Space has a lot of people in it. Way, way more people than science tells us there should be. There are blue people, green people, orange people, purple people, people that eat people
, Proud Warrior Race Guys
, Scary Dogmatic Aliens
, Big Creepy-Crawlies
, Energy Beings
, and even the odd Sufficiently Advanced Alien
with a very familiar name
. And most of them even speak English
But there's still probably just the one black guynote
. You'll have an even harder time finding Asiansnote
or Indians, even though they're about a third of Earth's current population.
This trope can also appear in alternate dimensions or histories as well as in futuristic space stories.
Arguably a little more justified in Sword and Sorcery
works, which are usually set in an iron age culture where travel is difficult, and you might have to travel a long distance to encounter significant ethnic diversity. Plus, if the story is based around a particular real world culture's legends and mythology (Greek, Viking, Japanese, whatever), it's to be expected that most of the cast will belong to that ethnicity (indeed, exceptions run the risk of being Black Vikings
In older live-action works, this occurs because the great majority of actors were white
, and the Hays Code
prohibited mixed-race romantic pairings of characters and
the actors who played them.
Note that Humans Are White doesn't have to be about white people exclusively
. If a Bollywood
movie set in a distant, alien-filled galaxy features an all-Indian cast with other races in minor roles, and there is no in-universe explanation for the imbalance, then it's an example of this trope.
Contrast with Politically Correct History
. Also contrast with In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race
, in which no race can be suspiciously over-represented because there is only one race to begin with. Compare with Human Aliens
Please do not confuse this trope with its Sister Trope
, Monochrome Casting
(and note that one doesn't imply the other; the cast could still be mixed-race if, say, all Asian actors played Martians rather than humans). Compare with how whites are blonde
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Anime and Manga
- Gundam has evolved a lot since its beginnings. Though it is at times a little hard to tell the 'white' people apart from the Asians since they used to make not such a big fuss about it.
- Mobile Suit Gundam, had at least one (propably) Hispanol Character, Ryou. (He might also have been black to fit the trope.) Apart from that most people looked a lot the same but were probably evenly distributed between Asians and white ones.
- Zeta Gundam had Tag Along Kid Shinta.
- Gundam ZZ features Rakan Dahkaran, a ruthless and rather dangerous ace pilot that heavily contrasted with the recurrent goofy Bunny Ears Lawyers that preceded him. Other minor blackish characters also show during the course of the series, like Masai N'gava, a female Zeon's pilot looking to clean up the name of her dead mentor.
- Though it could be argued that they didn't have too much of a choice, considering that they spent most of the middle part of the series in Africa.
- Victory Gundam featured at least one female, Afro American main cast member and a couple of other kids who were not white. (Also the origin of Shakti are up to debate)
- G Gundam for all its internationality featured only one person who was clearly not white (two assuming Domon was supposed to be Asian) They had fighters from all over the world but none of them gets to be in the Shuffle Alliance?
- Turn A Gundam's Loran Cehak is definitely brown-skinned (of Indian descent), as is Earthrace noble Guin Lineford, villain Agrippa Maintainer, and side characters Keith, Miashei, and Joseph (with varying shades), along with plenty of nameless background folks. It's difficult to pin actual ethnic origins on them, however, given that some are from the moon and they are frequently Dark Skinned Blondes. (Plus it's 10,000 years in the future and humans are recovering from a self-induced bottleneck, so gene pools have been basically put in a blender.)
- Gundam 00 has at least two black secondary characters: Graham Aker's late wingman Daryl Dodge and the president of The Federation. There's also Ambiguously Brown Johan Trinity (who seems to be a different race than his siblings- they're Designer Babies). Despite his Japanese Code Name, the main character Setsuna F. Seiei is Kurdish, along with his ex-mentor/arch-enemy Ali Al Saachez. Princess Marina Ismail and her right-hand Shirin Bakhtiar are Persian (Azadistan is of Persian etymology) Fellow Gundameister Allelujah Haptism is Kazakh. And of course, there are all the other cast members with apparently multiracial origins, as shown through their names. However, any crowd scene not set explicitly in the war-torn parts Middle East will be all-white. (E.g., during the Battle of the Oribtal Elevator, we see the populations of several cities explictly in central Africa, and they aren't black.)
- Gundam Wing had a large background cast of Arab characters, in the form of Quatre's private army. However, although also of Arabian descent, space-born Quatre was blonde-haired and blue-eyed.
- Irresponsible Captain Tylor has its main characters supposedly as members of an international military force. However, pretty much everyone on the ship has a Japanese name, and the high command are likewise Japanese. The token minority member is Lt. Kim who in averting No Koreans In Japan is probably meant as proof of a more "racially harmonious" future.
- There are absolutely no non-white characters in The Empire in Legend of Galactic Heroes, for justified (if monstrous) reasons. The Free Planets Alliance, by contrast, showed a number of Blacks and other ethnicities.
- Zoids: Chaotic Century features Moonbay, most likely supposed to be Native American, in the main cast.
- Fullmetal Alchemist notably averts this trope. With the Asian looking Xingese characters, the dark skinned, white haired, red eyed Ishvalans, and the (generally) white Amestrians, FMA is one of the few anime/manga to not only include a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but actually incorporate them into the character designs. Even among Amestrians, there are "black" supporting characters like Paninya and Jerso.
- Completely averted in both the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross and its Robotech incarnation. UNSPACY and the RDF are both apparently staffed by people of various ethnicities although this is more blatant in Robotech than the source material.
- Outside of Filler extras, there is exactly one black character in Dragon Ball Z, Uub, and he's introduced in the very last episode. He does get an expanded role in GT, but like everyone else who's not named Goku, he's useless.
- Naruto averts this, especially in Part 2. The Cloud Village in particular seems to have a lot of black ninja, including its leader the Raikage.
- In the Silver Age, Legion of Super-Heroes featured many aliens but no black human or Human Alien members. Eventually, in the Bronze Age, Tyroc was added as the Angry Black Man that was a common sort of Token Minority back in the day (very similar to the earliest portrayals of the John Stewart Green Lantern.) Supposedly, in the 30th century, the world is above caring about things like race, but the meddling executives, very much of that point in the 20th century, weren't quite up to having a black character as just another guy instead of The Black Guy.
"I always wanted to have a character who was African-American, and years later, when they did that, they did it in the worst way possible....instead of just incidentally having a character who happens to be black...they made a big fuss about it. He's a racial separatist....I just found it pathetic and appalling." -Jim Shooter
- In the Legion's "threeboot" continuity, Star Boy is a black Human Alien from the planet Xanthu who's just one of the gang, though his previous incarnations in the older continuities were white. Atom Girl/Shrinking Violet, another human-looking alien from the planet Imsk, also has vaguely Asian features.
- In the Marvel Universe, The Kree were all originally blue-skinned, but interbreeding with other alien races led to the appearance of a white subrace; the superhero Captain Mar-Vell was one of them. The Blue Kree are now a minority that rules their empire and mistreats the others.
- Starting in the 70's, Krypton is shown to have the island/continent of Vathlo, which is basically Kryptonian Africa. E. Nelson Bridwell Handwaved the lack of black characters in previous stories by pointing out that most black Americans and Europeans are descended from people brought over as slaves; since Krypton never had that type of slave trade, the ethnicities remained relatively localized. On the contrary, Vathlo already had a comparably advanced culture when Krypton's European-analogues first encountered them, and First Contact ended up being peaceful.
- Marvel Star Wars was better about averting this than the films or, indeed, more recent Star Wars Expanded Universe comics, as well as having more unremarked-upon female characters. Most of them were incidental, though. Red-skinned human-shaped Zeltrons also had black-looking facial features, at least until later artists changed them to look like magenta white people.
- Averted in Bait and Switch (STO), where the near-human aliens aren't consistently white either. The Bajor's captain and ops officer are light-skinned Bajorans and the master chief at the sensor station is a human with an English name, but the main conn officer is Korean, the chief medical officer is an Australian Aborigine (making him black and South Asian), and the science officer is a brown-skinned Trill. The other three members of the command crew are two Andorians and a homebrew alien, none of whom are even on the same color spectrum.
- Red Fire, Red Planet by the same author likewise averts. Of the two humans on the crew of a Starfleet listening post, one (Crewman Yasmin Sherazi) is stated to be Iranian in the narration (and once swears in Azerbaijani), while the other (Chief Operations Specialist Sally Blackhawk) is mentioned to be Shoshoni Indian in the author's notes. The C.O. of Starfleet Command is an Admiral Avaninder Singh, a Sikh from Liverpool.
- Reimagined Enterprise: Averted. The cast is considerably diversified relative to the canon Star Trek: Enterprise to more realistically reflect United Earth and address a common fan complaint. Just on the NX-01 crew, the captain is Chinese, the chief engineer is a Latina, the communications officer is Indian, and the nurse is from Qatar.
- The only human character in the entire cast of "Aen'rhien Vailiuri" is from Iran.
- The original Star Wars trilogy has only one human main character who is not white: Lando. There aren't even many background nonwhite humans. George Lucas has said that at one point he considered making Han Solo a black character, but decided he "didn't feel like making Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." note The prequels diversify the cast, perhaps most notably by revealing that Ensemble Dark Horse Boba Fett and all the clone troopers are Maori and adding Samuel L. Jackson to the Jedi Council as Mace Windu. Others include Captain Panaka, Amidala's chief of security from The Phantom Menace as well as the singular black X-Wing pilot from Return of the Jedi. Also, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o and Crystal Clarke, all of whom are Black, are set to appear in Episode VII.
- There was also at least one Asian starfighter in Return of the Jedi as well.
- Bail Organa is played by the Latino actor Jimmy Smits.
- All of the citizens of the city in Logans Run are conspicuously white. That could be the result of the city's Designer Babies. Then again, the Killer Robot they fight was originally supposed to evoke a "tribal" African and was portrayed by a black actor. You'll just have to draw your own conclusions from that.
- The Dungeons & Dragons movie. With a highly improbable array of bizarre species mingling together in one city, Ethnic Scrappy Snails is the only black man. Naturally, he has no choice but to fall for the elf ranger of the group... the only black woman in the entire movie. Apparently in the land of Izmer, cross-species dating is par for the course, but cross-color dating still doesn't quite come naturally.
- Wing Commander: Unlike in the earlier games on which the film was based (see below), this trope is played straight. There are only two non-white actors in the main cast, and one of them is barely present (Mr. Obutu is part of the Claw's bridge personnel, and often somewhat in the background).
- Invoked in Planet of the Apes - There's only one black man, Dodge, in the original film. Zira says in the third film that the apes were intrigued by Dodge and stuffed him for display because they'd never seen a human with dark skin before. That said, there was a black man among the mutant society in the second film.
- Lampshaded in The Ice Pirates, where the lone black character builds a black fighting robot. When asked why he made the robot black, he replies "I wanted him to be perfect".
- There is only a single black person in Space Mutiny (a frozen corpse). This has bigger Unfortunate Implications than most examples since the film was made in Apartheid era South Africa...
- The sequel/parody of Turkish Star Wars makes all humans explicitly Turkish (with one black person). There's a reason it's called Turks in Space.
- In The Lord of the Rings, the humans and other humanoid races are all white. White extras generally played "good" races while non-white extras were put into costumes as orcs. A Pakistani woman, who flew all the way to New Zealand to audition as a Hobbit extra in The Hobbit was point in fact bluntly told that she was too dark to be a hobbit by the casting director. Said casting-director was later fired by Peter Jackson (accompanied with a public online apology) after the wave of anger on the internet caused by this incident, and yet the casting practice stuck regardless. In fairness, Tolkien did model the Middle Earth setting specifically on medieval Europe, but it still sucks for actors of colour who don't want to be orcs.
- In The Hobbit, by contrast, some of the citizens of Laketown are non-white.
- Catalina Caper has an all white cast with the exception of Little Richard, who appears in one scene for a musical number. This was pointed out frequently when the episode was riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- The 2009 Star Trek film did roughly as well at this as the shows typically did. In addition to the main cast including a black woman and an Asian, the original captain of the Kelvin is Pakistani, and Admiral Barnett, the head of the Starfleet Academy Board (who is played by Tyler Perry, incidentally) is black. The extras have various other colors, including of course green. Star Trek Into Darkness adds Thomas Harewood* and his family, Harewood being the black British Starfleet officer whom Khan uses to blow up Section 31's weapons lab.
- Averted in the film version of Enders Game where both child and adult characters are quite racially and ethnically diverse, including Black, Arab, Indian, Hispanic, Maori, etc., due to being cadets for the International Fleet, who recruit child prodigies from every nation on Earth.
- In the Nova documentary Decoding Neanderthals, the Cro-Magnon characters all seem to have brown hair, gray eyes, and light skin, while the Neanderthal characters all have black hair, dark eyes and slightly darker skin. This is especially odd given that the Neanderthals' ancestors have been living in and adapting to Europe for hundreds of thousands of years, and the Cro-Magnons' ancestors left Africa not all that long ago in evolutionary terms.
- The future history of H. Beam Piper's Terran Federation implies that the original races of humanity have been mixed in a Waring blender, resulting in such character names as "Hideyoshi O'Leary" and "Themistocles M'zangwe".
- Justified in A Song of Ice and Fire, where the setting is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of medieval Europe were people are usually white (and, in the case of the Dornish, mediterranean). Across the Narrow Sea and in the Free Cities, however, ethnicities are a lot more mixed.
- Earth in the Known Space universe has had such thorough mixing through the convenience of the transit booth, which eliminated distance and borders. The Belters are also evenly mixed, for the opposite reason— there are only a few asteroids with life support, so everyone meets and mingles with everyone. The extraterrestrial colonies are less varied, either due to adapting to extreme conditions, patterns of settlement, or low starting population; the Jinxians all have very dark skin regardless of ethnicity, due to the intense sunlight of their world. The Crashlanders are 40% albinos. And it's specifically mentioned that nearly everyone uses medication to darken their skins as a protection against sunburn.
- Cosmetic dyes to make you any color you want to be along with casual plastic surgery are also common; Louis Wu dyes his skin chromium yellow and gets epicanthic folds for his 200th birthday. He's specifically stated to look like "a comic-book Fu Manchu".
- One character is personally an albino, and thinks to himself that his skin has been every color from its natural pinkish-ivory (if he doesn't take his melanin pills) to ebony (full melanin pills under a blue-white sun) and is having a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that discrimination based on skin color was ever even a thing.
- In L. Sprague deCamp's Planet Krishna stories, one alien monarch simply refused to believe that African-descended Earthmen and European-decended Earthmen could possibly be of the same species. So he tried to test this "scientifically" by imprisoning two people (black man and white woman) together to see if they could breed. Needless to say, they didn't find it very romantic.
- In the Inheritance Cycle black people are extremely rare, and go as far as for one character to ask if one of the black character's skin is dyed. They apparently come from far away and travel is limited by technology, much like the real world. The series swings into Unfortunate Implications territory when it mentions that the "wandering tribes'" favourite thing to do is "smoke cardus weed."
- The Warworld series, set in the CoDominium universe, has black white people; the descendants of extreme South African white supremacists who wound up on a planet with so much UV that they selected for dark brown skin. One of the latter-day inhabitants describes this as "ironic".
- Robert A. Heinlein:
- Time Enough for Love, the subject is handled rather... well, he tried, anyway; In a fumbled attempt at open-mindedness, Lazarus makes a big point out of the fact that his descendents have a black ancestor, while utterly failing to notice the Unfortunate Implications of two thousand years of almost exclusively white breeding. And You Do Not Want To Know how the future treats the poor Chinese...
- Averted in many ways by The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. The main character's (Manuel Garcia O'Kelly Davis, a bit of a multicultural mashup in itself) race isn't really described, but is described as multi-racial with an ancestor deported from Chad. His romantic entanglement in the novel is also described as being unusual in that her ethnic background is reasonably easy to see, something that usually doesn't persist more than a couple of generations in the decidedly heterogeneous Lunar cities. (At one point, the "range of colors" in Mannie's line marriage becomes a plot point.)
- Many of Heinlein's novels included non-white characters, including his Juveniles. In fact, many of his protagonists are multi-racial, despite how they're portrayed on the covers.
- His best known work (through the movie) Starship Troopers has the protagonist Juan "Johnny" Rico, a Filipino. The movie gives him a Race Lift in order to make the human society look more Nazi.
- Everybody talks about Heinlein's aversion of this trope, but Andre Norton did it first. In her very first SF novel, Star Man's Son/Daybreak: 2250 AD, the protagonist is a "half-breed" suspected of being a mutant (he has silver-white hair despite being a teenager) and the second lead is quite explicitly black.
- Ursula K. Le Guin likes to play around with this trope in most of her works, largely in opposition to the racial undertones of many fantasy novels.
- Her Hainish Cycle: When a fair-skinned, white-looking character crops up in the short story "Dancing to Ganam", most other people find his appearance downright bizarre.
- In The Left Hand of Darkness, the Human Aliens of the planet Gethen, who mostly look Asian or Inuit, are visited by a lone Earthman who is black.
- In the Earthsea Trilogy, the Hardic civilization that dominates most of Earthsea is composed of people of various shades of brown; Ged himself is described as "red-brown" (probably kind of American Indian-looking), while there are various shades of copper/bronze-brown, black-brown, etc. The only white people are the barbarian Kargs who unwittingly worship the gods of Evil and are more or less Fantastic Vikings. The fact that the TV miniseries ignored this in favor of Humans Are White is among the many reasons it's a Disowned Adaptation.
- Justified in Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy, in which virtually anyone with black African ancestry has been wiped out by a racist nanite plague. Two of the main characters, a father and daughter, are black with green eyes, this being a trait the virus was programmed to read as "not black". Period movies featuring black characters have to cast Australian aborigines in those roles, and there's a TV show with an all-aboriginal cast who play black space colonists who'd survived the plague by being on Mars at the time.
- Averted in the Spaceforce universe - Andri is the only white human amongst the main characters, and many supporting characters are black or Asian. It's implied that many colonies in the United Worlds of Earth are settled by ethnic groups.
- Out of This World by Lawrence Watt-Evans applies this to a universe based on science-fiction principles, but not to a fantasy universe or Earth itself. It also lampshades the whitewashed astronauts in such a manner as to give Inferred Holocaust a new meaning.
- Inverted, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. Parafaith War's hero is blond and white-skinned... and therefore regarded with a lot of suspicion by everyone as straight "anglos" are rare in the Eco-Tech Coalition. They are more often associated with their adversaries, the fanatical Revenants of the Prophets. Most Eco-Tech citizens are Asian (predominantly south-east asian with a strong component of Japanese.) Because of that he is ultimately sent into enemy territory as a spy.
- Somewhat subverted in John Scalzi's Old Man's War: colonists for newly discovered planets are specifically taken from the less developed and/or overpopulated countries in general (though mostly war-torn India). If an American/European (unless you're from Norway) wants to get off-planet, they have to join the Space Marines (who have green skin and die a lot).
- Averted with a vengeance in the Inheritance Trilogy (not to be confused with the above-mentioned Inheritance Cycle), where almost all the major human civilizations are varying shades of dark, with only the Amn being explicitly white (and they- or at least, their tyrannical leaders- are mostly bad guys).
- Averted in Vernor Vinge 's A Fire Upon The Deep universe. All human settlements in The Beyond come from one common ancestor — Nyjora, a Lost Colony already several generations removed from Old Earth — and are described as having a common phenotype: dark skin and black hair. Pham Nuwen's red hair and asian features are so unusual as to be almost alien.
- Played With in Septimus Heap, since while all main characters and most of the side characters are white, Hotep-Ra is depicted as being black.
- Averted in the Destroyermen series. The crew of USS Walker is white, yes, but that's because the US military wasn't desegregated until 1947, and Walker is sent from our world to the books' Alternate Timeline in early 1942. Walker's steward Juan is Filipino, and the crew of the Japanese battlecruiser Amagi (their nemesis for books two and three) is Japanese. Later the heroes meet up with the Empire of New Britain, who would best be described as mestizo: they're part British, part Mayincatec.
- Averted in the ColSec Trilogy. The protagonist, a redheaded, freckle-faced Scot, is the only central character who's explicitly white. The other two boys are explicitly not; one is black, the other is Asian. The Smart Girl is a gray-eyed blonde with an Irish surname, but apparently still looks tanned after three years indentured to an electronics firm; the other girl character, although pale from living underground for the first seventeen years of her life, is ambiguous.
- Averted in Nnedi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker. It takes place on Ginen, which is another world where everyone looks like black Africans.
- Also averted in the works of Octavia Butler. For example, the Lilith's Brood /Xenogenesis trilogy has Lilith Ayapo for the initial main character. She later becomes involved with an Asian man and later a Latino man. There are white characters, some of whom are important, but they are not the main characters. The Wild Seed/Patternmaster series begins in Africa with Doro and Ayanwu. Doro's essence can leap from body to body and he sometimes wears white bodies, but unless it is important for the situation (like using the body to breed those with special powers or when travelling throughout the antebellum southern United States), he seems to favor black bodies.
- Nicely averted by Tamora Pierce's works. While the main setting of the Tortall Universe is based on medieval England, and features mostly white characters, there are dozens of both major and supporting characters of different ethnicities. The Circle of Magic novels go even farther, with two (maybe even three) of the four main protagonists being non-white, and being set in a world that is very multi-racial.
- Explicitly averted in Katherine Kerr's Polar City novels, which start with a note that, if a human's skin tone is not mentioned, they're Hispanic.
- Justified in Witchell A Symphony via unexpectedly harsh means — the European mages killed the magic users of other soceities when they were encountered, leaving the European (and very white) mages as the pre-eminent magical society. However, it's also suggested that the other mage societies might have survived the massacre and simply become very adept at hiding from their enemies.
- Averted slightly in Star Trek: The Original Series which had two major Token Minority characters that played against type by having a black female and Asian male. And this was in the 1960s...
- When the salt monster from "Man Trap" approaches Uhura, she sees a studly black crewman who talks to her in Swahili — but eventually the casting department (or the agents supplying them) got lazy.
- Supervillain Khan Noonien Singh was suggested to be an Indian Sikh on his first appearance, which was confirmed in one of the Trek novels. Part of his Back Story involves fleeing the anti-Sikh pogroms that took place in New Delhi after Indira Gandhi's assassination. Of course, Khan is played by Ricardo Montalban and his Sikhism is never directly established onscreen. And, of course, he's played by the just-plain-white Benedict Cumberbatch in the later film Into Darkness.
- Between the fact that Marla McGivers initially declares that his features look Sikh, and that his last name is then revealed to be Singh, it's pretty clear that he is ethnically a Sikh. Though the fact that he's clean-shaven means he is not an observant one.
- In a Khan-centric Expanded Universe novel, it's explained that he shaved off his Sikh beard and declared himself beyond petty human traditions when the Ubermensch-ness started getting to his head.
- In "Return Of the Archons", the Enterprise beams down two disguised crewmen to a primitive planet. The crewmen are identified as strangers and get in trouble almost immediately. The crewmen seem surprised by this, despite the fact that the planet seems to be inhabited entirely by white folks, and one of the crewmen is Sulu.
- Painfully applied in Star Trek: Enterprise, which has one African-American guy, one Japanese woman, and the rest of the crew is seemingly made up entirely of whites, except for a minor marine played by a pre-LOST Daniel Dae Kim.
- Throughout Enterprise, the blue-skinned Andorians repeatedly use "pinkskin" as a derogatory term for humans in general, even after meeting others (and, weirdly, alongside other white aliens?).
- Though most of the aliens in Deep Space Nine are white, the human cast is quite colorful, including two African-Americans (one of whom is the lead), one half-North African and one white man. In addition, several black guest stars appear throughout the show (though most of them are love interests for the African-descended regulars).
- There is a 'behind the scenes' book that claims that the only way race impacted casting for Deep Space Nine's initial regulars was Jake having to be visibly the same race as his father.
- The casting directors decided that it would be unrealistic for alien species to have evolved the same 'races' as humans have. A majority of white Bajorans are shown to have red or sandy hair, for instance, and while Asians were cast as Bajorans, no Asians were cast as Klingons and only one black actor was cast as a Bajoran, as a walk-on.
- In Star Trek: Voyager this trope is Thrown Out the Airlock with a black Vulcan, an Asian, a Native American, and a half-Hispanic, half-Klingon in its main cast.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation tried to avoid it a couple of times; one first-season episode had Human Aliens all of whom actually seen onscreen were black - unfortunately, it was an episode filled to the brim with Unfortunate Implications. And a black female Rubber Forehead Alien was the Red Herring guest star of a later episode, although her only other story purpose was as a Girl of the Week for Geordi, who's black... Which is a whole other race trope. A few of the Red Shirts were black as well, but that's yet another trope. The "non-white humans in the main cast" category consists solely of Geordi.
- TNG and later shows also tended to use black actors to play Klingons, starting with the very dark-skinned Michael Dorn as Worf. This didn't have to do with race so much as it had to do with black actors requiring less makeup to get their skin the right color, saving time and money.
- Averted in Stargate SG-1, where many of the alien cultures are made of a mix of races, and those who aren't have a good reason for it. The non-mixed societies are not always white, either: for example, black, Native American, and East Asian societies are all seen.
- One interesting case is in the episode "The Other Side", where SG-1 visits a planet which is at war between two factions. They first assume that the reason the locals distrust Teal'c is due to his status as Jaffa. Later, we learn that the nation that controls the Stargate is in fact racist and xenophobic, to the point where discriminating against someone for being black is acceptable. It's to the point where there are no people, anywhere, amongst that nation who aren't white. Guess how they must have gotten that way. As a sort of inverted Actor Allusion, the leader of the group was played by the guy who played Odo, the shapeshifter who could appear to be any ethnicity he wanted to be on DeepSpaceNine.
- Meanwhile the Goa'uld System Lords' hosts are from all over the place. Chinese, Egyptian, black, white, everything.
- Ditto for Stargate Atlantis. Not only did they have TWO Token Minorities in the main team (one of which was a twofer), they went to plenty of planets with mixed societies. Though, they tended to throw in black background characters, often forgetting that there are plenty of other minorities in the world, too.
- Likewise, the alien species of the Wraith had a range of skin tones—though none of them human.
- Earth-born humans, however, are white more often than not. This is likely a result of the actors available in Vancouver.
- One episode strangely had a culture said to be descended from the Mayas that was all white.
- Babylon 5 has a mixed record:
- The pilot included a Japanese woman with a substantial role in the "bridge" command crew, but she was Put on a Bus for the main series and replaced with Ivanova.
- Doctor Franklin (and his father) are (apparently) African Americans.
- With the exception of Franklin, the core cast and most actors with speaking parts were white. The show does better on ethnic diversity when you consider minor characters (e.g., Earth Alliance President Luis Santiago; Senator Hidoshi) and the extras playing the human population of the station. Puzzlingly, however, there are hardly any Indians or Chinese (Asian characters are usually Japanese).
- The Babylon 5 spinoff Crusade had one Asian as Number One, John Matheson, again played by a pre-LOST Daniel Dae Kim! There was also Dr. Sarah Chambers. Everyone else was white, though, except for Dureena Nafeel, who was an alien.
- In Firefly, though the cast is hardly monochrome, people of Chinese descent are rarely if ever seen, and the only ones given any lines play prostitutes! This is in a world that is supposed to be an American/Chinese fusion, with Chinese language common enough to be scattered through the English-speaking characters' conversation. The DVD commentary on the episode "Shindig", points out that there are a few characters with "Chinese" surnames, like Tam and Wing, which could suggest that there's been a bit of mingling, but they're still played by white actors.
- Originally, Kaylee was meant to be Asian, but the producers changed their minds when Jewel Staite auditioned.
- Lampshaded in the 2007 Flash Gordon; when Nick asks Baylin whether there are any "people of color" on Mongo, she replies "I know many people of color - yellow, red, even blue. I am not so fond of the blue ones, though."
- Given that Mortal Kombat: Conquest is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink that has superpowered ninjas, dimension traveling, and a storm god who routinely acts more like an affectionate great uncle than an all-powerful deity, it's reasonable that there might be an Asian temple near a city populated mostly by white people and that Raiden would take the form of a European. This is countered by the fact that the series is supposed to be set in ancient China.
- Briefly discussed in 30 Rock:
"How come they're ain't no Puerto Ricans on Star Trek
!? They got every race and life-form in the galaxy, except for Puerto Ricans! What's up with that?!
- Averted in the remake of Battlestar Galactica. In the original show, due to the time, almost the entire cast is white and the majority are male. In the remake, there are several people of other races and/or females.
- Though, strangely, the two prominent black characters from the original series, Tigh and Boomer, become white and Asian respectively.
- The original version of The Tomorrow People had a black actress in their regular cast, who was once forced to sit out their visit to a Human Alien planet because there weren't any black people on that world. A native asked her if she was from the same planet as the other Tomorrow People, then commented that there must be "an interesting variety of skin color" on Earth when she said yes.
- Rather darkly pointed out on Blake's 7. Dayna, who's black, wonders before one mission if she'd be able to pass for a native on the planet they're visiting. Avon assures her that the planet was colonized a long time ago, back when there were laws in place requiring colony projects to include a proportionate number of all ethnic groups. Basically, affirmative action in space. The implication is that once the Federation overturned those laws, colony projects suddenly got a lot whiter.
- In Space Rangers all human characters (apart from one recurring extra) are white. Asian actors are cast as aliens.
- TV stations in the south, especially before the civil rights movement, often did not want to air shows with non-white characters. This led to an all-white cast for shows such as Beverly Hillbillies and The Andy Griffith Show, and only very occasional non-white characters in shows such as Gunsmoke. The producers of Andy Griffith admitted they wanted black characters on the show many times but could not do so for fear of southern TV affiliates pulling the series. They were able to subvert that after the show became Mayberry RFD. Even after southern TV stations began to relax their standards, racist tensions were still present- the kiss between Kirk and Uhura in Star Trek was filmed specifically to avoid showing their lips touching simply to avoid southern network affiliates pulling the show.
- In Defiance, when the Castithan villain Datak Tarr is listing the things he hates about humans to his human nemesis Rafe McCawley, it includes "the smell of your pink skin makes me sick". Rafe, who is of Native American descent and played by Graham Greene, says "Does this skin look pink to you?", to which Datak replies that we all look the same to him.
- The following season, when Datak's son Alak is upset about his wife Christie, Rafe's daughter, cosplaying as a Castithan, he asks her how she should like it if he painted his skin "human pink". Christie also points out that her skin isn't pink. Obviously, one thing Castithans don't have is superior vision.
- Earthsea played this straight despite the thorough aversion by the source material. Everyone in Earthsea is white, with the exception of Ogion, played by Danny Glover, and Tenar, played by Kristin Kreuk (who ironically actually was white in the novels). This was among the many reasons Ursula K. Le Guin disowned it.
- In the TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it's Humans Are White and British.
- The Doctor Who story "The Ark in Space" seems to have only white people representing the future of humanity. Robert Holmes had not had this as part of his original vision for the story - in fact, he had wanted Vira to be Haitian (partly to avert this, partly for Rule of Symbolism as she was a medical officer tasked with reviving people put into a living-death state). The character as seen on screen is white and British, presumably because of the lack of access to Haitian actresses in the BBC's low-budget programming in 1975.
- The series is much better about it these days. In the old series you could go quite some time between non-white-person sightings. Martha Jones was the series first black regular, and of course there's Recurrer Mickey. The people stuck in the situation with the Doctor and companions will almost never be all-white. When it comes to the future, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" has India's space program as the main people not on said spaceship.
- Space 1889: justified. In late 19th century, white humans probably have the largest share of the total human population they ever had. More importantly the white nations are much more powerful than the non-whites and except for the US have no big non-white minorities except in the colonies. These being fairly racist societies non-whites rarely get important positions in white people countries. Humans on Mars are almost exclusively white. Just a few Japanese in their out-of-the-way research station. Canal Martians do not have any significant geographical differences since they have had fairly easy long-distance travel and even a global society for millennia. Canal Martians refer to humans as “red men” because Caucasians look red to them.
- Most of the art for the Used Future in the bleak game Warhammer 40,000 shows the humans as particularly grizzled European-types. Leading to a gamer extension of the game's tagline. "In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war" ("And white people"). This could be partially justified by the large amount of hive worlds, where the population would receive little to no sunlight, and by humanity's incredibly strict "no mutations" policy. A few exceptions include:
- The Salamanders Space Marine chapter, who are all black-skinned due to "unique genetics". Note that this black as in the color black, jet black, (like obsidian), not what we call black skin in real life. Whether the unmodified humans of their world are black or white keeps getting retconned back and forth.
- Khan of the White Scars is often depicted as Asian.
- The Dark Heresy RPG, where you can roll for your skin tone — aside from the void-born, whose skin-tones range from "porcelain" to "ivory", (bear in mind, most Voidborn have never seen a window, much less a sun) all origins can have a variety of skin tones and eye colors.
- Possibly the God Emperor, who is "from the general area where modern Turkey now sits." It's unclear exactly what race he is, however, as he comes from a time before Turks lived in Anatolia.
- It's stated in the fluff that the power base of the Emperor of Man during the Unification Wars on Earth was the Achaemenid Empire, located in what would be the Persian sphere of influence throughout history (and apparently up to the 30th millenium); and it's mentioned that due to the fact that the inhabitants of that region (who would be ethnically Iranian) were his earliest followers, they got out of the Unification Wars largely unscathed (as opposed to the other populations who usually had to be beaten into submission by the Emperor's henchmen). So in fact, the backbone of the Imperial Army during the Crusade should rather have been predominantly Middle Eastern instead of white.
- Dawn of War introduces Inquisitor Mordecai Toth, who is black. Perhaps the only explicitly black character in the setting. Unfortunate Implication in that the novelization implies he was not real but the creation or avatar of a powerful daemon. Meaning the only black person didn't actually exist. This is however only true in the novel (which is from an author the fanbase hates); all other sources treat Toth as a real person and an Imperial Loyalist.
- Do W 2's Chaos Rising expansion gives us the Blood Ravens' Librarian, Jonah Orion, who also has a vaguely African skin tone. In Chaos Rising it's possible for him to be the betrayer, but Retribution chose a path where he's not, and in fact holds the line as long as he can while Gabriel Angelos goes to face down Kyras.
- As stated in certain interviews, the Unfortunate Implications were completely unintentional; it was the working assumption that there would be as much variance in the human appearance as there is now, and with Abhumans and the Astartes, even more. However, the early art teams were rather small, and tended to paint what they knew... A habit that's been continued on, more out of familiarity than anything else. There's numerous cases in the fluff and literature, as well as several from video games, of people with varying racial profiles, and there's nothing stopping modelists from making different skin tones. Another contributing factor is that dark skin is much harder to paint (and get to look good) on miniatures than light skin.
- The Ciaphas Cain novels indicate that in the larger galaxy there's quite a lot of variation. Cain's Valhallan troops are mostly white, but Caves of Ice says that humans from the other planets in Valhalla's system tend to have much darker skin. This seems to be a case of humans gradually gaining or losing melanin based on solar output; Valhalla is far from its star and very cold. A minor character on the troopship in Death or Glory is clearly of African descent.
- Cheerily averted in BattleTech. Black samurai and Asian Scotsmen abound.
- The Vampire: The Masquerade sourcebooks for New Orleans, Atlanta, and Milwaukee feature next to no black characters, even though all three cities have a black majority. Atlanta in particular is known for being a thriving center for African-American culture, but this is completely glossed over.
- This was (at least during the 1980s) the official policy of TSR when it came to Dungeons & Dragons, their reason being, "That's what we have demihumans for." Thankfully this isn't as strong as it once was, with entire sourcebooks having since been written on non-Eurocentric fantasy settings. The one downside is that these sourcebooks tend to have names like Oriental Adventures.
- Averted in Traveller. Humans of Terran origin are as likely to have non-occidental names as occidental ones.
- Averted in the Forgotten Realms setting. Admittedly 90% of the novels and all but two games take place mostly in the Middle Ages Western Europe area, where humans are generally white (probably attributable to the fact that 90% of fantasy authors write that way). However, outside northwest Faerűn, humans go all the way from white to black and everything in between.
- In the world of Final Fantasy VII, there are lion-like people, robots, robot cats, ancient beings... and only about four black guys.
- In Crisis Core, however, just about one in three of the NPCs (for each gender) is black, seemingly at random, in Midgar at the very least. Though whether it's an intentional aversion of this or just coincidence is anyone's guess.
- Even before Crisis Core, certain locales (most obviously North Corel) have a large portion (or even majority) of their NPCs rendered with much darker skin. Given the limitations of the engine, counts as an aversion.
- Similarly, Final Fantasy XIII has only two black guys, Sazh and his son.
- In Kingdom Hearts, the only non-white characters of importance are different versions of the main villain.
- Played straight in Civilization 4. Every regular unit regardless of the civ is white.
- Averted in the expansions. Various civs get more accurate unit models for their military units.
- Final Fantasy Tactics had as its only black character an easily-forgettable minor noble who only exists in one cutscene.
- Rafa and her brother are clearly meant to be Arab, however.
- Granted, FFT takes place in a single country, based off of Middle Ages Europe. Make of that what you will.
- Similarly, its predecessor Tactics Ogre had exactly one black character, the Dark Knight Andoras.
- Played straight in the Disciples series. Arguably justified as the world of Nevendaar is based on medieval Europe. The only characters with dark skin owe it to necrosis.
- Averted in Golden Sun's sequel, The Lost Age. The geography of Weyard is full of Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, and as such, when travelling around in the game's parallels to India and Africa (and to a lesser degree China and Japan), even very minor NPCs are quite a bit darker.
- Even the first game has Chinese-equivalent people in Xi'an and a Middle East region from Kalay (Turkey) to Lalivero (Egypt or Ethiopia), with appropriately-dressed NPCs.
- And in Dark Dawn, most of the action takes place on the Eastern Sea and Asian-counterpart continent, so your player characters include members of the Vietnam-equivalent, Siam-equivalent, and Japan-equivalent nations, along with a whole host of non-player characters of various Asian-counterpart ethnicities. And token furry Sveta has been argued as Russian and/or Mongolian, so even she is not immune.
- There is exactly one non-white person (of the common races, anyway) in the entirety of Neverwinter Nights, Aarin Gend. Hordes of the Underdark averts this, though, as a large portion of the campaign is spent among drow (who are black elves).
- Averted in Neverwinter Nights 2. The original campaign takes place in Neverwinter of course, but the first expansion Mask of the Betrayer moves to the Unapproachable East region; the Fantasy Counterpart Cultures involved are Slavic (Rashemen) and Egyptian (Thay, which used to be part of Mulhorand). The second expansion takes place partly on the Chult peninsula, which is an FCC for tropical Africa WITH DINOSAURS!
- Averted in the Baldur's Gate games, which were mostly set in the part of Forgotten Realms modeled on Spain. Nevertheless, Valygar Corthala (depicted as ambiguously Moorish) and Yoshimo (from the Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Japan) were both major characters of colour, and the profile image for Cernd looked vaguely Native American, and then the enhanced editions added the distinctly Middle Eastern martial artist Rasaad yn Bashir. Notably, all four of these characters were human, and not elves or something.
- Better dealt with for the squad of ARMA 2 - there are two black men, two white men and a latino in the five-man squad. Even more, the main player character is one of the black men.
- Averted in Half-Life 2, where the deuteragonist, Alyx Vance, is Afro-Asian; Alyx's father, Eli, is black. Then there are the Citizens, who can be white, Asian, and black, of which the latter two can be seen quite often, if not just as often as the white models. There is a black character named Matt, an Asian character named Mary, and even an unambiguously Japanese character (Noriko). There are also quite a few Vortigaunts, if they count (they are voiced by black voice actors).
- Most of the people we see in Halo are white, despite the fact that all the locations visited on Earth are in Africa. Nevertheless, one of the main supporting characters is African-American Sergeant Johnson; other named black characters include Marcus Banks in the 2nd and 3rd games, Duvall in Halo: Reach, and Spartan-IV Hoya in Halo 4. As far as Hispanics go, there's Manuel Mendoza in Halo: Combat Evolved. A few of the random unnamed NPCs are also nonwhite, such as a Hispanic marine voiced by Michelle Rodriguez in Halo 2 and a female black marine in Halo 3.
- It's generally believed that scientist Ellen Anders from Halo Wars is of mixed European/East-Asian ancestry, like her voice actress.
- Halo 3: ODST introduces ODST sniper Kojo "Romeo" Agu and New Mombasa natives Sadie, Dr. Endesha, Jonas, and Commissioner Kinsler, all of whom are black (with the latter four being native African).
- Halo: Reach features three Spartan-III squad members that aren't simply of European ethnicity, although Emile, who has a black voice actor and is depicted as such in concept art, never removes his helmet.
- As shown in these models, Halo 4 has a decent amount of diversity in its human NPCs; it's just not very noticeable in-game due to the fact that most of them wear helmets that cover most of their faces.
- The Expanded Universe contains way more characters of non-European ethnicity than the games do; Fhajad-084, Li-008, Jilan al-Cygni, Zheng Cho, Akio Watanabe, Zhou Heng Lopez, Ngoc Benti, Kopano N'Singile, Raj Singh, Maria Esquival, etc. Serin Osman from the Kilo-Five trilogy, who is of Turkish ancestry, shows up in Halo 4's Spartan Ops co-op campaign, as head of ONI to boot.
- Averted in Mount & Blade: although the setting is based on medieval Europe, it includes both a Central Asian-inspired culture and, in the Mount & Blade Warband, an Arabic/Moorish-inspired culture, each with characters of the appropriate ethnicity. Two black recruitable NPCs also appear, the backstory of each establishing them as from a different continent. The character creator allows a similar range of ethnicities and skin tones to be represented.
- Averted in Starcraft with Samir Duran, an Arab (or at least pretends to be one). A better aversion would be General Warfield and Gabriel Tosh, who are both black.
- Every important human characters in the Warcraft games are white. World of Warcraft makes a token effort at sprinkling dark-skinned human NPCs around (albeit as unimportant quest givers or random extras). These darker skins are also available to players in character creation, but are seldom chosen by players. There is some kind of an explanation for this in-universe humans descend from the very scandinavian Vrykul, but still.
- The Wild-West game Wild AR Ms 3 has Gallows, a "Baskar", a race obviously inspired by Native Americans, as one of the characters in your party. He's not really Flanderized, either. So far he's the only playable Baskar (Aside from Tim Rhymeless from Wild ARMs 2, who is as white as the moon but since he wears a poncho he's totally Indian okay?!)
- Averted in Fable III, where there are white, black, Asian, and even vaguely Roma characters sprinkled throughout the world in equal proportion.
- Played straight in the first two games, where the only black characters are Thunder and Whisper in the first game and Garth in the second. Of course, Garth is from another country, so it's not unreasonable that Thunder and Whisper are as well (the game strongly supports this via dress and accents).
- Capcom vs. SNK 2. The roster is made up of mostly East Asian and white characters. 4 Eurasians (Ken, Ryo, Yuri, and Benimaru) are also on the roster, along with Balrog (black American), Blanka (originally white, but now takes the appearance of a wild man with green skin), Dhalsim (Indian), Morrigan (a succubus hailing from Scotland), and Sagat (Thai). M. Bison's ethnicity isn't clear, though.
- Wing Commander: Averted in the first game. Although a majority of your crewmates on the Tiger's Claw are white, it's not by a large margin. Among the main characters, besides the white ones, are a black man, a Japanese woman, and a Taiwanese man. And Maniac.
- When the games made the jump to Full Motion Video, the ratio of ethnicities tilted towards white, but there was still a fairly significant non-token minority presence, including the first carrier captain seen in the series who wasn't white, Captain Eisen.
- Averted in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, but true in-universe. While the population and cast is pretty diverse and well-represented, advertisements and media that have survived from before the nuclear war seem to be filled with white people only, suggesting that racial equality in the Fallout-verse only seemed to arrive sometime after nuclear Armageddon.
- Led to greatness by Tandi, who is depicted in the original Fallout as being partially ethnically Asian. Given that the backstory to Fallout involves a bitter war between the USA and China, this says loads about how despite the brutality, the Fallout world is truly A World Half Full.
- Averted in The Elder Scrolls series... sort of. Humans come in four flavors: Roman/Italian, Norse, Celtic/French, and... Black with a cultural mashup of the Middle East, northern Africa, and even bits of Japan. So there it's Humans Are White Except When They're Redguard. There's also the as-yet-unencountered Akaviri, who seem to be Japanese, and probably also humans, rather than elves.
- Then again, Redguards have a different origin story than other groups of men; they come from the continent of Yokuda instead of Atmora. However, this is what is believed to be the case in-universe. It is possible that Redguards descended from a group of humans that came from Atmora, but settled on Yokuda instead of Tamriel.
- Averted as of Skyrim. Imperials, already described in canon as being ethnically diverse, now run from pale redheads like Cicero◊, to kind of Ambiguously Brown like Adrianne◊, to pretty obviously nonwhite like Tacitus◊ or Florentius◊.
- Happens in The Witcher. It's noted in the Encyclopedia Exposita that the world at large is more diverse but only one character in the games is non-white, Arabic to be specific.
- Mostly played straight in the X-Universe. Most humans are shown as white, but there's at least one Ambiguously Brown Argon NPC face. The Terrans are likewise mostly white with a couple Ambiguously Brown faces, although the name of the ATF general in X3: Terran Conflict, Rai Ishiyama, suggests there's more to it.
- Played semi-straight in Xenogears. The population of the planet the game takes place on is primarily white, with some Asian people, some vaguely Arabic-looking people, and... that's it.
- Xenosaga takes it even further. 4,000 years in the future, there are white people and Asian people and exactly one black person. Made especially jarring by the fact that the first game's prologue takes place in near-future Kenya, and features more black people than the rest of the game combined.
- Averted in Rift; Ethian humans are Ambiguously Brown.
- Justified trope for the Horatio faction in Endless Space. They are all clones of one mad narcissist. Even the women. The other two human factions in the game avert this trope.
- Averted in Guild Wars. The player characters can be black in Prophecies, however the majority of Tyria looks to be African looking. Cantha, the setting for Factions, makes the characters look Asian, with the only white people being Kurzicks. (And even though most of them look Asian, it's easy to assume some of them wear make-up to make themselves look pale.) Meanwhile Nightfall is predominantly African and Middle eastern, with even the white NPC and PC skin tones being Mediterranean.
- This has been played straight in Guild Wars 2, though, with the medium brown skinned (in the first game) Kryta being the only remaining kingdom (at least in the current game, Factions and Nightfall areas may be added later), but with many more of the characters light skinned.
- Averted in Dwarf Fortress: the appearance of humans is randomly procedurally generated.
- Zigzagged throughout the Tales series.
- The Aselia setting seem to play this straight at first, only for an Updated Re-release later down the line to add Rondoline: an action girl who's... brown? Light-black? Arabic?
- Averted in the Destiny continuity, where Garr, Mary and Loni are darker-skinned than the rest of the cast. Innocence is the same, having the darker-skinned Hermana, Sian and QQ.
- Tales of Eternia goes one further in averting the trope. There's a world full of white-to-Ambiguously Brown people (including the protagonist) and a world full of Ambiguously Brown-to-black people. It's from the darker-toned world that the most important characters in the game - including the Saviour and the Big Bad - are from.
- Tales of Legendia has an odd take on this trope. The Hero, The Big Guy and the Disk One Final Boss are Ambiguously Brown but everyone else is pale to almost Uncanny Valley levels. However, Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realise that one of the game's races (of which many plot-relevent characters are from) originates from under the sea. Also, in a subversion, said sea-dwellers do not actually see themselves as being "human".
- Among the other DS games, Tales of the Tempest subverts this with a black party member while Tales of Hearts does so with the odd darker-skinned boss enemy.
- Tales of Vesperia plays this straight among the plot-relevent cast. While Raven might seem Ambiguously Brown, art of his younger self implies that he's actually just white with a tan. While there are darker-skinned characters, they only appear as random bandits and— oh dear.
- Tales of Rebirth subverts this with Militsa. Also, half the game's characters belong to a Petting Zoo People race: of which, the heroic Eugene, The Evil Genius Tohma and the Big Bad Zilva are darker in colour than most.
- Exit Fate averts this one with the black Nomad and Marian, several darker-skinned NPC's and the Ambiguously Middle Eastern mountain people.
- Destroy All Humans! runs with this: everyone is white, but since you're playing as an alien grey and are encouraged to slaughter people—and entire cities, which are modeled specifically on campy '50s nostalgia—mercilessly, it's less a straight example and more a Take That at the trope.
- Leagueof Legends: Plenty of players had asked for a dark skinned human champion, seeing as every other human champion was either white, or Asian (with the whole ninjas samurais). Too bad every topic asking the producers why a black champion wasn't created yet was quickly inundated with ignorant white players creating champs based on fried chicken and watermelon stereotypes. Riot's official stance was that they didn't want a Token Black, and a black skinned champion would be something that everyone wanted to play.
- To date, two dark skinned characters have been created: Nidalee, a vaguely dark-skinned Raised by Wolves female that can turn into a lion, and Lucian, a black champion wielding two guns with a ton of speed boosts.
- Zigzagged in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. As a Non-Entity General the Player Character doesn't even enter into it. Your command staff and the NPCs have three or four Asians and the rest are whites. However, in keeping with XCOM being a Multinational Team, your troopers can be of any ethnicity (you can even change their looks and names if you don't like the random ones) and be from anywhere on Earth.
- Largely averted in the Saint's Row series. Ignoring the customisable main character, the series is littered with non-white characters in major roles including Julius (the Saint's original leader) and Johnny Gat (the most dangerous man in history) and moving through the series with people like Pierce, Ben King, Asha, and Keith David.
- In the Dragon Age series:
- Dragon Age: Origins was a massive perpetrator of this. Of the main cast, only Duncan appeared to be of non-Caucasian decent. This was especially egregious with the playable character. The Noble Human origin has an entirely white family and castle. You have the option of customizing the character to be any race or ethnicity, but no matter how your character look, his/her family will still be white (of course, this is an Acceptable Break from Reality as with the many origins, the developers would need to have fluid racial traits for dozens of characters). Justified by the setting; Ferelden is modeled on Saxon England.
- Dragon Age II fixes the last issue, by changing Hawke's family to match what the player chooses. Additionally, its setting, the Free City of Kirkwall, is a much more cosmopolitan place than Ferelden, and so the colour palette is much larger for skin tones.
- Averted in Mass Effect, where humans are pretty diverse and even aliens show some diversity.
- Star Trek Online has no excuse, with three Asian characters on the entire Federation side (one of them being Lt. Kirayoshi O'Brien, who is still half-Irish) and the rest almost all either either white or white near-human aliens.note The game's effective mascot, "Handsome Phaser Guy", is likewise Caucasian male, which drew some flak from the players when he was made part of the forum art. However, Character Customization and the Foundry Level Editor allow players and mission writers to avert this at will.
- The devs are trying to correct it. Worf's stepdaughter, Captain Koren of the I.K.S. Bortasqu', is very black and even has an African-American voice actor. There's also Commander Mesi Achebe (Ambiguously Brown) as well as several racially diverse Foundry contact NPCs hanging out on Social Zones like Commander Futagami or Captain Ford. Also the art team found time to introduce new racial face options for Season 9 (including a new Asian face, an Eastern European and an African-based one). Based on the game's legendary Troubled Production, its really a Downplayed Trope.
- Pokémon X and Y averts this heavily, with NPCs of varying skin tones all over the place, some of which even avoid being Ambiguously Brown. The player only gets to choose from three skin tones, but by tweaking other features can hone in on a specific race it they desire.
- Happens to the player's own species in Spore. Your species never seems to have any other sub-races or ethnicies other than the one you control.
- Subverted when you encounter a wild version of your creature. But even that's not common.
- Averted with The Order of the Stick, based off D&D ver. 3.5, which has a Black protagonist and a large number of Black, Asian and Middle-Eastern NPCs and minor characters, and also a variety of colors for non-human races (like the dark-tanned dwarf Durkon) as well. In fact, since a large part of the story takes place in what is the Counterpart Culture to medieval Japan, Asians may actually constitute the majority of human NPCs.
- The titular characters of FreakAngels are all pale, even though KK is a pacific islander and Caz is black. They also have purple eyes and were born at the exact same time in the same small English village.
- In Tower of God the eponymous Tower is full of weird creatures, but if they are humanoid, they are most likely white, except for Quant and Kurudan.