Opinion: Are Video Games Racist?

xSHADOWx | February 04 2013

This topic has just been brought to light with the recent Tiny Tina debate on Twitter with Anthony Burch, the lead writer on Borderlands 2, defending Tiny Tina’s Dialogue.

I have played Borderlands 2 and the Tiny Tina missions happened to be my favourite. My facebook friends will know this with my insane horde of quotes from her just after game release last year. When i played her missions i did not see any ounce of racism. I saw a little girl who was insanely adorable with crazy made up nursery rhymes and gibber speek - granted i didnt know what a badonkadonk was but once googled, I now know it's a well shaped lady's bottom, which in fact adds to the comedy. Even now im struggling to see any racism in her dialogue. Maybe that's because im white? oo is that being racist? #Sarcasm

With that all said, it had me thinking about other titles out there that maybe racist. Again im struggling to remember any game that brought up racism. The only ones that come to mind are GTA and Saint's Row - but they are about gangs and gang wars. So is it acceptable to be racist if its in the context of gangs? Both titles equally get a huge bout of bad press but it doesn't stop the games topping the charts. Do we want so called racism in our video games? Whether some titles maliciously add racism or unintentially have it in them, it would be a better use of time to completely ignore it. Running to twitter like a keyboard warrior isnt the answer. If you are un happy with the content of your game, stop playing it and return it to the store for a refund. You can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

It's just an acceptable form of life that people talk differently, people have differnt slang, especially internationally. For example, in the US, the word “Lush” means someone who drinks a lot, yet in the UK the word “lush” mean lushious, yummy and nice. It's seen as a positive if something is described as lush. Maybe this is the problem, people forget that there are other cultures and something that's racist to you is a perfectly normal term for others. What do you all think? Have you played any games that really crossed the race barrier? I'm going to take my “badonkadonk”, that happens to be ”squishy, squishy squishy” and enjoy my video game experience without looking for a reason to moan about it.



ohmyfluffygoat Mon 04 Feb
Well written article! I think some people are just looking for drama when there isn't any. I mean seriously, ANYTHING could be construed as racist if you try hard enough. Like, people need to just get over themselves. Unless it's blatantly screaming the "n" word or some other racial slur ... I don't see why people get their feathers all ruffled. I also haven't played any games that have crossed any race barriers as far as I know. Again, I don't go looking for that stuff. smile
arkangel318 Mon 04 Feb
I don't think any game companies *intentionally* do anything racist in games, I think if they did, we'd be paying $300 per game to cover the costs of adding lawyers to the development budget. Accidents do happen though. Namco had to patch Tekken Tag Tournament 2 not too long ago because of a mistake they made in the Saudi Arabia stage. (http://kotaku.com/5955490/tekken-tag-tournament-2-must-scrub-a-mention-of-allah-from-the-floor-of-its-saudi-arabia-stage) To their credit, they apologized and patched it quickly.
I hear this every now and then as well and wonder if I just have my head in the sand because I don't see it. I think they try to add character to a game or a npc by giving them a dialect or lines to make them more interesting and make it appear they have a personality. Games have come a long way and part of what people want is a story and characters they can believe, and in a sense bond with. Memorable characters are what keeps us coming back to a series. I am looking forward to playing as Isaac Clark again in the new Dead Space and Baird in the new Gears, etc. I do however seem to remember playing Dragon Age and having people blatently and outright show dislike of some of the races I was playing as. I thought it gave the game more personality. But maybe the mages should sue?
xSHADOWx Tue 05 Feb
i honestly think that some people just like to moan and look for any excuse.
Melanopterus Tue 05 Feb
I have to agree, the probably with being overly PC is that you hit a point where you look for something in everything. Everything is racist, sexist etc. We get to a point where people are stagnated by the constant belief that everything has something more in it.
Does it happen? Of course but everyone is right if it was really that common gaming companies would constantly be getting sued.

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