‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ Flick Based on Racist Video Game Series

September 22, 2007

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Those gamers and moviegoers in the house may want to read this piece I just wrote for Alternet about the Resident Racism in some of the most popular video games, including the blockbuster Resident Evil series. More than a few gamers are pissed and have written me and Alternet because the article takes a racial lens to stuff many gamers apparently feel no discomfort about, stuff like Heart of Darkness motif in this Resident Evil 5 trailer promoting the follow-up to this weekend’s movie:

You may also have noted that one of the zombies in the trailer has a bullhorn, as if activists are also the object of gamers restorative violence. If you read the piece, check out the “comments” which are enlightening in terms of how passionate people are about these games -even if they’re racist.

4 Responses to “‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ Flick Based on Racist Video Game Series”

  1. Justin Says:

    “which places players in the position of fighting parasitically controlled Spaniards (called “Los Ganados” or “the cattle”) with stereotypical Mexican accents.”

    Spainiards with Mexican accents? Being a latino doesn’t make you an expert on accents. And lets look at the comments.. an empty section… so let me be the first “passionate racist” to stand up and say you’re wrong.

    Now, take in that I never even beat RE4, or 3 2 or even 1, but even I can see holes in your ignorant race argument. The game takes place in spain. Ok, so far so good. Kids getting some geography with their games. The enemies are.. suprise suprise.. spainiards. In spain. Not cubans, not mexicans, not philipinos, not even white people! Spainiards of all people, in their own country!

    come on. And the lead character is white? Big deal, he’s an american sent to rescue the american presidents daughter who was in a plane crash. So tell me, how else could it have been done. I honestly want an answer. Really! you have my email, please reply.

    Should the plane have crashed in china? nooo, killing asians is wrong!
    Should it have crashed in afrika? heavens no! you can’t kill blacks!
    Crashed in america? No siree, because then there would be only white people, which is worst of all!

    It seems you’ll only be happy when there’s a game featuring latinos (your obvious bias) shooting whites.

    Well, I think I’ve used far too many words for the likes of you, I’ll be expecting that response

  2. Justin Says:

    * sorry, allow me to add, Leon Kennedy is a returning character from a previous resident evil game, one where he only shoots white and black zombies, if it would help you to sleep at night.

  3. […] long line of acts that fetishize of non-white Others for fun and profit as mentioned here &  here […]

  4. Jonas Says:

    I cannot attest speak to racial content of the latest resident evil installment. However, as I have been a fan of the series since its debut about twelve years ago. In the initial game, you played as white characters Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield(hero of 5), and as these characters you fought white zombies created by a company, Umbrella Corp., run by evil white guys. In fact these evil white guys are pulling the strings in every Resident Evil Game, Movie and Book.

    Game number two, in which you can play as Claire(Chris’ sister), or Leon(hero of 4). Battling an entire metropolis of predominately white zombies. This game also includes Asian-hero Ada Wong, mentioned in a letter in the original game. This game follows the same format as the original, in terms of what you are killing and how.

    However, once you get to the third installment you are given the option of playing as the South American hero Carlos Oliveira , a character brought back repeated in the films and in the games.

    The racial problem stems from the fact that in the story(books games and movies) the virus goes global, repeated being released or tested and modified by Umbrella. And, unlike yourself, the developers didn’t feel that bringing these heroes on a tour of Anglo-Saxon Europe would representative of a Zombie pandemic, one which they are trying to quell.

    As for your argument a about the accent, that is something commonplace in the entertainment industry. They needed to cast Spanish speaking voice actors and being located in San Mateo used the best sounding person at the audition, Carlos Carrasco. Believing it a non-issue because to the untrained ear that dialog mostly just ambiance.

    In addition mistakes are often made in the production of these games. In Resident Evil 2 a Japanese designer drew the American flag hung upside down. This wasn’t to incite anger, this was merely a mistake. I recognized it as such, though others did not.

    Your article was a meek attempt to send up a red flag. It is easily agreeable that video games have a history of racism, one which continually diminishes as global markets expand. But sending up a red flag on the Resident Evil series itself, was libelous. You make it clear that you are not an avid gamer and neither am I. I haven’t owned a system in years, but even I could see through your gauzy argument by doing, what yourself and all journalist should do, research.

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