The Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting article examining the alleged racism in Resident Evil 5. Initially, I thought it was going to consist of a mainstream writer ripping the game to shreds. Instead, it's a thoughtful and intelligent article that addresses the issue and expands on a larger problem in gaming. First thing's first -- the author doesn't believe that the game is inherently racist:
I never thought I'd see the word "zombieness" used in the WSJ. One of my dreams has come true.
Seriously, the author uses the issue to examine a curious trend in gaming: the overabundance of white protagonists. Similar to movies and television, the lead characters in games are almost always white. The author noted:
Certainly, it's not as ridiculous as the television show Friends (nothing in Manhattan revolves around six white people), but there's definitely a lack of ethnic diversity in gaming. There are exceptions, but the number of non-White leads in gaming are a rarity and don't accurately reflect the world's ethnic makeup. I love that the author used the Resident Evil 5 controversy to bring up a larger issue. I'd also love it if a game featured a Chinese-Filipino-American hero. (Attention, game developers: I'm available for motion capture all weekend.)
Do you agree that gaming is dominated by White, Western leads? Do you want more ethnically diverse heroes and heroines?