Posts Tagged ‘Race’

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Scribblenauts Redux

October 5, 2009

I wanted to put a post together over the weekend but it ended up getting taken over by Scribblenauts.

“Balisong” and “Tuk-tuk” are both in there. Good on ya, devs.
pat m.

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(Non) Player Characters of Color: Donald (“Sigint”) Anderson

October 2, 2009

So you’re Snake, the world’s most awesome soldier, and you’re parachuting to the Russian jungle (yeah, don’t ask about that one). You’ve got all kinds of new moves and gear to play with. Guess who holds your hand while you figure it all out? None other than Donald “Sigint” Anderson, the guy who invented half your gear.


Of course, repping men of color as a weapons expert and engineer is impressive–especially considering MGS3 is set in the mid-1960s. But the reason why Donald Anderson gets the Token Minorities nod (and corresponding dap) is because he’s the only person on Snake’s team who thinks that Snake is up to some crazy ass White Boy Shit. While Major Zero has his head up his ass and Para-Medic keeps on blabbing about obscure sci-fi movies, Sigint has some choice words with Snake:

Sigint: Uh, Snake… What are you doing?

Snake: I’m in a box.

Sigint: A cardboard box? Why are you…?

Snake: I dunno. I was just looking at it and I suddenly got this urge to get inside. No, not just an urge – more than that. It was my destiny to be here; in the box.

Sigint: Destiny…?

Snake: Yeah. And then when I put it on, I suddenly got this feeling of inner peace. I can’t put it into words. I feel… safe. Like this is where I was meant to be. Like I’d found the key to true happiness.

Sigint: …

Snake: Does any of that make sense?

Sigint: Not even a little.

Snake: You should come inside the box… Then you’ll know what I mean.

Sigint: Man, I don’t wanna know what you mean! Between you and Para-Medic, is everyone but me that is hooked up with the Major strange!?

Snake: …

Sigint: Yeah, well, anyway, I suppose even that dumb-ass box might make a decent disguise if you wear it inside a building.

Or this:

Sigint: Snake, what’s up? Why are you naked? I know there’s a “NAKED” option under “UNIFORM” that lets you take off the upper part of your uniform. But without a shirt on, your camouflage sucks, and your stamina goes down faster. You don’t get any advantages whatsoever.

Snake: Sure there are.

Sigint: Like what?

Snake: It feels good.

Sigint: …Man, you do whatever you want.

Snake: I will, thanks. Just one question, though.

Sigint: What?

Snake: Is there a way to take off my pants?

Sigint: Say WHAT!?

Snake: My pants, can I…

Sigint: Ah, hell no! This FOX unit is a nut fest!

Sadly, he gets whacked before you even see him in Metal Gear Solid, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing any more Sigint. Still, he gets this week’s Token Minorities (Non) Player Character of Color spotlight. Tune in next week for more, or check out last week’s piece on Talim from Soul Calibur.

pat m.

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Says It All, Really

September 30, 2009

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Zombie Cow Studios
pat m.

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“Sambo” Is A Viable Scribblenauts Term

September 23, 2009

…and it summons a watermelon.

Good going, guys.

There’s no point to writing any kind of in-depth insightful commentary on this one – intentional or not, it’s hilariously fucked up.

Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Scribblenauts and see what kind of offensive stories I can put together, though.

Read up more here:

Ian Bogost – Gamasutra

Kotaku

pat m.

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Player Characters of Color: Talim (Soul Calibur)

September 22, 2009

Since the vast majority of traffic to this blog comes from Google searches for the guys in The 13 Hottest Men of Gaming, In Color, I thought I’d encourage the trend (read: pander to the masses) by giving some dap to the random people of color that show up in video games. We at Token Minorities know that it’s not easy being the only brown character in the instruction manual, guys, but we appreciate the pleasant surprise that comes up when we find you in the middle of your lily-white game world.

The inaugural character for Player Characters of Color is none other than Talim, from the Soul Calibur series.

While it’s no surprise to Token Minorities readers that one of the easiest places to find brown PCs is in fighting games, Talim gets extra dap for being the first Filipina in a video game and the least mindlessly sexified female character in a series that might as well have all their other women characters put the swords down and beat each other with their ballooning bosoms. That hasn’t stopped certain gaming magazines from including her in a swimsuit issue (PSM) or a “Girls of Gaming” spread (Play) – for shame, for shame.

Here’s hoping that she continues to kick colossal amounts of colonial ass with her two arm-blades while managing to wear more clothes than the rest of her female counterparts.

Matchup I’d like to see: Talim vs. Ferdinand Magellan.

pat m.

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Race Mods for Popular Games, 9.17.2009

September 17, 2009

Grand Theft Auto:

Black male player: Wanted Meter starts at two stars. When the player is on foot, all white NPCs within eyeshot will cross to the opposite side of the street. Game can only be played on Very Hard difficulty level (does GTA have one?).

Asian female player: Wanted Meter starts at one star. When on foot, all white male NPCs within 20′ radius will run to player and proposition her (dialogue takes about half an hour to click through). Add one to Wanted Meter each time she rejects advances. If player has short hair, rejected NPCs will call her a lesbian.

Resident Evil series

Black male player: when other friendly characters are present, the game will not progress until the player is the first to open door/turn corner/walk down hallway/other situation which places him in mortal danger. also includes new Second Person Perspective camera, which remains fixed on white NPCs for duration of game. Game ends when player is killed, zombified, and killed again.

Latino male/female player: Game ends when player is killed, zombified, and killed again. (Game duration: five minutes.)

Asian female player: see Ada Wong.

Ico

Black male player: Player character has Afro instead of horns. Also, mysterious black shadows trying to separate Black male PC from white female NPC are now mysterious figures in white robes and hoods.

Madden 2010

Asian female player: No penalties are called on opposing team.

Phoenix Wright

Young white female player: Opposing attorney is Kanye West.

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My Take on the Street Fighter Stereotype Squad

October 28, 2008

When Capcom was taking flak for the Resident Evil 5 debacle, a few people would occasionally comment that Capcom actually has a history of racially offensive characterizations in their games – specifically, the characters from Street Fighter. This gave me pause – I have adored Street Fighter for a long, long time, and it never really occurred to me that the characters were seriously offensive. Furthermore, I’m hardly in the minority, here – virtually no one in the Street Fighter community ever really brings this kind of thing up, and it’s not because there’s a lack of people of color who play seriously, or reasonable people who can talk about race. So why would this be?

bankuei commented in the open thread about this a while back:

 

Here’s a thought: Street Fighter 2 was one of the first videogames that gave you a WIDE range of playable characters in terms of ethnicity. Stereotypical? Yeah. Still, better than playing either a Ninja or some random white guy all the time.

For that level of nostalgia factor alone, I think people are willing to give it a pass. (though, admittedly, videogames are rife with racist stuff. The fact that all the characters can be protagonists is good, though Blanka, Balrog/M.Bison and Dhalsim are the most problematic).

This is the first step. To use an example:

Media representation of Asian Americans has been a huge issue in the community for a while now. We’re sick of seeing ourselves portrayed as geeks, martial arts masters, delivery boys, sinister ganglords, and dragon ladies. Before we could organize around that, though, we had to make it in the media in the first place. Before Asians were portrayed in American films as those stereotypical images, we weren’t really in much of anything at all

Fighting games are quite possibly the easiest place to bring in a diversity of characters, particularly since it’s less about developing a character’s story and more about bringing in an exotic aesthetic. Certainly, this is problematic on some level, but it’s also given us our first Filipina character (Talim from Soul Calibur 2) where introducing a Filipina character in any other genre would have required a lot more pushing. Street Fighter 2 created stereotypes by drawing on each country’s fighting myths and legends. It wasn’t perfect – Balrog and Dee Jay, inspired by Mike Tyson and Billy Blanks (of Tae-Bo fame) aren’t exactly the inspiring figures I’d have wanted to model the first couple Black game characters after, Dhalsim is downright bizarre with the human skulls around the neck, and it seems painfully unfair to neglect Brazil’s vale tudo combat tradition by giving us Blanka instead of, say, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player – but it was a welcome departure from white guys and ninjas.

To be fair, Capcom has rounded it out a bit since then. The Street Fighter III series gave us Sean, a Brazilian brawler with moves inspired by MMA and Ryu and Ken’s Ansatsuken karate, and Dudley, the dopest black boxer in a video game ever, to make up for Balrog and Blanka. Most recently, Street Fighter IV added a white American single-mom-secret-agent with lips like Angelina Jolie’s, a French MMA fighter inspired by real-life fighting legend Fedor Emelianenko, and a fat white American biker kung-fu guy with a ponytail and a happy trail. On the downside, we get a Mexican Lucha Libre fighter (and chef) named El Fuerte:

Sigh. One step forward, two steps back, I suppose.

pat m.

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