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Race in games. The 800lb Gorilla?:

Excuse me, fellow tropers, a serious post if you would.

Video games are a maturing art form, and one that is gaining more criticism and critique as such. However, while issues relating to women, homosexuals or transgenders, and even to some extent religion are now gaining attention, it seems that very little attention is given to the issue of race.

While negative racial stereotypes (and indeed, outright racism) exist in other forms of media, critics tend to tear them apart, and intelligent writers brilliantly subvert and explore the causes of them. I have not noticed the same happening in video games.

Name one intelligent, sympathetic, non stereotypical black character in video games. I'll wait.

Thought of one yet? Because I haven't. At best, the depiction of blacks in games is the action movie stereotype of the boisterous comedic relief character, entertaining the grizzled space marine protagonist and player with his wacky "urban" dialect. At worst, it's an outright racist caricature that one can almost see developers snickering while they created it.

Blacks seem to suffer the hardest with this. While negative stereotypes do exist in games for all people of other races, blacks are for some reason hit the hardest.

It's hard to tell if western or Japanese games are worse about this. While Japan still has the giant scary negro thing going full swing, the west seems to have it in their head that all blacks are brutal gangsters with ill fitting pants and a sideways gat.

Then there's the overt and covert racism which permeates gaming culture. That, in and of itself, is a topic worthy of discussion on it's own. Racial slurs are thrown about like articles, and many who don't display overt racism still have a "LOL SILLY NEGRO" attitude, viewing blacks the same way one would a circus animal. Look up some lets plays for the 50 Cent game and you'll see what I'm on about here.

Yet, for some reason, this is not discussed. Why? People of color play video games at a rate which I'd wager is not much lower than people of European descent, yet the media, as a whole is not one which is terribly friendly to them.

Before people get upset that I am ruining the mood, I believe issues like this NEED to be discussed. If we ignore them, they will only get worse.

So, tropers, why does this situation exist, and what do you think should be done about it?

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