'The Atlantic' Weighs In On The 'Resident Evil 5'-Is-Racist Issue


Posted February 11, 2009 - By r_pad

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a rant about the alleged racism in Resident Evil 5. Whether you agree or not, it's telling that a mainstream site like The Atlantic (home of the excellent Andrew Sullivan!) is picking up on this story more than a month before that game is even out. I expect the issue to get worse as the game's release date nears. Coates rant is a bit confusing in that he raves about the racism in the game, but doesn't explain why he finds it racist, himself.

The whole 'it's only a game' defense--which people always raise--is so lame. It's usually raised by the same 35-year old dude who plays video-games, like other people watch TV, and swears that video games are just as legitimate as TV. As a guy who plays WoW, like other people watch TV, and swears that gaming is just as legit as TV, I can relate. But if we're going to allow video games to enter into the world of adults, if we don't want to looked upon as boys in the bodies of men, then we have to be serious. Either this [explilative] is real, or it ain't. You can't ask people to at once respect the creativity of gaming, and then tell them they can't critique it. 

I really don't know what the hell he's talking about. My perspective is different since I write about games and most of my friends are gamers. But I don't know anyone that uses "it's only a game" as an excuse or tells "them" that they can't critique games.

Are there people like that? Sure. Do I think they're the majority? Absolutely not. Again, I admit that my perspective is skewed because of what I do and who my friends are.

The real issue I have with this article is that the author proclaims that the game is racist, but doesn't explain why. Similar to my post last week, it contains a large chunk of text from the Eurogamer article. When I used the quote, my purpose was to get your opinions on the matter. I did not claim that the game was racist or not.

Coates' unexplained rant is very dangerous. People that don't play games are going to read his opinion and assume the game is racist,  although he does not state why. Certainly he's entitled to his opinion, but I believe for a hot-button issue like this, an explanation is required and different perspectives need to be explored (ergo my post). Coates claims to be a gamer himself, but he's doing his hobby a disservice with his story.


'The Atlantic' Weighs In On The 'Resident Evil 5'-Is-Racist Issue


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