Resident Evil 5 “Racist” Scenes Explained

Resident Evil 5 Isn’t Racist

 

Over the past couple of days, a couple of sites/magazines who have played full or almost full copies of the game, have been reporting that they’ve found racist imagery in Capcoms newest game. Similar accusations first began back when screenshots of the game were revealed to the public. The game takes place in a (presumed) South African country. The game features a white protaganist (Chris Redfield), and his enemies, the infected, inherintly black members of this fictional country of Kijuju.

 

Actually not racist

Now, these allegation could be excused. If it wasn’t for the fact that the game is set in Africa. Soon after this was fully explained to the naysayers, the idea of racism, for the most part, fell off the radar.

Now, Eurogamer has relit the flame by posting scenes that their appointed reviewer of RE 5 found to be racist. He even went so far as to say that the game featured “outdated” representations of Africa, and stated that he saw things that he was honestly surprised to see in 2009.

Capcom probably didn’t even think that the scene would be a problem, because most people realize that a country that is going through what Kijuju is, (i.e. The infection of their citizens and subsequent transforming of them into violent murders) would experience some civil unrest. My explanation for the scene would be that the “thing” in the bag was in fact, an infected person or animal. The group likely captured it, and is paying them back for something they did. The subsequent glares aimed at Chris could merely be because they don’t want him to come near them, for fear of him trying to rescue the infected citizen.

Though I could be reading too much into this.

 

Is he… is he black? Must be racist.

The only other mentioned scene is the taking of a young blonde women, by a group of presumably infected black men. Once the player reaches the women, she is infected as well, and the player is forced to kill her. The reviewer suggests that this is an “outdated notion of African sexual primality”. Well… maybe if you’re looking for something racist to talk about. While I could see that the disease may have been transmited to her sexually, I am also then forced to believe that the men who took her were infected, or were at least being controlled by the main villian of the game in some way. Why else would the women have become infected as well? This would mean that they were not taking her of their own devices, but of someone elses, negating the allegations of racism.

 

Look. I haven’t played the full game. I may not know the full story. But I’m almost positive that this game is not racist. Hell, after the original allegations, white and asian zombies are now more prominent than they should be in an underdeveloped African nation. They even made your partner African as if to create a “See, it’s okay, I’m doing it too” vibe. While I can see where the reviewer is coming from, I don’t believe that he’s looking at this in the right way. But like I said, I haven’t played the game, or seen the scenes, so I don’t know for sure.

Got a feeling either way? Please, feel free to comment. I’d love to chat.

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~ by Dylan Nelson on February 8, 2009.

5 Responses to “Resident Evil 5 “Racist” Scenes Explained”

  1. I’ve never understood the argument in the first place, honestly. Why do people claim racism now? Shouldn’t they have claimed racism when Super Mario came out? I mean, under the same theory … Nintendo is racist towards Italians for making a fat, mustached plumber who has a heavy, goofy Italian accent.

    Or … of all the games we play where the main character is the chosen one, the chosen one is 99% white … does that mean those game companies are racist?

    I think the game probably gets its heaviest criticism from the third chapter, where they are portrayed as heavily tribal. Again, I don’t know why this is considered racist. I think the whole thing is just a publicity stunt, honestly. RE5 is one of the few – if not, only big name games that decides to have the storyline take place in Africa, so people who seek out things that can come off as racist see that game as a giant bullseye.

  2. […] chose not to cover the racism issue here, because I already covered it in a previous blog post. After playing through the game completely, I still stand by what I said. With everything in […]

  3. I in fact decided to remove that paragraph all together. After re-reading, I don’t think the article suffers without it.

  4. Oops. I didn’t proof read then. They aren’t at “war”, the people there are experiencing civil unrest. I’ll edit the story, thanks for the catch.

  5. people in south africa are at war??? what!!! do you know about anything whats going on there???

    i just laughed so hard i couldn’t read the rest that comment is about 16 years late man

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