It is another day and another controversy within the gaming industry. Do you need to ask what it is about? Of course, it is about an –ism…racism in this case. The PC game “Rust” decided to force the player base into permanently having a randomized avatar to represent them in the game as a form of a social experiment. And naturally (like a letter from the post office), we get the white-guilt, anti-white male articles to hit the forefront because there are complaints about this forced cosmetic change. Let me point that in the Vox article, there are no citations stating where they got the information that it is “mostly white males”. It is out of the aether. Magic.
They do link to an article on the Guardian stating a lot of complaints came from “Russia and transgender players”. Interesting how there is no mention of transgender people in the Vox article’s title. We’ll get to why that is late. Any ways, back on point, Russian doesn’t equal white male. It can be fairly argued it equals white because of Russia’s ethnic makeup but not also male because no data is given on who gave the complaints.
Drama aside, racism in gaming is an issue that won’t die because of demographics. Companies, generally, want to make money. We still live in a capitalist society. How do they try to make the most money? Target demographics. Why did Pepsi shell out the big money to sign Britney Spears for their commercials in the late 90s? She was sizzling the charts, gorgeous, and a major hit with the teens. So in theory her face on a Pepsi ad means more sales to that teen demographic that follows her.
These writers and commenter’s goal, like the Vox article, is the same by pandering to their demographic’s beliefs, all while decrying the fact their side is not the winner in a sociological power structure struggle. They have a demographic to feed articles containing that victim complex mentality. And the reason why there are not as many games with characters of X race, or as many female protagonists. Is all because of the big, bad, racist, sexist white boogeyman that controls everything (aka the patriarchy). Of course, this ignores all common evidence to the contrary.
This false narrative is despite the fact a lot of games are made in Japan, so in actuality the Japanese are being very diverse to put a character named Chris Redfield in their game instead of a dude named Hiroshi Takayama. But hey, who cares about regional racial authenticity? It’d be like complaining about a game being racist for having the player kill lots of Africans in Africa just because one of the characters has the wrong skin color…but hey, diversity right? Just like how people can then complain about there not being any Africans in a fictional world based on Eastern European folklore where there were no Africans. Funny how this same rationale doesn’t have a problem with a game based on Chinese history with only Chinese people in it during a time where there were no other races. Consistency!
I’ve said this many times in the past, but I´m going to say it again. You see. These people don’t put their money where their mouth is. They just want to complain. And they don’t want to consume. A perfect example of this is the Atelier series by KoeiTecmo. This series has an almost exclusively female lead.
You might be saying, ‘Hey, maybe that series sucks?’ Ayesha, Escha and Logy, and Shallie were all fun to play, and well worth the purchase. So how did they sell? Not that good, even if the numbers were doubled or tripled. ‘But they are not triple-A titles!’ Like Lightning Returns? And when a game is widely successful, you’ve then got body issues (I’m looking at you miss Lara Croft). It is almost as if regular gamers don’t buy games because of the skin color or gender of the character. They care more about the characters as a whole and the gameplay, rather than self-masturbatory social politics.
This is about power, specifically social power to reconstruct the gaming industry’s power structure. All these controversies about race, gender, censorship, are all about control over what content a person can consume. If they can’t stop a person from buying it outright, they will shame them into not liking or being vocal about it. How many creators do not want to take a risk because a social politics zealot could give them bad press and libel them as racist because they did not like their interpretation of a ‘minority’? I don’t know, but one is too many.
In the Vox article the author states:
“the issue is that many of the same people complaining now would probably be rolling their eyes if a Hispanic man or black woman asked why they aren’t well represented in Halo, Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid, The Witcher, The Legend of Zelda, or almost any other triple-A title that’s come out over the years.” This feeds more into this power structure narrative. What was chosen?
They were all exceedingly successful, mega-popular games. More people play them meaning more power to the company through dollars. The Atelier series has female leads. However, SJW ideologues don’t care because it is not triple-A. It can be ignored, and left in the void because the mainstream (the average non-gamer) won’t do research to find out the narrative is false. In short, If it is not “top 10 material“, they don’t care.
However, even using the author’s use of triple-A, the narrative falls apart. “Resident Evil” is a triple-A series, same as “Tomb Raider“. “Sleeping Dogs” got published by Square Enix, a triple-A company. I can mention Lightning Returns again. I’ve just named a bunch of games with female or minority leads that can be considered triple-A. They are not mentioned because it breaks the false narrative being perpetuated, for example. Look at this song to break the myth of a lack of female representation in games…assuming you believed it to begin with.
The straight, white male demographic cannot be the savior and villain at the same time. It is hypocritical of the SJW media to say there needs to be diversity so minorities can relate to the characters and then shame the non-interested demographic for not being interested because they can’t relate to the characters.
Two years ago, I watched this series on FOX called “Gang Related“. I loved it. It was the Godfather meets The Departed as a TV show. In the police team there was a Hispanic lead with a black partner, as well as a Korean, Russian and Caucasian, dealing with the Latino underworld. That cast is extremely diverse. It was a great show that no one watched and thus got canceled after one season.
Using the SJW logic from sections of the gaming media, that show’s failure would be entirely the fault of white people. Why did you not watch this product that doesn’t represent you at all? So again, if games need to be diverse to represent minority demographics. Then those demographics should be the ones to pay the bill. Unless of course the average gamer doesn’t care about race or gender and just want to play fun games? The fact that the character/setting is related to the player is more a bonus than a need.
Why am I making a big deal about the white male demographic? It is because of the author’s duplicity in creating a false narrative. The article title was entirely based on portraying white men as racist. I say this for the simple fact that transgender and Russian were left out of the headline. Russian caucasian men is an entirely different premise than white men as a collective. By leaving out the transgender part means the entire focus of the piece can be put on the wrong group of people. Transgender isn’t mentioned in the article at all. How else can this be perceived but a click-bait hit piece with a sociological agenda rather than fair, unbiased journalism?
Some people are going to read through my OP piece and say that I’m worried that as a straight, white male. I’m afraid of losing my position at the top of the supposed social power structure. I’ve had novels published. I’ve got zero issues with creating non-white characters. What this is about is pointing out the ideologues and their misrepresentation that makes the media cry wolf, especially in the gaming industry. We’re at a point in the oppression Olympics that more and more mainstream people are getting sick of the false flags (aka a reason why Trump is so popular). And this is scary because there will be a point where something legitimately racist and/or sexist happens and the majority won’t care because wolf was cried too much. The media has been eaten by the wolf. The sheep are all gone.
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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