The Color of Mayhem, in a Wave of ‘Urban’ Games (this’ll be behind a registration in a day or so).
I should start by noting that I am white.
But Esther Iverem, editor and film critic for www.seeingblack.com, a Washington-based Web site offering black opinion on cultural and political matters, said she worried about the effects of games like earlier versions of Grand Theft Auto on black youngsters, including her 11-year-old son. “These games don’t teach them anything about respect, tolerance and responsibility,” Ms. Iverem said, but are instead “validating a much-too-accepted stereotype, an accepted caricature.”
I certainly agree with Ms Iverem, but I don’t see it having anything to do with race. The protagonist of these games, who is an evil, brutal scumbag, is white, after all.
The article faults some games for having black enemies, others for having black protagonists, and still others for having black athletes.
So I wonder in what capacity they’d like to see people of color in these games? It seems to me game developers are in a no-win situation. If they make all characters white, then they’re being prejudiced. If they put black characters in the games, then they’re promoting stereotypes because the characters are doing violent things or playing sports.
But all the games they mention are either violent or sports games. The NBA Street game they mention features superstar basketball players, many of whom happen to be black. As to the violent games…THEY’RE VIOLENT GAMES. If you want to fault them for that, sure, I’m with you. But to say they promote stereotypes that black people are violent is ludicrous. Everyone in these games is violent, regardless of color!
I’m just not getting the arguments here. .. can anyone explain it?