July 27th, 2007

Anyone who’s seen the new Resident Evil 5 trailer will know what I’m talking about when I say with a form of amazement that can only effectively be expressed through 1337: OMG, WTF? Instead of battling zombies in an abandoned house or even in Spain, players will be now be blowing the heads off of the living dead in an African village. That’s right, we’re talking about black zombies. What’s more, you play a commando character who is white whity-ity white. Jesus, I couldn’t even make this stuff up. Even if we don’t play the racism card, there’s a whole mess of issues here: monsters and otherness, the paranormal as a manifestation of our anxiety about real-life conflicts like race. The few people who have dared to say something about this so far have already been virtually stoned. Still, you can expect to see something on the topic up on the Village Voice site from me very shortly.

Update: Here’s the piece that I wrote for the Voice‘s Runnin’ Scared blog. Hopefully it explores the issue a little more fully than I have here. Probably the biggest thing that came to mind while I was putting it together is the connection between Resident Evil 5 and the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. Bingo. I mean, we’re not just talking about a general fear of racial contamination here, we’re talking serious contemporary issues. Now the question is, how much of this did Capcom actually think about before pitching the game?

Tags: Blog, controversy, my articles, race, survival horror games

74 Responses to “On Race in Resident Evil 5”

  1. Michelle Says:

    c`mon i`m from spain and i don`t fell anything bad about the resi 4…. you killed white people on resi 0 to code veronica, didn`t you? did someone reply? i guess…no

    On the 4, the spaniards said somethin`? no.. ok…..Now because there is black people on the resi 5 it will be an offence to them?? i think that`t stupid!!! it will be a great game like the others and that`s all!

    don`t try to be a “good person” just play the game!!!

  2. SeanTheBest949 Says:

    Now, where do i begin, firstly how can you have the nerve to say that RE5 is racist after for the last 10 years we have been killing white zombies. I did not here anyone complaining then. What about in RE Outbreak when you are the black man, you are killing white zombies then and i did not hear no white ppl comlianing that that was racist. GROW UP!!!!!!

  3. Spectre Says:

    Oh dear, i was bloody surprised, when i’ve got this point of view…
    You american mates, misunderstood this game idea, and racial issues are totally overrated in your country….
    Who cares the colour of our virtual enemies??? They are just charachters, no connection with the real world….
    Besides, 99% of virtual bad guys in console and PC games are actually europeans – so, is that a kinda anti-white propaganda?? Nope.
    That’s just a game.
    Try to look at this problem from the other side – author says, that we could get wrong representation of Africa… Why wrong?? The only african country, which is nearly civilised is South African Republic, made by whites…
    Have you ever been in Uganda? Heard about Amin Idi??
    He was much more dangerous, then any type of zombie…
    Have you ever been in Zimbabwe? They still does cannibalism, is it ok for you?
    So, if the white guy shoots back black zombies – it is ok.
    It is right.
    No matter who zombies are – africans, asians, europeans, marsians – they must die.
    And talking about real Africa (at least 80% of continent) – you can easily find living zombies there, they got Kalashnikov, yeah, but they are still bloody zombies.
    And they are black.
    Mind it.

  4. shino Says:

    enybody that says resident evil 5 is racis needs to shut the f4ck up. resident evil 4 was in russia but when a game is in africa people flip out.!!! CHILL OUT!!!!

  5. Official Shrub.com Blog » Blog Archive » Racial issues in Resident Evil 5: Link Roundup Says:

    […] On Race in Resident Evil 5 at Heroine Sheik: Instead of battling zombies in an abandoned house or even in Spain, players will be now be blowing the heads off of the living dead in an African village. That’s right, we’re talking about black zombies. What’s more, you play a commando character who is white whity-ity white. Jesus, I couldn’t even make this stuff up. Even if we don’t play the racism card, there’s a whole mess of issues here: monsters and otherness, the paranormal as a manifestation of our anxiety about real-life conflicts like race. […]

  6. Tech Trends - March 12th - The Rogue King Says:

    […] Resident Evil 5 trailer released in 2007 recieved a lot of negative publicity [ see here and here ], especially from the Black Community. More recently, however, with the release date of […]

  7. smokestalz Says:

    this should be the last statement about this retarted issue.

    1. RE1- all white zombie cast-main villain-white
    2. RE2- again, all white zombie cast- main villain-white
    3. RE3- more diversified zombie cast-didnt finish
    4. RE4- what appears to be a mix of arab and white zombie cast
    5. and the last game was set in the sahara….what the fuck kind of people/deadheads do you expect to find in africa….the zombie population seems to be split 60/40 black/arab…and still the three top villains in the game are all white….

    -i could see some concern if you had to hillbillies in flannel cut-off shirts trompin threw the desert shootin black zombies with no other races involved with buildings in the sets such as church’s chicken and the beauty salon…..that would be racist….but as this game sits, i played it from begining to end, and never thought once, that i was merely shooting black people. shit, even the supporting cast for the good guys were black… i think as soon as people saw the trailer of black zombies getting shot, all they saw was blacks getting shot by the white man…play the game and then tell me that its racist…no body bitched about the first 3 RE games being anti-white, and no-one should have…

  8. smokestalz Says:

    and if they did decide to replace chris with a local soldier, i think it would of been a cop out to get rid of bad press.im glad that capcom decided to keep there ethics and create the game how it was drawn up….

    and one more thing: if its not ok to shoot up a cast of mostly black enemies then its not ok to shoot mexicans, whites, arabs, chinese…..etc…..

    its a game get over it…

  9. smokestalz Says:

    spectre- one person on the same wavelength….

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    resident evil 5 my nice

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