Racism In Video Games

Racism is not really something you experience in video games. Since the ignorant and bigoted are not ones to learn skills like programming, it is unlikely you will see an overtly racist game. It is not impossible for there to be stereotypes like what would see in a movie, but that is true for all pieces of entertainment. 

However, there have been plenty of blatantly discriminatory video games. The most infamous examples are debatable since some of them may have been made with malicious intentions or may not. I have heard of a controversy regarding a game called “Survival Island 3: Australia” which is a mobile survival game that features the indigenous people of Australia as hostile tribal enemies. 

To me, it is possible that they just wanted to throw in tribal people without thinking of the racial implications of having the indigenous people attack the player, which does happen, but nevertheless it needed to be altered or removed in order to not offend. I think that it was good that it was removed because of harmful implications. 

But the most blatantly racist game, that “honor” goes to Indie Game “Ethnic Cleansing” which is exactly what it sounds like. This offensive “piece” as we will call it, is a poorly programmed first-person shooter, developed by programmers affiliated with National Alliance, a white supremacist hate group in America. 

The player selects a racist character, like a skinhead or Klansman, and plays through 2 stages of poorly rendered, poorly lighted and poorly designed levels with stereotypical black, Mexican and Jewish enemies, with the premise being a future “Race War” between Whites and everyone else. 

Image: National Alliance

This game is an absolute joke looking past the offensive material.  Not even the White Supremacists like it. What else can you say other than the final boss being former prime minister of Israel, ‘Ariel Sharon’. 

The final kicker being that the game was sold for $14.88 USD. Not only is that a rip-off to the most extreme degree given its length, but the pricing itself is symbolically racist. The 14 represents the white supremacist 14 words slogan, and 88 represents “HH” or “Heil Hitler.” 

There are many grey areas when it comes to what counts as a “racist” game. The biggest example that comes to mind is Mafia III, a video game released in 2016 that faces themes of racism head on. The player character, an African American, is constantly referred to as the N-word by his enemies in a 1960s New Orleans inspired backdrop. 

Some games can be made from stupidity. A game not covered much in the English-speaking world was a game called “The Cost of Freedom” which was a multiplayer game literally about, no joke, the Holocaust and Auschwitz. The game was met with overwhelming backlash from pretty much everyone, and the developers canned the game, proving that the game was only made because some idiot thought it would be a good idea to make a game based on it. 

Overall, games that deal with racism are always universally hated, because games are interactive, and the slightest implication can tick anyone off, so it must be approached carefully. I have always had the belief that until humans are fully united, racism will never go away, and that goes for how it is depicted in art like video games. Let us be thankful that mainstream video games are free from said issues.

By CalDozer

The LAZIEST but also the most talented writer on the Yelling At Children website.

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