A recent Article on Polygon criticized the new Witcher 3 PC game for not giving players the option of playing with a non-white character.
This is indeed true, the Witcher 3 PC game set to have a new patch release soon, did use to have some options that allowed different races of characters and now it doesn’t.
However this does not make it necessarily racist, or race biased. The game is set in a world of fantasy with characters fighting in a make-believe war.
This means that game developers have the option of populating the world with whatever races they feel like. There are a number of games that do however have some serious racial problems to attend to.
Diablo 3 is probably one of the most famous games to have been considered racist. In the 3rd game of the series the only black character is a “witch doctor” who has a heavy accent and who walks and moves like an animal. Even some references to penis sizes are present. This was a huge setback for the series in which the second game allowed you to play with a black warrior called a “Paladin”
“Spanish for everyone” is one of the most stereotypical educational game ever made, even people living in the 1950’s would say it is too racist. The game was made by Nintendo in order to teach kids Spanish. The story-line revolves around you chasing after your Hispanic friend Miguel, who stole your Nintendo DS. The game features “loose” Latino women and a drug lord dad for Miguel.
Another truly horrifyingly racist game out there is called Ethnic Cleansing and was created by Resistance Records, a company that recorded neo-Nazi music and that was affiliated to the National Alliance in the U.S.
Ethnic cleansing follows a choice of characters like clansmen and skinheads, on their mission to kill non-whites.
So, what is the difference between racism and game development choices? Well, the Witcher 3 does not give you the option to play with characters that are not white. But that could be a development decision concerning on story-line or character location and development.
Diablo 3 gives you the option of one black character, and that character screams stereotype and racial bias.
So, while it is one thing to create a fantasy world that does not have any black characters it is an entirely different matter to create a game with only one black character in it, that is developed in a socially unacceptable manner.
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