Monday, May 31, 2010
Mario Poured Bleach On Us, That Fucker
I consistently keep very few rules throughout various the contexts life often chucks at me. In terms of my little blog here, I've always veered away from the topic of how race affects games for a few simple reasons:
1: I'm African-American, so I automatically attract unnecessary attention so much easier when that fact is displayed blatantly, EVEN ONLINE.
2: I'm a BIT of an asshole, and people like to rally behind assholes because rebellion is a natural state in the world we humans develop and live in (and it always will be), but it remains a luxury we all simply can't afford to have. That basically means some of us get elected to positions on de facto grounds.
3: It really shouldn't matter either way...
--- but it does and again, it always will. No matter what the idealists will waste their time believing in or fighting for, someone will always be underprivileged, overprivileged, or just plain fucked. Anybody who thinks that a state of equilibrium can be achieved by the human race (that is while we're all still stuck on this big dumb rock) really should compare and contrast such outlandish stances with something to match it...like The Bible.
And so here I am, making another pseudo-progressive post (which is actually on behalf of my hunger for artistic variety and nothing more), commenting on yet another failure in the realm of video-games.
Video games are far from the most pressing matter at hand in terms of recognizing 'parochial ruin', BUT for those of us passionate about medium --- make no mistake, this is one of our top responsibilities now. I just don't think it could make sense any other way not to see it through.
Now of course, we could pick out a minority presence in games...Hispanics, Asians, Blacks (I doubt America will be allowed to see anything other than a few Middle Eastern characters for quite a while) that have all manifested themselves to some degree in any given genre (obvious example here would be African-Americans in any American sports title). This does not make the issue any less prevelant however (i.e. what those manifestations actually represent), just more murky and some people are prone to analysis paralysis in such situations. The fear to act by anyone can often be more affectively damaging than acting on ignorance (which we all do anyway) --- or worse, acting on pure unadulterated malice.
I'm not even suggesting more POCs behind the drawing board because that doesn't solve the problem (and it's too fucking obvious at this juncture), and they're just as prone to fucking crap up as well. The Asians (specifically the Japanese) in our industry have proven my point oh --- so deliciously here, by allowing traditionalism and efficacy to ruin their designs from the inside out (which ironically is technically top-notch given the qualitative consensus for studios like Nintendo). Example? Well of course! I can yank one right out of the air, which I've been playing myself for the last nintety and some-odd hours...
Yeah, I'm part of the problem myself here, buying an abundantly successful franchise when I shouldn't. To be fair fair though, this will probably be one out of the MAYBE four 'new' games I'll allow myself to purchase this year, meaning I'll get over it.
So, yeah --- I've been playing a good deal of Pokémon SoulSilver over the past month, and it never fails in this paticular series that at some point I'll get hit with an overwhelming moment of clarity such as:
"Why is every person in this game either white, insultingly ambiguous, or a twisted manifestation of repressed Asian ideals? Hell, they'd snatch out all the women if they could get away with it!"
You'd be surprised when I first started getting hit with those waves of thought. The mere acceptance of what we have is a big mover of this problem as well. We put more work into ignoring said problems than actually addressing them, in any way whatsoever. The gluttony of the industry and its fans feed the business side, which has in turn effected design SO much, that developers now cannot move on thoughts such as these EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO. There's also the question of timidness that I hinted at in My Enemy (and above). Since most people banging away at the codes these days still have a lack of melanin, there has grown a very large risk of upsetting anyone that is not of European descent. Because of the human tendency to favor peace and happiness, the will ends there (i.e. minorities have nothing to become enraged about so they yield towards making the best of what they have YET AGAIN).
"Since when did white people become so timid about stepping on someone's toes? Since when did we all hide behind the fact that --- YES, there are actually underprivileged white people as well?"
"What in God's name makes you think we'll see the more nuanced underprivileged when we still can't see the in-your-face kind?!"
Really...It's not like they can do any worse (i.e. multiple genocides, slavery, general colonialism). As I've said, that avoidance of said topics can often be far more offensive (borderline patronizing actually). Sure, it could all be as simple as: "Well, we'll lose a fuckton of cash man!", but is that really the alternative fuckup we should admit to here? Anytime I see someone go out of their way not to offend me, I very dryly ask them to shoot a Patronus Charm at me instead (which is fitting, seeing as I always have to play the goddamn Dementor for everyone), at least that way I get to see something cool.
Perhaps this does apply more to single player narrative tales than anything, but that's just another example of defensively circumventing an issue by juxtaposing something else of lesser (or ridiculously greater) value. Since narrative has been a primary mode of expression and meaning for us in both fiction and non-fiction since our neurons started firing, it takes priority here. This will at least be until other modes of development step up to render it obsolete (which I doubt is even possible at this point).
"Someone should make a another State of the Emergency game where all stereotypes and cliches are turned into one big offensive ball of mechanics..."
"??? (10:20:02 AM): RACE WAR GOGOGO HATE ALL EVERYONE"
I thought it'd be nice to address this in some way on my little blog while the 1% of me that actually cares is strong enough to fight back against the other 99% of EXTREMELY vindictive Nihilism. It'll be gone by the next post I guarantee you --- much like Entei on Route 36.
And to close, I know I entirely missed out on Metal Gear May (I've been --- occupied), but that doesn't necessarily mean I can't apply the same logic to either June or July, especially with Peace Walker a week from release now.