Kotzer notes about the game Bioshock Infinite. Although blacks are the oppressed in the game, they somehow end up being the enemy and fodder for target practice. Writer Soha El-Sabaawi shared his impression of the game.
“I could not believe how poorly oppression and racism was handled simply to advance the stories of a white man and woman… I found myself wondering: ‘Did the writing team even consider how offensive this is to black people?’ And I decided that the only solution to properly represent stories of colour is to have people of colour write them.”
The only solution seems to have more people creating video games who can notice the tired racist storylines and imagery taking form and interrupt them before they become a finished product.