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Old 11th Apr 2008, 11:39   #1
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Gears of War reinforces casual racism

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/04...asual_racism/1

In an interview about black people in the games industry, Morgan Gray of Crystal Dynamics has accused Gears of War of using racist stereotypes.

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Old 11th Apr 2008, 11:49   #2
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I've seen "black" characters as police officers in games, I've even seen them as normal people, but most games aren't about playing normal, they're about play abnormal characters.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 11:54   #3
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I suspect black characters are a minority in games because the majority of gamers are white or asian, and people want to identify with what they're playing.

As for black people being stereotyped...seriously, dump the chip. Anyone seen an italian-american in a game in the last 5 years who doesn't talk about his mamma's meatballs, come from sicilli, and run a crime family? Or a scientist that doesn't wear a white coat, speak like a dotard, and have glasses? Or a fat chick? Has anyone met a ****ing fat chick in a game like, evar?
Games is about stereotypes because they're easy to work with, we're all familiar with them, and they save the gamer actually thinking. Since there's been a continual process of dumbing down alongside the rise of the console, of course this is to be expected.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:03   #4
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Or a fat chick? Has anyone met a ****ing fat chick in a game like, evar?
Yup, quite a few these days, in Bully you even snog one.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:06   #5
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I know the fat black woman who is the forensic investigator for the FBI (sans labcoat) in Condemned 1.

Many scientists in Half-Life don't wear labcoats and glasses - Kliener and Magnusson are deliberate stereotypes, but Mossman, Eli, Gordon and Breen are all normally dressed.

Jade in Beyond Good and Evil is a photojournalist who is sometimes said to be black - though I think she looks more multiracial personally.

Just off the top of my head.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:14   #6
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Isn't Alyx Vance multiracial aswell?
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:21   #7
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game racism?
COD4, bit where you storm the news broadcasting office, black dude cuts the broadcast, says 'let's get some real music on', and plays gangsta rap.

seriously the devs missed a golden opportunity to subvert prejudice by playing pantera or something.

gears and cole? i guess they have an arguable point in saying that they're on a planet completely unrelated to earth, but then you have to walk the line between sufficiently alien yet sufficiently earthlike, in order to maintain both player suspension of disbelief and emotional engagement.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:22   #8
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I think Gray had a point, but I also think he missed the point. Sure, Epic could have switched out the models for Cole and Fenix and I'm not sure I would have even noticed...but the stereotype that Cole Train filled in Gears was completely fitting for the role. Personally, I loved Cole. I knew plenty of jocks in high school, and I loved the big black dudes who looked like they could do wind sprints through a concrete barrier--who wouldn't want that cat to have their back?

Almost every game stereotypes every race, from the nerdy white kid with glasses solving puzzles and whatnot (think Bernard in Maniac Mansion) to the buff Latino man with the inexplicably Cuban accent roughin up the eses. "Casual racism" is an idiotic term--why not just call it what it is: stereotyping? Because it doesn't sound as good in a media bite? Racism will not end until the word ceases to hold meaning entirely in society, and with people making up new uses for it...it's just never going to go away.

Unless we wake up as an enlightened society tomorrow, I don't foresee stereotyping going away anytime soon. Everyone bases their view of the world on their past experience, and 90% of them aren't even aware of it. I'm with Spec on this one. So long as they're there, use them. Exploit them. Make them so outrageous they become funny. But telling people not to use stereotypes in games, or even complaining about it? Hell, how do you imagine I look as you read this? Need I say more?
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Isn't Alyx Vance multiracial aswell?
No...

Alyx is just a incredible hot looking game chick. And she can sing too.


and yes... see below
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:38   #10
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Quote:
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Isn't Alyx Vance multiracial aswell?
She is. Azian, her mother, was Asian (but never in the game) and Eli is white black.

Half-Life is a perfect example of showing relateable heroes though. HL has a varied cast of races, roles and types. There's Kliener the nerdy white guy, Alyx the minxy mechanic, Breen the white oppressor, Adrian Shepherd the white army dude...and yet, my favourite character is still Barney. He's just a regular guy who gets carried along by the events around him and I can relate to that more than I can relate to Army training, Engineering and robotics know-how or doctorates in multiple sciences.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:44   #11
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:45   #12
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i agree with fod, cod4 racism was laughable, and don't get me started on the back guy from crysis
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:49   #13
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I'd point the blame more at Saints Row than Gears to be honest.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:49   #14
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yeah i don't really buy into the 'it's just a game' excuse people try and hide behind. if you want games to be treated as a genuine art form, you need to start holding them up against the same standards as you do music and literature. N'gai croal just did an interview about the RE5 trailer regarding this (although i actually disagree with him there; his exceptions to the trailer just didn't register for me. i did however take issue with the white-as-the-driven-snow hero...) and it's so very true. however! sometimes people are overly sensitive to race and racism in an effort to appear politically correct. characterisation is a very important aspect to games and the decision to represent characters as stereotypical may well have fully justifiable reasons.

chalk me down as being agnostic when it comes to race, tbh. as far as i can see there are an equal number of black and white people in my area, yet i know more white people who act gangsta than black.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 12:50   #15
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 13:50   #16
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chalk me down as being agnostic when it comes to race, tbh. as far as i can see there are an equal number of black and white people in my area, yet i know more white people who act gangsta than black.
White people who pretend to be black don't count as human beings.

10 megabucks says this guy Morgan Grey is white.

Problem is people just latch on to this stuff. Oh noes a stereotype! Ever thought why a stereotype is a stereotype Mr Grey? I'm pretty sure he's living in a bubble if he things all black people are hotshot lawyers and no black person speaks in the "90's way" anymore. What's this about the future? They're on a different planet for christ's sake, they should be speaking moon latin and look nothing like they do. I wish people like this would just shut up. Complaining about petty things like this is the exact reason why racism won't go away, even though they're trying to be nice by being politically correct, they just draw more attention to the racial differences. When I watch the RE trailer, I just see a guy fighting off zombies.

Yeah there are games that enforce stereotypes, but there are also games that don't, just like how all games aren't art. Some are masterpieces, some are just cool doodles, some are just awful.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 13:56   #17
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So GTA 3 was ok, but GTA 4 was racist?
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 14:40   #18
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we love stereotypes. that's it. if you look into the characters they might be over the top, but it's done that way because we like to recognize patterns and people. Remember stereotypes has to come from somewhere.

Also, if people like Morgan Gray would just shut the hell up about stereotypes and racism, both would've be gone soon.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 14:59   #19
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White people who pretend to be black don't count as human beings.

10 megabucks says this guy Morgan Grey is white.
.
Morgan Gray is black.

The whole point of the interview series is that it is looking at black people in the industry, hence interviewing Morgan and N'gai Croal. It's a follow-up to a set of interviews looking at women in the industry.
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Old 11th Apr 2008, 15:05   #20
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So GTA 3 was ok, but GTA 4 was racist?
OoooOoops... I meant GTA: SA instead of GTA 4
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