I Can Only Be White
That sends out a strong message to children. Only white people can be heroes. In fact, not only can only white people be heroes, but only white people can be arch-nemesis too. Black people in video games are relegated to a status of not 2nd class citizens, but 3rd, 4th or insignificant class citizens. And, while some gaming companies make a minimal effort to include darker hues in their heroic characters, the characters remain white for all intents and purposes. They are white people with a tan, nothing more.
I am presenting, the real perspective of gaming from a Black man's perspective, mine. I am nothing, if not intellectually honest about the entire situation. Now while there are those who control gaming companies to put in storylines that seek to hammer home messages of "continued poverty is good" for everyone, this is not my focus for this particular article. Yes, I know it goes on and we all suffer for that. And, if you need me to do an article on that, I will. After all, I am Libertarian, I see the system that seeks to pit all of us against each other while it grows to mammoth size in plain view. Yes yes, you have my ear on that. But, this article is for you to understand how Black children are continually made to feel inferior while "being entertained".
Kneejerk Reactions to Black Perspectives
Let's set the playing field for this gaming discussion. Noone will have a kneejerk reaction until the entire article is read. So often people read the first paragraphs of my articles and write a comment. I have to then point out that what they were reacting to was completely refuted in the last half of the article.
I watched a video of a Black man that also is a "gamer" discussing Blacks in video games. The reaction that the white commentators had were just out the box.
- Censorship - some said that it was unnecessary to even make such a video. While this might seem like a very warm and caring comment to make, at the end of the day it's censorship. So if he followed those guidelines, he would never speak, i.e. censorship.
- Hate - some reacted with poor hatred, as in "don't play the game then". Apparently Black people can either pay their money and suffer through the annoying treatment of Black people in video games or not play any video games.
Black People in Video Games
Black Heroes in Games
As mentioned at the beginning, Black gamers are relegated to the outside when it comes to playing heroic characters. Young Black boys, who play video games will quickly get the message, subtle or otherwise, that to be heroic, you must be white. I probably have over 500 video games sitting next to me in my library. Other than GTA, as mentioned above, all the heroic characters are white, or worse, a white woman. And, before you get up in arms about the word worse, understand that the target for 90% of video games are boys / men. Making the hero of a story, a violent story at that, a woman, messes up all sorts of gender issues: violence again women for starters; emasculation of men. Playing a white, female, hero is not something you should want your little Black son to be doing. It's bad enough the games are violent. You definitely do not want him identifying a female as the focus of his persona.
- The Monkey - the screaming, permanently angry boss type non-player-character that is "over there" and that you only see when you have done something wrong, so he's angry and throws poop at you. It is very subtle in its delivery, but this is how the portrayal is. You can find this in movies too.
- The flunky - the fodder that you wade through to get to characters with lines or boss fight.
- Invisible - you can have a game with a city system with 1 million people in it, and there won't even be a Black face in the crowd. I don't know if the developers are just wishing there would be a city like this or what, but it's amazing to see. FYI, Black people are in every city in the world. No, not African-Americans, Black people, you know the ones form Africa.
- Black people [who look and act like real black people, not two dimensional stereotypes] cannot be heroic, smart, smooth, eloquent, daring, brave, charming, dashing and wise
- Black people cannot be villains who are: conniving, sinister, daring, geniuses, educated, powerful, resourceful.
- Black people cannot even be victims: damsels in distress; worthy of saving; innocent; by-standers; beautiful; alluring; hopeless.
So many years, I have played games where you couldn't even pick a Black person. I could choose between a white man and 20 different sub-human races, including animals, but not a Black man. LOL Isn't that crazy? I could be a werewolf, but not a Black man. I could be a two legged goat that talks, but not a Black man. I could be an Elven female with breasts that could float the Titanic, but not a Black man.
Black Wizards, Witches and Paladins?
It has been argued that there can't be Black wizards and paladins in video games because that was only in Europe. Well, sparky, unless you're a complete lunatic, there were no white wizards, mages, sorcerers, conjurers and magicians in Europe either. The entire premise is fantasy. And, if I read history correctly, the most fantastic tales of magic come from the African continent. White explorers were actually afraid to venture there because of the tales of high magic. Even those that did travel there, for a long time stayed on their ships, because they were afraid of going into the deep interior due to these tales. And, no it wasn't about lions and tigers they feared, remember they hunted those, it was the fear of magic.
|Morpheus = God of Dreams|
A comedian was doing a skit and he said people are stupid and here's why: "in the harry potter book the author revealed that Dumbledor is gay. People were up in arms and said they could not believe he was gay. But, they could believe he was a wizard, but not that he was gay."
That's the same way I think about the Black wizard argument. I just shake my head when people say stuff like that.
For me, it's too late. I'm not impressionable any more. But for your young Black boys, please choose their games carefully. Do not reinforce the message that only white people can be heroes. Do not buy them games like that. Yes, that means you have to sit down and look at the game. Yes, that means you have to be a Black parent to your children.
If you're one of these new age parents that have to hold a conference with your child if you say no, go ahead and get them to first understand what is going on, and get their agreement, that it is better not to play the game. [in my day if Mama said no, it was no. There was no U.N. meeting about it.] But, make sure you get agreement from them that it is better form them not to get the game. This way, they won't sneak and get the game behind your back. Go and research games that portray Black people are real live heroes. Go and research games that show that Black people can be evil, nuclear physicist geniuses and not pimps and prostitutes.
It is going to take someone like me starting up a gaming company myself, I believe, before Black people are fairly and adequately and EPICLY portrayed in video games. Let's face it. You don't play a video game to watch someone plant tomatoes. Oh wait, that stupid Sims game does exist. Ok, normal humans don't want that. They want larger than life heroes and larger than life villains. Ergo, visa vis, concordantly, the Black people in video games should be: larger than life. Black people in video games should be Heroes, in every sense of the word. Black people in video games should be villains, in every sense of the word. Black people in video games should be victims, in every sense of the word.
A Black actor put his resume online and asked to be written into a series as a Black gamer. Everyone white person that commented on his profile all came with hate and told him to shut up and not bring up race. On the show there are no Black people. Not even in the background. LOL It's a double standard. Don't bring up race, but we don't want Black people on the show. Makes me laugh.