Is Resident Evil 5 Racist?

The Complaints

The vast majority of complains centre around the trailer’s apparent disregard for the manner in which it depicts a racial struggle. While it’s true that any game that pits a white protagonist against a host of black opponents is bound to cause trouble, the only way to negate this so far suggested has been that some of these zombies be white, rather than black.

Resident Evil RacismThe problem with this is fairly obvious; we’re all familiar with the cinematic tradition of the “token black”, included so that the proceedings don’t seem racist. The inclusion of an occasional white zombie would effectively be the same thing; we’d have a token white zombie, and there would be as many cries that these zombies had been included to avoid seeming racist [Catch 22 –Ed].

One of the points raised by Microscopiq (in a post entitled “Blackface goes HD”) is that, “With all the positive steps being taken of late to raise awareness of the good things happening in Africa as well as the urgent need in some parts of the continent, we really can’t afford this kind of step back. We need to find ways to humanize Africans, not dehumanize them.” The fact is though, that it’s the “urgent need” in some parts of the continent that makes Africa such a juicy location for a survival horror game; the chances of being rescued seem so much lower, the relative tide of zombies seems unstoppable...

There’s nothing racist about this; it’s just another example of the setting being used to make the player uncomfortable, something the Resident Evil series has long been famous for. An entirely separate problem has been raised by Kym Platt on the Black Looks blog, which says of the depiction of a white man killing black people, “This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.”

Resident Evil Racist

It’s important to remember that we’re talking about a game where the most fundamental point is the decent of the general population from humanity into inhuman savagery. This is nothing specific to Resident Evil 5’s black antagonists; this is the same slide from humanity into zombiehood we’ve seen in practically every Resident Evil game to date. It is this loss of humanity that is the scariest part of the survival horror series’ plot.

The other thing is that, with the memory of the banning of Manhunt 2 so fresh in our minds, it seems so thoroughly unlikely that this particular video game will be marketed to children (and even young adults, though this depends on the rating it’s given). This is not part of any campaign to start anyone hating anything from a young age, and even if it were, there’s nothing wrong with instilling a healthy fear of the undead, no matter what race or creed.

Create a new thread in the UK Article comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • spuddyt
    seriously who the hell thought it was targeted at hating blacks?, whoever they are they need a lesson in sense (its in africa, it should have blacks)
  • gehiro

    Sometimes I think the 'Politically Correctors' are making life alot harder for the 'minorities'

    Its a game ffs....

  • Daniel Ma
    Well, the fact is that if I was Spanish, I would probably be offended that in Resident Evil 4 an american is killing mindless "zombies" that are all Spanish. But not many in America are Spanish so who cares about that?
    And ofcource, when a white american kills white americans is ok, since the zombies AND the main characters "ethnicity can be seen purely as an extension of the game’s environment". Right? Right.
    But how come that only the "zombie’s ethnicity can be seen purely as an extension of the game’s environment" and not the main character's one In Resident Evil 5, or 4?
    Admitedly, I don't know any of the Resident Evil storyes. But it would be at least resonable to have the local etnic fight the evil from time to time and not always the white american.
  • demonseedgfx
    Ok they are black/spanish/white/green they kill with guns/swords/lasers and fluffy bears. Its a f****** game. The planet is in a worse state than any of these games with killings and stuff at least with a game you can turn it off and go to bed. The people at the top need to spend a full project (not 10 minutes) watching game and film makers going through hell for 2 years or more making nothing into an item millions of people want to play or watch, they should go through the stress of technical problems, time limits, money issues, then they might understand these are all done so people can get away from the real world for an hour or 2 a week and relax. Computer games do not make wars or insight racism thats just humans, and normally the ones at the top. By all means put a rating on a game, but dont ban it and not one that will make it unsellable. Infact if a game/film is banned or made unsellable I think the manufacturer should sue (the rating/Banning body) as that ban has made the production a waste of time which has inturn wasted Earths resources and increased green house gas and all that other stuff for nothing. If you dont like it ot it offends you dont buy it or send it back, its that simple.
  • Cabelo
    @ Daniel Ma,

    In both Resi 4 and Resi 5 the protagonists are recuturning characters from previous games, so their ethnicity can't really be deermined by the environments in which they find themselves on a game-by-game basis.
  • mactronix
    Im just gobsmacked fancy that there is a virus or what ever in AFRICA and mainly COLOURED (got to be pc about these things you know) people are infected,who would have thought it?
    Yes there is racism in the world and what chance of driving it out if people with chips on there shoulders keep searching it out where there is none.
    All i gota say to these idiots is get a life.
  • Anonymous
    No, There's no such thing as Racism existed in RE games! It's just that most Black African people are so sensitive. They always feel that their skin color is being put on the isssue. Talk about insecurities tsk tsk...
  • Anonymous
    these people will never be happy. Unbelievable!!!!