Resident Evil 5 Outbreaks Of Racism

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A game set in Africa where disease infected people turn to zombies and is being mowed down by an army fatigue wearing white man. Is this racist or not that is the question on the minds of many who are awaiting the new game by Capcom called Resident Evil 5. Most of us know this game by now at least from the last two movies and the new one set to release here soon. Nay Sayers are pointing out the fact that the game has already cast whites from the U.S. and Spaniards from Spain as the zombies and worthy of killing so why not blacks from Africa?

We should look at it from all sides. I can see where they are going when they say that it wasn’t “inherently” racist. Since the people who designed the games were Asian and the game had previously profiled a couple of other nationalities as the diseased creatures being blown to the after life by the hero or heroine. Did Capcom deliberately pick Africa, or the fact that the hero was a Caucasian wearing army fatigues, or know that people would be sensitive and complain. The answer is of course they knew.

There had to be a team of people who went through the fine tuning of the game, picking location, plot, etc., which means that they probably went over every aspect of the game. To say that the Asian designers are unaware of the problems associated with Caucasians and Africans is just plain ridiculous. I think that slavery and the American condition is extremely prominent point in American history. We study world history and I would have to believe that Asians and others do as well.

The problem with the game is not that it takes place in Africa, that is fine and worthy of a game. The problems are that:

This game portrays the Africans as diseased, when we know that there is Aids which is a real problem there and the world seems to be ignoring the situation.

The game portrays a Caucasian in army fatigues as the so called hero or “savior” who is let loose to run roughshod over those diseased Africans. We know that there are people in the U.S. who are touting that in order to stave off AIDS we should start “exterminating” those with the disease in Africa.

The fact that they don’t give you any other choices for a hero except that of a white man. This is a very sensitive issue since the fact is that whites raped Africa of its people, land and natural resources. In fact they continue to rape and pillage Africa as we speak.

It doesn’t matter that they had already used whites and Spaniards as the zombies. There is no stigmatism in using white on white crime in a game. There is a sense of propaganda when young white children are exposed to the wonton killing of blacks or Africans for fun. The problem is that there is already a sense of privilege and the “I’m better than them” attitude that is instilled from early on by seeing the abhorrent treatment of blacks on television, movies, news and life in general.

So if we put this all together we can see full well that this game is going to be perceived as racist. Did Capcom bank on that to make controversy surround the game thereby causing it to get a lot of media attention without having to dig into the coffers for advertising? That is a real possibility, but that still leaves open the fact that using racism in any fashion is wrong and insensitive. I personally believe that regardless of who the game creators were; this game is blatantly racists. I do not believe that we are being too sensitive because unfortunately the scenario happens way too often which causes a heightened sensitivity to the issue.

These types of issues will rise up time and time again until people either stop being racist or stop being so insensitive about others painful pasts, present and future.

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95 Comments

Filed under African American, American society, Black community, Black Culture, Black People, Minorities, Racism, Rant, Social Issues, Thoughts

95 responses to “Resident Evil 5 Outbreaks Of Racism

  1. Nathan

    I see where your coming from, but I don’t believe this game to be in the least bit overtly racist. Anyone who has been following the game since its subtle beginings knows that Umbrella Corp. [The entity in the game responsible for unleashing the T-Virus which in return, turns all of those infected into zombies] was a WORDLY fictional corporation. They’ve already attacked the US. They’ve attacked Spain. Now they’re attacking the land of the Original Man. I say it was inevitable that this was bound to happen somewhere in the story line. Why wouldnt zombies attack all corners of the world, ECSPECIALLY that of the earliest known civilizations? I will continue to support Capcom 100% and still plan on buying the game when its released and yet, does this make me an evil person? Of course not. Yes, AID’s is a GIGANTIC problem in Africa, but the T-Virus is a fictional disease. We as people know that AID’s doesnt spark people to behave in a ‘living dead’ type of manner. I think if ANYTHING, Capcom is trying to push the issue of biological/chemical weaponry and what the deadly repercussions of such things could present to us in the very near future much like the movie 28 Days Later tried to do if we continute to, for lack of better words, ‘play around with such things’.

  2. theblacksentinel

    Nathan,

    You make some very good points. I do like the games myself, I too understand that the game’s natural progression could/would lead it to Africa. What I have a problem with is the fact that a lot of the original African religions are the unfavorable basis for the fictional zombie characters and that is something that is hurtful to those of us who have traditional beliefs. I understand that the T-virus isn’t anything like that of AIDS, but there are people who are arguing for doing exactly what is taking place in the game (even though the folks aren’t zombies) which is go into the villages where AIDS is the worse and just exterminate everyone. I find the correlation abhorrent, in the sense that people are making the comparison to what Capcom has in this game. I don’t suggest anyone not purchase the game, or not support Capcom. I want people to be aware of the correlations that are being made and to not get caught up in that thinking. I don’t want people to be complacent in what is going on surrounding the game. My only concern with the game is were they aware of the proposals that were being touted by some and if so, why did they continue the storyline there? I would hope that they were totally unaware and this is just an ugly side affect that is piggy backing on their game.

    Have fun with the game and thanks for the post.

  3. brotherpeacemaker

    I remember when it made it to the news not too long ago that Iran had a video game that featured killing American soldiers. I also remember when some white hate group released a game that featured white people running through the streets killing black people. In both of these cases people were appalled. How many people would play a game that featured the killing of Christians or some other religious group? “Atheist’s Revenge” and you have to run up into every church or synagogue and kill as many people inside as possible. The argument it’s just a game doesn’t make it tolerable.

    I happen to be a fan of Resident Evil as well. I enjoy both the movies and the game. But if they had a game where I could put Michael Epps’ stepin’ fetchit based character out of his misery I’d buy a copy in a New York minute.

    Peace

  4. theblacksentinel

    I think that if Michael Epps was in a game where I could blow him to high heaven, I just might be one of those people sitting outside the store! But, I see where you are going, and I do think that as Americans we don’t get our collective “panties in a bunch” unless we can connect to the people in the game such as we do the soldiers or Christians, the Africans not so much. I don’t think that there was much of an outrage for the KKK game, since people always say that they are harmless and obsolete. Yet they have been around in America since Africans first were becoming free. That is a long time and I don’t think that most blacks consider them obsolete, at least I don’t.

    I thought a lot about my previous comment and I have to say that again I don’t think that Spaniards or Americans complained about the killing of these two groups in the game because there isn’t a history associated with white men killing them indiscriminately. With the African it takes people back to slavery, lynchings and the “contagious shootings” that have pitted black people against whites. I still think that I would not have as much of a problem with the game if they had a variety of races of characters that were doing the shooting, not just fatigue clad white guys. That is the rub for me.

  5. Kitchen

    Capcom should not be forced out of portraying their own created storyline because some people may interpret it the wrong way. If everyone thought that way, many issues would just be ignored.
    Also, the people this game is meant for (17 and up, hence the probable M rating like on previous games) should be mature enough to realize this isn’t simply killing Africans. My assumption is that this man is sent in, realizes there are zombies, and realizing that’s bad news, must deal with them appropriately. I doubt he will be shooting people who aren’t zombies for fun, if anything he would be saving these innocents. Is that not a good thing?
    It really shouldn’t matter who the main character is, I thought we were trying to move away from judging by skin colour? In regards to the fatigues, what is a soldier supposed to wear?
    This game is taking place in Africa, who do you expect to be living there? Africans! If zombies started popping up in Africa, I would hope someone would be sent to take care of this problem, if anything, the man wearing fatigues is a sign that whites want to help Africans by sending military personnel when trouble arises.

  6. dreamcast

    When 9/11 happened, a game titled “Propeller Arena” for sega dreamcast was canceled and it was never released. The game console system was performing poorly and was in its dying phase. But there was another good and more plausible reason why it was never released.

    In the game, you fight as a fighter-plane pilot in the skies above the airport or the new york city buildings, which included the twin towers. In the game, you have the ability to shoot at anything including the buildings, other fighter planes and even crash your plane into the twin towers if you wanted to do so.

    I have played the game and I could understand why it was pulled. The game did remind me of the tragic events of 9/11 because of the similarities I saw in the game and the events of the 9/11.

    The fact that game developers’ intentions never had anything to do with 9/11 did not change the fact that the images from the game did in fact have enough similarities to remind a person in the general public about the painful event of 9/11. Furthermore, it even allowed someone to re-enact that painful event if they wished to do so in the game setting for whatever reason.

    In the released images of the upcoming game Resident Evil 5, I believe that the game’s images can and evidently did have the effects of reminding someone of the actual historical events that has happened in the America. Oppression of black people during the civil rights movement in America. Remember those images of people being sprayed with explosive water streams? Images of people being beaten by police dogs?

    Being too sensitive about zombies being shot? Maybe. But if the number of people who feel that way surpass just a few, then may be not.

    The racial oppression in America that was blatant in the past and less blatant today but still present is a sensitive issue that people should treat in such a manner.

    In Resident Evil 4 game, did the image of shooting down ‘Spaniards’ remind anyone of painful actual historical event in America? If it did, please make your voice heard. That is the only way it will be known.

    In the case of 9/11, the pain was inflicted to the whole nation and the whole nation was bearer of the pain.

    In the case of black people’s civil rights movement in America, the pain was inflicted by the majority with power to the minority and that pain, which may have been forgotten by the majority still persistst very strongly in the minds of the minority. If that weren’t true, I would not be reading about resident evil 5 on the internet in this perspective.

    The game Propeller Arena was canceled because it reminded so many people of that tragic event regardless of whether the game developers in Sega had any intention of doing so. Regardless of whether the setting made sense from the perspective of the game, the game reminded people of the violence and pain that actually took place in the real world. Are people who are reminded of such events from something totally irrelevent at fault? Possible. But that issue is debatable since different stimulus causes different level of anxiety to different people depending on what kind of trauma you have experienced in the past.

    I believe similar reaction is happening here with Resident Evil 5. The game reminds people of the pain that actually happened in history.

    The slight difference would be the fact that people who bear this pain is a minority in the case of RE5 as opposed to the whole nation in 9/11.

    I don’t believe that there is even a slightest chance that the release of Resident Evil 5 can be thwarted considering its huge popularity on this planet right now.

    Certainly, I cannot speak for everyone nor have the right to speak about how others feel. But I can absolutely speak for myself and speak about how “I” feel and that is my right that no one can take away. And Resident Evil 5 game’s images did remind me of the oppression during the past civil rights movement in America.

    If you feel the same way, voice your opinion.

    That is the only way it will be heard.

  7. Pj

    Dude, they are Zombies.

    Step back from your post-colonialism criticisms for a second, and look at a game, where you shoot zombies.

    It does not matter what color they are, Zombies should probably be killed in a video game where they are trying to eat you. There are no AIDS messages here, and there are no racist overtones.

    Please stop overreacting to fun, you are killing America. I would love to play this game, because from the screencap, the graphics look amazing, and I’m sure the gameplay won’t be lacking since Resident Evil rarely has bad gameplay (save the first ones).

    Chill

    Out.

  8. Paul

    Giving a race special treatment, good or bad, is prejudice/racism. Setting the game in Africa and then using some other race, or NOT setting the game in Africa just to avoid this issue, is just as racist as shooting a few zombies who just happen to be dark skinned.

    A game, set in the majority of the continent of Africa, will need black characters. A game set in Russia will need white characters. A game set in Japan will need Asian characters.

    Quit grasping for meaning where there is none. If it reminds anyone of some painful historical event, they need to grow a pair and lighten up. Every single race has done horrible things to every single other race. That’s history. Racism and inhumanity is not exclusively a white quality, like so many love to pretend. The longer we as a society allow guilt over something that happened centuries ago to affect ANY decisions we make in the modern world, the longer we’ll be stuck here in our stone age death spiral of political correctness. Causing a big hissy fit over nonexistant issues like this is what is truly driving the wedge between blacks and whites. Do it if you must, but anyone who does is just prolonging the bigotry they claim to be fighting so hard to extinguish.

  9. theblacksentinel

    You people that have commented recently just don’t get it. I don’t have a problem with the game being set in Africa, nor killing African zombies, in fact I love zombie movies, games etc. The problem I have is the fact that these games continuously have a main character that represents the good guy as White. I would like to see diversity in this so that we are able to pick whatever race, creed or sex of the person who is the good guy. I don’t constantly need the company to dictate to me who I can be as the hero etc.

    It is not racist to look at the setting or the characters of a game. It is racist to “assume” that only White characters should or could be the good guy saving the day constantly. I am not saying that ALL games have White characters as the main character but, the majority do and they don’t give anyone the CHOICE to see the hero as something other. There are too many games out here where either ALL characters or heroes etc are White.

    So have fun playing the game, because I don’t have any wishes for the game to be kept from anyone. I have wishes that I can have diversity in the new games they are pushing out on the market.

    Thanks for the comments.

  10. But the thing is, they already released the information. I know where you’re coming from by saying that they need a black hero and the only one in the game series that I know of is of the Outbreak duo, but it was already planned with Chris Redfield from the start. I mean they can’t go back and mess up the story again, and as for customization it just doesn’t stay true to the series and the background of it.

  11. theblacksentinel

    Nikko,

    Totally understandable that they would not want to go back and try and put in a bunch more characters where none existed. When I say that there needs to be a variety of races for characters I mean overall in the new games coming out. The point is that they do not take these things into consideration or maybe they do and decide not to for whatever reasons. But, it would be nice if the companies actually thought about more than the White community when designing these games series. Other races are seriously getting into gaming and it should reflect this fact.

    Most of the people who are commenting on this post have only negative racist comments, which show me that there obviously is a lot racism in and around this country that really needs to be dealt with.

    Thanks for the comment.

  12. resident spazzo

    i think that violent games are bad in the first place,
    its not racism that kills people its people who are violent and evil that kill people, so for someone to step up all of a sudden about black zombie people getting massacred and ask for it to be banned is stupid, why not step up to all violent games and ban them? its not good to see any type of human infected with zombie-juice being shot up and decapitated by shotguns, know what im sayin?

  13. theblacksentinel

    Again Resident Spazzo,

    I don’t think that ANY video games should be banned as they have a right to reach the people that want to play them. My family and I are huge gamers and love to play a lot of so called “violent” games. But, I have to say that I would “LIKE” to be able to play a character of my choosing. It is not as hard as you people make it out to be. It is possible in the game Diablo (I know old school) to pick your own characters and they are of different races and abilities. The characters are pretty much the same character with a different skin, is that too much to ask for?

    As for why Asian game producers make White characters, I don’t know, I am not an Asian game producer. It could be that they are pandering to the majority in the U.S.

    Thanks for the post.

  14. Alicia

    The problem with this country to day is plainly, that everything just has to be related to racism some how doesn’t it? The fact is, that Africa just happens to be full of “disease infected people” you can’t get around that. The creators of Resident evil are just running off of basic fact. Just because these “disease infected people” are African, doesn’t automatically mean that they put them in this game as zombies just to point out the self evident fact that they are indeed African. O my god :O thats just so racist isn’t….. If you want to think about it that way why not say, well every game that has a black main character, take for instance grand theft auto Sanandreas, must have been created by a racists, because the black man is aloud to run around and kill people from different nationalities. Every game could be classified as a racist game if you go by those unruly terms.

    Even if the game was based around racism, America’s foundation was built on the note that every single American citizen has the right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. Not one person in this country has the right to waver that freedom.

  15. theblacksentinel

    *YAWN* Alicia,

    This is getting extremely boring. I don’t in any way think that we should be censoring anyone. I will repeat myself again, I was just pointing at this game as an example. I would like for ALL game manufacturers to make it so you can CHOOSE the character you play. And no that is not too much to ask because a small number of games have been doing it for a long while now.

    Anyway, I don’t think that the game being based in Africa is problematic per se, but you have idiots walking around or trolling around the web saying “yeah, we can kill N words with abandon” and yes I have heard it over and over. I find that problematic, don’t YOU?

    Anyway, I don’t intend to stop the game or boycott the game nor call for the games demise. So have fun playing the game but when you play your games look at the characters and ask yourself why can’t I play as an Asian, or Hispanic or Black. Why is it default to White? THAT IS my issue.

    Thanks for the comment

  16. InfamousMyzt

    No, sentinel, the problem here is that people are trying to get it banned just because they don’t want to see a certain kind of people get killed. If this were true in every case then no games would ever be released save for RPGs and educational games, which would make life so much more boring. Either that or back to flash games with blue stick figures. People complain too much about racism, when it’s barely even shown these days, save for in deep country areas with backwoods rednecks. If everyone just shut the hell up about racism, we wouldn’t have a single damn problem, but everyone just has to bitch and make everyone’s life harder. I can’t even see how Chris Redfield killing zombies that are trying to EAT him even connect with slaves from 200 years ago. It doesn’t even make sense.

  17. brotherpeacemaker

    Racism barely shows these days? I guess having white long haired bounty hunters calling their son’s girlfriend a fucking nigger isn’t racism. White people who use their radio show to call black women nappy headed ho’s isn’t racist. These were probably just compliments that were taken out of context. Like when the FOX news anchor paid the black restaurant a compliment by saying, hey nobody was yelling get me my motherfucking tea. Or when someone who held the office of education make the suggestion that we could reduce crime by aborting every black baby. No racism there.

    The only people who are hurt when someone makes a claim of racism is white people. Lord knows black people have nothing to complain about. Being discriminated against is a good thing. White people should try it sometime.

    Peace

  18. pigeon baby

    ive read some of the comments left Nathan the first guy i read was right plus its fine to have your point of view on this but i beleave capcom has not meant to atall offend or raise any racist issues it is simply how the story is going so plz stop with this because as a massive resident evil fan i dont want this game to be taken away from the shelves or the main charecter to be replaced because that will result in more waiting. I am sorri to ave rambled on about nothink here i just wanted to drop a comment sayin that what you are writing about is compleatly off the mark matey reali sorri if this has wasted your time.

  19. theblacksentinel

    Pigeon baby,

    I welcome all replies if they are not to disgusting. Anyway, I agree with you that they do not need to stop the game nor rewrite the story etc. I want to be able to play a person with a race of my choosing. I think that this game in ALL its facets make a great example for this. I hope you have a great time playing.

  20. Rhauri

    First off, it’s Haiti, not Africa. Secondly, Haiti is the place where the modern zombie mythos came from, so, in a way, the game is returning to its roots by going to the place from which the zombie legend originated. It’s actually quite smart. And, if you didn’t notice, there’s actually white people infected in the game, too. Despite being ‘5’, this is actually the sixth in the main series and is the first to have a pre-dominantly black community.

    By going off on this before even doing your homework just is an erroneous claim that is only detrimental to your cause.

    Btw, having studied biology, I can tell you that black people can be closer related to white people than others from their own ‘race’, and vice verca, and, also, the outward phenotype is merely dictated an insignificantly tiny part of everyone’s genetic data.

  21. theblacksentinel

    Thanks Rhauri,

    We know the things you are saying minus the number 6 in the series. Thanks for that tidbit. But, if you read the comments I have been making you would understand my position just a bit better. I will not repeat it yet again.

    Thanks for the comment

  22. Cocofreebase

    Hello,
    Interestingly enough I was searching the internet for “why isn’t there black heroes in video games?” I ended up on your page; I am often deeply offended that when I play a video game I am always the White Hero, (apart from RPG games [recently]). Games from Assassin’s Creed to God of War where the hero should be non white always happen to end up being a white man. The problem that we face is that [having worked for a major video game company] most designers’ developers’ programmers are mostly white or Asian males. Most video game buyers in America and Europe are white males (there are a lot of statistics on this) and sadly until more ethic groups and women join the development and buying of these games, we will probably continuously see games made for white males. Regarding Resident Evil, we have not played it, we have not seen the story, and there may be a completely rational reason as too why Chris.R is in Haiti. Also on the flip side you could argue that every bad/evil/greedy corporation in video games or movies are always run by evil white men. My problem with Resident Evil is that I fear some people will only buy it because they just want to kill (at least virtually) black people. I also feel that too often black people are too concerned with prejudice and jump the gun by saying the games/movies will only represent black people in a negative way (I am sure you heard the idiotic comments, which turned out to be false, made by some of the black leaders about the movie stomp the yard).
    My conclusion is this: I will buy RE.5 (which I hope will show game developers that having a lot of black people in a game is not a deterrent to gamers!) unless clear messages that insult black people are being made. And I will continue to tell my game developer friends that they need to make a game that shows a wider range of diversity. I don’t really know how else we can affect the gaming world at this point. any suggestions?
    thank you
    Coco

  23. theblacksentinel

    Coco,

    I agree with your comment. I do not in any way want people to avoid buying or playing the game, I just want more diverse characters in these games. I too love gaming as does everyone in my household. I knew that the title was going to draw out a lot of negative comments, which it has. Also, I have a lot of people who comment saying exactly what you brought up, that they were going to get it to feel like they were killing blacks etc. I don’t post that crap, yet it does make my point somewhat. I hope you enjoy the game!

    Thanks for the reply

  24. Anonymous

    Geeze, they are just using the orginal characters from the start of the story.

    Yeah, I understand about wanting to bring in more diversity to games, but ya can’t do that in this. It’s gone in to far to be bringing in new characters. Chris is just going after Wesker and the series will probably wrap up. Bringing in another character to meet ‘race’ diversity for this would be pointless.

    And if I remember correctly, there have been more games out where you can create your own character, sex, race and all. But before the whole “you’re a white military male killing Africans” comes into play, what was in the newer GTA games? Oh yeah, a black dude running around in a white negiborhood with fat white cops, and fancy dressed whites while the main character dressed more casual. So what if I gave my kid this and said, “lulz, you killed that fat pig (after killing a cop)” or “look at your points, it’s over 9000 after killin those white people.” This is a two way street. And it ain’t azns or white people who are makin games either, so give it a rest.

    DESU!

  25. Tyler S. & Hannah M.

    In Resident Evil 1-3, we killed all white [or mostly white] zombies, Resident Evil 4 [based in Spain] it was mostly Spanish zombies that were obliterated. Now, based in Africa, Resident Evil 5 involves killing African born zombies. You CANNOT tell me that a good percentage of African natives are not black. Yes, I’m aware that in this game, you stay either a white girl or white guy, but it’s just coincidental. The whole POINT of the damned game is to try to rid THE WORLD of a disease that doesn’t see color. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Zombies get destroyed whether they’re black, white, yellow, orange, green or purple [usually green].

  26. Pingback: The White Sentinel « brotherpeacemaker

  27. Let me start off by sayin im white (wigger) all my friends are black and some white and even a spanish and phillipino friend and are video gamers and they didnt have a problem when they saw the trailer for resident evil 5 we was all happy except for the fact that we got wait till 09 for it to be released. I agree with PJ yall need to stop critisizing not just video games but music and television and everything else yall criticize naw mean. Because if video games ever got banned because of a whole bunch stuck up people i would go post apocalypto and start acting the video games out in real life yall niggas need just eat a d**k shut the fuck up and just drop the subject yeah im not saying that there isnt racism no more because there is but there is not many people that are racist nowadays i think they should just line all the racist people up like bill o reily and all the kkk members and there were a few others and just go down the line with an ak47 and just kill them all there end of racism. You people take the fun out of everything its a damn video game for crying out loud no meaning behind it other than its made for fun fun and more fun.
    JUST LEARN TO LET GO AND HAVE FUN PEOPLE LIFES TO SHORT TO WORRY ABOUT PITY STUFF LIKE RACISM AND WARS AND HATE LEARN TO LIVE A LITTLE AND FOR ALL THOSE THAT DONT LIKE WHAT I JUST SAID DO WHAT I SAID BEFORE EAT A BIG HAIRY D**K.
    Hit me Up at myspace and add me or i’ll go post apocalypto lOl
    {^_^}
    http://www.myspace.com/darkwingz0000

  28. MattGFMA

    Hi I just recently heard the news of the possible cancel of resident evil 5, and think it’s unfair and mainly un just. Before I’m tarnished because of my opinion try and see my point. Obviously a white male gunning down endless swarms of Africans can be seen as racist, fair point, but I think a lot of people are forgetting that this is a “game” not a real life white man trigger happy in another country, there comes a point when the term racist is thrown around to easily and can become down right stupid. For instance when I first heard of the games release understood the plot I did not see it as racist, and I’m a pure anti-racist person no doubt, for me the whole idea of it being racist was created by other people and online forums, to me it was just another R E game that looked like an add on to the story. Basically my point is that a lot of the time for me the idea of something being racist is concucted by other people and I can see where people would disagree with me but the term racist is thrown around way to easily these days, another point is people are only judging the game by what they have seen if it was set in Africa, and the main character was black, or asian and the city was filled by mix raced people I doubt the fact that Africa is diseased would of been brought up, and honestly I doubt it would of been brought up at all if the race argument was brought up in the first place. The main reason added issues have occured is because some people may have said it was racist, overal the people who bring up arguments in the first place usually cause more trouble then they set out to and add more problems.
    And if Resi Evil 5 is take away I feel that more resentmant then understanding would be displayed

    Matt

  29. theblacksentinel

    Matt,

    If the company cancels the game that would be terrible and ludicrous as the game should be available for those that would like to play. I happen to be one of them. I would like future games to give you a chance to pick your character. I am not going to hold games that have a theme to that standard right now. I would like for the story themes to eventually change to encompass this as it would make the games more fun and realistic.

    Thanks for the comment.

  30. evilgoodguy

    Every game with custom characters?
    We must be speaking a similar language.
    I love making custom characters and actually find myself spending more time making people than i do using them in battle.
    I noticed that, in Soul Calibur 3, there is a face with black features, but there is no realistic-looking black skin color.

    Anyway, I think it makes sense that RE5 takes place in Africa, or Haiti, or wherever the hell people are impoverished. Living in such unfortunate conditions means that there is likely no medical aid. As a result, a disease can run absolutely rampant with no chance of stopping it. Also, the poverty means that food is an extreme scarcity, so the people will likely resort to cannibalism. Africa is the poorest place in the world, so it’s a natural fit.
    I’m guessing that the story begins with Chris investigating a disappearing humanitarian mission. Upon arrival, the starving diseased locals attack him, and he must defend himself. After a while, he discovers that the humanitarians were mostly, if not all, cannibalized upon by the “zombies.”
    Probably, the reason that they’re using Chris, who is white, is because he’s American and 70% of Americans are white.

    Still. Custom RE characters? That would pwn so very hard.

  31. Whaapa,

    I won’t bother posting your wasted reply as I don’t need to air your hateful speech to the world. Unfortunately, you make my point exactly! You are not racist, right? Yet, I am a chicken licker and crack smoker all more racist rhetoric from a stupid kid who can’t clean his butt let alone know what is what in the world. So please learn some manners and when you do I will post your reply.

    I am not admonishing the game because I hate whites or whatever your claim is. So get over yourself and learn to read.

  32. cameron,

    Guess what? I don’t care!!! Next time read the post AND the comments. I have heard your crap before and I explained over and over. And I don’t plan to do it again. So why don’t YOU get over it!!

    Thanks but no thanks.

  33. Cameron

    NO! im not going to get over it because your giveing resident evil a bad NAME!!! this is probaly going to be the last resident evil game ever made!
    and pigheaded people that read your STUPID FALSE title are then going to make a hole lot of other people get a sour taste when ever they here about the hit resident evil franchise! BECAUSE OF YOU!!!! so no Im not going to “get over it”

    hopefully you wont ruin resident evil now….

    And if you want !!REAL!! racism look at what happened at the cricket with the Indians calling Symonds a monkey…

  34. Cameron,

    Yes, Resident Evil will get canceled ALL because of little ole me. Right! Get a clue that game isn’t going to be canceled and that is not what I want or said I want. Hopefully the game developers actually READ what I said since they are obviously looking to me to tell them what to do. Then they would see that I myself will play the game. I never said the game should be canceled. Do you understand that?

    I don’t have a problem with the game coming out and people loving it and playing it to no end. I feel that I have the right to comment on anything I like. But, since everyone is looking to me to make the decision about the games development. Cameron and Capcom I think the game should be developed and put on the market ASAP.

    Thanks

  35. your giveing resident evil a bad NAME!!! this is probaly going to be the last resident evil game ever made!

    You know, it’s a real shame when people are so narrowly preoccupied with combatting racism in our society that they can’t see they’re ruining a perfectly good video game. ;-)

    NO! im not going to get over it

    You know, I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere before. In the context of racism, in fact ….

    I suppose it’s too much to ask that this was intended as irony?

  36. Cameron

    I never said anything about you wanting to cancel it.
    i do admit i could of used my words abit better..
    by what i ment by this will probably be the last resident evil game ever made, i ment that regardless of what you say this really will probably be the last story that capcom have to tell about resident evil….
    and “james” it sounds like you Completely misread what i was saying.
    what i was mainly trying to get at is i dont want a game that’s been around since 1998 get given a bad name because of “theblacksentinel” trying to kick up dirt, and turn nothing into something BAD!

  37. Kratos or Krakho,

    Whatever your name is HA HA HA. I guess I have the last laugh. Go somewhere else. Or just go back to encyclopediadramatica. I am pretty sure that is the garbage you just crawled out of.

    Thanks but NO THANKS!

  38. Raven

    come on people,
    what the hell is wrong with you?
    RE is the best game ever crafted to me and i never thought about any of those things you said about the game.
    this is how a war get started,because of people like you.
    CHILLOUT and enjoy the game brothers and sisters,the graphics are amazing.(hope the soundtrack will be as good as the others) :)

  39. frodo baggins

    it’s a game oh yeah and by the way Blacks are slaughtering blacks wholesale in africa. worried about a game… black people in america have zero in common with people in africa. dont give me heritage crap kwanza was made up in the 60’s

    OMG all the basket ball gaves have predominate black players!!!11!!one!!! eleven!!! racizm…

  40. Dear Frodo,

    You said the operative word about black basketball player games PREDOMINANTLY. Are the players in this game predominantly white or ALL WHITE?

    We know the answer no need to write back in.

    Also, I think the slaughtering in Africa is terrible and this game is independent of that, don’t you think.

    Thanks but no thanks.

  41. h_sh_m

    Japanese media and video games have a strong history of racism against black people, moreso than alot of white produced media. This is because their racist stereotyping is not tempered by PR concerns like modern white media is.

    Anyway, having just watched the trailer for RE5 no one can automatically declare it to be racist. We have to wait for the actual product to come out.

    In my opinion, the Africa setting is a brilliant and novel concept. I love it. Setting a white guy against a horde of black zombies is obviously risque material. If they manage to pull it off while avoiding racism, it’ll be a great leap forward both socially and in video gaming. I’ll be the first to applaud.

    That being said, it’s unlikely they will. I fully expect the game to perpetuate and exploit negative stereotypes, using the ‘blackness’ of the villagers to enhance the horror, reinforce the heroism of the white protagonist and not much more. Not because it can’t be avoided, but because they don’t really care enough to try harder.

    How will we be able to tell the difference? Here are a few clues:

    1) Are there any positive black characters to counterbalance the black zombies? There have always been a few survivors/other armed rescuers/scientists that are uninfected in previous incarnations of the game. Some black army men, indigenous doctors, surviving villagers, or whatever should make an appearance.

    2) Do you ever get to play as any black character? Switching protagonists is common in previous RE games. It would be incredibly stupid and even overtly racist if they didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to add a black protagonist, seeing as how this would be more realistic, enhance the gaming experience, and be an incredibly easy way to counter any negative racial imagery.

    3) Are there any white zombies? Sure the majority of them are gonna be black, but realistically there should be the occassional white zombie (there have been occassional black zombies in perdominantly white locales in previous RE games).

    4) Finally, are black people drawn decently? Barring the obvious imperative to make zombies look hideous, is there a overt conformity to minstrel show type depictions or generally making them ugly compared to white characters.

    These are the very basic requirements in order to skirt the race issue. There’s a whole list of additional desirable elements that would do more than skirt the issue and actually make the game progressive. (If Chris actually developed any relationships with black people either prior to or during the outbreak, if socio-economic conditions and their causes were shown to influence the progression of the zombie outbreak; If there was some educated but not whitewashed black character; If some realistic aspects of indigenous culture and practices were included in ie: we learned about how the people lived their lives before the outbreak, thus humanizing them and making the game that much more dramatic).

    There’s a whole list, but I seriously doubt Capcom will meet even the earlier mentioned basic requirements to avoid making the game racist.

  42. if this game is ment to be racist. (sorry if i spell wrong) then i think that it should not be able to be played or made into copies around the world. even thought i am a resedent evil fan. //-^

  43. Steven,

    I don’t think that the game is purposefully racist. I just want to have choices in games. I think that the game has been around a long time and should continue. I like the series yet like I said would like more options and choices.

    Thanks for the comment.

  44. Alva

    First of all, Black Sentinel, I’m glad to see that throughout ‘most’ of your posts, you held your cool and stuck to what your main thought was. I respect that, and thank you for doing so. I’ll get to what you wanted to discuss foremost.

    When it comes to customization in video-games, I am all for it. I love creating characters and the like, then using them instead of following just one generic person. Unfortunately, we have to realize, adding such features to games not only is time-consuming and costly to the companies, but in situations like this, would take away from the story line they’ve worked so hard to create.

    I’m not going to get into a large history lesson, but to everyone who is getting upset because it’s a White-Man killing Black Zombies, Take it easy. It ‘may’ make you remember what happened, but you shouldn’t draw such a strong link between the two. If it was a Black character killing Black zombies, should I start drawing lines towards the mass slaughters and Genocides? Such things should mostly be overlooked, I’d be upset if they couldn’t touch on such topics because some people might be hurt. If the majority of people see this as racism, as was talked about rather early in the posting, then yes the game will be pulled, but I highly doubt that will happen. Besides, even if you have the majority of people on your side? Still doesn’t mean you’re right.

    They probably knew the game would be taken as racist to some, but know that most would be able to see it as just another game in the series.

    That is all.

  45. I don’t really think that they were or should have been that concerned with the game being seen as racist. Now the reason I used this game as a jumping point for my wishes is because it is a high profile game with a large following and can be used as an example for what I am trying to show.

    Also, it IS just another game. That is the problem. If no one looks or cares to see that things need to change. Yet everyone always falls back on its just a game. Well instead of it being just a game lets try and make the game user friendly for all people.

    Thanks

  46. DAMIEN

    first of all i am glad to see someone stand behind their views and not budge. based on the past posts im reading you are having a little battle of your own..lol. i agree with most of what you are saying and feel you made some valid points .

    but i feel personally america and every person with in this country (blacks included ) aren’t ready to play resident evil 5. killing zombies who just happen to be of african decent isnt racist due to the fact you are not dealing with them not as black people but only as zombies.. nothing more!! its a game based on fiction not facts . the problem isnt the game nor its creators . its the people who play this game for the soul purpose to kill africans that are labled as the enemy. those who may use this game to exercise their racist ideals about black people and one simple video game wont stop nor create whats already been around since slavery . resident evil (racist or not) has nothing to do with america’s consistant and metamophic racism .

    we all need to stop this association of race with something as small as a $60 video game none of you will complete nor even finish level one. its just a video game …you dont like it and feel its racist you can exercise your right as an american citizen and dont play it . if you buy this game just to kill blacks located with in this game then you need a life and a history lesson!!

    a fictional video game should not dictate anyones real life nomatter what race you are. and if so you are not as smart as i though you were.

    you definitely should not play resident evil 5 .

  47. I moved this comment over from About The Black Sentinel. I closed comments for this post but felt that this comment was something readers should read. I have differing views than this but it is well written and worth a look.

    [This is in response to your Resident Evil 5 article. I could not locate a place to comment on that specific topic, nor could I locate a way to contact you directly. Please move this to whatever location you see fit, or remove it entirely.]

    Howdy.

    Just took the last ~hour and read through the entirety of the comments. Congrats on keeping a cool head and expressing yourself well and as objectively as possible.

    In your initial article, you stated: “I personally believe that regardless of who the game creators were; this game is blatantly racist”

    This game, though it may be a lot of things, is not racist. Let’s make sure we’re on the same page regarding the definition of racism. It is the prejudice based on the belief “that members of one racial group consider themselves intrinsically superior to members of other racial groups.” (Cited from wikipedia’s article on the subject).

    Based on that definition, I see no grounds for this game to be considered racist, much less blatantly so. I can see it easily being *perceived* as racist. I can see it being, taken in improper contexts, extremely (and, as you say, blatantly) racist.

    However, understood in proper context, this game cannot be considered so. There is no intent of conveying a message of racism; the storyline does not allow for it.

    Fact: The hero, Chris Redfield, has been a main character in the game, and appeared in many locales. He is a caucasian male. His objective is to eradicate the virus, with the means to the end of preserving human life. This overarching principle of preservation and restoration can been seen as a constant in the plot of all RE games among “the good guys”. The killing of zombies is only a means to the end of survival and destruction of the virus, and not an end in itself. In RE4, Leon first asks a local for assistance in locating the president’s daughter. He shows the local a photo and asks if he has seen the girl in the photo. It is not until after the local becomes hostile and attacks Leon with an axe does he kill him.

    Fact: This chapter finds Chris in Africa, chasing down the main villain. This is Chris’ story, so it’s logical that Chris would play the part. The precedent has been set in previous games to limit the playable people to one or two (usually one, with occasional situations rising from narrative structure that create instances where one can play as another person). So to attempt to add to this one a character selection/customization screen would make no sense, and would only detract from the integrity of the story.

    So, as the setting selected is Africa, it would be logical to assume that residents of Africa would be playing a part. And in this particular section of Africa, dark-skinned individuals are present, so the game portrays them as such. To portray them to be anything but as they are would be comically false and destroy narrative integrity, and would be insulting to that demographic.

    So, we have a white man in Africa, shooting zombies who are dark-skinned because the village affected with the virus is in a part of the world where dark-skinned individuals are predominantly (and almost exclusively) found.

    There is no racism in this, intentional or accidental.

    There is no more inherent racism in the narrative being told here than there is a white cop fining a black man for letting his parking meter expire. It could have just as easily been a white man. In fact, many times it has been a white man who gets a ticket.

    So it is in Resident Evil. Many times before, a white man (and woman) have shot and killed a multitude of white zombies. This makes sense because of the location. Now, they are in Africa. A white man will be shooting a multitude of black zombies. This makes sense because of the location.

    Let me make it clear that I am not trying to say that there’s not legitimate hurt and suffering happening today to black people, resultant in part from many decades of poor treatment from white people as well as present-day situations. And I understand that, as a result of these hurts, sensitivities are heightened, and conclusions can be drawn much quicker than they might under different circumstances.

    But in this case, calling this a blatantly racist game because it happens to have a white man killing black zombies is sensationalist. And from what I know of you through your words on this blog, you are a better woman than that.

    I look forward to further dialogue with you on the matter.

    Stay orange.
    -JW

  48. wow i think that resident evil 5 is not racist in any way.like people stated they already attacked the US and spain mabey if they make a number 6 they might go to japan or china or germany or sweeden or ice land and greenland,ect. there are many places the out break could go to and in the new movie resident evil extinction the entire world except for a few survivour which there weren’t many but my is that the outbreak can reach those places and if it does reach japan or somewhere else will that game be racist?think about it…

    -nazo999

  49. Charliebob

    I just want to say that people will find something wrong with anything. When it comes to race you’d think all the people complaining would rather have every race segregated. That would end racism right? Its so childish, get over it! people have different color skin, if all people are created equal than it doesnt matter what color you are. If you were a zombie I’d shoot you too, damn, race definetly doesnt matter to the undead. So just to wrap things up, pay more attention to driving or your gf and stop caring about whats racist and whats not. Guess what i’m typing black words on a white background i must be so racist im up to my eyeballs in it. PS africa screwed up itself, dont blame whitey. And the first slaves that whites had were sold to them by rival african tribes so chew on that and leave resident evil alone.

  50. jim

    There has been a black hero in one of the most important games ever ie, GTA San Andreas. I really do not feel comfortably with black culture and music and was really upset I had to blay as a black character initialy so I can empathise with blacks who get fed up with playing white heros. However I soon got over my problem and thoroughly enjoyed San Andreas. I am a white but am part of an extended multiracial family and have experienced subtle racism when taking my nephew out, it is horrible and makes me very angry and yet deep down there is still some basic urge to be racist within me I suppose it is out of fear really, I’m thinking of thug culture and rap music , baby mamas mysogyny and homophobia ,which I find really offensive and ugly, but i guess i am supposed to. I hope the game is released as it is I’m sure it will be a great game and if it brings racist feelings to the surface and stimulates discussion then that will be a good thing. I don’t think a game can actually make people racist or violent it is in people already. Probably better to express it in a video game than on the streets. As for AIDS I have that disease myself as do many whites. I must admit seeing the trailer to RE 5 I laughed at the absurd buffness of the white guy I mean come on he looks so gay it is a hilarious and absurd juxtaposition , and the tight t-shirt doesn’t help. You have got to laugh really.

  51. Yamamoto Yoshitaka

    I work at Capcom. I’m on Japanese Biohazard 5 team, known as Resident Evil 5 in US. Interesting ideas. I work in story division. There is no way story can be changed now, but I will pitch the idea to my supervisor to see if we can add a secret African character.
    Whatever Happens, know I tried. Individual gamers of all races may not seem to matter to big corporations, but big corporations don’t make the games. Individuals make the games. Individuals speak to individuals, not to big corporation.

  52. Zeph

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Japanese made game that had a black person as a main character. They’ve either been Japanese, or white. That’s just Japan’s thing. They’re xenophobic, that’s a problem you’d have to take up with their culture, not white people. Also stating that the depiction of a white male as a hero in an environment where he kills black people because white people are racist, is racism. It’s just as racist as some white person saying black people are stupid and foul-smelling by saying that white people are inherently racist and ignorant/insensitive to other races. See how that works?

    Also, get over the idea that video games are only for children. They’re not. It’s not being marketed to children, it’s being marketed to adults who are 17 and older. That’s what the ESRB is for. That’s why sales clerks ask for ID when you go to purchase the game. If at some point that never happened, it falls solely on the clerk in question, not the media.

  53. Zeph,

    Don’t be clueless! I never said that ALL white people were racist or anything else. How xenophobic can the Japanese be if they are making games with races other than theirs? That does not make it OK just because you want to say they are xenophobic.

    Also, who the hell ever said that video games were for children, not me. Since I said that EVERYONE in my household is a gamer. Next time read the damn post before you comment!

    Thanks for the reply.

  54. Anon

    blacksentinel, what Zeph PROBABLY meant when he talked about how the Japanese are xenophobic is that they aren’t interrested enough in the buisness of other countries in the way that we are, so they might not have realized what controversy this game would cause with this setting. Since it was ok to blow away Spanish people in one game, the probably thought that this was ok too.

  55. Phil

    Hi everyone, I am a resident evil fan and was desperatly looking for some information about the release of the game when I happened to find out some forums about the newly Resident Evil being a racist game. I have read a few of the posts here and I have my own opinion about this.

    I mean, since the game is new and it is highly affecting the market, and due to the movies that recently came out, Resident Evil have been drawing a lot of attention and new fans, since the people new in Resident Evil, they obviously don’t understand the background of the main storyline or it’s past games, since that they will portrait the game as racist as it may look, but since there is a plot, where theses “white good guys” were in the past and fighting the zombies, it happened to be some black goo guys in the game too, the are not in the game anymore or they have died or turned into zombies as many of the “white good guys” have also died and turned into zombies.

    my main point about this is that the main character is white because of the previous and early storyline, Capcom can’t just change it and set the choice for you to choose the player since for the story to fit perfeclty it has to be “that character”. And I think people should understand the T-virus is not AIDS, and that if they weren’t zombies, the main character wouldn’t be killing them, where it happened somewhere in Spain and in America, no one ever complained about racism in this game, everyone socially and maturely accepted this, and now, why just now there have to be complaints?

    The critics, instead of just rush up into artics and say it’s a racist game, they should get to know the background of tha game!!!

    They should know:

    1 – Why it is in Africa.

    2 – Why it is a white main character instead of on from any other race or religion.

    3 – Why are the africans zombies and why they have to be killied by the zombie slayer.

    So, not to cause any problem or further questions, i will answer theses questions myself!

    1 – Umbrella is the reason, a corporation where it usually was taking place in America only, but since there was an end to this organization to its own fault, they have decided to change locations and do different experiments outside America! They left America because there wasn’t any chance of them building up their corporation again.

    2- The white guy is a part of the main story since the beggining and the firsts Resident Evil versions, where a group of organized soldiers tried to fight back the zombies and exterminate the source of the T-virus (umbrella) so there wouldn’t be any more accidents with the virus. The main main main characters are four: Jill, Leon, Clair and Chris. Since they were from the early start and haven’t had enough opportunities to show their own story, it had to be Chris, where now he is the main character looking for his sister Clair. If Capcom had put other different characters it would destroy it’s natural storyline and would turn the game into something to kill zombies without knowing the main plot, that would be boring!
    Why noot from another religion? i beliave that it would affect others beliefs!

    3 – In Africa because Umbrella probably changed it’s location, and since they will do experiments of the T-virus in people, who live in Africa are Africans, so it had to be African, because if it was in Japan it would be the Japanese, like when it was in Spain, the Spaniards, and America the Americans, It’s just the way it is, the real life where people reside! They have to be killed because they were infected with the T-virus, a ficction virus where it affects the nerve system… ohh well, just turn whoever is infected into zombies. They have to be killed because the main character have to survive, he cannot just hide and wait for the zombies to go away! This does not co-relates to the real life where Africa has diseases such as AIDS, whoever brought AIDS to this issue should re-watch or search in the internet what T-Virus is!!!

    okkk, so i undersand why so many people find this racist, as maybe i would do so if i didn’t know the main storyline and just happened to suddenly know about resident evil just nowadays.
    I don’t blame Capcom and nor the people who find this game racist. I just wish the people who find this racist researched more about the background of the game and understand why it is in Africa, why they have turned into zombies and why there is a white main character instead of one from any other race or religion before they just pop up here or somewhere else and say: “RESIDENT EVIL 5 IS RACIST”

    thanks.

  56. Emily

    I do definitely see where you’re coming from and the notion of racism crossed my mind as soon as I first heard the announcement for Resident Evil 5. However, I think it is a relatively ludicrous jump from the zombie virus (a disease broadly accepted as entirely fantasy) and AIDS. I cannot think of one individual or group, whether they be mainstream or just a touch insane, that could possibly see in an outrageously unreal scenario, justification for genocide in the real world. To look at the matter from the perspective of the game creators, I don’t think that the decision to set the game in Africa was ever meant to be a racist one, nor an outwardly controversial one. In a logical sense: “Africa has a lot of people in it, and much of it has very few resources for which to take shelter should an epidemic such as this fantasy one break out. The virus takes advantage of densely populated areas. Logically, let’s put one of our recurring main characters into this situation.” It’s a novelty idea for a game, and one meant to cater to the tastes of the true Resident Evil fans.

  57. Emily,

    You think it is outrageous for someone to jump from the unreal scenario to genocide for the real world. I guess you don’t get around to very many gaming forums. Or the racist ones that pass as gaming forums.

    Because I have read a lot of talk that is paralleled with the “this is great, lets kill all those f-ing N-words”. So I guess people are insane or whatever.

    Also, it doesn’t take a large stretch to compare a place with an out of control virus to a game that has an out of control virus. If a game were to take place in say China where there happens to be some sort of baby formula problem and the game chronicles a genetic mutation found in Chinese babies who turn into flesh eating zombies. People would wonder about the connection.

    Sorry that is how the world is. We want to keep everyone on the up and up. It doesn’t affect you nor do you have any care about the situation that goes on there. So I can see why it looks like good old fashioned gaming fun. I am sure the game will be kick ass fun. But that is not the point now is it.

    Thanks for the reply.

  58. J

    Well the best argument I read on this page was by h_sh_m

    My Opinion is that the game is not racist nor is it trying to be. However the imagery of the white man killing a bunch of africans is controversial and capcom are using this. Controversy sells and will give the game an even biger cult appeal. So Capcom will probably use this to their advantage

    The Resident Evil games have always had controversial images such as the gore from the earlier games or the religous Imagery of the later game.

    I don’t think the makers of the game are overtly trying to offend anyone, but like someone I couldn’t care for once said “You can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all the time”

    I highly doubt they would cancel the game and it will be huge when it is finally released.

  59. Connor

    It’s not racist. They only wanted an area to pick where it could be construed as a place that could be creepy at night (because, undoubtedly, some of the game will take place at night), when the army (is that the breed?) ants come out to eat. If it’s not army ants, then whatever ants they are that swarm and can devour just about anything. Besides, one of the two main characters is semi-black. In one of Capcom’s other popular games, Dead Rising, another main character is black.

    oh, and on a finer point, just to get into details (because i’m a total resident evil geek), they’re actually being controlled by parasites called Las Plagas. You find that out in resident evil 4.

  60. Connor

    but you have to admit, the graphics are pretty sweet. :P

  61. Jane,

    Only a white woman would ASSume that this blog is run by a black man. Now I am sure I don’t need to tell you where you better go and what you can kiss before you burn there.

    See ya sucker.

  62. Carsh

    Actually, the game (Resident Evil 5) does have a black main character. She is Sheva Alomar (and she is HOT), a member of the West African division of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). If you play through the game cooperatively online either you or a friend can play as her. I also believe that if you play through it on single player, rather than coop, you will be able to switch between the two. The game encourages the use of teamwork between the two players.

    As for the reason of using Chris Redfield, well he has been a main playable character since the first game (where you could play as either him or Jill Valentine). The series really hasn’t introduced a new main character since the second game (which introduced Leon Scott Kennedy and Claire Redfield). Both Resident Evil 3, Code Veronica, and 4 had returning characters ( Jill, Claire, and Leon respectively). So, it was Chris’ “turn” again.

    The only exception to this is some of the side story games like Gaiden, Outbreak Files (which had black playable characters), and Survivor, which aren’t really considered to be cannon to the storyline.

    The main antagonist of this game (and indeed many of the games) is Albert Wesker (and he is as white as they come) who seems to be a cause of many of the problems faced in the game.

    I suggest watching some more recent trailers of the game, as it reveals a lot more information about the story and settings of the game. Gametrailers.com has a bunch of trailers for the upcoming game, including some very neat videos that show how the game was developed.

    I was initially surprised when people started crying foul and calling the game racist, because when I first watched the original trailer for the game, the thought never crossed my mind. Looking at it now, I can see how it can be taken that way, even if it shouldn’t.

    I also am amazed that I missed something that seems now like it should have been obvious, but (and I hate to say this because saying it cheapens it, and also, I hate people who praise themselves) I see people as people regardless of what color their skin is (I thank my parents for that). I’d like to think we are to a point where racism in America should be dead, but a quick visit to the internet will quickly quell any hopes you might have had.

    As for your feelings on being upset on the lack of black main protagonists in video games, I understand them. I don’t believe that you feel game developers are racist or anything, I think you just feel left out. Completely understandable, if I can feel that way when playing a NBA video game, the feeling most be felt ten-fold by black gamers.

    In fact, I can only remember a few notable games in recent memory that featured a black main character (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, True Crime: New York City, and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand). It’s not just blacks though, a lot of minorities are rarely portrayed as main characters in games. Can you remember the last game you played in as a dwarf? I can’t. Believe me, they all feel the sting of it too.

    I also, especially like the option to create my own custom character, in fact most of the time it is my preferred choice. I really like it when I can create a character that resembles myself, it really helps add to the immersion. However, I know that it really isn’t a feasible option for all games. I’d like to see a Resident Evil with the option someday, though.

    I apologize for the length of my comment (I type fast and before I know it, I have a miniature novel in front of me), and for if anything I stated within it was said before (I stopped reading the comments about midway through). I know the information about Sheva is new, because I did a CTRL+F of her name and it produced no results.

    Lastly, I hope all the racist people leaving nasty comments on your blog die in a fire.

    Thank you, and have a wonderful day.

  63. Carsh,

    Your reply is about one of the best that I have read so far which is fighting for the game. I agree that there are so many minorities out there who are and can cry foul about the lack of representation. I hope that the game does well as I and my entire family loves gaming. And I really enjoy the resident evil series. My son plays or did play for a while. And you wouldn’t believe some of the comments that didn’t make it out for you all to read. I just delete them. I understand not agreeing with the thoughts expressed but to be so hateful and crude is just unnecessary.

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply.

  64. Ace13

    Sentinel, I see what your saying but the custom character in Resident Evil would just… ruin it you know. I also see what you mean about a lack of diversity with the main protaginist of games, and maybe in the near future “more” games can include more choices as far as that goes. There is a problem with putting that option in every game with me however; I belive that a set main character in many games is important. Like Altaïr from “Assassins Creed”(Middle Eastern by the way) his cold dominate attitude was important to the feel of the game, and very important to the story line. Would I mind seeing more races included in the mix, not at all, but purposly altering a main character just so all races can feel they have recived an “equal treatment” is a ridiculous thing to do. not that i dont belive in equal treatment, but I belive that changing main characters in a game for the sake of diversity is a waste considering a video game does not do diveristy justice. Not to mention that changing the main character would more then likely mean changing personality as well do to how in many instances (not all) different races are rasied in different cultures, and could comprimise game quality. As for all the racist comments dont delete them…they proove your point on how ignorant people can take something like Resident Evil 5 with a little diversity in it and see it as killing “Blacks” instead of the intended “Zombies”

    CST
    Age 18

  65. Ace13,

    You make a hell of a case. I agree that in “some” games changing the main character would be a mistake. Such as Half Life with Gordon Freeman. I couldn’t see myself being anyone else but Gordon and that may be because I have played the game since the beginning. But, on the other hand the multiple character choice doesn’t hurt Diablo which was the game I was using as an example as an alternative to how one person shooters are set up.

    I agree that we should see RE5 as killing zombies, because lord knows I love killing zombies. I just wanted a bit of feedback as to whether or not anyone thinks about these things when they start their games and begin to play. Anywho, I am just glad that people such as yourself just looked at the post as a means to bring up some issues not as a means to down a game that a lot of people love.

    Thanks so much for your excellent ideas and reply.

  66. T

    I hope people here realise that there are also white and middle eastern people in this game. I also want to point out that several of the models look like Saddam Hussien. Which is both funny and wierd at the same time. I just hope that people will soon stop crying about the game and give it a chance. It is just a game. I am not talking to anyone here but I just wanted to state my oppinion. This is goona be the greatest game ever.

    Peace Out.

  67. Mike,

    Your argument and explanation of Sheva was going well. I don’t know why you had to add the last two sentences. That is why it won’t go up, because I am highly tired of hearing it. Do you really think I don’t know that? Be a bit smarter next time.

    Thanks for trying to reply.

  68. Open Minded

    I would first like to point out that I am neither white or black, yet I am a minority in the very least (some where under the Asian category). At the very first glimpse of a Resident Evil 5 trailer, seeing an African man yelling into a megaphone stirring up an angry mob, I had a very small feeling in my gut that it perceived a bit racist. This was maybe 2-4 months ago. Now at the brink of the release I google up some images of the game out of boredom and happen to discover your discussion. I read your statement and some replies and being said from your perspective I do approach this with an open mind when I say that I agree how you feel upon the violent history.

    I still have that feeling in my gut when I watch that scene, but knowing that the “savior’s” partner is also African makes me proud. It shows team work and that through the hardships of the game they can overcome and make the credits :P.

    In all honesty I think every game that may cause people to feel pain of an incident of long since past may never cease to exist.. especially if a franchise decide to base it on a World War (how many of those were made already? countless!). Hopefully the people that make these games are in good minds and won’t set the bar too high for the nostalgic-sensitive such as my self. I’m sure Capcom is in good hands as well.

    I hope that you continue to enjoy games made from Capcom or any brand for that matter. Just a little extra, I play Tekken as well, and I LOVE Raven. Wouldn’t have him any other way :D

  69. Open minded,

    Thanks for your input. I too agree that after seeing that the partner is an African herself is a bit better. I wanted dialog on this and I think I got plenty of it from all points of view. The majority has been nothing more than hate or stupidity which I discard. But, when I get thoughtful and insightful comments I post them immediately. I want people to be able to see all sides of the issue.

    Thanks so much for your reply.

  70. RottenUFO

    I bet that the white people would not have complained if it was a black man as the hero. But why do the black people have to complain when its a white man doing the job? Its scary that even a game like this has to suffer under political historical term-oil, created by we know who! Because they always seem to have to make everyone feel guilty at every opportunity. This is the 21st Century people its in past!!

  71. RottenUFO,

    White people probably wouldn’t complain since the majority of games and anything else is written or portrayed from their point of view with characters who mirror themselves. So, one out of thousands wouldn’t be a big deal now would it? Yet, that is all you can focus on. This is the problem, maybe if you could take yourself outside of your white washed surroundings for just a minute you might be able to connect to another point of view.

    I don’t care if the job gets done by an Asian, white, black or Hispanic. What I care about is that I have a choice. I understand that this is a long running game and being a gamer I understand that the majority of the time you don’t deviate from the original storyline. Just once I would like to have a choice in the character I play. Games such as Diablo have choices and I like that. It wasn’t that freaking hard to do.

    Also, if you feel guilty about something that is on you. There is no one TRYING to make you or anyone else feel guilty. I think that says something about your psyche not about black people. And just so you know because it has obviously alluded you until now, RACISM STILL EXISTS. It isn’t something that died when civil rights laws were passed. Open your eyes and stop making excuses and you just might see it.

    Thanks.

  72. David Fields,

    It’s obvious that:

    A – You didn’t READ any of the comments
    B – You didn’t READ the post
    OR
    C – You didn’t UNDERSTAND the post

    Before you begin to scrutinize this post the best thing to do is to read the post AND the comments and maybe you would have a better understanding of what is and was being said. So for you to begin to tell someone to do research maybe you should take your own advice.

  73. Virtualocity,

    I am guessing you read NONE of the replies either. I already KNOW that Sheva is in the game and shoots people. Thanks for the update. Sheesh!

  74. Hiya

    I understand your grief, I’m halfway through the game now myself, but here’s one thing that bothered me the most.
    Playing the game I realized what a lack of african protagonists there are in games. I think the closest we ever got was 50: cent, and honestly that doesn’t count.
    I can completely understand someone being bothered by a big white man shooting down hordes of black people, especially considering how newer african history was written.
    It would have “softened the blow”, so to speak, if your sidekick Sheva was actually an african, story-wise she’s supposed to be. But she came of looking more of latino descent.
    I found it fairly interesting to play a game set in modern Africa, I think this is part of Capcom trying out new things and new settings. As abandoned cities and mansions became old already in RE3.

  75. Dr. Who

    So, as far as I understand, the problem is that you don’t have a choice of character in the game. Not that you are slaying hordes of black zombies. The thing is, you will be playing as a white character in this game. They won’t change it. This is just a blog, I doubt that any of the manufactures, or people with power will ever read this blog. If you wan’t to be able to customize your character play rpg’s or other games of that type. This is, as stated earlier, probably the last Resident Evil game they will ever make. Nothing will be changed with this blog, so what is the point of this discussion? You want to be able to customize your character in this game, but you wont be able to. Thats that.

    The Doctor.

  76. Dr. Who,

    You are correct for the most part. I would LIKE to be able to pick my character and I KNOW that it isn’t going to be possible but I can still bitch about it I guess. I understand that this will probably be the last game and that is too bad even though I think they are running out of story lines. And I know that they don’t read my blog nor change anything based on my wants, needs or likes.

    I am playing Diablo II Lord of Destruction right now and I CAN pick my character in this one. I am looking forward to Diablo III, probably not as much as my son or significant other. They are both reaaaallllly excited and I am just like ehhh…

    Thanks for the reply.

  77. Pingback: “Expert” Consulted on RE5 Racism Issue: Not an Expert on Race After All at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

  78. gamertag

    ok i’m an asian, and a fan of RE, to just make things clear.

    paul’s argument is good in my opinion. to quote him, “Giving a race special treatment, good or bad, is prejudice/racism” and although it’s quite bland, that speaks for itself as to not correlate this game too much to racism.

    to think of it, having customizable characters is quite good and very innovative. but seeing the RE series having “established” characters (Chris, Jill, Leon, and Clair), a debut of a past main character is fanservice and preserves the storyline.

    as what others are pointing out, the skin isn’t the main point, the game is about killing zombies.

    i liked how theblacksentinel raised his stand on the topic, but then, customizations in RE is limited to only their clothes – changing the features itself would hurt the storyline which is in my opinion it’s main selling point. (other that the zombie-killing, mind you)

    also, to end things up, try to look beyond the character’s features, and instead focus on the mechanics of the game: melee moves, more arsenals, coop play – who’s not to like?

  79. If you read any of the comments then you would see that I have already found out that the side kick was black and that I addressed that. This was written long before I knew of the side kick. And as far as you showing me that games aren’t evil nor racist because you are studying chemical engineering is actually showing me nothing. I would have to know you personally to see that you indeed did not turn out to be a racist. And even if you are bucked the trend does not or would not negate any others going the opposite way. Not to mention I never said games were evil or racist. I talked about ONE game, not ALL games. And just for your information I am part of a big time gaming family.

    It would help if people would read the comments before they add their two cents as it may already have been paid for them. Thanks anyway for the reply.

  80. Ryan

    i can understand the arguments for both sides of this article, but, i have played the game and until i saw this article (whilst searching for Res5 pictures) it never occured to me that the people i shot were black, african or of a different religion or set of beliefs as me (im white, i live in England and im an atheist) to me the characters i kill in the game have been and will always just be Zombies. so the point someone raised about white kids bieng brainwashed with racist messages is just ridiculous.

    – “when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a thousand reasons to smile” – unkown

  81. Jeremy

    You only know half of the racism going on in the game until you beat the game. The game mocks both black people as well as white people, intentionally or unintentionally.

    – Wesker, who is the main antagonist in the game, happens to be a white man (or at least portrayed to be) has a total control of this huge zombified black population, and he manipulates them to attack and infect other ‘normal’ black men. This shows powerlessness, betrayal for immediate gain and low intelligence level of the victims. (and the other part is of course ‘White’ governments manipulating everything in African continent and rendering any hopes with all the ‘debt’)

    – Protagonists have no problem dispatching all the infected black zombies, yet they risk their lives to make sure Jill comes back to what she was, and of course she is a white

    – The white female victim yells for help and there are all these dramatic attempts to rescue the woman, yet the only image we get from the first man they encounter that is being zombified is ‘savagery’ from his refusal of help

    – Once you unlock everything, which happens to take less than a week for a very average gamer, you have nothing left but to go around killing zombies with your infinite ammo weapon of the day to kill your boredom. As shown from Carmageddon and such, the easiest ‘fix’ for developers on violence and racism is to convert their humanoid characters into zombies or monsters (ie black men to zombified black men in this case)

    – You are rewarded for pillaging the villages (gold, gems, weapons, ammo, herbs), and looting the dead ‘zombies’ (more gold, gems, ammo and herbs)

    – The second main protagonist Sheva Alomar is black or partially black lady who posesses unusual beauty (Michelle Van der Water ‘whitened’ up and enhanced interms of fitness). She is enraged by what has happened to ‘her’ people, yet she shows absolutely no remorse when mowing them down with her guns. Perhaps she is Chris Redfield’s biggest trophy of this African trip?

    All this rant is coming from non-Japanese Asian who loves anything Japanese, and also loves violent and controversial games including racism, but this one has gone just too far.

  82. Jeremy,

    Thanks for giving me another view from someone who has played the game. I have been getting a lot of comments from people who have played the game and said that there is nothing wrong or racist about what is happening. This gives me another view and perhaps the others as well.

    Again thank you for your comment.

  83. Sam

    Thank you blacksentinel for bringing up this topic and staying actively involved in its conversation for this past year.

    i think racism (and all forms of discrimination) comes from ignorance of who and how other people really are, and when you come from a country that is predominantly Japanese, the chances that you are going to actually meet and get to know a real black person and with whom you can communicate with in the same language is probably not that great.

    one great example of how this breeds racism is to check out any square game. Just google Sazh Katzroy, the “nice guy” with a chocobo who lives in his afro in the upcoming ffxiii.

    honestly, i just finished RE5 and am in love with the game, mostly because of Sheva. I’ve always loved RE’s character designs, and I was really happy that they finally introduced a black character into their main roster. I mean, Sheva’s hot, and she makes Jill look like a skinny white bitch (who decided to go blonde, too… wtf?). She’s one of the few black video game protagonists who isn’t a gangster or has anger issues, and from what I know, the only black female to be prominently figured in a popular video game franchise. I mean, you don’t see any African Americans running around in Mario. And even though she’s been “whiteyfied,” most African Americans in the US are usually not 100% of African descent (cough cough Obama).

    i think Sheva’s presence in RE5 is actually a good example of instead the increasing racial awareness among Japanese people and the global culture as well (but yeah, without her, RE5 would be pretty frickin’ racist). In my opinion, the lack of black protagonists in video games is a much more prevalent form of racism than a few insensitive stereotypes.

  84. Historian

    To Black Sentinel, capcom is rasist. In this game called mega Man Legends 2 there is a race called Ancients, Mega man is also an Ancient. During a movie near the end the another Ancient talk about how the MASTER(creator of the ancients) always favored mega man because mega man was made in the image of the the MASTER. Also how the other Ancients are inferior. Mega Man Trigger and the MASTER are both white, the MASTER has blonde hair.
    The rest of the Ancients were you guessed it all BLACK. In the begining an ancient is in stasis sleep, wakes up and transfers her self into a body, a white body, a white body with blonde hair.
    The same people that made Mega Man Legends 2 have also made resident evil 5. Same rasist people with the same rasist message, please respond.

  85. Historian,

    This is interesting information indeed. I have not actually looked into that game mega man legends 2. I am not surprised though. This seems to be a running theme in most video games where the main character being white embodies what is good. Black characters are often depicted as having anger issues, criminals and or other problems.

    This is ridiculous and welcome other gamers who HAVE played mega man legends to weigh in on this tidbit of info.

    Thanks for the reply.

  86. I am.

    Well. This game really is just another installment in the Resident evil series. And if you dont know this there is a black female character that you can play as in this game. After completing the game on any difficulty you can play as sheva. A hot. african Powerful. Partner of chris redfields. Thats the least they can do. And as for racism . This game is not racist in any way shape or form. Simple. It isnt saying africa is deseased. IT takes place in africa simply because Wesker. is in africa. And was doing research on uroboros there. And because of bio-terrorirsts( who are african) having tribal affairs . And poisoning there own kind. Due to political scwabbles. In fact i own this game play it everyday. I enjoy playing as sheva. and Chris redfield. Try it out sometime. Its not as bad as you think

  87. I am,

    I do understand these things as I have gotten a ton of comments letting me know.

    Thanks for the reply.

  88. Jordan

    I do not believe this game is racist, since I’m a fan of the series i Understand the story of the game better than most people. Most of the games were set in america, than antartica and europe, but now it in africa were the Virus had oringinated note the sound racist but I’m african american. So this is why the story is set in africa because some man is try to gain a viral strain found in some fossil (or somathing like that??) znd the hero is connected to this man because of thier past. The black sentinal plz look into the game history not all of it is bad.

  89. Jordan

    theblacksentinel
    I didn’t read the comments u posted so i didn’t realize u understood the basic story sorry my bad plz forgives me;)

  90. black.shavalye

    How many of yall actually thinks this game is racist? Probably about 95% of you right. My thing is this I am black and I am from the south (NC). Now some people will need to step back and think about all the resident evils games they are ever played. Through the games I have played I have shot black people, white people, spanish and interacial people. Now Capcom is based in Japan. Who does not have racist bones in there body, because every is in Japanese and some of us don’t even understand the language but that is my opinion. Anyway does anyone remember on Resident Evil 2 where you rescued the black police officer, then later in the he zombifies and killed him anyway. In actuality how many actually cared he was black. You didn’t he was zombie and you killed him anyway. Many of us have played Resident Evil 4 and killed Europeans because giant bugs were popping out of there necks. Now we have Resident Evil 5 that is based in Africa. Now from news reports parts of Africa are poor and warfare taken over. Based upon this evidence why would this is racism when the governments have been releasing biological warfare for years. Based upon strategic war position and you wanted to see how your new weapon would affect a population in small doses. Why not release release a viral outbreak on small war ridden population. What is better you see what weapon does and you make a profit. That good win for a government. Now what yall need to be doing is banding together, put your weapons down, and tell your government we will not fight for country that does not value their people. Instead of worrying about video game that is fictional. Now if Al and Jesse what to protest a game that is a waste of time and man power.

  91. Black.Shavalye,

    Next time do yourself a favor and read the other comments first. I would have deleted your comment but just said what the hell. Lucky you. Anyhow, I don’t know where you get your information but, Japan is just as if not more racist than any other country. So I guess they aren’t just some benign force. And I have not seen Al or Jesse protest this game so quit with the Jesse and Al crap it is old as hell.

  92. BigMac

    I get what your saying. And I am trying my best to not repeat what others have said above, but I do not think this game is racist. (and you can play as a black woman anyway) But even if you were only a white guy throughout the whole game (which I wish you were alone and only played as Chris) does not make it racist. (not saying you are saying it is racist) But they shouldn’t just add a character of a seperate race just to please people. Originally, their were 5 characters, Chris, Jill, Wesker, Barry, and Rebecca. All were white. Chris is the main character in RE5, the way RE works is that you are only one or two people. You cannot choose a wide veriety. Just because the character(s) are white in africa wearing army fatugues does not make it racists. A racist game is a game that is intentional. You cannot have an uninitentionaly racist game. (if I am bringing up things that people have already posted, I apoligise) Personally, I loved the game, however, they would not have added Sheva if their wouldn’t have been all this racist nonsince, and I did not care for her. I still get your point of view, but we shouldn’t use the distance past to lable a video game racist. Now, if their was a game called KKK the game, that would be racist, because it is intentional. I hope you read this and get my point (although many people might have said the same) but I guess everyone has their different views. Have a good day.

  93. Tamara

    @Jeremy: Ok let’s look at your whole backwards argument.

    -Wesker is a “zombie” himself and doesn’t actually have control over them. Even if he did zombies are also white and spanish not just black, unless you forgot that? Where the hell did you get the government BS? Stop trying to find messages that aren’t there.

    -Jill was ALWAYS white. What is she gonna turn black because she is in africa? Besides whats so wrong about him trying to save his partner? He does the same for Sheva (the difference being sheva is not a retard and can actually defend herself)

    – Ok? So what. You do the same thing in 4 except in spain..or are black people more important than the spanish?

    -That’s the point in ALL resident evils. Not just 5 don’t make it sound like they only did it in africa. If you honestly played any games or any other resident evil you wouldn’t even have said this. This was the most retarded statement in your whole argument. You should just slap yourself for this amount of stupidity.

    -Unusual beauty? What so black people can’t be beautiful is that what your saying? Or they can’t have brittish accents? Do we all have to look a certain way?Because that’s what it sounds like. Besides all women are portrayed as extremely beautiful in every media not just games.. Just because she is a black woman doesn’t make her an exception. ONCE AGAIN you claim to have played video games before, yet I highly doubt that because you would know women are meant to be eye candy in games.

    Plus the only reason she is fighting is to protect the rest of africa by finding the source of the virus, she can’t really do that if shes dead can she?? So naturally she is going to have to kill zombies.

    What so when white people kill other white people its ok? But black people cant kill other blacks? This happens in real life with gangs and I don’t see you complaining about them. If you were so “noble” and cared about racism go do something about those gangs. But no you’d rather sit on your fat ass and bitch about a game that you probably play.

    Wait…back up a sec. You love the games that are “violent and controversial games including racism”, yet this one has no hint of being racist and you get your panties in a twist? What kind of BS is that?

    @Blacksentinal:

    Obviously jeremy has not played any other the resident evils so I wouldn’t base my choice on his opinion.

  94. Pingback: “Expert” Consulted on RE5 Racism Issue: Not an Expert on Race After All | Acid for Blood

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