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Status Update, 8/12/06

August 13, 2006

Everyone’s favorite rockstar video gaming journalist, Tim Rogers, has a recent post that touches on race and video games – specifically, Sony’s recent PSP/LocoRoco race debacle. Interestingly enough, he moves from a fairly legitimate criticism of a (non-video game related) art exhibit in Japan called “Africa Remix”, which unnecessarily conflates Africans with African Americans:

My family had never imported slaves from Africa, and I am by no means the type of person who’s ever felt uncomfortable around black people for reasons of guilt, even guilt by association, related to the slave trade. This is why I’m able to cross paths with a black man on the street in Chicago or Los Angeles, and not put my hand over my wallet, or look down, or even wonder if one of them has a gun or a knife. These are things I have never done, even that one time a black man did have a knife, and used it to get fifty dollars out of me. I’m putting this all out on the line right here: black people, just because one of your kind once held me at knife-point doesn’t mean I, by any means, have any dislike of you.

…to moving on to the PSP/LocoRoco issue, ultimately leading him here:

Man, it’s tough work being a white blogger every once in a while. This world we got here, I tell you — it’s quite the fixer-upper.

This burden!!

Some would call its tone “irreverent” or possibly “satirical”; towards the end of the article I’d think it comes closer to “painfully privileged”. It’s hard for me to read and understand, myself, because he tends to turn up the attitude in each successive paragraph until he ends up sounding appallingly negligent.

(It’s worth pointing out that he’s actually a contractor from Sony of Japan, but, as far as I can tell, he doesn’t do anything related to blogging or PR for them.)

In other news: I picked up True Crime: Streets of LA for $5.30 used from EBGames. We’ll see if this bodes well or poorly.

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2 comments

  1. Well, to be fair, if you’ve read Tim Rogers’ other work on insert-credit and LPN, “painfully privileged” or really his M.O., next to “geeky Japanophile” (Of course I say this after you report on the first article I’ve ever seen him write that criticizes the Japanese.) But yeah, that statement “hey, black people, i’m talking to you” when he knows damn well he’s talking to 99% other geeky white people is very typical internet banter. I mean, just look at the general reaction to the Loco Roco thing, I’m amazed that most of the responders (again, likely white gaming geeks, and I don’t mean that as derogatory) put up the typical “omg, you want to pin everything as racist!”, ignoring the long, long cultural history of racist stereotypes in manga, anime and Japanese gaming. He even goes to the old sarcastic argument “wiping blackface out will be better for everyone”, when the truth is, OBVIOUSLY when it happens in this day an age it should be CALLED OUT, not erased from the history books.

    I follow Rogers’ work often, because occasionally, he will write excellent, compelling essays, particularly his Super Mario Bros. 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2 writings. That said, 90% of the rest of the work he puts out is irrelevant and tedious. I really wish his signal-to-noise ratio was higher, because I still see him as quite a genuine talent. Even this very post you mention is far more interesting and well-thought out than much of what he writes, though, which is typically his encounters about eating a sandwich on the Tokyo subway.


  2. Thanks for commenting!

    I definitely agree with you on the signal-to-noise ratio bit. Though I’ve never met someone who made sandwiches on Tokyo subways sound so indie.

    And while I know that the vast majority of LPN/IC forum regulars are white gaming geeks – I myself have never seen anyone more lily-white than Mr. Rogers himself – most of them seem too jaded, cynical, and apathetic to care about race even enough to pull the “omg, you want to pin everything as racist!” response. This includes the sizeable chunk of brown people that frequent LPN and IC as well.



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