Black Zombies are Racist?

The next Resident Evil game is set in a third world country in Africa.  For those of you not familiar with video games, Resident Evil is one of the most popular zombie games ever.  There have been two movies (and a third on the way) made from the series.  The fourth game in the series was absolutely phenomenal and featured more intelligent zombies that spoke to each other and evaded attacks.  It was set in rural Spain.

There have been complaints that the zombies in Resident Evil 5 are black.  Worse, that they are black Africans.  And the main character, who kills them, is white.

Here's the trailer, tell me if it seems racist to you.

Here's the way I see it.  It's all in how it's done.  Something tells me that it's not just going to be zombies = evil, black people = zombies, hence black people = evil.  In fact, there is an incredible potential for this game to do a world of good in American/African relations.

Think about Africa and the way we treat it.  We dump piles and piles of old computers there, we ignore genocide and violence, and we basically like to pretend that it doesn't exist.  We already treat them as less than human, regardless of what we like to tell ourselves.

Now, in the Resident Evil games, the usual instigator of trouble is a huge ethically-challenged company called the  Umbrella Corporation.  Something tells me, and this is just speculation, that the company will have treated the African people as expendable, and somehow "polluted" the small town in Africa where the protagonist will end up.

And of course, the protagonist, though he'll be killing the resulting zombies, will probably know that these people are just victims, and perhaps in the worst kind of way.  The black people are then not demon-ified, but instead they evoke compassion and action.

This game has the potential to raise awareness in a very real way about all the bad things that go on in Africa and our role in them.  Darfur, Rwanda, economic trouble, the lack of US aid.   All of that could be emphasized in the mind of the player rather than just HATE, MUST KILL.

If you can't tell, I'm expecting a lot out of this game.  I hope it doesn't disappoint. πŸ˜‰

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  1. The game, I mean. The whole fact that they're a continent of people who have are starving and can't fend for themselves is still bad…

  2. Geek Check: This game is actually set it Haiti and not in Africa.

  3. Strange, it never occured to me that the movie Blade was racist (black protagonist, who slays hordes of evil white vampires). But thanks to the insight of these morons, I now see the light. πŸ˜‰

  4. Whoops. Sorry. I should have checked.Point still holds though. πŸ˜‰

  5. You have a point; also, starving and neglected black people, victim of white megacorporation coming back from their undeserved death to take their revenge on white humans seems like the karma working pretty fine:-)Game designers probably should read some Konrad as well.But come to think of it, aren't zombies supposed to originate from Haiti in the first place???

  6. there are different notions of "zombies"… there are ties to voodoo
    tradition which is is existant in haiti but it also was or is popular
    in other areas. The idea of zombies has been around probably since man
    had a thinking mind, the need or wish that someone could come back from
    the dead, then following idea that it would be impossible to recreate
    perfect life from the dead, leads to zombies etc. But who knows maybe
    the game writers wanted to play on the fact that there were zombie
    beliefs in haiti, but the zombies in the game will have been infected
    by a virus. And I agree with lex, there are bigger more important
    issues being adressed in these types of games, other important
    universal issues relevant to all human kind (but of course it will
    always be a sore issue). It would also be interesting to see what the previous trailors for these games have been like, as a comparison.

  7. Here's the Resident Evil 4 trailer. I think you've seen the Resident Evil movies, so you at least have a vague idea of the storylines. The third movie comes out soon! πŸ™‚

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