Blackface Goes HD? The Case of Resident Evil 5

OK, we all know zombies gotta die. And I loved Resident Evil 4. So why do these early images from the next installment of the Resident Evil franchise make me so queasy?

After all, in RE4, you spend the game shooting equally out-of-their-mind Spaniards. But, then, the Spanish haven’t been so egregiously misrepresented as blacks through the ages, have they? Not even close.

From Birth of a Nation to Black Hawk Down, black folk are apparently responsible for some of the most mindless and evil activities you got. Rape, murder, satanic voodoo. With bulging eyes, simian super strength, and a room temperature IQ, we’ve been portrayed as savages beyond redemption. So, when we see images like these, it doesn’t just resonate with the long lived zombie genre, it also triggers memories of so many awful stereotypes — and what those stereotypes have been used to justify past and present. Put down the crazed negroes before they take the white women! And so on…

But perhaps the most troubling part is that these scenes seem to be set in Africa; the “dark continent.” With all the positive steps being taken of late to raise awareness of the good things happening in Africa as well as the urgent need in some parts of the continent, we really can’t afford this kind of step back. We need to find ways to humanize Africans, not dehumanize them.

George Romero’s genre-defining 1968 film Night of the Living Dead is often read as a black empowerment tale. It’s ironic, then, that 40 years later, the preeminent zombie franchise appears poised to give us just the opposite. If LocoRoco’s Mojas were a kind of high tech blackface, Resident Evil 5 takes blackface into the HD era. It’s horror alright, just not the kind Capcom intended.

Find more history of black characters in games at The First 11 Black Videogame Stars. And the full trailer for RE5 at Gamersyde.

 Follow-up post Race in Games: Culture, Context, and Controversy

Thanks to those who have posted thoughtful responses. My main concern here is really for the perception of black countries. Over the years, many of them have been portrayed as uncivilized and recently a good deal has been done to change that thinking (particularly in Africa). But there’s still a lot more work to do.

I do understand the characters presented in the trailer are zombies. Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school long lived black stereotypes alarming. And that’s what my post is about.

So, perhaps the deeper question is: How are black countries and those who live in them portrayed in games now? How have they been portrayed in the popular media and movies? Is it on par with other peoples and places in the world? If so, maybe it is time for a game like this. If not, then how do we respond?

Note to commenters: I will delete your comment for name calling or generally being obnoxious. I will not delete your comment for disagreeing with me.

434 Responses to “Blackface Goes HD? The Case of Resident Evil 5”

  1. 1 Slython

    Resident Evil 1 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil 2 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Code: Veronica – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Survivor – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Gaiden – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil: Survivor 2 Code: Veronica – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Zero – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil: Dead Aim – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Outbreak – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil 4 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles – white people are zombies

    Resident Evil 5 – ZOMG AFRICANS?! RACISM

    Please, I’m sure the majority of ALL people won’t give a flying crap.

  2. 2 Jason

    Folks, please give the post a closer reading. I’m trying to wrestle with precisely the issue you mention — why prior RE games weren’t as upsetting as this one. I’m aware that the previous games featured a more diverse set of zombies.

  3. 3 Alex W

    ‘But perhaps the most troubling part is that these scenes seem to be set in Africa;’

    Yeah, I do find that the scenes would be better shot in Antartica. Superior contrast.

    Come on now they are zombies, if I was being as blindfolded as you i’d call you out for racism, since your saying zombies should only be white?

    Then again, a delay of a few decades should be enough for Africa to sort out its problems?


  4. 4 Jason

    Alex, I agree it’s a difficult issue. The point, though, is that there are still a lot of disturbing images of black people floating around so some sensitivity is required. And that sensitivity is particularly important because we’re finally starting to see a change in the popular perception of Africa.

  5. 5 Ivresse

    I’m sorry, but where exactly are you going with this?

    Are you saying that it’s alright for white people and spanish people (which can potentially be classified as latin people, since they were historically conquered by moors and have darker skin than white europeans) and suchlike to be given the flesh-eating zombie/mutant treatment, but because blacks have historically been victimised due to the colour of their skin, it is now not okay to give black people the same kind of position, and thus they deserve to be elevated higher than said whites and spaniards?

    I’m sorry, but not only does this classify you as racist towards whites and latins (and possibly towards the Japanese as they make the game and not white people), but this type of politically correct BS is what has caused the world to become far more unstable and dangerous than what the naive pc-minded numpties originally set it out to be. For pity’s sake, you’re doing far more harm than good with these kind of comments, and I hope that the potential backlash that you’re about to receive here makes you realise that you’ve taken things too far to the extreme and have completely destroyed any kind of equality you were originally hoping to obtain.

  6. 6 Kevin

    Why is it that people of color are so super-sensitized to any depiction of their race in any form of media, yet there are absolutely no hackles raised among people of non-white people when Caucasian characters are routinely obliterated in film, television, video games, etc… It’s ridiculous. Racism exists, yes…but many minorities (black people in particular) have learned to find it EVERYWHERE THEY LOOK. They need to get over it. This is a video game set in a country predominantly populated by black people. Does it make sense to have a bunch of white zombies as enemies, in the heart of Africa? No. People getting up in arms over crap like this is just laughable.

  7. 7 Dodongos

    Jason, this Africa merely looks like our Africa.
    This Africa is set in a world that is falling apart from zombie attacks everywhere. The developers probably chose Africa because its a change of scenery. Personally, I loved RE4 more than the others because it brought a fresh land to kill zombies in. I’m sure you loved it too.
    Also, they’re zombies. They just happen to be black. Because its set in Africa.

  8. 8 DaveDaGamer

    Hi Holy Hell I say!


    Just because games are now in HD and we are afforded the opportunity of UBER realism doesn’t mean we are now spreading racism.

    Black people are soooooooo sensitive (Yes I am Black) about how we are portrayed. Because of eons of misrepresentation, fine. But guess what? That doesn’t really happen any more, cuz when it does, we raise all high holy hell and something happens. People don’t like to look at themselves and see the ugly. Many filmakers are now deciding to show the UGLY, Hotel Rowanda, Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland, Black Hawk Down, Shaka ZULU!!!

    The white man doesn’t have to go and hunt down “Africans” they do it to themselves and laugh over greed. Blacks love to say, “My Brother” but the second you don’t give him what he wants he’ll stab you in the back for someone else. Racism that.

    This game aint no different than any of the others. It’s a game about someone’s right to live when there are things trying to kill them. “Oh my god these virus infected blood thirsty beings have black skin, I can’t shoot them because I’ll be labeled a racist, lemme just get eaten and wished i was in the previous game and they were white.”

  9. 9 Julian

    And what about the prevalent stereotype that, when faced with various forms of adversity, African Americans are too hasty to identify racism as the source of their problems? Perhaps you, as an African American blogger, have a responsibility not to perpetuate that particular stereotype.

    I’m of African descent myself – West Indian-Canadian to be specific – and I’m very disappointed that after one brief gameplay trailer, some African Americans are crying foul. The Black Looks article, in particular, seemed to be coming from a perspective of complete ignorance, given its remarks about the game being marketed to children.

    In your case, you at least claim to have played Resident Evil 4, but you argue that the difference between that game and what we’ve seen of Resident Evil 5 is that there are no Spaniards-as-savages stereotypes, which, unfortunately, cannot also be said for Africans.
    Fair enough, but I think we need to be less hasty to racialize everything so immediately, and with so little context.

    The supposedly racist connotations of the trailer didn’t even occur to me, and that’s the way it should be. I’m sure they didn’t occur to the game’s Japanese developers, and when the game is released and an explanation provided as to why the villagers are acting the way they are t-virus/parasitic mind control, etc., it shouldn’t occur to any reasonable player of the game, either.

    Jumping the gun and crying “racist!” does precisely the opposite, as far as I’m concerned.

  10. 10 Duh

    Black people in Africa?! That’s so racist!

  11. 11 JasonR

    What’s wrong with a game being set in Africa?

    They aren’t really black or white once they’ve been zombified, i’m sure there are a lot of positive things going on in africa these days and hopefully Capcom will be able to allude to these in their game. (Your making assumptions about how they might portray black zombies so im guessing about Story and additional characters )

    I don’t think I’m alone when i say as a gamer and a UK citizen I don’t often think about Africa that much but surely something that sheds some more light on a modern Africa can only be a good thing?

    To be honest not much is known about the game at this point so until it comes out or we all get some more concrete information about this release i think its all a bit alarmist to be calling anyone a Racist.

  12. 12 H& machine

    Man, do I agree with you (black myself).

    But, hell, I still want to kill some zombies.

    What if they just re skinned the game so that all the enemies were white, and the main character was black? That way they can sell two different versions. One for Black people and one for everybody else.

    I see that as the perfect compromise.

  13. 13 Aaron

    Should we avoid setting works of fiction in areas that are predominately black if those works of fiction have anything besides positive black characters? Doesn’t the rainbow/Disney treatment create it’s own, equally inappropriate, stereotypes?

    Your argument that the fact that the black people in the Resident Evil title are infected zombies is a reinforcement of negative stereotypes is probably a bit too early in my opinion. My guess from having played many Resident Evil games is that Chris will encounter someone in Africa that has avoided infection and that we will feel empathy for the civilization that was lost due to the biohazard. What is monstrous and scary about the T-virus is seeing normal people become killing monsters. If the stereotype is that we are just making monsters more monstrous, then it wouldn’t be as scary.

  14. 14 Bladestorm

    Look, Jason, I realize that you aren’t using the same take on this issue as some others are. (Those other people are blatant racists; but I wouldn’t say that about you)
    However, I honestly and sincerely believe that you really need to go *back* and re-examine precisely what you’re saying.
    “..why prior RE games weren’t as upsetting as this one.”
    Because the cause of your uneasiness really *isn’t* this game. It’s inside you. This is just growing pains. While although I can sympathize with your not wanting to see black people killed like this, you need to realize that it really is impossible to achieve equality so long as you want to see unequal treatment. That is, the only way equality can *ever* be achieved is if people, everyone, starts behaving as though everyone IS equal, and hoping that others will follow suit.
    So I’ll kill zombies.
    And I’ll have fun doing it.
    And I won’t care what they look like.
    And others will do the same. And we’ll ignore those people who may actually get pleasure from the fact that they’re black. And we’ll ignore those people who object solely because they’re black.
    Eventually, in time, treating everybody like they’re the same has a much better chance at making people *feel* the same than, say, insisting that they be indefinitely treated differently. Surely you can see that it can’t possibly *ever* end, so long as there are *any* sides insisting that we MUST focus on race, and MUST treat people differently based on that race? Regardless having the best possible intentions, it still propagates the belief that we’re different. It still propagates the belief that different rules for different folks is appropriate.

  15. 15 Alex W

    Not going to resort to swearing now, but to the person who said Loco Roco isnt racist…

    I’m undecided, but really now, know your history and you’ll spot something quite suspect about it…

    And cheers Jason for the considered response, my initial post was a bit goading but I was trying to get a point across. Its just I think theres never going to be a ‘sweet spot’ to set a game in africa. And I really do think the general public are ready to kill black zombies. Because they are zombies, not humans. I reckon people can identify the difference in their head. No-one is really going to believe the T-Virus has spread to africa – in real life.

  16. 16 dodongos

    H& machine, I don’t think your really black.

    Enjoy your pasty white skin.

  17. 17 Jason

    Thanks to those who have posted thoughtful responses. My main concern here is really for the perception of Africa. Over the years, it has been portrayed as uncivilized and recently a good deal has been done to change that thinking. But there’s still a lot more work to do.

    I do understand the characters presented in the trailer are zombies. Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school African stereotypes alarming. And that’s what my post is about.

    So, perhaps the deeper question is: how is Africa and how are Africans portrayed in games now? How have they been portrayed in the popular media and movies? Is it on par with other peoples and places in the world? If so, maybe it is time for a game like this. If not, then how do we respond?

  18. 18 H& machine

    Jason, did you ever think that the typical black stereotype is that of a zombie? A mindless, mass of muscle that only exists to eat and kill?
    Also, I think Who’s YOUR CADDEY does way more damage to the black community then this game ever will.

    Barring Stormfronts inevitable hack of the PC version of the game.

  19. 19 brains and corn bread

    This is all I have to say:

  20. 20 JasonR

    Well there have been tonnes of films about Africa (Last King Of Scotland being one that springs to mind) Games on the other hand have largely left it well alone.

    Films typically play up the violence that happens on the African Continent between real people as opposed to zombies, nobody thinks this is wrong.

    People watching these kinda films are much more likely to take away negative impressions as gamers have to concentrate on game play mechanics (shooting collecting survival), whereas you cinema audience has its full concentration on the content.

  21. 21 Igitur

    I’m spanish, so I speak spanish.
    Perdona pero los hispano – latinoamericanos han sido y son denigrados en una gran parte del mundo, quizás no tanto como la gente de color, pero si lo han sido, sino estudia un poco más.
    Lo importante del racismo es no querer encontrar diferencias donde no las hay, que un juego se ambienta en españa, los protagonistas son españoles, que se ambienta en africa, son africanos, y en china son chinos.
    Lo que si sería discriminación es que se ambientase en africa y sus personajes fuesen hispanos, blancos, chinos o japoneses…
    El racismo radica en la discriminación q hacen las personas con razón a lo que ven, y estoy seguro que en el mundo de los videojuegos (pues esto es un videojuego, no una crítica, un documental, …, es decir, es ciencia a ficción) muy poca gente ha observado ese aspecto, yo sin ir más lejos vi el video y me parecio bien, no vi discriminación de ningún tipo, y eso que de discriminación se, pues ademas de ser hispano soy gay y en africa por esto me matarían…
    A ver si reflexionamos antes lo que escribimos, porque el alarmismo y absurdo al que está llegando la sociedad raya la esquizofrenia

  22. 22 H& machine

    I can’t tell if you are oblivious to the actual conflicts in Africa.

  23. 23 Jason

    H& machine, I’m not oblivious to the conflicts in Africa but I think a lot of people are oblivious to the good things that happen there. That’s my concern. It seems we’re at a critical point for Africa’s world image, so there might be better times for RE5 to appear.

    To be clear: I’m not calling for any kind of ban on the game. But I would like to use it as a thought exercise. Where do we stand on presenting Africa in games?

  24. 24 obo

    Jason, what in that trailer is bringing up black sterotypes. It looks exactly like Resident Evil 4. Same animations, same running style, same camera movement, same everything.

    So whens it’s about Spaniards it’s okay, when it’s black people it digging up bad steroetypes.

  25. 25 obo

    First of all, we agree that game with zombies isn’t the best place to portray africa in a realistic setting. I’m pretty sure everyone knows this.

    Second, We look at what Africa really is. I’ve been to Nigeria. It’s not a good place. Its the definition of a 3rd world country. I’m going on a limb here and saying the rest of the continent isn’t much better.

    Third, If we are going to portray Africa in games, we have to let them do it. We can’t cry racism or insensitivity at everything. Africa is a nice place, and I don’t expect Disney movies there.

  26. 26 Jason

    Jason, what in that trailer is bringing up black sterotypes. It looks exactly like Resident Evil 4. Same animations, same running style, same camera movement, same everything.

    Obo, good point. I think H& machine hit on something when he put it this way: “did you ever think that the typical black stereotype is that of a zombie? A mindless, mass of muscle that only exists to eat and kill?”

    You’re right that it looks somewhat like RE4 but in a different country with different skin color. And I think that it’s good that a big game franchise is taking a look at Africa.

    But I also wonder what impact this view of Africa will have to people who might already have a fairly negative impression of the place (conflict, famine, and genocide seem to be most of what we hear about in the news). We see a more positive view of other places in the world in the media and games so there’s something pushing back in people’s heads when RE4 is set in Spain, for example. I fear there is less to counteract negative views of Africa.

  27. 27 krzyspc

    I understand you pov H& machine

    But there is a problem with your pov, that these are not black people, they are zombies. It doesn’t matter what colour they are, all zombies need to die. They don’t represent any stereotype, as a zombie is and just is.

    Then you touch base with movies and how they portrayed Africa, Hotel Rawanda, Blood Diamonds, Last King of Scotland. I think they don’t make people think Africa is a waste land filled with killers. Those movies touch the human element that exsist in times of hardship and chaos. They need to be made in order to give a better understanding on how life can people for other people. If you don’t know history, than you are bound to repeat it.

    You are just being a sensitive bitch!

  28. 28 krzyspc

    Opps I mean Jason.

  29. 29 Lawlz

    We’ve already killed white people, black people and spaniards in RE series so why the hell is it racist now if we do already killed black people 11 years ago?

  30. 30 Erik

    I’m going to try real hard not to be upset at the attention everyone who mentions racism, in regards to this game, is getting. I’ve been around long enough to know that NOTHING in the whole world sparks opinions/anger/heated debate like a good rascism discussion. I play videogames, since the Atari 2600, I’m black, and I’m in my mid-30’s.

    I despise the Madden games, I wasn’t a fan of Grand Theft Auto, and Scarface and the Godfather are not classics in my mind. In case you are wondering what they have to do with anything… they’re typically the games/movies blacks gravitate towards. I say this because whenever one of our celebrities is asked this question, one of those entertainment titles are mentioned. Except Terrance Howard. A videogame reporter asked him if he played videogames, and he said “no”. He said something to the fact that he had other things to do. Someone to look up to, if you ask me.

    Did you ever notice that during any episode of cribs (on Mtv), that the first DVD a rapper or sports star pulls out of their collection is either Scarface, or Godfather? Not ‘Do the Right Thing’ or ‘He Got Game’… they pull out movies about white people killing each other, and glorifying criminal behavior.

    Back to the point at hand… how is it that you folks look past the entire first half of the trailer, to the point when the zombies start attacking the white protagonist? You ignore the dialog that will mean absolutely nothing to anyone that didn’t play at least one of the games dealing with the main storyline. Because you don’t know what he’s talking about, you spin it into a racist tirade and support it with the acts of violence that follow. There’s a backstory here. The trailer is meant to entice Resident Evil fans to want the game. It’s not for you.

    You ignored the scene with the crowd and the podium. The hanging body (thank God it was upside down), and their outrage. As a gamer, that has played the previous RE’s, I can speculate that the body was a zombie… and the crowd is asking the official next to it what are they doing to help them. You ignored the scene where the protagonist walked into the house, and interupted two men (one black) from putting something into anothers mouth. Obviously monstrous because of what happens next. The fact that this is all taking place in Africa helps me see how far the evil corporation, from the game, reaches.

    This attention by obvious non-gamers is disturbing. There’s really only one reason you folks are so upset at this trailer… the black folks look too real. They have realistic skin texture and tone, the hair looks like my hair. Their body movements are believable. Gone are the days when being represented as black was taking one of the white models, and making the skin brown.

    You titled your piece “Blackface goes HD”… and I take offense to THAT. Mainly, because the first picture you see on this page, is a very African looking man (of which I have no problem), being taken over by a monster… and it’s not attractive. You associate Capcoms skill at trying to accurately render a people, into a barbaric practice of whites donning black grease paint, with thick white lips. How very tabloid of you.

    The entire fiasco is almost like the ‘beautiful blacks’ trying to tell the world “we don’t look like that”, from behind straigtened hair, and blue contact lenses.

  31. 31 hoos30


    Thanks for your well reasoned post. As a Black man, the RE5 trailer had the opposite effect on me. I am excited that mainsteam entertainment media outlets are beginning to place people of African decent in prominent roles in movies and games. It is much better than being ignored. Of course one hopes that the emotional and intellectual range of these characters will span the entire spectrum, but I consider this game to be progress. We shall see in the end results.

  32. 32 Jason

    Erik, apologize if you found the title offensive. I realize the term is sensitive and perhaps I overreached in trying to shed light on an issue that I think is important.

    I didn’t mean to imply that a dark skinned man is by defnition “blackface” but rather the bugged out eyes and dumb expression. That representation seemed a bit close to stereotype to me.

    Your analysis of the trailer is interesting. If the hanging body was indeed a zombie then that adds a good twist to what we’ve seen. I hope Capcom is headed that direction because I can imagine it possibly leading to a place where the game humanizes Africans instead of dehumanizing them. That would be wonderful.

  33. 33 Confused

    First off, let me say that I went from to then to here. Your blog is posted on a link on the front page of Black Looks which is why you are receiving a less than warm reception considering the racist attitude that Ms. Kim Platt potrayed in her comments following her article. Second, while I sincerely appreciate and accept your view and concern I think it’s worth noting there has been no confirmation that this game takes place in Africa. It very well could take place in South America, or in Haiti (which with proper zombie research would make sense). So before people cry wolf or foul perhaps it’s important to gather up the facts of this situation. Now it doesn’t take the most sagacious person to know that this game is not made by Americans. It is infact as I’m sure you know made in Japan. Capcom is very well known very being a racially sensitive developer as has been seen in their Mega-man franchise. Since the game is still in development can you really say that even if this game takes place in Africa that it is depicting Africa in a negative light? Or are you upset because it depicts Black Africans in a negative light? Wouldn’t it be entirely possible that once this game is released you might find that it empowers Africa? My friend, the glass does not always have to be half-empty. You have focused your concern on the negative impacts of this game and not even for a second taken the time to consider any positive nor at any point do you mention anything positive. Don’t live in fear. The first thing I personally thought when I saw this trailer was “Oh man this game looks great! It’s such a change from the previous locations I can’t wait!”. It wasn’t until I watched it several times did I even begin to think to myself about the racial complaints people would have. Now that I’ve witnessed them, I confess myself very saddened. In a way. I see this game as an oppurtunity to inform a younger adult generation of the trials and strife that the people in Africa live through. I don’t see it as hate or negative. It’s reality, and reality isn’t always a mellifluous stream of roses.

  34. 34 Brandon Undead

    You’re cherry picking your examples. Did you know Black Hawk Down is based on a true story? Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of games, books, and video games featuring prominent white villains on all scales of intelligence and deviousness? Political correctness has gone insane on a mind-staggering level.

    Popular black culture is the only thing now perpetuating a negative view of black people. Blame misogynistic, violent, and racist rappers for modern “misrepresentation” of blacks. They are what is holding down black communities and encouraging impressionable youth to hate.

    Also, to say that black have been unfairly stereotyped any more than whites, blacks, Spaniards, or any other nationality is biased, unfair, and ignorant. That statement is ridiculous.

    The game is set in a predominantly black area of the world, and, if it is indeed Africa, those people look African to me. Sorry. Would it have been more appropriate to lighten their skin, or change their characteristics? You just don’t like their physical features? I’m confused here?

    You used as your example still frames of people in intense situations, screaming in apparent pain or horror, and engaged in combat. Surely you don’t think that those expressions are meant to represent how the typical black male walks around. Way to take things out of context.

    I’m afraid I’m ranting here, so let me just say that this is silly.

  35. 35 Jason

    hoos30, thanks for the thoughts. I mentioned the consideration of Africa in one of my replies as well. And that’s important even if we don’t start out in the best place.

    And the question here, I suppose is: is this the best place? Considering it’s a trailer, there’s only so much to go on and Erik made some good points about a more positive direction it could possibly be heading. It’s possible. But it’s also possible that Capcom might be heading down a disturbing road. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

    Honestly, I just wanted to open up the discussion. We’re having it now and I’m glad to see it.

  36. 36 HomicideSIN

    wait, so … what?
    Shooting white and spanish zombies is fine, but when they want to shoot blacks in africa that’s somehow offlimits?

    who’s the real racist here? =/

  37. 37 Joker

    Let’s go over a few points here…

    1. Resident Evil 0-Code Veronica (which all together was about 6 or 7 games, if you count the survivor series) were about a virus that turn people into zombies. The virus was originally based on the Ebola Virus, which came from Africa. So, now the game is going it would seem to where everything started…Africa. Hence black people.

    2. The previous games have all had white main characters killing other white zombies (although you can’t really tell most of there races as they’re so decomposed). Resident Evil 4 was set in spain, and you did nothing but kill Spaniards who acted the same exact way as the creatures in the Resident Evil 5 video act. So it’s alright to show the Spanish as zombies, but not black people? Are you racist against the Spanish?

    3. The game is not even made by white people, it’s made in Japan, by the Japanese.

    4. The plot of the game is that you have to stop a viral infection. So are you saying that the main character should not go to Africa to try and put down the infestation of these parasites and help the non-infected black people? Are you saying we should let the black people in this universe all die becasue you might have to kill a few black zombies? Maybe you’re the racist here.

  38. 38 Factivel

    I recall in RE4 (the one in Spain)that Luis Sera is a 28-year-old Spaniard who befriends Leon (protagonist) early in the game. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the lead roles in RE5 will be a local to the setting. This character, much like Luis, will probably revel major plot points to the story. This is just a theory, but I think it wouldn’t surprise many gamers familiar to the franchise if this occurs.

  39. 39 rmed64

    Jason, you seem to have this thought that Africa is this great place where, quite frankly, no bad shit goes down. There is good things and bad things happening in every country and continent around the world. Yes Africa has an AIDS epidemic and big crisis like Darfur and the genocides that are taking place. Babies, GOD DAMN 3 YEAR OLD BABIES that are being raped by “soldiers”.

    Yes Jason, bad shit does happen in Africa.

    Now onto RE5. Resident Evil is a franchise game series that has been around for over a decade now, with just about all the games being created by the Japanese company, Capcom.

    The previous games all had predominantly white zombies (RE0-Code Veronica). Then came RE4, which had spaniards or latin inhabitants as zombies.

    Now comes RE5, with black African zombies.

    Why should you feel “queasy” shooting black zombies, but have no problem shooting white or Latin zombies?

    What makes black zombies so special that they can’t be shot at with the same disregard that you would shoot white/latin zombies in the other games? A human being is a human being, no matter what color you are.

    I mean, are you gonna sit there and tell me if a black person broke into your home, you would not pull out your 9mm and pop him in the head without even thinking twice? I know I would, and I am black.

    A good person is a good person, a bad person is a bad person. A black zombie has every right to be shot at just like a white zombie or any other color zombie would.

    Black people have to really stop their shit with being so sensitive to issues that have no foundation of racism present.

  40. 40 Sien

    Just figured I’d point out that the assumptions about what will comprise the majority of the game have been made based on what, five minutes of footage? Out of what will minimum be a twenty-hour long game. Please tell me you at least noticed all those screens and video came from the exact same area in the game as well?

    For all you know, you’re going through ONE small village to get into a facility beneath, where you’ll be able to kill plenty of white people, Asians, Mexicans, and what have you, but god forbid any more black people. Which would also of course mean (In my hypothetical situation) that a Black person wouldn’t be portrayed as part of the intelligent team that orchestrated such a biological weapon, but of course, we can’t kill them, so their out.

  41. 41 Michael

    I don’t think putting down spaniards helps out the issue here. Killing Zombies in Africa (besides I think the game is based in Haiti) is no different them killing them in a mansion, or in a town. Beside how exactly were we supposed to know that the original zombies were white anyways? Their skin was pale, gray and decaying. You can’t call racism here. Besides you’re trying to make it out to be against the so called “White man”. The makers and producers are Japanese

  42. 42 Chris

    How are blacks portrayed? quite often as knee-jerk, oversensitive racists such as yourself. This is not intended to be name calling, but as an adult white male I can attest that I NEVER hear or see real racism amongst any of my friends or acquaintances. The only place racism ever seems to come up is when black people call white people racist for something that is so clearly NOT racist. I could sit here and type all day about the different double standards we have in our society. Black people are constantly heard complaining about being put down and how they need to feel empowered and proud; but if a white person said that he’d be called a racist. Black comedians make fun of white people more than rappers “sing” about killing each other, but if a white comedian ever did bits making fun of the way black people talk or act, he’d be dubbed a racist.

    Point is, racism will continue to exist as long as black people insist it exists, if for no other reason than a lot of us white people only feel racist towards blacks when we’re regularly being falsely accused of racism. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it’s time you stopped encouraging it.

  43. 43 Miller

    whats the big deal. no one said nothing about 50 cent killing white people. and they wernt zombies.

  44. 44 Ethan

    I’m not an avid video game player, and perhaps this makes my perspective a bit different. Honestly I do find the images alone disturbing because it stirs up whatever racial stereotyping you’ve got embedded deep down, which EVERYONE does have even if they don’t admit to it. It’s just a fact of life that everyone has preconceptions, and many of them border on racism and sexism. And many of those preconceptions come from imagery we see, read, hear about people. Picture this, you’re walking down a dark alley with no one else around. How would you react if you see a black man come coming towards you in the other direction. What if the man was white? What if he’s asian? What if it’s a woman? I don’t believe you if you tell me that your reactions (if not overtly, then at least internally such as a raised heart rate) would not be different depending on who it is. And I suspect that more people would have heightened awareness and raised blood pressures if that person were a black man rather than a white man or an asian woman, and it’s in large part to all the negative imagery we’ve seen of black men.

    I think you are all fooling yourselves if you think that (1) we can ignore the negative perceptions people have of African Americans just because slavery ended here over a century ago – remember that the civil rights era was just 50 years ago, and (2) you can separate a zombie from what it looks like (“they’re zombies, not black people”). Isn’t realistic graphics one of the major reasons video games have been so successful? If you don’t care what the zombies look like, then they shoulda just made them stick figures and saved millions of dollars.

    To Bladestorm, you’ve got a point – “it really is impossible to achieve equality so long as you want to see unequal treatment”. But, there’s a time for that, and I don’t personally believe that the time is now. It will be many years before we can really get rid of initiatives like affirmative action and expect to see equalization throughout – how many blacks, women, or minorities do you see at the top in companies? I’m an educator at an engineering school which if you all don’t know is a highly male dominated field, and you know what, my undergraduate classes average 95% white males. I’m lucky if there’s one black student or woman out of every class of 25, and that’s WITH affirmative action!

    To DaveDaGamer, you said “Because of eons of misrepresentation, fine. But guess what? That doesn’t really happen any more, cuz when it does, we raise all high holy hell and something happens.” – YOU ARE LIVING IN A DREAM. And you’ve got issues when you say: “Blacks love to say, “My Brother” but the second you don’t give him what he wants he’ll stab you in the back for someone else. Racism that.” – wtf is that? IMO, you lost all credibility.

    Admittedly, portraying spaniards as zombies may also be playing into some latin stereotypes, and you can’t make a final judgement until the game’s out. But, I think Jason’s got a point to think about – “what impact this view of Africa will have to people who might already have a fairly negative impression of the place”. Perhaps you all should really think about what your preconceived stereotypes are and where they came from.

  45. 45 dragonsaiyan

    so black people are zombies.
    i am confused

  46. 46 Herc

    Well you focus on this update how you were concerned about the portrayal of Africa and its people, but the original post had you painting the game as a racist tool to “teach them young” (despite being rated M) to destroy blacks.

    This would probably be why you’ve created so much negative feedback. Also a responder up top, Julian, made a a good point if anything you’re perpetuating such racism and prejudice. No one intended to take it in that direction and no one did, until you created this ridiculous over-analytical blog. You knew you were wrong in the original blog about the destroying black comments, so you try to cover your tail by creating this one, and your heartfelt concern about Africa and its denizens.

    You’ll better yourself and the ideas you stand for if you go out and achieve goals and prove your worth, instead of perpetuating concerns where they don’t exist.

  47. 47 Duh

    Have you actually watched the trailer? Do you notice that at the beginning, he’s not killing any black people? That’s because he’s not killing black people. He’s killing zombies. And being in Africa, in a particular area where many black people live, it’s not surprising that those zombies are black.

    And these stereotypes you discribe? “With bulging eyes, simian super strength, and a room temperature IQ, we’ve been portrayed as savages beyond redemption.” That sounds like a zombie to me, regardless of the color of the skin. God, your article is the most offensive part of this whole thing. You’ve stared a nice shit storm.

  48. 48 Shions_Glasses

    I think the real issue for the game, isn’t just that the zombies are black, as some of the commenter’s are saying, (there were a few black zombies in previous RE games), but that it is a white man killing them, a white man who isn’t even in his own country no less. It is impossible to deny the imagery of imperialism, and therefore racism inherent with this concept of this game. If the main character was a black person from the same country as the zombies, the game would send a much better message. Of course there is still the possibility of this happening, but for now all the images we have are of a white man killing stereotypical “savage” black people.

  49. 49 PeeJay

    I would wait to see the context of the level in the game. The gameplay shown looks to be from one locale. If you did play the last one im sure you know it is a Huge sprawling game ranging from levels in villages, to castles to underground labs on bond villain islands.
    Plus if it is all caused by umbrella corporation, the behind the scenes bad guys behind the other games, then you could argue it all comes down to the big business keeping people down. The zombies are the unfortunates etc. I dunno. I just feel with so little info on the game, its too quick to judge.

  50. 50 Zilor

    Equality among races, well I think that if we’re going to be equal and all, it’s about damned time that everyone gets treated the same, and this means stop with the over sensitivity to anything ‘black’. Its fine to kill white people in games and movies, kill to many black people though and you’re racist. Its fine to make fun of white people, make fun of black people though and you’re racist. Its fine for a black man/woman to prefers dating other black people; if a white guy/girl prefers dating white people then they must be racist.

    Yeah the Zombies are black and yes it looks a lot like Africa. I didn’t see anything in that trailer that made me think for a second that’s how black people really are. I mean most if not all people have met black people in day to day life, and I doubt very much if it was a common occurrence for them to be throwing things at you, speaking in a tongue you couldn’t understand, or whatever else this trailer is supposed to make you think.

    More over, I’m tired of everyone’s damned whining about how they are portrayed in media, the Venezuelan government is all pissy right now cause of Mercenaries 2, like people will play Mercs2 and thing “Hey, it’s all way and blowing things up in Venezuela.” and honestly, if there are people stupid enough to base their opinions on real world people from games and movies, to hell with them, they’re idiots and if it isn’t one thing that swayed their simple little minds it’d be another.

    There is just so much stuff that makes it impossible for me to care when people have a cause that may mean something, this isn’t about RE5 here or anything else, it’s to do with the fact that yes there are some valid issues and concerns, but far too many black people and other races use white people as a scapegoat for all their problems. Take the guy from greys anatomy that got kicked off for insulting that gay dude, when they finally decided to axe him he turned around and said it was because he was black, and that all the whites were afraid of a strong tall black man, like it had nothing to do with calling some guy a faggot on set.

    It’s stuff like that, pathetic usage of race, that just generally leaves me with apathy for any and all of other races problems.

    This falls into that, making a big deal about a damned game, a game that is played primarily among those who are 18-35 (or something close to that). Ages that are well past any point where they are going to have any chance of being influenced by a game.

    Stop crying wolf I guess, as a race, just give it a rest. When there are real issues and real points I just do not care because I’m tired of hearing how us whites are holding black people back from everything. Jobs, Homes, Acting apparently… Pretty much anything that they don’t have.

    This is propagated by the black people I know, from the black people on TV, from the black people online. I don’t think its racism or generalization if the majority really does do it, even if it isn’t a fun thing to admit.

    Not everything that has black people involved or in it has to be about racism for god’s sake.

  51. 51 Seifer

    Can’t be bothered reading all the comments apart from Jasons, but the whole topic of discussion is laughable.

    “I’m trying to wrestle with precisely the issue you mention — why prior RE games weren’t as upsetting as this one. I’m aware that the previous games featured a more diverse set of zombies.”

    And why is it more upsetting than the other series ? Is it because you are not killing White Europeans like you did in RE4 ? or white americans in the other Predecessors.

    The fact that you believe black people have been misrepresented more than white people is plain ignorant. All races have been portrayed in media as rapists, murders, criminals at some point in time. To want the media to exclude one race from such activities is the real racism here.

    You have changed your opinion that this is for the cause of debate on how africa and africans are portrayed in games, However your initial blog post and the research you have done into games is no where near enough to be making your proposed claims.

    The only racism here is coming from people like you who differentiate the difference between white and black people. The thought of racism never came into my mind until I saw this thread, and as a work of FICTION, it has no influence on my opinion on africa or africans. The fact that you consider this sort of genre acceptable in every other country and race except africa and africans is the racist issue here.

    Bit thanks for keeping racism alive Jason.

  52. 52 mongoose

    Do we REALLY know the game is to be set in Africa? No.
    Do we really know(if there is an Africa level) that will be the only place you get to go to? No.
    Do we know if those will be the only enemies? No.
    Do we know if Jar Jar Binks is going to make an appearance? No.
    Conclusion: Wait for the game to come out, then make your accusations about racism.

  53. 53 C'mon

    C’mon dude the zombies have always been white and now 1 game in the series has black zombies and everybody bitches and moans … C’mon go play Grand Theft Auto 4 because in that game you can kill white people with a black man. For the love of god, grow up.

  54. 54 C'mon

    oh and the mission in Resident Evil games have not been to destroy all the zombies … is it. For example in Resident Evil 4, Leon S. Kennedy had to save the presidents daughter and nothing else.

  55. 55 wegfeqf

    has this article not been taken down yet?

  56. 56 mongoose

    Add-On: (sorry about double post)
    Do we know if Re5 is in a Black Country? No.
    Do we know if there will be a black playable character other than Chris? No.

  57. 57 wegfeqf

    Capcom doesn’t care about black people

  58. 58 wegfeqf

    i think that Resident Evil 5 is worse than hitler. If i ever play this game i will put my foot through the screen

    and send capcom the bill!!!!

  59. 59 Pigment

    There is no white man shooting black people. There is no color to this at all, there is the living versus the dead (or infected in this case). You see this has nothing to do with race, but has everything to do with setting. From a game company’s standpoint you have to note that 0-3 took place in the USA in the fictional Midwestern town of Raccoon City, an all-American affair. The (technically) 4th game, Code Veronica, took place in Europe just off the coast somewhere. The 6th game, Resident Evil 4, took place in and around Spain (more or less). The pattern here is that since the third installment of the series the franchise has moved around from locale to locale infusing a new and interesting development in the overall plot by inserting reactions by different cultures. Logically, to keep people from getting bored with it, they need to keep expanding their thinking about what areas and cultures to include. Honestly, how could setting part of the story in Africa be construed as racist?

    You’ll note that from the AI behavior of the full RE5 trailer the infected, mechanically speaking, are no different than the mobs of bloodthirsty infected from RE4. They come at you in groups throwing sharp objects and armed with whatever makeshift weapons can be found throughout their village/city/what have you. RE4 was a complete shift in game play from the older titles in the series, and given that it was wildly popular for that and various other reasons Capcom would want to capitalize on that. Keeping in line with the sort of rustic themes and lo-tech approaches of a more rural people, as well as to not dwell too long on the European setting, Africa was a solid choice for the location. Huh? There are indigenous people there that are of a dark complexion? Perfect, then they shall be used as locals in the game. Before the argument is made that there are white people in Africa as well, I will go ahead and acknowledge that fact, but as a counterpoint we have not been given any true indication they do not appear in the game as zombies or infected.

    I think the bottom line is to take the game into exotic settings that thrusts the average gamer out of their comfy surroundings and immerses them more into the survival horror feeling of the game itself. The world and its people should not be kept censored for fear of racism, putting dividers between people is just as bad. It’s a game that seeks to entertain, not teach hate, not kill black people, and definitely not lead the way in racist propaganda. This should be a non-issue.

  60. 60 Roy

    I respectfully voice my opinion (like the majority of opinion) think your argument is incorrect.

    As a Chinese guy (Taiwan woot woot), I would not be offended if Resident Evil 6 took place in China, and had Chinese zombies getting gunned down by white dudes and the token, hyper sexed out asian dragon lady stereotype of the Resident Evil series, Ada Wong. I would however, be offended if the zombies went “ching chang chong” and were offensive stereotypical caricatures.

    In RE5’s case, I don’t see anything offensive or stereotypical. Looking at daily news images from Liberia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Cameroon, Niger, Guinea, Togo, and many many many others, there has been a pretty consistent theme of

    -Dirt, sand, and dust.

    If the descriptions of zombies are too close (in your opinion) to racist black stereotypes, that’s a unfortunate coincidence. Did these zombies have swollen gigantic lips, steal watermellons, and act like ‘tards? NO.

    So i’m not offended, and refuse to believe any rational black people (not all black people are from africa, hence “african-american” is a fallacious term) would be offended as well

  61. 61 Gabe

    First off, it’s just a trailer so far. We have absolutely no idea of the storyline behind RE5.

    Secondly, look at RE4 and its storyline (there are spoilers here). The game was set in Spain and featured Leon from RE2 gunning down countless zombie-like Spaniards. Yet, at the end of the game, you find out that the village, which was depicted as absolutely horrid, was subjugated against its will, and, through a montage of still images, you find that it returns to its idyllic state at the end. Who’s to say that the same won’t happen to the African village in RE5?

    Third, I’m tremendously tired of people crying racism every single time a black person (might be) portrayed in a negative light. Take the children’s book, Nappy Hair, from a few years back. Parents raised a misinformed furor over the title, without realizing that the book was about a child celebrating her African-American heritage.

    Another thing, RE4 was set in Spain, and ::gasp:: Spanish people were killed. Now, as a Spanish person was I offended? No. I thought it was rather cool that an RE game was actually set in a foreign country for once. But no one raised over a furor over that setting. Why? Is it okay for me to die because my people weren’t enslaved or endured racism?

    Now, as for your update, that is a more thoughtful premise. In order to address racism, I think we need to speak about issues like that, rather than immediately drawing conclusions about something that hasn’t even been released yet. I say leave the game as it is, and, after its released, host some sort of discussion about the portrayal of African countries in today’s media. Its just too bad that most people won’t actually be focused on things that can actually end racism, but rather crying out, “He’s killing black people!”

  62. 62 James

    I’m not sure where you’re going with the perception of black countries thing here. I watch alot of educational channels on t.v. (discovery, discovery science, travel, etc..) and the reality is that black countries range from being primative and practically third world to something like our cities in the U.S. I don’t see the Africans being portrayed as being savages or anything along those lines in the trailer at all. I’m not sure which trailer you watched, but there’s even a part where Chris (the white guy) is just walking along side of them in a market setting with no shooting or violence going on.

    I’m surprised you didn’t find RE 4 disturbing… all the spaniards are portrayed as if they never bathe or wash their clothes.

    We can’t really judge what Capcom may be attempting to portray here by trailer’s from a game that probably won’t be out until late 2008. These trailers were not released for the general public, they were released for the hardcore RE fans that need as much info on this game as they possibly can. It’s not about color with us, it’s about seeing one of our favorite characters fighting off some other crazy attempt by Umbrella to make the ultimate biological weapon (or some other crazy company like Umbrella).

    If you’re trying to springboard into a general conversation about how Africa is portrayed in games, it’s admirable, but I think this is the wrong game to do it with.

  63. 63 mongoose

    Is RE-5 supposed to be in Africa, because my sources(always wanted to say that) state that it is supposed to be in a desert area and the story is to be similar to Black Hawk Down? However, if all info is true then this leaves Egypt and the Sahara. Both of the areas have other people then blacks. ALL areas blacks are in have other people in them than blacks. Besides it takes a lot more than the racial majority of a country to make it what it is. America is a fine example. Even if the country does look crappy, what if it is not the local population’s fault? What if there was a raid on the area by a bunch of white people and they are rebuilding their town? And there is always the idea that the location majority of the game may not even be in Africa(IF it is in Africa, MGS2 is an example of this(I.E. there were two locations in the game).

  64. 64 mongoose

    Final Statement:

  65. 65 Razziel

    I’m sorry, but I really have to disagree with you as a whole. In the game series, Resident Evil, zombies start out as a virus that is contained in a mansion. Then it turns into an outbreak in a city. As the game series went on, zombies became an epidemic, now with resident evil 4 and 5, they’re making it into a pandemic. If anything, having black zombies in this game is equality more than anything else. The game is taking on a global scale, and to have all white zombies in Africa would be far more unjust.

    Additionally, I think you give the media far, far, FAR too much credit. If anyone gets a bad concept of black people because of a video game, they’ve got to be pretty stupid to start, and anyone that stupid is going to cling on to things much louder than a game, things like biased news or political propaganda. In my experience, most of that people who play resident evil are smarter than the average. This is because the game isn’t easy, in fact, it can be down right brutal if you don’t think fast.

    If you really want to look at a problem though, turn to the music industry. Black zombies won’t phase anyone. If anything, your reaction to the zombies being black proves you harbor latent racist feelings. Let me explain, I saw the trailer and honestly, I thought nothing of there being black zombies, in fact, I didn’t have it truly dawn on me until I read the stink about it. I just thought more zombies want to eat my brains and I’m going to kill them.

    For you to immediately have issues with their skin color says you’re in some way racist, most likely against the white majority. This isn’t the same kind of racism as white against black racism was though. This is more a showing of you having a perception that white people still are heavily and actively racist against blacks. I can tell you, of the white people I know, probably only 1-3% of them act differently around blacks who aren’t dressed “ghetto.” In the other hand, many blacks who dress “ghetto” claim that white people are trying to keep them down for some reason or another. I’m not saying you’re like the “ghetto” youth, but your are thinknig along the same vein in some ways.

    My honest belief is that white racism is overplayed and only as prevalent as it is now (and thats not too much) because it gets talked about all the time by blacks and the media. If I get told that I hate something for long enough, eventually I’m going to start to act differently around it. That is more the source of modern racism than anything else.

    If Capcom makes a big deal in the game about black zombies, I won’t play it because I think that would be twisted, but if they just accept it at face value, I’ll probably love the game.

  66. 66 Left Wing

    Ok. i believe that this game is gona force many children to kill anyone and everyone they come into contact this game should get pulled. we all know that this is going to be rated M but children will still be able to buy it with the money their parents give them. for the love of god the game depicts a man killing people! this is so profound. (honestly people once you stop making race a big deal, it becomes less of a deal) Dear lord this man shouldnt be killing human beings. this is just soo wrong i have never seen this before in a game. why doesn’t capcom see that this is showing the children or anyone that plays these barberic games how to kill people. good god i am soo happy that the majority of video games don’t depict (killing, stealing, drug usage, violence, or blood)

  67. 67 Shecky

    Seriously Jason, get a clue. If you want to have black people and Africa treated equally as every other race and continent you have to accept equal treatment. If groups were to shy away from the bad stories coming out of africa simply because it may impact poorly on the African image, that itself would be unfair.

    That said, to claim having RE5 set in africa is “too soon” and will impact negatively on people’s views of the real world place. Please suggest, and provide a rational explanation as to when RE5 would be OK to be made and set in Africa. 10 years from now? 20 years from now? A century? There’s no “when” that will be good enough for people who think like you. Stop acting as the perpetual victim, and accept your place as equals on the world stage, which includes all the bad with all the good.

  68. 68 Duh

    Clearly they need to make this main character who was white in previous games black all of a sudden, and make all the Africans white. Then it will be fine.

  69. 69 Fargo

    The author asks:

    “How are black countries and those who live in them portrayed in games now? How have they been portrayed in the popular media and movies? Is it on par with other peoples and places in the world? If so, maybe it is time for a game like this. If not, then how do we respond?”

    Of course Africa and Africans are portrayed differently then other peoples and places because it is a different place and they are different people. Africa is portrayed in many movies as being very poor. I’ve lived in Africa…I would say that some, very few to be honest, places are beautiful and wealth is abundant…but in most places Africa is crazy poor. I would not say that this is a fault of the people that live there. I would attribute the problems in Africa to the terribly corrupt governments in Africa. It would blow your mind as to how corrupt these governments are. The $40 a month you send to the starving child in Africa is actually going to whatever leader rules his country. He may see a nickel of that $40…if he is very fortunate. I would say that the trailer in RE5 portrayed Africa (just the country, not the individuals) very accurately. As for the individuals…yes they may look a little odd…but they are supposed to be zombies and this is a video game…white people look silly in video games very often. It is not real life folks. Black people may look more silly just because most programmers are unfamiliar with doing models for black people (most Capcom games do not have black people.) I think this will be an amazing game. I think the people that it is geared towards (not children…if you think this is geared toward children you are ignorant…the average age of gamers is 30) will know that the idea was not to have a white guy killing blacks. People need to grow up and quit playing the race card. I’m sick of it.

  70. 70 David

    I think the whole racism thing gets pretty old.

    Yes, we shouldn’t forget the past, but we should also learn from it. Thus, we shouldn’t give a fork (or spoon, or whatever) about the color of anybodys skin and NOT get all upset when we see “our race” (although technically there’s just *one* “race”, namely humans) or rather our color getting shot in form of a zombie.

    Black people can be the good guys (ie. Blade) or bad guys (ie. Simon Phoenix). Sometimes they’re even the same actor.

    So what’s wrong with black zombies? At least it’s something new, and killing zombies is generally done to protect the still living people of the area the zombies are in. Thus you’re probably out to actually protect black people.

    My name is David, I’m white as snow, and I know a lot of people of different ethnicities. I never gave a Zig about where anybody or their parents came from, and never cared much about the whole thing about being careful not to sound racist, because, frankly – that MAKES you racist.

  71. 71 WiNG

    Kym Platt’s blogpost is irresponsible, and any further attempts to slander this game, based on what, 30 seconds of footage, is ridiculous.

    In all previous games, people of every color are turned into “savages” after getting infected by the T Virus. The games however got stale, always taking place in USA cities or various Euro castle-eque areas.

    Kym Platt is sensationalizing this entire thing, then posts about how some “gamers” called her the N word. Of course she doesn’t mention that 90% of the replies on her post were well thought out, and for all she knows, the problem posts were made by fellow blacks trying to incite anti gamer hate for some reason.

  72. 72 Euro Reader

    Wow, racism is it?

    First of all, how else do you want to represent Africa? I mean, switch on the news and you only hear of civil war, international war, famine and death about Africa nowadays and while it isn’t true for the entire continent, generally that’s what you hear.

    How can one “humanize” Africa when it clearly isn’t without creating a very fictional fake world? And Resident Evil isn’t set in a parrel universe, but ours… To see racism is to be racist, and unfortunately this article (and some others) just prove this is still far too rampant.

    This isn’t coming from a white guy either, so don’t make it seem as if I’m being racist because then, well I’m racist against myself. All I want is entertainement and realism (so not portraying Africa as something it isn’t, like an oasis of technology, modernization, engineering, etc.) and RE is doing that so far.

    If you’re unhappy, I think you should try to make a video game showing Africa the way you want it, maybe then you’ll realize why so few people even bother.

  73. 73 Albin

    I think i would shoot anything that tried to kill me if i had a gun =\

  74. 74 Craig West

    Wow, how you see racism in this is beyond me, lets all put white people into a game portrayed in AFRICA! It’s just idiotic to even assume the “White man” is even making this game, it’s all Japanese people making it so your argument fails.

  75. 75 JM

    Come to think of it, why weren’t there black zombies in the first few RE games? There certainly are black people living all over the US, including the midwest. Maybe all the black people were smart enough to get out BEFORE all hell broke loose.

    Kidding aside, you can’t generally help what offends you, or what causes ‘uneasiness’ in this case. And I see nothing wrong with expressing that uneasiness, even in Kym Platt’s case. The trailer in question IS designed to provoke emotion, first and foremost. I don’t think that emotion was intended to be based on racial tensions, but I can easily see how it can come out that way, depending on the background of the person viewing it.

    I’m white, male, and a big fan of the RE games by the way. Honestly, I watched the trailer before the controversy and didn’t get it until seeing the blog posts expressing that outrage. I’ll still probably buy this game the day it comes out, but its also good to see it from a different perspective, like in this blog, Kym Platt’s comments, and others.

  76. 76 George

    I respect your post, in that it seems like an intelligent, informed and balanced appraisal of the situation. (The same can’t be said of the dreadful Black Looks blog post which has linked to you.)

    However, I completely disagree with your conclusions. I would hope that the strength of negative reaction to your (and others’) expression of these views would reassure you. What you perceive in the game (and in particular, what you fear will be perceived by and imprint upon others) is clearly not being perceived by everyone else. Hence, you should have nothing to worry about. I didn’t see any black stereotypes, I simply saw zombies, as it seems did everyone else.

    I also think you let down those you say you represent, by denying them the right to be represented in works that are culturally relevant to a large number of people. If this is the response to something clearly explained as zombies/etc, then my expectation that game developers will just steer a wide berth in the future. These people will lose a forum in which their real, present issues can be presented, publicised and discussed, and they will be ultimately impoverished.

  77. 77 Aaron Bateman

    Wow. So the game is set in Africa, yet you seem to expect that there be no blacks in the game. IT IS SET IN AFRICA. Of course the zombies will be black… in the words of the infallible Eric Cartman: “My Mom says there’s a lot of black people in Africa.”

    Get a life man. I for one am excited that the setting will be in 3rd world Africa. It will be e break from the NYC/LA/SF urban setting we are all so used to in games. RE4 was great. RE5 will be better. No it will not set Black people back 2000 years. Many blacks have done that to themselves.

  78. 78 LOL

    Oh come on!!!!!!! In the very 1st REs the zombies are WHITE. DID ANYONE GIVE A SHIT???? I DONT THINK SO. CAPCOM, the company that makes the game is a JAPANESE company. Come on!!!!!!! GROW UP!!

  79. 79 Jackson

    What’s more offensive? A game where you happen to shoot black zombies (out of a long series of games where you shoot white zombies), or a blogger who plays into every bad stereotype about blacks?

    This article is just plain stupid (The Bell Curve), race-card whining (Handout monkeys, welfare leeches), and indicates you believe that The White Man can hurt you with his video games (slave/victim mentality).

    Disgraceful article, which you should delete from your web site.

  80. 80 Tom

    Jason: “Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school African stereotypes alarming. And that’s what my post is about.”

    Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the whole idea is to raise awareness of the problems that still exist even though, as you correctly say, things are getting better. Perhaps it’s a statement that in parts of Africa there are still people who act in a bloodthirsty, zombie-esque way towards their own “other.”

    Interestingly, it’s a statement that’s very similar to Dawn of the Dead’s commentary on American consumerism.

    The zombie represents a fear of people’s natural tendency towards conformity and the mob mentality. When you want to comment on consumerism in America and how it’s destroying traditional values you put your zombies – the worst part of our desire to socialize – in a mall and have them slowly and methodically consume the final “free thinkers.” When you want to comment on the violence that still engulfs large parts of Africa, turns neighbor against neighbor and can result in violent, angry mobs you put your zombies in an African village.

  81. 81 Eric

    Again with racist this, racist that. STOP IT ALREADY!!! Resident Evil 1 – 3 had mainly all white zombies and you had to kill them to survive. Resident Evil 4 is set in a Spanish village with Spanish people getting killed because they are zombies. Umm…did you hear any Spanish people complain…NO! They actually have logic, unlike you. Resident Evil 5 is set in an African village…so there will be African zombies! What did you expect, white zombies in an African village? I think not. Plus the complaining that even before they are zombies…they look like the undead. Well, lets see. There are some villages still with poor living conditions and starving Africans, so yeah…they would look like zombies. What do I see on TV when those commercials about donating money to help unfortunate African children in other countries? I see kids and adults alike that look like zombies because of their health. Stop spewin your racist B.S. You give the good African people out there a bad reputation because they also have logic and know it’s just a game and nothing wrong with it!

  82. 82 Jay

    …You do know that this game is being made by the Japanese?… Their intent was to tell a story, this is not a case of white supremacy or racism.

  83. 83 josh - origami kid

    At the end of the day it you the poster of this article and the people that posted the article before that are being racist. You are assuming that by releasing this game to us the white people, then it will encourage us to hate black people, now if that isnt being racist then what the hell is.

    Its a freaking game, the country isnt being portrayed in anyway, nethier are the blacks. This is a game with a lot of backstory that has been allaround the world (america, spain, antartica) and as soon as the main character lands himself in a country where black people are featured its considered racist. He is hunting down a freaking crazy dude to save the black and white communitys.

    It is you and your stupid articles and protests that fuel racism. You are doing nothing to help anybody.

    “We need to find ways to humanize Africans, not dehumanize them.” This is a game regarding zombies, zombies do not have feelings or thoughts. You sir are trying to push any kind of racial or black stereotype that you can into that trailer to complain about it.
    I love how you all, including the original article poster quickly brushes aside the point that every other game has featured you killing white people. What does that say about you then?

    It is you and the apparent people that are campainging for blacks that are the racists. Its you that give people bad names.

    Remove this filth from your site, and mabye try responding to a few of these comments because this is a absoloute discrace

  84. 84 Tay Zonday

    OH LAWDY NOT BLACK ZOMBIES HOW RACIST!!! Get a life if the game was set in another obscure european country you’d probably cry racism because there was no black zombies.

    Chocolate Rain
    Some stay dry and others feel the pain
    Chocolate Rain
    A baby born will die before the sin

    Chocolate Rain
    The school books say it can’t be here again
    Chocolate Rain
    The prisons make you wonder where it went

    Chocolate Rain
    Build a tent and say the world is dry
    Chocolate Rain
    Zoom the camera out and see the lie

    Chocolate Rain
    Forecast to be falling yesterday
    Chocolate Rain
    Only in the past is what they say

    Chocolate Rain
    Raised your neighborhood insurance rates
    Chocolate Rain
    Makes us happy ‘livin in a gate

    Chocolate Rain
    Made me cross the street the other day
    Chocolate Rain
    Made you turn your head the other way

    you know the rest.

  85. 85 #RiG @ (Rammstein)

    Resident Evil 1 —————–> White Zombies
    Resident Evil 2 —————–> White Zombies
    Resident Evil 3 —————–> White Zombies
    Resident Evil Code: Veronica —-> White Zombies
    Resident Evil Survivor ———-> White Zombies
    Resident Evil Gaiden ————> White Zombies
    RE: Survivor 2 Code: Veronica —> White Zombies
    RE: Zero ————————> White Zombies
    RE: Dead Aim ——————–> White Zombies
    RE: Outbreak ——————–> White Zombies
    RE: Outbreak File #2 ————> White Zombies
    Resident Evil 4 —————–> White Zombies
    RE: The Umbrella Chronicles —–> White Zombies
    Resident Evil 5 —————–> BLACK Zombies? RACISM!!!

    Resident Evil 4, which I am currently playing on >>> Wii

  86. 86 Alymon

    I won’t claim to understand how this effects Black people. I am not Black, and while I can empathize, any racism I have ever experienced against me has likely been minor and short-lived.

    However, I will say this: When is the right time? Historically many races or ethnicities have been scapegoated or osterasized at some point or another.

    The question isn’t whether or not a White person killing Black people in an african village is racist, the question is, does the setting and the context make sense.

    An African village filled with Black people makes sense. So as far as I’m concerned, the setting makes sense.

    As for the context, not enough is known about the story of the game to make that call. I think people are jumping to conclusions assuming that it either is or isn’t racist, when it’s still too early to decide.

  87. 87 #RiG @ (Rammstein)

    Resident Evil 4, which I am currently playing on >>> Wii

  88. 88 josh - origami kid

    I would also like to point out that the poster made a comment saying

    ” i think from this point onwards all zombies should be white”
    That is from kym, the original poster about 3 comments down.
    You are racists, all of you and i have lost any respect for the communitys that you are trying to show in a better light

  89. 89 #RiG @ (Rammstein)

    Oops, lets try this again:

    Resident Evil 4, which I am currently playing on ((Wii)) features Spaniard Villagers as antagonists which speak fluent Spanish (I am hispanic so I had always thought it took place in Mexico, since their spanish sounds closer to mexican spanish than spain spanish) are perfectly acceptable enemies, but the moment we turn our collective crosshairs at blacks it is deemed racist.

    I am sick and tired of the race card being played as if it was a reward for slavery. Most people today have no idea what it was like being a slave and yet they are all too happy to exclaim “HEY WAIT, IM BLACK. THIS CARD SAYS YOU CANT ACKNOWLEDGE ME IN ANY NEGATIVE WAY!”

    Its blogs like this that stir old hatreds more than anything. I know I am more angry towards any race of people who abuse the race card now than I would after playing the “nigger-killing-simulator” that Resident Evil 5 is being made out to be.

  90. 90 Peter

    couldn’t have said it better:

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Resident Evil 1 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil 2 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Code: Veronica – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Survivor – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Gaiden – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil: Survivor 2 Code: Veronica – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Zero – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil: Dead Aim – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Outbreak – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil 4 – white people are zombies
    Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles – white people are zombies

    Resident Evil 5 – ZOMG AFRICANS?! RACISM

    Please, I’m sure the majority of ALL people won’t give a flying crap.

    Where was you fuss before this? your outrage at this nothing less them offensive and self-richeous.

    Clean up your own communinty before you start pointing fingers, this is the least of your problems.

  91. 91 LukasW

    I feel no sympathy for you at all, people of all ethnic groups have been tortured, enslaved, executed throughout generations, what makes it so special when it comes to black people? Do you maybe think you are better than us? Or more worthy than us? We are all humans, I once heard that your skin color is to protect you from sun damages in the warmer countries, we are all flesh and blood, the only difference is the our skin pigment, it’s all colors, crayons, paintings, The black crayon is generally more popular to draw with than the white crayon, cause of it’s usually though as more cooler, and white crayons doesn’t really show on a white paper, this racism thing has gone over your head, Some schools in my country can’t sing our national song cause foreigners think it’s racist, we can’t have our flag on our shirt, nothing, but the blacks and iraqies walk around with their country flag wherever they go, this game is not racist, this is merely a plot in a game. No black person will die in real life cause a 3D picture who happen to have a brown-black color gets shot from a 3D projectile making it squirt red paint from it’s brown color.

  92. 92 Shions_Glasses

    Wow, you commenter’s are terrible. I can’t believe it. Does no one else think its absurd that a bunch of declared white people, are coming onto a blog run by an African American and telling him that racism doesn’t exist? You’re defending a game where a white person goes into a black space and wrecks havoc, by going into a blog run by a African American and wrecking havoc. This game should suit you all well, right up your ally. And if there was ever a question as to the necessity of posts like this, I think that these comments prove that there is.

    The power structure was clever when they claimed that racism no longer exists, so now when anyone tries to speak out against it, people claim that there is nothing to speak out against. I feel if any marginalized person points out a form of oppression of their group, then we should shut up, listen, and at least consider the possibility.

  93. 93 Erick

    in resident evil you shoot only spanish people and u dont call that racist then when there is black people in an RE game you say its racist WTF your the one thats racist for bring this up no one gives a **** its only a game there’s bigger problems of racism in stuff other than games and movies you people are racist

  94. 94 Kovah

    Holy fucking crap… Shions_Glasses, You’re a fucking retard..

    Did you ever stop to think that bringing up RE5 as a RACIST HATE MONGERING game is not the brightest of ideas. Why should black people be thought specially about when making games, movies, books or the like? I would suggest you actually look into the story of Resident Evil, it’s about an evil corporation whom create a virus that reanimates dead people and animals. So what now? Are black people immune to this virus?

    The amount of ignorance shown by you so called “anti-racist” is what’s disgusting, it’s truly you who are the racists, and it is you yourself that keep the whole hate alive by being arrogant, self centered, retarded fucks ups who have nothing better to do then to look for non-existent racism wherever you go.

    Grow the fuck up.

  95. 95 Alymon

    @ Shions_Glasses

    “Wow, you commenter’s are terrible. I can’t believe it. Does no one else think its absurd that a bunch of declared white people, are coming onto a blog run by an African American and telling him that racism doesn’t exist?”

    Not everyone who is white came on here telling him that racism doesn’t exist. You really shouldn’t assume because some do, that all do.

    ” You’re defending a game where a white person goes into a black space and wrecks havoc, by going into a blog run by a African American and wrecking havoc. ”

    Since when is Africa a “black space”? Sure the population is predominantly black, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t white people, or other ethnicities that live there as well.

    “This game should suit you all well, right up your ally. And if there was ever a question as to the necessity of posts like this, I think that these comments prove that there is.”

    This game? All of these posts, all of these comments are over a trailer. A quick video showing a small portion of the game. You don’t know the story, you don’t know the circumstances surrounding the setting, you know next to nothing about the full context. You are jumping to conclusions about racism with only a small fraction of information about the final product.

    “I feel if any marginalized person points out a form of oppression of their group, then we should shut up, listen, and at least consider the possibility.”

    I agree. And for the most part, people listened. But don’t they then have the right to respond? Just because someone claims racism or oppression doesn’t mean it is true.

    This whole situation disgusts me. First, because such a big deal is being made out of a trailer… a quick show of a small part of the game. Did any of you bother contacting CAPCOM to get a response from them? Did any of you bother requesting the ESRB or the ESA or the NAACP investigate? No. You came on to the internet and you did what so many of us are good at doing. You spouted off an ignorant opinion without fully understanding the circumstances surrounding the incident. Rather than take the high road and do some legitimate research on the subject you would rather live in ignorance and hope that someone will half a brain wouldn’t refute your arguments.

  96. 96 Brandon

    I know when I think of the Darfur genocide and systemic racism, I ask myself, ‘But what about the black zombies?’ This question has gone unasked for too long.

    Bravo to those who would use this completely inconsequential issue to deal with such a pervasive issue in our modern world.

  97. 97 Jj

    I’m colorblind. I think the graphics of the game look fantastic – and given that the game is clearly marked as being for 17+ – I don’t think any adult will have an issue playing this an NOT suddenly feeling racist.

    Personally – I feel certain that were you to want to find racism wherever you might look – you will. Counter to that – perhaps there is a sensitivity issue – although to my knowledge chango and those who practice santeria are able to produce zombies… so it would make sense that the zombies be black – for reality purposes.

    Although – let’s do remember that as we are one people under the clouds – we’re all going to die.

    there is no racism here.

  98. 98 Cdewarior

    Your update stated:

    “So, perhaps the deeper question is: How are black countries and those who live in them portrayed in games now? How have they been portrayed in the popular media and movies? Is it on par with other peoples and places in the world? If so, maybe it is time for a game like this. If not, then how do we respond?”

    I’d posit that ‘black’ countries aren’t depicted much at all in gaming these days. I am not that big on military shooters, which are the ones that I could see being placed in such ‘black’ countries as Chad, the Congo, or South Africa, but outside of such a genre there is absolutely no representation in gaming. Afrika made a big splash at E3 2006, but then turned into vaporware. Even had it not, that game looked to have been focused on animal life rather than any depiction of the human populations on the continent.

    I’d make a few points though:
    Perhaps the reason there aren’t many games focused on or set in African (‘black’ as you say) countries, is because of the knee jerk reaction it would cause, as demonstrated by your own blog post. Any fan of Resident Evil would tell you that the series is, at its heart, a criticism of above-the-law corporations masked by a zombie shooter/adventure game. I’d go so far as to say that Resident Evil 5 may actually provide a very positive, if not even enlightened, look at the continent. It may even go so far as to place the blame for the outbreak of some form of Zombie infection or virus in an African country squarely on the shoulders of first world powers. While Resident Evil 4 pretty much left the Umbrella Corporation story behind, it did star Leon as its main character. Resident Evil 5 stars Chris, the hero of the original Resident Evil, and a man who has a major history with the Umbrella Corporation…Long story short, you should never judge a book by its cover.

    As to the larger point of portrayal of populations in gaming, I’d say ‘black’ and peoples of African descent have a long road of misrepresentation to go before they come anywhere close to Nazis. Now, don’t get me wrong, Naziism represented the very worst in humanity, but from some games you play, you’d think everyone in Germany around 1940 was a Nazi, when the most votes the Nazi party ever won was 51%. Would you want all the world to judge those Americans who did not vote for George Bush (all 49% of them in 2004) by his actions? Nazis have been portrayed as zombies, as hellspawn demons, as vampires… on and on.

    You have a much better point to make in movies. But the truth is that Video Games have by far been the most progressive and minority friendly medium of entertainment for quite some time. I’d direct you to point your criticism elsewhere. If anything, try to focus on why there aren’t more games set in Africa.

  99. 99 Jim

    I have an idea……


    I do not tolerate ANY racism or stereotyping of any sort.

    Under your standards, Micheal Vick is guilty of dog fighting, huh? Even though you don’t have all of the facts?

    There were black, spanish, chinesse, and white zombies in the previous versions………so get a fucking life.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the game was set in Africa, and if there were not any black men, women, or children, we would still be reading about some form of racism.

  100. 100 Cdewarior

    Additionally (sorry I forgot to make this point in the blog), Capcom is a Japanese based studio. Any ‘cultural depictions’ in this game are as much, if not more, a product of Japanese cultural attitudes than of America.

  101. 101 Devon Nullis

    I’m a zombie killer in Africa right now, so I’m getting a kick out of these responses!

  102. 102 Michael

    It’s only the ignorant people who get offended to stuff like this. It’s a freaking game. It’s not implying racism AT ALL. It’s just a NEW SETTING for the game.

    Why do people tend to ramble on about crap when they have no freaking idea what they’re talking about.

    Shut your damn yap.

  103. 103 Jason Mangas

    You think RE5 is going to sway the American public’s view on the continent of Africa? Do you live in America? The people of this country have no sense of Africa and furthermore could care less about the continent when it comes right down to it. I’m not going to say whether or not that is a negative but it is a characteristic of America. To try and address the issue you are purportedly addressing in the context of RE5 is silly. It’s so silly I actually don’t believe you.

    The truth is you are mad because Africans or “blacks” are being killed by a white guy, which is precisely why you titled this “Blackface Goes HD?” What about blackface has to do with the continent of Africa? Blackface is a distinctly American term and was used primarily in America. It was not used in Africa because, well, the people in Africa already have a dark skin tone…which is exactly why the zombies in Africa have a dark skin tone.

    The sad thing is, racism is very real amongst all races and it would be great if we could rid our people (thats of all shades) of something so hurtful and stupid. Unfortunately, non-issues such as this are counteractive in that they people just want to say, “Forget it, black people don’t want to get serious they want to whine about racism regardless of whether racism is present.”

    It’s a videogame, there are real issues you could have written about. I’ll give you a topic that more people should be writing their congress men and women about: Brutality against women in the Congo. I realize it isn’t going to make everyone believe Africa is the new Disneyland but it is a terrible problem and those people need to be helped.

    Get real and grow up.

  104. 104 longview

    Shions_Glasses “I feel if any marginalized person points out a form of oppression of their group, then we should shut up, listen, and at least consider the possibility.”

    If I’m not mistaken, all the people who are responding to what the author said have shut up, listened and decided to respond to what was said. They have as much right to say how they feel about what was said as the person who said it. More importantly, the author is suggesting (from what I understand) that she is offended by the state of the African people depicted as zombies, as if they were underdeveloped before they were “infected.” This to me is rediculous for two reasons. Firstly, there are underdeveloped regions in africa where people, and this fictional story is obviously focusing on one of these regions. Suggesting that all stories depicting Africa must be made in the best possible light in the sake of political correctness is wrong. Places like that do exist and suggesting that they have no place in any kind of story is wrong because she is suggesting that because they live poorly they should be ignored in any kind of fiction. The author has placed more of an importance on political correctness than reality. There are places like that, are there not? Secondly, it seems to me to be trivial and wasteful to find a cause as frivolous as this to take a stand when there are so many other important racially charged causes. All that the author has done is continued a stereotype of someone looking for a reason to complain and when people listen they are irritated. There are real racial causes that need our attention and the author is slowing the progress of these causes by hardening the hearing of all the people who looked at this article with genuine concern.

  105. 105 T1

    It is a fictional game…


    What is going to be next, African movie-stars are not allowed to be killed in movies, because killing fictional people is racist?

    You people serious are full of it.

  106. 106 Heath

    I disagree. I think Resident Evil 5 is simply taking zombies back to their roots … its fact that zombies are a mythology surrounding voodoo, and that voodoo originated in primarily poor countries. I’m not sure if it originated in Africa per se or poorer countries more like Haiti (I’m pretty certain voodoo is alive and well there), but that’s all this game is doing. Zombies are in a poor coutry in Africa, and this is supposed to strike a nerve with zombie-fiction enthusiasts. Not with blacks.

    I think the point here is that we “TRY” too hard to remember past transgressions, and hence people “read demeaning things into” stuff that shouldn’t be demeaning. I could make the same arguement by going to see a movie and Denzel Washington ending up being the serial killer. Was Denzel Washington casted because he was black? Or was he casted because he’s a darn good actor? If you want to move forward away from racism, YOU yourself have to move forward, and not dwell on what people in the past did. Because if we shout racism racism everywhere we see, say, black people doing something that ANYONE could do … we’re not moving on. We’re remembering racism, and we’re keeping it alive by complaining about it where it doesn’t even exist.

  107. 107 John Henderson

    Personally, I believe that its items like this that make the rest of us believe that racism (real racism) is gone in America. When you turn to quibbling over whether a zombie is black or not, means that you’re done being discriminated against in more meaningful contexts (violence, physical oppression, denial of medical attention) and are grasping for something else to hold on to. It also means that I can stop listening to you and caring about you and your cause, because you don’t want to compete on a level field.

    “With all the positive steps being taken of late to raise awareness of the good things happening in Africa as well as the urgent need in some parts of the continent, we really can’t afford this kind of step back.”… um… what? Portraying a FICTIONAL zombie outbreak is a step back? Oh shit, we’d better inform the Martians that Doom is racist as well and tell them to raise an uproar because we’re giving them a HUGE step backwards. All that Africans had to deal with were zombies in their fictional stories. Martians had to deal with hell itself! Oh, sorry… “Black Africans”… there are no white people in Africa…

    “So, perhaps the deeper question is: How are black countries and those who live in them portrayed in games now? How have they been portrayed in the popular media and movies? Is it on par with other peoples and places in the world? If so, maybe it is time for a game like this. If not, then how do we respond?”… let’s ignore the part where you suggest that only black people live in Africa and ask a different question. How does media portrayal of “black countries” compare to the actual way of life for the majority of them?

    Truthfully. I’ve never been to Africa (and I’d like to keep it that way after my corp has dealt with some governments over there), so I really don’t know… is there a thriving economy that the media won’t tell me about? Why is there so much aid being poured into a country that is exactly like all the others (since I think you want equal portrayal, it means that you either want lies or it really is like all the others)?

    I hate people who see the color of skin and make judgements. So, when people can stop saying “Oh my god, these people are BLACK so NOW I care!” – then I will start listening. Until then, go back to universities where you can say things like “Only white people can be racist.”.

  108. 108 Joshua

    Okay so:

    Yes, racism exists. I’ve seen it many times; Once, even, when shopping and watching some little african-american kid get yelled at by some large, older, white biker. I stepped in, told the biker to F himself and leave the kid alone – and I’m white.

    But because Racism exists, does that mean this video game trailer, with a White lead character killing black zombies in Africa, is racist? I think not. Honestly, it never occurred to me that anyone would even find this remotely racist untill reading about it on a gaming news sight.

    In all honesty, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. If you want to see racism, or have had many racist incidents happen to you, that is what you are going to see. But take a step back and think about it – Racism, regarding white vs black, isnt as bad as it was 50 years ago. It’s not even close.

    The one question I have is this: What are you really promoting? The fact of the matter is, how many white power TV stations are there? How many so called “Black” TV stations are there? Honestly, if anything, most of the segregation that happens from the african-american community is done BY the African-American community themselfs.

    The proof is in the facts: Yes, Racism does exist. But does that mean everytime you see a white person kill a black person, it’s racism? How about a black person killing a white person, ALA Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? Is that anymore justified? To say it is, would to be completely going against the basic teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and his very principles.

    And if you were to call me a racist, you’d be dead wrong. I always make this joke: I could never be racist. I love woman. All shapes, sizes, and colors.

  109. 109 John Henderson

    Oh, also… that trailer kicked major ass. I can’t wait to grab this game, black zombies or not.

  110. 110 ANONYMOUS

    So it’s okay to kill white zombies and spanish ‘zombies” but oh lordy no dont kill the black ‘zombies”? I’m tired of this racist bullshit coming from the blacks that whites are not aloud to counter since the Africans sold their own brothers into slavery.

  111. 111 EF

    I’d like to just point out the double standards that garbage like this creates – especially when no details have been revealed about the story or setting. Rascism would only count if they followed stereotypes created about black people. The game in and of itself is not rascist from what’s been shown of it. Other than black people becoming what appears to be rageful zombies (we don’t know if they’re even undead, so zombie isn’t accurate), the writers crying wolf about this have no well-founded reasons for this claim. Once again, though nobody has a problem with white people or europeans (especially germans) being killed or being portrayed negatively, however once someone treads on the beloved black population there’s an uproar because of some usually fictional underlying reason.
    Save your criticisms and articles until AFTER the game comes out, so we at least know of a STORY behind the setting and characters. And so that the majority of us may ignore you people that are supposedly “civilized” and go enjoy the game because it wasn’t delayed over an as-of-yet nonexistent problem.
    On a side note – has anybody noticed that the most rascist people in our country are the ones constantly pointing out the supposed offenders? Most everybody else out there has gotten past this problem and doesn’t care about race, or color, however these people continue to make up situations merely because they can’t get over their intolerance for whichever color person (for example, oh, white people) is “offending them”.
    Oh, and when was Living Dead 1 EVER a black empowerment tale? The guy gets shot in the face at the end by a bunch of rednecks. And in the remake, he becomes a zombie! Yeah, let’s throw our hands up for that guy. He really helps the cause.

  112. 112 Nich

    Jason, the reason I think people are keying in on the black zombies vs. white zombies issue is because the “representations of Africa in games” issue doesn’t ring true when positive representations of the continent appear in games and no one bats an eye.

    Parts of Halo 2, one of the biggest games of 2005, were set in a modern, civilized Mombasa–where was your post lauding it for that representation? What about Xenosaga, which had a prologue featuring black and white archaeologists working together in Kenya to unearth an ancient sci-fi artifact? No savages on display there, and yet no one thought to mention that fact.

    The reason is because I think it’s disingenuous to suggest that an isolated incident such as RE5, which may (or may not) feature an uncomplimentary depiction of the continent will affect people’s understanding of the real-world locale. I didn’t think of Spaniards as a bunch of bloodthirsty religious zealots after playing RE4. I didn’t think of Las Vegas as a roiling viper’s nest of terrorism after playing the new Rainbow Six. I don’t think anyone who wasn’t already inclined to sneer at Africans will find themselves doing so as a result of RE5’s storyline, whatever it turns out to be.

  113. 113 EF

    And BTW this game is going to be fantastic, whether Chris is killing africans, cubans, americans, or martians.

  114. 114 Jordon

    This is quite silly. We’ve been blowing away caucasian zombies since 1996 with the Resident Evil series. And, yes, hispanics HAVE been misrepresented in the media.
    First of all, it’s not even Americans who are making this game. Capcom’s a Japanese company. Second, as I said earlier, we’ve been killing nothing but whites since Resident Evil 1, and while we’re at it, they’ve always been Americans (except for RE4). Heaven forbid we actually place a game in Africa, as if the continent doesn’t even exist. I undesrtand that they’ve been misrepresented and largely loathed by the rich elite of this world, but making a game where a zombie outbreak happens there (alongside the rest of the world in previous iterations of the series) is no more racially-motivated than setting RE5 in Greenland. It’s a new location. Deal with it.

  115. 115 Spaldino

    actually in RE2 there was a black zombie. the police sargeant/chief guy. lets not forget that stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. there has to be enough of a certain action or behavior for people to recognize and eventually associate it as a stereotype.

    Africa still has run down “third-world” villages and Mr Redfield stumbled upon one of them… big whoop. Hell… there are still completely “uncivilized” tribes in Africa. atleast you dont see Chris walking around in a haz-mat suit in fear of catching AIDS… that would be more of a negative stereotype than what capcom is doing with this game. i just think the “black community” as a whole should just stop being so bitchy about everything that has do with anything that features a black person/group of black people or that can reach the ears and eyes of black people.

    there’s a “leader” in the “black community” that states that black people have to kill all the white people because they cause all of the worlds problems. well if thats the truth then why are most jails filled to the brim with hispanics and blacks? hell, i was walking around in Cambridge, MA and was approached by a black man and was asked to donate for a cause that was against those who feel the need to be violent towards one race to glorify their own. even black people hate those black “leaders”…

    also (not to type a crapload but sorry)… what about Native Americans? we got almost completely wiped out! we had our land taken away from us, we were slaughtered, raped, tortured, and left with nothing to show for our heritage… but you dont hear us going in a huge tirade about “we are poorly represented blah blah blah” and “the white man hates us and are big meanies to us blah blah blah”… i mean… we have fucking casinos that are basically showcases of stereotypical native american junk to please “whitey” while he gambles. what a GREAT way to represent a proud and enlightened race of people. if anyone has the right to complain about ANYTHING racially… it’s native americans.

    chris rock said it best “who’s more racist? black people or white people? black people… because we hate black people too!”

  116. 116 Duh


    People aren’t saying racism doesn’t exist. They are saying it doesn’t exist in this game. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Some of the people that live in Africa are black. And in video games you kill zombies.

    You are the one who considers everything in terms of what color the person who said it is. Would it make you feel better if the zombies were any other color? It shouldn’t matter, because it’s not about race.

    That being said, I’m all for protesting something that truly is racist. Find something that is, and complain about that. Then others will stand behind you. Otherwise, you just hurt your cause.

  117. 117 Paul

    I have to say thank you, Jason, for looking at this issue in a far more mature, reasonable, and less ignorant way than those at the Black Looks website. Also, you don’t say anything ignorant like “the game is targeted at children” or anything like that. Again, thank you.

  118. 118 British James

    I think it’s worrying that, because a peice of media is, for once portraying that Black People are getting shot in a game series that has been going on for a deacade it’s immediately jumped on as racist as a very worrying pole in our society.

    This isn’t racist at all Capcom have always managed to do a lot of research into any game area they make, so it more than likely, means they have several terrabytes worth of resource photographs which have resulted in the clothes, locations, and even the faces.

    More often than not such companies will have bussed in a load of black people for this kind of stuff, for the facial expressions, for the jaw lines etc.

    Now, here comes the controversial point.

    Black people are different. They look different and not just the darker hue of skin, they do have larger, more expressive eyes and, typically, larger lips.

    This is because of the climate in which Black People Originate [The Equatorial regions] results in a darker skin, larger eyes to be able to see better in the dark. (due to a *near* lack of seasons in Africa’s equatorial region, as well as near total darkness at night)

    God/Evolution/Michelin man made Black folks this way. I AM SORRY, thats is all, I am not a racist at all, but you have to look at the genetic make up of most black people and consider that there are genetic similarities and various traits that are prevelent through Black people over a wide area of Africa, despite different physical builds.

    I do not beleive that they are trying to be racist at all, but since they decided the series needed to be “revived” and renewed they have made it a global game, taking place in the US, Europe and now in Africa.

    To be honest Africa is a fantastic blank canvas for gaming history to write on, aside from games like Delta Force: Black Hawk Down there are no games of note, or with such a powerful world-wide punch as that of Resident Evil taking Africa as a setting. If you want to have a game fly a flag for Africa, have a good series like Resi to start it.

  119. 119 Anonymous

    “I also wonder what impact this view of Africa will have to people who might already have a fairly negative impression of the place (conflict, famine, and genocide seem to be most of what we hear about in the news).”

    It’s a videogame. It won’t have an impact on anybody.
    Also, you’re retarded. So this whole thread has just been negated.
    You’re welcome.

  120. 120 Av

    the game takes place in haiti

  121. 121 Seb

    Hey Jason,

    I can definitely see what you are saying. When I saw the trailer for the game, I said to myself “oh crap”, this is going to piss people off. But, it does seem that villainizing african americans is always particularly offensive and I feel that is a double standard. I’m kind of a strange combo, asian/hispanic american, so you can imagine all the stereotypes I hear. Asians are portrayed as diminutive, slanty eyed, devious little ninjas and hispanics half the time as tequila drinking, sombrero wearing day laborers. Most offensive of these examples as of late, was New York’s 97.1 song about the terrible tsunami a couple of years back. If anyone had been so tasteless regarding Hurricane Katrina, there would have been hell to pay. Yet, african american comics and rappers are allowed to say anything regarding any race without reserve. How does this set any precedent for respect? So, I definitely see your reason for concern, but in the end the standard should apply across the board.

  122. 122 Bijan Shahir

    Well, I certainly do not agree with you. Not at all. The first four games covered different areas with all sorts of different pigmentations of skin, and the last one dealt exclusivley with Spanish people, as you mentioned. If anything, the idea of having an epidemic break out in Africa is the most realistic situation one can think of right after interpreting the story. Look at AIDS, West Nile and Ebola.

    Really, the between the lines sentiment no-one is looking for seems to be an anti-rich white guy one. It seems to say “Another horrible disease outbreak in Africa? Unfortunate that no-one wants to help contain or cure it, just like everything else on the continent.” Which as a political statement I totally agree with. I just don’t like you’re idea of never depicting blacks in a negative light.

  123. 123 Shroomduck

    Just to add a reply, this has NOTHING to do with Africa and/or blacks. If these complainers would follow the story line of Resident Evil (or do some research before hand at least), they’d now about Umbrella (getting into the storyline here) having a European faction and Chris Redfield being sent in to investigate, and by the looks of things, he’s found Zombies – yes Jason, it’s thats simple, believe it or not. Color has NOTHING to do with it, but you totally missed that point and went right to assumptions and made an ass out of yourself… Ass U Me.

    But I agree with the fact that they see anything with “blacks” as being racist. For example these “blacks” are saying that the recent media attention on Micheal Vick is related to his color… Funny how they totally missed the entire Lindsey Lohan situation that also had just as much, if not more, media attention…

    Anyway these African complainers should contact Jack Thompson and call him out to Africa so they can cry on his shoulder. If we’re lucky, they’ll all be eaten by lions and we can enjoy our ‘entertainment’ without the drama…

  124. 124 Vince

    I’d be offended if everyone was white and it was set in an African village. Don’t worry though…the consciously evil people in Resident Evil games are always white.

  125. 125 kareem

    wow this is bull**** i don’t, see how this game is racist. Resident Evil 5 take place in Africa and there are black in Africa, i don’t think there would be white, Jews or Asian people in Africa. im getting sick of people blaming everything to be racist .really, its just a game so stop acting like babies. i just want play Resident Evil 5 in peace. ps im a black person

  126. 126 Michael

    Enough is enough with this Politcially Correct crap, all it does is add fuel to a dying fire. Racism is all but gone, there is no majority racism any long, the majority of people in this world are not racist at all, but by trying to constantly be Politically Correct and also by thinking the way the Original Poster did here, all you are doing is adding fuel to a dying fire. There is only one way for people to do away with racism in this day and age, and that is to let it go completely. As it is now, i dont see things getting better with people like the Original Poster, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton (these 2 make a living off of hate mongering) constantly picking at every little thing they can and mostly making something harmless seem somehow racist. I understand what some people are trying to say, how the reason its different in this situation is becase of the past persicution black people have seen and so on, but its just that, PAST. WE, and by we i mean all people of the world, cannot move on without first letting go. The past is that past and lets leave it there. Do not let the past dictate the rest of our lives. When I see people taking things such as this game to be racist, I actually feel sorry for them, its just sad that they call others racist when it seems to me that they are the racist ones. If you have read what I wrote here, I thank you for your time.

  127. 127 Jamison

    Probably been said a dozen times already, but I might as well throw my two cents in.

    Racism – “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character”

    I feel that the critics of RE5 calling it racist have backwards logic. If you want to exclude depicting black people as zombies, to which all the other races have had the pleasure, then your saying that blacks should have special treatment as far as race goes. The cause for concern may be in the right place, but if you REALLY believe in equality, like Martin Luther King Jr. preached, then you will have to accept the bad with the good.

    Not to mention nearly all the resident evil games have ‘acceptable depictions’ by some of these critics standards, of black supporting characters as well as playable characters.

  128. 128 Kilde

    Where do you get the audacity to analyze the racial depiction in a game based solely on a trailer. You have absolutely no context to judge. If it is anything like Resident Evil 4, which took place in Spain, you will find that the black zombies are going to be portrayed as victims of a virus/parasite. You will also probably see black people portrayed as good guys as well, much like Luis Sera in Resident Evil 4, but I am sure you know not what I am talking about as you have taken no account as to the story and context of the Resident Evil series. Resident Evil has been a franchise that revolves around a well thought out story and the action and killing not meant to be senseless. You have no authority or evidence to support that the game attempts to portray Africans, or black people for that matter,as evil savages to be slayed by white people.

    You also need to realize that ethnocentricity of the developer is not the case. This game is made by a Japanese developer.

  129. 129 greg

    Ma’am, first I’d like to point out that many black places and the people who inhabit them are portrayed very differently from the rest of the world in games, media, etc.

    But guess what, they ARE very different from the rest of the world, rampant diseases, no money for even the most basic necessities, etc. Would you rather that pop culture sugarcoat it?

    That being said, the game is set in HAITI. Are you familiar with the REAL zombies in Haiti? Is the plot starting to make sense now? no?
    well this might help, then:

    are you starting to see why the zombies are black? racism? hardly.
    For christ sake this is something that could actually happen! let the damn story be told. You seriously need to do TONS of research before you ever pull out the race card again, as does everyone else.

  130. 130 injate

    Japanese (creators of RE5) do not care about white/black racism. They care about making a solid game that entertains. Find some new pop culture to cry racist wolf at. Black people have an obsession with finding every possibly (minute or huge) African racist material and whining. If you want to start being accepted as equals maybe you shouldn’t complain every time something like this comes up because no other races do it as often as you. It’s a double standard. Yeah blacks got the short end 100 years ago, I think it’s time to take that chip off your shoulder or go complain to some 100+ year old .

  131. 131 T1

    Grow Up

    This is the only information required


  132. 132 Jose Lopez

    So now, you’re saying it’s alright for a video game to portray white people, Hispanic people, middle-easterners, and Asians getting killed, but once a black man dies, it’s automatically racism? Yes, I understand that blacks were once enslaved and that you’ve been oppressed, but times have changed and the world is far more accepting towards blacks. Ironically, it’s gotten to the point that in the United States, at least for now, being black is considered “cool” by most people. It’s time to move on and realize that a lot of mistakes were made in history, and segregating yourselves from the rest of society by saying “We’re black, so we need special treatment” is a damning view. THAT is what causes racism, not having black zombies in games.

    As for your claim as to how “black countries” are portrayed in the media, ponder this: How would you like them to be portrayed? I think that the portrayal is fairly accurate, as a lot of villages in Africa are as, how should I say, impoverished and third-world as the one portrayed in the trailer. I mean, I, for example, am of Cuban and Spaniard descent. Resident Evil 4 took place in Spain. I’ve been to Spain, and trust me, on the whole it’s no where near as secluded and “barbaric” as the village and castle portrayed in the game, though there are parts of the country that are. And believe me, if a RE game took place in Cuba, I’d hope they’d make the country look as devastated and poor as it truly is.

    Quite frankly, unless you want a lie to be portrayed in the game, I believe the best course of action is to just step back and look at the title objectively. This is not a children’s game, nor will it be marketed as such, so there’s no need to worry about children having their minds warped. Also, adults are civilized and smart enough to make the distinction between a black man and a crazed black zombie.

  133. 133 Anonymous

    I wish to sage this blog.

  134. 134 Scott Lewis

    I don’t believe that the developers of Resident Evil 5 harbor some racist agenda, but their depiction of Africa can be unsettling to those who feel that black people are being depicted in a negative light. Capcom is responsible for that interpetation, regardless of their intentions.

    I don’t believe that there is some universal threshold that must be crossed for something to be considered racist or offensive. I don’t believe that racism can be objectively defined, because people respond to things in their own way, reflected by their culture, their nationality, their race, their experience, and their own individual viewpoint. Jason felt uncomfortable with the Resident Evil 5 images because they evoked painful images of the past to him. Many people disagree because they don’t see what he does. That doesn’t mean that Jason is wrong and the other people are right, or the other way around, only that Jason didn’t like what was being shown.

    Regardless, I believe Jason is acting correctly by saying “hey, I don’t like what this says” because he brings to light a viewpoint that many other people may share and it may shape how Capcom (and other videogame developers) approach race in their games. How is Capcom to know that they are hurting others without someone mentioning what makes them uncomfortable? No one may see the exact same thing as Jason in those screenshots, but that should not prevent him from sharing what he sees and does not make his interpretation any less honest.

  135. 135 Juba

    I agree with the author on this matter. When I saw the trailer I was a little apprehensive about seeing a muscled-up white man with his expensive looking outfit being attacked by, and shooting, ragged-looking black people.

    I’m also troubled by the strong response of the community rushing to the game’s defense and dismissing the statements of the author. None of us know that much about the game but everyone seems happy to just reject any notions of racism and sabotage any meaningful dialogue.

    From the images in the trailer, which we are seeing without context, it is very easy to see racist overtones. We’ll have to wait until more information comes out on the game.

    People need to stop being so defensive.

  136. 136 Stunned

    Doubt anyone is reading this, but to be frank, anyone getting any sort racist vibes from this trailer has not the slightest bit of intelligence or critical thinking abilities. There are ample arguments listed above, but in reality, it boils down to people being beyond what we as a species would consider stupid.

    And to reply to the poster above me, Capcom is in no way responsible for those interpretations, the beholder of said idiotic interpretation is.

  137. 137 tempo


    I think a lot of the more negative comments are coming in from links from known bigot Kym Platt, after disabling discourse and insulting / stereotyping a group as a whole (gamers or ‘white gamers’ apparently) on her own blogs, she redirected these inflamed people here. It seems as though some of the commenter’s think you actually are her or at least affiliated.. that sucks.

    People familiar with this series will know; the game is always about fighting back against an evil corporation that is developing dangerous bio-weapons and experimenting on local populations. The hero is trying to save the people, while taking out the man.

    I’m sure the same is true of the next in the series, he may be killing black zombies, but he will be saving the living people at the same time.
    That is the important part.

    I understand how the imagery in the clip could be offensive to not only black people, but people in general, if they are not familiar with the narrative of the game.
    It is important to note that without knowledge of the background narrative, this clip is totally OUT OF CONTEXT and is not an honest representation of the game.

  138. 138 Some dude passing by

    C’mon! Africa = at least 90% of black population. Zombies are created by a virus… virus infects ppl… most of them will be black. If they were white it would be racist cuz it would mean that black ppl can’t get infected :). We are all the same so every HUMAN BEING can get infected.

    Stop seeing rascism everywhere for crying out loud!!! >_

  139. 139 John

    I am really anticipating this game, simply because it’s atmosphere seems so real, but I have also thought about both sides of the argument and they both have points which can be argued.

    The one concern I have is the idea that when a minority of people question whether something is racist( in this case both minority and non-minority have questioned the setting of RE5 in Africa potential to become a problem) it automatically garners statements such as “the black community is complaining again…”. In reality it is only a few people with questions not the black community pulling the race card all the time. In reality the people talking aren’t any form of leader and are entitled to there own opinion without blanketing an entire group. So instead of accusing the “community” of not understanding or “white” people not listening to the issue, consider that there are people on both sides who feel a certain way and these people represent a very minute minority of people and are not the entire black or white community.

  140. 140 Obviously

    In case you’ve forgotten, the entire concept of zombies originates from African Voodoo magic. Black people are the ORIGINAL zombies.

  141. 141 Anonymous

    did any spanish people throw a fit concerning resident evil 4?

    there is an oddly prevalent mentality in black culture to jump on anything that can somehow be used as a retaliatory weapon to combat a fetishized “oppression.”

    thankfully, there are intelligent, clear-headed people of any race who can see this as a zombie video game taking place in africa.

    really – get a clue.

  142. 142 The Flyin' Jew (please visit

    Seriously now, wouldn’t your so called “sensitivity towards Africa and blacks” that’s being called for be racist in it’s own regard?

    don’t take this as bigotry, but being sensitive to blacks because of former oppression is what’s given rise to things like soul plane and BET.

  143. 143 Shihku7

    injate: Actually, Japanese developers usually make video games where the hero is either white or Japanese, because that’s where all the money is in the world. Look at the G8 leaders. There’s one Japanese guy, and the rest are white guys. The settings these games are put in are by definition racist and sexist, and by definition culturally biased. If you think a Japanese or American (read: white male) game company just randomly picks a race and gender combination out of a hat for how their hero looks everytime they make a game, you’re naive. And you need to take some basic college-level marketing classes.

    Anyone who’s taken media writing and marketing classes knows that racial bias is actually encouraged, not discouraged. When I took Writing for Electronic Media last semester here in San Francisco, we were actually ENCOURAGED to discriminate against people’s race, gender, and their cultural prejudices. Why? Because that’s the only way to make money. If you want to sell a video game to white males, who have all the money in America and the world, you don’t make a video game where an Oprah Winfrey-looking character is the hero. White males don’t like black women, especially not large black women.

    I’d argue that game developers are often well aware of the racial and cultural biases that show up in their games, but that they also recognize they need to make money, and therefore cannot be race or gender blind. It’s the same way in the movie industry. You need to cater to your racist and sexist customers. You can’t stay true to yourself as an artist, because staying true to yourself doesn’t make the big bucks.

    I, personally, am racist against black people and look down on black people, black culture, and African cultures. I find it impossible NOT to be racist against blacks, considering how American “mainstream” culture is structured. It’s capitalist. It’s Republican. Democracy is a bad word in America. All these things run against the politics and make up of black people here and black people elsewhere. I cannot both be an American and be tolerant of blacks. It is impossible.

    Despite being a racist against blacks, I have no desire to play a game where I run around killing poor black people. It’s like making a game where you kill Jews in Holocaust refugee camps. It’s psychotic. Right now, Africa is undergoing and has undergone Holocausts. 6 million dead in the past 12 years of war. I don’t want to be reminded of such a terrible event.

    Point is, having “fun” in such a tragic place as Africa by killing these people is just too much. Like having “fun” killing surviving firemen in the wreckage of Twin Towers. I’m sure you can make a game where such a storyline is fully believable and compatible with the Resident Evil series, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s SCREWED UP.

  144. 144 Alex

    “I do understand the characters presented in the trailer are zombies. Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school black stereotypes alarming. And that’s what my post is about.”

    I am not black, nor am I white, but c’mon. They are sterotypical zombies that happen to be black. You are taking yourself backwards by correlating the way zombies behave to the stereotypes of black people you mention. When i see this game I don’t see white man killing black people, which you obviously do, I see special agent hunting down zombies that are attacking him. I am a hispanic male and played Resident Evil 4, and was not offended in the least. If Capcom (a Japanese company) changes the setting and the characters, I will be outraged. Your allowed to be mad at blacks being zombies, but I’m not because my race hasn’t endured hardships that your race does. Please, it is 2007 and you will hold back your own race by thinking the way you do. Nobody is out to get you. Those humble little Japanese men who are programming this game aren’t thinking of ways to offend you. This is not done out of malicious intent, so I don’t think you should be offended. I’m sorry but it seems like you want attention, and it looks like you got it. When a black person could play a game as a white character killing black zombies and not think about the black and the white than maybe we can all grow up, but until then, more stuff like this will happen.

  145. 145 Disgusted

    This is so utterly sad. I have found that people who constantly cry “RASCISM!” are the real racists. I personally don’t know anyone who gives a shit about what race someone is. Especially in a fictional setting. It’s a moot point. Stop looking for persecution where there is none. Try tackling some real world problems like illiteracy, and poverty. Once those are taken care of then you can start bitching about supposed racism in a video game. Sad.

  146. 146 Malarkey

    People can say what they will about this not really being racist, but you have to realize that this is a P.R. problem for the game companies involved.

    I’m white and found myself rooting for the zombies in this trailer. Makes me feel bad about the poverty in Africa vs. the beauty of the black people and how their culture has been plundered.

    I might feel differently if the character killing the zombies was black too. I don’t think it’s being too sensitive. People in the U.S. should be more sensitive considering how Amerika enslaved African then insitutionalized racism.

  147. 147 crimsontyrant

    I am soo tired of people trying to patronize everything thinking they gonna get points/reconised is they point out racism in every turn I’m a black person who loves the Resident Evil series and i hate it when people like you jump to conclusions without doing any research on the subject they are attacking.Right Now.I’ma end this RE5 crying racism crap with .To whoever written this article.Play Resident Evil 2 that’s if you really do play video games like you claim you do, play at least one hour of the game,from there you are going to a police station,from there you are gonna see a injured black police officer , after you do the sequence of events,go back and see the officer.He is now a zombie,what are you gonna do?Remeber the main characters you are using,are white, and what you are saying is that is racist to kill a black zombie.Also the two morals of this is that there are black people in Resident Evil, not playable, but they are there.So stop saying that there’s not any black people in Resident Evil, and two. That the inhabitants of RE 4&5 are infected by a virus that are turning them into rampaging psychos it’s not a color thing, it’s an “I want to stay alive thing”. Killing them to stay if you would pay attention to the trailer chris didn’t kill every black person that walk pass them,he’s killing the ones that are trying to kill him.Isn’t it obilvious.But keep in mind, in the end it’s just a game.

  148. 148 white guy

    Crying about racism, even when there is none… all it does is cause anger to those who are racist [which hurts who?], and it hurts the cause of people who have legitimate claims to descrimination. Period.

    Stop and think. If you really had an issue with it, you would have kept your mouth shut. Now more people are going to buy it, me being one of them, just to support the developers, *JUST* out of spite. America is decaying every day, slowly going down the toilet, and THIS is why. Hope your happy, you are contributing.

  149. 149 Thorgard

    Um, a certain group of black people *were* responsible for ‘Black Hawk Down’. In a country full of other black people.

    By which I mean not the movie, not the book, but the actual event.

  150. 150 ddc

    Just throw a few white people in there to kill and nobody will care.

  151. 151 Thorgard

    I don’t think this game is racist at all, and I think way too much is being made of what seems more or less like a guy fighting zombies in yet another locale where people happen to be black. I would like to say, though, it is severely idiotic to accuse people who see racism where there is no racism of racism themselves. “I’m not a racist! YOU MUST BE THE REAL RACIST FOR SAYING THAT!” “I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I I KNOW YOU ARE BUT-”

    White rage is more or less the same as white guilt. No one is really being hurt or victimized because this game isn’t racist and the writer is accusing it of being racist, and it’s not part of your big reverse racism conspiracy. Although apparently this is quality time for some people to froth over Al Sharpton (what?) and conjure up a demonic enterprise called Political Correctness, a big boogieman that is Ruining Our Schools and Destroying Free Speech. Give it a rest. It seems that everyone feels it necessary to victimize themselves and see looming evil monsters to advance their position.

    Also, it’s kind of ridiculous to say “the Japanese don’t care about white/black”. Undeniably and extremely racist portrayals of black people are par for the course in Japanese culture, although I think this has more to do with curiosity and lack of exposure to blacks than hostility toward them.

  152. 152 Blayde

    This type of talk has got to stop. You’re not helping the greater cause by seeing racism every single time blacks are associated with anything that might be negative. This is a game and it’s set in Africa, we cannot be sensitive about every single portrayal of Black people.

    People are crying racism here without having any snese of the overall story or even how these people are depicted and that’s just wrong.

    This is the reason why people are tuning out real cases of racism.

  153. 153 playa1elvo

    Posted by: Russ at August 1, 2007 10:29 AM (qoute from village voice)
    “I genuinely feel that a combination of misinformation, ‘gun jumping’ and hysteria will make this out to be a much larger problem than it ACTUALLY is.

    I am BLACK, I was born in Ethiopia and moved to Canada when I was 3 years old. My entire life I have never been the target of racism, at least to my knowledge. This is for two reasons I think.

    1. Many tip toe around me as if pretending my skin is -not- darker than theirs will prevent my yelling indignation.

    2. I just am -not- offended as easily as many people are. I don’t jump the gun and assume advertisements, movies or yes, video games are out to get me and portray my ‘race’ (I hate calling it that) negatively.

    About this trailer – if you played Re4, you would notice a very similar setting. You start off in a rural town in Spain, where people are dingy and dirty looking with an eerie spooky feeling (much like the beginning of this trailer) you ASSUME that they are not ‘Zombies’ (well they actually aren’t, they are not undead, they are infected with a virus and have a sort of mind control effect on them) but in reality, they are infected from the start, and it is only when they learn about your presence and desire to -thwart- them do they start attacking you. It could just as easily (or considering the past cases, be more likely) that this is the exact same situation here. And odds are, you’re going to have some ‘black’ help bringing down these ‘zombies’!

    If anything, this game may even bring to light the state of Africa, it may bring more awareness to all the problems that are currently running rampant in my ‘motherland’ and awareness is never a bad thing.

    The thing that really gets to me is all these people being ridiculously defensive -for- me and my ‘people’. You are part of the problem. I cannot believe that people do not realize that they are widening the gap between Africans and the rest of the world when they try ever so hard to ‘respect our differences’ like in this situation. I WANT an RE game in Africa; it’s unique, it’s ballsy and it’s refreshing. People getting offended over this are IMMEDIATELY noticing the fact that these people are black and IMMEDIATELY assuming that black people should be exempt from all sorts of negative representations (such as the T virus). Stop it. Please, everyone who is trying to protect the black image… stop it. You are doing a lot more harm than help, and what we really need is supreme and complete equality – and that means letting black people be T-Virus infected crazed monsters too”.

    As a male European descent i took no offence too Resident Evil 4 set in europe with American killing Europeans. I took the game at face value. Just as this BLACK male has about Resident Evil 5.

  154. 154 Some Guy

    You’re just feeding the racism circle. The more you find racism in absolutely everything, the more it will anger white people. It’s probably half the reason why racism still exists. I’m not racist, but I sure do hate hearing a handful of blacks scream out every time a black is pictured (or not pictured) in any situation. It’s enough to make non-blacks not want to associate with or be near black people – just so they don’t have to hear you whine about nothing. You’re furthering the cycle and continuing hurtful stereotypes. I’m sure the majority of blacks are not thanking you right now.

    Also, I’ve never even seen a movie where a non-black did something wrong or hateful. In fact, in my entire life not a single white, Mexican, Asian, Arab, or UFO Spaceman has ever been depicted as a bad guy. Not even once. Only black people. Only.

    The amount of whites depicted doing evil things far outweighs that of blacks. Get off your high horse.

  155. 155 andrew

    It is a video game. People will not change their perception of Africa. It seems that’s your main issue here. If you want to change how people view Africa, then educate them. Playing RE4 did not change how I view Spain. I’m sorry but people play video games for fun/entertainment, not for educational purposes. So please dont bring race into this. Most people (including me) didnt even look at this (as a white man killing black people) until people like you brought it up. If you want people to stop looking at peoples race, then stop pointing it out. Just let us play our games without thinking about race. I just hate it when people play the race card for no legitament reason. I cant wait until my generation are the leaders of this country. We are so sick of thinking about race when people like you bring it up.

  156. 156 ANON

    I think most of you guys are missing the point on Jason’s view. He doesn’t have a major problem with “White guy killing black guys” like some racially sensitive people out there, he’s more concerned with the way black people are *portrayed* in this game. And i think it’s a sensible point.

    But I think, Jason, you need to understand the process of creating a game like this. For a ‘Survival Horror’ game, the setting/location is important. I don’t mean picking a Country or City just for the sake of it, more like the environment such as Urban/ Jungle/ etc. to set up the right mood for the rest of the game. For the location of the game to be set in, what seems to be, a poverty stricken/poorly developed area seems to be a choice for gaming reason.

    It makes sense. An ex-cop (a character from a previous game) stuck in foreign land, is targetted by the people of this place, but he has no ways of contacting people outside for help nor does he have sufficient resources, because the area isn’t exactly riping with technology. And he’s alone. These conditions allow the designers more things to work on. Remember, it’s a survival horror game.

    So now the people. It would not make any sense to have men in business suits around these places, they need the people to reflect their surroundings.

    Starting to sound familiar? Because this is what they did for RE4, and it worked. It would make sense for them to carry this formula over for the sequel.

    And choosing Africa, if it /is/ Africa (no one knows where this game is set), seems to be purely because of storyline. Now i don’t know what the story for RE5 is nor have i completed RE4, but the RE series has always been about virus/ disease and such. There are tropical diseases in Africa, and evil scientists are probably doing crazy experiments with them. A complete guess, but it’s a reasonable explanation for the storyline.

    So why are the people acting like savages?

    Well, because they’re zombies. Duh.

  157. 157 Kelsipher

    Oh boy. Another African American person that thinks every time something bad includes another African American person, it’s racist.

    CAPCOM is a Japanese company. In the R.E. predecessors you are a Caucasian person killing Caucasian people and 1 African American person.

    The creator is the R.E. Decided they should “branch out”. You all know what countries R.E. 1-4 were in. And 5 happens to take place somewhere in Africa. Because operantly the outbreak is spreading to different countries. And guess what race the people and zombies will be in Africa? *AFRICAN*. Big eyes? If you have seen a few zombie pictures, movies, or video games, you’ll see that alot of the time the Caucasian zombies will have “BIG EYES”.

    And about Black Hawk down and stuff. That was an actual thing that happened. it’s about individuals making bad choices. and they happen to be a certain nationality. You can’t go accusing the writer of a book or movie of being prejudice and making a prejudice movie every time a person that is not “White” dies, gets arrested, or whatever.

    You need to open your eyes.
    Have you watched an episode of Carlos Mencia? He’s what you call an “equal opportunity offender”. He talks bad about all races, cutlers, and people.

    And just because someone likes a game where you kill zombies and it’s a good game, doesn’t mean that they would like to do that in real life. 99.9999999% of gamers who play violent video games don’t do violent things related to the video game.

    1. I think you need to talk with the creator of the resident evil series and get all your facts before you make assumptions.
    2. I think you also need to talk to doctor phill. Don’t wanna talk to him because he’ll say it’s not racist because he’s “white”. Then find an African American therapist, counselor, or whatever to talk to.

  158. 158 Kelsipher

    PS: What I am getting here in the story is that this is one certain village in Africa that apparently is an, as you say “Old Schoole Stereotype” of “Black” people.

    It’s a village that looks to me doesn’t have allot of medicine and doesn’t have a very sanitary environment.

    So that makes since that people would catch that virus and become zombies.

  159. 159 BatAttack

    “But I also wonder what impact this view of Africa will have to people who might already have a fairly negative impression of the place”

    So basically, Jason, you are wondering if the game player will be able to tell if the game is fiction, or if they think it is real?

    I have a pretty negative impression of America myself, but I did not give the events in Raccoon City much credence.

  160. 160 Tyler

    Jason, I’m just a little confused about your worries? Why weren’t you concerned about RE4’s affect on Europe’s image? I honestly can’t find the right grounds for a racial argument because there honestly isn’t one. I think everyone knows that there are nice parts of Africa, but that there is alot of work to be done. You don’t even know the story of the game. It could be bringing up racism or terrorism in a as things we need to fight, not encourage (which most people already know we need to fight). I just feel that you shouldn’t talk about things like this when you really don’t know what the game is about.

  161. 161 Chad

    Wow talk about crying wolf. It has become more and more evident to me that true racism is disappearing from this world. There is still racism and it is still ugly and disturbing, but obviously it is slowly fading from the world. The reason I say there is obviously less TRUE racism in this world, is because people have nothing better or more important to do than complain about and make up ridiculous allegations such as these.

    This game is in no way racist. Why wasn’t it racist when we were shooting white, asian or spanish zombies?

    Why don’t you go find something better to do other than trying to create racism.

    You obviously want racism to continue, why else would you go looking for it in places it doesn’t exist?

    Can a person like yourself even exist in a world without racism, a world where no one stands out for being different, a world where you no longer have anything to complain about?

    Wait I can answer the last question myself… of course you could, you would just find something new to complain about, to promote your self-importance.

    By the way this is intended for everyone, not just the author of this article, who tries to create or promote racism, or any kind of hate mongering where there is none… Get a life, or at least start living the one you were given!

  162. 162 Anthony

    Blade Trilogy, a black hero killing white vampires. I did not hear anyone cry racism.

  163. 163 J

    Black person, lets pop the racism card.
    Black people want to be treated equally? then stop bringing up the racism card everytime theres a black person involved in anything.

    I had a black teenager try and start a fight with me on my way home, I told him to get lost and that I had better things to than to fight some kid on the street, and what a surprise, he popped the racism card “oh, it’s ’cause im black.” If I had replied “Yeah, it’s because your black” I’d be a racist, but no, it’s fine for him to use racism card at the slightest thing.

    Just give it up man, it’s a game, black people wanted to be treated equally, not jumped at when ever something pops up, white people dont go mad over a white man getting shot, or the spanish people over spanish people getting shot. Just leave the damn racism card out of it, it’s over used and goddamn annoying.

  164. 164 Matt

    Thanks for starting this, I can’t wait for this game to be rated AO for racism. I ONLY PLAY GAMES THAT DON’T DEPICT VIOLENCE…I DONT PLAY PACMAN EITHER.

  165. 165 Real Blackman

    i am black and i do not find this racist at all wtf is wrong with my fellow black people THEY ARE IN AFRICA THERE ARE BLACK PEOPLE IN AFRICA ITS A DAMN GAME NOT RACIST. I think this whole blog is stupid. I find it ok for black people to be shot in killed in this game. I will be the first one in line to buy it and when I get a good shit on a black guy I am going to scream BOOOM HEADSHOT all night long.

  166. 166 Splattercast

    This is definitely an interesting viewpoint and its caught the eye of a contributor over at our website.

    My opinion is this: Have african-american’s been portrayed badly in films? Absolutely…but so have white people. Are you advocating that there should be a ban on any perceived “negative” portrayal of African-Americans? Give me a break. I’m 99.9% sure that the game developers didn’t sit down and say “Yeah, we don’t like black people. Let’s turn them into zombies so other racists like us can shoot them”. That’s just kind of silly if you think about it.

    It’s just a game. They decided to set it in Africa this time around. As other people have mentioned, just about every other RE gave has featured white people being murdered. Should all the oppressed whites of the world rise up and cry racism? No.

    What’s funny about your comments is that I guarantee you wouldn’t be writing this article if the game had, say, been set in China and it was a bunch of Asian zombies. Would you have stuck up for all those oppressed asian-americans who were persecuted in early American history?

    However, your comments have given us a discussion topic for next week’s Splattercast. We’ll be reading your article and discussing the ramifications of it. We hope you’ll give it a listen.

  167. 167 Chris

    Are you being serious? Like for real? Just because one game has black people in it, and a white guy is the hero, its being portrayed as racist?

    First things first, the game is being developed by JAPANESE PEOPLE.

    Second, every other resident evil have has been about white people or spanish(same thing) and now when it takes place in africa you complain?!

    Be for real, you people are so IGNORANT sometimes.

  168. 168 Hikaru

    some people might love killing african zombies. I dont know..
    but does it matter?
    why bother viewing this GAME as issue?
    Black society is getting better “Equality” every day now right?
    sure theres still “some people”
    but those people are living in the past.
    i dont see the difference between that “some people” and you.
    if it makes you feel bad, just dont play it or pay attention to it.

    if this “killing africans(zombie) in game” is an issue
    so should the ability of “killing humans in game”
    i really dont see the difference.
    do you?
    does this look right or wrong?
    lol who cares.. its funny.
    same thing goes for games.
    who cares.. its scary(fun).

  169. 169 eminent_lomein

    god, the self-victimization here is astounding. i’m not only talking about the killing-black-people-must-be-racist article above, but some of the responses to it. accusing black people who are overly sensitive about racism of being responsible for anti-black racism is like accusing militant israelis of being responsible for antisemitism. i’ve seen one or two people saying this but racists are responsible for racism and while seeing racism where there isn’t any is a bad and unproductive thing, it’s not racism. and throwing around that word at people who express opinions you don’t like makes you just as bad as the article writer.

    his reaction seeing social racism in this is totally overblown. but i don’t think this guy is arguing that capcom is sitting around rubbing its hands in glee as it designs games where you murder black people. it’s as though when people discuss this issue all nuance goes out the window, and either one side is the source of everything wrong or the other must be.

    oh and people like kelsipher and hikaru, you are not helping disarm this controversy by saying “oh it’s the japanese what are you talking about how could it be racist”. as thorgard said above, the japanese ARE really crazily racist in the way they portray black people in a way that polite white people in america haven’t been for forty years. i mean you see mammies and pitch-black sambos and people in blackface all over that country’s media because most of them have never met a black person and all that shit is removed when they ship the games over here so people will actually buy them.

    a way better argument is to look at the shit in japanese games that is really racist and then look at this and realize that there’s nothing in the resident evil trailer that reflects that mentality at all.

  170. 170 David Adams

    I find this debate ridiculous. It’s a damn game. The setting in fact takes place in Africa, and go figure there are Africans, I wonder why that is. But seriously this is just ridiculous. So if a game all of a sudden comes out with a bunch of savages who were white, no one would do a thing, because simply nobody cares. So the same goes for a game that has black people in it. It’s just blatant stupidity that someone thinks RE5 is racist.

  171. 171 Jacki

    You know what would actually make this game racist? Have the protagonist shoot the healthy Africans and save the virus ridden ones.

  172. 172 Teknoman

    Someone needs to show these people a spot by spot detail of the video. Seriously, and no one cried about 28 days later when a black guy was chained up behind the military outpost because he turned into one of the “Enraged”.

  173. 173 Tribal

    Response to a comment by ‘Ethan’ about halfway in:

    “Picture this, you’re walking down a dark alley with no one else around. How would you react if you see a black man come coming towards you in the other direction. What if the man was white? What if he’s asian? What if it’s a woman? I don’t believe you if you tell me that your reactions (if not overtly, then at least internally such as a raised heart rate) would not be different depending on who it is.”

    Yes, my reaction will be different depending on who walks down that alley. I’d be a hell of a lot more concerned if Jean-Claude van Damme walked towards me than say, Chris Rock. Same as I would be more concerned about Michael Clarke Duncan walking towards me than Johnny Depp. I think the stereotype you are perceiving here is your own- that of all black men being large, muscular, scary people which is completely untrue.

    In a controlled environment most people judge threat on appearance; size is the first indicator, body language is the second, eye contact is the third and by this point if the person has not registered as a threat they won’t be registered as one, skin colour or no. This is why the thought of passing a female in the alley is less threatening, she would traditionally be smaller, her body language would be defensive (as *you* would be the threat) and she would most likely avoid eye contact.

    Of course, there are sociological and psychological factors that affect this- being victimised by a group previously (unintentional personal racism) or being constantly told that a particular group is bad news by persons in positions of power such as parents or community figureheads (overt social racism) will affect reaction, but to your average person these factors are minimal.

    I would also like to bring up the point that just because this game is developed by a Japanese company it doesn’t mean it cannot be racist, whether their country has historically ever oppressed the race or not. I fail to see any overt racism in this trailer mind you, but to dismiss any potential of discrimination towards people of African race purely because Capcom is Japanese is foolish and won’t help your point.

  174. 174 Michael Jones

    Why do you honestly think this game is so racist or bad feeling. Do you feel guilty because black people had a bad lot in history? I’m a black man, and I just so happened to be married to a hispanic woman. If you enjoyed playing Resident Evil 4 so much, why is this one any different.

    Shouldn’t it be more appauling that the games now start out where you’re just shooting to kill what seem to be regular humans rather than dead and decaying zombies?

    Let’s not also forget that this game is created by a Japanese game company which, if you haven’t noticed has no problems playing out and displaying racial and regional stereotypes (Dead Rising, Street Fighter II).

    Oh, but now we’re supposed to be upset because this game sheds a little splash of reality of a remote part of Africa that just couldn’t possibly be right because that’s only a stereotype. Give me a break. Who cares if Africa has made improvements. Neither you, me or anyone for that matter can change the past (Stories like what’s depicted in Hotel Rwanda). That’s not what this game is about. Somebody made a bunch of africans crazed, dumb zombies. Don’t get mad at it. You certainly weren’t upset at shooting mr beaner face, so why should black face be exempt?

    The next might be in tibet, maybe they should be sure they have the zombies playing chess and quoting high literature amongst each other.

    I’ve never read your blog before but, did you feel this way about GTA: San Andreas?

    To be honest with you, I’m tired of running around the North America,Britain, or Spain for that matter…

  175. 175 Bob Bobson

    You need to get a real job and stop fighting a fight that was won years ago!

  176. 176 fluffy bunny

    One thing I’ve always wondered is why there’s so few games that’s taking place in Africa. I mean, we get the same-old settings over and over again, and this great continent lies almost unused.

    Now, I sort of understand why – naturally, if you make a violent game and set it in Africa, you’re probably going to have to have a lot of enemies who are black (because there are a lot of black people living in Africa, you know). And that quickly results in accusations of racism. No wonder most publishers just stay away from the continent all together.

    Sad. :-/

  177. 177 Rice

    Seriously why not wait till we find out more about the game besides the fact that there seems to be a fictitious village in Africa where the inhabitants become zombies. Oh yeah they are black…cause there are black people in Africa…and an American special agent is white…

    Until their is intent that there is racism, i.e. a white guy killing a black guy because he is black, then maybe we should be talking about this.

    Oh I see this game selling oodles if this keeps up. Buy Capcom stock.

  178. 178 P Devine

    Had to stop reading right after the phrase “Dark continent” was used in a display of ignorance to its origins and meaning. It has nothing to do with skin color. This is a silly topic to discuss. If the “hero” happened to have been a black person than there would be no issue. But of course we can pick and choose what we want to be sensitive in this PC world of ours, your use of Dark Continent for example. I have had enough in many respects.

  179. 179 billybob

    I wonder if lynching is a feature in this game, also is there an alternate costume in which chris will be wearing a white sheet over his head?

  180. 180 Teckomatorp

    I’m at a loss for words, stop your nonsense victim complex bullshit already, its way old and the rest of the world is pretty sick and tired of it already. you have knowingly chosen to take the game out of context just so you could piss and moan about your self created disenfranchisement.

  181. 181 Pygar

    Love the Resident Evil Franchise, saw the trailer for RE5 the other day and new I had to get on the ball to get an X-Box 360 to play what looks to be an awesome game.

    Now theres a controversy attached because the zombies in the game are Africans? When I saw the trailer for the game yesterday, the thought that the zombies were black never crossed my mind- because I am not a racist.

  182. 182 frank

    Come on man,
    This is complete bull. All the people who are saying: “It’s racism, because you have to kill black people” You are the biggest racists here. So it’s ok. to shoot a white fella but if it’s a black fella it’s racism. Gimme a break, i’m a white person and i’m offended by those people. Not the video games, butt the people complaining now. It’s just bullshit, and nothing more then hypocrit. The German people have been shot at in basicly every shootergame. Do you hear them complain now, cause they see that it’s just FICTIONAL!! And you people need to understand that!!
    We are a new generation, and this generation loves videogames. Just like Rock and Roll in the 50’s and the flower power in the 60’s. The old generations dont like this because it’s new and cause the kids like it, and that’s wy they are trowing this bullshit at us.This is not about racism, this is about the videogames. Just like al “the violent video games make you violent” bullshit. So please stop talking bullshit about racism, and just admit that it’s just about videogames.

  183. 183 Chris

    Id like to point out that the people making this game are Japanese. They dont know about the concepts of racism between Blacks and Whites in Japan. They’ve never really had to deal with this issue before.

    The only reason the main character is white is because he is a returning main character (one of the biggest in fact) of the series.

    If I recall correctly the concepts of voodooism and zombies originally came from africa and as such I believe Capcom may just be taking zombies back to their roots.

    Im going to wait for the whole story before I judge anything more about this game.

  184. 184 Chad

    Ethan… What?

    Tribal… Thank you, your answer was well thought out and mirrored my own opinion, only you stated it much more eloquently then I was planning to.

    I was simply going to say I am white, 6’1” 300 pounds, with a 60” chest, 21” Arms 24” calves and 35” thighs, I workout a 4 – 6 days a week. Basically picture a power lifters build (yes I have a gut) If I were walking down dark ally 9 times out of 10 the other person is the one that’s scared or apprehensive. I usually make sure to say something as we pass in as kind a voice as I can to the effect of “How’s it going” or “nice night, huh?” and I always look people in their eyes, not matter their skin color or sex.

    I have never been afraid to go anywhere, but I have been smart enough to avoid bad situations. Take your dark alley theory. I once avoided walking down a dark alley, because there were 4 to 6 people standing in the dark talking, I couldn’t even tell you there skin color, they may have been white, (It was dark outside) I wasn’t sure what they were doing and I didn’t want to know. I simply chose a different route.

    It’s called self preservation.

    Some people are just naturally more intimidating, not because of their skin color, but because of their size, disposition, or attitude.

    As for the game I stand by my earlier statment. I wasn’t even going to post again until I read Ethan’s comments

  185. 185 Chad

    For everyone who keeps say voodoo is from Africa, it’s the traditional religion of Haiti.

    The regional practices were blended with other African traditions, with elements of Masonry, ritual magick, and Catholicism, creating a unique faith that has survived some of the worst persecutions.

    This I didn’t know until tonight… (See you do learn something new every day)

    The word ‘voodoo’ is a corruption of the word ‘vodun,’ a word that means ‘god’ or ‘spirit’ in the West African Fon language.

    So it’s more likely it takes place in Haiti, but we won’t know until there is more info on the game.

    Oh and one more thing for Ethan… the The American Civil War
    1861-1865, try the math again

  186. 186 jinxman

    Hey, I do disagree with you, but I don’t want to go into details as I have already outlined them on I do, however, want to thank you for actually acknolowdging that there are well thought out posts that disagree with you on here, unlike on blacklooks, where they just quoted the racist insults and completely ignored the majority of actual arguments against them.

  187. 187 Martin

    Ok, I havn’t kept up much with this game, and read only the post and not all the comments. I understand the post really isn’t about racism, but about the portrayal of Africa, and particularly Africans. And yes, the “zombies” in the game do hint at previous stereotypes that were given to Africans, particularly in the past. This post though does hint at you being more concerned with racism though, and seems a little more like you are hurt which could lead to the barrage of comments of people complaining that this is Bull.

    My main concern really with your post though is that you havn’t played the game, or even gotten the whole story about the game. You are basing your opinion and feelings on just pictures, creating your own stereotype that the developers are people trying to capitalize on previous misconceptions. They will have the “zombies” being agressive and the way they are for a reason, not because they are African… The town or country will be in shambles because of what has happened, not because they are in Africa. It is already stated that it takes place in an area devestated after the episodes. Seriously, do you think a town full of “zombies” is going to be the epicenter of economy and the ideal democratic process, or should the rednecks take up petitions to get RE2 off the shelves for portraying some ho-hum town as an utter wasteland with no thriving business anymore, considering thats what that city portrayed.

    I understand that there is a horrible history that still has many wounds to heal, but seriously, attacking everything is honestly licking the wounds, and not only keeping things from progressing, but giving fuel to those who would use images and games such as this for purposes to hurt and deepen those wounds, instead of an innocent fictional story that happens to have agressive people who are black because it is an area where the dominant population happens to be African.

    Anyways, I hear the game actually takes place in Haiti……….(for your arguement that the game portrays Africa in poor underdeveloped light even though areas of Africa have made great strides and the continent has become very developed over the years which is very true for the most part, though there are still many small villages that aren’t, and for the purpose of fiction, (as has happened in the past in real life) is an ideal place for bad researchers to perform human testing on unknowing people with the promise of unatainable pharmaceuticals)….

  188. 188 Ethan

    Chad: I said “…. just because slavery ended here over a century ago – remember that the civil rights era was just 50 years ago”. The American Civil War (1861-1865) which officially ended slavery was over a century ago. The African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968), or in other words, the civil rights era, was just about 50 years ago. Now you’ve learned something new again!

  189. 189 Chad

    The Civil Rights movment was not a war… try again ,Ethan my friend. I know plenty about both, but thank you for your concern about my education.

  190. 190 Chad

    I apologize Ethan, I read your post wrong. I have read a lot of posts in a short time, so again I apologize.

    I thought you wrote that the civil war ended 50 years ago, I just went back and read it again.

  191. 191 Beth

    I don’t play video games much, but saw a lot of RE4 watching my husband play it. I thought the imagery was kinda racist even though I’m not latin. I’m asian and married to a black man. He agreed with me, but he played it anyway. He’ll probably play RE5 despite the racial overtones. What one perceives as having racial overtones depends very much on one’s experiences. There’s no common litmus test to determine that something is racist or not. So berating someone for being “over sensitive” is uncalled for – it’s their opinion based on their experiences! You can disagree with them, but the insults are unnecessary.

    Those of you who are male and white probably haven’t experienced racism. To those minorities who say that racism doesn’t exist anymore or that you’ve never encountered racism, count yourselves lucky! As a non-white woman in a male-dominated field and married to a minority, I’ve experienced plenty of racism and sexism. One time I was at a recruiting event, and a guy comes up to me and another female engine and tells us some joke about a big-breasted engineer. I found that offensive – I don’t think I was being over sensitive. When I went on vacation with a white couple who are my friends and their kids, people thought I was their helper or the nanny. That isn’t really racist, but it is certainly racial stereotyping. I’ve heard plenty of similar stories from friends – mixed-race couples where the husband is white, they have kids, then people constantly think the non-white mother is the nanny. This is because you don’t see many white nannies in America. It’s all about perception! There are more stories I could tell about the looks people give us as a mixed-race couple.

    And as for the idea that a game can’t be racist because it’s made by the Japanese is completely laughable. Many asian families would rather see their daughters marry a white guy than a latino or black guy. And this is because we’ve heard so many bad stories about blacks and latinos. And as some of the responders above (Shihku7, Thorgard, eminent_lomein) have pointed out, the Japanese aren’t immune to racial stereotyping.

    So yes, negative imagery about a people can feed negative perceptions about that people. I’m not arguing that we should only have good stories, but if they are bad, at least they should be true. If it’s fiction, then a little sensitivity goes a long way.

  192. 192 Chad

    Hey I got idea Drigster, why don’t you stop posting until you have a better grasp of the english language and can form a thought without make without having to call people names or making derogatory, remarks. Thanks for showcasing how an ignorant, prejudice, moron speaks.

    I wrote that to prove a point on an earlier post that someone was trying to say if you were walking down a dark alley and you saw a black man walking toward you, you would be scared, and you would be lying to state otherwise… Which is not true, atleast not for me.

    Why don’t you quote the whole post, in context instead of the part that allows you to indulge your fantasies.

  193. 193 Chad

    Oviously I should take my own advice about the english language after that last post, or atleast re-read it before I hit submit.

  194. 194 Rin

    Ok wait, what?
    You seem to claim to have Played Previous RE titles, yet you’re prediction on what this game will depict doesn’t include ANY of the Staples that Previous RE games have had.
    First of all, in EVERY game (except Maybe 0, as I haven’t played it yet) there is At least 1 or 2 NPCs who Help you (or you Take Controll of At some point)
    RE 1 – it was the Other Members of STARS (Rebecca, Brad, etc)
    RE 2 – Ada, Sherri, Ben, and Most Importantly to this Topic, Marvin Branagh, A Black Police Officer who you meet in the Beginning of the Game, he is badly Wounded when you first find him, and instead of asking you to help him, He gives you a Key-Card unlocking most of the doors in the Main hall so you can “Rescue Anybody else who may have survived”, he then Locks himself in that room when you leave so that he doesn’t get out and attack you and any other survivors you find when he becomes a Zombie. He was depicted as a Heroic Police Officer interesting in saving Survivors’ lives, and he was Black.
    RE3 – A few Random Townsfolk, The Mercs (including Carlos)
    RE:CV: Steve, Chris (later in the game)
    RE4 – Hennigan, and Most Importantly, Luis! Luis was a Spaniard like the Zombies, and he helped you and was Depicted as an Intelligent savvy guy who ends up dying a Heroic Death.
    Now, RE has always been a Story-Driven Series. No Survival Horror game would be good without a good Story. So do you think for a SECOND there won’t be at least one or 2 Uninfected, Intelligent Villagers to help you out at some point and time in the game? Probabily to show what Luis Showed in 4, that The Grenados (Zonbies in RE4) WERE NORMAL INTELLIGENT PEOPLE BEFORE THEY WERE CHANGED!!

    And the assumnption that The Majority of the game’s Zombies will be Black and that the game even takes place in Africa is absurd as info on the game is very Slim right now. we have 2 Teaser trailers that don’t even ammount to less than 5 minutes, and what we DO have obviously takes place in the same Area of the game, meaning we have no Idea if any Zombies from any other areas of the game will also be Black, or what story will be created around why the people are infected or anything like that.

    to Sum up what all I said: RELAX AND WAIT UNTIL WE KNOW MORE!!
    if they Release a 2nd Trailer and if it’s actually announced that the game takes place in Africa, all of the Zombies are black, none of the supporting characters are black, and when the Zombies Attack you they wail “Watermellon…” THEN you can claim Racism, or poor Portrayal of Africa. but As of Right now, you can’t Claim ANY of that because We Know NOTHING about the game, We don’t even know that they’re in Africa in that trailer

  195. 195 Ichi the killer

    Chris Redfield is not killing black people in the video. He’s only killing ZOMBIES, the color is not important (before, he killed white zombies in another games).
    The intelligent people know it.

    Excuse me again for my bad english.

  196. 196 Staticneuron

    There are alot of responses here but not alot of understanding. I didn’t get what the fuss was about until I read this post. This game within itseld is not offensive it is just that when you take a step back and look at how blacks are portrayed all across the world, this adds to a sterotype. I like to watch films and shows from all over the world and I have noticed that the mojority of black people portraid in these movies are villians. It is subtle but enough experience, being the movie watching, video game playin buff I am, I realize that it is there and it is disturbing “because” it is so subtle.

  197. 197 Ichi the killer

    If can read in spanish, read my blog please. My article about this theme is interesting, but is in spanish:

  198. 198 Leeroy

    Hi Jason

    Firstly we should probably thank you for being far less antagonistic and than some of your counterparts. Your opinion, when worded correctly does not garner the same degree of ferocious anger than Miss Platt. All I am going to say is that I can understand and sympathise with your points, however the fact does still remain that the game should not be blamed for it’s location. The game could have been set in manchester England, and there would be someone there complaining that scousers would be discriminated against. It’s quite frankly, inevitable that this was going to happen. I watched the trailer, with not a thought about any racist connotations. I don’t want to slay thousands of black men, or scousers for that matter. I just want to do the simon pegg thing, and go blast some zombies. let me repeat that: ZOMBIES. The gaming community does not hate those that make educated posts about this subject, which is why you have not ( hopefully) attracted as much attention as Miss Platt has.

    You said it yourself, the game draws dangerously close to “Stereotypes” but those stereotypes are merely your own perceptions of Africa combined with the frustrations we all feel when hearing about the latest famine or massacre. I don’t mean to belittle their suffering, but RE5 is not going to change its locale just to satisfy these concerns. I hope that you understand that we gamers arent a bad bunch. We just love our games and we defend them rigorously whenever possible.

  199. 199 Karen

    As long as the native people(who aren’t zombies) aren’t portrayed stereotypically then I am okay. I hope they at least have one Black character. If you have Black Zombies you should have Black heroes. I mean since the gam is in Africa.

  200. 200 David Wynn


    It seems like you’ve taken quite a beating in the comments. I’d like to add my voice to the crowd if you ever venture onto Carmen’s cross-posting though.

    First, I don’t assail you for having a bad gut reaction. There was a post on racialicious not too long ago about our fluctuating perceptions of racism through time. Racism is very much alive and around us, but some days we’re more sensitive to it then others. I don’t personally think Capcom intended to be racist, but then is racism something that’s in the eye of the beholder or of the presenter? I don’t know.

    Second, some of the arguments made against you have been pretty flawed. To me, the argument that the game is fantasy is especially weak. If we take that as true, what then? Were the Vaudeville productions just fantasy, so we can’t call them racist? Apu is an imaginary character from the Simpson’s Universe, but I think he still has real impacts on society. All that to say, your opponents tend to have weak arguments.

    I like the counter-question of what race jumps to your mind when you hear the word zombie? White? Black? Your own color? Someone else’s color? Why? To me, that’s a question worth a little exploration.

  201. 201 Kurinsat

    When you play GTA San Andreas (black protagonist) and shoot white/any other people’s it’s ALL OKAY !!!

    BUT when YOU play Resident Evil (hello ZOMBIES anyone?) as a White caucasian male YIKES! There’s a problem!!

    And last but not least “perception of black countries” for me WILL not change even if i KILL some Zombies (just zombies not WHITE/BLAC/etc Zombies in RE 5)

  202. 202 BlackBloc

    Personally, I’m more interested about the reaction to the accusations of racism than to the accusations themselves. If there was any doubt about the racism in RE5, there is NO doubt whatsoever about the racism of a large contingent of people who posted in response. So looking at the possible racism in one game is missing the forest for the trees. The more significant problem is the fact that racism is common within the gaming community (as anyone who played on XBox Live could tell you).

  203. 203 Tai

    I’m going to give it to you straight. If one looks for racism, one will surely find it. It’s as simple as that. I understand that the history involved isn’t pretty, and will never be. But the game doesn’t actually depict slavery. And while it does have a white man gunning down black zombies, he does it in self defense. As for your comment on how closely the new zombies are to the old school black stereotype, they basically act just Ganados with black skin, except they run faster. So, it looks to me to be coincidental, is that so wrong? I mean, what’s the Japanese got to gain by being racist to black people? Sure, Resident Evil is a part of the popular culture media, but this media should technically only be accessible to adult gamers. Gamers would more likely be thinking “heck, how the hell am I gonna stay alive?” instead of “oh goodie, time to kill some blacks”. The game won’t make the people think less of black people in any way because, those in game are A: not technically human, B: infected with some for of virus or what-not, and C: are not real. One can’t really say that the virus out break can be compared to AIDS either, as people with AIDS don’t bite people for fun.

    Anyway, that’s my take on this whole thing, if I have offended anyone with this, I apologize in advance.

  204. 204 Rich

    In Resident Evil 4 the zombies were speaking spanish. However you didnt hear latins complaining. In other Resident Evil games you didnt hear whites complain about racism. So why is it now that the game has african americans we hear about racism. Yes there is racism in the world. Heck I’ve experienced it first hand, but I think its lame and ridiculous to call everything racist. Who cares if the zombies are black and the main character is white. We cant make the main character african american be cause throughout the whole series he has been white. I think we should be serious on other things but when it comes to silly things like videogames I think we as people need to just lighten up a little.

  205. 205 Hoogie

    Racist. If you see that and think that the game is racism then you are a racist. I initially looked at it and said “hmmmmmm, let’s hope it doesn’t suck.” I want equal rights. If a white man can be killed then a black man should be able to be killed.

    Racism works both ways.

  206. 206 Brendan

    Personally I think black people want a reason to be offended. They don’t want to get past the bad things or think of the positive. I personally think you stop thinking that everybody is against ya. Yeah nintendo personally targeted a race. Nintendo being from japan have gone through a lot as a race them selfs. they had two bombs dropped on them . had the American government lock them up for just being. think of all the stereotypes that they go through.

    This is just another game.

    just pointing out but the godfather of zombie films romero lastest film had a smart black zombie. As the leader no dout. So all isn’t bad as bad as one thinks.

  207. 207 jeff james

    hello get a life read the fine print


  208. 208 In Support of Jason

    I think that some of you are missing the point. What we do NOT want to see is a depiction of a white man going to Africa to kill crowds of Black people.

    It is a re-enactment/ a glamourous and modern restaging of colonialism. It is painful and hurtful. And when the killing went on, all kinds of excuses were made that Black people were less than human – expendable. Now, they are zombies, expendable, to be gleefully killed. Still pictured with lower intelligence. Aggressive, hungry, violent. How could anyone want to see more harm come to peopole with dark skin?

    Yes, other zombies have been white. Traditionally, white skin has been the standard for Western entertainment. In a writing class, my professor explained the American psyche: If one the page one read The man in a blue suit was reading the newspaper. Most of us would picture a white man. Other races must have identifiers to trigger our imagination. The majority of characters in movies, tv shows and games are white. So, as white skin is the standard, one must go out of their way to identify others…to make zombies black. Jason is correct, this does invoke stereotypes and when People of Color do not get as much media exposure, stereotypes begin to shape popular opinion. Why contribute to that? Why make a point to take it to Africa where a painful legacy of interracial violence is still largely unaddressed?

    If we took a more critical look at the fall out of the behavior glorified here, then maybe it could be clearer. Colonialism (white men with guns in Africa, Asia and Latin America) has resulted in slavery, the rape and forced removal of indigenous people, the displacement of millions, the decimation of the Native American population, the loss of languages and cultures,lands stolen, resources depleted, and global poverty leaving millions without money to eat or the funds to buy life saving medicine. And once the profit dwindled, and native people demanded independence, the colonies lost their financial foothold and pulled out, in a bloody fashion. Behind them, they left people, fractured, divided who struggled to start up again. And for some new African countries, the trauma of colonialism yeilded the worst self-hate demonostrated through genocide over the remaining resources.

    Though the governments pulled out, they left some of their citizens who were still considered private owners of ill gotten land. Who have gotten to keep all of the money sqeezed out of stolen resources. They have maintained the racist status quo. A prime example is South Africa. Apartheid remained even after Britian finally decolonized. It all started with white men, pointing guns at Black people.

    Yet, as we see evidence of this on the news. We see dark people writhing in misery. And we pretend that we don’t know the source. As if they did it to themselves. But it started with white men indiscriminately pointing guns at dark people. And fun or not, zombies or not, we don’t want to see this glorified in our video games. To ignore what happened is bad enough…to make sport of the atrocities is unacceptable. We are not ready for this. We need to deal with the historical consequences of what really happened.

    I feel you Jason.

  209. 209 Luke

    The author of this article responds: “I find the proximity of those zombies to old school black stereotypes alarming”.
    As a black man I find that clinging to these “old school stereotypes” most alarming. How are we ever going to break these stereotypes if people like you can’t let them go. Why do people of my skin color always have to be labeled as different by you? When can we finally be treated the same as everyone? If you INSIST on seeing racism when a video game with nearly a dozen “white zombie” titles in the franchise and designed by Japanese publishers FINALY makes the bold move to take the series to Africa then how will racism ever end?
    According to you a zombie game should not be set Africa.
    According to you my motherland will always be treated differently.
    According to you we will always be looked on differently and racism will not die.
    I salute Capcom for being truly free of racism.
    To defy pundits who would decry them for finally treating Africa with some EQUALITY.
    I salute them for not seeing Africa as a place with people of a different skin color, but as an interesting location for their next really amazing game!
    Thank You Capcom!

  210. 210 Dirtblade

    I can’t believe people actually waste their time creating articles “fighting” this “racism”. I saw the preview for the game, and I didn’t instantly take a tailspin down into sorrow because I realized how badly they were portraying black people.

    I like how you said “Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school black stereotypes alarming.” The preview for the game was what, 30 seconds long? How in the hell can you make a claim like that with only seeing 30 seconds of in game footage? And did you not think that they may act crazy like that because they are zombies?

    I can’t stand when this happens. Someone decides to have a non-white character do one bad act, and the whole community is up in arms about racism.

    Racism is still a problem today, but it isn’t as rampant as most of you make it out to be. Capcom wanted to make a game set in Africa, maybe to make their game more diverse, and who the hell lives in Africa? Tons and tons of Japanese people? I don’t think so Tim.

  211. 211 Aberu

    During any public outcry from any race’s community about racism in the media, you can just reverse the roles on their arguments and it turns them all on their backs like turtles. Here we see them saying this is a “black racism murder simulator” of some sort, well if we had one black person, who is a gangster, left with the task of killing “whitey” in some horribly offensive game the likes of GTA, you would see no complaint of racism from these same people who appear to be fighting for racial equality. Stop being so transparent. It’s not okay for anyone to portray blacks in anyway other than 100% positive, and it’s not okay for blacks to be zombies, according to you. That is the true racism. White condescension is something that needs to end. Read some Larry Elder.

  212. 212 anyonecanbeasensationalist

    I confess I don’t know much about blacks. I don’t know any blacks, but I occasionally see blacks being violent on youtube. However, given the response from blacks… I think we should all be very afraid. Many of these blacks seem like the type who would try to reenact scenes from youtube. Can you say Black Panthers?

  213. 213 Confused

    To “In support of Jason”

    Show me one race that hasn’t been completely slaughtered or enslaved. Then I will agree with you.

    Hate is hate.

    I am not responsible for what happened in slavery times, nor will I ever take responsibility for it.

    I can tell which side you come from by the way you captilize Black and lower case white. And it’s not the human side.

    Just another person with an agenda.

    Clearly the world still has some growing up to do.

  214. 214 Miller

    look. since ive been into resident evil since 1. and i even played the horrible outbreak and gun survivor games, i know how to end this. in resident evil 1, stars memebers go to a mansion. they find theses zombies, that are white, black asian, and what ever. they are all zombies, no race card is called cause they all is trying to kill you so who cares what color they are. anyway, resident evil 2 comes along. once again, same story. people trying to leave a USA city to get away from the zombies. white, black, what ever, they are zombie agains trying to kill you. in resident evil 3, another chracter is trying to get out of the city like 2. but at the end of 3, the town is destroyed. thus meaning no more zombies are here in the USA. so now in resident evil cvx, chris (the so called racist guy from 5) goes to eroup to find his sister, who is fighting zombies yet again. Chris then starts to fight zombies also. and the first thing he dose is saves a black guys life who is eaten by a giant worm. so they then proceed to get rid of umbrella (responsible for the zombies) and the zombies are no more. now resident evil 4, something more sinister is among the human race. It originated in eroup, and the bad guy is trying to infect the presidents child and send her back to the USA to infect the entire USA. so leon (main chracter stops them) but the guy from re1 has got a sample of both the zombie virus and the spanish thing. Now he goes to africa to make an even more sinister virus thing. Now chris goes to africa to stop him to find he is to late. now he must destroy wesker and the virus once and for all. but its not gonna be easy cause the africans in africa are infected, and it will soon get all around the earth if he dont stop wesker. thats the story. no racist here or anything

  215. 215 Joe

    The only problem here is that you and others wanted website hits. There is nothing wrong with Africans as zombies . We’ve had white zombies in the majority of games.

    This is just your raceist side coming out. it was okay to you to kill white zombies and spanish zombies , but now its not okay for you to kill black zombies.

    to me it doesn’t matter what zombies I kill . They can set this in italy killing Italians and i would still buy it and not complain .

    So whats the diffrence between you and I ? Well I’m not raceist and It seems that you are

  216. 216 Justin

    I’m black and I see no problem with it being set in Africa and I’m not even a fan of the Resident Evil series.

    In fact, I find your argument and Kym Platt’s argument to be a load of bullshit.

    Stop trying to victimize yourself. No one’s being racist. It’s a setting for a god damn game. Just because blacks have been enslaved and victimized in the past doesn’t give them a VIP pass through all runs of media saying “We can’t be portrayed in a bad light at all. Ever.”

    If you don’t like the game and its premise, turn your head the other way and keep living your own life.

  217. 217 Hello?

    Has the racism card seriously penetrated that far into our society that a video game can now be denoted as racist? This is a game about killing zombies. ZOMBIES. This isn’t American History X the video game. Kunta Kinte will not be the perpetual whipping boy as the “white hero” strikes down the wrath of the savage black beast. This is a game about stopping a virus from replicating and destroying life as we know it.

    I think everyone needs to take a step back and look at the implications of this game. By implications I mean: Is the game going to be good or will it be a bomb? THAT’S ALL!

    It’s when people that don’t know a goddamn thing about something think they need to stick their two-cents in the pot. Then it causes a whole uproar with other mindless idiots joining them and adding in more falsified information. Here’s a very simple ruled I’ve learned: Before you start judging and jumping all over a subject, get the facts straight and do some research for yourself.

    How is this going to portray Africa? Does it really matter? The game is not about real life Africa. It’s about zombies. Zombies that are hungry for human flesh. Zombies that don’t really care about social values and assumptions about other humans. The last time I heard, zombies aren’t real. Unless you are referring to voodoo, Haiti, and the origins of a so called ‘zombie,’ but that’s beside the point. The point is that this is A FICTIONAL GAME. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Plus, I think you’re going about this whole racism thing wrongly. The past umpteen RE’s featured mostly non-colored zombies. I think I would be focusing on that. In RE5 the black people finally get the recognition in this series that they deserve. I’d be happy with that. Think of it as a former slave-owning family giving you restitution for all of the hardship your ancestors were put through.

    That last paragraph was a little harsh, and this being the internet, I’ll let you know that it was totally sarcastic.

    Stop looking so deeply into a game about Zombies. Oh, and “Blackface Goes HD.” Way to prove your ignorance to me before I read the first word of your post. As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to start a blog. My first post will be “Ignorant Dipshits Like to Stir the Politically Correct Pot.”

    I think you are really missing the point about racism, equality, and politically correctness in general. We live in a society where it’s okay for black people to rap about bitches, hoes and shooting other people, say the word “nigga,” be in a video game where thugs shoot other people, sell drugs, steal things ect. Yet, you’re upset over a game that has a few zombies. A game which in fact, you have no idea what the story is (meaning the current RE5 story, not the series itself.)

    Why not try to change the way you and your culture present yourself here in America before you go jumping all over a Japanese-made video game which I’m willing to bet has a positive outlook for African culture anyway?

    Oh, and let me know how many people after playing this next installment of RE are scared of black people and black culture. If I ever go to Africa, I’m sure as hell not going to be worried about a zombie eating. I think I would be more concerned about HIV or getting raped by a lion.

    Cheers to the ongoing ignorance of the self-righteous assholes in this world. White people included. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone since this post is directed at a black guy.

  218. 218 Matt

    I think the issue here lies in the fact that the game hasn’t actually been released yet, and no one really knows what the story is other than there are zombies in an African village and Chris Redfield(who happens to be white) is trying to save himself from said zombies. My take on the game is that Chris is actually trying to save the town. He talks about how casualties are mounting and he’s wondering if it’s worth it. It also shows the villages obviously angry at someone who would appear to be a warlord or some kind of dictator. I would assume that, like in RE4, Chris is not in the village specifically to kill zombies, but possibly to help the villagers. (I could be totally off this is just my take from what I saw in the trailer) Also who’s to say that there won’t be a secondary character, who may be black, that shows off the good qualities that most people have, similar to Luis in RE4. The other point I’d like to make is that this is a fictional story. The only parts of the trailers that don’t involve zombies seem to be perfectly civil, aside from the part where they’re throwing rocks and the man in sunglasses, but riots happen all over the place. Once it the villagers turn into zombies I can see the bad image there, but again it’s fictional. If someone playing this game honestly thinks that zombies accurately portray any African country then they obviously don’t have the maturity level, or intelligence, to be playing the game in the first place.

  219. 219 Lumen


    Earlier you stated that perhaps now is not the best time to release RE:5 because of the events occuring in Africa.

    Africa has been in turmoil for hundreds of years, and despite the good things happening there, it probably won’t get that much better for quite some time.

    Are you suggesting that Capcom hold off on releasing RE:5 until the entire continent is stable? That could be a hell of a long time.

    There are terrible things going on in just about every continent of this entire planet. Human rights abuses, illegal military actions, sexual slavery and human trafficking. By your logic, no game should have a realistic locale unless it was in the stable “civilized” world. I have to say I disagree.

    Perhaps this game will show other people the plight of what is happening in Africa and help them to see that those people still have it really, really rough. How do you know? Do you know the storyline? Have you played the game?

    No, you are just judging the entire intent and contents of a game based on a small pre-release trailer that is subject to change.

    Yes. Africa has it incredibly rough. Yes. Good things are happening in Africa as we speak to change that.

    Will Resident Evil:5 damage those efforts in any measurable way?

    The resounding answer that comes to mind is No. Writing such things is not only a sorry attempt to grab site traffic, but just plain irresponsible. I think that your article is doing more to damage those efforts than RE:5 ever could. It gives the people reading it the false impression that people who are trying to help Africa are way out of touch. Think about that before you delete my post.


  220. 220 KillJoy

    I watched the trailer for the game, but I haven’t been avidly following all the info on it. Does it actually say its set in Africa? Would it somehow be better if it was set in Haiti instead? Haiti has an interesting history that does have legends and stories of zombies as well as being associated with voodoo which is all part of the zombie mythos.

    This article honestly feels more like someone is searching for a reason to get angry over the game, versus actually being offended by the content. All it really seems to boil down to is bloggers looking for bump in the number of hits they get… Sadly it worked.

  221. 221 STARS

    This game looks fucking awesome!

  222. 222 Jafro

    Okay, look. I agree with Julians post. When I first saw this trailer, of course, I did see race, BUT it wasnt an issue. I was psyched! OMG, A NEW RESIDENT EVIL GAME?? SET IN AN AFRICAN COUNTRY?! AWESOME!. And then I read some stuff like this blog. I agree with you when you talk about the mis-representation of the country itself, but come on! ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE who played RE4 will know that this is NOT what all Spanish people act like! DUR! They’re infected! So people playing RE5 will know this too. I doubt they’re gonna play it, and be like: “OMG, are you serious? So THIS is what black people look like and act like in Africa, hmmmmmmmmmm…” This game is NOT racist, neither is Capcom. They have their reasons for setting it in an African country (as a side note, there are some spanish looking people in the crowd if you look at the trailer… could this be in the Dominican or even Hati?). I love RE and I will always love it regardless even if the next game the main Character is from Africa and he goes to Scotland to fight umbrella.

  223. 223 Timmah

    This is pathetic, i’m sorry to sound malicious but it’s this kind of crap that gives video games a bad name. Everyone these day’s is blaming video games for problems going on or using them as scapegoats for their own problems. people blaming video games for a kid going crazy and shooting someone, people blaming video games for bringing up racial stereotypes? give me a break.

    anyone with 2 brain cells, which is apparently 2 more than you have, would see that this is a video game, set in a new country with its native people there and play the game, have fun and move on. Anyone who looks at this game, plays this game and seriously thinks that it is negatively racially motivated is a complete idiot has has more issues to deal with than whether or not they’re getting the wrong message from the game.

    You and everyone else writing crap about this are hypocrit’s. Ever hear of the spanish inquisition, or general fransisco franco who ruled spain for 39 years and warred on his own people creating their civil war in the early-mid 1900’s allying himself with the likes of hitler and mussolini. Black/African people aren’t the only ones in this world who’ve had rough times in their countries nor are they the only ones who’ve been portrayed in a RE game or any game for that matter.

  224. 224 sharky

    I have mixed feelings on all of this. For one, I’m quite sorry this hits old triggers; I understand the most recent “Pirates of the Caribbean” did much the same by agreeing with a rewrite of history that the islanders were cannibals.

    On the other hand, I think the knee-jerk reaction doesn’t -quite- fit the context here. I do not know enough about racial issues in Japan right now to understand how black people in Japan would react to this, or how they’re seen by the Japanese, but I do know this is a foreign product and bringing an American cultural filter to it may skew what’s actually there.

    I’ve heard this is set in Haiti, which seems most likely; I’m not sure we’ll get confirmation. We don’t actually get a printed confirmation that RE4 is in Spain, just a satellite view of a mark on Spain indicating that’s where this is happening. The T-Virus is canonically extracted partially from Ebola, and there’s an Umbrella presence in the Congo in RE0, so I do not see this game as a -new- attention to Africa, but a logical followup on hints.

    RE4 has always, always followed what happens to innocent people when evil comes to power. I look at the same pictures you look at and I see a game that centers around the horror of already suffering people being brutally turned inhuman where you see -real- already suffering people being -portrayed as- inhuman. I’ve heard other concerns express actual fear of Chris’ mission statement, while I know from playing the games that his mission is only to “take Umbrella down.”

    We’re working off a trailer here; we’re working off something meant to evoke memories–Chris’ mission statement, the eyes we see–in the fans and get a certain strong reaction from them. Without our context and with your own background, you get a different impression.

    The truth is that neither of us knows yet. I may jawdrop at the TV screen four minutes in and throw my controller at the wall. I hope not. I very much hope the game does what it’s always done in sending the player to save those abused by evil in power.

  225. 225 Adam

    I don’t think theres anything wrong with it, if you look at Resident Evil 4 the Spaniards are acting in just about the same way as the Africans are in this trailer. No one is stereotyping anyone, I kind of think that this is being made out of nothing, at the end of the day it is your choice to play the game or not.

  226. 226 gawd

    only im america…

  227. 227 gawd

    shit man, you are missing the point. Ultimately the goal of the game is TO SAVE THE PEOPLE.

  228. 228 Matt Burgess

    It’s important to not only read but UNDERSTAND the article. The point here is not that blacks are being shown in a game and they’re zombies and that’s bad. The point is whether they’re being misrepresented as a culture and a people.

    Let’s suggest the next Resident Evil (6) was set in China, and all the zombies had buck-teeth, wore conical hats and threw rice at people. Let’s argue the same points.

    “But there ARE Chinese people in China, so it’s not racist.”
    “But there were white people in the earlier games, it’s only fair there should be Chinese people now.”

    You can see how far off the point this gets. It’s not their presence, it’s their representation.

    I’m not necessarily agreeing with the article’s point. I’m just saying that it has some merit, and certainly more than it’s being given.

  229. 229 FAKE

    Left wing wrote:
    “why doesn’t capcom see that this is showing the children or anyone that plays these barberic games how to kill people. good god i am soo happy that the majority of video games don’t depict (killing, stealing, drug usage, violence, or blood)”

    are u kidding me?

  230. 230 EviL FLitz

    Honestly Get over It. I’m Black and This looks like another cool game not some Racisit attack. This is the over sensitised BS we have to deal with today. I don’t see Crazy black people i see Zombies. I don’t give a damn what Ethnicity the zombie runnin at me is I’m gonna shit it in it’s face. I’m not gonna say ‘Hey Brotha We should stick together, Even in Death.’ LOL I’ve been playin games since i could push buttons ANd I’ve killed all ethinicities of People. WHy should mine be excluded? Ugh Society is gettin so pathetic.

  231. 231 Phunk

    If anything, this whole debate..from the perception of people outside the gaming arena seeing it as biased, to some of the outright vitrol from inside the gaming arena at those who do, illustrates the fact that the gaming world, for the most part, is still pretty marginalized and concentrated among very specific demographics.

    Yeah, I know lots of different types of people play lots of types of games, but there’s something pretty significant to be said that:

    A) An black female non-gamer would find offense at the game movie


    B) That seemingly so many of the people that play video games would come out with such spitting vitrol at this woman..and…(and this is the important part)..seemingly have absolutely no perception as to how someone looking from the outside in could possibly view it as that.

    That’s what is incredibly eye opening to me.

  232. 232 StolenName

    I’m a white, Australian gamer and I’ve been following this issue since it first popped up on The Village Voice and Black Look. As a gamer, and using someone elses comment I read one of those pages (read so many I can’t remember exactly where or by who), “we don’t see color”.

    When the trailer was first released, I thought “shit, these are the in-game graphics now” and then a little while after watching the trailer echoed “damn, this is going to get some flack for being racist”.

    As Sharky writes;

    “RE4 has always, always followed what happens to innocent people when evil comes to power. I look at the same pictures you look at and I see a game that centers around the horror of already suffering people being brutally turned inhuman where you see -real- already suffering people being -portrayed as- inhuman. I’ve heard other concerns express actual fear of Chris’ mission statement, while I know from playing the games that his mission is only to “take Umbrella down.” ”

    In Resident Evil 4, information found within the game indicates that the villagers you’re destroying stumbled upon the Las Plagas by accident and were tricked into servitude by the main enemy protagonist. I see the same thing happening here in Resident Evil 5, we don’t know why there are two people strung upside down while having rocks thrown at them, we don’t know exactly why the mob is hunting down Chris. On closer inspection of some of the characters in the game you can SEE that they’re being affected by something external. The first black male we see killing another man, after his eyes bleed, his hands shrivel to his side and are greyish in color, there’s even a white substance on the back of another man. Hell, it’s even possible that this simple white on black motif is signifying corruption of some sort… who knows?

    Unfortunately, until the game is released, there’s nothing to do BUT with hold judgement. Maybe there IS some underlying message here, or bringing attention to a certain element of todays society that’s wrong. OR, maybe it’s just that the Japanese developers at Capcom didn’t even notice they were producing something that may have caused racial uprise… once again, we won’t know. Not until there’s an official statement from the company or until the game has actually been released.

    I’m sorry there’s not more discussion in here but I personally feel that taking a trailer is too little to discuss in full. It’s hard to place the events of the trailer into context and only playing and even completing the full game will truly show what powers, whether corporate, viral or mystical, are making these people act this way. Then, I’ll judge whether the game encouraged hate crimes or was discriminating against the black Hatian populace in which it is set.

  233. 233 Angel H.

    I just wanted to stop by and give my support to the blog author, Kym, and Sokari of Black Looks since she shut down her comments. I really can’t say that I’m surpirsed by all of the racist bullshit that’s being spewed their way just because – OMG! – they have have a differing opinion from the overprivileged “White-is-Right” majority.

    Every single one of these bigoted comments – not to mention those pingbacks – are reasons enough why we are NOT being “too oversensitive”.

  234. 234 Carlos

    It sickens me to hear some of the comments people have made. Jason, I like what you wrote about this issue…for many of those who’ve missed the point it seems your trapped in a teenage video playing mind and, thus, are unable to see reality. Racism is much more around you than you think…you just need to step out of the playpen and look at the world with some intelligence.

  235. 235 sdf

    not racism just new idea you are sick of this point that’s why u have problems “black guys”.

  236. 236 Paul

    Haha, I don’t get this “issue” at all. The only reason he’s killing those black -uh oh!- guys is because they’re zombies and want to eat his flesh. Now, I’ve never had the displeasure to have someone eat my flesh, but I’m fairly certain that it’s no vacation. I just wish some of these other posters would put themselves in that context and think of what they would do…. Hmmm, well, this guy is defiantly hungry and he is eying me quite a bit, but I won’t shoot him to protect my life because I don’t want anyone to be offended by this OBVIOUS racism.

  237. 237 Tai

    @ Matt Burgess-

    I quote “Let’s suggest the next Resident Evil (6) was set in China, and all the zombies had buck-teeth, wore conical hats and threw rice at people. Let’s argue the same points.”

    Chinese guy here, I wouldn’t even rise an eyebrow if they did do what you said. Want to know why? Because I know I don’t act like that, and I know that when other people see me, they wouldn’t see that either, plus these Chinese people would be *cough-ZOMBIES-cough*. Besides, you’re totally mistaking stereotype of appearance (e.g having buck teeth) with behavioral stereotyping (e.g. acting like savages). If you want to make that kind of argument, at least use the same type of stereotyping. But let me tell you this, even if they made the Chinese zombies out as bad drivers, stingy, greedy, and “shpeek berry berry gud Anglanda” it still won’t bother me a bit, because their skin color matters not (you of all people should understand that one), it’s a game, and I’m fighting for my character’s survival.

    Odd how I never ever see any complaints about the 50cent game, where the black man gets set in the gangster stereotype (killing people, for example). That’s putting black people in a bad light (making them out to be murderers), where are the complaints? Old school stereotypes, new stereotypes, does it really make a difference? Or is it because the new stereotype “empowers” the black instead of making them “victims”? Seriously, nothing good comes from victimizing one’s self, it only brings hate, misery, and a whole lot of misconceptions.

    Heck, nobody complained about how much crap Jackie Chan had to take from Chris Tucker in Rush Hour 1 and 2.

    Just some side note, the Japanese slaughtered the Chinese in WW2, but did the Chinese stop buying Japanese cars, electrical appliances, or reject sushi? No. Why? Because they’re not killing the Chinese now (just like how the white isn’t enslaving the black now).

    Oh, I get the point of the article alright, being a part of a minority, I get the point all too damn well. But that’s no excuse for anyone to start point fingers and scream “racism” at every little thing. Being over zealous in touchy subjects like racism would only result in a massive backlash, especially in cases like these, where (most likely) only the people who wishes to see the racism will see it.

  238. 238 Nana

    I’m not sure if this point has already been made (didn’t want to read through 250 posts… it’s late)

    But these people are not zombies. And the villagers from RE4 aren’t zombies either.

    The issue here is that indigenous Africans are portrayed as savages more often than not in the public media. This game doesn’t help matters at all, even if it doesn’t intentionally mean to make all Africans out to be bloodthirsty savages. These overblown stereotypes are out there, and it’s pretty naive to pretend that they don’t apply to this situation, just because we’re looking at “zombies”.

  239. 239 Nana

    Also: when people make assertions like “nobody complained when…”, are they saying that they never noticed anyone complaining about other instances of negative stereotyping in entertainment, or are they saying that no one ever complained at all? Because I’d say that it’s more of the first situation than the second. If you don’t take the time to look for evidence, you won’t find it.

  240. 240 Minbad

    This scenario is impossible! We all know that black ppl are virus proof and so are the magical dome protected villages in Africa. Why did the japanese choose this place? We all know they hate the black because of the sad historical background they share together…
    On the contrary, RE4 makes much more sense. We all know that Spain never entered in conflict with other white people, has never been in Asia (and neither Portugal in Japan), never fought in the US (before or after the independance), or any place in the world. And finally we all know that Spain is only composed of villages, and that all the inhabitants live and look like exactly as depicted in RE4.

  241. 241 Minbad

    Man, I was so proud to play GTA San Andreas (because I’m black and black protagonists are not so frequent, in video games, and in general, indeed ^^), but I had to stop. Killed too many white bad guys. Plus I’ll never go to California, this place is burnin’! too dangerous, dawg! :)

  242. 242 dimestore

    Brendan: ‘Personally I think black people want a reason to be offended. They don’t want to get past the bad things or think of the positive.’

    personally i think white people are raised racist and totally unable to consider racism rationally.

    oh, wait, a sweeping generalization like that *is* racist, my bad.

  243. 243 gary

    it’s stupid! de blak people are alle infect! the situation is indenric with resindent evil 4 where de de zombies waren not with but ispanique!

  244. 244 Hello?

    Does anyone remember the game “Redneck Rampage?” Did all of the people that live in rural areas make a fuss because it “may depict something that is not totally true?” Hell no! And we all know that rednecks are stereotyped with having sex with sheep and their cousins. Oh, and redneck is just as bad a derogatory term as any other racial slur.

    Then people bring up the whole civil rights movement as if it applies to a fucking video game. Jesus H. Christ. Let me bring up something, The First Amendment which so happens to be Freedom of Speech. You obviously know about freedom of speech since you’ll bitch about anything you think is derogatory to your ethnic background. I’m of German decent and find all of the WWII games about the Germans and Nazis appalling. What will people think of Germany after they play this (insert WWII fps here) game? Oh, I’m going to bitch and complain about it because I don’t know any better. The fact of the matter is: Germany was liberated and there was a positive outcome.

    What about Doom and satanic cults? The devil has certainly gotten himself a bad reputation over the years, and Doom certainly nothing to curve that idea. In fact, it really represents demons in a negative light. Right now Darla the Demon is at her one-room shack in hell trying to raise her children correctly. She works three jobs one of which is at Hell’s Postal Office. Believe me, working in Hell’s Postal Office is like well, Hell.

    Hopefully by know you have realized that I am laying the sarcasm on rather thick. Do you see how ridiculous some of that shit is? This is over a stupid video game. There are people dying from hunger, illness, and other ailments in this world, and all that you can do is bitch about a video game. Here’s an idea: Get up off of your lazy ass and do something constructive for society. This whining “I’m owed something” bullshit is getting old and not doing anything except causing more conflict than what it’s worth.

    Get off of your pedestal, eat a snickers bar, and donate to the American Red Cross.

  245. 245 bob

    perhaps they could change the setting to the star wars universe, then you could shoot jar-jar zombies…

  246. 246 Jim

    I’ll point out that Zombie mythology(?) is an invention of the African people. It’s their thing. Voodoo. If the series wanted to truly accurate it should have always been set in Haiti.

    But I don’t think it was ever going for accuracy, it’s just fantasy. They were just trying to change the setting for this edition, because all the other ones have been in a typical, familiar environ (for most of the players). There are much more pressing and real race issues to address in this country, you don’t need to concoct an issue around a video game.

    Also, are there any non-zombie blacks depicted in this game? How are they shown? In fact, has the author even PLAYED this game? I doubt it.

  247. 247 Kirk

    Okay, I can kinda understand where you are coming from, but you can’t call “Hands off Africa” whenever something comes out that isn’t in a positive view. More importantly this is a japanese product, the social views are drastically different. They don’t have to worry about the premature sesnsitivity that so many people in America posses (To understand what I’m talking about watch “Mr. Hanky The Christmas Poo” South Park episode where the town removes all references of christmas or religion to appease the citizens).

    The fact that you (and others) are so sensitive is a disturbing trend. Primarily because you only care about your sensitivity (or narcisistic sensitivity). Why not show sensitivity to the Japanese, who are not making a racist game, yet are being called racist just because it is racist here. So try to show some sensitivity to us gamers, and the Japanese for that matter.

  248. 248 Stephanie Barclay

    It’s really sad when people who don’t agree with you resort to calling you names or making stupid threats, especially over this Resident Evil 5 issue. That kind of garbage is what in part keeps driving the racism train in this country. That being said, let me just say that I am a black female, a gamer, and a huge fan of the Resident Evil series. I watched the trailer for Resident Evil 5 and out of all the things that crossed my mind while watching it, racism was the furthest thing from my mind. I was, and still am, chomping at the bit to play the game. I would say this to you and all the people who wrote articles with the same point of view: obviously you have not played and do not know the history of the Resident Evil series and its creators, and as journalists, you and all the others espousing your point of view ought to be ashamed at the low level of effort made to thoroughly investigate the whole Resident Evil series and how this particular game fits into the franchise. You saw a white man killing a bunch of black people and immediately got offended, for no reason in my humble opinion since again it seems you did no real investigative work to back up your position. And I bet you a dollar that the other black gamers out there who are fans of the Resident Evil franchise will say much the same thing. If you really want to fight images of racism, why don’t you move to take down stuff like the McDonald’s billboard I saw one time, with a black woman on it holding bunch of McDonald’s bags in her hand and the quote being, “This is MY type of shopping spree!” Now THAT seems racist to me.

  249. 249 Robert

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the “infected” population of the RE4 game mostly “Hispanic”? I don’t remember exactly what the ethnicity was, but I know they weren’t white. Where was the outcry then? Where was MESA or MECA then? The first couple of games had us all killing “white” zombies… shouldn’t that be considered genocide? What if the hereo of RE5 was black himself? Then it would be promoting the black on black violence that is a major problem.

    Here’s what I think, I think that the developer is trying to go in new directions with what would be a stale game if it had the same premis over and over again. There is also a bit of a realism factor that they are trying to keep, I don’t really think it has anything to do with race.

    The only thing I have a problem with is these groups whose entire purpose is to make things about race. They preach for equality, and the betterment of all. But what they really do is make sure that everything is about race, even when it is not intended to be.

    I say, that if you want equality, then let us gamers be equal opportunity zombie killers

  250. 250 Carl

    I do believe in Capcom’s discerning. There may be more to the plot and characters than can be assumed only by such a quick trailer. They spend a long time and a lot of money in development and marketing, it just doesn’t make much sense they’d not expect a situation like this to happen: rushed conclusions.
    It might turn out to be a ‘Constant Gardener’-like story.

  251. 251 MD

    You’re absolutely right. Far too long we’ve let the Japanese intense racism go unchecked. Blacks everywhere should begin to boycott all products and services that are Japanese.

    Their intent could not be more clear. To choose such a peaceful land as africa and to show violence there? It’s unthinkable. I much prefer the views of the author-

    “With all the positive steps being taken of late to raise awareness of the good things happening in Africa as well as the urgent need in some parts of the continent, we really can’t afford this kind of step back. We need to find ways to humanize Africans, not dehumanize them.”

    I refuse to watch any news coming out of Africa that isn’t positive and I surely hope I’m not the only one. This is the way to true enlightment and a better world for all of us.

    Hopefully in the future blacks will not be mentioned in videogames ever again, that’s clearly the path to equality.

  252. 252 name

    So, killing bad russians and arabians in tons of shooters is OK, but killing black people is racism?
    This is the most stupid thing i’ve heard.
    You know i’m russian and i’m sick of games where russians are represented as evil and cruel criminals, or dumbass WW2 games with americans taking over Berlin or something (Soviet Army did it, if you didn’t know)), but if I don’t like a game I just don’t play it.
    Ignorant people can see racism everywhere…

  253. 253 Brian

    You know you can spray black people with the firehose in GTA? Just thought I’d give you another thing to bitch about.

  254. 254 Low Frost

    —-Copied from another website—–
    Okay then. I say the preview for Resident Evil 5 and the first thing I thought was “This will be bad.” I am a gamer. I’ve played Resident Evil since I was a teen. I am a young, black male in America. And I know quite well what people on the internet have said about this entire ordeal, good and bad. Most don’t seem to see the problem, so here is a bullet point.
    1. The developers of the game itself. Japan is world reknown for it’s closed-minded, xenophobic view of the rest of the world. This shows in the media they create and statements by their politicians (see 1989, Japanese Prime Minister). Japanese media keeps a stable of the worst stereotypes of cultures everywhere and freely dispense them without care or concern. They will not offend themselves, or the caucasians who make up the bulk of their profits, but others see easily what they do not. Nintendo recieved a harsh critique when in one of their pilot Zelda games, the Muslim call to prayer was featured in the backround music (this was removed when localised for the U.S.). Capcom again recently had been called on a game preview where a creature clearly called out “Allah-u Ackba” (God is great in Arabic) before eating a cannabalistic stew (this has also been removed). Muslims and Black people are not the only ones who “cry and complain” about “supposed” insensitivity. Most people have not heard of Magna Carta: The Crimson Stigmata. Why? Because the group who brought this game over to the U.S. quickly realized the ramifications of trivializing the crucifixion of the Christ and changed it to something else. Or the Metal Slug series about the rebirth of Hitler and the Third Reich. All refererences to Hitler was removed and the prevalent swastikas where changed. It seems to depend on who you insult that results are made.
    2. The developers are entirely ignorant of the trials of black people in America as evidenced by the line “bright eyes, simian strength and room temperature i.q.”, all of which are popular stereotypes of African peoples in general. As mentioned before, the scenes showed hearken too closely to real-life episodes of violence and terror experienced by African peoples the world over.
    Long story short, I do not belive that the game is racist, nor do I think that the makers went the distance to insult African peoples. Ignorant, yes. Blatant racists, not so much. These games have always been about killing monsters that look human and beyond the violence, few complaints have been made. The 4th game has been referenced often as a rebuttal to the racism argument, and would be considerable if the developers had not gone on the record and said that the game takes place in eastern Europe and failing that, Spaniards are caucasian Europeans, not the mixed blood Hispanics of the Americas. All of this could of been avoided had the companies spent some time with their pr people and got the hint that someone may take offense to what you have planned to show and say, especially black people in America who still fight to overcome centuries-old stereotypes and will not tolerate them being proported any longer. That said, the majority of these whistle-blowers need to CALM DOWN. Many have admitted knowing nothing about what they speak of on the subject, and rob others of credibility by crying wolf so quickly. Do some digging, get the facts right and if there is a problem, we will deal with it. And yes, the majority of the ignorant rabble who have posted crude comments on many of these websites do so due to their imagined anonimity and willful desire to hurt others. They do not, however, make up the majority of gamers like me, nor should it be construed as such, as it is as foolish and base as those who you lambast. I would like to see more of this game before my view is set, as should others. The game is not even near release and more information shall be availible later. /comment

  255. 255 Mikhail

    i wasn’t aware that “zombie” was a black stereotype.

  256. 256 Shade

    I find this kind of funny.

    But I think the people claiming racism should be ashamed.

    People don’t like whats different than them, in anything really. Culture, language, skin color, hair, eyes, music, even art. You can of course be around anything long enough to absorb it into your perspective and then its no longer different.

    But in this case theres a difference in skin color: A white man is shooting black people. Oddly its not the shooting that causes the controversy, its the difference in skin color. If it was a black man shooting black people it could be considered fine.

    Lets take out the context of the video, zombies. Just look at the fact the a white man is shooting black people. Once again assume the shooting it self is not a problem, hes shooting them for a reason. The thing I find funny is that people are assuming the reason he’s shooting them is BECAUSE they are black.

    They drew that conclusion themselves. Its odd that they assume that a white man automatically would shoot someone because of their skin color. Actually isn’t that racism? They are assuming he’s shooting because they are black, not because they are endangering his life, or attacking them, or even that they are zombies.

    But there is the argument on how black people are portrayed, once again they take out the context: as savage and vicious. So lets look at how the white man is portrayed taking out the context: Cruel, inhuman, shooting those with no weapons or weapons less than his own.

    I find it funny and very sad that those who complain of racism are the most racist of all.

    The day that no one take race into account in their thought process, whether in action OR judging the action, will be the day racism dies.

  257. 257 Jeff

    Since when did everyone jump on the Rich Right Wing ‘Racism is Over’ Bandwagon. Nice post, helped me feel like there are a few people out there with access to a blog that actually understand the issue.

  258. 258 Shaun

    This is very ignorant of this person to speak I am an African American and I don’t see RE5′ location in Haiti as any sort of Capcom expressing racism. The majority of all these people that make these games are Japanese anyway so they really don’t have a lot of blacks in their countries and nor have it’s been a real racial issue with these people. It’s sad.

  259. 259 james

    hola soy de mexico y la verdad me sorprende como un comentario puede mover masas de manera sorprendente el llamar racismo a esto me parece lo mas ilogico k pueda existir! si eso fuera todos los resident evil serian racistas. resident evil es solo un juego y ya k toma como seria si una compañia infectara el mundo sea cual sea el lugar en el 3 destruyen toda una ciudad de estados unidos y no por eso se armo un alboroto! nadie kiere deshumanisar a la gente de color pero si hay gente ignorante k puede crear problemas de esto yo la verdad estoi con la libre exprecion por k si esto es ahora mañana no se k pase por k solo es un juego haaaa y este juego nunca ha sido de niños si los niños lo han jugado culpen ala pirateria!

  260. 260 exocet

    Although the article is well written, there are some problems with it. Last time I checked, black people were indeed classified as homo sapiens meaning they too should be able to become zombies. Just because colonial powers enslaved black people (wrongfully so might I add) does not change the fact that they’re human.

    Secondly, you mentioned how in Resident Evil 4 you’re dropped into Spain and lay waste to Spaniards. How would that be considered any less racist than going into Africa (which is not yet confirmed) and shooting black people? Yes, there were years of oppression but the thing is they have now but all disappeared.

    You cannot just erase the past like that and forget everything that ever happened. But you should also not live in this past while trying to judge the future. Would you consider it racist what is being done in South Africa currently? White landowners who are South African are being kicked off their property and having their land distributed to people solely based on the colour of their skin.

    Lastly, Capcom is a Japanese country. Japan did not get involved in the slave trade and appears to have no ill will towards black people. If this game was made in Georgia then just maybe the subtext would be a bit more realistic. Should myself (a Canadian) or others be forced to play games that are global based on American history?

  261. 261 Juan

    Hey move the story to Mexico and make the zombies or whatever they are Mexicans. We don’t give a dawm about it and we get picked on by the white man more than Africans, BUT IT’S JUST A GAME. Yea I’m being a little harsh here but its just like a former Grand Theft Auto game where Italians had to take down and kill Haitians and Cubans, and in the end it didn’t matter because it was a great game. Whoever enjoys video games especially of this type will never even notice racism. Hell I didn’t even know people would get the idea to complain umtil I saw the story on Gamespot (great website by the way). The point is that its just a game made by Japanese people and the biggest reason why I can think of the main character being white is very obvious, who buys most video games? White people do. Yes it can seem harsh that a White male goes to Africa to shoot Africans but if he went to antartica he would be shooting penguins. Please everybody enjoy the game and marvel at the masterpieces that Capcom creates for all our entertainment purposes.

  262. 262 Joe

    This is ridiculous. Is every game supposed to have white german nazis as adversaries in order not to offend anyone?

  263. 263 Near

    Oh, come on!
    Get over it, it’s fictional!

  264. 264 CP

    I think the only racist here is you. Only racists mind the racial difference so much.

  265. 265 RacistAgainstZombies!

    I hate all zombies. Kill ’em all.
    there has been major racism to nearly all races and religions over the last thousand years. The “Rich Right Wing ‘Racism is Over’ Bandwagon” is a good bandwagon to be on because, generally speaking, the “Rich Right Wing” people aren’t raciest so its hard for them to identify with those who cling to old issues. They are too involved in business, divorce, and the economy to bicker and banter about color. The general belief system among the “Rich White Wing” community is that you determine your own fate, not your color or history. They also generally know something of history. They know it was Africans who sold Africans into slavery (the demand being created by European-Americans.) They know that the Irish were often treated worse than the the Africans. They know that if you have to read history books to discover anyone ever personally involved, for all practical purposes, its dead (I’m speaking of the legalized racism that our current issues stem from.)
    THEY KNOW A ZOMBIE HAS BEEN INFECTED BY A FATAL VIRUS AND THE INFECTED ARE NO LONGER HUMAN!! Call me sexist, but if all the zombies were chicks, I’d kill ’em anyway. I hate zombies… all of em, call me a hater, I don’t care. Thats the great thing about not being racist. I don’t need to analyze the melanin in one’s skin, or the size of their facial features, or their eye color. I just just kill it if it is undead and trying to eat me.


  266. 266 RacistAgainstZombies!

    Its been said many times but, THEY AREN’T BLACK PEOPLE, THEY ARE UNDEAD ZOMBIES!

  267. 267 Mleep

    Jason, as much as I hope you’re simply not riding the wave of this topic controversy just to draw attention to your blog, it doesn’t really matter since I want to respond either way.

    But could you explain to me how portraying a certain ethnic group has ever been a factor in Resident Evil games, especially through the way they act when infected with a virus?

    Resident Evil 4 spent no time focusing on trying to portray spanish stereotypes. The only thing that mattered was how the they react to the virus, and that has always been the case.
    Nor did Resident Evil 1 – 3 portray the living habits of white people.

    Why would Resident Evil 5 be an exception? It’s not. Resident Evil games have never been realistic or had any focus on ethnical issues or the way they are portrayed. As zombies they’re all equal, whether black, white or asian.

    How would black people react when infected with the virus? Just like this.
    How did spanish people react when infected with the virus? JUST LIKE THIS!

    You should realise that you do a lot more harm than good by being this uptight. People might not use Resident Evil games for ducumentary educational purposes as much as you think, but they do take actual comments by real people (like yourself) to heart. And what we see is that you think black people should be an exception in Resident Evil games and simply cannot take part in the games like white people and spanish people have done perfectly well without causing any uproars.

    This in itself is more racial than anything else. I hope you understand (but I doubt you will) that Capcom actually did something that most black people have strived for. They treated you EQUALLY without any prejudice about your skin color, or worry that “unlike white, spaniards, asians and other people, the black cxommunity would get upset at being portrayed this way and cant handle it.”

    You should BE GLAD that this is not in the mind of other people, and that they don’t walk on eggshells arround you because of your skin color. Not upset.

    Isn’t equal treatment what you want, and for people to look past skin color issues? Well you’re certainly not helping to speed things along there.
    Instead you take one step back in the quest for equal treatment.
    This is all you accomplish by acting like this.

  268. 268 K T

    If you want equality, black people gotta die too.

    If you look, you will find it, because that’s all you’ll be looking for.

  269. 269 Gilsin.

    The very fact that you’re disputing this game to such a high degree is racism.

    Every other game has had a Caucasian race as zombies. Now that a darker skin race is being shown as zombies, it is racism.

    I call that Racism myself. You want to be equal, then understand that the game is set in Africa,where there is a large population of Black people. Is it wrong that Capcom is being realistic in it’s setting?

    Would you still cry out racism if it was set in Africa and there were white skinned zombies instead of black? Most likely, because then you’d think you are being discriminated from your homeland.

    In short, if you want to end racism, you need to stop being HYPER sensitive to it. Black people are not bad and haven’t been discriminated as heavily in recent years as they have been in the past. Take the big step and realize.

    It isn’t because you’re black. In this case it’s the setting of a fictional game.

  270. 270 beef

    Oh shut up, this accomplishes nothing.
    As has been said before whites have been portrayed in just about every other RE game, nobody called the developers racist, because we were shotting whites.

    Just because of a black ‘stereotype’ this game should be called racist.
    BS I say BS.

    Now unless you, your self, are a zombie, you have no right to consider this game racist.

  271. 271 Andy

    I personally think you are reading into this too much. The people in this game appear impoverished, most likely because in Africa there is still a massive problem with poverty. If this game showed Africa as flourishing, wealthy, and problem free you would be claiming it was a covering up the problems in the continent. You compare it to the overtly racist black face performances of old, when really it’s an attempt to realistically portray Africa and what it would be like in the unrealistic event of a Zombie epidemic. Yes they look disgusting, dirty, and grotesque, this is typical of a person who is dead. When I see this trailer I see impoverished Africans in a realistic environment who have been struck by an outbreak of zombies, likely what the developers intended. “With bulging eyes, simian super strength, and a room temperature IQ, we’ve been portrayed as savages beyond redemption.” sorry, but all of these things are simply a result of them being undead zombies. This game is not at all racist, just because their bulging zombie eyes remind you of black face doesn’t mean it’s racist.

  272. 272 Brett

    If you think this game was designed to be racist, you don’t have a brain in your head. Shooting white zombies is ok for you, shooting spanish zombies is ok for you but as soon as it turns to shooting blacks it isn’t? seriously harden up a bit man it’s a game not real life.

  273. 273 Ashton

    “But, then, the Spanish haven’t been so egregiously misrepresented as blacks through the ages, have they? Not even close.”

    The belief that past actions of a race as a whole should contribute to the argument that this is racism is absurd; to be honest, it’s a slippery slope that will just make racism a more and more apparent problem.

    Let’s take Resident Evil 4 as an example. Likely, there will be a Luis Sera type black character in the game that will help Chris throughout. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the mastermind behind the whole thing is a white man who promised these people salvation and then unleashed a plague on them. But we’ll have to wait until the final game to draw these conclusions; your guess is really as good as mine.

    But trying to exclude an entire race from being represented in a Japanese horror video game because of a history of American racism seems silly to me. Hell, I read over that last sentence and it sounded completely ridiculous. There’s no real reason that people who have nothing to do with what happened in the past and hold no ill will should be attacked merely because of the actions of others that they had no connection with.

  274. 274 Taylor Hoffman

    Zombies/Ganados/Name of Crazed Villagers, cannot be used as a “racial stereotype” for one simple and good reason – They don’t exist. If you want a problematic stereotype try looking at a high school with stupid teens trying to be “gangsta.”

    And as for the arguement that Villages are improving; I don’t doubt that. Africa is a developing country. But every night I hear on the news that more people are dead in a genocide over territory, like lions chasing out hyenas. That doesn’t spark improvement in my mind. And if it does in yours, then you are one twisted individual.

  275. 275 Sir Cedric

    “Featuring eyes that shine with a hybrid of madness and lucidity, the townsfolk don’t appear to be along the lines of the rotting, shambling undead found in earlier Resident Evils. The emphasis on the next generation of the not-zombies’ mental clarity is stressed by villagers rallying around an apparent leader speaking to the masses through a megaphone.”

    “Once on the scene, Chris encounters a new form of enemy. Takeuchi described the game’s enemies as something of human form that has intelligence. However, the foes are neither zombie nor ganado (in reference to the creatures from RE4).”

  276. 276 Ronald Mcdonald

    Please stop sending us letters to take out the swirley ice cream cone, I believe it is ok to have a vanilla and chocolate ice cream mix because I believe many find it delicious.

  277. 277 Huzza whut?

    Wait, so you’re telling me I can’t kill whitey in this game?

  278. 278 Fanny

    I can’t tell whether this post is a joke. At any rate, it’s not like the game’s gonna get censored, or Capcom sanctioned. So who cares?

  279. 279 WOOGIE BOOGIE


  280. 280 chaironome

    Some of the people replying to this post do not understand the argument. The poster is NOT calling foul for Capcom using of using black people as enemies. He is commenting how much these characters look like the racist blackface minstrel shows. The blackness of their skin is exaggerated and is unrealistic. Take a look at some typical African people:

    And compare the skin tone with that of the characters at the top of this article. You see the problem now?

    It’s offensive because these images, intentional or not, conjure up racist imagery from the 1800s all the way to the early 1900s. Look at the wikipedia article on blackface if you want more information, but don’t call this poster overly sensitive when a game comes along that features racist caricatures.

    If Capcom would simply lighten the skin a bit to make them look like real African people do, nobody would complain.

  281. 281 Mechalemmiwinks

    I stopped reading these halfway through, mainly due to the point/counterpoint of “Zombies aren’t racist” vs “Putting black zombies in Africa lowers Africa’s property value”. Yes, main-poster, that counterpoint is paraphrasing you.

    You know what I think? Do you REALLY want to know? I think anyplace without air-conditioning and a plethora of available jobs is a hellhole. Resident Evil games are typically set in horrible places. I would never go to Africa for any reason. HOWEVER, places on the fringe of more highly-developed areas DO tend to attract some less-than-favorable criminal elements, which are usually the cause of the major points of why I’d never go to these places. No amount of social form will fix that. This leads to the fact that the major plot of this series of games is this: An evil organization (like 1000 white dudes and like…2 black guys) engineered a virus that turns people into monsters. They keep having accidents, getting busted by the feds, and getting beaten down by corporate espionage. Every facility they have (and have ever had) is in some place where the US government won’t be kicking down their door. Africa sounds like a good place to research something if you don’t want people looking for you. Not because of any reason other than there is lots of undeveloped space and plenty of people.

  282. 282 Randall

    Many whites might not think that this is racist, and maybe its not, but it sure has a lot of racial implications. Many whites claim that in all the other resident evil games the zombies were WHITE so its only fair that now the zombies should be BLACK. What many people fail to realize is that in the other Resident Evil games it was WHITES killing WHITE zombies. If the game had of depicted the main character as a black/hispanic guy killing black zombies then there would be not so many complaints. But there is too much historical implications here.

    And its the same ol all over again. We saw that shit in Black Hawk Down. Where once again the blond hair blue eyed hero saves the day from the treacherous evil black dictator. What people fail to realize is that blacks have always been portrayed negatively in the media and this just adds fuel to the fire.(I’m living in China now so I should know) Where is the black protagonist?? Where is the black hero in all of this? Simple: its a white man in Africa killing Africans. It mirrors truth in that blacks were killed by the dutch many centuries ago. Have any of you forgotton what happened in SOUTH AFRICA just over a decade ago? You don’t think that we have the right to be just a little justified to be offended???

    If you don’t see any racial undertones here I really feel sorry for the future of America.

    Sadly enough this game was probaly developed by the Japanese. The same people who put the PSP Campaign that the “white” PSP is better than the “black” PSP symbolizing a black woman in a submissive position to a white in the picture advertisement.

    Sadly they know little or next to nothing about the sensitivity of this issue and the historical context and implications that arise.

  283. 283 Randall

    Jason, You need to take your stand on this and don’t let up. I think you are 100 % right in what you said. I find that trailer very offensive. Africa has almost never been seen in a positive light. I live in China and I see what the Chinese think about us. I ask them why they think this way and they tell me ….”movies” like black hawk down that perpetuate blacks as savage, criminals and unintelligent, or comedic low lifes. PERIOD its offensive and don’t let any of these lunatics change your mind otherwise. You are absolutely right.

    Yeah whites are seen as villans in many movies, but they are seen far more as hero’s and fairy tale Prince Charmings movies to boot. I’m not claiming victim here. I’m just saying that that trailer is offensive, due to the historical paradigm between BLACKS and WHITES. There is a long negative history between blacks and whites especially in America.
    Hispanics and Whites maybe not so much. Whites don’t generally see hispanics as lower human beings. Proved by history the whites believe blacks are lower than them. Why do I have to explain this to some of you dim witted fools on here?

    YOU whites are the majority in America so of course you are expected to be perceived negatively from other races. How did you recieve your majority ruling of the masses of the world? Through violence. Example: Isreal as being the only “White” country sorrounded by nations of dark colored people. Now how the hell did that happen?

    We always forget about south Africa and the Slave trade in America. I know you will tell me to “get over it” its the past. And I will say as soon as you get over the Jewish Holocaust, and King Ramses rule I’ll forget about slavery.

    Hell lets make a game of Jewish, Chezh, and Polish zombies running a muck through world war 2 germany and lets have Hitler mowin’em down with a russian made AK47; because of course we all know they are ONLY zombies.

    Understand the sensitivity now?

    Excuse the spelling I am royally pissed.

  284. 284 Average Joe

    Thank you for explaining why this is offensive in a real way. I now understand why some reasonable people say this is offensive. I dont deal with anywhere near the crap you guys do, especially since Im only half-asian.

    I am a gamer and it gets under my skin when people mindlessly bash games, but in this light, I think you have a reason to be mad. They are getting more realistic with games and this does show very realistic brutality and savage acts.

    OTOH Capcom is a Japanese company, not American and I dont ever remember any black people in real life bleeding from their eyes and going ape-shit on people. It is racist no matter how you break it down I suppose, but not everybody can be Mr. Rogers.

    p.s.- did you know red-heads are ridiculed mercilessly somewhere in europe? I think the UK.

  285. 285 Average Joe

    I read the first few posts and to all you guys, read his post again. Hes not screaming “RACIST”, hes making a comment between the link of the savage nature of the bad guys in the game and the color of their skin. I’ve been really anxious about this game, but he does bring up a good point.

  286. 286 euskadi

    “We saw that shit in Black Hawk Down. Where once again the blond hair blue eyed hero saves the day from the treacherous evil black dictator.”
    HAH! Randall you obviously haven’t seen or read Black Hawk Down have you – jeez. I can guarantee by the time the actual storyline of this game comes out…as opposed to 2.5 minutes of game footage…this crying racist nonsense will be a non issue. Then you guys can go back to saying Jar Jar Binks was a racist character:)

  287. 287 CJ

    This is some kind of elaborate troll right? The author is laughing to himself at his computer as he reads and responds to comments, right?

  288. 288 Johnson

    So much hate over a videogame.

  289. 289 Cola Johnson

    What bothers me in these screenshots is that they seem like cut-paste, stereotypical Africans, with simple burlap clothing and the faces and bodies of your average African American.

    I haven’t been to Africa, but I’m sure the clothing they wear isn’t so colourless and simplistic.

    Of course the majority of the zombies were white before; that’s not the point. What makes this game offensive is that treats Africa as a ZOMG exotic place, placing that average young, white American in a position to commit violence against one group of people exclusively. Make all the arguments you want about violence; what if the virus only affected women? Wouldn’t the slaughter alienate a significant number of people?

    Africa is also a big place. I’m interested to see how much research went into the specific country and city that it supposedly takes place in. My guess is little.

  290. 290 Luke the resident evil guardian

    This is the most non racist game ive seen in years. Ive seen so many worse things that you should call racist but not this. Do you think mario is racist because he’s a Italian hero? There is many other games that potray racism in ways if you look closly. This game has no reason to be called racist nor should any game. There games dam it. Being a RE fan myself ive played all resident evils but ILL BE FREAKING DAMMED IF I LET YOU STOP THIS GAME FROM COMING OUT WITH YOUR STUPID TOPIC!!!!! ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS GAME IS RACIST IS RACIST THEMSELVES!!!! Look what you’ve done. Ignore a common video game and think about how you can improve more important things. Not a great game coming out.

  291. 291 yes

    – Chris –

    Sorry that’s complete BS. So lynching and segregation happened because Afro-Americans where whining about non existent racism, and thus turned innocent whites into racist?? What kind of a fantasy world do you live in??

    You say you are not racist and none of your acquaintances are, well does the thought of marrying a black person make you uncomfortable? Do you consider them to be less intellectually adept than whites, or better at sports and music due to their genes? If so, you -ARE- a bonafide racist, because racism is believeing into differences between ‘races’… The usage of the word has been broadened, but that’s what it means at the core, that’s real racism. Racism is not new, it has existed since the 16th century in the Western world. Racism doesn’t mean mean being a member of the KKK and lynching black people. It means believing in a racial hierarchy. There still is quite a number of Americans who believe in such ideas, as evidenced by the sucess of a book called the Bell Curve back in the 90’s, which sold more than a million copies, and was pseudo-scientific garbage trying to prove that different ‘races’ have innately different mental capacities… Racism is alive and well, you’re blind if you don’t seee it, or maybe just a racist in denial, you say white people only have racist thoughts when black people accuse them of racism. Does that mean you admit having racist thoughts sometimes? It is a pattern of the thought process of racists to attribute all faults to the other groups, of course, if they hate them, it must be because that group started it, because everyone in the universe knows that before black people started whining about racism, there were no racist whites!! Also you talk abotu black people, but not all black people are accusing whites of being racists, you lump them all into the same category and do what you accuse them of doing ! Sorry but to me you sound nearly racist… I say nearly because you haven’t said you consider black people to be inferior. You should read about the history of slavey, because it would teach how the ideology of racism was born. All the stereotypes which exist right now about black people were created back then to justify slavery. Racism is strongest against black people because of these historical reasons. If in the place of all these black slaves there had been for example Asian slaves, racism would be stronger against Asians than agaianst blacks even nowadays, because there would have been a need to justify slavery to make people think of Asians as being the lesser humans. If everyone studied the history of slavey and colonisation, i am sure racism against blacks, Arabs, Asians and other colored people would greatly diminish because when you read about it, you understand how all the racism against these people was manufactured to justify behaviours, they had to be though as near-humans that way nobody would question what was done to them.

  292. 292 yes


    You say there are primitive African countries, well that in itself is a racist stereotype. Primitivenes is in the eye of the beholder. It is a loaded word with all kind of baggage associated with it, epsecially when it comes to Africa… Many behaviours which are taken to be primitive and barbarous are not exclusive to Africa. For example, female genital mutilation was practiced by western doctors during the Victorian era! It was supposed to cure hystery… Actually, there were plenty of horendous ‘treatments’ used back then. Yet Victorian era Western countries do not have an image of having being barbarous. Also, until well into the 20th century, in most Western countries, women had no more rights than Saudi Arabian women! They needed the approval of their husband or father to work, couldn’t vote etc… Adultery was legally a crime until the 80’s in Germany!
    And what about the Holocaust or what happenned in the Balkans? When ethnic strife or genocide happens in Africa it is attributed to ancestral African tribality and violent urges, but the same isn’t done when it happens Westwards… So no, the portrayal of Africa is not unbiased, and yes, it has a lot to do with the history of slavery and colonisation. When you read the travel stories of Europeans who went to Africa in the 15th or 16th century, they are much more positive and unbiased than the ones which were written in the 19th century. They don’t speak of savages or of primitiveness.

  293. 293 yes


    It is you who is ignorant Seifer… Has ther ever been a book written by black epople which said that white people have lower intellkigence than black people, and which has sold more than a million copies?? Well there is such a book, but it was written by whit epeople and said black people are inferior… You live in denial if you think stereotyping of blacks is not higher than sterotyping of whites… And it not just the portrayal of blacks, but of all ethnic minorities, even Asians are victims of racist stereotypes. (sexless nerd, women who are like geisha…) It is not the portrayal of a black person (or any othe rminority) as a murderer, drug dealer or rapist which is racist in itself, but the OVERREPRESENTATION of black people being represented like this. It is true that black people are overrepresented in US crime statistics, but there were studies which have shown that the media chooses to cover crimes commited by blacks on a dispoportionate basis. Also there is the fact that although the percentage of mudereres who are black is not that far from the percentage of murderers who are white (something like 50-50) 80 percent of the people who are in Death Row are black! Such a big discrepancy can only mean that there must be many cases where the juries are more severe with black offenders than they would have been with white offenders, because of ingrained racism. If there was no racism, then 50% of the people on death row would be white.

    Also you lump all black people as being racists who believe whites are racist (which is in itself a racist thought pattern) but not all black people think like that! And not all black people are Americans!
    There are a lot of African immigrants who don’t understand why a part of African Americans harbours resentment towards white people, and think they are paranoid, because they come from 99% black countries.
    But to you black people are all the same, huh? No matter where they’re fom… The fact that you talk about black people keeping racism alive, and not A PART of black people keeping racism alive disqualifies what you say because it implies you yourself are plagued by what you accuse an entire ‘race’ of being guilty of… Black people are individuals, not all are racists, like not all whites are racists, thank god, but to you they’re all one big group and that is how racism works, lumping all people together based on their ‘race’.

    ‘To want the media to exclude one race from such activities is the real racism here.’

    That sounds like typical racist rethoric, to say that the person crying racism must be racist themselves… Like I said there are studies which have counted the number of representations of blacks being criminal in the media and they are VASTLY overrepresented.

    ‘Bit thanks for keeping racism alive Jason.’
    Just plain ridiculous… I don’t believe you that racism has never entered your mind, you sound like a typical racist in denial who blames the existence of racism on minorities!! Can you explain to me why racism against black people exists in Eastern Europe and Asia even though they have virtually non existant black populations?? Sorry but racism was created by some white people centuries ago, before PC existed. To justify the use of black slaves, the ideology of racism was created. Also, the only black people that people in the Americas saw were slaves, which also created a perception of blacks being inferior and fed the racist rethoric. When you see an entire group of people only as slaves, it gives you the impression they must really be inferior. Before there were both white and black slaves which were sold in Europe, so there wasn’t any racism. It’s like the association of Jews with money. In Medieval Europe, they were limited to only a few occupations, such as being jewelers or lending money which was though to being an impure occupation for a Christian. As time passed, people seeing Jews being massively present in these occupations formed the stereotype of Jews being greedy. Racism was also used to justify colonisation in Asia and Africa. The ONLY responsability black people have in the genesis of racism was selling slaves. Had there not been slaves sold to Europeans and Arabs, I believe racism would not have been born. There would still be xenophobia though but it wouldn’t be based on your ‘race’. People like you who are in denial of racism actually keep racism alive because you refuse to see it, racism will only end when people of all colours decide to fight against it and not stop burying their heads in the sand pretending it is all in the past… The KKK still exists.

  294. 294 yes


    ‘(although technically there’s just *one* “race”, namely humans) ‘

    Actually technically there are no races in humans, just one species. The denomination race is the equivalent of subspecies which is sued when talking baout wild species. Race is used for species which are artifically bred by humans, like horses, dogs, rabbits etc. Man made varities are called races. Notice how a dog which doesn’t come from a breeder is said to not be a dog of race. So yes, when one thinks about it, the use of the word races about humans is very idiotic because nobody breeds humans artificially. But tehre still are too many people who believe in this race BS.

  295. 295 yes

    Euro Reader

    Just plain ridiculous! To see racism, even when it truly is there, means you are racist?? What have you been smoking?? I agree that so far, the reactions are disproportionate, though I understand why some people are uneasy. So the Jews in Germany were racist for seeing anti-Semitism, and women sexist for seeing mysoginy??

    ‘This isn’t coming from a white guy either, so don’t make it seem as if I’m being racist because then, well I’m racist against myself.’

    Does that mean you are of African descent?? Or are you another type of ‘non white’?? Because there are non white racists too! Just being non white is not a trump card to claim not being racist… And being of African descent does not immunise you against anti-African racism. Know Alexandre Dumas? (the author of the 3 Musketeers) His father was a ‘mulatto’, and Dumas himself suffered from racism and racist caricatures of him were published in newspapers making fun of his hair and lips, and also with bulging eyes, yet that didn’t stop him from writing racist essays agaisnt Africans… You know the Swahilis, who are black people and who were big slave traders, helped spread racist stereotypes against black people?? They told the Europeans they should not venture into Africa, that the people who lived deep in Africa were flesh eating savages, because they wanted to keep the commercial monopoly! Later this savage stereotype was applied to all Africans though. Also there are African-Americans who are racist towards black Africans!
    pS: Before anyone says it, Yes, I know the Swahilis have Arab admixture, but for example many people in Europe have Mongol admixture, yet they are not classified as being Asian. Arabs have black admixture too, nobody classifies them as black people like some people try to do with the Swahilis,probably because the Swahilis left impressive hsitorical remains… (stones cities, palaces) Of course they were mixed, well East Africa was linked with the Arabian peninsula since many centuries ago, it’s so close, it’s only normal!

  296. 296 yes

    -Craig West-

    Wow, how you see racism in this is beyond me, lets all put white people into a game portrayed in AFRICA! It’s just idiotic to even assume the “White man” is even making this game, it’s all Japanese people making it so your argument fails.

    Well no, it doesn’t, because anti-black racism in Japan is far from rare and the racial hierachy is something like Japanese, then Whites, Chinese, Koreans, then Southeast Asians and Indians, at at the bottom, black people. Also the blog owner’s argument doesn’t assume the ‘White man’ is making this game, he didn’t say anything about the nationality of the makers, -you- are seeing what you want to see here! You feel offended because you think he is talking about you?? Or are you one of these simpletons who think tehre is no such such as nion-white racists?? And racist sentiments against black people in Japan have come from the influence of Western media. There are people there who think all black people are criminals because of Hollywood movies! If racism against black people dissapears in the Western world, then it will disappear in Japan too. That is extremely doubtful though, I think the poison that is racism is still going to be with us for at least a century! Though, the problem is not that black people are portrayed as criminals, but that many people are susceptible to stereotyping and make generalisations based on a few examples. I think the way to prevent racism would be to teach kids they should not generalise, even though that is common sense, because everyone is an individual.

    -Aaron Bateman-

    ‘Wow. So the game is set in Africa, yet you seem to expect that there be no blacks in the game. IT IS SET IN AFRICA.’

    Nobody has said the game shouldn’t feature black characters! Second, there are countries in Africa who have a majority NON BLACK population! African DOES NOT equal black people, the word Africa originally used to refer to North Africa. 3rd, the game is NOT SET IN AFRICA BUT IN HAITI. You know where Haiti is right…?

    There are people who feel queasy about it (not me though) because it is a WHITE character killing BLACK zombies, not just because the zombies are black! If the hero was black too, then nobody would say anything. Because of the histoy of black people people being opressed by a part of white people, there are people who are very sensitive. But it’s not just black people, if it was a game about a German guy going to Israel and killing Israeli zombies there’d be an outcry or Russian or Polish zombies, or if it was a Turkish hero killing Armenian Zombies… If a Japanese developper made a game about a Japanese hero killing Chinese zombies, I can assure you that would not go down well AT ALL in China and would be enough to spark a big controversy. Anyway, these reactions are only epiphenomenous, they sipmly are the proof taht the world is still not racism free

  297. 297 yes

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    I feel no sympathy for you at all, people of all ethnic groups have been tortured, enslaved, executed throughout generations, what makes it so special when it comes to black people?

    Black epople are usually thought of as being more savage than others and racism towards them usually is the strongest…
    That’s just the truth, that’s because of historical reasons. Black people were not enslaved because whites were racist, but enslavement created racism. White slaves were also widely used in Europe, but nobody thought it weird because slaves of all colours were used back then. When it started becoming mostly black slaves being used, that is when racism was created to justify that. Also there is the fact that slaves in the Americas were used mostly for very deadly labour. (it is estimated the life expectancy on plantations was 3-5 years)
    Before that, apart from in Ancient Rome, slaves were éostly used for domestic chores. Admiteddly it is not very fun to be a slave, but th elife expectancy of a domestic lsave was many times higher than one on a plantation. The very brutal life conditons needed to be justified by big reasons. So first blacks were said to be soulless animals, then later, it was admitted they were humans, but of a different, lesser race. Yes, other people were enslaved but the people who suffer the biggest consequences from the tragedies their ancestor suffered objectively, apart from people who were genocided, are black people. Just saying that doesn’t mean one is saying black people are superior, it is just acknowledging history. Black African countries are the poorest countries because they have participated in the slave trade and have suffered colonisation. Countries which have suffered only colonisation on other continents are better off. Because Africa was in decline when it was colonised. The slave trade had a bad effect on local economies which shifted from producing goods, to making wars with their neighbours to capture them and sell them to Whites and Arabs! The economic trajectory of Africa would have been different had Africans not sold their own. That doesn’t mean the sufferings of other people are worthless. Figthing against mysoginy doesn’t mean denying the sufferings men can encounter. (for example there are raped men)

  298. 298 yes/ i am not from an english speaking country so excuse my sometimes weird english


    « As to the larger point of portrayal of populations in gaming, I’d say ‘black’ and peoples of African descent have a long road of misrepresentation to go before they come anywhere close to Nazis. Now, don’t get me wrong, Naziism represented the very worst in humanity, but from some games you play, you’d think everyone in Germany around 1940 was a Nazi, when the most votes the Nazi party ever won was 51%. Would you want all the world to judge those Americans who did not vote for George Bush (all 49% of them in 2004) by his actions? Nazis have been portrayed as zombies, as hellspawn demons, as vampires… on and on. »

    Even back in WWII though, even though the Nazis were villified, they were never victims of racism… There were disguisting racist caricatures about of the Japanese and they were represented as insects ! There were American propaganda cartoons which said they couldn’t see well because of their ‘small eyes’ ! Even thoguh Nazis are considered to be the most evil people ever, they never were drawn in a deshumanising way like the Jews, or Japanese or black people. Because they were white. I don’t play WWII games, but I fully know the stereotypes about Germans and that not all were Nazis, hell, not all were ‘Aryans’. In my country, there are people who think current Germans are all Nazis.

    So about racism.
    Most people don’t consider their dog to be evil, but they consider it to be below them. Well, same with racism. Even though the Nazis are considered to be the worst bastards in history, they are not though of as being subhumans, because they were white. And racism is not about considering somebdy evil, (nobody considers the nazis to be evil because of being German anyway because there never was any racist against Germans, there was though against people from SOuthern Europe) but about hierarchy, you can like people of ‘inferior’ races, but still consider them your inferior. Just because you’re married to
    a (insert ethnicity) person doesn’t mean you are not racist towards people of that ethnicity. I saw on TV a Jewish woman who had married a Nazi officer. That man fell in love with her, but he still was Anti-Semitist, he didn’t want to have children with her, because he didn’t want them to have her “filthy blood”… So no, the villyfing of Nazis is not on the same scale as the villifying of non-white people in general… Because it is not in the same registry, the topic at hand is racism, and villifying of Nazis is not the same.

    Even people who are more well considered in the West than black people still suffer from racism. Chinese and Japanese are often compared to ants… And the ‘yellow peril’ threat which has reappeared lately has racist undertones too. People should be happy that hundreds of millions are getting out of poverty.

    However, getting back to nazism, there were millions of Nazi sympathisers in the USA. Anti-Semitism was not a Germany only scourge. Also the Nazis actually admired the US with it’s segregationist laws… And the eugenics movement was more prominent in the USA. So much for the history of anti Nazi America, Also US companies had many ties with Nazi Germany, and Nazism was actually backed by capitalists, because Hitler was anti-communist. So the story is not black and white with heartless Nazi devils on one side, and good hearted anti-racism Allied forces, like many people seem to believe, the Allied forces were not that innocent they knew about the genocide from the start, it just wasn’t their priority to stop it… The story of WWII lots of people know is full of propaganda.

  299. 299 yes/ i am not from an english speaking country so excuse my sometimes weird english

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    It is a fictional game…


    What is going to be next, African movie-stars are not allowed to be killed in movies, because killing fictional people is racist?

    You people serious are full of it.

    Who is “you people”?!?

    John Henderson
    Aug 1st, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    “Why is there so much aid being poured into a country that is exactly like all the others”

    You show your complete IGNORANCE through this statement, Africa is a CONTINENT, with 53 COUNTRIES. It is the 2nd most peopled and 2nd biggest. (or 3rd when you count North America and South America as one) The problems of Africa are CRUSHING DEBTS, which were mostly accumulated druing the 70’s and 80’s at a time where interest rates were low. Western banks were swamped by oil dollars, so they sought to use this money as loans. However after the 2nd oil shock, to counter inflation, the US Central Bank heavily raised its interest rates, and so did other countries’ banks later. Some countries spend more than 80% of their budget on reimbursing the INTERESTS of their debts. (the actual debts have been repayed long ago) Without those high interest rates, most of Africa would be in a much better shape now, because African countries cannot invest much in infastructure. They are cash strapped, so they have to cut spendingon education and health. The lack of infrastructure in many African countries makes it hard to produce manufactured goods at competitive costs. There are also the effect of subsidies. A few thousand Americans get billions of subsidies for their cotton and they overproduce cotton which devaluates the value of cotton on a global scale. While in Africa there are literally million of people whose lives depend on cotton. It is the same for plenty of other things… Agricultural produce is imported from agricultural powerhouses who subsidise their production, and is sold on African markets at artificially low prices which are even lower than locally produced rice, tomatoes etc. There are international trade agreements which said that all countries should eliminate subsidies, well African countries did it, but rich countries kept theirs.

  300. 300 yes/ i am not from an english speaking country so excuse my sometimes weird english

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    So it’s okay to kill white zombies and spanish ‘zombies” but oh lordy no dont kill the black ‘zombies”? I’m tired of this racist bullshit coming from the blacks that whites are not aloud to counter since the Africans sold their own brothers into slavery.

    Anonymous, you are not well placed at all to complain abotu racism, because you sound racist yourself, you talk abotu racist bullshit coming from ‘the blacks’, not some blacks, or part of blacks, that shows your racist thinking which lumps all black together, and thus you are guilty of the same thing you accuse ‘the blacks’ of doing!

  301. 301 yes/ i am not from an english speaking country so excuse my sometimes weird english

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    This is quite silly. We’ve been blowing away caucasian zombies since 1996 with the Resident Evil series. And, yes, hispanics HAVE been misrepresented in the media.”

    Npbody ever said Hispanics haven’t ever been misrepresented……………… Even other white groups, like the Irish or Italians have been victim of -racism- in the US in the past! They were said to be part of an inferior ‘race’ of European, inferior to a ‘Northern Race’.

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    actually in RE2 there was a black zombie. the police sargeant/chief guy. lets not forget that stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. there has to be enough of a certain action or behavior for people to recognize and eventually associate it as a stereotype. ”

    So basically you are excusing racism… Also, do you know there are African countries with -much- -much- lower crime rates than in the US?? Just because a country is poor doesn’t mean it’s dangerous. Also most African countries haven’t known wars recently, there are more than 53 countries there. African-Americans do not commit a lot of crime because they are black, if so every single African country apart from the ones in North Africa, should have crime rates dozens or hundred of times higher than the US’s.

    “if anyone has the right to complain about ANYTHING racially… it’s native americans.”

    You excuse stereotyping of blacks and hispanics, yet you don’t like when racism concerns you? You know the word hypocrite?? So blacks are not victims, after all they were brought by force? Also, most Native Americans were killed ny diseases which were brought from Europe. It’s true there was a genocide though. However if you look at places like Tasmania or the West Indies, there was complete genocided there, the locals were all obliterated. Since you establish a hierarchy about who has the right to talk about racism, then I say you did not have it worst because you were not completely wiped out… What about the Aborigines in Australia, they too suffered genocide… Seriously this is off topic, the subject is not whether black people have more of a right to complain about racism than others…. But sounds like you are not interested at all in the subject at hand and just want vent your frustration (and maybe arcism) against black people… Even though black people have nothing to do with the genocide your ancestors suffered, and actually many African-Americans have Native-American ancestry, because many First Nation people accepted runaway slaves with them. (and they also accepted whites)

  302. 302 yes/ i am not from an english speaking country so excuse my sometimes weird english

    “Bijan Shahir
    Aug 1st, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Well, I certainly do not agree with you. Not at all. The first four games covered different areas with all sorts of different pigmentations of skin, and the last one dealt exclusivley with Spanish people, as you mentioned. If anything, the idea of having an epidemic break out in Africa is the most realistic situation one can think of right after interpreting the story. Look at AIDS, West Nile and Ebola. ”

    What about SARS, the Avian Flu?? These did not appear in Africa… Actually specialists say it is more probable to see new diseases appear in Asia. Do you know that smallpox came from Asia? That is because people have lived in higher densities and more closely packed with domestic animals than in other continents, which simplifies the apparition of new diseases, which are transmitted from animals to humans.

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    wow this is bull**** i don’t, see how this game is racist. Resident Evil 5 take place in Africa and there are black in Africa, i don’t think there would be white, Jews or Asian people in Africa. im getting sick of people blaming everything to be racist .really, its just a game so stop acting like babies. i just want play Resident Evil 5 in peace. ps im a black person

    You are ignorant, there ARE White, Jewish and Asian Africans!
    There are countries, like Kenya or SOuth Africa with people of Indian descent. Theer are also people from China, Vietnam.

    Aug 1st, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Enough is enough with this Politcially Correct crap, all it does is add fuel to a dying fire. Racism is all but gone, there is no majority racism any long, the majority of people in this world are not racist at all, but by trying to constantly be Politically Correct and also by thinking the way the Original Poster did here, all you are doing is adding fuel to a dying fire.”

    BS… In Russia, there are very non whites, yet Russia is the country with the most Neo-Nazis currently. 1 or 2 years back, a 9 year old girl of mixed Russian-African (Mali) parentage was killed by Neo-Nazis. Yet there isn’t such a thing a political correctness there, which according to you is the only thing keeping racism alive… I bet you haven’t tarvelled much outside of your country to say racism is rare around the world…

  303. 303 Sammy

    Anyone who finds this game even the slight bit racist clearly dosn’t understand the resident evil franchise as a whole,Do you really think capcom havn’t thought aout this game being racist?,they’ve probably done theyr upost best to not be racist,and the game isn’t finished yet,things can change….

  304. 304 Cabelo

    Just thought I’d drop a link to some argument in the opposite direction,review-2382.html

  305. 305 Lt.RipVanWinkle

    Okay, realllllll quick. If this is the game you speak as being “racist” then wow . . . .Look if you wanna consider this racist then consider the first game racist! I mean gawd they killed white people! how freakin racist is that?! Oh god RE4!! Spanish people!! so racist -weeps-

    get over it, this isn’t racist. We just need another 3rd world country to destroy. We allready destroyed some of America(Re 1-3), some of Spain, and now Africa. Next will probably be Asia? Who knows, its just a game. get over it

  306. 306 Andrew im not telling

    basically what everyone is saying through all these comments is….

    all earlier RE games have been about white people being turned into zombies and there have been A LOT and so therefore capcom decided to have a change of scene, and so they took it to africa now I think most people don’t really expect white people in Africa and so it’s reasonable to have black people as the zombies that appear in ALL RE games. You say that you are concerned about how this will portray black people? please I don’t think anyone with an IQ of above 50 would take a video game made in JAPAN and think it to be an accurate representation of what is in the real country and those people aren’t going to do much damage to Africa anyway.

  307. 307 deadlock32

    Free Speech is a double edged sword my friend. Can you hold the sword w/o cutting yourself? (sorry that was pretty bad = P )

  308. 308 Huh?

    “Folks, please give the post a closer reading. I’m trying to wrestle with precisely the issue you mention — why prior RE games weren’t as upsetting as this one. I’m aware that the previous games featured a more diverse set of zombies.”

    All flesh eating zombies being white = diverse?

  309. 309 Brav

    Sorry i just read some articles you wrote above Jason

    I guess you hav’nt actually played any of the other resident evil games have you?
    Because as i recall There fairly upsetting to everyone if you pay detail into them, they are survival horror games.
    Just incase you havnt noticed…but with the remake of the first one on the Nintendo Gamecube, The first person you see having his throat torn out by a zombie is a guy called Kenneth, Hes black…So had you better get your pen and paper and go and complain about that too?

  310. 310 Rob

    “I do understand the characters presented in the trailer are zombies. Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school African stereotypes alarming. And that’s what my post is about.”

    Surely the fact that those old school stereotypes are now being used to show mindless zombies is a good thing isn’t it?

  311. 311 piel

    you got it all wrong, seriously. the story takes place in Africa and guess what, people there are black. period.

  312. 312 Mike

    this is ridiculous… it shouldn’t even be a thought in your mind that this is racist… it’s a game, and they are zombies, it’s part of a story that just happens to be unfolding in Africa, God forbid a game happens to take place in Africa, and the people there are black?? Get over yourself, black, white, yellow… it’s all the same. You’re no better because you’re black. Grow up.

  313. 313 Fates

    It’s disturbing that anyone, regardless of who you are and your background, with knowledge of the previous installments of this game is so ready to pull the racist card out from your sleeve to try and get people to see things your way. By bringing attention to something thats so obviously not racism is proof of your own self doubt and your own racism.

    As much as I’d like to admire your brave stance at posting a public opinion thats so stupid, you haven’t made anyone see the light, rather you’ve pissed off a community of gamers among other people and you’ve made yourself look weaker than you really are.

    You wanna know racism? Quite some time ago there was a video game made, I don’t recall what it was called or when it was made, if you tried a google search you might find reference to it. It was basically a game where you went around killing jews, and the game specificly said you were killing jews because they were evil or something along those lines. Of course the games been abolished from existance since that time but that my friend was an example of real racism in a video game, this is just a pathetic attempt to whore attention and play yourself as the victim.

    In doing this you’ve made yourself look weaker than you really are, and if you find racism in a video game this day and age, especially a game like this and get offended by it. Then you need to step back and take a cold hard look at yourself and ask yourself “Who’s the real racist?”

  314. 314 phishtaco

    One thing about videogames/books/movies/music is that you get to interpret them how you want. When I see this game I see a man shooting zombies. Most people see the same thing as me. But then there are some people who wants to make a big deal out of everything because: A) They don’t have anything better to do. B) They somehow make money from it.
    If you want to find racism in popular media, you will find it. But not because it was intentionally put there.

  315. 315 Markus

    The big problem is this:

    “…it also triggers memories of so many awful stereotypes — and what those stereotypes have been used to justify past and present. Put down the crazed negroes before they take the white women! And so on…”

    Memories of stereotypes? Which means that they are still somewhere in your head and you use them to evaluate situations? That’s just plain wrong. If you are aware of the oppression of black people by whites and so on who used these stereotypes to judge you as a person by these incredibly dumb assupmtions then why do you still use them? Why do you even remember? I’m sure it hurts a lot to be discriminated against but as a German I also think I know how to deal with stereotypes. You remeber the issue, not the cause!

    I was thaught in school and political education about the discrimination against jews, homosexuals and other groups in the third reich and about the stereotypes associated with these groups. But I didn’t even bother to memorize them, I wanted to remember that it was stupid, self-righteous people oppressing other people and not the way they did it or how they justified what they did. I can’t change the past. The only thing feasible and reasonable to do is to remember the issue and oppose it where possible but just looking to reckognize the old justification patterns is not enough and unfortunately I think you did just that.

    I greatly admire your bravoury to stand up against discrimination and speak out but I think this was just one of the cases where it was not appropriate to do so because there was no really offensively intended cause.

    Closing I wanted to say something about your point of how Africa is depicted in videogames and movies. You say it’s bad how the country is depicted. I say be glad it is depicted at all. Haw does alienation work? You avoid takling about someone or something and then when everybody has forgotten that they even exist they will find the person or thing or land (in this case Africa and her problems) strange and foreign. If there were hundreds of movies and videogames on the american, asian and european market don’t you think people would be more open to think about africa rather than wonder what a strange place that is you see in some movie every now and then? The problem is that africa is not in the minds of people because at first they tried to ignore what had been done to the afrcian people and nowadays they don’t want to take responsibility for the atrocities in the past.

    If images of (african) blacks were common (and at least in central europe they are not) in everyday media (and videogames are just that) than it wouldn’t be so strange to concern oneself with this beautiful but struggling country because people would think: “Yeah, I’ve been there everyday for the last 2 months -in a virtual form, but I’ve seen how it may look- I wonder what it’s really like in africa.”

    instead of “Whoa this is this strange Africa people seldomly talk about in stereotypical ways, this must be just how people are down there.”

    Do you see my point? More pictures (moving, still, animated or recorded doesn’t matter) equals more awareness. And awareness is a good thing because it sometimes implies actions to follow.

  316. 316 DaZEDnCoNFUzED

    Ok First things first:
    Yes we are all aware that many of the previous games had more white zombies than black zombies. Yes Resident Evil 4 had Spanish people as zombies. But in your many changing points you stated how Africa is mis-represented and portrayed. Some poster’s even made refrences to popular movies such as: Hotel Rwanda, Last King of Scotland, and Black Hawk Down. Lets all remember that these are works of TRUE STORIES. They are not representing anything they are telling the story the way it happened

    Second let us not forget that this game is a work of fiction. It continues the fictitious story of Chris Redfield and the Umbrella Corporation. The makers of this game of not made it evident in any previous games that they are racist in fact there have been many important black characters in the resident evil series including:
    Resident Evil 0/1 Kenneth Sullivan
    Resident Evil 2/3 Marvin Branagh
    Resident Evil Outbreak Jim Chapman

    In closing let us remember the words of a great man:
    “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
    Thank you-

  317. 317 Will

    Okay, all I have to say is that If they were all white people, then this whole conversation wouldn’t be happening. Or, if the lead character was black, and he was killing white people, this conversation wouldn’t be happening. I’m not racist, but it’s just a VIDEO GAME. It’s not dehumanizing anyone. It’s just a game. about zombies. That takes place in Africa. if you ask me, that’s a nice change of pace. I mean, how many other video games have taken place in Africa? Hardly any, if any, before this one.

  318. 318 Guagentua

    A new video about racism in Resident Evil 5.
    Very surprising :

  319. 319 Nathan Searcy

    @ Shions_Glasses:

    Oh, so because I’m white I am automatically disqualified from having a debate with at black person? Is that what you are hinting at? Who’s racist now, hmm?

  320. 320 Jon Aburameh

    Personally I happen to think that no matter WHAT color the zombies are, where it is, and what you’re doing. People will be upset. Now if they make RE:6 in the middle east and the zombies are Arab something tells me people will be upset. Now I’m of middle eastern decent heritage and I would not be upset by this game at all. I wouldn’t be upset the slightest if they showed arab zombies blowing them selves up trying to kill the player. Someone somewhere will get their panties in a bunch over anything. I’m not saying your opinion is wrong, its just that….. Honestly, who really cares?

  321. 321 Jase

    People will find any excuse to play the race card. I’m pleased a slightly different approach has been taken for this game and I am pleased that these developers are finding the courage to do something different. We have never really seen those of different skin colours or race fall victim to a virus or parasite before Resident Evil 4 (as far as Resident Evil is concerned) but perhaps CAPCOM is very innocently portraying the extent of outbreak into different cultures and parts of the world – what is wrong with that?

    I think the Mature people who can see that the game is not trying to deal with racial issues will thoroughly enjoy this game. I would be very dissapointed if CAPCOM changed any game design due to a small minority of people who think they are doing good by complaining about such trivial issues.

  322. 322 Tim

    lol here is something i read in another post but i don’t remember this kids name so here is his quote

    “u know what this is the most racest game i have ever seen i mean come on a buch of angry black people going after one white guy” hahahhahhahahhahhahahahhahahhahhahahhahahhahhahahhahhahahhahahahhahahahahahah

  323. 323 Indian guy

    What i don’t understand is why such a fuss is being made about this game. There have been other games where you kill black people. Shadow of Rome, another game by Capcom, had you, a Roman gladiator, hacking apart both white and black people. You even go to Africa for a tournament there where you kill african gladiators. Yet there was no fuss (if any) about this game being racist.
    As a little side note, it’s not like in RE 5 Chris (the white guy) is killing the Africans in cold-blood, where in lots of games (GTA San Andres to name one) have you playing as a black guy killing white guys for the hell of it.

    The only thing wrong here are the outlooks on this game by people like the poster of this topic.

  324. 324 Stranger

    So, after centuries of victimization, a game that obviously shows blacks as a VICTIM of Umbrella’s genetic experimentation and war mongering is racist? Alot of people these days probably don’t think about big companies still using third world countries as their unrestrained playground. Maybe Capcom is trying to raise some awareness and make a sensible political commentary, while you are diverting the issue? Thanks, you’ll make the plot seem less relevant, and undermine any good it was intended to do.

    BTW, at the end of RE4 (SPOILERS) there is a montage of the simple village before the evil parasites took over. It showed their simple lives, how human and happy they were, and highlighted how terrible what happened to them. The villagers were never evil, they were used, and the player knew this.

  325. 325 Rick

    @Stranger: If RE5 turns out to have a story that makes some kind of deep social point, it’ll be a first for the series. I’m not saying it won’t, but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

    If they are heading down that road, they could have easily explained that in the trailer and they probably would have avoided a lot of the complaints. As it is, we’ve got a bunch of dark skinned people running around in the streets who “deserve” to be put out of their misery. Sure, they’re zombies or infected or whatever, but some sensitivity is required.

    If you think it’s the same difference between the zombies being white or being black, try calling one of your white friends a monkey and then do the same for a black one. History matters.

  326. 326 No Name

    The problem doesn’t lie in the fact that Africa is being portrayed like it is, the infestation of whatever is causing them to act that violent in the game is, much like the Ganados in Resident Evil 4.

    People seem to be over-reading the issue on this, especially Kym Platt, who would rather prefer White zombies for the rest of the series as opposed to a little healthy diversity :\.

    But then again, Thanatos was Black in RE: Outbreak, but does killing him w/a white or asian character = Racism? Maybe not.

  327. 327 April

    I think there is way too much debate over this. It’s just a game. And like the first person stated, weren’t the first dozen or so Resident Evils with white zombies. No one complained then…

    I first read about this on Global Grind’s MySpace page. Check them out.

  328. 328 Person

    Question: Has it been confirmed that the creatures in Resident Evil 5 are indeed zombies, but I *think* I heard the virus in this game is something we have not been introduced to as of yet. Though it can be a mix of the T-virus and Las Plagas, I dont believe Capcom has given the information available to actually say that their are zombies in the game. Just wondering if has been confirmed or that most of you are just assuming they are zombies.

  329. 329 Notthisagain

    I’m starting to think that black people are not happy in this country unless they can bitch that someone is oppressing them in some shape or form. My family immigrated here from Ireland back in the 1850s. They were, undoubtedly, persecuted and oppressed. Where the fuck are my reparations? Where’s the NAAIP (National Association for the Advancement of Irish People)?

    I’m not saying there isn’t any racism in the world, but so many in the black community are making it out as if the “white man is out to get them.” America is probably the most persecution-free place you can live on this planet, barring Antartica.

  330. 330 Norris

    I can sympathize with how you feel, but I would not expect most to. I have always been a big fan of resident evil and these images are somewhat disturbing to me. I don’t think the intent was to be racist but as black people we are going to see things in everyday life that many other who are not black would never give a second thought. I am on my departmental swat team, and as a black man in law enforcement especially in specialized training, I can tell you we are not strongly represented. Recently we pulled a young black man out of the woods who we had tracked for over four hours. There were at least two other departments involved and I was the only other black person present, besides this drug dealer. After taking him into custody he lay on his stomach handcuffed behind his back and looked up at me as at least ten officers crowded around him. His eyes locked on mine and there was something exchanged between us in a millisecond. I felt no sympathy for this man, a peddler of poison, but there was an instant recognition and then it seemed for him, disbelief. What I am trying to say, is the things we perceive in life come from the things we were exposed to growing up. If you never been the victim of racism then you probably can’t relate or perceive it.

  331. 331 Annata

    We don’t even know the story yet!And Resi 4 could have been easily misinterpreted or rightly so as the opressession of an white America who invades an tiny european villageto shoot poor spaniards*g* But the Story gave us a reason to kill them and to like the hero and so we killed and killed and killed!sometimes we looked under the presidents daughters skirt and killed again!And Resi 4 there where no Zombies and i doubt that in Resi 5 they will be Zombies!Ther will be another occult sect inhabitet by aliens!So we dont shoot Africans just aliens who happened to be in Africans*g*And we could doubt the whole game design behind Resi 5!shouldn’t we instead of killing!Just capture one of those poor possesed people and find a cure!Yeah that would be fun, wouldn’t it!

    Just because a game plays in Africa and in Africa by sheer accident there happen to be more black africans than white africans i doubt there is any racist intention behind the game!

    But i tend to belief that racist would also like this game even if they hated Resi 4!!

    But i blelief it will be agood game with awsome graphics that will stick you to your console for hours!

    No living Northern european would cry if you played a game produced by italiens where you sly Wiking!Even though the roman Empire slayed thousang of Celts,Wikings!Even took them as slaveS!There is almost no group which didn’t happen to be mistreated in its history!

    We shouold just watch that we live our lives according to the lesssons of the past!And don’t do much interprentation in the meaning of a game! I doubt that there was any other reason, then providing a different Location and Setting!

  332. 332 Annata

    Ps: im not a native speaker so forgive my errors!

  333. 333 Bakerboi

    Im going to go ahead and tell you from my point of view. And try to explain to you what this man is trying to say.

    Its understood by us that when you show this trailer to other black folks, you get first the, “Oh this a new resident evil?” and That’s at the beginning when you see every one peaceful and african just walking around.

    But then when its gets to him against the big group of black people approaching him and he’s shooting into the crowd you get, “WTF? Where’s he at?” “Africa” “Hahahaha uh oh that aint good.”

    Its not whether or not Capcom is meaning to be racist or if black people should be able to be zombies or not, but rather is the world ready for it?
    Is it going to make black and others alike look at this and go, “Why is he in Africa…shootin niggas?”

    Of course when I first saw the trailer I was more happy that Capcom being the company they are, who have always held a rich diversity in their games decided to do this. To me it was a big step forward.

    Capcom hasnt brought any degradation upon africans purposely I dont think, but the feeling of it is…Should this really be happening now?
    Are the people of the world mature enough to handle this reconging of race?

    Or will we see vids on youtube of titles such as, “R5:Shootin some Niggas”. And we all know the type of comments that will follow.
    So please before you begin to start and blast this man for thinking he’s racist for asking, “Is this safe for the world yet?” Think about how the dark community might feel about it and how others may react to the content that they are given.

    Surely it’s much bigger than african zombies. I’d shoot a zombie, black, white or indigo. But in this context it’s going to be a bit more tricky.

    I commend Capcom for bringing such a game forward way ahead of its said time. I just hope everyone else gets it…

    P.S., Capcom usually explains why certain events take place where they are and the significants of the cultures they take place around. So we know Capcom didnt just throw Chris in africa to shoot poor black people.


  334. 334 somebody

    It’s only racist for the people who see it that way.
    RE5 is just another game. Maybe if the cop was black as well there wouldn’t be such a commotion.

  335. 335 J

    I’m of mixed races, and it’s important to realize that this game isn’t created out of the mindset to fuel hate, it’s a game to be played and a story to be told…

    The location is actually Haiti, rather than Africa. I’m not saying you’re right or wrong for feeling the way you do, you have every right to your opinion – but as a person of mixed heritage (half black, half french) I take this game as more of a story than a hate machine. These stereotypes you bring to mind are definitely going to keep coming up through the life of this game – but until you try and look at it another way, any game like this will be “racist”. It’s about people coming back from the dead, in the birthplace of voodoo, and you play the character stuck in the middle. It’s unfair for you to criticize this game when the game directly before it dealt with Spaniards, another race of people dealing with injustice.

    Indeed, Black people have dealt with just as much, if not more racial injustice in their lifetimes, but does it justify anger towards this game more than the previous game? What do you gain from these feelings? Do you not see that by giving this issue attention and power, you’re assisting in the existence of the racism you scrutinize? How do you feel about games like Grand Theft Auto where you are a Black man killing Italians, Latinos, and Asians? Or Def Jam where it’s Black on Black violence?

    The only way to alleviate this racial pressure is to re-evaluate what you’re seeing and either make peace or move on. You, nor I, can control what other people say or do, so we should focus real attention towards real racial injustice happening in our world. This is my opinion, and you’re more than welcome to disagree, but I think attitudes like this are fuel for the fire – please reconsider feeling this way and letting these things take hold of you. Racism does still exist in this world, but I think this game isn’t an example of it, it’s just a video game.

  336. 336 wazaa

    “Spanish haven’t been so egregiously misrepresented as blacks through the ages, have they? Not even close.”

    Oh yeah, we are. The only thing that the spain contry shown in the game is based in spanish culture is the police uniform… the other ones are all inventions and bad/nonsense spanish culture interpretation. A little of sense of humour, please.

    The main problem is not that the dead men are from spain, from africa, from eeuu… the main problem is not that the game autor doesn’t know well these cultures. The real problem is that you make this a problem. If the game became racist it is only because you are going this became racist.

    All people are equals, so, zombies are also all equal. There is no problem, you’re making the problem.

    Sorry the english…

  337. 337 jahroots

    Actually zombies are not all equal. The zombies in the earlier games are rotting, shambling corpses.

    Those in the RE5 trailer, look very much human. Just bloodthirsty and savage. I don’t even think the term mindless applies; their behaviour is too directed.

    Either way, the trailer is not racist. It’s simply unappealing and offensive to (some) blacks because it mirrors real life too much. Blacks generally aren’t ready for a game that highlights the worst conditions in some black communities, and presents images that remind us of real world conflicts.

    What IS racist, however, is the limited number of important black characters in video games. Thus far, we’ve seen blacks in familiar stereotypical roles; Sports stars, Rappers and Thugs. Now RE5 is going to take us back 50 years and add ‘ignoble savage’ to that list.

  338. 338 wazaa

    You didn’t play RE 4… I can say one thing, in all RE are monsters of all kinds… more are less humans.

    About the limited number of black hereoes in games… 8 of each 10 heroes in games are japanese…. ^_^b

    And there is an italian plumber, too.

    jahroots, you just given to me the true in that it is not racist, we are making it racist. Our prejudices and fears will make a game racist…

  339. 339 bigT

    Thank god people of German descent don’t have the same issue as other races/ethnicities when it comes to seeing virtual depictions of their kin get shot and murdered. Heaven forbid there ever be a video game that centers around killing hundreds of Germans… that would be an awful day.

    No, the ‘black zombie situation’ isn’t any different than the ‘german nazi situation.’ Germans today and in WWII didn’t exactly support the Nazi agenda but regardless they’re almost always portrayed as the ‘evil monstrous enemies’ in most WWII theme’d games. Horrendous things ranging from torture to (only slightly) fictional medical augmentations have been featured in WWII games for the past decade +. The fact that people are up in arms about blacks being portrayed in a negative fashion by trying to rip people apart (because they’re zombies) is laughable in comparison.

    It seems silly for such a fictional representation of blacks to get so much negative attention when games about something that has actually occurred and legitimately effected millions of people worldwide has stirred up nothing.

    Please, its a video game.

  340. 340 Austin

    I seriously dont think this is racism. in the story of resident evil, the scenario is aproached on a global scale. I mean, if zombies showed up in canada, the whole world will be affected. you know, its not like you watch the morning news and say,” ohh. zombies in canada. whatever.” Capcom tried to put this into the picture frame by puting re4 in a spanish place. NOBODY threw a fit because all of the parasitic people were SPANISH. We need to put aside video game “racism” and freakin move on. Maybe me, a caucasion, is offended because all the other games had WHITE people. Oh look! My WHITE neighbor is a zombie. Racism doesnt exactly pop into my mind.

    capcom also mentioned that these new zombies in re5 were more intelligent than the other zombies! If anything thats saying black people are smart and white people are brainless!
    Capcom is just setting up the story line to follow into the tracks of the human races entire extinction. THAT MEANS ALL BLACK, WHITE, CHINESE, SPANISH, FRENCH, AND EVERYBODY ELSE. the story in RE5 is in africa! Do you think only WHITE people are gonna fill africa! NO! CApCOM is just sticking with GeographY!! NOTHING RACIST! IM sure not only white people are in Capcoms Company! Black People May have even given the idea of the setting in Africa! PEACE OUT!!!!!!!!

  341. 341 Austin

    One More Thing! You dont see black people bombarded all the time for different colored skin! If anything the main thing now is Mexican Immagrants. There country is in a state where many would rather be away from there home country to the U.S. They Have been segrigated badly. Heck look at George Bush. He hates em so much hes doubling border security. I personly feel bad for them. Black People arent so bad off, and i seriously think your looking at this through eyes of revenge. I know that Africans have been put down badly. Im not saying you havent. But If you guys leave Africa to america, nobody really cares! If a spanish person leaves mexico, he has to do it sneakily, and could even lose his life. Then he has to deal with starting over in an entirely different community. I seriously cant say ive seen an African American be deported. You guys need to come to terms thatwe arent here to make you feel bad. if we did, you would still be enslaved. Put past differences behind and move on. Just because a game takes place in africa doesnt mean its a racial thing. Even After mexican people have been bombarded and segrigated by the rest of the u.s community, they didnt throw fits over resident evil 4. Which is worse? not including the African race in the game series at all, or making a game thats plot hasent been revieled, its location is a guess, and because it looks 3rd world, every African jumps and says its Africa. Before you start accusing of racism, wait until the game is realesed. that way, you know whats realy going down. False accusations are a result of misunderstanding. misunderstanding leads to problems. if you get a clear meaning of whats happening, your mind might change compeletly.
    Jeez im not racist and i dont judge people by their looks and characteristics.I judge them by their actions. If you complain that everything is racist along with everyone else who is African, thats the race alot of people will see. If you put aside differences and not complain, and enjoy the game regardless of the characters, you will see that not everyone is picking on you. If everyone hated african americans, no white person would admire all the african ameican role models most white people look up to. Samuel jackson, Michail jordan, will smith, all those girly singers that everyone listens to, and lots more. Alot of kids at my school say that they are black as a praise when they dunk it in basketball, or school someone. they listen to rap music. besides eminem, all the rappers i know about are black . If your so easy to jump the gun and say capcom is racist company, maybe you need to take a look and see what people realy think of black people. You dont have it off so bad. Yea your country may be getting better. Its still not 100%. No country is. Not even america. Its not like a video game is gonna make people say mean things about people. Hey use this game as a stepping stone to gain a better country. Next game, maybe theyl have africa a cool utopia. Capcom is just putting africa as it really is now. its changing, so the common perception of africa is gonna change as africa does. Dont be so worried about your country looking bad. Most countries view america as a place where everyone is fat and lazy. Thats true. Most people in america are obese. I dont see terrorists bombing africa. They are bombing america. Jeez what im saying is being a country as far along as we are, it carries some downfalls and hazards. You live in overcrowded places. Pollution cakes the air. We are threatened by many countries. Africa is probably more better off in alot of ways than america. I just want segrigation and racism to end. it wont if people keep getting acused of it.

  342. 342 Xin

    If you mean what you say Jason then your saying that the Zombies skin colour doesn’t mean a thing. It doesn’t really affect my views of Africa or it’s population. So who’s to say that the game will represent Africa in a negative light unless we have first hand evidence of it. The key aspect your missing here is that we haven’t seen any other footage or demo’s of the game in play so we haven’t really seen any real representation of African culture yet.

  343. 343 Yu Laan

    As a reanimated corpse (insultingly referred to as a “zombie” by less enlightened souls), I would just like to say that I find this is game to be just as offensive and insensitive to my people as the last several installments. It, like all of the others hsould be banned.

    Y. L.

    Mmmm. Brains.

  344. 344 Yu Laan


    Sorry for that typo (“hsould”). Finger dropped off while typing…

  345. 345 Cap

    I think this discussion is bullshit, why make a problem of it? What is the problem of putting black people in a game? I really don’t get it… it’s just a game!

  346. 346 Olly

    I have been reading everywhere about this Racist cry involving Resident Evil 5, I think the lady does have some points but i must disagree with her this game is aimed at adults, its idea is to get the gamers pluse to race because the idea of it is to keep the character alive & help save the day(The stuff of fiction). 99.9% of players of this game wont see it as a real representation of Afica or other black native countries, they will view as a game. The makers do not base it on real places but more one of their invention & imagenation, I understand that africa is holding the 2010 World Cup this would be the chance to show the Entire world what africa is like & to promote itself this is Africa’s chance to represent itself in HD, this game is just that a game not meant to be racist or evil just an amusment for the players. i am sorry that you think it could mean a step back in the worlds viewing of Africian life but it will take alot more than banning this game to do this i got my view on Africa from geography text book & video, i would never now im older base it on a video game made from graphics instead of live film & photos if you are to be worried be worried about books & videos show in schools (A Place Of LEARNING!) not of what adults choose to spend their money on as is their feel will. I doubt the japanise company CapCom meant it to be racist just to be a new location to set this installment of the game, i very much think they have never! tryed to be racist in their products as company/ business they must make products that sell not that offend. Finally i would like to point out that this is just a trailer & not the game it could be based in a fictional country


    P.s. In the recent Resident Evil film the T-Virus (a plague that turns people into zombies) conquers the planet (including Afica), which is realist if a virus no matter its affect could be spead by air, fluids, contact, food, anything

  347. 347 Olly

    Sorry for any type O’s but i hope you get my meaning.

  348. 348 Olly

    Ive notice i didnt address the part about black people being the root of all in Some films & other media’s, i must meantion that everything from aliens to white, asian, islamic & many others have also been show or portraid at roots of all evil its ficition not real & im sure its not their intention.
    & black hawk down was mainly based on real events

  349. 349 Ching

    RACIST? yes, look at all those BLACK people trying to kill 1 WHITE guy. It’s all in the eye of the beholder folks

  350. 350 Raven

    I think that the negroes have been the victims of racism long enough to elevate their paranoia. So I was kinda expecting this. Tho the allegations are absurd, I don’t blame them for viewing Resident Evil 5 as racially provocative. If they have problems regarding the depiction of Africa, then I’m afraid it’s time for a reality check. Assuming Capcom depicts Africa correctly…

  351. 351 shawn

    you have the freedom to think however you like, but the point is that the game is still going to come out and theres not a thing you can do about it. if you dont like it then dont buy it. its there veiw of how the game should go and how the story will unfold and if they want to set the thing in africa then so be it. its just a game for crying out loud. thats like saying that the japanese that made the game hated americans because raccoon city was set in america and not japan. but honestly i dont care as long as i get to shoot some zombies. the game all together is contriversial in many issues, but so was many of george romeros movies. its entertainment and people want to be entertianed. people are still going to buy it, hell ill be one of the first to buy it, and if i want to buy it then in your mind im a racist, and i dont care because i love resident evil.

  352. 352 Justin Bo

    Ok look im going to end this whole conversation right now. You guys who are defending the creator and the creator yourself are idiots. You need to do your research before you post stupid stuff like this. Ok look if you ever read any reports in any of the Resident Evil games you would know that the whole t – virus started from a contaminted comet/ asteroid (whatever you want to call it) that landed in Africa. Umbrella found out and they got a SAMPLE, one SAMPLE of the entire thing to test on it. Which means what!? THERE WAS STILL PLENTY LEFT IN AFRICA ITSELF!
    So then the virus they made spread and everything started. Chris Redfield (LEAD CHARACTER IN THE GAME) survived the mansion incident and devoted his life to stopping Umbrella. So for the idiots who keep saying he’s not in his own country killing the black people, ITS BECAUSE HE WENT TO FIGHT THE SOURCE OF THE FREAKN VIRUS TO STOP UMBRELLA. Therefor this game has nothing to do with spreading racism or anything related. And this game is rated M so obviously little kids wont be playing this, and according to you getting started off on racism at a young age. If for some reason this does happen with the kids, blame the parents who let the kids play this. But this game is not all about killing African Americans. If you did not notice at the end, that is Sherry Burkin. Yes another white person. And she is in a lab. So clearly you will eventually come to an Umbrella lab were I’m sure there will be plenty of white people for you to kill. Are you satisfied now? God man you should really find out more information before you create a post like this. This post was a rediculous thing for you start considering none of its true and you have no idea what your talking about. Make sure what your saying is right first. Capcom is not racist and you need to stop your complaining.

  353. 353 Khara

    I’m sorry, but as a Black woman I find this hysterical. It’s set in Africa … why *should* there be a diverse population of zombies? This game is clearly about getting back to the “source” of the virus that started all the Zombies; maybe there is something problematic in the fact that it *started* in Africa (i.e., I’m sure someone’s going to say the creators are “blaming” Africa/Africans for the problem … ).

    Also, everywhere I look in regards to this issue, people are saying it’s racist because “African-Americans” are being killed … Do I need to point out the flawed logic in *this* argument?

    People are also talking about the Africans in the game being portrayed as subhuman/native-ignoramuses/etc. But you can clearly see in the scenes prior to the zombie outbreak that the people are walking around, doing business, in the midst of a civil struggle, etc. — there’s nothing primitive about what they’re doing. If you expect the zombies to be walking around asking permission to suck your blood and eat your brains over a nice cup of tea with jam and bread, by all means catch that train to La-la-land and tell us how it goes. (That’s not aimed at the original poster, but at those who really think the zombies should be more “civilized” because they’re African) I’m not saying the arguments made are stupid, per say, but they’re definitely lacking in background checking, research into the history of the game, and logic.

  354. 354 Khara

    PS– Another case against the Africans being represented as uncivilized and primitive: already the game-producers have stated that in this game, the zombies (and non-zombies, which was what we saw mainly in the trailers; they are a group similar to zombies, but far more advanced) are much more advanced than any zombies ever in the RE series; smarter, faster, etc. The smartest group of zombies/non-zombies in RE history are in Africa? Hm … that’s food for thought, as well.

  355. 355 Gary D

    Man this debate is pointless.. Resident evil 4 was set in Spain.. I killed spanish ganados. So I’m a racist against spanish people too?

    Most of the other Resident Evil games were set in America, that must mean I hate Americans too..


    Just because the enemies have black skin it does not make the game racist, if the enemies had all white skin would it be racist against white people? I’m sure someone would say yes, but 99% of sane people would agree not!

    The bottom line is the game is set somewhere like North Africa where most of the people living there are black, just like in Resident Evil 4 most were of Spanish descent, it’s just a game its not a racist tool or a statement of hate, and i’m sure most people will agree.

  356. 356 Classified

    This is the way I see it. This isnt portraying the message of how Africans and black people are bad but instead hte horror of slaying them. Chris does not want to kill these people but it is his duty as they have been infected. Now think of the storyline of Resident evil. What would be a perfect place to test a new virus or something along those lines? Africa. Why? Because it is a poorer country where people are kept as “less important” than whites. The game itself isnt racist but it is bringing out the topic of racism. It doesnt seem horrible to kill whites but when an average African village gets infected and they have to be slayed it is a lot sadder.

  357. 357 Red

    I’m black and I don’t see the game as being racist YET, just disturbing in the fact that Africans are being shown as “savages” being killed to save “Humanity”. Ya, I know, I know, everyone who read this is gonna say “But they are infected and need to be killed to save the world.”So what you’re saying is that people who are infected with a deadly virus need to be killed? That all the people in Africa or anywhere else for that matter who are infected with AIDS or HIV need to be killed to save “Humanity”? Or maybe you’re the person that says “It’s a game and is ment to be fun not racist.” So killing Africans or spanish is suppose to be fun?

    Also in the other series if the main character was a black man everyone would say “OMG, theres a black man killing white people” and there would be a protest and law suits against the developer of the game and don’t say that wouldn’t happen because you know it would. But there wasn’t, it was a white person killing white people and noone saw a problem. If the person in RE5 was black then noone would be complaining. So what im trying to get at is this, It’s not the fact that black people are being killed to saved humanity but who is actually killing them.

  358. 358 Red

    Also with all the stuff that is going on in Africa at this moment, it’s not a really great idea to show africans as “savages” or “evil” beings.

  359. 359 Chinese person without heart

    I think it is cruel enough, together with racism elements the game is quite disgusting, Africans are proud and strong people

  360. 360 h_sh_m

    I know i’m hella late, but here goes

    Having just watched the trailer for RE5 noone 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 and 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 and reinforce the heroism of the white protagonist. 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).

    These are the very basic requirements in order to skirt the race issue. I could make a whole list of additional desirable elements that would do more than skirt the issue and actually make the game progressive, but I seriously doubt Capcom will meet even these basic considerations.

  361. 361 Wynter_Sirius

    the hypocrisy being portrayed here is phenomenol… as someone who comes from jamaican parentage, i do not see what the problem is , it’s not as if every resident evil has been about a white man killing a nation of black people, this is the first! would a black man killing a nation of white people be ok? you say that a white man killing white people is ok but i bet that if it was a black man killing black people you would say that it portrays black on black hatred and makes blacl people look barbaric against their own… how comes nothing was said during resident eveil 4, when an arian looking main character took the lead and slaughtered a buch of olive skinned natives? surely if there are any quarms, surely you should have started back then, or is it just because this time it happens to be a black nation and anyother nation is fair game? it’s not like he is randomly drops in and starts shooting for the sake of it, a virus has been dropped into a pocket of that black nation… this issue has had no point from the day it started and the more people bring the more it looks like black are asking for special treatment… it makes us look childish…

  362. 362 AmazinJason

    May I bring to point Grand Theft Auto San Andreas?

    I remember playing this game with a smile on my face, I was an angry black man murdering countless white cops. I’m white, and I enjoyed it. fancy that!

    Are you saying that one simple game is going to change everyone’s views on Africa. I am unsure if you have played Resident Evil 4, but most of the Spanish people were unable to control their actions against the white protagonist. It’s simply ludicrous that you have to change a fun Resident Evil game into an entirely racist issue.

    When their were white zombies was anyone insulted or worried about the fact that those images would change the face of the white man? Was anyone really concerned that people would look at us with disgust merely because there was a video game where you killed people of the same skin color!?


    It’s completely irrelevant! Perhaps you are trying to convince game companies that it’s simply to dangerous to produce a game set in Africa because it will piss to many people off.

    “the Spanish haven’t been so egregiously misrepresented as blacks through the ages, have they? Not even close.”

    OK so, if a race has been misrepresented in the past that means we can no longer use that race for violent media purposes? Doesn’t that seem like a pretty big claim? Sounds like censorship to me.

    After all black people are such power hungry, brutish, incarnations of pure violence aren’t they? Especially Jimi Hendrix, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bob Marley. Not that I am saying 3 people provide a getaway excuse for an entire race. They are merely larger portions of media than a simple video game.

    Please don’t make good video games go away angry black man, I love them so.

  363. 363 Jeanne

    I’ve got to say, to me it makes sense that if it’s going to be portrayed in Africa, it’s going to be in a more backwater village. It’s been done in a city and sure Africa has places that are nice, good clean living, good income and all. But where does disease spread quickest? In places of squalor and poor living. I was just reading the other day about poor children in a particular village in Africa where people are trying to help them because of a certain flea that attacks the feet, causing great crippling boils on the children’s feet and sometimes their hands. Why? Because they don’t have paved sidewalk and the fleas live in the dirt. This game is about portraying disease and the suffering a big heartless corporation with no moral boundaries brings on the people of the world. Caucasian, african, all people. I’ve read all of the books and in the stories, the Umbrella corporation has bases ALL over the world. The series itself doesn’t discriminate. THis is NOT just Africans suffering in the stories. It’s all people. I would say that’s far from racism.

  364. 364 Alex

    NO. I’m sorry, but no. I’ll try to keep this brief and clean:

    They’re zombies. The only people that find offense to this are people who take a short glance at this game and immediately draw conclusions about it.

    It’s set in Africa. There are bound to be black people. Should they all be white zombies instead? And what if the protagonist was a black man? Would that be racist too? If so, Night of the Living Dead wasn’t black empowering, it was racist against caucasians.

    However… I’d like to congradulate you on keeping your thoughts organized and presenting some actually valid points, such as the history of black stereotypes (that one actually made me stop for a bit). I’d also like to thank you for being NOT like the Black blog, by which I mean making conclusions about a game you’ve never played, stereotyping gamers (and if you look at the follow up post for that blog, you’ll see it), and overall just flashing the race card as an attempt to get noteriety.


    Reply if you’d like. :)

  365. 365 M.D.

    As a black person and an avid gamer, I think its just fine for Capcom to portray zombies as black people.

    As a matter of fact, I find it weird that they’ve had hardly any black character models in the almost 12 or 13 years that this game franchise has been out.

    Why the hell is it so racist anyway? Its like people think black zombies wouldn’t try to murder people and look scary at the same time.

    I still think there is a huge amount of racism out there but I’m sorry I just can’t agree with the anti-RE5 people on this one…

  366. 366 cepreeper

    I dont see the issue with it, so its full of black zombies, just because its the first time the series includes black zombies doesnt mean that ppl got to start complaining, its not like they made the catch phrase of the game, shoot that black guy cause hes responsible for this whole problem. have u seen the third movie? theres a black guy in that, but it also shows that in this FAKE series, the entire world has been devistated by the virus, its not like they are going to go, oooh well the entire world except africa is infected because were racist if we include black ppl getting shot, or we make some of the zombie black ppl, its not like the virus in this NONE REALISTIC game is going to infect only white ppl so that black ppl dont get their feelings hurt

  367. 367 Micah

    I just found this post, and looking at this conversation it sounds so hateful from so many people who honestly don’t understand how racism works. it’s a shame. I do think that capcom should rethink how it will portray blacks in RE5 before its release or else it will cause more trouble than it’s worth. This has inspired me to write more in my blog about the topic.

    It’s also funny that people are generalizing Africa so much, even though Africa is probably the most diverse continent (not country, people) next to Asia, if not more so. There’s countries like Egypt and South Africa and spots like Sudan and Rwanda. There’s good and bad, just like any other continent. But I think it all goes back to how white people view “Africa” and their fear of it.

  368. 368 Derek

    Everyone is always trying to find something to blame. There’s nothing to blame but progression. Humans are stupid, filthy, and self-destructive animals. Just let us go, no need to prolong our collective existence. Damn, man.

  369. 369 Joel

    Honestly I think the person writing this article is looking at this waaaay too deep. I should remind you it’s just a video game. Resident Evil has never had a reputation for being racist and as you mentioned before although RE 4 did not give you this same feeling of racism. While I see why you might jump to conclusions, let take into consideration that RE is a game series where no matter what the people are out to kill you due to their infectious disease. I believe this game is no different. If anything the choice of location is nothing more than a move for a different scenery (too keep the game looking fresh) You can look at it as racism just because of history and the on going conflicts happening in Africa, but I think you’re really overlooking the obvious truth that this nothing more than a video game with the purpose to thrill/scare players, regardless of location/culture/skin color.

  370. 370 Dave

    Are the zombies in these pictures black? I didn’t even notice.

  371. 371 akiko1874

    I see what you are saying, but as with RE4, I think that it is smaller towns/villages that these experiments happen to. I mean it would be harder to experiment in the middle of upper class suburbia don’t you? Just like with RE4 it was a small Spanish villiage in Europe. Seeing as how the company is Japanese they would not understand racism as we do, because they probably don’t deal with it anything like we do.

  372. 372 me

    so, let’s see…we have had 4 main resident evils and countless spinoffs so far, and in each one, all the zombies were white
    now ONE resident evil with black zombies is coming out and you freak out
    after resident evil 5 things will look like this:
    resident evil series white people killcount: 2 million
    resident evil black people killcount: approximately 500-1000
    JESUS, GIVE ME A BREAK! this is so ridiculous, i couldn’t hear any spaniards complaining about the ganados in resident evil 4 being spanish…or any other people about the white zombies in the approximately 500 resident evil main series and spinoff games
    actually, i find it highly discriminating that there were no black zombies in the games so far…you guys have the same right to become infected and get shot in the face as we do….

  373. 373 Karo

    I think the main question should not be if it is acceptable to create a game where you happen to shoot a lot of black people due to its specific setting. Rather, we should look at what exactly are the narrative techniques to represent those black characters.

    Are these techniques borrowed from racist representations of blacks? And if so, to what effect? The original poster mentioned ‘bulging eyes’ for example; the contrast between the dark skin and the white, rolling eyes is emphasized to make a scene more scary and the audience uncomfortable. If instances like these are to be found _then _ I’d call it racist. Instead of painting with a broad brush and generally speak out against a game set in Africa I would argue that it is more useful to analyse and point out specific instances of racist elements that consciously (unlikely) or unconsciously promote racism in a game that is not per se racist just because of the setting.

    Having said that it’s nice to discuss these things but eventually all it comes down to will be a bunch of teenagers and mid-twenties sitting in front of their TVs shooting black people. Oh, and the protagonist looks like a mercenary under contract by blackwater corp.

    I can see how this will eventually play out: There will be a ‘nice’ black sidekick whitewashing our collective consciousness accompanying the white muscular guy. And a last point: “Oh, he’s acting like a maniac because he’s infected!” apparently seems like a welcome plot device to shoot people and portray them differently. What an easy way out.
    Yes, I feel uneasy about this game too.

  374. 374 .......

    you guys do know this is JUST a game your arguing about…..

  375. 375 nomad425

    Just came up on this topic, so sorry I’m late.

    As a black man I’ve observered that its never so much what race the “villans” are as it is what the hero is. Many people have made the credible point that the highly acclaimed RE4 had us happily shooting spanish people, and many never raised a fuss. I think the problem I see is that while the role of the villans in many games enjoy a relatively diverse representation. The heros of the game are almost ALWAYS white. Hence the problem is usually not that blacks, hispanics, etc are portrayed negatively, but that no matter the race white people are killing everyone. This creates alpha-male/top of the food chain image of white people (white men mostly) that doesn’t sit well with many people of color that observe it.

    My question to you guys: Would RE2 be as idolized as the “best” in the series if the officer, Chris, was black? If your HONEST personal opinion is yes, then you need not even worry about this discussion.

  376. 376 Danielle

    “H& machine”: that was f-ing hilarious

    Before even discussing the meaty “race issues,” I think it’s really important to note for all that think we’re jumping the gun and pulling the race “card” (thanks for trivializing our -yours included- history btw) it’s good to critique what you care about… in fact, it’s probably more important to think critically about what you love than for other things.

    A critique is not the equivalent of a personal attack!

    The reason people are up in arms about the portrayal of these black Africans (do we even have a theoretical country here or are we still referring to Africa as a country and not a continent?) is that these images have a history! If anyone doubts this, please look up images of the Soweto riots (which have been mentioned many times over) in South Africa. Or take a minute to wikipedia stereotypes and learn a little about the history of black being perceived as dangerous.

    THAT is why people are particularly offended by RE5, because it’s taking history and turning it on it’s head. It’s taking imagery that recalls villagers protesting the inhumanity of colonization and makes it look like THEY’RE the ones who are dangerous. Notice that to date no black Africans have any meaningful, positive role in the game. Their eyes are in shadows and tend to be characterless, just a bunch of bodies to rip into. It eradicates any sense of connection we may have to these bodies as having been people at one point (slavery, anyone?), negating and effectively denying the desolation of what it’s like to live under the incredibly stress of colonization and glorifying the white outsider as the man on a mission. Consider that Christian missionaries in Africa played a huge role in the process of colonization as well.

    Is it hard to see why, then, some people are offended?

    Understand that as humans we are so incredibly and utterly visual…sometimes this fact is so apparent, so mundane, that it is easy to overlook. It becomes easy to forget the power images have over our thoughts and beliefs until we see something as beautiful as the graphics in say RE5. And for those of us who love art and all things visual it is such a terrible blow to see our visual culture bombarded with images that are not made by people who look like us but rather tell us that people who have brown skin are scary and bad and ugly and stupid. Can you imagine if this were the reverse, how that would feel if people who looked like you were constantly reduced to violent, angry “others”…. how difficult is it to sympathize with someone who you have nothing in common with? How easy is it to dislike someone you don’t understand? How easy is it to hurt someone you dislike?

    How easy is it of us to love a game without considering what it’s actually about? Furthermore, how often is the easiest thing to do the right thing to do?

    I hope more people voice their dissatisfaction with the way Capcom has decided to do business.

    thanks you so much for posting, it’s good to get people talking!

  377. 377 .:BrazBlack:.

    Has anyone ever stopped to think that the fact of creating a controversy about racism is racism?
    Racism is not only the white, but also in the black.
    Also when the black to white, and there is also racism.
    Whereas in the history of “RE” has white and Latinos (for example) is now the turn of blacks, may be to demonstrate equality and not be racism.
    Showing that blacks are equal to whites and Hispanics the same way and that the law is equal including the zombies are equal among all other rights that are equal because they are human and color of the skin is only details that people who create these controversies that are matter of not letting racism die …

    What good is very clear: while Latinos killed, had no problem; killed when whites also had problems …
    Now, why is black racism?
    Please …
    It is the black racism also if he wants to be unique and be excluded from list of races that were already zombies.
    Only the fact feel that racism is when it imposes on them, and do not accept that are already is racism.

    And pay attention, because I am Latino and Black!
    And my wife is white.
    I do not come with racism on behalf of a game.
    Create environment hell is easy, the difficult thing is ending the devils and diabolical.

  378. 378 Snipefan

    Seriously the black people in the poor environment of RE5 is comparable to the Spaniard in the poor environment in RE4.

    Seriously with the new trailer that came out of when you will shoot the head of that black zombie there will be a chance of the tentacles like in RE3 Look closely to the new trailers so clearly see the same tentacles as the gonado in RE4.

    So when you see a black or a white guy or girl(omg they have zombie girl lets call for sexism) with either a disease(not aids) or a parasite(not a colonic worm) that tries to kill you, should you not get a natural instinct of survival.

    And if you bunch of nubs who never played the game or know about the storyline(not the movies but the ingame story) would take a little some of you time to read or play about the games or the synopsis of them(i include the 5 cause capcom gave some story infos about it) you would just stfu and not care about whatever they do in the game.

    its a game a fictional environment its not real zombies and if i would happen to live in a place with zombies i give you my 2 cent that i would gear up myself like Chris Redfield in that game and i would carry my army suit and a gun to walk around

  379. 379 Honest

    I am not offended by the game. I understand that the lead character killed all types of zombies on different continents. I just do not like how the zombies look. The zombies’ faces had exaggerated stereotypical features. The game might have offended some black people easily, because of Blacks were sometimes portrayed negatively in movies, cartoons, and TV shows (behavior and looks). The history between the two races dealing with slavery and equal rights might come to people’s mind when they first watch the trailer.

  380. 380 Honorable Souls

    Unbelievable, Racism is still a touching subject in this world…./sigh

    I’m sure someone mention this earlier, but the display of Africa comes to no surprise, being that it is a Action/Horror the theme of the surroundings of the game should display some “dark and mysterious” feel to the game. I’m not saying Africa does it, but in the end- lets look at where some of the previous titles take place.

    RE0-U.S.-Developed country and yet the made up cities still had “Dark and mysterious” themes

    RE1- takes place right after 0, and in the same area (Racoon City), the mansion was “Dark and mysterious” (very, very mysterious in many ways, damned puzzles)

    RE2-took place right after RE1, and here we actually see what kind of town Racoon city really is, Developed… (saw that coming)

    other than maybe a few small details, Resident Evil has never portrayed itself to be Exactly like real life.Capcom has the right to display their game how they see fit, but i think the biased opinions needs to stop. Why did no one speak of RE4?

    and between the RE excluding the non story titles and RE4, their have been Black Zombies (OMG) ::Credibility/possible spoilers:: RE2- when Leon/Claire walk into the police station their is a black cop you talk to and he locks himself in the room so he won’t attack the living.::spoiler ends::

    In the end i can see where this is going (if anyone saw the new trailers). Black Country, White guy(s) as ruler, but that’s just end their.

    I’m done proving my point, but as a last thought, Racism should have never existed (unfortunately it does) but “Every single human that happens to get a job doing blogs like Kym Platt, and many others who are just straight biased. should talk about relevant subjects on Africa, or what ever it is your theme is; in the interest of the World.” I want to read unbiased, Fair opinions and so far this is not one to consider.

    RE5- is gonna be awesome!

  381. 381 CJ

    Alright, I have a lot of problems with what you just said. You claim that other zombies “haven’t been so egregiously misrepresented as blacks through the ages, have they? Not even close.”, yet there have been countless women zombies. Women are just as misrepresented. Black men had the right to vote before ANY woman did, black or white. So if we’re going to talk about any sort of oppression or negative image in the media or otherwise, it’s women. Women on television are usually nagging, overbearing, annoying housewives. Oh, yeah… that’s a real positive image.

    Secondly, the people in the village are NOT responsible for their actions. They’re acting on instinct, which is the virus affecting them. If you want to look for the real culprit of it all, look to the Umbrella corporation. Or better still, look at the main antagonist, Albert Wesker, who is responsible for most of the troubles of the protagonists. Albert Wesker, a white man. Chris is obviously just trying to protect himself so he can go save the infected, just like the same basic pattern in EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT EVIL GAME!

    And about the game’s setting- there are problems in EVERY country. I understand what’s going on in Africa right now, and I truly wish that everyone over there could just be left in peace. But that has absolutely nothing to do with the video game. It’s a fictional, alternate universe. End of story.

    Lastly, “Night of the Living Dead” is NOT a “black empowerment tale”. Ben is one of the only ordinary people who the story focuses around. If he’d been played by a white man, nobody would have paid much attention. I’ll admit, it was very refreshing to see a leading black man in that day and age, but it was by no means an “empowerment tale”. Ben as the character is simply an ordinary man. It was simply daring to cast a black man.

    Now what I’m most concerned about is why so many of the black community are crying out against this game, when half of them have never played a Resident Evil game in their life. All they see is color. Color has nothing to do with anything. The only difference between whites and blacks is the environmental adaptations. We’re all the same underneath. And what I’m seeing here is that underneath, everyone’s still afraid to see someone different, whether it be black or white.

    The reply to racism is not equal and opposite racism, but equality. The acknowledgment of differences and the subsequent disregard of them. I know that anyone who’s hell-bent on hating something can’t be swayed one way or the other, but you should at least have an open mind.

    And by the way, you realize of course that Capcom is a JAPANESE game company?

  382. 382 el Rey Cianuro

    “I do understand the characters presented in the trailer are zombies. Still, I find the proximity of those zombies to old school long lived black stereotypes alarming. And that’s what my post is about.”

    So what you’re saying is that black people are like zombies? You should really rethink what you are saying. “It’s a common misconception that black people are mindless cannibals.. They’re not.” If that’s what you’re trying to say, then thank you. Until you informed me of this, I had thought otherwise. I honestly can’t stand people like you. Thinking that everyone is trying to put you down for some reason or another.

    Sure, there are racist people out there. I’m sure that many black people go through a lot of sh*t throughout their lives because of racist b*stards. You’re just making it worse though. Because you feel the need to yell, “RACIST!” every time someone does something that involves a different race, particularly your own, you make yourself look racist.

    So yea, it’s because of racist people like yourself that cause racism to live on. Congratulations.

  383. 383 ninjack

    Damn, so many comments… Listen, this is a video game. Let me repeat that, a VIDEO GAME. Stop looking for ‘the message’ or claiming the game sends ‘the wrong message’ about blacks or Africa. Unless you seriously think that Mario, Star Fox, Final Fantasy or Halo have some how shaped how we think about other countries or races, then you’re being silly. The arguments against this game are simply ridiculous. Leave it alone, it’s a game, you play it for fun, because it is challenging. Yes, you kill black people. That’s not new. The main character is white. Not new. There are racial stereotypes about black men being savage like zombies. Ah good point, you are right. Instead of treating black people as equals we should ignore then in the video game culture or only portray them in a positive way, because all black people are good and nice. If we have any sort of made-up video game world were black people aren’t all perfect and good, then people will get mad. Let this die.

  384. 384 Low Frost

    Ninjack, as video games get grander in scale, situations like this with RE5 will become more common. That’s the trade off, as video games begin to leech off of real life more, real life issues will raise their heads, few so immediately divisive as racism.
    Most people still don’t even understand why claims of racism was made at to begin with, and the entire ordeal makes gamers as a whole look childish and immature, which further strengthens the standing of politicians when they decide to step on your pasttime.
    Is RE5 racist, or made with racist intentions? Unlikely. Was there thoughtlessness involved on part of a group that is far removed from international tribulations? I’ll wager yes. Remember, the initial reactions came from the first trailer, not the finished game. An international pr company would never of released the first trailer capcom’s Osaka group did, knowing full well what the repercussions would be. I hope Capcom fired somebody for letting this happen.

  385. 385 William barnes

    Oh my god, stop being so uptight! number 1 thing… IT’S A GAME! Why can’t African Americans drop this BS racism. Do you think your anything special over the Jew’s, Hispanics, Native Americans, Egyptians, Christians, or EVERY OTHER race that has been put through hell in there history. I’m not name calling, but your being pig headed thinking that this game was aimed at you or your race in any way, THEY ARE ZOMBIES AND THEY JUST SO HAPPEN TO BE IN AFRICA! Racism will never die with people like you keeping it around. Maybe I should march on the white house preaching about how all everyone poisoned my people with small pocks and forced us to live on plantations as well! How about the fact that there are only a few THOUSAND of us left because of this BS, and they still portray us as crazy scalp takers in video games. your not the one who should have a problem, or bitching about anything. Racism is such BS. I’ll tell you what I just got the game today, I’ll make sure to shoot a few extra just for you and everyone else who can’t get over there selves. IT’S IN THE PAST DROP IT! One more thing, no African American deserves a check for the whole slavery thing unless we all get one cause we’ve all been slaves at one point time. These people weren’t even a twinkle, in the twinkle of your ancestors eye when that shit happened why do you deserve anything? I’m not racist I love all races and wish this shit would just dye already. WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEING’S FOR THE LOVE OF JEBUS!

  386. 386 JP

    Holy hell, people- I cannot BELIEVE how many responses here insist that this game is in no way racist no way no how!

    Am I going to play it? Hell YES. Is it racist? ABSOLUTELY.

    If it’s not racist, then where’s my game where the black soldier goes to shoot a bunch of white zombies? Hasn’t happened yet.
    If it’s not racist, why don’t we know where in Africa this is supposed to take place? Seriously, I mean- that would be nice, since Africa is really big and full of vastly different countries, and all.
    If it’s not racist, then how come all the black people are all poor by Western standards? So we can feel superior?

  387. 387 darkgudda

    Not sure where the racist part is at. I am black and I love the game not a big fan of the series due to R1-3 did not like the control of turning around to get attackers from behind.

    Here is where i see the issue thats the wrong or old trailer shown so thats 1/2 truth. I have played the game and the more recent trailers show your partner an attactive war vetern black girl named Sheva who can be controlled in two player. But the game chemistry is you cannot leave her behind or you die, you cant complete quest without her some way you have to request her aid. Shes with you all the way thru. Shes just as capable of killing zombies like you.

    Also one of the sub bosses you fight is a Blonde Hair Blue Eye (hard to see eyes they are red with the virus) girl who is given the virus by another white guy. The zombies I attack are black, white, israeli etc.

    To the comment of Black Hawk Down, we have to understand all races commit crimes of destructive nature there is no perfect race. Black Hawk Down is good movie, what about the vietnam movies or WW2 movies would they be racist towards German, and Vietnamese even if we showed Hitler and the Germans getting killed in a game would that be racist towards Hitler?

  388. 388 fred

    what instantly comes to mind after reading about it and wathcing videos is actually not old stereotypes, though the game (which i admittedly haven’t played) does bring those up, but the AIDS CRISIS. Africa is being destroyed by AIDS while the world does nothing, a virus like this “zombie virus”, and some white people are coming in to “get rid of the problem”, that is pretty damn sick.

  389. 389 crypto

    We live in a time now where we don’t have to focus on race as much anymore to fight it. Racists are now the minority. But regardless of how society views race in general, there will always be racists. The only question is, are you one of them? And I believe that focusing on race constantly is one of the things that helps keep racism alive. And anybody who constantly focuses on race is a racist to some degree.

    “But, then, the Spanish haven’t been so egregiously misrepresented as blacks through the ages, have they?”

    All races have taken their licks when it comes to racism.

    “From Birth of a Nation to Black Hawk Down, black folk are apparently responsible for some of the most mindless and evil activities you got.”

    Ok, you need to make up your mind. Who’s making you angry? Japanese game developers or Hollywood? I read in an article where one of the producers of Resident Evil 5 said they chose Africa because of lighting and they wanted to show the origins of the virus. When wrong-doing is suspected the primary thing you’ve got to focus on is intent. What did the individual(s) intend by their actions? I don’t feel that Capcom intended to convey anything racist when they set RE5 in Africa. As a matter of fact, I heard they were quite surprised when they found out that some people viewed RE5 as being somewhat racist simply because most of the zombies were black. If you’re angry at Hollywood then I’m on your side, because nobody has done more to perpetuate racist stereotypes than Hollywood, but Hollywood doesn’t restrict their racist stereotypes to just blacks. They’ve done a great job of putting just about every race they can into a bad light. But, if you’re angry at the developers of the Resident Evil game series, I can’t be with you on that one. I’ve played every Resident Evil game out there and I have no evidence that the Resident Evil game developers are racist. Resident Evil 5 is not racist. Have you even played the game? You have two protagonists. One black (Sheva Alomar) and one white (Chris Redfield). In the game you are seeking out the villain, who happenes to be a white man named Albert Wesker, who is aided by a white woman named Excella Gionne, and you will sometimes be aided by a black man named Capt. Josh Stone. Most of the zombies are black, because this part of the saga takes place in Africa, but you will also see zombies that are Asian and Middle Eastern, because there are Asians and Middle Eastern people in Africa. Does that clear things up for you? Btw, ‘Black Hawk Down’ is a movie about an event that actually took place. Like I said, I don’t care for Hollywood or anything they create, but are you saying that Hollywood made up the story surrounding ‘Black Hawk Down’ because they wanted to spread more racist stereotypes about blacks, or are you just saying they’re racist because they told a true story? It’s not Hollywood’s fault some blacks in Mogadishu, Somalia went ape-sh!t and killed a bunch of white guys.

    “Rape, murder, satanic voodoo. With bulging eyes, simian super strength, and a room temperature IQ, we’ve been portrayed as savages beyond redemption.”

    I’ve played and finished Resident Evil 5 several times now and not a single part of the game made me think of any of those descriptions you just mentioned. Maybe it’s just you. Maybe that’s the way you view yourself. You really shouldn’t belittle yourself and your race so much. After all, it IS possible for a person to be racist against their own race. Trust me, I’ve seen it. Btw, voodoo is not satanic. Voodoo has it’s own set of rules and gods. Satan is a creation of ‘white’ religion. Satan and voodoo have nothing to do with each other.

    I would also like to know what you mean by “thoughtful responses”. When I give my mother a mothers day gift, that’s called being thoughtful. When you pull the race card on a video game, it’s developers, and anyone who might’ve actually liked playing the game, and then post it on the Internet, how thoughtful do you expect people to be? The only thing that should be expected of anyone is that they be as honest with everyone else as they are with themselves. So, I really don’t know what you expect from the people who have taken the time to read and reply to your post.

    Also, I would like to know what you mean by this:

    “The point, though, is that there are still a lot of disturbing images of black people floating around so some sensitivity is required.”

    It’s a game about killing zombies. How much sensitivity could you possibly expect? If you don’t like the game, don’t play it. And if you haven’t played the game, and are only criticizing it after watching little more than a trailer (which is bad in and of itself) then I suggest you play the game first before you comment on it. That’s like trying to write a review of a game when you’ve only watched the cutscenes. It’s just like when people criticize a song, a movie or a book. I would expect those people to hear it, watch it or read it first before they criticized it. If Resident Evil 5, and/or video games in general don’t interest you, then don’t trouble yourself. I know you think you’re only trying to promote racial tolerance, but I don’t view it that way. I think the only thing you’re promoting is censorship of entertainment that you don’t even indulge in yourself. That to me is more troubling than racism, because despite the fact that it’s morally wrong, it is still a person’s right to be racist. But what you’re doing is infringing upon the rights of freedom of speech, which is worse. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Say what you want to about any particular form of entertainment, in the end, what you’re doing will only amount to censorship of our entertainment and the abolishment of freedom of speech – two things that made our country great. The world doesn’t revolve around you and your wounded feelings. Get over yourself.

  390. 390 anthony

    Jason, just wanted to say that it took me over 4000 words of writing and a week’s worth of thinking to realize that you’ve got a valid point – while i don’t agree with the ‘blackface’ characterization, and while in my opinion the introduction of Umbrella’s (and Tricell’s) collection of viruses into West Africa (the birthplace of voodoo) makes for a perfectly creepy premise and setting, given the positive steps forward that so many of these countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire) have taken in recent years it’s unfortunate timing on Capcom’s part to be dredging up this violent imagery for the sake of providing a backdrop for their videogame.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  391. 391 crypto

    I like how responsive these ‘Residnet Evil 5 Is Racist’ bloggers are to the people who have taken the time to read and reply to their blogs. It’s almost like they’ve chosen to completely ignore those who don’t agree with them… and they call us ignorant (rolls eyes).

  392. 392 Killak3

    You and everyone who thinks this is racist is just crazy. It takes place in Africa and theres black people there. If it took place in Africa and there were white people i bet you would call it racist for not having black people in the game. Also the other games were mostly white people being killed

    And you say Black Hawk Down is racist? Its an event in history. That actually happened. We went to Somalia and fought black people. Not because there black but because of what was going on there. I guess just because it was in Africa we shouldn’t of went because of the color of their skin. Its based on what actually happened, relax. I guess we cant be historically accurate Also there is a scene of an African American shooting a Somalian.

  393. 393 Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    The OP’s main concern was as follows:

    -This game is just one more piece of media that shows us the “evil, savage” side of Africa. Very few movies in recent years actually portray Africa as positive, so things like that can alter people’s perception of Africa.

    Think of it this way: If movies were to start a trend of portraying America as a land propagated by everything we Americans are ASHAMED of, digging into the most heinous stereotypes associated with her people and her history, with no sign of stopping, how would you feel? Would it embarrass you to be constantly thought of as fat, stupid rednecks? How would that portray us for people abroad? Especially for young people?

    It’s not racist to portray black zombies, in my opinion, any more than it’s racist to portray any other ethnicity as a zombie. The racism comes from the insensitivity. It’s just one more negative portrayal of the “dark continent” to toss onto the pile. One more negative attribute people of color don’t need.

    White people aren’t offended by being portrayed as zombies because, in the end, where have whites traditionally been on the social ladder in America and the UK? Nobody is going to look at a zombie who was once a Caucasian man and subconsciously think to themselves, “that’s what they’re all like,” and then apply any “hilarious” stereotypes they can concoct where they feel they apply.

    This is like kicking someone when they’re trying to rise to their feet. We need more positive portrayals of people of color in the media to balance out the negative.

    Oh, and as a side note: This criticism doesn’t make me hate the game series. I’m not going to boycott video games foreverz. I love gaming, as I’m sure the OP does. I just don’t think anything is above scrutiny or examination.

  1. 1 Bloggers see “racism” in RE5 trailer « Well-Rounded Nerd
  2. 2 Resident Evil 5: The easy target for ambulance-chasing racists « 24 Frets Of Knowledge
  3. 3 Black Looks
  4. 4 Fish in a Barral » Blog Archive » Resident Evil 5 actually Racist Propaganda!
  5. 5 Die Sprite! » Blog Archive » Resident Evil 5 - Racist Towards Blacks or Zombies?
  6. 6 RollsRox
  7. 7 Blackface Goes HD? The Case of Resident Evil 5 at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture
  8. 8 Feminist Gamers » Resident Evil 5’s troublesome racial issues
  9. 9 Artistically Chill » RE5 Deemed Racist By Really Ignorant Sonsovabitches
  10. 10 Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » links for 2007-08-02
  11. 11 Ban People In Videogames | Refried Screens
  12. 12
  13. 13 Resident Evil 5 Considered Racist. - Blootix SquareBoards
  14. 14 GotSpace » Much Ado About Resident Evil 5
  15. 15 Resident Evil 5 And Black People « Token Minorities
  16. 16 We Shoot Because They’re Deadish-Things, Not Because They’re Black[resident evil 5] « Something Different
  17. 17 » Blog Archive » Is Resident Evil 5 Ethnically Offensive
  18. 18 My Urban Report » Blog Archive » RACISM CONCERNS SURROUND NEW VIDEO GAME
  19. 19 …My heart’s in Accra » Games, racism, cross-cultural (mis)communication
  20. 20 Official Blog » Blog Archive » Racial issues in Resident Evil 5: Link Roundup
  21. 21 Resident Evil 5 Racist??? - Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Games Forum
  22. 22 HUGE GUTS
  23. 23 -::- » Blog Archive » Resident Evil 5 is Racist - Boycott
  24. 24 Why are people still racist???? - Page 12 - Halo, Halo 2 & Halo 3 Fans Forum | Halo 3 Forum
  25. 25 Why are people still racist???? - Page 14 - Halo, Halo 2 & Halo 3 Fans Forum | Halo 3 Forum
  26. 26 Haire of the Dog | Charleston City Paper » Blog Archive » Wait. Is that a black face Pez dispenser I see?
  27. 27 Moving Gaming Forward: Having Meaningful Conversations About Social Issues at Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture
  28. 28 » Blog Archive » Resident Evil 5 stirs concerns of racism
  29. 29 Resident Evil 5 acusado de racismo « :: Buteco News :: - Procura informação e cachaça? Seu bar é aqui!
  30. 30 Racism and video games 8.2.07 « Roynne’s Weblog
  31. 31 Official Blog » Blog Archive » All the RE5 discussion needed was a Nice White Gamer
  32. 32 Resident Evil 5: as racist as a piece of paper. » observulsion - veni, vidi, aegresci
  33. 33 And Another Thing. › re: RE
  34. 34 Gender/Racial Prejudice Reinforced across the Silver Screen | Cross-sexions
  35. 35 Masal dinle , Masal , Masallar , Çizgi Filim , Çizgi Filim izle The Resident Evil 5 Racism Issue |
  36. 36 Videogames as Critical Race Pedagogy | Gaming the System: Tanner Higgin
  37. 37 Identity (Race & Gender) – Resident Evil 5 and the racism debate Part 2 | ellenhdiscourse
  38. 38 “Expert” Consulted on RE5 Racism Issue: Not an Expert on Race After All | Acid for Blood
  39. 39 And Gaming is not Problematic… Read this Post from an Honest Blogger : Web 2.something
  40. 40 Disney Killer Crítica – ForoGeek
  41. 41 Evil Rants - Jar of Juice

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