Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Resident Evil 5: Racist?

The recent buzz around Resident Evil 5 is that it is a racist hate machine portraying the slaughter of African natives by a white authority figure. The original article from Black Looks states:

"The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white man’s job is to destroy them and save humanity...

This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people."

I'm not a doctor, but based on this blurb I'm willing to bet that the nice young woman has never played the zombie game. There are many things wrong with this assertion of my beloved Resident Evil 5.

First off let me begin by saying that the zombies of Resident Evil 5 are of a mixed ethnicity. Resident Evil 5 enemies are a melting pot of White, Hispanic, and yes, Black ethnicity. Furthermore, previous installments of the zombie survival horror depict the slaughter of exclusively white zombies. The ethnicity of the zombie population is based on the location of the zombie panic. Resident Evil 5 outbreak happens to occur in Africa.

Secondly, the demographic in which the game targets is absolutely NOT children and young adults as article states. The ESRB rating of Resident Evil 5 is MA, which to people who do not purchase games means 17+. Resident Evil 5 is intended for mature adults who grasp the concept of separation between a game and reality; or at very least zombie and human.

The People vs. Resident Evil 5

This court rules in favor of Resident Evil 5. In the event of zombie panic that all zombies must be destroyed regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity. The evidence supports that a black zombie can inflict the same amount of pain and infection as a white zombie and that they should be dispatched in identical manners. Zombie survival 101.

Seriously, it is this type of ignorant display that keeps the racist hate machine fueled. Is this assessment a game that the author probably has not researched nor will ever play an attempt at gaining notoriety as an advocate of anti-racism? Because it seems to me that most Resident Evil 5 players would not have formulated a race association during gameplay in the midst of dodging a slew of zombies.

It should be common knowledge by now that zombie games do not create violent individuals, but rather the neglect of guardians to oversee what their children engage in. How about you at least research the game in greater depth than a single game trailer before making bold assessments of Resident Evil 5 perpetuating hate? Better yet, if you feel that a game conveys a message of hate and brutality, keep it away from your children. I am far from the first person to suggest this to parents, but the continuous heat that violent games receive lead me to believe that it needs reiterated.

For the record, if you become a zombie in my presence, I will unmercifully decapitate you regardless of ethic background and enjoy it.

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